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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Rosie Harris (1920 - 2014) ~~~~At right is our dear friend Rosie in her Cajun Costume, one she might have worn herself growing up in the French-speaking community of Cutoff-Galiano along Bayou Lafourche as a child. She was the first graduate of Northwestern State University as a school teacher, back when it was still called a 'Normal College' meaning it specialized in educating school teachers. Rosie was an ambassador to the world for Southern Louisiana's Cajun culture. She was always present to help greet new French-immersion teachers recruited by CODOFIL for our schools, and no new French Ambassador came to New Orleans without Rosie showing up to greet him in his own language. She was featured in a film made by Brazilian artist, Roseโngela Renn๓, for a 2008 Project1 Art exhibit in New Orleans in which Rosie spoke her Cajun French while a Creole French speaker and Parisian French speaker spoke on a nearby screen. She was the epitome of her name, always a rosy disposition and a great big smile. We were honored to know her and call her our best friend.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#146 June, 2014== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Busting Out All Over Month of June:
God is in the details.
Mies van der Rohe, 20th Century Architect
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Editor: Bobby Matherne, Asst. Editor: Del Matherne
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DIGESTWORLDArchived DIGESTWORLD Issues
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#146 for June, 2014
Table of Contents
1. June's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for June
3. On a Personal Note
Flowers of Shanidar Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe or Household Hint for June, 2014 from Bobby Jeaux: Making a Great Cup of Coffee
6. Poem from April 21, 2014:"Coffee Time"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for June:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: The Forge and The Crucible — The Origins of Alchemy by Mircea Eliade
- ARJ2: The Riddle of Humanity by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: Atlantis — The Fate of a Lost Land and its Secret Knowledge by Rudolf Steiner
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. RADIATION PRIMER: Gamma Rays, X-Rays, and Microwaves
9. Closing Notes our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. June Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Commands.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Commands" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/140521vj.gif
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2. HONORED READERS FOR June:
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Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for June, 2014:
Sandy Sellers in Kingston, Ontario
Patricia Russell in Florida
Congratulations, Sandy and Patricia !
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
ROSIE GUIDRY HARRIS (1920-2014)
This was a month full of events for me and Del so let's start with May 1, which had us going to Mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church for the funeral of our good friend, Rosie Harris. Her son, Ronnie Harris, long-time Mayor of Gretna before he recently became head of the Louisiana Mayors Association, asked if I would be a pall-bearer. I told him it would be an honor. As I look back, I cannot recall having been a pall-bearer before. All the other funerals of relatives and friends had other people, usually grandsons or nephews for pall-bearers. The weather was slightly cool so I wore my best dark suit and wore my hat to ward off the heat of the Sun in the clear skies. Del told me that the dress that Rosie had chosen for her body to buried in was a dress that Del had helped her pick out a few years ago for Rosie's grand-daughter's wedding. She chose that dress to adorn the body which bore her lively and gracious spirit during this lifetime on Earth. After the body was moved into its tomb in Westlawn Cemetery, we drove to a reception at Rosie's house and then home where I had to remove one suit to put on a tuxedo for another event that night.
SHAKESPEARE SOCIETY ANNUAL PERFORMANCE
Each year the New Orleans Shakespeare Society meets for an elegant dinner in the Rex Room of Antoine's on or about Shakespeare's birthday to celebrate the bard with wine, great food, and a reading of one of his plays. Then on a succeeding Thursday we meet in an elegant home on St. Charles Avenue to perform the play.
Back the 1980s Del and I took theater classes, which I enjoyed a lot. But the time spent memorizing lines, going through weeks of rehearsals, a dress rehearsal, and only then a performance began to wear on me. My turning point came when I was playing Prince Prospero in a short Poe play, and, at the end of the scene I was in, Prospero dies. I was glad that my part was over, but during rehearsals, I was required to get up off the floor where I had just died, and strike the set (which for our simple staging, involved moving some black cubes to the side of the stage). What ignominy! I thought — to have just died and then to have move set pieces around. Can't they show some respect and let a guy die in peace? That marked the end of my theater training; I had learned all that I came there to learn, plus, a bit more as I have just mentioned.
The reason I mention this tidbit about striking the set will become obvious. In this group of players, our first reading does not take place in some back room where unshaven folks are dressed in sandals, short pants, tee shirts, and may go over to a diner for a bowl of chili and coffee afterwards, no, our Shakespeare Society holds its first reading and dress performance in one night after an elegant meal at a premiere New Orleans Restaurant, in a room fit for the first King of Carnival, Rex, and we are all in black-tie tuxedoes. We have brabant potato hors d'oeuvres, shrimp remoulade, fancy steak or fish, and Baked Alaskan dessert, with red and white wines for toasts to the Bard. The next time we meet is for the performance, again in Tuxedo and we read again from the script, our performance enhanced by that first reading and dress rehearsal. Our play was "A Winter's Tale" and it had been suitably edited to fit the time requirements, but it was still long,and I wondered whether our audience's attention-span would be held.
Several cast members were absent for the performance and parts had to be re-assigned at the last minute, which all the cast took part in filling missing parts. I quickly discovered that the lines of Antigonus did not overlap with my already assigned part of Camillo, and volunteered to play that part also. I wasn't warned that Antigonus is devoured by a huge bear, but luckily that part had been excised away. It seems that Antigonus famously exits to the stage directions, "Chased off the stage by a Bear!"When the full play is performed, the feast of the bear upon Antigonus is gracefully performed off-stage with no sound effects. Apparently our small troupe of players grandly entertained the crowd with our reading as shown by their generous applause and their rapt attention during the show. And I didn't have to strike the set, only to greet the audience as we walked together to the traditional Beef and Ale supper which follows each performance. After two "performances" in a monkey suit in one day, I went home ready for a good night's sleep. Tomorrow would be a day of rest and the next day would be May 3, The Run for the Roses Event at our Timberlane Country Club, another dress-up affair, but this time in a light and cool New Orleans-style seersucker suit.
KENTUCKY DERBY DAY
Another busy day, first thing was an LSU baseball game and it was over by the time we had to be dressed up to attend the Kentucky Derby festivities at the Club. I took a photo of Del on the Red Carpet and also one of the Club President Carl Panebiango with his wife Julie. I figured the one taken by the photographer of Del and me in front of the Race Horse would be enough. I was wrong. The so-called professional photographer printed our photo and my seersucker suit really sucked because he didn't bother to notice and remove the moiré pattern that enlarged the seersucker to ten times normal size in several lines along my suit. I removed as much as I could post-production, but you must really deal with the original image to remove it by reducing the resolution till it disappears, then print it. I have to do this often with roofing tiles on house photographs. But nothing of the roof patterns that I've seen looked worse than the weird vertical bands on my suit. I include the original photo, so you can see it.
The Clubhouse was all decked out in dozens of long-stemmed Red Rose. We walked in on a Red Carpet on top of the newly tiled entrance walkway. There was a new deck over the entrance in case of rain, but no clouds appeared on this blue skies day. There was live music inside the Clubhouse and on the newly decked outside rear patio area which was filled with lively recorded music in the area of the Cigar Bar, the Bourbon-Tasting Bar, and the Oyster-shucking Pirogue. Inside you could get a shoe shine Allen Edmonds and enter a ticket to win a new pair of dress shoes. There was a long betting table at which you could enter a bid in a silent auction for a Derby Horse and feel great if you picked the winner. Del almost won the bid for California Chrome, who won that day. Regular hors d'oeuvres delivery to guests plus a full buffet of delicious grillades and grits, fried catfish, and a variety of side dishes. Drinks flowed at the inside bar and the two fancy decorated Theme Cakes were both delicious. This was no day to be on a diet!Inside the Ladies in their elegant hats competed in the Fashion Show. Multiple large TV screens were in every room for the runup to Kentucky Derby and during the Run for Roses. Constant energy and excitement for the entire three hour event which went on into the evening hours. This was a spectacular day all-around and the Derby Committee did themselves proud. This was not a fund-raiser, but only a fun-raiser to thank all the Club members, both the golf and social members, who have helped the Club survive the hard-times of the past six years, and are leading it into a thriving future. The golf course is in the best shape ever and golfers from Uptown and other areas are coming to Timberlane Golf Course to play a manicured and lush green course (one not full of divots) at a reasonable price.
TIMBERLANE HOME AND GARDEN TOUR
We barely had time to take off our fancy duds from the Derby when we began working towards the following Friday for the Second Annual Home and Garden Tour. Our home was on the Tour the previous year, so we expected we would become visitors to the other homes this year, but Les Dames needed a home with large outdoor spaces for the final house where the Post-Party would happen, and asked if we'd consider doing that. Del had just spruced up our flower gardens and the inside of the house for a garden club meeting a few weeks earlier, so the house was still in white-glove inspection-passing condition.
Les Dames asked if I would handle the photography of the various homes, and I agreed. Del had to handle the Registration table at the Clubhouse where the first event, an elegant brunch was set up with the Robert Lacy Trio providing the music. From the brunch the ladies went on the Home and Garden Tour, visiting four homes and ending up at our home about 1:30 pm. Del and I decided to hire our good friend Armand St. Martin, composer, singer, piano-player extraordinaire to provide the music during the Champagne Mimosas, Chocolate-covered Strawberries & other desserts, and Door Prize awards. Coordinating all our activities for this day was a big challenge. We had over 60 people coming to our home, the weather was threatening to rain, and the food and drinks had to be ready ahead of time and someone needed to serve them. Our maid helped Del get the house ready while Del registered folks at the Club, and I took photos of the four houses. The photography assignment gave me a chance to actually visit the four homes on the tour this year, whereas last year, we had to be at home for all but the kickoff house and Post-Party.My goal was to get to the homes before they filled up with tour guests, get a photo of the host and hostess in their favorite room of the house, get a photo of the front of the house, and several photos of the gardens. I missed the front door photo for one of the four houses, the Richoux house because I went on the path which led from the Orgeron house into the pool area of the Richoux house and left the same way. A day or two later, I got the front of the Richoux house and sent it along to Dianne Cruze to complete four houses. The host of the Panebiango house was not present, having to work on this Friday, but Julie showed me her favorite room which had her Pilates Studio set-up there. To make up for missing Carl and Julie on the Home Tour, I am including a photo of the two of them on the Red Carpet for Kentucky Derby Day.
Armand closed out his musical set for the Post-Party by playing "Creole Goodbye", a song which recants the long, slow-multiple attempts at saying goodbye after a wonderful event with friends. It was that kind of goodbye we said to each of our many old and new friends who filled our home, our portico, and our hearts on this marvelous day. The threatened rain never appeared until long after everyone had gone home, having visited our home, our gardens, and enjoyed our hospitality.
My seersucker suit which usually stays in the closet most of the summer was placed into service two days after the Home and Garden Tour for Mother's Day. My own mother, Annette Matherne, died on Mother's Day fourteen years ago, so this is always a day of special memories for me. Our son John and his new bride Kim invited us to join them at Houmas House Plantation with her mother Irene and Rohan.The rain held off as we arrived early and I got to take some nice photographs of the grounds. The large Live Oaks are spectacular and the gardens and ponds filled with colorful plants. The food and company was great with a large variety of dishes for the buffet brunch. Del and I knew this would necessitate light eating for a week after three food-laden events in two weeks. Leaving the dinner area, we were out under a large Live Oak when Del remembered the Red Rose that John had given for Mother's Day was left behind, so she went back to retrieve it. We continued to walk and a downpour started. To run to the car or back to dining hall? I finally chose to join Del, figuring she would be waiting for rain to stop under cover. I found her and the retaurant arranged a golf cart to carry back to the entrance ticket and gift shop area. I sprinted out to our car to retrieve two umbrellas and we were able to leave fairly dry, my seersucker had been officially baptized and proven itself worthy of New Orleans climate where a quick shower can break out on any given summer afternoon.Few natives carry umbrellas with them because in the French Quarter, you can always find a galley or balcony or doorway or bar in which to find respite from a brief shower before continuing on your way. Curiously, as soon as we drove out of the Houmas House parking lot, the rain stopped. There was one more little adventure on the way home. After we got to I-10, almost to LaPlace, I noticed my cell phone, a Blackberry Z10, was missing. I thought perhaps the Men's Room at Houmas with a likely place it might have fallen out of my pants pocket. I quickly got us off the Interstate and had Del call my number on her Z10. To my surprise, our Maxima picked up the phone call with its hands-free Blue Tooth connection! Hmmm, I thought, what does that mean? Oh, it must mean that the Z10 was in the car with us. This was a case in which my Z10 would not ring audibly. I opened the door to examine where it might have fallen out, and as I exited the car, Del saw it on the front seat where it had fallen.
