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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Elisabeth Marie Villeré Tidmore (1944 - 2014) ~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~ LouLou was a descendant of a founding family of New Orleans and of Louisiana's first native governor, Jacques Phillippe Villeré ~~~~~
~~~~~ Wife of Borden Tidmore and mother of Christopher Tidmore, we will miss her charm and grace.
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#152 February, 2015== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the 200th Anniversay of the Battle of New Orleans in Chalmette:
Really, before the War of 1812, there was no national identity of 'I am an American.' The words were 'I am a Virginian. I am a Louisianian. I am a Marylander.' The idea of being an American actually originated on the plains of Chalmette.— Tim Pickles , Chariman of the Louisiana Living History Foundation, appearing in Sunday January 4, 2015 New Orleans Advocate story, byline Chad Calder.
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DIGESTWORLDArchived DIGESTWORLD Issues
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#152 for February, 2015
Table of Contents
1. February's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for February
3. On a Personal Note
Flowers of Shanidar Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for February, 2015 from Bobby Jeaux: Easy Open of V-8 Vegetable Juice 6-Packs for Fridge
6. Poem from his Journal, Saturday, November 29, 2014: "American Meditation"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for February:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: Karmic Relationships, Volume 1, GA# 235 by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: An American Childhood by Annie Dillard
- ARJ2: Friendly Invasion by Dan Turner
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. Medical Support for Doylic Memory Concept
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. February Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Selfie Taking.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Selfie Taking" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/011615vj.gif
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2. HONORED READERS FOR February:
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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 February, 2015:
Jeff March of EditPros News, A Good Reader over 10 years
Jim Harman of Sarasota, Florida
Congratulations, Jeff and Jim!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
A GREAT NEW YEAR'S EVE AND DAY
This New Year's Eve Del and I went outside to enjoy our beautiful fireworks display on the hill just a few feet west of our property line, the raised tee for the golf course. We had gone earlier to Ruth and Ted's for their early NYE party, but got back home in time to observe the various NYE Celebrations from around the world on the five large TVs in our Screening Room.
Big news for Ruth and Ted is that Ted had a DNA test done in an attempt to locate some relatives and he discovered some distant relatives he never knew he had: Neanderthals. Yes, the DNA showed him to have 3.1% Neanderthal genetic code, enough for him to claim bragging rights to being a Neanderthal, and he was wearing a Tee Shirt to proclaim his newly acquired notoriety. Each year we've seen Ted on Mardi Gras day, he seemed to have some type of caveman costume on. Here's a photo from 2006. We had missed their New Year's Eve party in recent years because Ted had a gig for his band in Storyville Café of Margaritaville.Now that he's retired from work and has no band, the party was on. It may be missing next year, bcause Ted told me he has gotten a regular gig for his band in a new lounge which is opening up. They had heard his "House Party" album of New Orleans Funk and wanted that to anchor their new nightclub. One wonders if Ted's Neanderthal genes might be in some small way responsible for his liking to swing his electronic axe and sing loud, funky music, which is filled with lot of caveman-like grunts and gestures. Regardless, we love Ted and his music and all we can say is, "Keep it funky! Ted".
On New Year's Day, I went out to our garden to pick a small cabbage to use for our traditional New Orleans meal reputed to guarantee health, prosperity, and happiness for the New Year. Each year, the supermarkets stock of Trappey's Blackeye Peas disappear from the shelves as locals prepare for this New Year's Day fare of black-eyed peas over rice, boiled cabbage, and cornbread for their families and friends. I timed the preparation to allow us to eat before the Annual Outdoor Ice Hockey game began at noon on NBC. It's my one hockey game of the year and the extra excitement of the game being played out of doors is palpable for the players and for us viewers.
We spent the afternoon beginning our packing for a two-week cruise to the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean. The day was chilly but our minds and bodies were getting ready for the 75+ degree air and water temperatures of our island destinations. Over the next few days Del and I had lunch with our youngest, Stoney, and his family of Sue and Sam at DiMartino's. Del had brought a small birthday cake which we lit and had Stoney blow out the candles. Seeing Peter DiMartino sitting alone and eating, we offered him a piece of Stoney's birthday cake. Del had to get her hair done and I had a last-minute memorial service for my good friend Christopher Tidmore's mother at our club. I had to pass up the large get together planned afterward to get home, to finish packing, and get a good night's sleep before the 3 am wake up call to leave for the airport for Miami.
Our flight to Miami was on-time and we arrived about one hour and forty minutes after take-off. We were so early that Crystal had arranged for us to be taken to a nearby Miami hotel for a breakfast buffet while waiting for the ship to be prepared for our cruise. As we waited for a table, a gal named Claudia came up behind us in line who was also on our cruise, so we invited her to join our table. Then a guy showed up named Shawn and he joined us also for the breakfast buffet. Turned out Shawn was a magician who would be performing to small groups in the Pulse Lounge during our cruise. The bus came and took us to the ship and in no time at all we were aboard, having a latte in the Bistro Café on Deck 6 and waiting for our room to be made ready. Of all cruise lines we've been on Crystal has provided the easiest and quickest check-in for us. We boarded, got our photos taken for our key card, and that was it. Later our bags showed up in our cabin and we found our way down to Table 90 with six new friends to join us for the cruise. Four were from Nebraska, two couples: a mother and daughter pair, Mary and Myra, and a married pair, Lori and Mark.The gals lived in Omaha and the couple on a cattle and corn farm outside of Omaha. Never suspected that folks from Nebraska could be so much fun, but indeed they were. When I mentioned we were LSU fans, their faces brightened up immediately, "Oh, we love LSU fans! We want them here every year for the College World Series in Omaha!" The other couple was from Munich, Germany, two lawyers, Wolfgang and Sabine. It took me a while to figure out how to spell her name because in German it is three syllables and is sounded as Sabina, but in English it is only two. The Sabine River is Louisiana's border with Texas, so it is a familiar name, but not for a woman in the USA and she was the first with that name that I have met.
TWO SEA DAYS TO LESSER ANTILLES: SEA DAY ONE
The first day at sea culminated with a Black Tie Dinner and Captain's Reception. Del began the day by going to yoga and then we met for breakfast in the Lido. Max Badocdoc served us, and we remembered each other from an earlier cruise. Later we met other servers, Martin and Ed, whom we remembered from earlier sailings. It was so nice to be back on Crystal where we have real servers, whereas on the NCL Spirit where the breakfast area had only table clearers who simply stood around and watched us get our own food. At 10 am I went down to the Bistro and asked a waiter from Chile, Christian, who resembled Robert Downey, Jr., about the custard tarts, He said they were due up int 5 minutes, so I ordered a café latte and took a table by window looking out at the sea, and he brought me two custard tarts when they arrived, on time as he promised. Later he talked me into another one. They were a delicious, marvelous treat I had learned to love on previous Crystal Cruises. In the BBC series, "As Time Goes By", Lionel loves his custard tarts and now I know why.
Del and I went to hear Dr. Jay Wolff talk about pirates and the distinction between them and privateers. Spain was hauling so much gold and silver from South America that other European countries feared they would be overwhelmed by Spain unless they found some way to reach some balance with them. The answer was to take away some of their gold and silver before it reached Spain. The pirate Francis Drake became the first privateer when Queen Elizabeth I gave him his Letter of Marque, and gave him funds to raid Spanish ships and split the profits with the Crown. It was this opportunity which caused him to cross the perilous Cape Horn and capture an unprotected Spanish ship loaded to the gunwales with gold, silver, and doubloons, one disabled from defending itself because the cannons had been deemed unnecessary due to lack of pirates in the Pacific, up until Drake showed up. Elizabeth got a profit of 400 to 1 from the Spanish treasure which Drake captured and returned to England.To reach the Pacific Coast of South America, Drake took three ships to round Cape Horn, but his other two ships were unable to enter the pass into the Pacific due to enormous head winds and turned back to England. Drake in his Golden Hind fought those headwind storms for two months before he succeeded. After capturing the huge treasure cache and placing it aboard his ship, he decided not to risk Cape Horn again and sailed across the Pacific and around the Cape of Good Hope to England. His circumnavigation of the world came as a result of his seeking Spanish gold and silver. He was knighted by the Queen Elizabeth for his contributions for the crown, becoming Sir Francis Drake. Britain's manner of issuing Letters of Marque were quickly picked up by France, Portugal, and other countries to keep Spain from becoming the richest country in the world. Next trip, Drake sailed into port in Panama where the silver train of pack mules brought their treasure over the isthmus to be boarded on ships for Spain. He captured an entire silver train's treasure and sailed up along the Gulf Stream home to England, the fastest and warmest way back.
That favored sailing route up the Gulf Stream along Florida was first discovered by Ponce de Leon who was looking for the Fountain of Viagara, a spring reputed to restore one's sexual virility, which led to the euphemism of the Fountain of Youth being given to it.
Then we had lunch together. I had the Florida Grouper entree. Afterward stopped by the Stardust Lounge and watched most of the Story of Marvin Hamlisch. Then we came back to dress for the Black Tie dinner. While Del showered I went to tea in Palm Court and overheard an older passenger talking about a Greek Isle, a short water taxi ride from Athens, where an actual Magus lived. This guy bought the Magus' house. John Fowles knew the Magus when he taught English at the school for rich Greek kids nearby. Fowles wrote of the mysterious happenings on this isle in his novel, "The Magus". That white-haired gentleman fellow in the Palm Court made an offer to the man he was talking to, "I invite you to stay at my house on the isle. The only absolute condition is that you must read 'The Magus' first." That sounds to me like a premise for a good novel.I went back to our stateroom and dressed into my Black Tie outfit for dinner. The dinner was excellent with five-mushroom soup, caviar, Maine Lobster, and for dessert, we each had a slice of Mark Schott's Birthday cake and ice cream after we sang Happy Birthday to him. Then we went to the Captain's Reception, arriving late, so I was the last person to greet the Captain before he went to the center stage to greet everyone. The Captain is German but spoke the best of any of the other captains on any ship we've sailed. Kept his comments short and sweet. The show the first night was a reprise of the Grand Hotel number we had seen on a previous cruise, but it was a joy to watch and listen to. We felt like we had entered into a Grand Hotel, as we do everytime we board a Crystal Cruise ship.
Got to talk to Rick Spath after the show. Told him Don Topping's Billy Joel story about the Italian scooters that have stop lights in their ignition circuit so they cannot run if the light is burnt out. He loved it. Then I told Rick about the performer on a previous cruise who sang the Fats Domino song, "Walking to New Orleans" and when I complimented him after the show, said, "Who's Fats Domino?" He got the song from Harry Connick, Jr. Rick tried to remember who that might have been, but he wasn't cruise director. I looked up in my Journal and found the entertainer's name was Jon Courtenay. When I told that to Rick later, he laughed and explained that Jon was having a little fun with me as Jon specialized in Fats Domino's songs.This is an irritating habit of performers which I have observed on several occasions. They enjoy giving misleading information to their fans and then keep the joke to themselves. For example, on this cruise, I overheard a woman say to Dick Cavett, "My husband says you were a famous afternoon talk show host, but couldn't remember your name." Dick replied, "Yes, tell him you met David Frost." A little innocuous fun, perhaps, but still a bit unfair to well-meaning fans.
During dinner we discovered that Wolfgang was an Ott, which is a common name in the New Orleans area. New York Giant Mel Ott came from Gretna where we live. Sabine was a Prager (name means a citizen of Prague), keeping her maiden name, probably due to her being a lawyer. They live in Munich and we hope to visit them sometime.
We left from dinner to get good seats for the Billy Joel show and would have done better taking the back row because the music was much too loud. There are only four Joel songs I like and James Fox did three and a half of them. I wanted to yell, "Finish the song!" but didn't.We met Jim from Santa Rosa, California, a pediatrician, who was wearing a shirt or tie showing the San Andreas fault line on the front. He made some remark about his property values dropping if a huge earthquake hit, and I said, "You'll have waterfront property." He, laughed and said "and maybe cliff-side at that". We liked Jim a lot and were soon saving a seat for the night-time shows for him and his wife Jeannie. After the Billy Joel show we met up with Mark and Lori Schott from Nebraska And talked for awhile.
SEA DAY TWO
The second day at sea Del and I slept late and ate a small breakfast in the Lido. The Lido is on the top deck aft and offers a lovely view from inside the all-glass room and outside at tables in the open air. Del and I registered for Shawn McMaster's magic show, right before dinner on the evening we will be in St. Barth.
