Monthly Archives: October 2020

Old enough to be her Father. Ehhhh?

Jack wrote this in October of 2006:


Sister Silvia Gomes De Sousa, 39, has been  charged with threatening to murder and with arson after allegedly setting fire to the house of the village priest in Roccalumera, Sicily,  Italy.


She stopped by the house where Fr. Carmelo Mantarro, 70,   lives and “I just flipped when I came to the house and caught him in  bed with another woman who is married,” she testified in a court  proceeding.

“We had been together four years and I had even had two abortions because of him.”

(London Daily Mail)

The burning question:  Who takes her confession?

Okay.  Let’s see if there’s a novel in here somewhere.

  • Nun and priest consumate out-of-wedlock affirmation of holy vows.
  • Nun gets a couple of abortions ‘because of him’.  (He evidently believes in abortion, forces her by threatening her with her job if she doesn’t get one?  Israeli prez in penguin threads)
  • Married woman insinuates herself between them trying to become a homebreaker of sorts.
  • Nun sets his house afire and tries to kill him during a fit of anger.

Score card:

Deadly sins, lust and anger?  Only two?  Hmmm.  Maybe a person could squeeze envy and greed in there…. The nun envied the married woman and didn’t want to share.

Commandments, adultery and for a Catholic, homicide of a fetus.  Covetousness.. married woman wanted what the nun felt was hers.  I count three Commandments.

Throw in a little something on the side involving vows nuns and priests take and you’re as close as priests and nuns are ever going to get to sticking up banks and boosting cars.

I’m not a Christian and I’m about to turn 63.  If life gets boring during the next few years I think I’ll convert to the Mother Church.


Thoughts on none-of- my-business issues

Jack wrote this in June, 2005:

Time was when Americans had a healthy regard for human frailty and the dangers of an imperial Executive Branch, President, Congress, and absolute power concentrated within the Federal Government.  The framers of the Constitution installed enough safety devices in the system, they believed, to give hope that future generations wouldn’t have to deal the inevitable tendency of those in power to accumulate more power.

The framers trusted the population, an uneducated, but common-sense citizenry, to mistrust a strong central government.

It took an extraordinary circumstance to give the first Imperial President an opportunity to circumvent the Constitution and seize absolute power for a while.  One-half of the Congress absented itself from the proceedings.  The serving President refused for two months to negotiate with them, even meet with them, but, during that time-span, because of the impotence of Congress to act, accrued enormous power by default to the presidency.

When war broke out, it was a presidential war, the first in the history of this nation.  One half of the population of this country, by order of the president of the United States, used force of arms to impose its will on the other half, completely without any pretence of advice and consent of Congress, vote by the population, anything but the will of the executive.  Abraham Lincoln.

The result was the bloodiest war in US history until Vietnam.

For several generations following the Civil War mistrust and fear of Executive power returned to the citizenry.  Even the winning side could easily see, without dwelling on it, the mischief wrought by absolute power in the seat of the Presidency.  For an interval of several decades after Reconstruction there was a renewed respect for strict adherance to the Constitution in all matters, including formal declaration of war by Congress.

Prior to the Great Depression and the election of Franklin Roosevelt, the standard response to efforts of any branch to seize power beyond that defined in the Constitution was mention of the reminder that ‘if we don’t like something in the Constitution, there’s a mechanism for changing it through amendment’.

That response carried enough weight to bring about a Constitutional Amendment to confine the number of terms a US President could serve in office (now 10 years), following the four-term President-for-Life administration of Franklin Roosevelt.

But after WWII, the Cold War offered extraordinary arguments once again for an Imperial President waging wars without the consent of Congress, supported by a committee of nine Supreme Court judges to amend the Constitution without having to formally amend it.

That’s gone on so long, when the Cold War ended the population was too young to remember anything else, to remember that there’s a document called the US Constitution, that it defines the powers of each branch of government, provides means to amend itself.

Outmoded, outdated, that Constitution.  Overwhelmed by the abdication of power by Congress, human frailty, human cowardice, blind, sheeplike trust in mama government by the citizenry.