Happy at its recovery, we drove home and took off our damp clothing. I noticed that with only 11 days gone in May, I had over 300 photos in my camera, about a normal month's worth of pictures. Del and I took a nice Post-Prandial Repose on that Mother's Day afternoon. We awoke about 3:30 pm and I noticed there was no Sun shining, so I suggested we dig up half of the potato crop — from just two plants we got: 12 medium sized (5" long) and about a dozen smaller ones. The next week, I bought some green beans to go with our home-grown potatoes and made our green beans and potato dish that we love so much. Part of the fun of making this dish is the snapping of the beans. Del and I do this together. We snap off a short piece from each end of the long bean then snap the bean in half for easy eating later when the beans and potatoes are placed over the rice. Yesterday after we finished snapping the beans, Del showed me her pile of end pieces to indicate she had snapped as many as I did.This is a form of Matherne competition that I learned as a kid at home, whether it was snapping beans, shelling peas, peeling pears or crawfish, a good-humored race designed to improve one's manual dexterity in a task and get the job done quickly while having a good time.
Del and I went to the last of our season ticket Broadway shows at the newly-renovated Saenger theater downtown. The show was War Horse, a Musical. Our pre-paid parking is across the street from the Roosevelt Hotel and we like to stop there after the show. The show was amazing, how the puppeteers, four or five for each horse, mimicked the horse's movements, and after a time one saw only the horse Joey, the thoroughbred who became a plow horse and then a war horse pulling wagons, and always remained a friend to the kid who trained him. At one point there were four or five horses on stage, all potty-trained, and some of them had riders on at times. As much as we enjoyed the show, the air-conditioning was too cold and the seats were uncomfortable. At home we can adjust the temperature and change the seats around, but not in a theater; there we can only leave.We stopped in at the Roosevelt Hotel for some hot coffee to warm us up and there was a Teddy's Café which doubled as a PJ's Coffeeshop, so we each had a latte and enjoyed a break before heading for home. I walked the length of the lobby looking for the Men's Room which traditionally had been located down a set of stairs. I found the stairs were blocked off. I was chagrined because that was the first Men's Room I had ever been in as a kid of 7 when I was taken to Mardi Gras downtown by Oren and Anna Dorn for Mardi Gras. Oren took me to it and I recall the walk downstairs and white marble floors of the rest room. It is my most vivid memory of my first Mardi Gras. And now the staircase was closed. I found that the new Men's Room right next to the entrance, back on the other end of the lobby, nestled into the corner next to the revolving doors, which I had walked past without noticing. Perhaps I'll find that original Men's Room by going downstairs a different way, but whether or not it's there in real life, it will always live in my memory. It was a memory of a stage of growing up as a boy, going to an adult Men's Room in a metropolitan hotel.
Our daughter Kim's youngest, Thomas, graduated from Menard High School this month in Alexandria, Louisiana, about 200 miles drive from here. We decided to break up the trip by stopping to have an elegant meal at Café des Amis in Breaux Bridge or as the locals call it Pont Breaux. Well, mes amis, let me tole you sumpin, dat restaurant was closed on a Tuesday even though the sign said it was open. The only place nearby was a greasy spoon that specialized in hamburgers, so we gave it a shot. The root beer was strange and the oyster po-boy not very good. Took a long time as they must have had to heat up the deep fryer just for our po-boy sandwich. But we enjoyed a walk in the small town, stopping to take a photo of a blooming mimosa tree, a fairly new tree that was growing out of the middle of a hollow tree stump that could have been the original mimosa tree.
When we got to Kim's house, people began showing up, Thomas's other grandparents, his siblings Weslee and Katie, his dad Wes, and his uncle Cole Gralapp, and soon a great uncle William and his wife.By the time we arrived and were seated in the Guinn Auditorium and Religious Center of Louisiana College in Pineville, we filled up all of one row and part of the row in front. I noticed my old hunting buddy and good friend of my son-in-law Wes, Oday Lavergne, and I knew his son Oday John was graduating with Thomas, so I walked over to talk to him before the ceremony began. I had read in the program that his son's full name was Oday Lavergne, III, so I asked him if he had ever been called "Junior" as a kid. No, he said he had been called Oday John and his dad was called Oday, but after his dad died when he was kid, he became Oday and now his son is Oday John. This a conversation that would have been inappropriate in a duck blind was fitting on the night Oday John graduated.
During this graduation, my thoughts went back 12 years to an Easter weekend where Wes invited me to go crawfishing with him and his buddies in the Baines Farm rice fields where we duck hunted each winter. They brought their kids with them, and three of those eight-year-olds that I taught to catch crawfish that day were up on the stage graduating on this night, Thomas, Oday John, and Lucy Texada.The two boys were squeamish about cutting up the meat and sticking the pin through it to hold the bait in the crawfish net, but not Lucy, she was a trooper. Later I realized that her dad Terry Texada was an orthopedic surgeon used to cutting up things when he had to. The three fathers, Wes, Terry, and Oday supervised us kids from their folding chairs by drinking beers and letting us alone. I showed them how to bait the nets, which Lucy did most of, and then where to place the nets, as far as possible from shore using the long pole. Then when the last net had been baited and set out, we moved to the first one and I showed them how to lift the net and as quickly as possible move it over to the tub so the crawfish won't crawl out. After they lost a few crawfish back in the pond, their reflexes improved and we came away with two sacks full of crawfish, about 80 lbs. Wes bought another 100 lbs to make up the huge Easter Sunday crawfish boil.Here's a photo of the three graduates, graduating 12 years ago as full-fledged, if still a bit squeamish, crawfishers. I hope this day of crawfishing will be as memorable to them in later years as my memory of going into the Roosevelt Hotel on Mardi Gras is to me today. There was a third friend of Thomas's we knew who graduated with honors on this night, Michael Doggett. I recall him spending the night here with Thomas one weekend a few years ago.
After the ceremony, it was raining, but this time we had brought umbrellas and were able to escape without getting too wet this time. The graduates were being taken to several events on this night, culminating with a fireworks display put on by Thomas's other grandfather who did such shows professionally for many years. We ended what had been a long day for us by hitting the sack as soon the kids left for their graduation celebration with adult supervision, a novel concept which I was lucky to have avoided when I graduated. The most fireworks I saw while we lived in Mimosa Park while I was at Hahnville High School was the burning natural gas flaring high into the sky over the marsh at night as we shared a pint of cheap wine while looking at the flare.
I felt then like the Arab friend that Antoine de Saint-Exupery took to the Alps. He stood there entranced as water poured over the huge cataract in front of him. He asked Antoine, "When do they turn it off?" Those gas flares in South Louisiana got turned off either when the gas was gone or when a pipeline was built to the well, and few of these are seen today, with the improved recovery methods. Back then the oil was captured in tanks and the natural gas was a useless by-product which had to be burned off for safety purposes.
GARDENS: CYPRESS, HERB, SECRET, MEDITATION, VEGGIE
SECRET: How wonderful to have an estate large enough to sport several gardens! Here is a brief verbal report of an imaginal walk around our gardens, and throughout this Issue you can see a photo of a flower or plant from each garden featured at least once. Let's start with the Secret Garden, it is named secret because you cannot see it from the house — it resides tucked in behind the large azalea bushes in the far southwestern corner. But Del and I see it a lot, especially this month where Del has been weeding it and then laying down newspapers covered with mulch. This gives the weeds a chance to read all the bad news about the Ukraine, Benghazi, VA hospitals, IRS's illegal favoritism, etc, and wilt into nothingness in despair. Up through and among the former weeds have blossomed red and white amaryllis, tiny fiery-red cannas, bright zinnias, fragrant gardenias, LSU day-lilies, iris, roses, bridal wreath, milkweed, lantan, camellias, blue salbvia, and a boysenberry plant fruiting for the first time in the very dry far corner of the Secret Garden.
CYPRESS: The Cypress Garden is alongside the Southern edge of our estate and we share it with Connie and Don who plant and tend their side of the two large Louisiana Bald Cypress trees which forms the eponymous center of the garden. It is filled with midget zinnia, pink snapdragons, indigo plants, a Japanese Red Maple, multicolored lantana, and various ground covers. Along the south edge moving towards the Secret Garden, a row of yellow knockout roses ranging along the back of the new park bench. Gladiolus blooms will soon be showing, along with various lilies, creeping phlox, staghorn fern, bromeliads, Easter Lilies, pentas, colias and even more. Its loquat trees have rebounded since we treated them with equisetum tea to stop the fire blight and we had some good eating Japanese plums from them earlier this month.
Along the western boundary from the Secret Garden to the Meditation Garden is a line which includes a white camellia bush, a white Bird of Paradise, an LSU fig tree, a young purple crepe myrtle (looking for its first-ever blooms any day now), a pomegranate tree with six fruit showing, also a first-ever for it. Our Louisiana wild cherry tree, an offspring of the one that I harvested cherries from to make Cherry Bounce at the Roadhouse (our previous home). It has only a dozen or so cherries, but it is its first-ever crop, so we cheer it on. Two red-leaf redbud trees are looking "ripe and smiffy" as my good friend Calvin might say. I'm taking to those wonderful bright heart-shaped leaves which greet us after the first redbud blooms are gone in early spring. In the middle of the West Lawn stands a Japanese Maple whose job it is bring us the very first blooms of the Spring, those lovely white and lavender flowers filling the tree before the leaves appear, the only tree in our subtropical clime which does this "flower first then the leaves" trick. These show up in normal years as early as January and February, but this year somebody sent us a Yankee-winter and we had to wait till almost March for these harbingers of Spring to show their face.
MEDITATION: The Meditation Garden was named by our neighbor Jerrie Protti who asked if she could sit in that shady bower to meditate sometimes. I said sure, and later realized she had given us the gift of a lovely name for that spot. The first year here, I felt like Adam, having to name the animals, so if Eve asked what a certain animal was called, I wouldn't be tongue-tied. But like with Jerrie, females name things, too. It has a nice bench in the shade and our birdbath was moved there to add to its peaceful atmosphere. There are tall white wildflowers which bloom in bunches on the end of long stems there. Plus amaryllis, alstromerias, four o'clocks, yellow snapdragons, yellow cannas, red cannas, yellow snap dragons, pind petunias, and much more. The Japanese Yew trees are getting tall and bushy and will soon enclose the bench, blocking the afternoon and evening Sun from the golf course side.
VEGGIE and TRUCK: The Veggie garden (A) is full of artichokes, cabbage, green onions (newly harvested and replanted), as well as new Creole Tomatos, and Ladyfinger eggplants, plus some chives, Swiss Chard, and Kale bushes which Del harvests for our daily juicing. The mulch bed (C) on the south side of the large pittosporum plants is beginning to do its job of creating a lush black soil for use in our gardens. Still a few years away. The three ever-green loquat trees need to get higher and provide complete shade for the mulch to decompose. This has been a long multi-year process which is just beginning to get some results. The blackberry bush which I planted alongside the property line across from the mulch bed sent out shoots underground and from these shoots I have given blackberry bushes to Burt in Meraux and to George on Colony Road and Charlotte in Metairie to grow their own blackberries. This is the first real crop from my bush and I planted three more bushes to make a row of blackberry bushes along the north side of the estate.
The other garden we called the Truck Garden (B) because our beloved heavy load carrier, Babe our Blue Ox, a half-ton F150 pickup truck, parked in front of it for almost 4 years. Now that Babe has been put out to pasture near Brenham, Texas, that garden is visible without having to walk around Babe, and that is where we grow our cucumber, watermelons, squash, and okra, all of which are close to producing as I type these end of the month notes. We pushed it a bit and picked the first cucumber of the year from the Truck Garden, it was good but not very many seeds yet. Thinking about the name, that garden has produced an average of a dozen large 11" cucumbers a day in previous years, enough for me to start a truck garden to sell them.
HERB: Which brings us around to the Herb Garden, which used to be called the Cypress Garden until we focused on planting only herbs in it and applied the name Cypress Garden to aforementioned garden on the south edge. The Herb Garden abuts the northwest corner of the house with only a pathway onto the patio and a curving pathway which circles the Herb Garden. This new paving stone path makes it easy for the Chef to pick basil, parsley, chives, brussels sprouts, broccoli, sage, rue, chamomile, rosemary, dill, mint or any of the other herbs planted there. If you walk southward from the Herb Garden, you'll be greeted by our bromeliads who were forced to winter indoors during our many freezes, and are happy to be outside where God can water them on a regular basis even if we're not at home.On the right side you'll pass our eguisetum arvense garden which is protected by our Undine, a water spirit who loves to be around water and rocks. A large artichoke plant is blooming there currently. Moving to the next portico-edged garden we find an even larger artichoke plant, a voluntary oxeye daisy which surprised us, some cleome, petunias, chrysanthemums and other blooms.