Ludomir was our waiter in Le Bistro that morning. He is from Serbia and he brought us our custard tarts. His name means love and peace, Ludo love, mir peace. Told me a Serbia-Croatia story. A Serbian, greeting a friend, hugs then kisses three times, on left cheek, right cheek, left cheek; a Croatian only twice, once on each cheek. Ludomir once met an old Croatian friend and said, "Come here and give me a hug," and the Croat said, "Ok, only don't kiss me three times." Three fingers up means Victory for Serb and two fingers means Victory for Croat.
Del and I went up to eat lunch in the Lido and met this couple from Philadelphia. John and Orysia (her name means poppy in Ukrainian). I heard the wine guy talking to her and she said she couldn't drink alcohol while on her drugs. When he left I mentioned that he looked like Peewee Herman and John said, Yeah! Then I told her about non-alcoholic Cranberry Sunrise and she thanked me for it. Later Del and I went back to the Bistro. Del held a table for me that had a power outlet nearby and I went to get my Laptop. I plugged it in and was able to check my stats, etc. I had only used up one hour of the free 10 hours of WiFi so far. Took about an hour before my log on worked. Then I loaded up and processed my photos. Later we went to the Lecture by Dr. Jay Wolff on Rum, Molasses, and Slavery, the three-way trade which began with sugar cane into molasses in Indies, then Rum in New England, then slavery in Africa. Molasses sold and shipped to NE, Rum shipped to Africa sold to buy Slaves, which were shipped to West Indies to create more sugar cane/molasses. When the lecture was over I asked Jay if it was East Indians who created the word candee to refer to the flakes left over from sugar cane juice left in the sun to dry. He said yes, it happened around Alexander the Great's time. Can-dee was a Sanskrit word.
As we were about to leave the outside of the Hollywood theater, Carol, Jay's wife, mentioned to me that she heard Dick Cavett was coming to the next show, a movie, "Third Man". Curious to confirm this rumor, I asked a Crystal waiter who was bringing soda and popcorn, "Is Dick Cavett coming?" A young 30-something from Central Europe, he said, sounding like Chekhov on Star Trek, "Der Kaptain? Ah t'ink not." Sure enough, the rumor was true. We waited to watch the movie. It make more sense to us since we have been to Vienna several times and recognize the places used in the movie. Dick Cavett had requested that the "Third Man" movie be shown, one of his favorites, and the Floating Film group's rep said, "Ok, Mr. Cavett, but we want you to introduce it." So he did. Dick asked for a show of hands of people his age, and I raised mine. He added, "Because, if you are my age, you will remember the haunting melody and it will give you a shiver." Pretty much did so for me. The movie opened with a series of slats looking like Venetian blinds quivering across the screen. After seeing the scrolling credit for a zither player, I realized the slats were really zither strings likely playing the theme song.
After Cavett spoke I told him about his name being mistaken as "Der Kaptain". He laughed. Was great to see, hear speak in person, and meet someone who was an icon on daytime TV for so long with his Talk Show, The Dick Cavett Show. I looked up Dick Cavett on WikiPedia and found his mother was originally a Richards and one of Dick's grandfathers came from Wales, making him and Del likely distant cousins. Here's the quote:
His mother Erabel "Era" (née Richards) and his father Alva B. Cavett both worked as educators. When asked by Lucille Ball on his own show about his heritage, he said he was "Scottish, Irish, English, and possibly partly French, and, and uh, a dose of German." He also mentioned that one grandfather "came over" from England, and the other from Wales.
When I told Dick later about this possible connection, he said his Richards' ancestors were from "Launey" in Wales. A day or so later during lunch in the Main Dining room, I noticed that Dick and his wife were sitting in the adjacent table for along the portside windows. He was facing me and wearing a rumpled brim hat similar to the one Del's dad, Dick Richards, often wore. Plus, I came to see a resemblance of the two Dicks in their facial features.
We went to dinner with our four Nebraska table mates. Wolfgang Ott and Sabina Prager were missing, having gone to the Italian restaurant Prego. We had a great time talking to Mark Schott who sat next to me and Myra Fredericks who sat next to Del. After dinner we went to the Galaxy for the evening show by the Comedian, Trumpet and banjo player, Steve Stevens. After the show we walked and talked with Mark and Lori. The passage the rest of the way to Tortola was rough, especially in the bow where our stateroom was located, and I woke up to the various thumps until about 4 AM when we neared the shallows near the island.
Fun thing about sea days is there is are no decisions about which excursion to go on. Soon as we hit a port, we needed to decide. We chose the Cane Garden Bay and beach excursion as it took place in an open Safari-type bus. Warm air, sunny skies, and open air bus sounded great and it was.
The excitement began immediately when boarded the Tender to head for shore. Tortola is rebuilding a larger and improved dock, so all cruise ships have to tender their guests to shore. The ride on this day was a exciting as the Matterhorn E Ticket ride at Disneyland. A roller coaster ride on large waves rolling in from the Atlantic side of the island were tossing us around like popcorn in a frying pan, nearly turning us over at one point, a 45-degree list in one side and then the other creating a few white faces on the passengers.But the Toad's Wild Ride was not done for the day, when we got into the open Safari bus to head to the top of Tortola's mountain, the driver began speeding up and making almost continuous 270-degree turns up steep switchbacks, blasting his horn almost continuously because traffic coming downhill needed advance warning that our bus was blocking both lanes for a few seconds during turns.
On the tender ride we sat next to Jim and Jeannie and really enjoyed their company. Del and Jeannie hit it off immediately and seemed like sisters by the end of the tender ride. Shawn McMaster was our escort for Group 6. We told him we had signed up for his magic show the next night at 5:30 before the dinner. One place the bus driver slowed down for was a long wall of murals about Tortola, showing Bobby Freeman and various events of native life on the island. We stopped at an overlook at the top of the mountain and then continued down to Cane Garden Bay and the beach. There we sat in reserved chairs on the beach-side later, but Del wanted hers out of the Sun. So I moved them and the first lounge chair fell on my toe in my sandals and it bled a bit.I was disappointed not to get into the water, but I decided it best to stay out of the water with an open wound. We enjoyed the beach, the fruit punch, the strawberry smoothie Del bought, and I took a lot of photos. Then the long ride back to the Tender spot. We had to walk through the construction area of the new cruise terminal and dock. The Tender ride was again like a roller coaster ride heading back to the Crystal Serenity. Again several 45-degree lists to each side and water coming in through the front windows. But no injuries and we were glad to be back aboard.
Del changed clothes while I went to the Bistro, and Christian, bless him, showed up and was able to pull two custard tarts out of the back. Del came to the Bistro, I shared a tart and then we awent to the dining room. After lunch we took a post-prandial repose (nap) back in our stateroom, but I got up later, leaving Del asleep and went to see "The Two Faces of January" in the Hollywood Theater. After dinner we went to the stage show, which was a jukebox musical "A Love Story" taking place in an all-night Diner with music from the 60s to 80s. Very enjoyable. The dancing, singing, and amazing energy of the cast was better than the Broadway Shows that I've seen. Exhausted by the long excursion ashore, we returned to sleep in our room as soon as the show was over.
ST. BARTHELEMY, OUR WALKING TOUR
St. Barthélemy, St. Barth, or St. Barts as the island is variously spelled seemed to beckon us into a self-guided walking tour. French-speaking, a promenade along the shore, a Swedish Bell Tower, an Anglican Church, and a Catholic Church Notre Dame Assumption. We enjoyed the walk and took a bunch of photos before heading back to the ship. The Tender for this port was a tender mercy, not a bouncy-bouncy thrill ride like Tortola.
Outside the Anglican Church we met Anne Clark from New Hampshire who was on our cruise. Inside the church there were two people taking down the large creche in the corner. The creche was built into the base of a hillside with small houses and topped with a lighthouse, obviously a model of St. Barth island itself. Along the shopping street Del spotted an brightly-colored ladies shoe with 8" spikes, and insisted we take a photo for our friend Maddie who is decorating several dozen ladies shoes for throws for her ride in the Muses parade, an all-lady Carnival Krewe.
A T-shirt in a shop window proclaimed the virtue of the island, "Send me to St. Barts, Waves at my feet, sand in my toes, wind in my hair, sun on my face". I took a photo of the Lighthouse atop St. Barts with a large white crucifix right below it on the hill. Then I noticed a two-engine prop plane making a landing approach for the other side of mountain, looking like it was going to crash directly into the lighthouse and took a photo of it which I can share with you.
My other favorite photos are an Eastern kingbird on a wire with wonderful white and orange background, a honeybee hovering over a large red bloom, and some plumeria blooms. A very colorful island with a magnificent harbor.
When we came back to the ship, Del wanted to see "Nightcrawler" but due to technical difficulties the Hollywood Theater had substituted in an amazing bit of serendipity, "Hector and the Search for Happiness."
This is a marvelous movie about an unhappy psychiatrist blowing away the walls of his office and going off across the world in search of happiness. The show in the Galaxy Theater lataer starred Roger Wright who did sexy but otherwise vanilla covers of songs and only excelled when he did one or two of his original songs.
ST. KITTS, OUR FERRY TO NEVIS
From the twelve excursions we had to choose from for the St. Kitts area, we decided to go to Nevis to view the Botanical Gardens, etal. The 30-minute ferry ride was a lot smoother than the un-Tender rides in Tortola harbor, and we enjoyed the view of the shore line of St. Kitts and the long view of Nevis with its volcano crater covered by a large cloud as we approached. Our first stop on land was at the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of America. How could a kid who grew up on this small island in the Lesser Antilles, closer to South America than North America come to such a prominent position in the newly liberated country of the US? Nothing on Nevis gave us the full story, which I learned from a Teaching Co. lecture years ago. Young Alexander got a job in the local custom house where he recorded the buying and selling of sugar cane and rum. Sugar was expensive to ship, but, made into molasses (to make later into rum in New England), it was very profitable. As we learned in the Lecture by Dr. Jay Wolff on Rum, Molasses, and Slavery, a three-way trade began with sugar cane made into molasses in West Indies, shipped to make into Rum in New England, then shipped to Africa to buy slaves to bring to the West Indies to grow and harvest sugar cane to turn into molasses. Alexander as a youth of only 9 was recording the transactions in the West Indies which required him to know multiple languages and convert money from various currencies into each other. This experience of dealing with many countries, languages, cultures, and currencies was what made him the ideal candidate for the Treasurer of the new United States.
In the courtyard of his museum on Nevis, Del spotted a pigeon in a shady tropical tree and I took a couple of photographs of it. When we went inside the museum, there was an exhibit of the various flora and fauna which showed the same pigeon that was outside in the tree, it was actually a Zenaida Dove, with a rust-color and orange legs. From across the street, barbeque smells filled my nostrils, so I walked over and saw this large native, looking just like Shaquille O'Neal who came from the West Indes, with a long apron on tending an outdoor BBQ pit. He grinned a big Shaq smile as I took his photo. He was grilling pork and chicken in his pit for the small café attached to the deck just off the street.
We left in the bus for the Botanical Garden and spent about an hour there, walking around looking at the unique flowers and trees. One plant we are familiar with, the epiphyte family bromeliad, filled acres of space in the large gardens — used as a ground cover. The ground level atmospheric conditions year round on Nevis must be close to that of the 300-400 foot level of Brazilian rain forests to which bromeliads are native. These bromeliads could be planted into the ground and left there to grow and multiply apparently. One extraordinary tree was the Hedgehog or Indian Beech, Gmelina philippensis, which produced cylindrical flower heads three or more feet long which hung down like broom handles from the tree, producing a flower at the very bottom of each stalk. To get a photo I had to turn my camera upside down and hope for the best.
Another oddity was a fruit that looked like a large gourd hanging down from the African Sausage Tree. Seems that this fruit is a favorite of the African hippotamus who gets drunk as the fruit ferments in its belly. Apparently natives made a beer from the fruit of this tree.
The family who originally built this garden brought a lot of statues from India and Thailand and these small statues are blended into the garden. I recognized Ganesh the Indian god, and other ones looked like Shiva and various sattvas.