(posted the following day):

It wasn’t my intent, penning my none-of-my-business thoughts, to convey the idea that anything can be done by this lazy, sleepy,  bovine citizenry to restore the situation, to restore the Constitution of the US.  It wasn’t even my intent to imply this population would wish to do so.

Nothing of the sort is going to happen, nothing of the sort could possibly happen short of a cataclysmic event bloodier than the Civil War.  Today, if 49 of the 50 states passed resolutions to dissolve the current government, remove the seat of power from Washington to Omaha, re-pass the original Constitution of the United States, the overwhelming power of the US Military would be used to circumvent their completing the act.

You younger people are stuck with what we older people have brought about in our lethargy, trust and hopes of using the power of government to force people who believe differently than we do to get themselves right or go to jail, if they’re citizens, or suffer being bombed or shot, if they live outside our boundaries.

Learn to love it.


Ask Old Jules: Objects as symbols, Package design, Effect greater than cause, World of Warcraft conflict


Old Jules, what objects can we use as symbols to teach us truths?

A mirror to help you remember that no matter how others might see you it’s  you, knowing what’s behind the face, who has to recognize what’s back there that you don’t love and respect.

A mirror to help you remember truth is what’s really beyond what you see in the mirror and you are the only one who knows it.

A mirror to remind you what’s visible to you is the only person you own, the only person you can demand anything from and expect to get it, the only person you can change.

A mirror to remind you what you think of that person and why you think it is the most important facet of your life.

Old Jules, does packaging design affect your choice in what to buy?

I buy everything in thrift stores, flea markets, farmers markets and garage sales if I can. Every stitch of clothing I wear comes from those from my hat to my boot heels except what I have to buy at a grocery store or feed store.

My cats insist I buy them Purina because of the design on the bag, most likely. My chickens don’t care about the design of the bags unless they contain whole corn, which they won’t touch.

I suppose if those folks running the places where I buy things other people didn’t want packaged them, I might form an opinion about the design and packaging. Thus far it hasn’t come to that.

I’m personally fond of the design of onions (clever way to put together a legume, thinks I), sweet potatoes (aesthetic), potatoes (functional), celery (I like that cove for putting cheese and peanut butter into), and carrots (I like the color).

Old Jules, can an effect be greater then its cause?

  • Consider gunpowder. It had been in China for several hundred years and was used for entertainment and primitive weaponry. It was not responsible for creating nor stopping any particular changes.

Trade and curiosity ’caused’ it to migrate to Europe, where within a relatively short while it changed the entire face of the continent and eventually the world.

Charcoal, saltpetre and sulfur – individually nothing special. Mixed in the proper measures, contained in a sealed vessel, ignited, the energy released is countless times the sum of the individual parts.

Old Jules, my boyfriend plays World of Warcraft on the computer  all the time, what should I do? I’m feeling ignored because he spends hours playing it and we don’t do stuff together like we used to.

Form your thoughts carefully in your mind, tap him on the shoulder and when he shrugs and says, “Hold on a minute,” reach over and unplug the computer. When he turns around tell him politely and calmly exactly what you’ve said here.

If he goes into a rage or continues doing it you’re a damned sight better off without him. He’s not going to change. If he listens you can have a discussion and work out an accommodation to allow both of you to get what you need out of the relationship.

The high and the mighty

Jack wrote this in November of 2006:

Morning blogsters:

Beeeeeeeyouuuuuutiful moon this morning.

I see where some guy, Steve Howards,  in Beaver Creek, CO, was taking his grandson to town and saw some guy Dick Cheney hanging around kissing babies.  Howards always wanted to tell a high ranking stinkier in government what he thought.

“I think your policies are reprehensible,” he says to Cheney and walks on.  Secret Services people hand cuffs him and takes him off to the slammer, as is right and just.

This ain’t the time to be thinking there’s still a US Constitution and Bill of Rights.  The sooner you get that through your heads the easier it will be for you in the short run.

In the long run, probably not much will help, but the short run’s been the important thing too long to change now, most likely.



Jack wrote this in February, 2006:

Morning blogsters:

That old full hunter moon changed back to the usual, merely spectacular color this night.  Looks as though it’s planning to wait until after dawn to drop behind the mesa.