I hope those of you, who wished you could have come to our Garden Tour this month, feel like you have been there, and those of you who did come, but only a got brief look or tour can feel like I have filled you in with the rest of the Tour. Showing folks around our gardens is something I learned from my dad and grandfather and I love doing it. It gives me a chance to look at our gardens with a new eye, and besides it's something I do during the day, every day, anyway, whenever my fingers get a bit tired, as they do now, I take a brief tour of our garden; it refreshes my fingers and my spirit. I hope this little tour has refreshed your and I hope to fill this issue with many of the plants and flower I have mentioned here.
LSU BASEBALL DURING MAYSeveral close games in the early part of this month, e.g., LSU led A&M 4-0 until the bottom of the ninth inning when Nola walked two and gave up 2 runs before Joe Broussard came in to finish the job and he nearly finished LSU off! Score tied 4-4, the Senior Pitcher Kurt McCune came in and became the hero of the night on flies and ground-out. With the score tied 4-4 in bottom 9th and a fly to deep Left, Jared Foster ran full speed to it, leapt high in the air, and brought it down in his glove to forestall A&M's chance for a walk-off hit. This catch made national news as my friend Chris Bryant reported from Corpus Christi, Texas. Then McCune got the save in the bottom of the 10th. What a marvelous switch! Instead of trying to strike them out and win the game alone as both Nola and Broussard failed to do, McCune let LSU's marvelous fielders do the job. The third out came with the bases loaded and a high field ball to deep Right Field was caught by Mark Laird to end the game, LSU 5, A&M 4.The next game saw LSU lose, having 3 opponents on base in the bottom of the 9th inning with no outs. Coach Manieri pulled in an outfielder and if you look at the image, you'll see five in-fielders. A single ended the game with a loss for LSU. After a season-long series of such games, I was wanting some less-tight scores, but nothing could have prepared LSU fans for the end of the season run which ensued.
The run started with Northwestern State University from Natchitoches, Louisiana, among the leaders in the Southland Conference, and winners of 5 straight games. They arrived in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field, and the Fighting Tigers finally found their bats and won the game 27-0! It was not only a shutout, but a no-hitter, a multiple pitcher no-hitter involving about 5 pitchers by LSU. This began a roll for the Tigers which saw them sweeping Auburn in three games averaging about 10-1 each game. Then LSU had to play Vanderbilt and the streak continued, 11-1 game called in bottom of the 7th inning by a Run Rule for the SEC Tournament.The Tigers hitting and pitching continued apace until we met Arkansas in the single-elmination semi-final game and this was also 11-1 Run Rule stopped in the bottom of the 8th inning. LSU went on to a shutout win against the No. 1 NCAA seed Florida (2-0) to win the SEC Tournament Championship and pull down an 8th Seed which brings along with it an Alex Box Regional, and if LSU wins it, a Super Regional in Alex Box, which can bring LSU a ticket to Omaha for the College World Series.
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
This is the section I reserve for things which happen late in the month while I'm putting the finishing touches on my DIGESTWORLD Issue. Just had a long conversation with my daughter Carla in Beaumont whose semester's work is done and we could catch up on news about each other's garden I mentioned to her the mother raccoon I caught sight of this morning along the bayou driving home for PJ's for my morning coffee break. She had two or three youngsters with her and before I could get my camera out, they had disappeared into the bamboo which lines the bayou. She told me of losing her favorite bantam chicken from her yard. The black chicken disappeared one day and the next day its soaking corpse showed up in her bean garden, all stripped of any meat. She suspects a raccoon had killed it the first day, and put its leftovers in her kiddie pool (a raccoon refrigerator if you will), then taken it out the next day and finished it off. Just like a raccoon to wash its food carefully before eating it.
Our granson Sam Hatchett came by to help Del with the weeding of the Secret Garden. During a time when Del was taking a break, I invited Sam to help me dig up the remainder of our potatoes, which he willingly obliged and seemed to have fun doing it.
We went to a New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra in the Two Sisters Pavilion in City Park. Great to see our good friend Tenaj Heuman, a violinist and chanteuse for the orchestra. One of the rare times we've seen her where I didn't have a tie around my neck, and she noticed the silver Chinese character around my neck. Yes, I said, it's still there. I wear it 24/7 since you gave it to me that New Year's Eve of 1981 as you left our party on Marcie St. It means good fortune in Chinese.As we were leaving the concert, we met old friends from CODOFIL, Edwin and Ruby in Morning Call. We had gone to Morning Call, a short walk past our car in the parking lot, and had gone to sit at the original archway of lights over a marble counter, when they invited to sit at their table. Edwin had the perfect shirt for eating the powdered sugar covered beignets: a solid black shirt. The white streaks which the sugar makes on black clothes are considered a badge of honor for locals. How great to see Edwin and Ruby and how marvelous to see the Casino building all lit-up at night, with live music along with coffe au lait and hot beignets. Morning Call is open 24/7 and has become a destination spot for late-night party goers, which for New Orleanians that means 3 or 4 am, and few other coffee shops are open that late or early, only bars in the French Quarter.
911 CALL:Del and I were on our way to Houston's Restaurant on St. Charles and Felicity to have lunch with Carol Fleischman. We drove in from Tchoupitoulas Street, all the way up Felicity Street, and when we were a hundred feet or so from St. Charles Avenue, we saw something that was not felicitous at all: a bicycle laid across the left curb and its obvious rider, still with his helmet on, was lying sprawled on the sidewalk, his head against and almost touching the iron fence, and his feet pointing toward his bicycle. He seemed to be asleep, but could have been unconscious or injured and unable to get up or cry for help, so as we stopped for the light, I rolled my driver's side window down and yelled, "Can you hear me?" and I saw some slight movement of one arm, so I yelled, "If you need help, raise one finger." Which he did almost immediately. I yelled, "Help is on its way." and Del dialed 911 and we talked to the EMT and explained exactly where he was and his likely condition of being unable to get up or call for help.By the time we walked directly to our usual seat by the window in Houston's we could see Emergency Vehicle lights, indicating that help had arrived in under five minutes. Much better than the newspaper report recently of 911 calls taking 30 minutes to respond. What was curious to us was that no one else had bothered about this man, a tall black man in white tee shirt, black bike shorts, sneakers and helmet, well-dressed for a biker. We were not the first car to pass him; a line of cars was in front and behind us, and bikers were riding past on St. Charles without noticing him. There was no obvious signs of his having been hit by a car, no blood, etc; his bicycle seemed undamaged, but did seem to have been quickly demounted, perhaps due to some medical condition. With drunks lying on streets at various places in New Orleans, especially during Mardi Gras, this man could have been mistaken at first glance for such a drunk sleeping it off, so we needed to check if he needed and wanted help. Thank God for 911 and its quick response. We pray for his quick recovery.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNINGThe past 31 days of May were still cool and very dry, requiring constant attention to lawn and garden plants. Until the last few days when we received four or five inches of blessed rain as you can see from our rain barrel spouting overflow water in a stream and the bayou nearly full of water. After we cleared all the dead leaves and branches from our harshest winter in twenty years, everything is green and flourishing again. Peaches are golf ball size, blackberries are green and in a week or so will be red then black and juicy. Hundreds of pomegranate blooms augurs well for a juicy August for us. We've already eaten two artichokes from our first bush and many more are on the way, including babies just spotted on the other two bushes. Lots of flowers blooming and our spring veggies are in the ground. A nest of warblers has hatched three young birds who are learning to fly and feed themselves off the West Portico as I type these words. Canadian Geese are nesting a few hundred yards away, squirrels and mocking birds are frisky, and a curious beetle was sucking juice from the green onion flowers yesterday. A family of French Ducks swam by in the bayou, newly hatched, while a couple dozen Red-eared Slider Turtles sunned themselves on the banks. A wood duck flew down to the water from its tree house maintained by our friend Tony. A red-eared slider turtle walked across our West Lawn just a few minutes after I'd seen a mother raccoon with two young'uns. We live in a wildlife preserve with birds and animals, both diurnal and nocturnal all around. A possum comes by at night and aerates our lawn by digging out large grub worms, keeping the worms from nibbling on our potatoes. Black-bottom whistling ducks, about a hundred of them wait for Connie and Don to put out new feed for them. One day I saw one fly into a cypress tree and got a photo of it.IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
Till we meet again, when June is Busting Out all over, and our air-conditioners are humming regularly again. Our LSU Tiger Baseball team has won its first Regional, 8-4, and Super Regional, and another run to Omaha for the College World Series. Del and her daughter Kim are heading to Orlando to take Del's grandson Thomas Gralapp on his graduation trip. We have survived the Spring Rise of the Mississippi River and now we look forward to another quiet season of summer time in New Orleans. So, God Willing and the Gulf waters stay within its armored levees, Whatever you do, Wherever in the world you and yours Reside, be it warm and moist June-like or cool and dry Fall-like, rainy or dry, shady or sunny,
Remember our earnest wish for this God-given year of 2014:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-FOURTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
- Writing is easy — it's having something worth writing about that's hard.
Bobby Matherne (21st Century Writer) US writer
New Stuff on Website:From Flowers of Shanidar, A 1990 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
In a small dark cave in the hills of Northern Iraq near the Turkish border the excavator Ralph Solecki found in 1960 the bones of a young man placed in the recess between two large boulders. Analysis of the remains from the cave of Shanidar determined that the burial occurred over 60,000 years ago.
Soil samples collected near the bones were only analyzed several years later and produced a quite unexpected result. Ordinarily a small random assortment of pollen grains would be found in funereal soil samples, but the Shanidar soil analysis revealed thousands of pollen grains from wild flowers of the region. Flowers of rose mallow, hollyhocks, hyacinths, and other indigenous varieties of flowers had been systematically collected and transported to the cave of Shanidar as a funerary tribute.
Astonished, the scientists were confronted with the earliest known evidence of a burial ritual. From the very dawn of mankind a message had come down to us, written in pollen grains from the flowers of Shanidar, of the birth of a new consciousness the consciousness of death.
How far have we progressed in the knowledge of ultimate destinations in the 600 centuries since that funeral celebration? As we stand before the door to the new millennium, do we dare to knock? Are we ready for the new flowers of Shanidar and the birth of consciousness that will surely accompany our passage into that new era?
These poems are from Bobby Mathernes 1990 book of poetry, Flowers of Shanidar and have never been published on the Internet before. Here in the beginning of the new millennium, we are publishing each month five poems, one from each Chapter of the book. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne)
1. Chapter: Hollyhocks
The Master of our Destiny,
Captain of our Soul,
Has his eye upon the map
his hands on the control —
He will not cut us any slack
unless that's what
we've come here for.
2. Chapter: Hyacinths
Books and poems are lively words
in suspended animation
Sleeping Beauty for a hundred years
who awaits her liberation.
Her beauty awakens in the Prince
an ancient dream of happiness,
The summons that led him hence
to grace her with his morning kiss.
The touch is magical enough
to raise a smile upon her lips,
Clear her eyes of century's fog,
and infuse springtime in her steps.
Books and poems are static words
in suspended animation,
and never move when they are read —
But pens are mightier than swords
in rapid gesticulation —
Their marks do a macabre dance
with our imagination —
A waltz of the quick and dead
with never a backward glance.
And placed back in the bin
the words return to peaceful sleep
Until they're called upon again
with further promises to keep.
3. Chapter: Rainbows
This month, as we near the completion of Bobby's first book of Poetry, Flowers of Shanidar,
we continue with a poem from the Rainbows Chapter of his second book of Poetry,
Rainbows & Shadows (1995). This poem was written on November 26, 1991. It was inspired by reading Course in Miracles text while driving to work at 7 A.M. today. The inspiration came from page 359 of the Course's Textbook.
The quote: "Minds are joined; bodies are not." During an earlier reading I had scribbled, "Does One Mind?" That became the inspiration for the title of this poem. The teaspoon of water reference is from a metaphor told by Richard Bandler (founder of Neuro Linguistic Programming) about Socrates on the beach carrying a spoonful of water from the sea and putting it in a hole in the sand. A friend stopped by and asked what Socrates was doing. He said, "I'm moving the sea into this hole in the sand." "But, Socrates," his friend objected, "that's impossible. The sea is too big and the hole is too small." "Yes," Socrates responded, "but aren't you doing the same thing when you try to understand the entire world with your thoughts?" The world is more mysterious than we can ever know, and the best philosophers in the world are but moving the sea one teaspoon at a time.Does One Mind?
The poem is:
Does one mind
If minds are joined
and bodies are not,
the many are one.
An ocean of tides
that washes the shores
of every land
Deep and shallow
currents flowing through
carrying myriads of denizens,
a child on the beach
carry a teaspoon
full of water
4. Chapter: Shadows
This month, as we near the completion of Bobby's first book of Poetry, Flowers of Shanidar,
we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of his second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995).