The other unique tree, our guide called the "graffiti tree" because if you wrote on its flat leaf, a scar would form which would remain for seven years. The tree's Description Placard called it the Autograph Tree or Pitch Apple of the family clusiaceae, a native to Nevis. Here was another unique plant that I had never heard of. One could read the dates and names of people who have visited the tree. Thankfully the Botanical Garden allowed people to write on the tree! I added my own Date Glyph Autograph to one of the leaves so that if we visit Nevis within seven years, my leaf with its unique Jan. 9, 2015 gylph will still be hanging there. Writing on the leaf takes several days to become dry and visible, so I didn't bother to photograph the leaf. It was hard to find a blank leaf and Joseph Clusia helped hold the leaf down for me to write upon it. We could easily see the pitch apple fruit, but I challenged Joseph to find a blooming flower, and sure enough he did. In the photo you can see Joseph's hand holding the bloom still for me to photograph.
The garden had a couple of cages with bright green parrots and I got a shot of one of them. Our guide mentioned that monkeys were native to the area, so I asked what kind of monkeys, and she said, "green velvet monkeys".I tried unsuccessfully to imagine what a "green velvet" monkey might look like, but later on St. Maarten, I saw a green velvet monkey for sale in a kiosk, nicely stuffed, covered in green velvet, with a racy short-brimmed cap set right on top of his eyes, reminding me a bit of our grandson Gabe when he visited us for Christmas a few weeks ago. So I bought it. It had these long arms with velco tips, but the arm were too long to attach him on my shoulder, so I finally put him around my neck and the arms fit together perfectly. I called him, Minky, and even let him sip a bit of my strawberry daiquiri in a nearby café. Later as I told this story about the "green velvet" monkey, some woman said the guide meant to say, "green vervet" monkey, (the African Green Monkey) of which Nevis has a large population. The green vervet is not green, but tan with a black face, vegetarians and their human-like genetic characteristics make them very useful in biomedical research. Another unique tree was the Cacao or Chocolate, Theobroma cacao, steculiaceae family, which had several dark orange chocolate pods hanging down.
For refreshment we were served an iced drink made from a deep blue flower native to Nevis. The refreshment area had a second story with a large porch used for a bar and restaurant. One of the waiters there obliged us by taking our photo with the sea in the background.
When our bus returned to the Nevis harbor, there were several frigate birds sailing around. These large birds are instantly recognizable by their large size, long wings, and split tail. We observed a sight we might see down in Venice, Louisiana, a man cleaning fish and several pelicans waiting for him to discard the carcass which will still have edible meat on the bones and the pelicans won't have to use up calories searching and diving for their supper.
Speaking of supper, we arrived back in time to eat at Table 90 with our friends, after which we met Jim and Jeannie in the Galaxy for "Across the Pond" — a British-themed show by the Crystal Ensemble of Singers & Dancers who never fail to impress and entertain, even when it's a show we have seen on other cruises. Often the costumes are different, the dancers are different, but the high quality of performance is always maintained.
ST. LUCIA VIEWED FROM THE SHIP
After three islands three days in a row, we decided to sit this one out and relax aboard ship. We signed up for the Butterfly Farm on St. Maarten the next day, and took this day of rest. I got a few photos of the island of St. Lucia, including a mansion on shore. I went up on the Sun Deck where I could take a 360 degree photo almost (except for the bridge of the Serenity). Saw a couple with skimpy bathing suits, the gal wearing nine inch heels, and both enjoying the sun. Got a photo of Terry who joined our table one night and will stay on the Serenity until May as his World Tour begins when we arrive back in Miami.
This was the day I received a request for feedback from the President of Crystal Cruise Lines and I blasted the Computer University at Sea gang. I had wasted three or four hours that morning and on previous days trying to get logged onto the WiFi system. I had specifically asked the gal down there to get me connected to the ships LAN directly. I had even brought my own Ethernet connector, but she looked at me straight in the face and lied to me, whether on purpose or not, I don't know. I said I'd like to connect to LAN outlet in my stateroom. "It doesn't work," she said. So I gave up that possibility. After lambasting their service in the feedback form, I got a call from the Head of the Computer University and we met in the Bistro and talked for an hour.I explained to him three things I liked about the Crystal's Internet: 1) the plan with the 10 free hours connect time, one hour a day was enough for my work, 2) No longer having to guess how much time and buying more than I wanted because it was cheaper and having time left over, 3) Once I got connected it worked slow, but minimal breaks in connection. Then I explained my frustrating experience trying to just get logged on. The gal had told me my stateroom was too far forward on the ship for the WiFi signal. Another likely lie, as I had the same difficulty in the Bistro a few steps away from the Computer University lab. I asked why I couldn't just use the LAN connection in my stateroom.Guess what? He said that I could and that he would send a technician to hook me up to the LAN connection which was located to the side of the TV set. Great! I saw that connection, but had been told it was not a working connection. Turns out the shipwide LAN does work and when I returned to my room, all the problems I had earlier with connecting went away. Too bad it took me until 3/4s of the way through the cruise to be told this.
At night we met up with Jim and Jeannie in the Tastes specialty restaurant. By the time our Welsh-born waiter finished reeling off how the Tastes's menu and service delivery worked I was wishing I had gone to a McDonalds for a simple Big Mac. Somehow we survived the barrage of dishes and each of the four of us found something to eat and enjoy. Overall the Tastes concept is much too high-maintenance to my taste! I skipped the show in the Galaxy to do some photo processing and website maintenance in the stateroom, but went down for the last ten minutes or so of the show. Didn't see Del down at the end of the row till the lights came on.
SINT MAARTEN & SAINT-MARTIN — BUTTERFLY FARM
This morning began with an amazing early morning rainbow display off the Lido deck while we were eating breakfast. I rushed out with my camera to try to capture the rainbow. It was too wide for one shot and in my excitement I forgot the panorama capability of my new camera. With the slight movement of the ship as we entered the harbor, I doubt it would have worked well, but I managed great shots of the rainbow where the left end entered the water and the right sat on top of a jutting piece of land. This photo was composed from two photos to show the full rainbow going from the sea to the land.
To understand this dual country, imagine a small island of 37 square miles about divided in two with one half a Dutch country and the other half a French country. Our bus driver joked with us as we approached the border between the two countries, "Get your passports ready".Of course we didn't have to stop or undergo an inspection. These two countries operate together and separately as smoothly as gin and tonic do. In fact, gin played a part in dividing up the land. The Dutch and French armies met at Oyster Pond for a drink, the Dutch imbibing Jenever gin and the French cognac and water, and then each side chose a representative to walk around the island in opposite directions. When they met a line was drawn to the place they started from and that has been the boundary ever since. The French side must have been better fortified by the cognac and their side came out with 21 square miles and the Dutch got only 16 squares miles, but a deal is a deal.
No need to have Dutch gilders or French euros as the American dollar is accepted on both sides. We boarded our bus and headed to the Butterfly Farm. It is a working farm in which butterfly chrysalises are collected and nurtured until the butterflies emerge into the large net-covered area. Someone asked how do the nets survive hurricanes and the farmer explained that the nets will allow the wind to blow through them and the only damage sustained comes from pieces of debris from nearby roofs and trees.
He gave us the names of many of the butterflies and pulled out the chrysalis of various species to show us. The Monarch chrysalis seems to be wearing a crown, which is perhaps where its name came from. The large green caterpillar, which I spotted several of, belongs to some large Asian lunar moth, as I recall him saying.
You can see many of the butterflies fluttering around the pages of this DIGESTWORLD Issue, but there won't be room to include them all. Del was so busy snapping photos of butterflies that she almost missed the bus back to the ship. On the trip back, our bus passed some wild iguanas who were in the tops of trees we were traveling on a road above and it was possible to see several large iguanas at a time. Unfortunately due to the speed of the bus, taking a clear photograph was not possible, but the light orange body of the iguana was easy to spot.
After we left the Butterfly Farm we drove back to the French side, Saint-Martin, and made a rest stop in an open parking lot and market area. I asked the bus driver when we got out where the rest rooms were and he pointed to a walkway through the middle of a long building. I walked up to that area and no signs. I asked a woman and she said, "Walk through here, turn left, and across the street." So I walked and when I got through the building, there was no street, just the other side of building which went to right and far to the left a couple hundred feet. And no one else to ask. Befuddled, I walked towards the distant street which had a pink stucco long building across it. There were no signs just a dark entrance in the middle. As I walked closer I noticed in the dark alcove an even darker woman sitting on a stool who was singing a song about Charlie, not a very interesting song, just Shar-lee in French over and over, sounding like "oui are Shar-lee". And sure enough in an abundance of understatement there, above her head in the dark upper corner of the alcove was a tiny blue sign with an outline of a man in white and an arrow pointing to the right. There hidden in plain sight was the Men's Room.As I exited later, I figured out that the singing mademoiselle was singing in English, not French, but with a French pronunciation, "We are Charlie", in honor of the attack on the French Newspaper in Paris the day before. Being on the cruise ship is like being in a news vacuum. Crystal had stopped delivering paper newspapers, expecting people to view their home newspapers on-line in their cabins. Sure! If only the WiFi could be logged into! Besides Del and I were on vacation and we never watched any news channels on the TV. I had heard of the attack but was surprised to find this solitary woman on an island distant from France singing the chant about Charlie.
Still thinking about the "green velvet monkey" from the Botanical garden on Nevis, I happened to see a stuffed green velvet monkey for sale at a kiosk and bought it for full price, no haggling, which must have inspired the seller to offer me a colorful Sint Maarten Handbag for half of its $10 price. Del said she didn't want it, but I couldn't pass up a bargain like that and she finally acceded and walked away with her new prize. I think we enjoyed this island more than all the other islands. Its colorful sign with its name in bright pink in the city center. Its sandy beaches and its people.
Del and I found a small café in which we bought ourselves each a strawberry smoothie. By this time, I had acquired my Minky and had him ensconced around my neck peeking forward. His position inspired me to offer him a sip of my drink and I asked Del to take a photo of Minky sipping his monkey daiquiri. On the way back to bus, I noticed a sign pointing to Carrental, obviously a nearby city, a bronze of Peg-leg Pete (Peter Stuyvesant), and Bobby's Marina. My name seems to be popular in the islands because I remember on Tortola a Bobby's Market. See Photos below in this Issue.
We ate in the Main Dining Room at Table 90, glad to be back where my drink arrives a minute after I sit down and the menu is easily recognizable and I can order from it without 15 minutes of instruction. After dinner we went to the Galaxy to enjoy Pianotainment®, the dual-piano stylings of Stephan Weh and Marcel Dorn. They played one piano with their four hands hopping all over the place. Indescribable, words fail me, except I can say this: if you have a chance to see these two perform, you will be delighted. The next day I saw the two of them sitting at a table for near us, so I asked them, "Do you eat off each other's plate?" Their smile seemed to indicate that they likely treated pianos and plates very much alike. Someone reported watching them practice in music room of the Serenity the day after their performance. Clearly they must practice together as their music production seamlessly flows from one to the other as if they were fours hands attached to one body.
SEA DAY ONE: HEADING BACK HOME
Five islands in five days, and now a day of rest as the Crystal Serenity heads back towards Miami. The sea was definitely calmer than on the way out and Del and I slept late and enjoyed a luxurious day without a lot to do. I spent a lot of time processing photos and on-line checking on my web-site statistics in the stateroom, thankful to finally have an easy Internet connection and more hours left than I can actually use. One hour day was ample for me, but those first six days before I got a LAN connection were mostly wasted signing on and off and not knowing which it was. Usually I just shutdown the Laptop and hoped I wasn't signed on. Today the Palm Court paid tribute to Mozart and during its afternoon Tea, all the servers were dressed in 18th Austrian Royal attire. I arrived too late to see the full regalia but time enough to enjoy some cucumber sandwiches, scone with strawberries and whipped cream, some Darjeeling Tea, and take a couple of photos.
