Twice-baked brains, aux bleu….

Ffolkes,

“Service to others
becomes a necessity
in seeking virtue.

~~ gigoid, 10/9/2018 ~~

eugene vineyards

New Vineyards near Eugene, Oregon….

In the past eight days, since last posting a Pearl, the various parts of today’s post fell together in a random order that eventually achieved some coherency just yesterday. My life outside this room where the computer lives has been, more than I care to think it could be, ‘interesting’, and I use that word in the oriental sense, not occidental. Friends in crisis, personal demon wars, trying to stop smoking tobacco, risky business, all have occurred of late in rapid=fire succession, unwilling to allow one the time to either prepare, or recover. SIGH…. (that’s a West Counties sigh, long, sad face, slowly indrawn breath exhaled with force and a shake of the head….). ‘Tis easy to see why I’m so hard-pressed to get anything done, with so much distraction from any purpose I choose to follow….

But, all of us live in the same reality (that’s why I explore it….), with one difference, that being our own perception of it. That said, it remains both no MORE difficult, or, any LESS difficult than anyone else’s reality, no matter how perceived; in the end, we all must face it alone. That’s why I have come to believe so strongly in the old proverb about ‘living in the shelter of each other’; without each other, we all get lost, and lonely. Sometimes, that can happen even when we are with each other, so, it’s a good thing to also remember the other old proverb, i.e., ‘if you want a friend, be one’….

I’m doing some writing on the side for a friend, and have also procrastinated on getting it done as quickly as I like, so, I’m gonna leave this be so it can get posted, & do my best to quit complaining at myself long enough to get something else done. Wish me luck, ‘cuz I have a feeling I’ll need it….. For the nonce, I’ll see you down the page a ways….

Shall we Pearl?

“Go softly, for you tread on my dreams.”

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~

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john lee chicken mambacom

John Lee Hooker

Image from chickenmamba.com via Google Images…

Here’s another artist who should need little introduction. If one knows anything of the blues, he is an icon; if not, well, he’s still an icon, just one of whom you don’t know, to your loss…. until now, of course. I’ve included two live videos, as anything he does live is impeccable, IMHO…. I hope you enjoy it….

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buddah-out-to-lunch_s

For old times’ sake, just because….

From 10/16/2014:

“The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.” — Steven Weinberg

In the past year and some time, I’ve written many words… more than I care to think about just now, and a number that some would say deserves the term “interminable”….. None of them comes closer to summarizing how I feel about life in general than this…. I’ve never seen it before, to my knowledge, which detracts in no way from its deep resonance with my core beliefs.

I spend a lot of time discussing those parts of life that lean toward the direction of farce, with no little outrage at the depth of human cupidity and well, bozoid tendencies. In my own way, I suppose, this could be construed as my own effort to try to understand the universe, and our place in it…. I hope so, anyway…. because understanding life has been my only quest for the greatest part of it that I remember, reaching back to when I was five or six, and desperately trying to blend in with all the orange monkeys, while secretly wearing my own coat of blue…. For the two years after beginning school, and being exposed all day to the world outside my family, the gap between myself and my peer group seemed to be unpredictable, in terms of what they perceived, and what I could see and understand.

This isn’t to imply I was an outcast; merely an “egghead”, or other such complimentary terminology, as I found the actual school part of it all quite simple. This did, on the positive side, give me enough time to learn to adapt, and make myself likable for other reasons… sports being one, and applying the principle of “to have friends, be a friend”; I was always generous with helping others in school, with whatever I could do. Plus, I do LIKE people, as a rule…. they often disappoint, but, if one pays attention, they also never fail to amaze, in so many ways.

This study of my peer group from my first memories has persisted throughout my life, and remains today my primary focus of self-directed education, so to speak. I love to sit in public places and watch crowds; I don’t much like being IN crowds, so much as watching them interact with each other, all according to the dancing rules we all learn, from kindergarten onward…. From the first time I ever attended a county fair, my favorite activity at each, was to race through all there was to see, spend all my disposable income, and then spend the remainder of my time sitting near the front gate plaza, watching the people as they came to the fair….. endless entertainment, and still is…. only now, I walk the streets when I’m able, or sit in the public parks, libraries, and coffee shops, wherever I live….

“Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

One of the things I’ve learned about people is that human nature is just that… a force of nature. It has not changed much, if at all, since we humans were living in grass huts at the junction of a river; there are still good people, and bad people, and they are most often the same person…. because we all have our own unique view of the world, and our own feelings about what we see and believe we understand. We don’t always have all the information we need at critical times in our lives, and so make decisions that affect our behavior or outlook, decisions which become habits, leading us to believe these habits are justifiable because they work to keep us comfortable…. until they don’t. Life always changes, there is nothing that can stop it from doing so; if we do not learn to change ourselves, to adapt to the changes in the universe around us, it will end up destroying us.

The universe has no mercy, no pity; these are human concepts, and not a part of reality at all. But, being human, we crave justice, for things to be fair…. we bend our efforts to changing the universe to meet our wishes, never realizing that it is folly, that reality does not work that way, and there is nothing at all we can do to alter that reality according to our wishes without suffering the consequences. How quickly those consequences will result in our demise as a species is, of course, a matter of some debate. I tend to believe that we are nearing a breaking point, and the universe is going to be submitting a bill for payment to us, for the damages to our living domicile for which we are responsible, in the very near future…..

