What are you doing with that ferret?….


Freedom = Responsibility

Attribution is not required for an Unarguable Truth

If you feel you MUST argue it, well, bring it on…..
~~ gigoid ~~


    The most excellent picture, which highlights the absolutely perfect form displayed by these two small warriors, is from The Daily Yell (London Daily Telegraph) Animal Pictures of the Week, 10/3/2014. Notice the strength of the stance, with four legs firmly gripping the limb, perfectly balanced, and the formidable knife-like spikes on the forearm and hand sections, held in perfect position to strike…. Their sifu would be proud….   *modest smile*   Perfect tong long tong long bu…. preying mantis style kung fu, straight from the source….

One might think, given the week I’ve had, I’d be more, or less, insane…. In either case, more, or less, it would seem I’ve made a case for the newest format here on ECR, even if it is less than rigidly structured, or perfectly designed. Both of those qualities wouldn’t work well around here, anyway, so, it’s just as well… I suppose, since y’all have already had your tickets punched, you feel we’ve some sort of obligation to provide some of that sort of service…. but, you’d be wrong, both in reality, and in theory….

You see, service, and obligations, only happen when there is some sort of transaction, with real money exchanged; since we only charge the going rate for a blog (to wit: nada damn thing….), that never enters the picture, and such expectations from y’all is kind of disappointing…. One would think, after the exposure y’all have had to the process of actually USING the mind, rather than just providing a means for your ass to get from toilet to toilet, you’d have more sense, or, at least, more street cred…. TANSTAAFL, ffolkes, remember? But, then, Americans DO tend to believe that doesn’t apply to them, as a matter of course….

Not all their fault, of course, as the Asininnies are continually pounding the message into the thick skulls out there that they ARE entitled to all they can steal, so, it’s only natural there would be some sense of entitlement, even if it IS completely unwarranted, and unearned…. But, all the preachers, and all the political pundits, are forever trumpeting how special we are, and how we have the rights to do whatever we want to other nations, and/or people, without ever having to answer for our actions….. How else to explain our willingness to bomb almost anything that moves, if it will make us seem more important in our own eyes….

Bah, humbug! I’m ranting again, in the intro, aren’t I? Ah well, it’s just so easy to do, and such a natural thing to do, when confronted with all the BS and nonsense that goes on each day out on the world stage…. But, doing it here makes it hard to keep the process smooth when we actually get to the section where the ranting is appropriate…. It DOES, however, get us far enough down the page to call the intro complete, such as we see today…. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I suppose y’all think I plan it that way…. HAH! Fooled ya!….

But, since we did make it this far, and without shedding any blood, to speak of, we may as well use the escape clause that is presenting itself… In fact, I think, if we jump right here, it should all work out fine….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“As for courage and will – we cannot measure how much of each lies within us, we can only trust there will be sufficient to carry through trials which may lie ahead.” — Andre Norton


I’m late today, having actually gotten some decent sleep; I have no idea why it happened, it just did….. Since I haven’t had time to even look at the news, I’ll use an appropriate piece from the past…. Besides, it’s been a while since we discussed the process of Pearling, so, it’s time…. Here is a bit of explanation of this whole deal, just in case it seems important to y’all…. or not…. Don’t fret, it’s not a rant, and it’s not too long, so, it makes a nice change of pace, I think…..

From 3/28/2012:

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” — Federico Fellini

It has been a while since I talked about Pearls, so when I stumbled upon the above quote, I knew it was time….. Pearls of Virtual Wisdom come with a caveat and disclaimer, to wit: These Pearls consist of ideas and concepts, and even procedures, that are Virtual Wisdom. They should never be confused with, or used as, Real Wisdom; the results can be somewhat unpredictable, have been known to cause injury, and in one case, (my own), have resulted in months of severe depression.

(Of course, that depression may not be due strictly to the intrinsic differences in the Pearls themselves, but rather a direct result of inattention to which variety I was using at the moment)  Regardless of how real Pearls of Virtual Wisdom may appear, or how shiny they look to the untrained eye, the author assumes no liability for failure to heed this caveat.