Coyotes are taking advantage, getting in some last-minute chasing of some unlucky rabbit before they trot off to their dens for a bit of shuteye.

It’s always amazing to me how three, maybe four coyotes can sound like fifty when they’re on their involved in a smash and grab operation.  Same when they’re just yapping and howling their gratitude affirmations to the Universe for allowing them to be coyotes.

Moon’s bright enough to fool someone’s hen house down in the village.  A rooster’s stretching his wings down there, announcing he made it through the night without an owl, skunk, civet cat, dog, coyote, not even some microorganism sneaked in and put his lights out while he was asleep.

The cats are prowling, anxious to get outdoors, but I dasn’t let them out until dawn on a night such as this one.  Far too much potential for that old owl hooting in the pecan tree out back dropping down and having them for breakfast, as he’s done with neighbor cats of late.

Then there’s me.

Thank you, Universe, for allowing me to be me this lifetime.  Thank you for every pain, every stumble, every fall and stubbed toe I’ve given myself without intending to during this 62 times around the sun.

Thanks, Universe, for everything that’s happened to me in this life.

Thanks for what’s happening now, this cold dawn, in all those threads and tentacles threading out there through this reality that are building to cause me pain and joy.

Thank you, Universe, for everything that’s going to happen between now and when I exit this vehicle.

Okay blogsters.  Back to writing a blog entry.


Ask Old Jules: How to become smart, Gaining knowledge of life, Disliking things that are different, What is life

Mandala Back Up CD2 237

Old Jules, can I watch the dumb, and become smarter? Or is there another way?

Just my personal viewpoint, but I believe intelligence is severely over-rated. I’ve known a good many people who had IQs in the 80-90 or lower range whom I’d trust far more quickly than 90% of the PHDs I’ve known who believed their most valuable asset was their intelligence. A solid, loyal, courageous person with a low IQ has a lot to teach anyone who watches.

And an intelligent incorrigible person is also sure as hell worth watching.

Old Jules, do you think that the older you get and the more you learn (like studying subjects well) you gain more knowledge of life?

It tends to make a person believe he/she is wise at whatever decade in life he/she has arrived at. Unfortunately, belief in self-wisdom has a way of being the antithesis of wisdom.

I’ve witnessed it myself almost seven decades and witnessed it in all ages of others around me.

Life doesn’t make us wise, doesn’t make us know more. Life just throws more tricks into our paths. Life has more tricks than a monkey on a 50 foot rope.

Old Jules, what is an example of people disliking something because it is different?

Tenured geologists circa 1970 disliked plate tectonics theory because it was different. A lot of grad students bit the dust before the air cleared.

Baptists dislike Catholics because they are different.

I dislike 21st Century spelling of words in the English language because it’s different.

I dislike Mac computers because they’re different, and I disliked Windows 1.1 because it was different from MS DOS. Didn’t like IBM PCs because they used MS DOS instead of CPM and they were different from Kaypros.

Old Jules, what is life and who is the master of this world?
how can i proof it?

Proofing is the easy part. Just check the spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Whatever age you happen to be, you’re old enough to have observed what life is. It’s the stuff on your plate when you eat, the four legged creatures you see roaming around your neighborhood, the winged things you see in the trees and sky, as well as the trees. It’s a large part of the stuff you flush down the commode after you evacuate your bowel.
The master of this world is up for grabs. They’ll be holding an election one of these days and whatever gets the most votes will take office.

Strange times – eavesdropping

Jack wrote this in February, 2006:

Good afternoon blogsters:

One of the ways I keep up on world events and amuse myself when I’m alone in an eating establishment without a book involves eavesdropping.  I gaze at the food, a picture on the wall, something outdoors through the plate glass, and I listen to conversations at the nearby tables.

It’s curiosity, as much as anything else.  And mostly I lose interest quickly because so often the talk is about some sports event, concert, or a television show.  But sometimes it’s pay dirt.

Today I was doing the listening routine to the goings on among several BDU clad people of both sexes, all toting large-bore automatic pistols in holsters hanging from their waists.