It must be noted that most of what I write about, whether I write well, or merely a lot, lends itself equally well to tragedy as it does to farce. In fact, it should also be noted that this is a good metaphor, for human nature. We are contradictory creatures, you, and your Uncle Bob, your Aunt Shirley, and I, and everyone else who makes up human society, filled with warring impulses, and wildly differing viewpoints. The expression of our nature in the real world reflects all of that, in all its tragic, farcical, gloriously foolish splendor…. We inspire and disgust each other on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, especially if one watches a lot of TV, with its completely distorted approximation of reality…. I have pretty much given up on TV completely, as it merely serves to fuel my outrage, and that, as you may have noted already, needs no further encouragement….

Well, a thousand or so words should be enough for a retrospective musing on human nature….. especially when they flow out as smoothly as these. I’ll leave this here, and most likely come back to it another day…. I will leave you with this fine observation from Mssr. Darwin, of The Origin of Species fame…. a book which gave birth to perhaps the finest scientific advance of the millennium, the since-proven Theory of Evolution….. surely a magnificent creation of the human spirit that encompasses both of the elements, farce and tragedy, we explored above….

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” — Charles Darwin

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Comedy_Tragedy

“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.”

~~ EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994 ~~

Unsolicited Gratitude

Fear becomes familiar when reality bodes us ill
pain assumes first position, no matter our will.
Powerless, we founder, no strength to prevail
anguished and afraid, against unwanted Fate we rail.

Still, a grain of hope deep inside, hidden well against need
gives us reason to survive, our starving souls to feed.
Failure of courage burdens time, of being bested,
until our souls, in submission, become foully infested.

Bitter tears wash through us each day, with little care,
no thought, no feeling, no wish, or need to be fair.
Rendered clueless, confusion falls upon us, as prey,
we surrender a piece of our soul, little as we may.

Yet, always, a bright beam of hope is seen from afar,
no matter how dreary, or dark, it may seem where we are.
None knows, nor would consent to tell, it seems
from whence it hails, or why it so brightly gleams.

Saving our sanity, absolving our unwanted fears,
dispelling the myths and lies that come with the years.
Each man has known the precious gift that hope may give
And gives glad thanks, as long as he may live.

~~ gigoid ~~

10/10/2012

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Stones on the Path….

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“Fate is a river. Free will is a paddle.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

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“We can not live for ourselves alone,
our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads.”

~~ Herman Melville ~~

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“Time carves all.
Let yourself be carved to attain your true nature.”

~~ Master Po ~~

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“What I gave, I have; what I spent, I had; what I kept, I lost.”

— old epitaph

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“Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old;
seek what they sought.”

~~ Matsuo Basho ~~

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“Creation is a mighty joke, but the laugh is at my own expense.”

~~ Meher Baba ~~

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“All is flux, nothing stays still.”

~~ Heraclitus (540?-480? B.C.) ~~

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Well, there you go…. Such as it is, I offer it up for your perusal, and, hopefully, your approbation. If not, well, the effort is always worthwhile, for all one may learn. I’ll quit pontificating, or, even merely being naturally pedantic, long enough to bid thee farewell, until the next time, which will probably be in a day or three. Who knows? This little foray may have broken the dam upon my fountain of expression; I guess we’ll see, won’t we? Until we do, y’all be well, & happy as you may be. As has probably become obvious by now, if nothing else, you can leave the ‘being strange’ part to me….

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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Past, last fasts are finest kind….

Ffolkes,

“Hmph! Seriousness. Hmph! Sobriety. A Jedi craves them not.”

~~ Yoda Bee ~~

moons of saturn

Saturn’s Moons, Aligned

Image from NASA via Space.com


Hajime…. Whew! Usually, as I sit to begin, I’m still half-awake. Today after half-a-cuppa, a visit to the throne, and a fast, hard 15 training session with Leelu (it seems to hold her for a while, if I feed her afterward…), I’m fully awake, if a bit out of breath…. She demands we move fast in the morning, as she’s been waiting for hours, no doubt, for me to wake up….. Ah, well, new routines always take time to feel comfortable with, so, so be it…..

With that being said, I’ve kinda messed up any nonsensical beginning; it also seems rather inappropriate to get too silly, or weird, after such a, well, realistic, if boring,  beginning…. As is my apparent habit, it has taken me only one and nearly a half paragraphs to lose my way. It’s a shame, really; I had this really strange, yet compelling opening all ready to go, then got distracted by Leelu to play, and, poof, out the window of my mind it went…. I guess I should shut that window….

Well, as long as we are this far down the page, I may as well wind this up and get on to the rest of the mess we’ve cooked up for y’all today. It’s not bad, as Pearls go; in fact, since some of it is from the archives, it should hold up quite well. Sometimes, it’s easier to poke holes in things when one uses an older style tool, from the days when brute force was our primary method of living…. Oh, wait…. Hmm. I guess I can’t say it WAS our primary characteristic as humans, because, as we see every day in the news, we still do violence quite well, and often…. Oh, well, there goes ANOTHER paragraph, down the tubes to oblivion….

Never mind. We’ll just employ one of our new toys, found in that drawer in the corner. The one we tried out before worked well, didn’t it? May as well try another one…. Let’s see what this little gadget, in such a nice, black color, will do when we push this button, marked, “Elsewhere”…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“I have tried marijuana, hashish, psilocybin, opium and heroin, but none of these have changed my way of seeing as much as has understanding the process of evolution by natural selection.” — purported J.B.S. Haldane quote

(Addendum: I must say, if J.B.S. found this to be true, he needs to find a new drug dealer; he’s getting ripped off….. Just sayin’…..)