Click Here to see its animated GIF in Section 10 Gratitude below, where its theme is enacted in motion.
This month we read
A Fish Tale5. Wildflowers (continued)
Streams of fish
ahead that it is passing
soon to pass.
ever in school
Wildflower No. 4
"A random walk through life with you
is like dancing lessons from God." — PEB
"God speaks to people through ideas."
Not content with your content?
Process your processes.
"If love is strong,
why do I feel so weak?" — Whitney Houston song.
"I know love's a weakness,
but the weakness is so strong!" — Iolanthe.
The famous and the not are people too
Why don't we judge them based on what they do
Instead of on what some others say they do?
Movies we watched this past month:Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version."American Hustle" (2013) updates "The Sting" in a hilarious misadventure of love, sex, money, ersatz Arabs, real Mob, and clueless Feds. As its titles state, "Some of this stuff actually happened" Can you spell ABSCAM? A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Love in the Afternoon" (1957) Gary Cooper, Maurice Chevalier, and Audrey Hepburn in a fascination เ trois.
"A Millionaire for Christy" (1951) Eleanor Parker invades a wedding to snatch away groom Fred MacMurray who crashes both of them in a fog and the two end up bunking in a caboose full of Mexicans overnight. Zany, funny, ridiculous, but Eleanor's Christy rises above it all.
"Intimate Power" (1989) French girl Aimee is kidnaped into a Turkish harem in Istanbul. She survives to have her son become Sultan of Turkey before she dies. Great guided tour of Topkapi Palace.
"The Women on the 6th Floor" (2010) change Jean-Louis's drab existence, kicking him out of his rut into the freeway of Spanish life. A DON'T MISS HIT !!!
"Romantics Anonymous" (2010) Two emotional addicts fall apart in love with each other.
"Christy: A New Beginning" (2000) a fearful storm puts Christy's life and marriage plans at risk.
"Herb and Dorothy" (2008) Herb worked on night shift in Post Office sorting mail and on day shift, he and wife bought art. The Vogels huge assortment of early artworks from starving artists lead to their collection is bought up by National Gallery.
"Mr. Selfridge" (2014) This season is filled with intrigue and surprising turns of events, two-hour finale of Season 2 sees George home safe, Victor and Agnes split up, Rose with terminal lung disease, Henri & Agnes re-united, and Lady May triumphs over her crooked Lord.
"From Time to Time" (2009) friendly faces from the past help save family mansion with their information. A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
"The Quartet" (2012) 2nd viewing of this marvelous movie masterfully directed by Dustin Hoffman in an opera-esque format of arias, drama, and comedy including a great rendition of "Happy Birthday" by a roomful of opera singers! A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
"The Great Gatsby" (2013) is set in some imaginary period of history in which both 1920 cars and rap music sped around in the visual pallette of a Peter Max painting. The only aspect of the story the Hollywood spin-masters could not butcher was the marvelous words of F. Scott Fitzgerald in the voice of Nick Carraway.
"Passengers" (2008) are in for a surprise. A Hit.
"Inventing the Abbots" (1997) Two Holt boys spook two Abbot girls until a complicated web of lies and half-truths is untangled. A DON'T MISS HIT !!!
"The Scapegoat" (2013) When a bad man meets his double, will the better man win?
"Lay the Favorite" (2012) Rebecca Hall in high-energy romp through the gaming biz with Bruce Willis, Vince Vaugh etal.
"Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist" (2008) when being a good friend trumps being in love, the playlist just goes from one hit to another.
"Today's Special" (2009) Trust Me. And tomorrow's special, too, when Samir learns to be a chef, not in Paris, but in Queens, from a taxi driver.
"Rush" (2013) Formula 1 Racers James Hunt and Nikki Lauder in the 1970s raced each other for World Championships and became Champion friends in the process. A gritty, exciting, poignant, all-around excellent movie directed by Ron Howard. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
"When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007) Alive or especially if Dead, this movie will tug at your heartstrings as Colin Firth & Bob Broadbent star in a long goodbye father-son story.
"Platoon" (1986) takes you into the thickest Vietnam jungles following Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, and Charlie Sheen as they encounter overwhelming attacks from the enemy. Which one might survive the horror, the horror?"Monuments Men" (2014)full of great artists of sculpture, paintings, and screen. The last creating art while saving the arts of the former from the Nazis thieves. How to locate the art was the dilemma which puzzled the artisans from the USA, UK, France, and Germany assigned the task by FDR, who famously said, "No man's life is worth a work of art." If you agree with that or not, you need to watch this movie. A DON'T MISS HIT! ! !
"Grand Piano" (2014) "One wrong note and you die." "Break a leg." Two predictions given to Josiah Wood portraying the celebrated pianist as he plays a special concert with the unplayable piece he flubbed the previous time. Which prediction will come true? Great music with a dramatic flourish at the end which brings the house to its feet. AN ALMOST DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Diana" (2013)Princess Di, post-Charles, falls in love with Hasnat, and Rumi expressed their love for each other, "Somewhere beyond right and wrong there's a garden. I'll meet you there." A DON'T MISS HIT!
"Star Trek into Darkness" (2013) (see also DWs#137 and 13a) This is a gripping, non-stop action movie which establishes each of the four primary crew in their Starship positions: First Officer: Spock, Communications: Uhura, Engineer: Scotty with Chekov assisting, and Doctor: Bones. Plus they dredge up Captain Pike from the TV series first episode, and Khan the super-man who rattles Kirk and Spock on TV and in the movie, "Wrath of Khan", all this tied up in a densely packed movie with incredible twists and turns which will surprise and delight a whole new generation of Star Trek fans. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
"Flyboys" (2006) See DW#074. The true story of the Lafayette Escadrille, the first fighter pilots, young Americans who bought their way to France to learn to fly and shoot down German fighter pilots. It was a turkey shoot for the Luftwaffe at first against the newbies, but soon the turkeys were gobbling up Germany's best fighter pilots. Great aerial combats scenes, dog-fights with Spads, Sopwith-Camels, Nieuports, and Tri-wing Fokkers plus love-found and friends lost. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !"Scott Joplin" (1977)took the world from rags to riches with his musical talent and hard work, hardly slowed down by a degenerative muscle disorder.
"Last Love" (2013) Michael Caine botches his first two suicide attempts and meets a Cha-cha dance teacher who becomes for him the "crack in the world that lets the Sun shine in". The presupposition that suicide is justified homicide and that he will soon be with his wife's spirit sucks, only flaw in a beautiful movie.
Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off."Out of the Furnace" (2013) and into the Fire, and on the floor to become splinters left after a DVD STOMPING!
"The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" (2008) one of which is why make a movie about this kid who rebels from his father's path as mobster but make equally egregious choices with his life.
"Picnic at Hanging Rock" (1975) left viewers hanging in suspense during movie and after movie.
"The Resident" (2011) Swank apartment comes with a crazed landlord.
Your call on these your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:"Blood Simple" (1988) Frances Dormand in the first Coen Bros bloody pot-boiler — one slow action bloody death after another.
"A New Leaf" (1971) Walter Matthau wants to marry and dispose of rich gal and ends up disposing of his overweening ego instead.
"Where Eagles Dare" (1968) Fun watching Richard Burton try to do Jason Bourne stunts on cable cars high in theAlps, but the convoluted plot-line couldn't sustain our attention for 2 hrs and 35 minutes. Clint Eastwood must have learned a lot about what to avoid when directing from this barely a Your Call turkey.
"Crazy on the Outside" (2010) Tim Allen get out of prison but staying out is a big challenge.
"Crazy Kind of Love" (2012) The single mother, her Ivy League son, her high school son, all with lack-of-love problems, which soon drove us the audience crazy, till a wild and crazy gal pulls the morose family back together in a coup de famille.
"Ordinary Decent Criminal" (2000) only Kevin Spacey could imagine such a thing were possible, much less play the part of an Irish one.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Broussard Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
Created from a story sent in by Jeff Parsons.Boudreaux and Broussard went deer hunting in the hills of Central Louisiana, but didn't have any success and were bored as they headed back to their pickup truck from a different direction. Suddenly Boudreaux said, "Bon Dieu, looka dat hole in de ground! It must go all de way to China!"
Broussard came over and looked down in the hole and said, "Boudreaux, dat sure is deep! See if you can find sumpin' to t'row down dere and we hear when it hits de bottom."
Boudreaux returned pulling along a rusty car transmission, "Hey, Broussard, hep me wit' dis t'ing."
Together the two Cajuns hefted the heavy transmission over the side and it began its plunge downwards. But, before it could hit bottom, they heard a rustle in the grass behind them and turned to see a large nanny goat rushing towards them as if it were going to butt them into the hole. They quickly scattered away, and the goat sped by them, jumping right into the hole.
"Sacre bleu!" Boudreaux exclaimed and the two of them returned to stare into the open hole, scratching their heads in puzzlement.
Then a hillbilly, barefoot and in overalls, walked up behind them. "Say there, you fellers didn't happen to see my goat wandering around here, did you? It's milking time, and I can't find her."
Broussard said, "Wahl, Boudreaux and me was just standing here and a goat came running out of dem weeds doin' bout a hundert miles an hour and jumped headfirst into dis hole!"
The hillbilly turned to go, saying, "Naw, that couldn't be my goat, I had her tied to a transmission."
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5.Recipe or Household Hint for June, 2014 from Bobby Jeaux:
(Grab yourself a Hot Cup of Coffee, and Read On)
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Background on Making a Great Cup of Coffee:
The image I chose for this Household Hint, which could also be considered a Recipe for Great Coffee, is the Gevalia Canister. It was from having a subscription to Gevalia coffee almost twenty years ago that I came to understand the basics about Arabica and Robusta coffee beans which led me to the insights into making great coffee and which I share with you. Grab yourself a hot cup of coffee and read about how to make great coffee; you may learn a few things.
The most important ingredient in coffee is Arabica Beans. If you haven't encountered the word previously, memorize it now! ARABICA, arabica, Arabica, any way you spell it, it means great coffee; the best aroma, the best taste, and the least caffeine per cup.
WHY are ARABICA beans the best? They are mountain-grown, in the high mountains, not the lower hills, and that seems to be the key to their great taste.
IF ARABICA SO GOOD, WHY BUY ANYTHING ELSE? My point exactly.
Arabica beans are more expensive, maybe twice as much or more than the cheaper, lower down the hillside Robusta beans. It's hard to tell how much less expensive because most coffee is a blend of Arabica and Robusta.
Some coffe companies will tell you Robusta means ROBUST taste. Well, they're right, if you like bitter strong coffee, save your money and buy cheap blends or cheap supermarket coffee which may be all Robusta beans. You'll also get TWICE AS MUCH CAFFEINE per cup and HALF the FLAVOR and AROMA. Your choice.
PreparationCoffee roasting is an art and is best left for experts. Choose coffee beans whose taste you like and you'll get consistent aroma and flavor; roast them yourself and good luck. Each batch will likely taste a bit different. For example, a power outage while you're roasting would make it impossible to adjust for that loss of roasting time?
You do have a choice for the types of grinds from any good coffeeshop, but which one should you choose? To answer this question, let's look back at various ways of making coffee in the past 100 years. Drip pot with a metal strainer into which you placed coffee grinds and pouring hot water heated nearby. You need a coarse ground for this and that method is suited for cheap Robusta beans. Why? Because if you grind Robusta beans too fine, your coffee will be more bitter. Make it strong enough, add enough cream and sugar and you might not notice the bitterness. Electric percolators came along next and the same kind of coffee, maybe a bit weaker. Electric drip pots like the Black & Decker under-the-counter one we used for twenty years heated the water and driped it over the paper filter.
Our Coffee Setup
In the photo above left you can see our BUNN coffee maker surrounded at its base by our honey dispensers which are kept warm even in winter by the hot-water tank. The coffee carafe is filled with 5 cups of water which give us 3 Waffle House mugs of hot coffee. The tall red can holds our pound bag of Turkish Ground PJ's Colombia Supremo Arabica beans. The filter holder has to Melita filters in it plus 1.5 teaspoons of coffee grinds covered by a white acid-reducing buffering agent (calcium carbonate from ground egg shells, sprinkled from the white top jar with holes in it). The egg shells drying are shown at right. The Gevalia sealed porcelain jar is shown open with a small container containing the fresh coffee to be used next. In the photo at right you can see a freshly brewed mug our coffee being kept drinking temperature by a hot plate on my workspace for easy access to drink gaps between working.