Turned out these folks were part of a conference between Federal and State Homeland Security forces (whatever that might be).  I’d never seen that particular uniform combination, nor the patches and medallions, so I listened as closely as I dared without drawing attention to myself.

The eating establishment is on San Felipe Tribal Lands.  Maybe that’s why the conversation drifted in that direction.

Fed:  “Do you have any issues dealing with any of the tribes.”

NM State:  “You wouldn’t believe it.  Everything’s an issue.”

And so on in detail involving a lot of ‘issues’ a person born in 1943 (me), would never have believed could ever be discussed by government employees as though they should be part of any reality here.  The attitude was clearly that the tribes were being irresponsible in reluctance and obstruction of the aims of Homeland Security.

The topic broadened in a while.

NM State:  “I think a lot of people just don’t understand what we’re doing.  They don’t realize how dangerous things are for them.”

Fed:  “That’s a problem all over the country.  I was in Phoenix a few weeks ago .  . ., etc”

That NM Homeland Security lady all dressed up with a gun and nowhere to go was wrong.

I believe most people understand perfectly well what they’re doing and have an inkling of why they’re doing it.  It isn’t a lack of understanding that makes me smile and cheer inside, knowing the tribes, at least, are dragging their feet.

I think people are beginning to ‘realize how dangerous things are for them’, to the extent that dangers actually exist in this hostile reality we’ve chosen for ourselves.   But at least a part of the ‘danger’  people feel involves a new kind of policeman who thinks the US Constitution is obstructionist.

They just don’t know yet what needs to be done about it.


So Far From Heaven

Hi everyone, Jeanne here. Going offline for a few days, actually driving down to New Mexico to try to get the pack rats out of my cabin. Posts are still scheduled here, but I won’t be checking for comments until next week. It will be a different kind of trip for sure, not having Jack to comment on the crops, the history, tell me stories, or speculate about all the things we notice on the road along the way. But I’ll try to be as fascinated with what I see along the way as he always was.
Back next week. Thanks for reading, and hello to new subscribers!

Who’ll give me 20, 20, 30, 20, 19, Now 20?

Jack wrote this in April, 2005, when he was studying the behavior of lottery number draws:

A person who’s ever been to a livestock auction might be driven to flights of fancy about those draws, liken them to an auction barn on Saturday morning.  Truckloads of etherial kine, swine, sheeplike and goatlike creatures coming in by trailer, pickup truck, offloading into pens where someone slaps a number on each back.

Run into the barn, Mega Millions, Powerball, the big bidders in the bleachers behind the steel fence, eyeing one another with distaste and mild suspicion.  NM Roadrunner, Kansas Cash, all the little guys watching the biggies, hoping to go home with a little something at the right price.

19 comes through the big doors at the end, whips snap to get him moving to the center where everyone can look him over.

“Here’s a prize one…. good breeder…. look at the bollocks on that guy!…. Weighs in at 1452 not counting the angry.  Who’ll start the bids on this snot-slinger?  Who’s going to be the first to try to trailer him?”

Mega Millions gives an almost invisible flinch of his hat brim.

“Ha!  I knew you couldn’t pass this one up.”  Whip points from the floor.  Glance at Power Ball, expecting.

Every day, every night. Who’s going to try to trailer this one? 19 who’ll give me 20, 20, 25, 20?


Nocturnal Nonsense

Nocturnal Nonsense


3 am I wake

Find you atop me


I savor

The soft purr

Of you

The gentle scratch

Of nail on flesh

Tiny pleasure pain

I hold

I hold

I hold

I can wait

No more


Lift you

Lovingly aside

And rise

You follow watching

My grimaced



Muscle pressure




Your feline tail

Lashes S and Z

On empty air

Your green eyes fixed

I search absently

For a synonym:





Runs a poor second

To “false Gods”


The prayer ends

While I ponder how this

Like the useless


Serves no function.


No.  No.

It reminds


Other uses

Other times.


From Poems of the New Old West

Copyright©2002 Jack Purcell


Almost every facet of the human life experience has been celebrated to death in poem and song.

This one hasn’t.   Remember where you heard it first.

We’re talking MEME here.  (A word I learned a few days ago and knew in a flash of insight applied to the future of this ground-breaking poetic genre.)