That being said, let us for a moment consider pearls as incarnations of jewels, as the precious gems of rare beauty and great value they become when freed from the oyster, the shelter which created each layer of the pearl’s beauty out of its own pain…. The soft sheen of a fine pearl, luminescent in the dimness, glowing in the light, has captivated the eyes and imaginations of men and women since the first oyster was plucked from the sea bed to become someone’s supper, and has inspired those who fall under its spell to acts of great sacrifice, and acts of great cruelty, in the quest to possess these timeless treasures from the sea.

Thus the metaphorical nature of the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom becomes apparent, as we see that although virtual wisdom looks just like real wisdom, the difference may be likened to the difference between naturally produced pearls, and those that are cultivated in laboratories.  One is shiny, and of great value for its rarity and beauty, naturally endowed; the other is shiny, but of lesser value, due to lesser rarity, and a somehow lesser beauty, as made by the hand of man.

The subtle differences are of little note, except to Reality, which always knows which wisdom is which, as it knows which pearl is which; hence the caveat and  disclaimer, to avoid any conflicts with Reality due to negligence on my part…..so, please use these Pearls with appropriate caution, and they will bring you joy for years to come…..

“Did an Italian CRANE OPERATOR just experience uninhibited sensations in a MALIBU HOT TUB?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Note from 2014: There…. that should help make things clearer… and if not, well, so what, eh? It’s not as if you spent a lot to get in, is it?….. Right…..


Very little needs to be said about these two gentlemen, or the music they created together…. Serendipity, indeed…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. this is one of the greatest concerts ever…. with music that will never again be created just this way….





As I heard quoted in a movie recently, “I think Wordsworth is sometimes underrated.”….. So do I….

The Solitary Reaper

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?–
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;–
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

~~ William Wordsworth ~~


It’s been some time, but, here is an old-school pearl, of the type that has lasted the longest…. It is merely a grouping of comments on Reality, Life, and how to approach both with some dignity, and a bit of style….and, in the process, perhaps, teach us a bit about ourselves, and our inner nature…. It helps if you pay attention….

“A candour affected is a dagger concealed.” — Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) — Meditations, book 9.

“I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face.  Don’t trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance, any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.” — Charles Dickens

“Make your enemies by choice, not by accident. The same applies to friends.” — Xavier R. Quinton

“Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.” — Smart Bee

“Nothing can come out of nothing, any more than a thing can go back to nothing.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 4

“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.” — Herb Caen

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” — Francis Bacon


Not too shabby, for a Pearl thrown together on the fly, and in a massive hurry…. In fact, it came out rather well, all things considered, and we know better than to look at the teeth of any horse in the stable, no matter where it came from, or what wagons it may have dragged in behind it…. whatever that means, metaphorically, euphemistically, or, practically…. Of course, in this case, only the latter counts…. Since that is true, I’m outta here, and y’all can’t legally stop me…. though, why you’d wish to try, I haven’t a clue…. That last statement may just cover the whole business, and before we find out…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious



À bientôt, mon cherí….


North flew East, East turned West; South became irrelevant….


Normally, my travelogues feature more artwork, in the sense that I generally post pictures that I’ve taken myself, of the places and people I’ve seen in my ramblings for the day. Since it will be eight or so hours until I actually embark on the ship, which then sets sail at about 4 PM, I am as yet without my camera, which is packed away for the ordeal of getting through the security checkpoint….

I suppose I could have taken a few pix of me and my lady, or my son, who will be driving us today in his limo, but, none of us particularly care for fame, or photos of ourselves, (in my case, there is the danger to the camera itself; my visage has been known to freeze digital cameras instantly….), and who wants to see pix of a street corner, with no people in it?…. So, y’all will have to wait until tomorrow, when I’ll have some shots from the first night on board….

