Monthly Archives: November 2012

Searching for The Lost Granfalloons* – Mine

FAST-GROWING SUNSPOT: Barely visible when the weekend began, sunspot AR1619 has blossomed into a large active region more than three times as wide as Earth.  So far the growing sunspot has not produced any significant flares, but the quiet is unlikely to continue if its expansion continues apace. Fast-changing magnetic fields on the sun have a tendency to reconnect and erupt. NOAA forecasters estimate a 20% chance of M-class solar flares during the next 24 hours.

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been watching SS 1619 and wondering what the hell is going on with Old Sol. Likely you’re wondering, as I am, why he persists in blessing us with all those weird smiley faces with Errol Flynn mustaches.  Wondering what he’s got up his sleeve.

I have the advantage on most of you because I’ve been messing around with rare earth magnets, glueing them behind cabinet doors in the RV to keep them closed.  So rapidly changing magnetic fields are fresh on my mind, along with the wrinkled, crispy fingertips acquired by fastening them in place with super glue.

Which has created a loose granfalloon Old Sol and I both belong to.

But I’m what most people would call a real cool guy, full of compassion and sensitivity for all you who aren’t in a granfalloon with Old Sol right now.  So I’m not going to arouse your fears and spoil your Thanksgiving holidays by telling you what he might have up his sleeve.

One of the shortcomings, in fact, with granfalloons is that it might be anything, anyway.  Your guess is as good as mine.

But I’ve digressed.  My main purpose in posting today is to tell you about some other granfalloons of my past are cropping up hither thither and yon in my sinookas**.  For reasons I dassn’t speculate about, a good many of them involve a search I used to do for a lost gold mine.  Strangers from hell to breakfast are sending me emails wanting to talk to me about it, hinting around that, though they haven’t been within a thousand miles of that country, they know where it is.  Or might be.

Some granfalloons just don’t let go once they get their teeth locked into your leg.

So maybe  all this busy, busy, busy*** going on around here right now is about me going out and searching for the Lost Granfalloons – Mine.

Not that I plan to bank any money on it.  I’m spang out of money until my SS pension check arrives.

Old Jules

* granfalloon – a false karass; i.e., a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist. An example is “Hoosiers“; Hoosiers are people from Indiana, and Hoosiers have no true spiritual destiny in common, so they really share little more than a name. Another example is a Cornellian, a student or graduate of Cornell University.

**sinookas – the tendrils of one’s life.

***Busy, busy, busy” – what a Bokononist whispers whenever he thinks about how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.

Cats Cradles, Communities, Hungers and Bokononism

Good morning readers.  Thanks for the visit.

Cats Cradle

I’m rapidly developing an overweening pride in this.  15-18 pounds of cat slept on it last night, and it’s no worse for the wear.

But, I’ve digressed.

Maybe it was inevitable.  While I was doing other things over the past weeks my mind began toying around with abstractions involving communities and the attraction human beings have for them.  I’d been reading some Jack London and found myself sticking pieces of his thinkings off in the side of my mind, observations about the packages of community he experienced and wrote about.

But on the side Slab City sneaked into my mind occasionally, and the attraction I’ve no intention to indulge, that remains despite my intentions. 

Or the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous RV and van dwellers are going to stage in Quartzite, Arizona in January. 

Evidently thousands of RVs and van dwellers converge on the spot every January for a big RV show, and the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous takes place concurrently.    50-100 people who live in RVs or vans or wish to live in them, and feel the need to be part of a community of a sort they didn’t find surrounded by RVs, campers and vans in RV parks, State Parks, or in National Forests.

Are the people occupying those dots down there different than the ones you’d meet if you went knocking on doors at the Take It Easy Trailer Court in Kerrville, Texas?  I dunno.

But something in my mind connected the concept of community and the human need for it with Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle and Bokononism:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bokononism is a fictional religion invented by Kurt Vonnegut and practiced by many of the characters in his novel Cat’s Cradle. Many of the sacred texts of Bokononism were written in the form of calypsos.

Bokononism is based on the concept of foma, which are defined as harmless untruths. A foundation of Bokononism is that the religion, including its texts, is formed entirely of lies; however, one who believes and adheres to these lies will have peace of mind, and perhaps live a good life. The primary tenet of Bokononism is to “Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”

Bokononism encompasses a number of unique concepts expressed in the San Lorenzan dialect:[1]