We enjoyed dinner at Table 90 again with our Nebraska neighbors and new German friends, Wolfgang and Sabine. Afterward we went to the Captain's Reception and Crystal Society Party where they introduced the members with multiple cruises. We had received our five-cruise pin with an emerald in it and it was announced that there were sixty-five of us Five-Timers aboard. Mama Lee was introduced with her over 300 cruises and she is now a permanent resident on the Serenity.The Cruise Director Rick Spath mentioned that he had reboarded after his break ashore. It was a few days after the Serenity had been to Casablanca and when he saw Mama Lee, he asked her how she enjoyed Casablanca. Her response was, "We were in Casablanca?" If you cruise long enough, every port is just another wonderful day aboard the ship. Mama Lee was probably teaching her needlepoint during that day, one of her favorite things to do. After feting the Society Members, the Crystal Sextet played dance music and Del and I danced a few times before we headed down for the evening show in the Galaxy called "Curtain Call." While waiting for the show to start, Del and I asked two gals sitting next to us if they might twins and sure enough, they were, identical twins, in fact. Del had identical twin boys so we could spot twins a mile away. I asked one of them if they ever dated each other's boy friend without telling him, and I got a sheepish look and took that as a yes. Told them how when Del's twins were born, she observed them moving their opposite hands in synchronism for the first couple of hours after birth.When Jim moved his right hand up, John moved his left hand up. Later at age 40 or so, Jim showed up at Thanksgiving having cut himself shaving under the left side of his nostril and John later showed up with a cut under the right side.
The "Curtain Call" show was filled with music and dance numbers with reprises of Broadway Shows. We had seen this one on a previous Crystal Cruise, but it was exceptionally well-done and sparkling entertainment. It began with songs from "Chicago" and all that jazz, and followed with other musicals, usually featuring lesser known musical numbers, but all of them entertaining. I felt like I was coming down with a cold, so we hit the sack right after the show was over.
SEA DAY TWO: LAST DAY AT SEA
The last day on a cruise is always bittersweet. Saying goodbyes to new friends and packing up suitcases to place outside the stateroom before going to bed. Del and I woke up late again and ate a little breakfast on the Lido Deck My cold was getting a bit worse, but I felt well enough for a small magic trick at dinner with our full crew at Table 90. I was hoping that Shawn McMasters the magician might walk by the table and if he did, I planned to hold my black hat up high and say, "Shawn, do your stuff!" At which point I imagine he would see the colorful monkey in the hat and pull it out with a flair! But absent Shawn, I waited for a good moment, pulled my hat quickly upward with my left hand, raised my right hand into it and pulled out Minky, my green velvet monkey to the surprise and delight of everybody but Del who had observed me walking into the dining with my hat under my arm and suspected what I had planned. Got a great photo from Lori Schott of me with Minky hanging around my neck at Table 90.
After dinner, Del was heading for the new show Illuminate: The Tourist, which promised to lots of flashing lights in the dark and a lot of loud noise, er, music, but with my head cold, neither sounded very attractive to me and the combination absolutely obnoxious. If it were a good show, I would see it on some future cruise. I headed for bed and passed a blessed sleep as my body literally burnt off the effects of the cold. By the next morning I was feeling better and ready to head for home.
HOME AGAIN, HOME AGAIN, FIXITY-FIX
No less than six things had to be done when we arrived back from our cruise. The plumber finally located the toilet seat for our bathroom and called while we were gone. We scheduled them to come as soon as we arrived home and had unpacked. One down. Next the new dishwasher to replace our old one (which has been leaving water on our dishes and not working very well) needed to be delivered and installed. The delivery happened on the 23rd and installation is scheduled for the 28th. The security system had a Fail Code while we were gone and this necessitated the installation of a new 4G cell phone and that was completed on the 23. The roof inspector during his performance of a semi-annual inspection noted a minor problem which needs to be addressed. The Pest Control man came to spray.. Our ice maker showed a Red Light for Cleaning necessary before we left and I bought the cleaner and finished that job on the 23rd also. And my camera which broke its display during a fall needs to be sent off for warranty repair The camera was the least urgent and will be done shortly. Just another month in the life of a homeowner, don't you think?
Speaking of which, I am also a car owner and my 2000 Maxima which I love has been causing me problems with the ignition switch. Some mechanical piece inside the switch has prevented me from turning the key to start the car from time to time. I keep waiting for it to completely break, but the last time it took me almost ten minutes to finally get the car started, so I may have to take it in and take my chances that they can fix it. Anyone have a similar problem among my Good Readers, please drop me a note as to how you came out with getting it resolved.Update: My own driving a car started in 1955 when the steering wheel was independent of the ignition switch. Some old trucks even had a foot pedal starter separate from the ignition switch. In my Maxima the steering wheel won't turn until the ignition switch has been rotated. The two mechanical items must be interconnected physically in some form. Some release mechanism must be actuated by turning the ignition switch. That mechanism must also work in the opposite direction, makes sense? Therefore, trying to turn the steering wheel can push the ignition switch interlock mechanism to one side and cause it to jam and be unable to rotate and start the car. Since this problem only appeared in my car after ten years and 124,000 miles, it is likely due to some flexing over time of the interlock mechanism. Upshot is this: if I'm careful about not moving the steering wheel when I get into or out of the car, the ignition switch should not get stuck in the OFF position again. This is a handy work-around and needs another month or so of testing before I can be sure I have found the solution. It has worked for about 4 days and yesterday, I grabbed the steering wheel slightly by mistake and the switch stuck momentarily. That fortuitous incident confirmed my suspicions of the cause of the sticking. Hope this information helps someone else with their balky ignition switch. This morning it stuck until I gently moved the steering wheel to one side and then the ignition switch released.
LAST MINUTE EVENTSOur good friend Lavell Isbell died this past week after a long illness. We've known him since 1977 when Del and I first met because he was a friend of Del's parents, living across the street from them on Timberlane Road. Each Christmas or other special event, the Isbells came across the street to visit. When we moved into the Timberlane Road house, Lavell was our across the street neighbor.We went to many events at the Boston Club West where Dick and Lavell were both members. And now it was time to say goodbye to our long-time friend, Lavell. Our grandson Sam heard about the funeral and drove over from across the lake to attend the funeral with us. Unfortunately Del had caught the cold that I had, but was about a week behind me and wasn't feeling good enough to attend the funeral so Sam came along with me. I put the address for the small St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Algiers in my GPS and it couldn't find it. I switched the city name to New Orleans (which Algiers is part of) and it found the church, well, it found a location anyway. When Sam and I arrived at the destination marked on the GPS, there were only small homes on a bumpy street. Drove around the block and couldn't find even a steeple. Finally heading back the only one of the four directions we hadn't tried, i saw a guy in camos heading out to hunt and asked him. He said to keep straight ahead and you'll find it. We did. During the homily the Pastor thanked us for coming and admitted his was a difficult church to find, "The best kept secret on the West Bank" he added. After the funeral mass, Sam and I went to DiMartino's for a couple of poor boys for lunch. Del's feeling much better and we're planning to attend the Super Bowl party at Timberlane Country Club this coming Sunday evening.IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING
The past 31 days of this New Year has been a month of cold, sometimes rainy days, most of which we missed while we were cruising in the Caribbean, but with a couple of cold fronts coming our way, the second half of January was rather frigid, which for us is highs in the 50s. This coming month of February will be the month of the Super Bowl followed by our Mardi Gras celebrations. We have Mardi Gras balls and parades to look forward to in February while other parts of the country may be frozen over with snow and ice. At least the Super Bowl won't have worry about bad weather in its Arizona location this year. Our Japanese Magnolia tree is already showing its colorful blooms, and we expect our azaleas, and other flowering bushes and fruit trees to being showing color by the end of February. Till we meet again in the windy, but Spring-like days of March, God Willing and the River Don't Rise, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it blustery or balmy,
Remember our earnest wish for this new year of 2015:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-FIFTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
Three Quotes by Ronald Reagan [40th United States president, 1980-88]
Americans have been taught to know when opportunity knocks, but the Democrats seem determined to knock opportunity.
I have learned to have faith in you, the people, and I envision a leadership as president taking government off your backs and turning you loose to do what I know you can do best. (Said prior to his election in 1980)
The current tax code is a daily mugging.New Stuff on Website:
Kids Do the Darnest Things, even into their Thirties:From Flowers of Shanidar, A 1990 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
Recently, I went to McDonald's and I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I Asked for a half dozen nuggets.
'We don't sell half dozen nuggets,' said the teenager at the counter.
'You Don't?' I replied.
'We Only sell six, nine, or twelve,' was the reply.
'So I Can't order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?'
So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets.
To Read Five More of These Stories Click Here!
INTRODUCTIONIn 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. (Note: scientists with no apparent interest in the evolution of consciousness have tried to evaporate away the meaning of these pollen grains. I pity them.)
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 Matherne's 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 a poem or two each month until all poems have been published on-line. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne) The rest of the five poems come from Bobby's 1995 book of poetry, Rainbows & Shadows, all of which will be published for the first time on-line.
1. Chapter: Hollyhocks
Wildflower No. 11
Don't be like the guy who went to Antoine's Restaurant, ate the menu and complained about the taste.
La Cuisine Cannibale
le fricassee' d'ennemi
How was the enemy, dear?
The gases are spewing
The atmosphere's brewing
The greenhouse is stewing
It's the fearmongers' doing.
2. Chapter: Hyacinths
Did you ever think about
What leads to a thought
And how a thought leads to talk?
In the mind can you find
A thought so good and kind
That you would want to bend an ear
Of anyone who is standing near?
No matter if the time is right
The words will catapult right out.
Ready or not, Armageddon comes,
The flood of words engulfs our minds,
And, treading water as the tale unwinds,
We listen less well than we ought.
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 month we read
A good mountain is one
that you can see
and don't have to climb.
One where your spirit soars free
time after time.
The experience of peak
may be where it's at
But for getting around
it's best when it's flat.
A mountain can be a bore —
always in one place —
A mountain that moves
is more to my taste.
There is a feeling
When I see a mountain
on yonder horizon,
But that feeling seems
When the mountain
yet draws near.
On the prettiest day
that God has made
Everyone could use
a little shade
So pardon me the gloat
if a mountain
Over me should float
to offer coolness from the sky
And holy water if it's dry.
4. Chapter: Shadows5. Chapter: Violets
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).
This month we read
You cannot be unfairly treated —
the belief you are being
Is but another form
of the idea that
you can be deprived
Other than yourself.
Wildflower No. 12
Thoughts while eating grapes:
twisting the green ovoids from the stem —
just like space habitats will twist and
break away from their stems
to seed the galaxies.
... "What kind of world would this be
if everyone in it were just like me?" — Ron Wiley
... "Tell 10 people your dream,
9 of them will discourage you
and 1 of them will steal it." — Ron Wiley
New Stuff on the Internet:
- The Story of Three Sisters from NEW "Old-Timers" Tidbit:
Click Here for more Old-Timers Stories. Click Here to read Tidbits.
Three sisters ages 92, 94 and 96 live in a house together. One night the 96 year old draws a bath. She puts her foot in and pauses. She yells to the other sisters, "Was I getting in or out of the bath?" The 94 year old yells back, "I don't know. I'll come up and see." She starts up the stairs and pauses "Was I going up the stairs or down?" The 92 year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, "I sure hope I never get that forgetful, knock on wood." She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's at the door."
To my car geek friends or for those of you old enough to remember cars you grew up with, this is a link to all the old American car brochures. Seeing them is a trip back in time. There are cars your parents or yourself had owned. Written and Sent by Jeff Parsons
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."Into the Storm" (2014) start this movie and you can't stop watching it! Makes the earlier "Tornado" movie look like a walk in the park by comparison. Gripping, heart-rending, like a roller coaster ride from hell. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Jersey Boys" (2014) Clint Eastwood made the scattered Broadway musical into a coherent and fun movie with excellent singing and the cadence at the end with the dancing in the streets was too delightful to miss, so call this one: A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"November Man" (2014) Peirce Brosnan gets his Bond chops back as he does this Jason Bourne stint. Like November, when he passes through, nothing is left alive.
"The Lego Movie" (2014) Everything is awesome! Enjoy the flux between play and reality, but beware the KRAGLE!
"Rudderless" (2014) is nothing to be proud of, unless it's name of your band. Billy Crudup stars in this movie about father whose son writes songs then kills six classmates in High School. The father loses a child, too, but gets scant sympathy from the other bereft parents. Blue and rudderless, he sings the blues as written by his son. A tough movie all the way through.
"The Harmonists" (1997) A sextet of harmonizing singer during the 1930s wowed audiences in Germany and the USA and whose music is still popular in Europe today. How will the Nazis accept that three are Jews? A songfest of sparklingly fresh and delightful performances, both tender and comical. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"The Identical" (2014) Imagine Elvis Presley had an identical twin he didn't know about with equal singing ability and dancing moves. With this movie you can hear brand new songs from the Elvis era composed for this movie. Fresh, new, and exciting. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Hector and the Search for Happiness" (2014) This is a marvelous movie about an unhappy psychiatrist blowing away the walls of his office and going off across the world in search of happiness. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
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."Attack the Block" (2011) DVD and stomp it with your feet before anyone else gets sucked into watching any of this horrible, dark ET-eats-the-residents-of-his-new-home movie. A DVD STOMPER ! ! ! !