In past travelogues, I concentrated a lot on pictures of where I was visiting, and neglected to show off the ships I’ve been on, which are part of the attraction for me in traveling. It makes perfect sense to my hedonistic side to travel in luxury if possible; I’ve traveled the cheap way, staying in hostels or cheap motels, eating out of the markets and fast food joints, and taking trains and buses to where I wished to go. Often, before I was married, I’d even resort to hitchhiking for my travel mode…. cheap, and you meet some great ffolkes, but it can be a bit inconsistent if traffic is slow, and can take a LONG time to get anywhere…

That sort of travel is great fun, but requires a lot of energy and physical stamina that I no longer possess, so, having a place to take a nap when I get tired, in a five star hotel, with three gourmet meals a day (or more….), along with staff eager to provide service, is a better choice for someone of my age and condition…. Plus, on those voyages on which my luck holds, the casino can help reduce the overall cost of the trip….. I came out about $500 ahead of the game on my Alaska cruise, with my winnings exceeding my bar bills by about that much…. Of course, I went a bit crazy on souvenirs for everyone, but, hey, I tried….

This trip, I’ll try to remember to take more shots on board, to let y’all see what it’s like to cruise with a crazy old long-haired, long-winded blogger…. or, at least to give you a better idea of what it looks like on board…. Plus, it keeps me from having to think too hard about what to include in the Pearls, which will give me more time to just screw around and do nothing…. which is, after all, the whole point of cruising, to have all the time one wishes to just do nothing….

Doing nothing, in our culture, tends to be looked down upon severely, especially by those who suffer from Christian guilt, and the whole concept of “the near-occasion of sin”, wherein the church assumes that everyone WILL give in to temptation, and everyone WILL act on their worst impulses to (GASP!….) sit around and do nothing, thus becoming undisciplined, immoral, and worst-case for the dogmatists, reduce their guilt, making them less amenable, and more resistive, to behavioral control…. They HATE that!….

So, I encourage hedonism at every turn, as should every other person of a like mind; it’s the best method I’ve found for providing almost immediate relief from the constipated, bloated feeling of constriction that goes along with allowing the dogmatists to draw the patterns of your life. A good, meal, with just a little too much wine and conviviality, is the perfect antidote to the most stringent attitudes…. Why, a prime rib, and a bottle of good Cabernet, has been known to destroy six years of Catholic denial in one sitting, given the proper company, and perhaps some after dinner brandy…. And, even if it doesn’t completely eradicate ALL one’s prior conditioning, the process of removing it, meal by wonderful meal, is one that appeals to even the most hardened ascetic…

Hmm…. I seem to have strayed a bit afield from the concept of an intro…. not unusual, I suppose, and possibly much better than the typical rant I’ve been saddling y’all with of late. I can see that, no matter what I’ve been babbling about, it’s certainly long enough to meet the legal standards for which we shoot, so, I’m opting to go with my usual technique, to just go with it, without worrying at all about what the hell it means, or what it may or may not do in terms of stimulation of cogitation…. That, of course, is, ultimately, the personal responsibility of each gentle reader, at least for the cogitation part…. I’ll try to supply the stimulation, but, no promises, eh?…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“If any man asks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both.” — Horace Mann

“Anger is a tool, not a master. Anger is meant to be tapped into and drawn upon. Used properly, anger is useful. Sloth, apathy, and despair are the enemy. Anger is not. Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend, not a gentle friend, but a very loyal friend.  It will always tell us when we have been betrayed. It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves. It will always tell us that it is time to act in our own best interests. Anger is not the action itself. It is action’s invitation.” — Julia Cameron  “The Artist’s Way”

“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.” — Confucius

Lao Tzu sez    I had originally intended to write a piece to accompany these three statements, the latter of which are from two of the most revered philosophers in history…. but, there really isn’t any need to expand on this idea…. It’s pretty perfect, as wisdom goes, so, I’m going to do the unusual, for me, and leave it alone, to allow you the space to consider the concept in your own way, and in your own time….

Just know this…. if there is a single key to being happy in life, this is it…. This is the key to ALL wisdom, ffolkes, so just let it become part of your inner self, and you’ll find your life has fallen into a pattern of serenity, and an inner peace that you have never known….. Oh, didn’t I say what that key is? Hmm, imagine that…. I guess I forgot…. Well, it’s probably best if you articulate it yourself; it seems to work better that way…. Okay, if you insist, one last hint….