A LAND OF MILK AND HONEY: that was the sought-out region sought in the Bible as the best place to live. Ever wonder why? The ancient people could see with their spiritual sight (which we have since lost) that milk created healthy babies and honey created healthy old people. Honey should be avoided for babies and milk for old people, btw. By using honey in our coffee, we are assured of getting several teaspoons of honey a day. It tastes funny the first week or so when you switch from sugar and then it tastes naturally good afterwards. Honey has no shelf-life, but it will tend to get hard to pour and solidify if you don't keep it slightly warm and the BUNN's hot-water tank does that for us. We use Coffeemate instead of milk whenever possible. It has no short shelf life like milk and half-n-half and does not need refrigeration, plus it's better for us than milk.
If you use a pot with a paper filter, you're ready to learn about a feature of Arabica beans that will make it almost as cheap as Robusta and twice as good tasting: ARABICA BEANS CAN TAKE THE FINEST GRIND POSSIBLE! ! !
For us, I have my Arabica Beans, Columbian Supremo at PJ's Coffeeshop, ground using TURKISH GROUND. This grinds coffee beans so fine that if you rub some between your fingers, you cannot feel any grains.
When you make coffee with Turkish grounds, you use half the amount (or less) than your previous coffee. You must use a paper filter because the grounds are so fine. Looking into the filter after you put a teaspoon and a half of grounds, you'll likely think, "This just ain't enough coffee grounds." But it is. Adjust to your taste, using this as a starting point, and find what works best for you. If you're already using Arabica beans that you have ground, simply switch to Turkish Ground, an d use half as much as you did before.
Why would half as much coffee be as strong just because it's ground finer? Because at the finest grind, coffee goes immediately into solution, but with coarser grinds, a majority of the coffee goes out in the trash, because the larger kernel of coffee does not dissolve. The coaser grinds are necessary for coffee blends and coffee makers that don't use paper filters. Coffee companies and Coffeeshops will NEVER suggest you use TURKISH GROUND. They don't even do it themselves, but they could save a lot of money if they did. So double your coffee aroma and taste for almost the same price with a simple switch to full ARABICA BEANS and TURKISH GROUND. [NOTE: Turkish Ground is finer than Expresso Ground. Do the finger test to be sure they're giving you good Turkish Ground; their grinder may be off.]
ONE MORE BENEFIT: you will be drinking HALF-CAF. What is that? My name for coffee with half-the-caffeine without some artifical decaffeination process. Remember Arabica beans naturally contain half the caffeine as Robusta beans.
BUNN InstructionsWhen my Black&Decker under-the-counter coffee maker died, I could no longer find a replacement, so I bought an expensive BUNN coffee maker. It is made by the same company that puts its coffee makers in so many grills and restaurants, so I figured it must be long-lasting and sturdy. It was that, but I was in for a surprise! It contains a hot water tank and heats the water BEFORE you need it to make coffee. For someone like myself, a writer who drinks coffee through the work-day, having a fresh pot of coffee ready in under a minute is a nice feature. When I pour cold water for 4 cups into my Bunn, it releases 4 cups of hot water into the coffee filter and heats up the water later while I'm back at my desk working and drinking my coffee. One minor disadvantage with the BUNN is that the hot water comes too fast through regular paper filters, so they sell a stronger paper filter designed to hold the water in the filter and grounds long enough to make coffee. I found that simply using two regular Melita paper filters at a time does the same thing and I don't have to be re-ordering filters from BUNN, instead get them with the groceries at the supermarket.
If you get a BUNN, it will seem strange not to have to turn anything on to make coffee, simply prepare the grinds in the filter and pouer in the water! But it's a good idea to turn on the Red switch on the front to begin warming the coffee as soon as it reaches the pot.
Another advantage of the BUNN coffeemaker is that it never burns coffee into the bottom of the pot like cheaper makers do, if you simply leave at least a cup in the pot or empty it and turn the Red Switch OFF. It will also hold the coffee warm at the right temperature for one to two hours before you'll notice any degradation in flavor (which you can smell and easily decant and turn off the pot warmer or make new coffee).
NEED TO MAKE TWENTY CUPS OF COFFEE IN A HURRY? That's the BUNN capacity of my home coffee maker. After that it will take some time before you can make more coffee. If we have a lot of guests, we'll fill two self-serve thermos with twenty cups, and the BUNN will be ready to make twenty more before those are emptied.
REMEMBER: FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS DRINK ROBUSTA COFFEE.
SWITCH TO ARABICA AND TURKISH GROUND.
NITROGEN, CAFFEINE, and BRAIN SAND
What do the above three things have to with each other? We know we breathe over three times as much nitrogen as oxygen, that caffeine is something found in coffee, and if we Google "brain sand" we'll find it forms as tiny calcium deposits in the pineal gland which get more numerous with age. As a writer I have known for decades that drinking coffee helps me to think. If I get stuck on some idea, a cup of coffee refreshes me and I can go back to writing. It wasn't until I read Rudolf Steiner's works in detail that I discovered the reason for coffee's effects on me and other writers. Caffeine is a ring-structure molecule linked together by Nitrogen (C8H10N4O2), thus it is full of nitrogen ready to use by the human body. To find out how caffeine works in the human being, not in the laboratory, you need to read Rudolf Steiner.From Steiner's lectures on Nutrition:[BEGIN EXCERPT]
Coffee is the beverage of choice for the journalist or writer and tea the preferred beverage of the diplomat. Why is that? Listen to Steiner talk about a journalist who has to write an article a day, which he says builds up a lot of "brain sand" which stulfies thinking until it can be dissolved.
[page 5] So one begins at least it used to be so one begins to chew one's pen. One used to say particularly about journalists that they sucked their pens to get the last bit of strength out of them. By chewing something one gets the last bit of strength out of the body into the head to master this brain sand. Much brain sand has to be dissolved.
What's the other thing writers and students do when working on a writing project? They drink coffee. And, they find out as Steiner said, "They can write again after the coffee."
[page 5] Why is this? It is because in the black coffee there is what is called caffeine. This is a substance which contains much nitrogen. Nitrogen is contained in the air. We get it all the time. We breathe in a certain amount of oxygen and nitrogen. A person who has to dissolve brain sand needs a force which is especially found in nitrogen. From the nitrogen we get the strength to dissolve the brain sand.
[page 151] Coffee is also a product of the plant kingdom that externally has raised the specific plant process up a stage. Consequently, coffee can take over a certain task of man. Trained insight perceives that everything in the activity of our nerves that has to do with logical consistency and drawing conclusions is strengthened by coffee.
[page 169] By drinking coffee, logical consistency, consecutive thinking derived from facts, is promoted by physical means, and it can be said that even though for health reasons there may be doubts about drinking much coffee, yet for those who wish to ascend to the higher regions of spiritual life, it is not amiss.
The coffee drinker might just as well go up to the counter at the coffee shop and say, "Give me a hot cup of drawn conclusions and logical consistency."[END EXCERPT]What does all this mean? If you want to think clearly, drink coffee with caffeine in it, and the coffee will dissolve your brain sand and restore your brain to full operating capacity. If doctors recommend that their senior patients stop drinking coffee, they may as well suggest that they stop thinking thoughts. Is it possible that doctors are responsible for the noticeable increase of brain sand with age? Think about it.
THINGS TO AVOID:
PRE-PACKAGED COFFEE in FILTERS — you cannot control the amount of coffee or the fineness of the grind. Coffee companies love these FIXED packages. If it makes coffee too strong for you, you're stuck. If you use the product anyway, the coffee company sells more coffee and they love it! It costs you more money, but they have you hooked with a $500 fancy coffee maker and they sell you fancy 1-cup packs at a huge mark-up.
I love a good cafe latte in the morning when I drive to my PJ's Coffeeshop on my break. I had my own expresso machine and learned all the ins and outs of making a good latte, and soon I realized that being my own barister took away my break time and was a lot more work than I wanted to do. Now I make great Arabic-bean cups of coffee while I'm working and I treat myself to one latte a day at PJ's on break. My life is simpler, easier, and more productive this way. Hope some of this information will help you to simplify and improve your coffee drinking experience.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from April 21, 2014:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =My coffee, my coffee
My kingdom for a cup
My coffee, my coffee
Fill it right up.
My coffee, my coffee
With sweetness and cream
My coffee, my coffee
of Thee do I dream.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for June:
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For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first and second review this month will be ones which were published in early DIGESTWORLD ISSUES but only as short blurbs so the full reviews will be of interest to our new Good Readers. The rest of the items will be new additions to the top of A Reader's Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, new additions to A Reader's Treasury, or Essays previously unpublished.
NOTE: some Blurbs may be condensations of the Full Reviews, lacking footnotes and many quoted passages. For your convenience, if you wish to read the full review or to print it out, simply CLICK on the Book Cover and choose Printer Ready option on the top line of the review page when it opens.
1.) From 1987 ARJ1: The Forge and The Crucible — The Origins of Alchemy by Mircea Eliade
The subtitle is "The Origins of Alchemy" which gives a hint of the meat of Eliade's subject. The expert on ancient religions and myths is at his best here as he points to and interprets the metallurgical origins of alchemy.
The ore in the ground represents the seed sown in the uterus. The baser metals copper, iron, tin, etc are thought to be in gestation in their underground womb and on their way to perfection as gold. Eliade proffers the idea of metals gestating in the earth — on their way ontogenetically to becoming gold. The mining of baser metals is kin to the abortion of an unborn human child. Once the base metal has reached its golden goal, the digging of it requires a chaste soul. The miner is then the obstetrician at whose hand the gold is delivered. On extraction of the baser ores (such as iron), the smelter and the smith quickens the transmutation into gold. Thus the base metals are in a constant metamorphosis which is only interrupted by mining them. The mining of iron, copper and their base metal friends is considered to be an abortion, since the metals are torn from the womb prior to their millennial perfection.
Gold on the other hand, while it is the metal in the state of perfection, requires that the prospector be in a state of perfection himself to find it — if not, the gold ore will hide itself, moving to new positions in the veins or causing a mine collapse to re-bury itself for eons. This process is neatly portrayed in the American western movie, McKenna's Gold, starring Gregory Peck. Eliade in this book covers the literature that describes how the miners paid homage to the gods of the mine to procure their permission to remove the ore.
The Blacksmith (iron was originally called "black metal") profile Eliade gives is an interesting one — described in general, it gives one the impression of a 20th Century psychotherapist. The hammer of the Blacksmith is a sacred tool which cannot be used by any wanton fool. The anvil is the feminine receptacle for his hammering blows. In the cool water of his tank, the red hot hammered blade is tempered by cooling off. Then back into the white-hot forge, the piece is heated, hammered and cooled again. Like the therapist who heats up his client in the group or consultation room, hammers his directions into the client's head, then sends him out in the cold cruel world to test temper and his cutting edge. Then the cycle starts again when the client comes back in: heat, hammer, and cool is the essence of the alchemical process road to recovery of the ancient gold that was seeded at our birth.Read/Print at:
The Blacksmith's job is to move the iron to the perfection interrupted by mining, a process analogous to neurosis, in the sense of an interrupted perfection. The job involves heating it up (group work, consultations), hammering it into shape (interpretations, analysis, prescriptions), and cooling it off (sent out into the world between sessions). The process loops through this sequence until the refined metal exits at the stage of perfection (cure).
The most important material for me was the discovery that until several hundred hears ago, men of knowledge believed in the metamorphosis of base metals into gold underground. Not much different from the progression from iron to gold in the periodic tables of modern chemists. The impact on legend, myths, and dreams, and literature is left to the reader.
2.) From 1998 ARJ2: The Riddle of Humanity by Rudolf Steiner
In the first lecture Steiner, after greeting the workers at the Goetheanum, talks about a decadent genius of his time, Otto Weininger, variously characterized as a genius by the literati and a madman by the psychiatrists. After publishing two books and traveling extensively, at age 23 he moved into the house where Beethoven died, and committed suicide. Steiner uses the life, books, and ideas of Weininger to illustrate what happens when one's future incarnation erupts into the present incarnation.
[page 13] Everyone carries a little bit of the future, but normally it does not come to expression in this life. The ideas for the next incarnation are already there, at work in the brain, just as the seed is within the plant. . . . A plant is killed by the seed it carries within itself; the seed is what leads it to wilt — and this more or less how we are killed by our next incarnation.
[page 14] If the next incarnation erupts into the life of this incarnation, as Weininger's did, it brings a caricature of death, suicide.
If the mere thought of the seed were to kill the plant, the seed would never have a chance to develop — thus the proper pace of life is for the actual appearance of the seed to lead to wilting and death. Rightly understood, our next incarnation should be resting quietly within the present one, and progressing in the fullness of time.
The major theme of the rest of the book involves two distinct realms of nature: one, a fixed period of daily, monthly, seasonal, and yearly cycles and two, a realm of unpredictable weather, temperature, storms, earthquakes, etc.