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:"The Two Faces of January" (2014) with Viggo and Kristin Dunst as free-spending Americans in Athens attracting a lot of attention and a private eye looking to recover money Viggo swindled his clients out of. Nothing good can come out of such a situation, can it? Perhaps with a better script a good movie might have come out of it.
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (2014) prequel to the Charlton Heston classic showing apes just learning short three word sentences to go with their gesture language. Ape won't kill ape morphs quickly into ape will trick ape into thinking humans killed ape. Darwin-approved fairy tale about apes becoming human.
"Snowpiercer" (2013) is a train running continuously around the world which has frozen solid and all life is dead except in the train. Seems the global warming freaks tried to cool the planet and overshot by a 100 degrees. They got paid for their folly. Can mankind survive in close quarters with an ancient hierarchical coercive bureaucracy in the train? Or in the whole world? Too soon to tell.
"The Interview" (2014) a spoof of Evil Empire folly with lots of foul language mixed up with occasional real humor. Nothing to text your BFF about.
"Calvary" (2014) not about the Old West but the hill of Crucifixion which is what Brendan Gleeson is heading for inexorably during the last week of his life. An Irish priest dealing with more characters than a Sid Caesar spoof, revealing his past life and the lives of the small village whose confessions he rarely hears, because mostly people want to talk in his confessional.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
4. STORY: "A Good Boudreaux Joke"
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Tee Paul, my brother in Opelousas, has given me several Cajun jokes over the years which I have subsequently transcribed for my Good Readers into this section. This month we were visiting with Paul and Joyce at their home and I decided to video Paul telling the joke so that I might transcribe it later. After viewing it several times and getting Tee Paul's persmission, I have loaded it to YouTube so that you might hear and see him telling it to me and Del for yourself. Hope you enjoy hearing it directly from the "horse's mouth." Bobby
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Easy Open of V-8 Vegetable Juice 6-Packs for Fridge
5.Household Hint for February, 2015 from Bobby Jeaux:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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Background on Easy Open Procedure:
Back a year or so when V-8 Six-packs were attached by plastic rings, I would have to pull hard to remove all six cans before placing them into the fridge, 2 or 3 at a time. When V-8 began the all-over wrap, I discovered a quick way of freeing the six cans while making it easy to transport all six directly to the refrigerator in one hand, all at one time. The photo at right shows the opened Six Pack with each can ready to be retrieved, one at a time. Total time for this preparation is about 20 seconds.
One Six Pack of V-8
One Cutco serrated-edge kitchen knife. (or equivalent)
Place Six Pack on cutting board.
Begin at far end, slice through the top only all the way to the front. Then lift the Six Pack with left hand, open door with right hand, and place Six Pack on shelf. Carefully move the left and right edges of the slit top wrapping outwards, and you are done.
If you have one or two cans left from previous Six Pack on the shelf in the fridge, move them aside and after placing new Six Pack, place previous cans in front of new Six Pack so they will used first.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from his Journal, Saturday, November 29, 2014:
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Thoughts on No Where, No When, No How:
We have no where
But now here
in the middle of eternity.
We have no when
But now hen
resting on our nest egg
in the middle of eternity.
We have no how
But in stark singularity
in the middle of eternity.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for February:
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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 as short blurbs in early DIGESTWORLD ISSUES, so the full reviews will be of interest to our new Good Readers. We will begin publishing in full my reviews of Rudolf Steiner's series of 8 books on Karmic Relationships, one each month until we're done. 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 long Reviews, possibly lacking footnotes and some quoted passages. For your convenience, if you wish to read the full review or to print it out, simply CLICK on the Book Cover or choose Printer Ready option on the top line of a review page when it opens.
1.) ARJ2: Karmic Relationships, Volume 1, GA# 235 by Rudolf Steiner
We not only live in our body, we live in our karma.
— Rudolf Steiner
Just as these are the pages on which this review is written, so are we the pages upon which our karma is written. In this book and the seven that follow it (Volumes 2-8) Rudolf Steiner teaches us to read the pages of our karma. It's likely that as few people will read the pages of this review as will read the pages of their individual karma. We all have our individual book of karma, but unless one takes it down from the shelf, opens it, reads its contents carefully, and understands it with comprehension, one's book of karma will remain a mystery. In these esoteric studies as the subtitle calls them, Steiner helps us to comprehend the contents of our book of karma.
To help explain this, it will be helpful to consider a couple of examples of unconscious behavior. First consider a simple stage hypnosis example: someone hypnotizes us, gives us amnesia, and while we're under trance, changes one of the shoes on our feet. Later, when we awake we're wearing one black and one white shoe, and we have no explanation for it. That's a metaphor for how we come into this life: we arrive with things that don't seem to make sense because we have no consciousness recall of them happening. Steiner points out that our plans for this life happen during the period between death and a new birth, which is unconscious to us now. Thus he gives us a hint as to why we may have one black and one white shoe on: it was something that we, as the hypnotist, did to ourselves during a period of which we have no consciousness now.
In the next example I'm using Jane Roberts' experience channeling Seth and her husband's shorthand notes as a metaphor to make a point about encrypting and decoding as it applies to our ability or inability to read our individual book of karma. I could have used any other trance metaphor, but I wanted a writing one. When I put the words "deep trance" in italics I do so to point out that I'm not talking literally about a trance state, but trance as a metaphor for our unconscious condition [to us now] of our state between death and a new birth.
The pages of karma are written while we are in a deep trance, similar to that of Jane Roberts when she channeled her Seth books. Only after her husband Robert Butts had transcribed his shorthand notes into typewritten pages, could Jane read what Seth had said aloud using her body as his instrument. Jane couldn't read Robert's shorthand, so she needed help, a translation into typewritten form before she could comprehend Seth's words.
The deep trance we are in while we write our book of karma is the time we spend between death and a new birth. We arrive new-born in our present body which is the outer form of our individual book of karma, and when we open or examine the book, we find that it's filled with indecipherable shorthand notes. Many people quickly slam their book closed again in disgust, saying, "Man, that's meaningless! If it was I that wrote it, why can't I read it?" For others, they study the various means of encoding information, hoping to learn to decode the encrypted script. Note how the words we use describe the unconscious process:
en - crypted — sealed as if in a crypt from the light of day
This is a very apt way of describing how the results of one's previous lifetime have survived into one's present life. Sealed into the crypt of one's living body is the dead body of our past deeds in previous lifetimes. Just as an architect's drawing for a house is dead — not a living thing, but mere stationary scratches on paper — so also is the contents of one's book of karma a fixed unmoving recording on the paper of our body. And just as the architect's dead scratches on paper are brought to a living reality by a contractor who, using the drawing and available building materials, constructs a house, so also is the dead contents of our book of karma brought to life by our threefold human aspects of thinking, feeling, and will.
When one builds a new house one builds on the experience in one's present house and all the previous houses in which one has lived. One consults an architect and explains one's requirements, and the architect draws up the plans. When the plans are ready, a contractor is hired, and the contractor directs and assists the carpenters in the use of the building material to construct a sturdy, livable house that matches the requirements as you gave them to the architect.
Ponder this question: "Will you feel constrained by some perceived loss of free will when you move into this new house?" Consider your answer to this question in relation to your conception of how karma impacts free will. We will return to this question later.
Another question: "When you move into this new house, will you be pleased with the new facilities?" Certainly, after all, this new house was designed based on your experience in all your previous houses, using the best architects, contractors, carpenters, and building materials that heaven allowed. You have provided your new house with inner comfort so as to minimize discomfort and provide for your well-being in the house. You have directed your architects to consider the events and experiences you wish to have in the house — and the architects constitute the top of the hierarchy of your Building Task Force, the First Hierarchy. Your contractors are concerned with your likes and dislikes in the building phase. As the Second Hierarchy of your Building Task Force, your contractors focus on your sympathies and antipathies as they proceed with the construction. Next comes the interior decorators who advise you on how to choose the furnishings and decor of your home to maximize your sense of well-being while you're in the home. They comprise the Third Hierarchy of your Building Task Force and are most attuned to your sense of comfort or discomfort.
Hierarchy Spiritual Beings Functions House Metaphor 3 Angels, Archangels, Archai Well-being (comfort, discomfort) Interior Decorators 2 Powers, Mights, Dominions Sympathies, Antipathies Contractors 1 Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones Events, Experiences Architects
In this metaphor, a crude one, because not all things exactly fit, I have laid out for you the karmic plan for your present life. Above is Steiner's Table from page 40, with a column added for the Building Task Force under House Metaphor:
You might ask where is the owner in this set of hierarchies? The owner is you, me, our individual 'I' which is "in our Ego-organization, and lives over from an earlier earth life." (Page 40). Once we have moved into our new house for awhile, we tend to forget about the architects, the contractors, and decorators and just say it's my house, I built it, and we take personal credit for all the good stuff in it and blame the other stuff on lack of time or money, up until now. From now on we can give credit to the First, Second, and Third Hierarchies for faithfully executing the requirements that we gave them. Where did those requirements come from? From the way we lived our previous lifetime. It works in the following way during the time between death and rebirth:
[page 40-41] In this life between death and a new birth you have a strong consciousness of the fact: I have done harm to another man, and I am less perfect than I should be had I not done him harm. I must compensate for it. The impulse, the urge arises in you to compensate for the harm you have done. Or again, if you have done something to another that is for his good, that helps him, then you look upon what you have done and you say to yourself: That must serve to build the foundation for the general good, it must lead to further consequences in the world. All this you can inwardly develop. And it can give you a sense of well-being or of discomfort according as you form the inner nature of your body in the life between death and a new birth. It can lead you to sympathies and antipathies, inasmuch as you build and shape your astral body correspondingly, with the aid of the Powers, Mights, and Dominions.
[page 41] All this, however, will not give you the power to transmute what in a former life was merely a human fact, into a deed of the cosmos. You helped another human being or you harmed him. This must entail his meeting you in a next life on earth, and in the meeting with him you will have to find the impulse to balance-out the deed. . . To do so, those Beings are needed who transmute or metamorphose moral deeds into world-deeds, cosmic deeds. They are the Beings of the First Hierarchy: Seraphim, Cherabim, Thrones. It is they who transmute what goes out from us in one earthly life into our experiences of the next lives on earth. They work in the "events and experiences" in human life.
Now let's return to the question we raised earlier about free will. We find that Steiner says that "one should not ask about the freedom of the Will. The Will lies deep, deep down in the unconscious, and it is nonsense to ask about the freedom of the Will. It is only of the freedom of Thoughts that we can speak." (Page 42) And with one's Thoughts one can live freely only in the mineral world or kingdom, for in the plant, animal, and human kingdoms one is subject to destiny (karmic necessity) as shaped by the First, Second, and Third Spiritual Hierarchies.Rightly understood, just as the corpse of one's body is fully in the mineral kingdom, so also can the mineral kingdom be considered as the corpse of Gods (the Spiritual Hierarchy). Steiner says on page 43, "for this very reason, man can live in it (the mineral kingdom) as in the realm of his freedom." Thus comes the paradox of freedom: one can live freely only in the mineral kingdom, but one must also live in the plant, animal, and human kingdoms while on earth and these are subject to destiny or karmic balancing by the Spiritual Hierarchies that pervade them.
If we go backwards in time, backwards in incarnations, we come to a time when we had not fallen so far into the mineral kingdom and the difference between our life between birth and death and our life between death and a new birth was not so great as it is today. But, concomitant with the reduced difference was a dream-like state of consciousness unlike our current clear-cut consciousness tody. The theme of Rudolf Steiner's life may be summarized in this statement:
[page 49] What we are beginning quite consciously with Anthroposophy to-day — the penetration of the spiritual world into the normal consciousness of man — will indeed entail this consequence. Into the world which man lives through death and a new birth, the earthly world will also penetrate increasingly; and yet man's consciousness will not grow dream-like, but clearer and ever clearer.