  • boko-maru – the supreme act of worship of the Bokononists, which is an intimate act consisting of prolonged physical contact between the naked soles of the feet of two persons.
  • “Busy, busy, busy” – what a Bokononist whispers whenever he thinks about how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.
  • “Calypso” – song from The Books of Bokonon. Eight such songs are cited in Cat’s Cradle, some of them are presented with a title (i.e. On Dynamic Tension or The Boko-maru Calypso) and others are presented with a number (i.e. The Hundred-and-nineteenth Calypso). The Calypsos illustrate various aspects of the teachings of Bokonon.
  • duffle – the destiny of thousands of people placed on one stuppa
  • duprass – a karass that consists of only two people. This is one of the few kinds of karass about which one can have any reliable knowledge. The two members of a duprass live lives that revolve around each other, and are therefore often married. “A true duprass can’t be invaded, not even by children born of such a union.” The novel cites the example of “Horlick Minton, the New American Ambassador to the Republic of San Lorenzo, and his wife, Claire.” The two members of a duprass always die within a week of each other.
  • foma – harmless untruths; lies that, if used correctly, can be useful.
  • granfalloon – a false karass; i.e., a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist. An example is “Hoosiers“; Hoosiers are people from Indiana, and Hoosiers have no true spiritual destiny in common, so they really share little more than a name. Another example is a Cornellian, a student or graduate of Cornell University.
  • kan-kan – the instrument which brings a person into his or her karass
  • karass – group of people who, often unknowingly, are working together to do God’s will. The group can be thought of as the fingers that support a cat’s cradle.
  • “Now I will destroy the whole world” – What a Bokononist says before committing suicide.
  • pool-pah – wrath of God or “shit storm”
  • saroon – to acquiesce to a vin-dit
  • sin-wat – a person who wants all of somebody’s love for him/herself
  • sinookas – the tendrils of one’s life
  • stuppa – a fogbound child (i.e. an idiot)
  • vin-dit – a sudden shove in the direction of Bokononism
  • wampeter – the central theme or purpose of a karass. Each karass has two wampeters, one waxing and one waning.
  • wrang-wrang – someone who steers a Bokononist away from a line of speculation by reducing that line, with the example of the wrang-wrang’s own life, to an absurdity.
  • Zah-mah-ki-bo – fate, inevitable destiny

Brought me to realize these cats around here are all Bokononists.  They’ve been sneaking around here converting me to their religion all these years without me knowing it, superimposing their viewpoints over my natural ones.

Forcing me to have a community with them.

But at least I don’t have to go to Quartzite, Arizona to have a community.  Bokononism is a big step up in life if I can look around inside the RV and find a community without having to go all the way to Quartzite, or Slab City, AZ.

Old Jules

Smug Self-Congratulation and Slow Rapid Advancement

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

When I brought up the screen to post I noticed it’s November 18.  Old Sol’s muttering to me that he’s becoming bored with all my scurryings and goings on every time I go around him again without becoming a bit wiser in any way discernable by alert human beings.

But tomorrow I’ll have gotten by with it 70 times despite a persistent, continuing foolishness and determination to smack head-on into heavy, solid objects.  One such object I’ll be telling you about here, but that’s later on in the post.  But first, a few other matters. 

My friend Rich and his wife Lisa came to visit a few days recently.  We spent a lot of time just savoring the company, hours and days flashing by in such rapid sequence I’m reminded of those strobes a person used to have a to deal with on dance floors during the 1980s when I try to remember the details.

All I can say for certain is the time passed more as a pleasant dream than some feet-on-the-ground experience anchored in reality.

But somewhere during all that Rich fixed my computer so’s it connected online through WIFI.  When I left one evening he was downloading several years of updates to Windows Vista and AVG, which turned out to be a considerable task.

Rich has an amazing music collection and he brought along an 8gb flash drive loaded with some I didn’t have.  Took a T-drive back with him I’d freed up 600 gb from and he’ll be sending me the rest of what he has.

Amazing times we live in, where a thing such as that can happen.

Reality did rear up and whinny, however.

The second night I was driving home, moderate speed, and saw a dim shape in the oncoming lane ahead.  Thought it might be a deer and moved my foot to the brake, but before I could press the pedal it became a frightened, full grown buck.

I stood the RV on its nose while the deer ran in front, reversed himself, ran back, then back again before the WHACK.  A catastrophy for the deer, but a wild stroke of luck for me.

The incident revealed all the cabinet doors in the RV suffered from metal fatigue.  Every item I’d carefully arranged in those cabinets, securely stored, came down, forward, cans of cat food hitting the back of my head, all manner of articles filling the floorboard underfoot.  A crucial piece of knowledge I’d hate to have learned under different circumstances.

So the past few days have been spent scratching my head about the best ways for securing belongings in a vehicle destined to travel at highway speeds with the potential for sudden stops.  Studying those cabinet doors for ways to lock them shut. 

Trying out cargo nets as an option.

Installing recycled refrigerator shelves and ways to secure what’s on them, along with a platform from a grader-ditch cooler-top for the comp to sit on when I need it as a GPS, a place for incidentals the rest of the time.

Which is all to say, these are things I needed to know, bought at the price of minimal damage to the RV, the life of a buck deer, and enough expense making repairs to cut into the gas money I’d been hoarding.

Well worth the cost of setting back departure clock enough to accomodate it.

I’ve been waiting almost 70 years for this trip and the cats assure me a few more days won’t matter.

Old Jules