The first realm, the realm of fixed cycles, corresponds to the twelve senses in the human body and the second less predictable realm corresponds to the seven processes of the human body. As we shall see, the juxtaposition of twelve fixed attributes and seven movable attributes corresponds to the twelve signs of the zodiac and the seven movable planets that rove among the twelve signs.
Inner/Outer The Seven Process of the Human Body
Breathing — Every living organism has this process
Warming — This occurs along with breathing, sustained by it
Nourishing — This provides the energy to sustain the processes below.
Secreting — Absorption of nourishment and elimination of waste
Maintaining — Whatever is Secreted must remain connected with the life processes and this process ensures that happens
Growing — Every living thing has a process of inner growth: the ability of one part to produce other parts as it increases in size
Reproducing — This process produces an entire individual including the reproductive process to continue the life form
Let's look first at the Table of the Seven Processes because these processes pervade the human organism and provide the substrate that supports, makes possible the operation of the twelve senses. Note how the seven processes are a hierarchy in that the first process is necessary for the second one, the second for the third, and so forth all the way down. These processes correspond roughly to Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. First one must be able to breathe, then to be warm, then to be nourished by food, then to be able to absorb nourishment and eliminate waste, then to maintain this homeostasis of life, then to grow, then to reproduce. It can be argued that each of the seven processes are inner processes, but the first three processes of breathing, warming, and nourishing have a special connection with the outer world: some air must be there to breathe, some warmth must exist in the outside world, and some food for nourishment also. The remaining four inner processes have the task of reforming what has been taken in by the first three.
Location The Twelve Senses of the Human Being
Touch — the internal response to a contact with the outside world
Life — this sense is the internal feeling of well-being, of being alive
Movement — being inwardly aware of the way body parts move in relationship to each other
Balance — this sense orients us to the world with respect to up, down, right, and left
Smell — the sense that allows one to come in contact with the outside world via odors carried by the air
Taste — a deeper connection with the outside world in which flavors are directly sampled
Sight — the sense that takes in the exterior images of the outside world
Warmth — with this sense we are aware directly of the warmth of another body
Hearing — this sense can tell us more about the inner structure of an object than sight. When an object resonates, we learn about its deep structure from the sound we hear.
Speech — the sense of speech or word or tone — which is the hearing that involves meaningful words
Thought — this refers to the deeper sense of entering the being speaking through their words
Ego — this is the sense of ego or I which enables us to turn our thinking towards the being of another and to behold their I, their unique individuality directly
Now let's look at the Table of the Twelve Senses as they exist in us during the Earth phase. It is important to note that Steiner details in Lecture Seven of this book that there were only seven senses during the ancient Moon phase of human development, but it is beyond the scope of this review to list those, however, we can note that our senses then "were much livelier, much more full of life." The human senses during that phase were more suited to a clairvoyant and dreamy experience of life. It was a consciousness both more imaginative and more dull than our current consciousness, one unsuited for the freedom to act on one's individual impulses — a freedom that only came with the current Earth phase of human evolution and the development of our full complement of twelve senses as shown below. [Note that the usual five senses of materialistic science are included in the table and expanded upon]
After presenting the twelve senses, Steiner explains that his intent is not to overturn the senses as understood by materialistic science, but to expand them.
[page 86] As you know, I have never spoken of materialistic science without acknowledging its truth and its greatness. I have given lectures here that were for the express purpose of appreciating materialistic science fully. But, having appreciated it, one must deepen one's knowledge of materialistic science so lovingly that one can also hold up its shadow side with a loving hand. The materialistic science of today is just beginning to bring its thoughts about the senses into some kind of order of life, of movement and of balance from one another, and they have begun to treat the senses of warmth and touch separately. The other senses about which we have been speaking are not recognized by our externally-orientated, material science. And so I ask you to carefully distinguish the ability to be aware of another I from the ability you could call the consciousness oneself. With respect to this distinction, my deep love of material science forces me to make an observation, for a deep love material science also enables one to see what is going on: today's material science is afflicted with stupidity. It turns stupid when it tries to describe what happens when someone uses his ego sense. Our material science would have us believe that when one person meets another he unconsciously deduces from the other's gestures, facial expressions, and the like, that there is another I present — that the awareness of another I is really the subconscious deduction. This is utter nonsense! In truth, when we meet someone and perceive their I we perceive it just as directly as we perceive a colour. It really is thick-headed to believe that the presence of another I is deduced from bodily perception, for this obscures the truth that humans have a special, higher sense for perceiving the I of another.
One of the salient points of Steiner's legacy of greatness is that he always spoke highly of the truth and greatness of material science, while always pointing out the areas in which it has fallen short of expressing the whole truth that includes both the material and the spiritual aspects of the world. This long quotation must be read in its entirety in order to appreciate this sterling attribute of Steiner's. The "stupidity of science" that he refers to is stupidity in its original descriptive sense of being "slow to apprehend," not in the current evaluative sense of "lacking mental acuity". Materialistic scientists are in no way slow to apprehend the reality of the physical world, but have certainly been slow to apprehend the reality of the spiritual world, up until now.
[page 94] The establishment of twelve senses, each at rest in its own proper region, provided a basis for earthly self-awareness. The fact that the senses of Old Moon were still organs of life meant that Moon man could possess an astral body, but not an I ; for then the seven senses were still organs of life and only provided the basis for the astral body.
Steiner goes into detail about these particular seven senses and how they operated during the Old Moon phase of evolution. Now let's examine what Steiner says about the zodiac of our senses and the planets of our processes.
[page 99] Outside us in the spiritual world there are significant spiritual beings whose nature is reflected within us — within the bounds of the zodiac of our senses through which the planets of our life processes move. . . . This world that is accessible to imagination is reflected from beyond the constellations of the zodiac into the senses of the human organism. To picture this, imagine that the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon are reflections of what exists beyond the limits of the zodiac: they have spiritual counterparts that exist there and the astronomical bodies we can observe with the bounds of the zodiac are only reflections of these counterparts.
To Steiner the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon are connected with the four inner processes of our human body: Secreting, Maintaining, Growth, and Reproducing. Just as the world of Imagination is a reflection of the four inner processes, so also there is a world of Inspiration which is a reflection of the three outer processes of breathing, warming, and nourishing and are connected with the three planets of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars.
There is a famous quote by Kierkegaard that "Life can only be lived forward and understood backwards." I'm sure he didn't mean it in the sense of the backward spiritual world as Steiner describes in his Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and in Lecture Eight.
[page 104] For spiritual consciousness only begins when the life processes or the sense processes are reversed and run backwards. Therefore people need to prepare for the future by getting accustomed to thinking backwards. Then they will begin to take hold of the physical world by means of thinking forwards. Our ability to imagine the physical world is a result of the direction of our thinking.
In his recent book, Time's Arrow, Martin Amis takes the reader through the life of a German concentration camp, where workers return from a hard day's work in the field every morning looking upward to the smoke floating into the chimneys carrying their loved ones's bodies. German soldiers go into the building and take gold from their personal stash and carefully place fillings into the cavities of the teeth of the newly arrived people. The people are clothed and their health gradually improves.
In the last year before I retired, the video game Doom was a popular pastime at work. With four people playing each other from their own cubicles, we were running all over these imaginary worlds, shooting the other three players whenever we were able to surprise them. It was the fastest half-hour of the day. We'd grab a quick bite at the beginning of the half hour lunch break and then it was break-neck speed the rest of the lunch period. At my retirement party two of my Doom buddies, Kenny and Hawk, presented me a "Doom Master" plaque. With this bit of introduction, now read my exercise in backwards thinking.
At my retirement party I present a Doom Master plaque to Kenny and Hawk who feed it into a color printer that removes the ink from it and spits out a blank page. At 12:30 a game appears on my desktop computer in which I go about reviving Kenny and Hawk by sucking bullets into my gun after which they come back to life and disappear behind a wall. As I suck more and more bullets up, I must occasionally drop cases of ammo on the floor as I run backwards through doors which always magically open for me after which I wait for a second to inspect the closed door in front of me.
When noon arrives I am extracting food from my mouth to place in a package to bring home in the morning for a restoration process which ends up with my wife Del returning the restored food to the A&P grocery store which gives her money in exchange for it. If she uses her Discover card, she gives them a receipt which they feed into a machine to erase the amount and Discover sends a credit notice to bank each month which adds an amount to her bank statement. Each month she looks at the amounts and canceled checks in her bank statement to verify the right amounts have been added and returns the checks and statement to the bank so that the checks can be returned to the merchants where she will be returning newly restored merchandise during the month. When she arrives at each merchant to return an item, a check for the amount of the returned item will be taken from the cash register where it is magically waiting for her. She will carefully erase all the writing on the check with her pen until the check is blank and then she will re-attach it to its place in her checkbook.
In writing this, the similarity of a ticket to a show and an award presentation occurred to me. A ticket is turned into someone before you enter an event materially [forward in time] and on the other hand, an award is handed in before entering an event spiritually [backwards in time].
[page 113] But we must accustom ourselves to seeing those senses that in the Earth sphere only serve the inner being of the organism as the shadowy reflections of something that is immense and significant for the spiritual world once we have passed through death: the sense of movement, the sense of balance, the sense of smell, the sense of taste and, to a certain degree, the sense of sight. We have emphasized the fact that in the spiritual world the sense of movement enables us to move among the beings of the various hierarchies in accordance with the way they attract or repel us. After death we experience our connection with the hierarchies as spiritual sympathy or antipathy.
In Lecture Ten Steiner describes a discussion he had with scholars of the Nietzche Archive. They were wondering how Nietzche might have arrived at his doctrine of the eternal return. Steiner told them that it was simple to him: Nietzche, he said, "often arrived at an idea by formulating the contradictory of some idea he encountered in another person." So Steiner suggested that the scholars examine the works of Duhring in Nietzche's personal library, since Duhring held that "the original configuration of the earth made it impossible that anything should ever repeat itself." Here's what happened:
[page 151] We then went to his library and located the books. We found them the relevant passages — with which I was quite familiar — and found heavy markings in Nietzche's own hand and some characteristic words — I am no longer sure exactly which word he used in this particular case — Nietzche would write something like 'ass' or 'nonsense' or 'meaningless'. There was such a characteristic word written in the margin at this place. Thus the idea for 'the doctrine of the eternal return' was born in Nietzche's spirit when he read this passage and formulated the contradictory idea!
Let us end this review with Steiner's detailed look at what would have happened to us if there were no Ahriman around to deceive us:
[page 163] But what would happen if he were not there? Then we certainly would be some kind of lambs. We would feel the impulse to think of things exactly in accordance with the facts before us, and we would consistently allow ourselves to speak only about the facts we observe. But we would have to do this! There could be no talk of freedom! We would have to act in this way; we never could act otherwise; and we never could become free beings. If we are able to speak the truth as free beings it must be possible for us to lie, and we are therefore obliged to develop within ourselves the power to conquer Ahriman every time we speak. He has to be there, 'provocative and active, doing his devil's work'. Those words should give you a picture of Ahriman's presence and of how error only occurs when we follow him directly instead of remembering that he is the one to be overcome as, provocative and active, he goes about his devil's work. Some speak about flight. They say, pulling long faces: 'But is this not perhaps something ahrimanic? Oh, I must not have anything to do with this!' In many cases, the only thing all this signifies is that the person in question is moving towards the comforts of Lucifer and leaving freedom behind. . . . To a certain extent we need Ahriman on one side and Lucifer on the other in order to bring about a balance between them.
This passage reminds me of those who rail against the latest tools of Ahriman, the television and the Internet. "Oh, we never watch TV at our house!" Surely the pride they exhibit in these statements warms the heart of Lucifer.
One last insight I'd like to share which came to me near the end of the book as I pondered the unanswered question, "How is it possible that the body of our previous incarnation is embodied in our head in this incarnation?" The answer came in a very simple way which only requires a rudimentary knowledge of automobiles to understand. I have a friend, Shelby, who collects John Deere tractors from the Thirties. He has a 1933 and 1936 model. In the 1933 model, there is no ignition switch, in fact, no ignition system. Consider that for a moment. We take the presence of an ignition switch for granted, so much so that it seems impossible to have an automobile or tractor without one. Here's how it works: the 1933 John Deere tractor has a flywheel on the side of it that one can spin to start the motor. When one is finished plowing, etc, one simply shuts off the fuel supply to stop the motor, therefore no ignition switch is necessary. Probably some very early automobiles operated that way.
But in each generation of automobiles, the components that were stored in the body of the automobile move to the control center or dashboard in the front of the operator or driver of the vehicle, what we might call the brain center or "head"of the automobile. In the second generation of cars the ignition switch appeared and soon a starter switch was added so that from the brain center, the motor could be started without getting out in the weather to crank it by hand. Soon the gaslights on the fenders were replaced by electric lights and switches for these were added to the dashboard control central. In the 1990's, several generations removed, the dashboard instrument cluster now tells us if the airbags are ready, the anti-lock brakes are working, if the doors are ajar, if the battery is strong, if the fuel is sufficient, and so on, all the items that in former incarnations one had to walk to the body of the car [to check the fuel level with a dipstick, for instance] now are prominently displayed in the head of the car.