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baby-sleeping-on-puppy

Image stolen from FB long ago


As might be surmised from the picture, and, to balance the raucous video we enjoyed yesterday, we are going Classical. We start with Brahm’s Lullaby, then, follow it with nearly 12 hours of soothing music, designed to help babies sleep (like they need help…..). Whether or not it works, it IS soothing to listen to, which is fine with me today…. Enjoy!

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Brahm’s Lullaby Plus

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We the People...

    I find myself spending a lot of the energy I previously put into ranting, by commenting on other WP blogs. Some of my recent comments approach the epic; so far, no one has objected, so, why not? It’s probably why I haven’t felt like letting it all out here, as is my habit. Feeling better gives me more opportunity for surfing the blogs I follow, so, this is, no doubt, a good thing… Since I have so many older rants in the archive, I figured, why not use them here? Indeed, “why not?” is a good question any time….

Here then is a rant suggested by WP at the bottom of yesterday’s post, in a blog from the LAST time we were working up to a Presidential election…. I made some observations then which are perfectly appropriate as a response to the upcoming charade; I found the comments I made regarding the GOP candidate from that year to be quite similar, in fact, eerily similar, to the entire GOP lineup of candidates in this year…. Go figure….

From 9/30/2012:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.” — Alexander Frazer Tyler (1748-1813), — The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic

It seems to me that we, here in America in the early 21st century, are just about at the selfishness phase(s). We’ve been using and squandering a large portion of the available resources of the planet now for quite a while, and apparently haven’t learned to play well with others yet, as a culture. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that we have entered the complacency stage, as we seem also to feel entitled to have so much, and share so little with the rest of the planet, which is a complacent sort of arrogance.

Elitist, to be sure. And in the election coming up in November, we have as one of the choices possibly the most elitist candidate ever to run for the highest office (though Reagan was no slouch at that….) (come to think of it, neither was Franklin Roosevelt, but he seemed to be able to put it aside, for the most part…. He wasn’t nouveau riche, you see; he still had some degree of noblesse oblige left in him….) Mitt the Twitt Romney is unapologetically elitist, and doesn’t seem to care who knows it, even the voters…..

“Whereas it has been known and declared that the poor have no right to the property of the rich, I wish it also to be known and declared that the rich  have no right to the property of the poor.” — Smart Bee

Even if we leave aside all the myriad of reasons that Mitt is unqualified for the position of POTUS, and, my use of the word myriad is both intentional and accurate, his sheer arrogance and lack of sincerity should be enough to convince people of his unsuitability for the office. There are literally thousands of reasons not to give this egregious fool such great power,  all of which indicate he would abuse that power from day one. But none of those reasons even matter…. to me, his greatest point of detraction is that he is, plain and simple, an asshole, or, as is sometimes used in lieu of that word, a dick….

Actually he is both an asshole and a dick, as those words are commonly defined. The running mate he chose is a perfect indicator of how little he cares about the voters, other than what they can do for him, not the other way around. Pauly, the Lyin’ Ryan is, if anything, a bigger asshole than Romney, though he might not be as big a dick, and is no more ashamed of it than his ostensible boss. Each of them is a bare-faced liar. Each of them displays the compassion and sincerity of a sub-lieutenant in Satan’s Army, on a good day. Each of them (Romney & Ryan) is motivated by simple greed, and the desire for power, and, of course, the wish to be handed the keys to the national treasury.

Both have been manipulating the system since their well-funded time in college; neither has ever even held a job that could be considered an actual job; they’ve been sucking at the public teat for their entire adult lives. Now, they are making their grab for the ultimate prize for a thief…. the keys to the national treasury, handed over by ignorant voters who buy into their lies, because they think that these two pieces of white bread will save them from the scary black man as President…. They are counting very heavily on the racist fears of part of the population to carry the tide of victory in their direction; moreover, they are feeding that fear as much as they can, with constant lies and misrepresentations, without even the illusory benefit of sincerity….

As we all know, I could rant about these two all morning, but there are things I need to do today, even though it is Sunday, and I don’t want to spend any more time stirring up shit, even though the shit is only what clings to the Republican ticket every time one of them opens their mouths to spit out another lie….. But, we’ll get on with the day, and try to find something more positive to do…. Just make sure y’all get out there and vote on November 6th, ffolkes, we need to show these assholes that there are more of us than there are of them, and we still have the vote on our side…..

“If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and measures you want to vote for… But there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.” — Lazarus Long

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Comedy_Tragedy

    After the old rant above, only one of my poems is appropriate; it’s kind of silly, but, I like it. Why wouldn’t I?…..

Geezer to Congress, with Love

Politicos don’t care much ’bout seniors and their ilk,
except for their money, I thinks.
They talk as if they’d cozen them in silk,
what they actually do, it stinks.

“The banks are failing, we can’t allow that!”,
steal from the aged, that’s their plan.
“Their life’s ending, that’s plainly where they’re at,”
lie shamelessly, because they can.

Maybe just once, if we all act together,
it couldn’t miss.
Right on their shoes, no matter the weather,
take careful aim, and piss.

Why the hell not?
It’s worth a shot!

~~ gigoid ~~

12/23/2012


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Yin-Yang-symbol-sun-and-moon

Naked pearls

A pearl of balance, about Life, lived well…

“Dream as if you’ll live forever.
Live as if you’ll die tomorrow.

~~ James Dean ~~

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“It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere.”

~~ Voltaire ~~

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“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point
than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.”

~~ George Bernard Shaw ~~

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“Love all, trust a few.  Do wrong to none.”