Now consider the three-fold body of the human being in its thinking, feeling, and willing. Begin by letting the image of a human fetus stand before you. What is the prominent feature that strikes you first? The head — for in a small fetus the head is the largest visible structure. The head is the center of our nerves and senses, the most wide awake of our three-fold being. Look closely again at the small fetus shape and the next thing you notice is a red pulsing that pervades the living fetus, centered in the area that will become the chest. What you're seeing is the nascent heart in the chest that will house the rhythmic activity and bodily organs of the human body. In this portion of the body we find the feeling portion of our three-fold being, which is in a sleeping or dreaming state. "Our feelings have no greater intensity in consciousness than dreams." (Page 96) Next, if we observe closely, we find the tiny limbs of the fetus that constitute the willing portion of the three-fold being in its metabolic and motor organism. In the will, in our limbs, we find the most unconscious of our three-fold being. And there is where we find our karma, or as Steiner says, "Karma holds sway in our willing."
[page 99] Wide awake consciousness is the condition in which our ideas, our mental presentations, are. Dreaming is the condition in which our feelings are. Deep sleep (even in waking life) is the condition in which our volition is. We are asleep in our impulses of will, even in waking life.
In the ontogeny of the human being, the development proceeds from a head-dominated fetus structure to a fully developed mature human body atop which the head sits. Progressing through all the phyla, the tiny one-celled animal that is the fertilized egg is said to recapitulate the phylogeny of all the lower species on earth as its ontogeny is played out in the maturation of a single human being. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. But there is another process of evolution called neoteny in which the normal process of ontogeny is reversed. Instead of progressing to the next stage, juvenile features are retained in adulthood. Neoteny reverses ontogeny. It is thought by some that the future development of the human body will be by neoteny, and this process shows up interestingly in science fiction movies in which human beings from the distant future are depicted as having large heads in proportion to their bodies. Another way of saying this simply is that adult mutants tend to look like younger members of the same species.
In 1969 I attended a lecture by a prominent evolutionist, Garrett Hardin, at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. In his lecture he explained how seemingly minor biological changes can have disastrous effects given a long enough time. If we replace human organs, such as hearts, via transplants or mechanical devices, in humans who are still capable of reproduction, while this may be a humane thing to do on an individual basis, the evolutionary consequences are dramatic. Whatever the genetic basis for the defective heart, no matter how minor, the defective genes will survive to another generation. Continued over a long enough time frame the evolutionary consequences are that the typical human being of the future would be a motorized cart carrying a human brain, the only organ we would not be able to replace. It was a chilling picture, and one whose implications society has yet face some thirty years later. Will the future ontogeny of human beings include mechanical replacements for most of our organs and limbs?
Let us now relate the three hierarchies with the three-fold human body. The owner is our Ego, which Steiner says we bear "only in the outermost lobes of the brain." (Page 104). Directly below the outer lobes, what we call the neocortex, is the older or root brain and that's where we find the Interior Decorators of our house, the Third Hierarchy of Angels, Archangels, and Archai. From this root brain, memory rises to the neocortex into the light of consciousness in the form of ideation. Going further down, we come to our breast or chest region where we bear the Contractors of our house, the Second Hierarchy of Powers, Mights, and Dominions. Here is "the rhythmic organization, out of which the dreams of our Feeling life arise." "They are continually sending their currents, their impulses, the forces that go out from them, into the rhythmic organization of man." (Page 104) And lastly we come to limbs, our motor-organism, our metabolism, and there we find the Architects of our house at work, the First Hierarchy of Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones, and these Beings "are under necessity to form and mold the counter-images" of our deeds on this earth. (Page 106)
[page 107] Whether the things we do with one another are good or evil; for all that is good, for all that is evil, the Beings of the First Hierarchy must shape the corresponding counterparts.
And it is these counterparts that we experience as Fate, in which "is living what the corresponding Gods, those of the First Hierarchy, had to experience in their domain as the consequences of our deeds." We push the First Hierarchy into trials during this life which they balance and compensate for us in our next life. "Whatever the Gods prepare for us as our destiny in a subsequent life, they have lived it before us." (Page 109) During our life between death and a new birth we look upon a heaven in which the First Hierarchy plays out, lives through, what will be our destiny in our next life on earth.
In the latter part of the book, Steiner goes into details of famous men as they progress through several incarnations. Vischer, Nietzsche, Tacitus, Pliny, Emerson, Franz Schubert, and Eduard von Hartmann. He gives a famous quote from von Hartmann who is known as the originator of our modern concept of the unconscious.
[page 149] "First there was the religion of the Father, then the religion of the Son, and in the future there will come the religion of the Spirit."
In a curious paradox Steiner tells us that our head, which is so important during our earthly life, is of little importance after death because it is the most human part and expends itself during our life. The rest of our body, subordinate to the head during life, becomes more important to us during the inversion that occurs in the spiritual world.
[page 150] In his head, man is most of all physical and least of all spiritual. In the other members of his organism, in the rhythmic organization and in the limbs-organization, he is more spiritual. He is most spiritual of all in his motor organization, in the activity of his limbs.
Between incarnations there is a switchover that takes place between the parts of the body. What was in the body apart from the head works into the head of the next incarnation, and what was in the will in the head, works into the limbs in the next incarnation.
[page 150] A man who is lazy in his thinking in one incarnation will most certainly be no fast runner in the next: the laziness of thinking becomes slowness of limb; and vice versa, slowness of limb in the present incarnation comes to expression in sluggish, lazy thinking in the next.
Of Nietzsche Steiner says that "He used to write, you know, sometimes sitting but more often while walking, especially while going for long tramps." This reminds me of how I like to read and write during long automobile trips, usually while alone in the car.
The two streams from Asia of the Mohammedans and Turks were defeated by the Crusades, "the struggle waged against them by the warlike Christian population of Europe." What was the result of winning this "war" on the Christian population? The culture of the Mohammedans and Turks was absorbed into the culture of the European people — science, art, architecture, algebra, and much more.Once more we see an example of how a defeat on one level ends up as a victory on another level. In the United States, the Democrats defeated George Bush and the policies of Ronald Reagan in 1992, only to absorb the policies of limited government, elimination of welfare, and balanced budgets as part of their programs. In an interesting book How To Win the Business Battle I first encountered in 1964 the concept that one must choose in business [apparently in other areas of life as well] whether one wishes to implement an idea or get credit for an idea. The author's point is that the choices are mutually exclusive and the irredentist ideasman will quickly learn to give off an aura of someone who could never have an original idea but yet always seems to be around when a new idea pops up.
In a rare reference to the Anthroposophical Society, Steiner speaks on the dangers of opportunism, or the sacrificing of one's principles for expediency, like the Democrats in the Senate did in the United States during the 1999 Impeachment Trial of the president.
[page 170] Opportunism has, in sooth, wrought harm enough to the Anthroposophical Society; in the future there must be no more of it. And even if things have a paradoxical effect, they will henceforward be said straight out.
As for the unfolding of history, Steiner traces ideas as they surface and go underground between successive incarnations of the same human being and says that "we can also speak of a reincarnation of ideas." This concept mirrors R. G. Collingwood suggestion that "All history is the history of ideas."
If one is put off by Steiner's continual linking of one person's life to another's, Muavija to Woodrow Wilson, Haroud al Rashid to Francis Bacon, Tacitus to Emerson, etc, we need only consider the simple experiment that Steiner recommends to us: "pluck off a flower from a plant and imagine that it can exist by itself." If we perform that experiment thoughtfully we will come to see that a single human life cannot be understood in isolation any more than a flower makes sense apart from the stem, leaves, and root system of the plant that bore it. All of us in this lifetime are like the flower of our previous lifetimes rising to the sunlight of day in freedom. If we cry in dismay that we are rooted in one place to our destiny, that our leaves are the wrong size or shape, or that our stems are too thick, we must remember that we are the gardener that chose our root stock for this lifetime. May we all soon learn to love our roots and to cherish the freedom and light that infuses our life. Rightly understood, the house we built with the help of our Architects, Contractors, and Interior Decorators is a greenhouse in which we live, love, and have our being.
2.) ARJ2: An American Childhood by Annie Dillard
[page 3] When everything else has gone from my brain — the President's name, the state capitals, the neighborhoods where I lived, and then my own name and what it was on earth I sought, and at length the faces of my friends, and finally the faces of my family — when all this has dissolved, what will be left, I believe, is topology: the dreaming memory of land as it lay this way and that.
In this wonderful book Annie Dillard writes about the "dreaming memory of the land" and conjures up her past in this reader as his very own "dreaming memory." A memory of Ben Franklin's Pennsylvania when "a squirrel could run the long length of Pennsylvania without ever touching the ground." A memory of her beloved Pittsburgh in the 1950's.
If a book like this one ever gets in your head, you just gotta set out to see the territory that it portrays. Life on the Mississippi got into her father's head and he had to set out down the river. He never made it all the way to New Orleans, but his daughter grew up, woke up, and found herself at home in Pittsburgh. In the following metaphor she describes how consciousness converged with her at 10 years old:
[page 11] Like any child, I slid into myself perfectly fitted, as a diver meets her reflection in a pool. Her fingertips enter the fingertips on the water, her wrists slide up her arms. The diver wraps herself in her reflection wholly, sealing it at the toes, and wears it as she climbs rising from the pool, and ever after.
She was repulsed by the limp, coarse skin on her parents and grandparents.
[page 24] Adults were coming apart, but they never noticed nor minded. My revulsion was rude, so I hid it. Besides, we could never rise to the absolute figural splendor they alone could on occasion achieve. Our beauty was a mere absence of decrepitude; their beauty, when they had it, was not passive but earned; it was grandeur; it was a party to power, and to artifice, even, and to knowledge. Our beauty was, in the long run, merely elfin.
Annie grew to love books, particularly ones that swept her away. "When you open a book, anything can happen" her library's poster proclaimed. Some books were bombs that exploded in your head and others duds, she tells us. The only way to find out was "to throw yourself at them headlong, one by one." (page 83) Some of them "fell apart halfway through" such as Jude the Obscure: "Halfway through its author forgot how to write." But Dillard doesn't forget how to write — this book stayed at the top of my fun-book read-list for the summer, even though a six-week re-modeling of my house intervened to separate us. On page 85 she wrote, "Books swept me away, one after the other, this way and that." Below her words I wrote this short note:
Books sweep me away
carry me on a wave of surging delight or suspense.
Books start out swell, but often, like promising waves,
go flat just as the fun begins.
How wonderful the book that sweeps me away to myself again.
On the next page, her first sentence beckoned me to complete it with my own words:
"The interior life expands and fills,"
like the inside of a book, a work in progress.
First blank, then gradually its inner life expands
and fills the blank pages until it is ready
to release itself into the world.
The story of the Polyphemus moth is a central metaphor for Annie in her growing up. The cocoon in the mason jar opens to reveal this large moth, as big as a small mouse, whose wings could not unfurl because of the small jar, and "they hardened while still crumbled from the cocoon." They took the jar outside to let the moth go, and it began walking pendulously down the asphalt driveway on its tiny six legs, its broad wing-clumps heaving as it went. Later, grown-up and graduated, Annie remembered the moth as she walked down that driveway for the last time. Much of her time in school was like the moth's time in the mason jar.
The moth story reminded me of Rudolf Steiner's claim that the age of maturity is now about 27 years old — that is — unless one makes extraordinary efforts past the age of 27, one never matures further. Now I envision such a 27 years-matured, 63 year-old lawyer, doctor, or judge as a moth who never finished unfurling its wings, and I imagine the moth meets with its crumpled-wing peers in the 19th Hole of the country club, fresh from his six-legged crawl around the golf course.
If you enjoy pouncing on new words like swivet, plinth, and quondam, you'll love this book — as new words are apt to pop-up in unexpected places. Try using all three of them in a sentence just for kicks. "If your quondam friends get you in a swivet, go sit on a large plinth in the shade to cool off." If you enjoy a sparkling metaphor such as, "Now feelings lasted so long they left stains," you'll love this book.
Annie quotes C. S. Lewis about suffering: "There is plenty of suffering, but no one ever suffers the sum of it." I mis-read it as "no one suffers the lack of it." And the thought occurred to me: Ah! "No one suffers from the lack of suffering!" This is a marvelous self-evident tautology that qualifies for addition to Matherne's Rules. C. S. Lewis suffered a lot about suffering and I prefer to suffer from a lack of it.
[page 250] And still I break up through the skin of awareness a thousand times a day, as dolphins burst through seas, and dive again, and rise, and dive.