“A person never so beautifully shows his own strength, as when he respects another’s weakness.” — Smart Bee

If that doesn’t do it, well, then, we’ll just have to try again another time, won’t we?….   😆

“I have thought many times since that if poets when they get discouraged would blow their brains out, they could write very much better when they got well.” — Mark Twain

Hmm…. I’m not sure, but, perhaps Mark was feeling a bit curmudgeonly toward poets that day…. If not, well, we all know his fondness for sardonicism, don’t we?…. Here’s one I think you’ll enjoy, from a poet I’ve only recently begun to explore….


A rowan like a lipsticked girl.
Between the by-road and the main road
Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance
Stand off among the rushes.

There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens

~~ Seamus Heaney ~~


As might be guessed from what has gone before, I’m a bit anxious to be on the road… It will take all of my patience and fortitude to wait until 1 PM, when we leave for the embarkation pier in SF….. especially as leaving dead bodies behind me could conceivably cause problems upon my return…. SIGH…. People get SO upset when I do that!….

Any who, I’ll try to not kill anyone today, so I can have a worry free cruise…. In hopes of getting to that point sometime in the near future, I’m going for an old-school, random, harlequin pearl, to finish off this very skimpy Pearl….. Don’t worry, I’ll make up for it with art work tomorrow…. the camera’s all charged up and ready to shoot…. Until then, here are some thoughts from SB to help y’all get through the day…. or not….

ICONOCLAST, n.  A breaker of idols, the worshipers whereof are imperfectly gratified by the performance, and most strenuously protest that he unbuildeth but doth not reedify, that he pulleth down but pileth not up.  For the poor things would have other idols in place of those he thwacketh upon the mazzard and dispelleth.  But the iconoclast saith:  “Ye shall have none at all, for ye need them not; and if the rebuilder fooleth round hereabout, behold I will depress the head of him and sit thereon till he squawk it.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

(Oh! Oh! So, THAT’S what I’ve been doing all this time!! I love it, and now feel very justified in my work here…. I am just loving the idea of putting the OCI after my name, to signify my identity of a member of the Order of Curmudgeonly Iconoclasts…. My sig. line is starting to look impressive, with all my initials after it…. as in, gigoid, MCA, BS,  OCI…. [which, BTW, is the correct way to write ‘gigoid’, with no capitals…. it’s a user-name, and caps aren’t required, nor, in this case, desired….].  If I’m not careful, all these titles will start to go to my head, or something equally inane… Okay, I’m done fooling around now…. We’ll get on with the rest of this pearl….sorry, got distracted…)

“Make your enemies by choice, not by accident. The same applies to friends.” — Xavier R. Quinton

“When the way comes to an end, then change – having changed, you pass through.” — I Ching

“In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty.” — Thomas Jefferson

:interesting: adj.  In hacker parlance, this word has strong connotations of `annoying’, or `difficult’, or both.  Hackers relish a challenge, and enjoy wringing all the irony possible out of the ancient Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times”.  Oppose {trivial}, {uninteresting}. — from The on-line Hacker Jargon File V423

(Note: This definition of the word “interesting” is the most frequently applied here at ECR, in terms of meaning and connotation, used almost exclusively; just so’s you know….)

“It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.” — Feodor Dostoyevski, “The Possessed”

“The zoo is not an exhibition
I view with much enjoyment,
when I notice beasts in a position
To learn the weaknesses of men.”

— John Brunner

I’ve done it again, I suppose, and I’ll just have to deal with it…. I’ll be back shortly, I hope….

As I suspected, that took a while, but, it’s done now, and I can get on with my day…. which, as might be imagined, promises to be one of greater than usual import, and all around fun… or, as has been intimated, more interesting…. hopefully without the negative connotation that generally applies…. See y’all tomorrow, even if there are technical issues… I’ll figure out a workaround of some kind….

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

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

Which is Why….

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