~~ William Shakespeare ~~

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Virtue could see to do what virtue would
By her own radiant light, though sun and moon
Were in the flat sea sunk. And Wisdom’s self
Oft seeks to sweet retired solitude,
Where with her best nurse Contemplation
She plumes her feathers and lets grow her wings,
That in the various bustle of resort
Were all-to ruffled, and sometimes impair’d.
He that has light within his own clear breast
May sit i’ th’ centre and enjoy bright day;
But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts
Benighted walks under the midday sun.

~~ John Milton — Comus, Line 373 ~~

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

~~ Confucius~~

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“If you love the sacred and despise the ordinary,
you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion.”

~~ Lin-Chi ~~


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“Be strange… it’s cool out there.”

~~ Hunter S. Bee ~~

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“Dream as if you’ll live forever.
Live as if you’ll die tomorrow.

~~ James Dean ~~


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Gee, that was fun…. Really, it was. But, it’s over now, so, in the words of Death from yesterday’s final pearl, I guess I’ll put the chair up, shut out the lights, & lock the door on the way out…. See y’all tomorrow, if they don’t shut off my power….. Bill’s paid, so we’re good to go….

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

Featured Image -- 5012


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Running fast in sequined socks….

Ffolkes,
A soft breeze stirs the fragrant air, scents of exotic flowers mingling with the calls of sea birds circling over the beach, adding to the sense of serene isolation. Slow, rhythmic, the murmur of waves brushing against the sandy shore serve as background to the racing thoughts of the man lying on a lounge chair, near the sparkling water of the infinity pool. Long, pale, slender, the man sits up, brushing a hand through his luxurious hair, as he gazes around the pool area, constantly searching for anomalous shadows. His eyes, dark, with heavy brows, narrow in speculation as the door leading to the bar flies open, emitting a blast of sound from the blaring jukebox, rudely dispelling the quiet of the night…..

Not too shabby, I think, but, I’m stuck right where I left it, with no clue as to where to go from there. Too many choices, I suppose, and given my track record over the last two days, I’m not going to make any choices whatsoever…. What a bloody cock-up, as my friends across the water would say, if they were as vulgar as I am…. There were some rather good high points, but, several moments of sheer terror, as I realized just how bozoid I can be sometimes, and embarrassment washed over me for the stupidity I displayed…. Yes, ffolkes, me, stupid, all in the same sentence, and quite more intimately acquainted than intended, let me assure you…..

First, the EOA episode on Monday, when I transposed the names of Ayn Rand and Anais Nin in my head, so firmly that I exchanged one for the other several times in one rant, all about the WRONG person’s ideas…. I think the correct words to use would be….. hang on a sec, the thesaurus is across the room….. okay, that would be…. either “tiresomely ignorant” or “completely lacking in wit”, take your pick. Both are appropriate, though each is just slightly short of the mark in terms of degree…. perhaps, “incredibly dim” would fit best….

Yes, almost a thousand words, possibly more, all based on my dyslexic confusion of authors who were not even the same sex, much less clones that could be confused on sight…. No, just my own stupid habit of not checking what is coming out of my head for accuracy, a habit that I need to break, as it doesn’t fit with my own beliefs in the scientific method. Checking sources for accuracy should be automatic, and I skip that step far too often…. There is no possible excuse other than laziness, and that is an unacceptable reason, in my book….

Second in my list of faux pas, I had a long, very interesting dialogue with a reader from Europe (I know this, because Spell Checker tells me…. the spelling of two words by the Euro method, i.e. “ise” instead of “ize” at the end, is a dead giveaway….). We spent a couple of hours trading comments, and I was thoroughly charmed to be so gently put in my place as a curmudgeon gone mad…. This reader was compassionate, sensible, and erudite, and used many of my own thoughts to remind me of why I should hold on to hope for the future.  I was very pleased to have met and traded ideas with such a fine philosopher…. a philosopher whom I assumed was a man, but, in reality is a woman….. DOH!  (Picture an old fart slapping his forehead with his open hand….)

Yes, once again, in my mad rush to fulfill my own internal agenda, I skipped over details that would have given me a clue to the fact that my assumptions were erroneous. I’m getting tired of the embarrassment factor, and will, you can be sure, making some procedural changes in my head. I’ll also be watching out much more closely to make sure that what I’m saying, and writing, is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. Reality doesn’t DEMAND that we pay heed to the principle of notary public, but, it sure makes it less frequently embarrassing if we do….

Well, having consumed a pretty fair-sized portion of crow, I am going to try to suppress my nausea long enough to at least finish this intro, and then get on with the dive for today. I think I’ve covered all I need to in regards an apology; now all I have to do is wait for the guilt and angst to fade away…. no worries. I know that this intro is risking losing interest, but, I had to get this stuff out of my head, to make room for all the nonsense that needs to be let out into the light of day, before it causes any further trouble…. Better out than in, right?…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“For getting attention, there’s nothing like a good, big, mistake!” — Bozo the Clown, Tuesday, 1963
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Okay, here is the deal…. Each of the following is a pearl of virtual wisdom, and each one can be categorized into a different group than each of the others, to wit, in order: Art, Science, Politics, Sex and Psychology (Sexy Psychology), and Philosophy. As you can see, the categories together make a fairly wide, fairly accurate description of Life at Large, or as we call it here, Consensual Reality. Each has its own message for the universe, with its own kernel of wisdom buried inside….

However, even though they don’t seem to have anything at all to do with one another, they are all subsets of the larger category, and, as such, worthy of inclusion here. The point they make, taken together, would probably drive the average reader insane, but, I have faith and trust in the perspicacity and flexibility of the readers of this blog…. Hell, if they weren’t capable of those characteristics, they wouldn’t be hanging around here for long…. Taken together, the point is blunted, but nonetheless effectively wise, as virtual wisdom goes….