There in the design of our automobiles is displayed this cosmic principle proffered by Steiner that one would otherwise require several incarnations in a human body to observe. This shows that to develop something new requires that one builds on what exists, the old. Nowhere is this shown more pointedly than in this passage from the Fifteenth Lecture.
[page 214] The fifth post-Atlantean epoch [present day] had to develop materialism. Therefore the programme for materialism had to be introduced from out of the spiritual world. And the first stage of the programme of materialism is contained in the doctrine of the idols, which did away with the old Aristotelian doctrine that words refer to categories which have real significance. Today, humanity is already very advanced along the course of regarding anything that is not perceivable by the senses as idols. Bacon is the great inaugurator of the science of idols.
The next challenge for mankind is to build a new control center out of the body of materialism that was created by Francis Bacon and in that new head to establish the basis for a world of spiritual understanding that is as comprehensive as Bacon's world of materialistic understanding.
3.) New 2014 ARJ2: Atlantis — The Fate of a Lost Land and its Secret Knowledge by Rudolf Steiner
Much of the confusion about the continent of Atlantis seems to stem from modern scientists imagining that a large continent existed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as we currently understand its Western and Eastern boundaries. A quick glance at the map below from W. Scott-Elliot's "The Story of Atlantis" (1896) will reveal that the ancient continent predated the current arrangement of continents. Atlantis covered the eastern half of both American continents, and when it disappeared beneath the sea, new continental areas sprung up which defined more closely the current boundaries of the Americas, Europe, and Africa to their modern configuration. If one wished to find remnants of Atlantis, one could dig down beneath Montreal, Tennessee, or Brazil instead of the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, the reason we call this body of water the Atlantic Ocean today is based on the large majority of its watery realm covering what was once the mighty continent of Atlantis, but there are also large areas of hard ground which rose to cover and obscure the full extent the ancient continent.
To try to discover the physical artifacts of Atlantis is pure folly, but to a spiritual scientist like Rudolf Steiner the important discoveries have to do with the spiritual realities within which the ancient Atlanteans lived. As Andrew Welburn in his Introduction states, "Rudolf Steiner describes how the consciousness of the Atlanteans concerning the hidden dimensions of the forces of nature was preserved in its essentials in the esoteric thought and practices of the ancient Mysteries." (Page 5) These practices, he says, provide modern humans a way bringing to life again aspects of the ancient world of Atlantis.
Scientists of the physical world can only examine the dead testimony of history, the bones and stones before historical times, and the word records since the beginning of history. Scientists of the spiritual world can read the text of the Akashic Record which can reveal to readers of that text the living reality of times long before historical times.
[page 11] Those initiated into the reading of such a living script can look back into a much more remote past than is represented by external history, and — on the basis of direct spiritual perception — they can also describe much more reliably the things of which history tells.
Historians of today try to stretch their minds when they encounter structures of huge stones placed tightly together because they cannot imagine how ancient peoples could have moved such huge stones, lacking our coal, gasoline, and electric power of today. The Atlanteans had seed power with which they could move things; the energy which lies dormant in seeds was harnessed by the Atlanteans.
[page 20] Just as we have methods of motion in our steam engines, so the Atlanteans had devices which they fueled — in a manner of speaking — with plant seeds, and in which the life force was transformed into technologically utilizable power. The vehicles of the Atlanteans, which floated a short distance above the ground, were moved in this way. . . . Today, the above-mentioned vehicles of the Atlanteans would be useless. Their usefulness depended on the fact that at that time the cover of air which enveloped the earth was much denser that it is now.
We have a record in the Bible of the density of moisture in the air before the Flood, and that is the first-ever appearance of a rainbow as the rain stopped. One would not accept something as a sign or a covenant from God that is a normal event after a rainstorm today, would one? No, the rainbow Noah and his people saw was the first ever rainbow and it signaled the end of the Atlantean Epoch. Rather, one might better say, the reason the story of the Flood and the rainbow appears in the Bible was because a dim memory of the end of the Atlantean Epoch was too important not to share with future generations.
The words of the Rmoahals, the first sub-race of Atlanteans, had a curative effect.
[page 25] The word of the Rmoahals not only had meaning, but also power. The magic power of words is something which was far truer for them than it is for people today. When a Rmoahals person pronounced a word, this word developed a power similar to that of the object it designated. Because of this, words at that time were curative; they could advance the growth of plants, tame the rage of animals and perform other similar functions.
We must not think that ancient peoples were deprived of our modern technology. Why? Because their technology would have existed in ways different from our own, but just as powerful.With the advent of later sub-races, Steiner tells us, "the original fullness of power was gradually lost." (Page 26) He tells us later that in the fifth sub-race, the Original Semites, the power of logical thinking got its start. (Page 30)
[page 30] Human beings began to go beyond a mere remembrance of the past and to compare different perspectives. The faculty of judgment developed. Wishes and appetites were regulated in accordance with the faculty of judgment. People began to calculate, to combine. People learned to work with thoughts.
Psychic powers of the Atlanteans compensated for the softness of their bodies, the first hard human was to be Adam after the end of the Atlantean Epoch, the very name "adam" is the root for hardness in words such as adamantine and diamond. I heard two stories of extraordinary psychic powers in the 1980s. The first involved a woman whose husband was at work when her son was seriously hurt in an accident and she got a call that he was in the hospital. She called her neighbor next door to drive her to the hospital, but she wasn't at home, so she took the keys to the older car in the driveway which she rarely drove and drove quickly to the hospital. Her husband arrived shortly after she did and she explained that their son was doing okay. Her husband said, "How did you get to the hospital so fast?" She said, "I took the old Ford in the driveway." Her husband stammered, "But, but, that's impossible! I took the battery out of the Ford yesterday to buy a new one!" They walked out to the Ford and popped the hood and sure enough, there was no battery in the car she had just driven to the hospital.
The other story was one that was also amazing. A guy told of a friend of his who suddenly developed super-human strength and could pick up 500-pound objects with ease. He could even pull open cardboard boxes strapped closed with strapping tape, a tape with strong fiberglass threads in it. After hearing the story, I decided to find out if that was possible. I imagined myself opening a cardboard like the guy in the story, leaned over, put my hands, one on each side of the opening, and pulled with all my might. To my amazement, I was able to snap the fiberglass strapping tape, something I would have never attempted if I had not heard that story.
[page 34, 35] A person in ancient Atlantis would have been able to break a section of rail from a railway, let us say, with ease — not because his physical forces were strong, for his bony system had still not developed, but through his magical psychic forces. A similar phenomenon is still to be found today in certain pathological cases who on account of the liberation of strong psychic forces — in that condition the physical body is not properly connected with the higher bodies — can lift and throw heavy objects.
In the story of the guy who could lift heavy weights, more than any weight-lifter, I could hear some signs of mental instability that accompanied his new-found strength. My tearing the strapping tape was my normal strength empowered by the possibility of doing something which I had never considered possible before.
It was from reading Steiner that I first discovered the connection between the Biblical Flood and the sinking of Atlantis beneath the sea.
[page 40] The evolution of the earth has now been described up to the time when the forces of water were unleashed and ancient Atlantis perished. The human beings who were saved from Atlantis made their way in the one direction towards America and in the other towards the Europe, Asia and Africa of today. These great migrations continued over long periods of time.
The forces of water he refers to stems from the enormously heavy mist which covered the entire Earth at that time, a mist which obscured physical vision and made spiritual vision a requirement for the Atlantean peoples.When the sky cleared and revealed the first rainbow to Noah, it marked a time when spiritual vision began to wane and the ability to perceive the outside of things began to wax into prominence, culminating with our present ability to sharply delineate physical realities, but with little or no ability to view spiritual realities. Today we cannot imagine using 'seed forces' for transportation, nor can we imagine clairvoyance as an everyday ability for all humans. I suspect that it is, but we discount the revelations it provides us, having been so carefully taught that it is impossible, so we only get hints that it exists from otherwise unexplainable events in our lives. But these powers were present in full force in these ancient people.
[page 40] Let us now consider ancient Atlantean culture once more. In the earliest period man possessed strong magical powers. With these powers he controlled the seed forces, mastered the forces of nature and in a certain way was still able to see into the spiritual world. Clairvoyance then gradually faded because human beings were destined to found the culture belonging to the earth; they were to descend to earth in the real sense. Thus at the end of Atlantis there were two kinds of human beings within the peoples and races. Firstly, at the height of Atlantean culture there were seers, clairvoyants and powerful magicians who worked by means of magical forces and were able to see into the spiritual world. Besides them were people who were preparing to be the founders of present humanity. They already had within them the rudiments of the faculties possessed by people today.
One cannot understand the evolution of consciousness properly without grasping how the everyday abilities we possess today were highly advanced faculties when they first appeared in scattered human beings of the time. They were, rightly understood, thought to be prophets, harbingers of a future time. Instead of using magical powers, these advanced thinkers used their, elementary compared to ours, faculties of calculation, counting, and reasoning, all of which made them different, and required them to meet together in small groups, because the masses of people did not understand them, a situation similar to the one anthroposophists find themselves in today. These people strove to find their human connection with the physical world, while our task today is to re-establish our connection with the spiritual world. This long in-between period between these ancient people and ourselves was one of focusing on the material aspects of the world so that we might return to a world in which humans might experience the physical world equally with the spiritual world without the ahrimanic influences that would have else derailed our human evolution and made us earthbound forever.Our evolution as humans has required both physical and spiritual evolution, and our goal now is to re-capture in full consciousness our spiritual abilities and blend them with our physical abilities. This is the process, the understanding of the evolution of the full human being, for which Rudolf Steiner coined the word, anthroposophy, to represent, i.e., the anthropos — the full human being in body, soul, and spirit, and -sophy — the knowledge of that full human being.
[page 43] This wisdom is not imparted simply for anthroposophical dogmas to be grasped by the intellect but to understand them with the heart. One is then strong enough to know why anthroposophy is here today. It is here to meet a great challenge of evolution, and the person who knows this also finds the strength to conquer all obstacles, come what may. Such people proceed along their path because they know that what is intended to come to pass through anthroposophy must come to pass for the further progress of humanity on the path to the spirit.
Human beings of ancient times could see into the spiritual world and knew that their destiny was written in the stars. They could remember how they chose the stars to be born under according to the plan they created during their time between death and a new birth for working out the karmic deeds they needed in their new life on earth.
[page 50] In the course of the stars and of the weather, man was to see divine decrees, the emanation of divine wisdom. Astronomy and meteorology were taught with this idea. Man was to arrange his labor, his moral life in such a way that they would correspond to the wise laws of the divine. Life was ordered according to divine commandments, just as the divine thoughts were explored in the course of the stars and in the changes of the weather.
With the advent of thought, humans learned to use fire and make tools, and to do so voluntarily, on their own accord, no longer being driven by spiritual beings to do so, but by their own volition.
[page 51] In early Atlantean times human beings did not use fire since the life force was available for them to use. But with the passage of time they were less and less in a position to make use of this force, hence they had to learn to make tools, utensils from so-called lifeless objects. They employed fire for this purpose. Similar conditions prevailed with respect to other natural forces. Thus human beings learned to make use of such natural forces without being conscious of their divine origin. So it was meant to be. Human beings were not to be forced by anything to relate these things which served their faculty of thought to the divine order of the world. They were, rather, to do it voluntarily in their thoughts.
This was drastically different from the time when divine messengers, such as Manu, directed them; instead they developed the ability to think on their own. With time, humans began to see once again the divine connection, the divine gift provided them.
[page 53] Earthly thinking was to elevate itself to the concept of the divine. The human initiates united themselves with the divine. This represents an important revolution in the development of the human race.
The Magi we know from the Bible were part of these initiates, these great teachers also known as Kings, who led human beings to know of spiritual realities such as the coming of the great Sun Spirit, Christ, to earth following the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
[page 58] They nurtured their mysterious knowledge and the practices that led to it in a special place which we can call the Christ Oracle or Sun Oracle — 'Oracle', that is, in the sense of a place where the intentions of spiritual beings are perceived. What is said here about Christ will be misunderstood unless we consider the fact that supersensory knowledge necessarily sees the appearance of Christ on earth as an event that was foretold by those who were already aware of the meaning of the earth's evolution prior to this event. It would be a mistake to assume that these initiates had a relationship to Christ that would be possible only later, after his actual appearance on earth. However, they were able to grasp in a prophetic way and make comprehensible to their disciples that anyone touched by the power of the Sun Being sees Christ approaching the earth.