Yes, Annie Dillard still breaks up through the ocean-skin of awareness and splashes us with wet, salty life — she makes us "Feel life wipe our face like a big brush." (page 249)
Jack Kerouac in On the Road found a little bar in Mexico where, for once, he found the music loud enough. In New Orleans, the place Annie's father wanted to go, but never made it to, he wondered, "In New Orleans — if you could get to New Orleans — will the music be loud enough ?"
Yes, and even more.
3.) ARJ2: Friendly Invasion by Dan Turner
The 1956 movie, Friendly Persuasion, argues whether it's ever right for a Christian to engage in violence. Expanding this theme to an intergalactic scale, Dan Turner poses the question of whether it's right for an earthling to engage in violence against an intergalactic species. We meet the zini people populating our solar system's asteroid belt for countless millennia again in this sequel to Twillinger's Voyage.Turner's earlier novel about the zini left us wondering if Jerry Twillinger would keep trying to escape captivity by the zini or work towards becoming a citizen of the asteroid-based civilization of Z4.
Several new species are introduced in this novel, such as the widrin who are used as an intelligent lie-detector by the zini to screen humans wanting to travel to one of the counter-planets, as they call the asteroid belt colonies of Z4 and Z6. Z4, with no propulsion of its own, is destined to orbit Earth hopefully, and Z6 is built with propulsion to take it to other star systems. Uspa, new name for the USA in the 25th Century, decides to arrange a nuclear attack on Z6 or Z4 made to look like an accident in order to spur a revolt by workers from Earth and encourage the alien species to leave the solar system.
Early in the novel Jack McQuaid trumps his co-pilot Ken Roberts by deciding to launch a nuclear missile against Z4. Ken, surmising Jack's intent, pulled his emergency ejection trigger which caused the missile to be deflected, and, while it hit Z4 and killed several people, the counter-planet survived the attack. The zini captured Jack and isolated him in a prison-like park on Z4 and hospitalized Ken who suffered radiation exposure from the blast.
Jack had to survive on his own in a wilderness-like area, digging mussels, clams, and worms from the mucky bottomland of the counter-planet for nourishment, a task which took up nearly all his waking time and provided marginal nourishment. Imagine doing this with heinous criminals in prisons around the world, saving a lot of money on housing, AC, TV's, food, and guards.
To evade the widrin screening, Uspa's intelligence agency had decided to recruit people with multiple personality disorders (MPD) to evade being detected as secret agents. Zulei was clued into the possible infiltration attempts by Nubie and studied up on MPD from a zini medical reference work:
[page 95] Multiple personality syndrome. A rare adaptation to extreme childhood stress or abuse, observed during the classical era on the zini planet. The condition begins when a child's personality withdraws from stressful situation that recur often enough for recursive neuronal structuring to develop. Typically a complex of dream actors will appear, their initial emergences spread out over an individual's development years. Each will specialize in some aspect of a comprehensive response to the evolving relational situation — both external and internal.
After decades of studying MPD in such books as When Rabbit Howls, Through Divided Minds, Nobody Nowhere, Multiple Man, and others, this novel brought it to my attention again, this time with the benefit of my decades of research into the science of doyletics. Clearly, it seems to me now, that MPD comes from the flooding of the child's hippocampus by glutocorticoids during stress which blocks any transmission of cognitive (declarative) memory to the cortex. In a normal child, full operation of the hippocampus begins about five years old, but the partial operation during the earlier years are enough to establish a unified identity for the child in the cortex.Traumatic incidents which block transmission to the cortex act to create new identities because access to the original identity is unavailable. Each new identity will be associated with the doyles (bodily states) stored in doylic or procedural memory(1). This will result in the new identity having a unique body posture, vocal pattern, and feeling states. One identity might be angry, another super-passive, another carefree. One might smoke or drink and another abstain. To the casual observer, each identity is a different person, but they all reside in one body.
This Multiple Personality Disorder is not limited to children, but also occurs in adults who experiences intense traumatic events and in such adults it is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. The adult will encounter some event or feeling which trigger a so-called flash-back and they become another person for a time. The flash-back is better called a flash-forward as it brings the past forward into the present time and causes the victim to relive the past as if it were happening now. In adults as in children the new personality details are stored during a time when the hippocampus is disabled and the doylic or procedural memory is stored. Such doylic memory uses portions of the root brain which is the startup memory for humans during the pre-five stage of early hippocampus development and also operates as a backup storage area during adult periods of hippocampus unavailability (during traumatic events).
"Coming to terms with his feelings", as Turner says below, means in doyletics terms simply converting doylic memory into cognitive memory via a fast and efficient Speed Trace. The primary refers to the primary personality of an MPD.
[page 97, citing zini reference work, italics added] Various psychological difficulties attend most MP cases: unexplained gaps in the continuum of ordinary experience, disturbing involuntary daydreams, anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, etc. Before resolution of such difficulties can occur, the primary needs to come to terms with his feelings about the people who abused him as a child, and also needs to connect with his alters [RJM: other personalities], and the pieces of their mutual past that they remember but he does not. As with PTSD, this broad spectrum "letting go," while coming to terms with what was dissociated from earlier, can be catalyzed by drugs administered by a therapist. It may also occur spontaneously in untreated cases.
The zini are clearly an enlightened race, benefitting fictionally from the insights of the author, Dan Turner. The alters (other personalities from the primary) contain a stash of doylic memories, which if subjected to a Speed Trace will be converted into ordinary memory (cognitive or declarative memory). This is one way that an alter's stash of hidden memory can be revealed to the primary without the use of drugs. From decades of experience with doing doyle traces, going back to 1975 before the Speed Trace was available, we know that some spontaneous conversion of doylic memory into cognitive memory occurs due to an unconscious Speed Trace. Here is an example of such a spontaneous conversion which most people can relate to: Did you have some food that you disliked as a child, but which you now eat as an adult? If so, somewhere along the way to adulthood, you did a Speed Trace out of your awareness. For me, that food was macaroni and cheese. I hated it as a child, and as I grew into my twenties, I wondered often about why that might be so, that wondering sending me back on a Speed Trace in effect, until I finally lost my dislike. I attributed the change to my discovering there were other kinds of cheese than American cheese which I learned to enjoy eating, and there were other dishes with macaroni in them which I likewise enjoyed.The almost universal presence of childhood food dislikes, most of which follow us into adulthood, makes a food dislike a convenient target for one's first Speed Trace. The success of a food dislike trace is easy to confirm as one only needs to eat or imagine eating the formerly disliked food and the change will be obvious.
The design of the counterplanet is hard to imagine but the diagrams on the inside covers of Twillinger's Voyage are useful for reference. To create gravity using rotational inertia the living spaces need to be wrapped in a spiral form.
[page 112] "I think all counterplanets use the same basic design," said Orrana. "The biosphere is reserved for its role as a park, with natural gravity and real weather. Clouds and rain in the park make a big counterplanet like this one seem like a real planet."
"Rain . . . really?"
Orrana's big green eyes twinkled. "There's plenty of unnatural plumbing, pumps and related features helping 'nature' out."
In most science fiction, such difficulties as simulating gravity and communicating over long distances are glossed over, assuming some new scientific devices which can create artificial gravity without using rotational inertia and which can overcome the hard limit of the speed of light. Turner assumes no such new devices, and, recognizing the speed of light limit, has a zini explain to an earthling the difficulty of interactive computing over interplanetary distances. The need for hand-shaking protocols makes interactive computing with ten-minute-long time delays as time-consuming as trying to have a simple two-way conversation.
[page 135] ". . . we're a hundred million kilometers away. There'll be a transmission delay of at least ten minutes. It would probably take hours or days for you to do the simplest thing interactively."
It's not a friendly thing to pick on an author for a typographical error, but this one appears right after a reminder by Henry to Jack McQuaid not to forget the secret code phrase, "Silver Marble", for the project of sabotaging of Z4 with a small nuclear weapon to get the zini to leave our Solar System.
[page 142] "OK," growled McQuaid, "a big tin sphere with a shiny albedo out there in space . . . how about operation Silver Marble?"
"Perfect," said Henry. "Don't forget what you just said."
Jack looked at him askance. "What?"
"Operation Sliver Marble (sic). Nobody but you and me know. Keep it that way, Jack."
One other technie thing: one needs to write all 1's, then all 0's a couple of times to ensure data is not recoverable later by increasing the sensitivity of the read head to traces of magnetic fields left after writing all 0's. Usually writing all zeroes will suffice to clear a file. Just deleting a file, however, only writes a code in the header of the file to make the file disappear from the file system, but the file will contain all the rest of the data appearing in it. Thus, when Ken deleted the system log on Lauren's notebook after he had written all 0's in all the other files, the system log file would still be easily recoverable if it Ken had merely deleted it; it needed all 0's written in it as well to be secure from probing technicians.
Jerry Twillinger makes a few cameo appearances in this novel, such as this one when we discover that the zini, while they are star travelers for thousands of years, are afraid of the nuclear weapon technology of Earth.
[page 185] Jerry spoke up. "Obilunk is a friend from when I was living in the park on Z4. The very first time I met him, he told me widrins are not integrated in the zini caste system. He had an outsiders' perspective, just like I did. One of the most interesting things he said is the zini are afraid of Earth's nuclear weapons. He also told me they consider it inevitable that some kind of confrontation with humans will occur.
A confrontation such as the one Jack McQuaid was determined to make happen. Seems that the earthlings in the counterplanets' work crews had begun feeling as if they were slaves, etc. Jerry explained:
[page 186] "There's a cultural background to these perceptions: when science fiction movies have aliens in them, the aliens are generally looking to dominate the Earth. I saw a movie where aliens hunt us for sport; in another they wanted us for meat; just about the only movies where the aliens are predictably friendly are for kids."
The point is that most human adults assume anyone who imagines aliens to be friendly is as naive as a child. This makes humans very dangerous to zini, especially when armed with nuclear weapons. McQuaid's attitude is an example of an angry and unfriendly response. [Uspa is an expanded version of the USA in the future.]
[page 205] McQuaid gave the Captain a hard look. "State Department people have applied to visit Z6 on at least four different occasions. Arrogant bastards don't even recognize Uspa as a country."
The zini wished to deal with the Earth as a unitary body, but large countries such as the Uspa objected to any approach which might go against its own self-interest. As yet, the Earth had not developed a planetary-wide self-interest, and clearly that would require a quantum leap in thought from the customary localized self-interest. A leap as difficult as it was for the forming of the first United Nations which while covering most of the globe, still has difficulty with the self-interest concerns of large countries in the nascent twenty-first century of our time.
High-ranking Uspa Presidential advisor DuBieux spoke of Uspa's self-interest in face of long-term zini colonization of our solar system.
[page 215] "Congress is going to be unhappy, Mr. President, if we let that happen. The space apes are looking to turn Uspa into a second-rate power. Look how clever they've been with the ice trade. I think we all know where this is going."
Ken was aboard the ship when McQuaid attempted to nuke Z4 and decided to risk his own life to save the life of Lauren who was aboard Z4 so far as he knew. Ken's only chance was to eject himself in the hope that the ejection blast would steer the nuclear missile off its target. He had to wait until McQuaid had launched the deadly missile.
[page 224] When Ken had pulled it, an inertial shock rocked the plane as his ejection seat blasted out into space. The explosive charge had plenty of kick, being designed to throw him high enough to allow a parachute to open in a takeoff or landing disaster. A split second later, with navigational gyros precessing from the ejection, the final, killer missile punched away and sped off toward the counterplanet.
The deadly missile was no longer a pig in a poke, the cat was definitely out of the bag, and the missile was heading to destroy or permanently disable V4. After the blast from the indirect hit, Dr. Desqi came to Lauren to let her know that as soon as the cloud of radiating particles dispersed, they would be looking for another human out in space, presumably Ken.
[page 231] "The counterplanet's defenses had nothing to do with our survival."
"What do you mean?"
"For some reason the missile missed." Dr. Desqi moved his ears and eyes in a zini style smile. "It's hard to understand since we're such a giant target!"
Lauren shuddered to think that it might be Ken who is lost in space. Later she was able to interview the man who was captured while still in the attacking plane. Soon enough it became obvious that it was Ken who had aborted the attack and was still missing, while this was McQuaid who launched the missile.
Eventually Tinsli appeared before the Security Council and gave this account of how some thousands of years earlier the zini had in fact abducted earthlings along with other animals now living in their counterplanets, culminating with the arrival and contributions of Jerry Twillinger.