Due to the patently obscure nature of this pearl, not only will it NOT be on the Final Test, but, you will receive bonus points for never mentioning where you saw it…. We here at ECR will, in turn, never mention that you were here…. Don’t forget your helmets and body armor….

‘I don’t mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don’t understand.” — Sir Edward Appleton

Relativity for Children: Time moves slower in a fast moving vehicle. — Smart Bee

“One claim for the value of the British monarchy is that its existence precludes anyone from aspiring to absolute rule.  I have a theory that the American presidency serves a similar purpose, precluding anyone from managing the government.” — Smart Bee

“One of the prison psychiatrists asked me if I thought sex was dirty, and I said it is if you’re doing it right.” — Woody Allen, “Take the Money and Run”

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” — Buddha (B.C. 568-488)

I think they made a movie about these pearls…. starring Jack Nicholson, in one of his finest performances.. It was called, “Five Easy Pieces”, and I never understood it at all, until reading this pearl…. Who knew?….   🙂
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Lately I’ve been exploring the poetry of Sylvia Plath, a poetess I’d never delved into before last year, for reasons that are irrelevant to this discussion. What I’ve found is an incredibly talented wordsmith, and a ton of poems I haven’t previously enjoyed…. so, I’m doing so now…. This one doesn’t have any particularly intimate meaning for me, I just like it, as it is a good demonstration of the depth of her talent…. Enjoy!

Mirror

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful ‚
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

~~ Sylvia Plath

Wow… those last two lines just grasp your shirt-front and shake, don’t they?….. Whew!….  🙂
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“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” — Mark Twain

As I sit here, I can almost feel myself getting older…. It seems to be a predilection of being this age, that one becomes somewhat introspective, looking back over our time here on Earth, and making judgments about what we’ve done, or are guilty of leaving undone, in our lives. This preoccupation seems to be innate, but, I don’t necessarily see a lot of it in others my age, in my experiences out in society at large.

Here, on WordPress, the normal demographics of population diversity seems to run a bit higher, in that respect, than it does out in the Big Blue Room…. probably something to do with the fact that those here on this site are, if nothing else, highly educated enough, and/or affluent enough, to partake in the Internet’s community dialogue…. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that there are still millions of folks out there who have never, and never will, see any of what transpires here, for whatever reason, educational, financial, or merely indifference…. In that group of people, those my age are concerned much of the time with survival, and tend to be directed outward, to deal with the mechanics of that critical issue.

To that group, introspection is a luxury they cannot afford to indulge in themselves, as it takes time away from activities and mental attitudes necessary for surviving. I have been living on the edge of that group for a couple of years now, and can only be thankful that I am close enough to the edge to be able to afford this luxury; I do have to make sacrifices to have it, so I appreciate it a lot. It was a pain in the derrière, literally, to have to leave home to find internet access, so, not having to do so is a big plus for me.

In my time of introspection, I’ve spent a lot of it fighting off guilt, for the things I’ve done in my life that don’t meet with my own approval, as so aptly referred to by Mr. Twain. We all have those things hidden in our memories, those failures of ethical or moral standards we set for ourselves, and looking back on them is hard, as there is nothing we can do to change it. We have to learn to forgive ourselves for such transgressions, because no one else, not even God, if ones choose to believe in the traditional dogma, can change the past. (Query: Can God build a wall so strong He can’t knock it down, or a rock so heavy He can’t pick it up?…. Just wondered; sorry, little side trip….)

Since we cannot change the past, nor go back and try to make things better, if nothing else, we must learn to hold those little kernels of painful memory inside us, and find a way to deal with the little nugget of discomfort that will always accompany such memories. It is a delicate procedure, as we must deal with chastising and scolding our own selves, while still maintaining our self-love, without which we can never be comfortable, or comforted. One cannot accept love from another unless they feel it is deserved; it will sour and spoil all the flavor of the interaction, dooming it to failure, and pain.

How do we maintain this self-image of someone who is worthy of being loved by others? Well, that, my friends, is a very long story, indeed, and one I’m not going to start here and now, as it could be days before I surfaced again, and we’re already at the point where most folk’s minds, as well as those of regular ffolkes, will be losing interest, unless I pull some literary magic, or set off some figurative fireworks. Currently, my supply of fireworks is low, so we’ll leave a deeper discussion of this subject for another time. For now, let me say this….

We are all creatures of a Universe that puts a premium on flexibility, especially of mind. This flexibility is enhanced when we spend time on ourselves, in introspection, and inner dialogue, and is ultimately part of what is the only way to ever really achieve any balance or stability in life. It gives us the proper perspective on how we fit into the rest of the picture, and points the way to the greatest degree of successful interaction with the other parts of that universe. It is the best way to stay in touch with what we are, and what we need to be, to survive, and to make our lives meaningful in some way.

“We are injured and hurt emotionally – not so much by other people or what they say or don’t say – but by our own attitude and our own response.” — Maxwell Maltz, “Psycho-Cybernetics”

Well worth a dollar, or a moment or two of your time, I’d say…. Try something new and different, spend some time in your own head…. Of course, one should (careful, there’s that word!….) be cautious in this, as with any potentially mind-altering activity like mindful introspection…. You never know when a preconceived notion will jump up and bite you….. and those ingrained prejudices can be hard to spot, as they tend to hide behind walls of ignorance and fear….. Remember yesterday’s pearl…. The Snark might actually be a Boojum…. Catch it, cook it, eat it with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, and then get on with your life….  🙂
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All things considered, today’s effort will make the grade…. which, given the struggle I had to produce it, is a good thing. I feel as if I’ve gone six rounds with the champ…. but, I think I won, if only on points awarded for honesty, and the bruises will fade in time….. Since I can’t really think of anything further I can do to cause trouble, or to cure any, I guess I’ll go find something constructive to do until the library opens, and I can go find a book to read…. gigoid has spoken; so be it…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Delving into unusual matters of import….