We humans received speech as we know it today from spiritual beings during the densification of our human body. We have also received in popular myths and fairy tales remnants of grotesque realities which existed during Atlantean times before the complete densification of the human body. Our bodies, which then lacked hard bony skeletons, could stretch in fantastic ways, as the comic book character called Plastic Man is depicted doing, and as the large ogres are described in fairy tales.
[page 61] During their growth period, people's bodies took shape according to what was forming their souls in a way that seems incredible or even fantastic to our modern way of looking at things. Moral depravity in a person's passions, drives, and instincts resulted in a gigantic increase in material substance.
Luckily we post-Atlanteans beings developed from those "whose bodily forms had already solidified in a way that did not allow them to succumb to soul forces that were contrary to nature." In other words, no ogres survived the Atlantean times, except in myth and folklore as reminders of our ancestral past. But as we humans matured with both physical and life bodies coinciding to a great extent, we lost the remarkable memory abilities of our ancestors, but along with this change we began to experience the ego within the physical body. Losing our memory necessitated the invention of writing and acquiring an ego allowed our writers to speak using the word "I" to refer to themselves. I have written elsewhere about how the words of the pre-writing tale-teller Homer were written down using words which thanked a Muse for providing the words. When Virgil penned the Aeneid epic, on the other hand, many centuries after Homer's time, he said, in effect, "I sing of arms and a man."
As Steiner takes us through the ancient Persian, Indian, Egypto-Chaldean, and Greco-Roman Ages of the fifth-post-Atlantean epoch, we can see how humankind's direct experience of reincarnation got replaced by the various confused interpretations prevalent today, and how we gradually began to value the material things of the world over the spiritual. But that has left us in the precarious position of losing our souls' connection to the spiritual world entirely. We basically moved from understanding the physical world as mere maya as the Indians did, to valuing bricks and building large monuments as the Persians, to valuing laws such as the Hammurabi Code of the Egypto-Chaldeans, to building temples to the spiritual world as the Grecians and Romans did.
Each temple was a place in the physical world that could "express the spiritual world in the perfect form within the physical element." (Page 81) One mistakes the reason for a Greek temple if one imagines that one needed to stand inside the temple to benefit from it. Often the original temples stood out alone in the distance where many people could look up to it and perceive the existence of the spiritual world. For this reason most Greek temples were built on the highest ground of a region, known as an acropolis, the most famous being the Acropolis in Athens, which one can view even from the center of the metropolis today, sitting in an outdoor café.
The Earth itself is such a Temple today, if one could see it with spiritual eyes from outer space.
[page 95, 96] Seen from outside, the earth would then appear in a new light. You would see this event taking place extremely quickly, so that we could say: 'From this moment a fundamental transformation of' the earth took place; its aura has changed completely.' What is this moment? It is the moment when upon Golgotha the blood flowed from the wounds of the Redeemer. This moment is an extremely important one, the most important moment in the whole of the earth's evolution. The moment when the blood flows from the wounds of the Redeemer is the same as that in which the aura of the earth reshapes itself. An entirely new power is created, the power which gives the most important impulse to the evolution of earth, for which all that we have considered up to now was only the preparation.
This is the Mystery of Golgotha which comes at the turning point in human evolution, a point when, left to its own resources, humanity would otherwise lose sight of the spiritual realities completely, and the entire human race would die when the Earth itself passes away. But we live on since that turning point, nourishing our bodies with the bread of Christ and walking upon the body of Christ every day.
[page 97] The earth soul, the spirit of the whole earth, was at that time injected with something new. The Christ-principle united with the earth at that time and the earth has become the body of this Christ-principle. So that the statement 'those who eat my bread tread me underfoot' is literally true. When human beings eat the bread of the earth they eat the body of the earth; and this is the body of the earth spirit which, as the spirit of Christ, has been united with the earth since the event on Golgotha. And when human beings walk upon the earth body, they tread this body underfoot.
This is the essence of the message which Rudolf Steiner brings to us today, a message which comes in modern words from a man who has studied the physical world and has seen the spiritual world as well, and is able to give us the spiritual realities we need to progress as human beings who will survive the passing of the Earth because we deeply realize how we have consumed the Body of Christ and how we have maintained contact with the Body of Christ with every step of our earthbound lives, actions which will fructify our soul and spirit as we continue our ascent into the spiritual realm with the Earth and Christ as our launching pad.
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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books for less information, read the reviews.
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= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. The good Padre inspects Mardi Gras Balcony on St. Ann St. this Month:
Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of the Digest to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.
This month Padre Filius Sees Sign inticing Mardi Gras Revelers to Throw Beads up to Balcony in French Quarter:
2. Comments from Readers:
NOTE: I love hearing from all my Good Readers and including your missives here (slightly edited). If you prefer any comments or photos you send to be private, simply say so and they will not be published.
- EMAIL from Betty Chowning in Kentucky:
Good morning, Bobby
As you can see, I am behind in my mail. For the last 3 weeks I have been traveling and just keep putting it off to sit and read.
Of course, my favorite parts are of you and Del. I believe she gets more beautiful and elegant each time I see her in various settings, costumes, attire.
The birds, flowers and Marde Gras this year were outstanding. I have awesome memories of my time at MG, which I think is on a lot of people's bucket list.
Glad to see all is well with you and family.
Take care and lots of hugs and love,
Hope you enjoy seeing our Kentucky Derby Day in this June Issue and remember this drinkable souvenir you gave me of the 1998 Derby. Someday I may want a Mint Julep made with 25-year-old Makers Mark Whiskey.
- EMAIL Chris Bryant in Corpus Christi: I was scrolling sports channels last night, looking for an update on the NBA playoffs and I saw a show about LSU baseball. My first thought was that must be a good omen for Bobby's Tigers. Seems I was right.
- EMAIL from Amanda and Phil in NYC:
Dear Bobby and Del,
We want to thank you for spending some time with us in New Orleans. I don't know if we would have had beignets at Cafe du Monde or touched the river otherwise! The city is beautiful and it's no wonder you love it so much. It was a pleasure meeting you!
Thanks for the Reminders as well :)
Amanda and Phil
- EMAIL Re DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#145 May 1, 2014:
Enjoyed the May issue, Bobby.
Thanks for including us at the French Quarter Fest! — Georgie and Roger Smith
- EMAILS from son Robie in San Franscisco:
Replying to my email with photo of a Robbie Matherne catching a 50-lb catfish in the four foot deep LSU Lakes on its Baton Rouge campus.
Dude, I knew I was genetically programmed to fish!!!! Glad my dopplenamer got it for me :) PLUS this email titled with this photo of his son: "Preview of Walden at age 25?" A good shot from the race last Sunday... was a tough race, but he finished and had fun :)
- EMAIL from John Magill in New Orleans:
Replying to my email where I wrote, among other things: "New Orleans has had a catastrophic event about every forty years: 1927 flood, 1968 Betsy, and 2005 Katrina. We're good for another 3 decades."
I agree — I think that we do go about every 40 or so years — that doesn't include huge rain events like Good Friday 1927, May 3, 1978 and May 8-9, 1995. Good thing the Pensacola rains of a few weeks back did not happen more to the west. 20th century hurricanes for the city — if I don't miss any — are 1909 (more to the west), 1915 (right over the city), 1947 ( right over the city again), Betsy '65 and Katrina '05. If we had not had floodgates, and all the improvements in place for Isaac in 2012 I wonder where we would have been with that surge, since it seemed pretty bad outside the levees as in St. Bernard.
- EMAIL from Ashton in Pennsylvania:
Bobby Matherne: May I use the photo of the "crucified" cardinal on your website on a blog I write for The Thoreau Farm in Concord, MA. I have a journal entry about a similar crucified cardinal, and your photo would illustrate it perfectly. Thanks in advance.
3. Title Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Freedom on the Half Shell"
Give me your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free and I will give them taxes, regulations, restrictions, and every manner of unfairness ever created by persons saddled with the illusion that they can decide what is best for someone else's welfare. The individual, like the business professional, knows what's best in a given situation and, given the freedom, will take that action. The forces of coercion are prying open the shell that contains the living muscle and spirit of the American people will we resist those forces and keep our muscles and spirit alive, free to open at will, or will we give up like the oyster and settle for "freedom on the half shell?" Here is the Title poem from the book, Freedom on the Half Shell:
4. RADIATION PRIMER: Gamma Rays, X-Rays, and Microwaves
Freedom on the Half Shell
In South Louisiana
We eat our oysters raw
Using the half shell as a spoon.
We take our freedom
In the open air
And consider it a boon.
The oyster shell is dirty
and clamped shut so tight
It takes a lot of force and skill
to open up the shell just right.
The oyster is opened live
it struggles against the knife
But when its muscle's severed
it gives up its gentle life.
Freed by coercion of its spirit
the oyster's body lies
A delicacy to be consumed
by the scion of the skies.
Oysters all we human beings
confront the coercive will
That would dispatch our spirit
leaving US freedom on the half shell.
~^~Just the facts, folks, no hyperbole, no phobia installations or fear-mongering. My thoughts on this subject go back to when I was forced to wait for three minutes at the coffeeshop in the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland for my muffin to be heated up when back at home in my PJ's Coffeeshop in New Orleans, I can heat a similar muffin in ten seconds. When I asked a local why they couldn't afford a microwave oven, the response was one of horror, as if I were suggesting they expose their first-born child to die alone on the top of the Matterhorn! In my opinion, these anti-microwave fanatics have conflated irradiating food with gamma rays with radiating food with microwaves, acting as if one were as bad as the other, which is simply not the case.
Gamma rays are very high energy waves/particles which can cause genetic DNA material to split, become truncated, or die. Not a good thing to do to one's body. But we are surrounded by radioactive particles occurring naturally in our environment and in our food.When I worked at a nuclear power plant I was required to have a full body scan to determine if my body contained any source of gamma radiation. Each year the technician when done would say, "You had a banana tody, right?" The first time he said it, I was surprised. "Why do you say that?" "Come here," he said, "See this spike in the spectrum? That's a Potassium 40 spike. Naturally occurring potassium has a small percentage of radioactive Potassium 40." No one avoids eating bananas because of this. Only concentrations of gamma rays are dangerous, but we have instruments which can measure minute concentrations which are so low as not be harmful at all. Consider arsenic, which is a poison, but in minute concentrations it can restore a pale wasting away person to a healthy glow. People tend to treat things they don't understand, like gamma rays and arsenic, by lumping them all into the category of poisons and danger, up until now.
X-Rays are high energy waves/particles, but not nearly so strong as gamma rays, and can be used to image teeth and other body parts without undue risk.
Microwave radiation, to use a baseball metaphor, is like a bunt in front of the home plate compared to a Gamma ray which is like a home run hit out of the stadium. Get in front of a homer and you will have structural damage to the part of your body it hits. Get in front of a bunt, and you might feel warm spot on your ankle where it hit.
Microwaves on a microscopic level knocks molecules around like a boxer hitting a punching bag. When the molecule is hit, it moves faster, and we call that movement on a macroscopic level, heat. The microwaved object is simply warmed up, from the inside. If you prefer to wait three minutes, you can heat the object from the outside with a toaster or in a frying pan, but if you wish to heat it in 10 seconds, use a microwave. Both ways of heating, from the outside or from the inside do the same thing: kick the molecules to create heat. Microwaves do not create genetic modifications any more than a toaster or frying pan.
This warming effect of microwave radiation was discovered during work on Distant Early Warming system along the DEW line. An engineer was walking across the front of a microwave emitting antenna one cold day and he noticed the Hershey bar in his shirt pocket had slightly melted. From the 1940s till the 1960s this information was known, but remained unused until someone designed and built the first Amana Microwave Oven. We had one in 1972, but it still took another decade or so for us to discover how useful it was for warming and heating up all sorts of food. Before microwave ovens, leftover food from the fridge had to be re-cooked, altering its taste, just to warm it up. Before microwave ovens, popping popcorn was a labor-intensive operation creating a dirty pot, creating waste oil, waste heat in the kitchen, and so forth. Now, you push the Popcorn button and when it's done, the oven stops. You pour the finished popcorn in a bowl and discard the paper container.
There are risks for gamma rays, but for certain medical procedures and nuclear plant work, the low level of radiation is deemed an acceptable risk. Similar for X-Rays, which are so low risk, they are common for dental procedures, clearly an acceptable risk. For microwave ovens, the risk is basically non-existent, no more than a pressure cooker or a fry pan, when properly used. Yes, don't put any cats or metal objects in the oven, or you'll create a problem. But used appropriately they save time, energy, and make our lives pleasant.
Enjoy the things microwave ovens heat and cook in good health.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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