[page 246] "The early humans," Tinsli raised a hand and stretched it out, "whom we studied when we first arrived . . . seemed destined for a higher fate than to breed and evolve in the parks of our counterplanets. So we switched to a policy of returning them to Earth so they could achieve that higher fate on their own. On subsequent scientific expeditions, we examined them again and again. But we also returned them, being reasonably confident that humans would someday reach the threshold for entry into our galactic community without any help from us.
"Ten years ago, our policy of wait and see finally matured. An individual from Earth independently discovered our counterplanet Z4 and forced his way aboard. We turned him loose in the park there, where he soon learned our Zini language. Within a couple of years, purely on his own initiative, he acquired enough education to win admission to our Third Caste. He moved from the park to the city and soon did well in commerce. Eventually he became the key negotiator initiating and structuring the ice trade with the Moon. Things have moved quickly from that point, and the result is the first human counterplanet. Z6."
Jack McQuaid was released into the restricted area of the park to fend for himself. He was provided no food, shelter, or clothing. He had to discover how to find food in nature and eat it without being able to cook it. His early diet consisted of clams and mussels he had to dig from the muck in the bottom of the park. Catching fish and animals evaded his skill level for a long time. All of his energy in the average day was spent on finding and consuming food to stay alive. He had little time for exploring unless he was trying to find some food source for nourishment.
One day a paranar, a parrot-like creature, approached Jack to talk. He was there to deal with Jack and explains that the paranari came here with the zini. Jacks asked why the zini were here.
[page 325, 326] "Why are the zini here?"
Amrit shifted from one foot to another. "Zini initiate space-faring in this galaxy. Inevitably, civilization spread out."
"Nature populates every ledge; every suitable tree . . . everywhere new nests, new life."
"Well, this solar system is occupied."
"Makes our visit more interesting." The bird regarded Jack with evident curiosity. "Especially since humans on cusp of civilization."
"What does civilization have to do with it?" growled Jack, annoyed at the notion of being on the cusp.
"Universal principle of civilization: be courteous and friendly to your neighbor, just as you want him to be to you."
"And you think you're being friendly?"
"I do. And zini friendly, too."
The Golden Rule: hard to find a better guiding principle for civilization. Jack wanted nothing of that, considering it do-gooder hogwash, but his view of right and wrong was challenged by having to survive day-by-day on starvation rations he had to locate, dig up, and consume raw. One day Amrit explained what it means to be a verbal communicator like Jack.
[page 346] "As a verbal animal, your survival strategy depends on conducting cooperative relationships with your peers. Talking to them means exchanging synthetic dream strings. Words are beads on those strings. They are little dream capsules of meaning pulled from non-locality. Those capsules open quickly and briefly, so you are able to focus on conversation without getting bogged down in the words themselves. That way you remained glued to the present and alert to your immediate external situation."
If words are indeed dream capsules, then the phrase dream capsule is a metaphor for a metaphor. All this talk about dreams operating across the cusp between locality and non-locality caused Jack to ponder how we communicate. He came up with a four-dimensional record of his life, something resembling the Akashi Record which is deemed by visionaries to contain a four-dimensional record of all the events in the world, a record which can be read by someone who is properly trained. What if communication between people formed capsules of pieces of the Akashi Record into words to communicate, all without realizing it?
[page 350] Jack thought about this. He could see how the dream-bird's theory might explain how people cope with variations caused by foreign or regional accents, or by emotive intonations. Suddenly it occurred to him that perhaps this virtual alien was communication with him by locating words in the four dimensional record of his own life, and using them to talk to him by stimulating them indirectly onto his auditory cortex. The four-dimension record of his own life . . . ? That was a troubling thought. Jack bit his lip, feeling oddly vulnerable.
[page 352] Jack had always believed memory was some sort of biological analog of computer memory.
This seems backwards to me. Computer operations and computer memory in particular is an analog of human capabilities and memory. Words are broken into on-off switches known as bits and stored in a computer to be retrieved later. We don't know how human memories are stored but they can certainly be stored and retrieved similar to computer data.
[page 353] "Your daytime dream does that, too. When it wants to resurrect a past experience, or simply summon up a visual impression of someone, it paints segments of relevant past experiences back onto much the same cerebral topography where they appeared originally."
In other words, you remember something by re-creating the original experience in the present time, not only as some visual representation but as a full body experience. Anyone who has a phobia knows this to be true. Removing a phobia involves re-creating the original experience from a dissociated perspective and the full body experience does not re-appear. This re-creating of the full body experience can result from just hearing a single word, such as "duck".
[page 361 "On subsequent occasions when you hear 'duck' said, meaning reflects back from non-locality commensurate with the qualities of 'duck' that you were exposed to on that first occasion, as well as any ducks you may have seen on more recent occasions — or heard quack, or smelled, or chased around the barnyard."
It is in this sense that Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Every word was once a metaphor." The word 'duck' once stood for the complex of interactions of yourself with the feathery animal. Every word in our language has this nature and that we can unreel them out in rapid strings of sentences is an amazing human feat.
The final chapters are packed with drama as negotiations between Earth and the zini come to a head. Clearly if there is to be a battle, it will come from Earth, as Zulei explained.
[page 377] We galactics simply are not inclined to engage in destructive hostilities against a planet that has obvious potential to develop a spacefaring culture of its own. We would never do that, not even in response to this latest barbaric atrocity. As Tinsli explained, our response is to leave.
Jerry Twillinger explained the options available to Earth. The countries of Earth must unanimously agree to allow the counterplanet Z6 to swing into near Earth orbit for humans to utilize it. They must also agree to allow Z4 to also swing past Earth unmolested and continue on into interstellar space.
[page 377] After a long moment Jerry got up. "As the original human galactic citizen, I'm not giving up on Z6 being what it was intended to be. For that to happen, it has to be moved to an orbit near Earth. So I'm in favor of any strategy that will get us there. If Z4 helps us, it will have to swing around the planet itself. While it's doing that there's no way it can protect itself from a massive nuclear salvo. This 'salvo' tactic is something that evidently has classified top secret by the military because I had never heard of it until a couple of days ago.
Ken and Lauren were invited to spend a couple of days in the White House with Amrit and they concocted a James Bond-like scheme to extract DuBieux's handwritten diary from a safe in his White House office without alerting the security force. How to get this information to the President in time to create approval of the safe passage for Z4 and the acquisition of Z6 as a counterplanet of the galactic community? The game is afoot and makes for great reading.
Compare this novel to the movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" in which the alien race had overwhelming power to change the strategy of Earth. The zini want to help the Earth become members of the galactic community and need a guarantee of safe passage before Earth can do so. If there were ever to be a friendly invasion from outer space, this would be it.
------- Footnotes --------
Footnote 1.The use of declarative memory and procedure memory appears in When The Past Is Always Present by Ronald A. Ruden, MD, PhD. (Thanks to Gary Travis for pointing this book out to me. January 21, 2015) This is another way of naming what I designate as cognitive and doylic memory in the science of doyletics.~~~~~~~~
Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
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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. Padre Filius sees a Lounge along I-10 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.
The good Padre notices all Parking Spots are marked Handicapped:
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 Dan Turner, author of Friendly Invasion:
That's more than a review: it's long enough for three or four of 'em packed into one! Thanks so much! It seems clear that you found the story interesting and even dramatic in some places. As I read your review I was expecting a few lines expressing some sort of personal opinion about the book as a whole, but only found relatively your objective reactions to various parts of it.
with friendly best wishes, Dan
~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~
I strive to do studies of works rather than a "I like it or not" type of review. Thanks for noticing and appreciating that.
So I rarely give personal opinions about the books I read in my reviews. If it's a novel, it usually garners a page or two unless it goes into some portion of my eclectic expertise and your novel certainly did that.
I had read so much Science Fiction as a kid that by age 15 that estimate I had spent more time on Mars than on Earth! So much that today I rarely read science fiction, but I found your novel charmingly different than most science fiction, sort of a Heinlein-meets-Quakers style.
- EMAIL from doyletics user:Bobby
Do we have no basic emotions of our own?
~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~
Yes, there are no basic emotions — that was a concept which doyletics has proven to be fallacious; it is an empty concept.
- EMAIL, an unsubscribe email we love to receive, from Philip in NY:
I love your emails but I always read them with my girlfriend on her email!
- EMAIL from Kevin Dann in NYC RE broken link and request for help:
I am giving a talk for the Holy Night celebration at the NYC branch tomorrow, and thought I would love to use that map you made of the 2 Jesus children; I went here: http://www.doyletics.com/arj/tibojrvw.htm but that link is broken. Can you point me to where I might find it?
~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~
The image itself is here: http://www.doyletics.com/arj/goslaxon.gif
ST. Luke link is: http://www.doyletics.com/arj/goslrvw.shtml
Thanks for pointing out the bad link (which has now been fixed) to my Two Jesus review of book by Edward Reaugh Smith!
Happy New Year!
- EMAIL from my Dad's first cousin, Paulette:
Bobby, I just wanted to thank you for sharing that link. I forwarded it to Lana, Gay and Susie, and we have enjoyed reminiscing about the old days! We also learned more about people we knew — John Bascle and I grew up together, and we all used to play a lot with the Bascle and Babin children. I never knew Mr. Allen was in the navy, and worked on a submarine!
I have a picture of Mama, Daddy and Ms. Merlin that I I'll forward to you tomorrow, but I just wanted to thank you for the great storytelling!
~~~Paulette's Reply to Bobby's Email ~~~
> Thanks, Paulette! Happy New Year to you and yours.
> You'd be interested in where the photo of Clairville and Nora's family appears on my website:
> It's about about half way down. Comes from a video I did of my mom about 6 months before she died. Buster had to chime in and he wrote down some of his memories, too. Hope you enjoy. Also check out my Donner Sawmill Poem on the main Tidbits page.
> A bientot, Cherie!
- EMAIL from Good Reader about Carl Jung:
I am a fan of Rudolf Steiner and yours and was wondering if you could point me to the article you refer to below on Jung and the archetypes as spiritual beings?
Much appreciated if you can - Tom in Seattle.
~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~
Been thinking about your question and can't recall ever having known the original article, only got a report from someone who read it.
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Individual Ism"
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 another poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:
Ism is the social sin
That we find ourselves ensconced within.
Tamed by the orthodox
We sleepwalk through the paradox.
We leave the sacrifices of the masses
In empty churches in our town
For the sacrifice of the masses
In the empty jungle clearing town.
For ever faster do we flee
To leave our shadow far behind
But shadows have reality
Created by unconscious mind.
So stay at home and contemplate
Light and shadow in your ism,
Avoid the collective bait —
Find your individualism.
4. Medical Support for Doylic Memory ConceptThis came in from a Good Reader which provides independent validation for the doyletics concepts of cognitive memory and doylic memory, calling them declarative memory and procedural memory. Thanks, Gary!Hi Bobby,
I have been getting your monthly Bulletin for some time and I have been interested in Doyletics for many years. I have always had a problem with the concept of the Doylic Memory. I purchased a book a few days ago, When The Past Is Always Present, by Ronald A. Ruden, MD, PhD. His book is about Emotional Traumatization, Causes, and Cures. On bottom of page 36 he has a half page on the subject of Memory Systems which I think may explain, in modern medical terms, the Doylic Memory. To keep you from having to purchase the book just for this passage I am going to typing for you. I hope you find it interesting and I would very much enjoy receiving your comments.
Memory storage is divided, more or less, into two separate systems. For a nonemotional event that we can describe by conscious recollection, a narrative, we are using what scientists call the declarative memory system. This form of memory is encoded and retrieved via the hippocampus and includes information and factual experiential knowledge. Things we do but can't describe by narrative are stored in the nondeclarative memory, also known as procedural memory system. Procedural memory is the earliest memory system. It is involved with experiencing a feeling with sensory input (e.g., a perfume evokes a certain feeling), skills we learn, habits we acquire, perception of our body's posture, and conditioned responses. It helps us learn how to put food in our mouth, crawl, and speak. It is the location where emotionally intense events [e.g., abandonment or abuse] are stored before the hippocampus is operational at around the age of four. These memories are stored as a "feeling" sense; feelings that occur without cognitive content, such as a sense of safety and comfort or fear and frustration, we experience as an infant. Information stored in either memory system affects our response to subsequent events.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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