Ffolkes,
Composing these Pearls every day has become the central stanchion on which the rest of my day is built. No matter what time I now arise, sometime between 5 AM and 9 AM, the process defines the morning’s activities, with very little else happening until it is done. Only coffee, breaks from sitting, and restroom urges are part of the routine; no other activities are engaged in prior to publication of the morning’s effort. I’ve found this to be the best way to ensure that it happens each and every day, which has my goal for this blog since its inception on August 11 of 2011.

Unfortunately, this also means that I’m spending a lot of time sitting at the computer, and very little time out exercising my mind, or body, in the real world. Of course, as a retiree, my need to relate to the real world is diminished, to be sure; I have the choice as to whether or not I wish to go out and mingle, or stay home and polish my curmudgeon trophies. It’s nice having the choice for a change; for most of my life, the real world pretty much dictated my activities according to the needs of my family, or job, or something else other than my personal choice. I don’t think that is unusual, and that’s a bit sad, isn’t it?….

But, now that I can choose, I’ve chosen to “hermit up” a lot. This has a lot to do with the fact that living on the poverty line doesn’t allow much extra cash for entertainment purposes, and most activities that have to do with other folks involve at least a minimum of disposable income, in order to engage in going out to eat, or have a cocktail, or go to a ball game, etc. Very few things these days are free, and if they are, it takes some money to get to where they are… such as the beach. A lack of funds is a serious handicap to a player, for sure, not that I ever was one, but, hey, a guy can dream, right?

For now, though, until my income has settled at last into what I should have been making for the last two years, I am pursuing a life of “quiet desperation”, and generally doing so alone….. except for the wonderful friends I have found here on the internet, at WordPress. The interactions I am fortunate to have with the other authors here have been uniformly positive. People here show each other support, and compassion, and kindness, in such a free and easy manner that the Dalai Lama would be proud, indeed. It makes up a lot for the lack of face to face engagement that I lack in my life; the ffolkes I’ve met here are people I am proud to have as friends, and have helped me get through some pretty hard times lately, just by being there….

So, I write…. for me, for them, and for my kids, and grandkid (so far just one). I write to express the “stuff” inside me that has been storing up over the last 50 or so years, waiting for me to get done with the things I needed to do to take care of the family, until I could begin the journey toward becoming a writer, my lifelong dream. It’s kind of destiny-like, actually; books, and literature, have been the backbone of my life, and producing them seems like a logical outcome for my nature. So I am polishing my skills as a writer here on WordPress, ever hopeful that some editor will drop in one day, take a look at what I’ve written, and ask me to start writing for a larger audience, for pay…..

Having thus spent five hefty paragraphs discussing the very thing I’m doing, (good writing practice technique, don’t y’know?), I will cease this assault on your sensibilities, and go now in search of pearls with which to populate this page….. care to join me?  Let’s Pearl….
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Practice Acts of Random Kindness and Senseless Beauty. — Hippie Philosophy, circa 1968

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Taken together, these two statements offer a possible treatment for what ails the world today. Albert’s words, spoken not long after he had helped to create the hydrogen atomic bomb, are clearly true. We, as a species, continue to display the same vicious, insensitive, violent nature that enabled us to struggle our way to the top of the food chain; the difference now is that we have the power to completely destroy an entire planet, should we give vent to that nature in our conflicts with one another….

Thus, the first statement, made common during the Peaceful Revolution in the Sixties, can be seen as a possible antidote to that nature, and to the danger it implies for mankind. It has been said, and truthfully, that the next evolutionary change that our species needs to make to survive is a change of the mind, of spiritual strength. Mankind needs to put aside our species’ natural response to conflict, which is generally to meet such tests with violence. Now that our ability to destroy ourselves is complete, we cannot afford to allow that part of our nature dictate our actions; that would be suicidal, for sure.

“The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” — William Wordsworth

Instead, each of us needs to learn to acknowledge in us the connection we have to each other, to celebrate that connection, instead of trying to sever it. The world, and people, respond to kindness, and to beauty; that, too, is part of our nature, and may be our salvation. as well. We all need to help each other to develop responses to stress that act from a basis of compassion, that try to promote beauty in the world.

Change within ourselves is the only real, lasting effect we can have on Reality, and with the help of each other, I believe it is possible to effect the changes to the human spirit that are so obviously necessary if we are to survive…. If we all practice Acts of Random Kindness, and Senseless Beauty, then we may live to see another millennium…. if not, we’ll be fortunate to see the end of this century…..

“And if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.” — James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
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An American Fascist seeking power would not proclaim that he is a fascist.  Fascism always camouflages its plans and purposes. … Any fascist attempt made to gain power in America would not use the exact Hitler pattern.  It would work under the guise of “super-patriotism” and “super-Americanism”.  Fascist leaders are neither stupid nor naive. They know that they must hand out a line that “sells”.   Huey Long is said to have remarked that if Fascism came to America it would be on a program of “Americanism”. — U. S. Army (1945)

Interesting, no? To discover that the US Army was aware of this is not as surprising, or as disappointing, to me as the fact that no one listened. If one is to go by the description of fascism presented here, then it becomes clear that we have allowed this to happen, right here in the good ol’ USA…. I offer as proof of this assertion the latest batch of crap that has dribbled out of the Republican camp in the last couple of days. Mitt Romney spent some time to outline some of his ideas on foreign policy changes he would seek if he is elected.

I have yet to read the article for details of those policies, as I admit to a certain amount of trepidation, regarding just how crazy they may be. It was enough for me to see the headline of the article…. “Disturbing foreign policy changes outlined…”  If the FIRST take by the media on these ideas prompts the word “Disturbing” in the title, then they MUST be pretty outrageous, and I am sure they will become the subject of an upcoming rant, once I’ve read them through….

For now, I will merely point out that Mitt’s entire program is based on the words used above in the educational treatise from the Army. From the beginning of his campaign, Romney has painted himself as a “PATRIOT”, wrapping himself in the flag, depending on that to deflect any criticisms aimed at his sincerity. He has voiced completely ILLEGAL ideas of things he would change, ideas that fed into the fears of whatever particular fringe group to which he was speaking, not even bothering to hide the fact that what he proposed was not only against the law, but was in direct contradiction to what he had told another group the day before. More than one instance of this was reported in the news; I didn’t make it up. For goodness’ sake, the man has seriously proposed a law to make it illegal for a woman to get pregnant without being married! Pure Muslim Sharia Law, from the mouth of a Christian bigot…

“Can you say “Pervert?” I thought you could.” – Smart Bee

As I’ve noted, I’m not altogether certain that the current administration is overly concerned with what is in my best interests. They, too, are politicians, and sought the jobs they are holding, which, in my mind, classifies them as insane right from the get-go. But, what I’ve observed during this Democratic administration has been much less destructive toward me and the general public than ANY of the policies that Mitt has voiced.

He has made it perfectly clear in his speeches and programs that, if one is not white, Christian, rich, and bigoted, then he isn’t interested in doing anything but oppressing you, and making himself and his cronies more wealthy, and more powerful. THAT is his underlying goal, not any patriotic wish to make things better for the average American. He couldn’t describe an average American if one was standing in front of him, spitting in his face….
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An Extempore

When they were come into Faery’s Court
They rang — no one at home — all gone to sport
And dance and kiss and love as faerys do
For Faries be as human lovers true —
Amid the woods they were so lone and wild
Where even the Robin feels himself exil’d
And where the very books as if affraid
Hurry along to some less magic shade.
‘No one at home’! the fretful princess cry’d
‘And all for nothing such a dre[a]ry ride
And all for nothing my new diamond cross
No one to see my persian feathers toss
No one to see my Ape, my Dwarf, my Fool
Or how I pace my Otaheitan mule.
Ape, Dwarf and Fool why stand you gaping there
Burst the door open, quick — or I declare
I’ll switch you soundly and in pieces tear.’
The Dwarf began to tremble and the Ape
Star’d at the Fool, the Fool was all agape
The Princess grasp’d her switch but just in time
The Dwarf with piteous face began to rhyme.
‘O mighty Princess did you ne’er hear tell
What your poor servants know but too too well
Know you the three great crimes in faery land
The first alas! poor Dwarf I understand
I made a whipstock of a faery’s wand
The next is snoring in their company
The next the last the direst of the three
Is making free when they are not at home.
I was a Prince — a baby prince — my doom
You see, I made a whipstock of a wand
My top has henceforth slept in faery land.
He was a Prince the Fool, a grown up Prince
But he has never been a King’s son since
He fell a snoring at a faery Ball
Your poor Ape was a Prince and he poor thing
But ape — so pray your highness stay awhile
‘Tis sooth indeed we know it to our sorrow —
Persist and you may be an ape tomorrow —
While the Dwarf spake the Princess all for spite
Peal’d the brown hazel twig to lilly white
Clench’d her small teeth, and held her lips apart
Try’d to look unconcerned with beating heart.
They saw her highness had made up her mind
And quaver’d like the reeds before the wind
And they had had it, but O happy chance
The Ape for very fear began to dance
And grin’d as all his uglyness did ache–
She staid her vixen fingers for his sake
He was so very ugly: then she took
Her pocket mirror and began to look
First at herself and [then] at him and then
She smil’d at her own beauteous face again.
Yet for all this — for all her pretty face
She took it in her head to see the place.
Women gain little from experience
Either in Lovers, husbands or expense.
The more their beauty the more fortune too
Beauty before the wide world never knew.
So each fair reasons — tho’ it oft miscarries.
She thought her pretty face would please the fa[e]ries.
‘My darling Ape I wont whip you today
Give me the Picklock sirrah and go play.’
They all three wept but counsel was as vain
As crying cup biddy to drops of rain.
Yet lingeringly did the sad Ape forth draw
The Picklock from the Pocket in his Jaw.
The Princess took it and dismounting straight
Trip’d in blue silver’d slippers to the gate
And touch’d the wards, the Door full courteously
Opened — she enter’d with her servants three.
Again it clos’d and there was nothing seen
But the Mule grasing on the herbage green.
End of Canto xii.

Canto the xiii.
The Mule no sooner saw himself alone
Than he prick’d up his Ears — and said ‘well done!
At least unhappy Prince I may be free —
No more a Princess shall side saddle me
O King of Othaiete — tho’ a Mule
‘Aye every inch a King’ — tho’ ‘Fortune’s fool.’
Well done — for by what Mr. Dwarfy said
I would not give a sixpence for her head.’
Even as he spake he trotted in high glee
To the knotty side of an old Pollard tree
And rub’d his sides against the mossed bark
Till his Girths burst and left him naked stark
Except his Bridle — how get rid of that
Buckled and tied with many a twist and plait.
At last it struck him to pretend to sleep
And then the thievish Monkies down would creep
And filch the unpleasant trammels quite away.
No sooner thought of than adown he lay
Sham’d a good snore — the Monkey-men descended
And whom they thought to injure they befriended.
They hung his Bridle on a topmost bough
And of[f] he went run, trot, or anyhow–

John Keats

This is kind of long, but while reading it through this morning, I was struck by its dream-like quality. The act of reading it seemed to put me in a trance-like state, and the characters in the poem took on the faces in the news. It all made sense, too, at the time. Maybe it’s something in my coffee, or some old hippie mind tricks arising out of my sub-conscious memory…. or maybe I’m just strange.

No matter, the poem, long as it is, is the beauty break my head needed to finish the morning’s effort, so, deal with it….  🙂  And enjoy the trip through Keats’ dream…. It’s kind of fun to put the faces of Romney, Barack, Newt, Rush, and all the others who inhabit the front pages, on the characters in the poem, at some elegant non-partisan ball. ….  “And off I went run, or anyhow….”
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Somewhat late, but not a bad effort, all in all. As is often the case, whether it will do or not is a moot point; it’s done, and it’s now going to be published, before I have any second thoughts about it…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Awesome Blog Content Award Nomination

Ffolkes,

A few days ago, I received an email that Carolyn at abcofspiritalk.com was nominated for an Awesome Blog Content Award. Part of receiving such an honor is to post a thank you note to the blogger who awarded it, to nominate as many bloggers as you see fit for the same award, and to write something about oneself, using the alphabet. It was to my surprise and honor, and great delight, that Carolyn had nominated my blog to receive the award. So thank you Carolyn; you have been a very encouraging friend, and I appreciate all the support.

Nominating other bloggers whom I feel deserve this award is a tough choice. Every blog I’ve signed up to follow has excellent work to display, and choosing just a few is hard. Here are some that I tend to visit a lot, whenever I am notified they have posted. You should enjoy them as well…..

adollylicious, at allaboutlemon.com Dolly is a young media artist, with a heart of gold. You can find her at http://allaboutlemon.com

jdobypr’s site is called The Urban Link. Jerry offers news and advice for burgeoning DJ’s and Hip Hop and Rap artists. He can be found at http://jdobypr.wordpress.com

Photobotos promises to post an Amazing Photo Every Day! They can be found at http://photobos.wordpress.com

Maggie Mae writes very powerful poetry. Her site is at http://maggiemaeisaythis.wordpress.com

Linda Vernon Humor writes amusing anecdotes and observations on life and her husband. You can find her site at http://lindavernon.wordpress.com

I would like to include a bunch more, including those by Michael, Michelle, Scott, Randall, Jimmy, Bonanzaetfils, Patrick, Ajay, Rohit, Lesley, and the rest, but I’m already pushing my skill with this blog editing function to the limits. But I want to say that every blog I’ve visited so far has been outstanding in one respect or another.

I’m not shy about talking about myself, so here is my alphabet:

A) Abundantly self-confident. (Some might say Arrogant, but they’re just jealous. A little arrogance is fine, as long as you can back it up…..)

B) Bozoid, for sure..

C) Cooks really well, all things considered. (A $35K culinary arts degree has to count for something, right?)

D) Debonair (well, maybe not, but I’ve always wanted to be described that way, and this is my chance…..)

E) Eternally romantic, within reason, and budget…..

F) Fools around a lot. Well, I AM retired, and I have a lot of hours to fill up.

G) Gosh, I dunno…..maybe Grateful, for old friends and new…..

H) Habitual reader…..averaged one book/day X 50 years.

I) Don’t get me started on “I”…I just get weirder and stranger to longer I write, and I never can stop myself….see?

J) Just another bozo on the bus….

K) Kreative speller….

L) Living la vida loca….

M) Mostly not serious, except when I am…..

N) Ned, the handle I go by out in the big blue room…only my friends and family know it, so please, shhhh!

O) Oh, how did I ever get myself into this? Will it never end? See next installment, er, letter….

P) Pretty clever, eh? That is several in a row without stating anything prosecutable….

Q) Quietly encouraging revolution….

R) Resplendent in my tap shoes and sequined vest….

S) So many places to see! So many songs to be sung! So many people to meet. So much for watching a game on Sunday….

T) Thoroughly incorrigible curmudgeon….

U) Ultraviolet light makes my hair glow orange…..

V) “Ve haff our vays of making you talk!”

W) Why do you want to know? I got nothing to hide, copper!

X) Xact change only please….

Z) Ze list, she is finish…

Well, there you have it. A veritable truckload of stuff about me, all easily folded for packing away. This may help in clearing up some of the questions you may have had after a period of exposure to the Daily Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, but I doubt it did anything but raise more questions than it answered.I do have  a softer side; I just don’t let it out much. I’ve spent too long fashioning my status as a curmudgeon to tarnish that image now. In reality, I tear up at Hallmark commercials.

Thanks again to Carolyn, and to all the bloggers who are now nominated I say, good luck! Y’all take care out there…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,

and sometimes

I just sits.

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

A couple of days ago, I received an email informing me that Carolyn at abcofspiritalk.com had received a Nomination for the ABC Award. In turn, she nominated several other bloggers, and to my surprise and delight, I was one of them.