Tag Archives: thoughts

Disambiguating Gratitude

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I’m sure all of you are preoccupied, sneaking around every waking moment putting together all the things you’re thankful for in your lives so’s to not forget anything come Thursday.  I don’t want to interrupt that, but I’d just like to throw in a suggestion:

Try to keep it simple.  Try retain your sense of taste and perspective while you’re acknowledging all the things you’re grateful for.  Sure, you’re grateful for not being downrange of any presidential war of the moment, naturally you’re glad you’re not a Palestinian and the neighbors aren’t likely to bomb your home, set fire to the nearest hospital, nor come kick you out of the house so’s good Baptists can move in.  Of course you are.

But you don’t have to say all that.

Truth is you’re almost certainly dwelling on how damned lucky you are to have legitimate citizenship in this country because it took in the destitute downtrodden souls including your ancestors without asking a lot of questions instead of patting them on the back and sending them off to starve in the place they escaped from.

And naturally you’re thanking your lucky stars the multi-national corporations haven’t sent your particular job to some third-world cesspool where people work for a nickle a week.  Probably because you’re a cop or other government worker and they haven’t figured out how to outsource the scowling clerks doing their fingernails and talking on phones down at Department of Motor Vehicles to Chinamen.

All I’m trying to say is keep it simple this Thanksgiving.  Be glad nobody at the table is being held in a US penal institution at the moment getting anally raped by other Thanksgivers.  Be glad you’ve got a motor vehicle in the driveway you’ve never produced enough of anything during any decade of your life worth the sticker price of it.  Be thankful you’ve got at least another year of life ahead before all that Japanese radiation forces you to wonder whether all those nuclear power plants  were all that great an idea.

Maybe it’s a good time to really bundle up on Thanksgiving:  “I’m grateful for everything that’s ever happened to me in this lifetime.  I’m grateful for everything happening right this moment.  And I’m grateful for everything that is going to happen to me from now until I croak.”

That way you’ll have plenty of time to sort out the specifics without boring yourselves to tears.

Old Jules

Prioritizing insignificance

clownpic

Hi readers:

Those of you who’ve read through this long series of anecdotes will recognize that my life’s been spent in a forest of insignificance incapable of being recognized as such except by hindsight.   To qualify for the insignificance merit badge each item running for office had to be at least a week in the past.

Lately that’s changed.  I’ve got a 1950s Africa movie scene dust cloud of stampeding herds, pods, prides, coveys, flocks, and occasional individual insignificances coming at me out of the future, stirring up all manner of noise and dirt right here in my normally significant present.  Even when they drift downstream into the past they keep zigzagging around trying to fight their way back uphill to make nuisances of themselves in my today mode.

Fact is I’ve got another reincarnation coming into the picture, as well, and though it’s probably insignificant, I need to tip my hat to it various ways.  Just so it doesn’t get pissed off and decide I need to pick up on past themes earlier reincarnations.  If I’ve got to bow and scrape a bit it’s worth it.

So I’m going to take some time away from this blog.  Spend my time sorting through whatever I can convince myself is more significant than something else over the next period of time.

Those of you who’ve been frequent visitors, I appreciate you.  Those who haven’t, I appreciate you, also.

I’ll send you no more omphaloskepsis unless something different happens.

Old Jules

Bummer if that thing went off (from the drafts)

Enjoying a day out after the hospital stay last week.

Enjoying a day out after the hospital stay last week.

Ever noticed how many people hang around discussion boards of every description watching for things they can tell other people NEVER to do?

NEVER play with matches! NEVER ride a bicycle with no brakes! NEVER point an acetylene torch at your face when you light it! NEVER try to get inside a tree shredder while it’s running!

I think there must be something about typing a command about never that feels validating, self-affirming. Telling people what they’ll either have better sense than to do anyway, or who will pay no attention and will do it anyway.

And the fact is, it could as easily be said in ways people might listen to because it wasn’t so offensive and presumptuously downtalking. How about, “Sure would be a big bummer for a person to get his hair caught in that fanbelt.” Something along those lines.

About the only response I can think of appropriate to the NEVER command is “NEVER say NEVER!”

Old Jules
====================================================
Hi folks, Jeanne here.  That was from the unpublished drafts files…although it’s still possible that it was published and I just didn’t find it. So if it sounds familiar, let me know and I’ll be more careful pulling things out this way. There are 945 published posts on this blog, so I suppose you could just hit “random” and find something entertaining.

Fact is, Old Jules has an unstable phone line right now and can’t keep a connection long enough for the internet. It’s difficult to talk to him for more than a few minutes, although the breaks in the connection get fairly predictable. There’s a lot of repeating and frustration involved with a five minute conversation. But he did approve my putting up this old draft and an update.

Yes, but how is he, you ask.  Well…he’s not in the hospital. He sounds real good.  He’s got almost zero energy.  Drinking Caisse’s tea. Blood oxygen level normal. Blood pressure fluctuating. Reading a lot, generally staying warm and fed. Trying not to get dehydrated or winded. Although he’s isolated, Gale and his neighbor check on him from time to time and some others of us call him frequently and freak out (me)  if for some reason he doesn’t answer the phone (usually it’s on the charger).
I suspect it was pneumonia that caused things to deteriorate to the point where he went to the hospital. While treating him for that, they found other stuff to alert him about, and he’s tackling those in order of importance as he sees it.
A couple of us are standing by to take care of the cats if he decides to, or needs to, go back in for the rest of the recommended testing. Gale is out of town on a fairly frequent basis, so we are trying to make sure some satisfactory solution is found for them. I would just drive down there and get them, but 800 miles doesn’t allow for him to get them back easily when things settle down, so that’s not the first choice.
So basically, he’s resting a lot and trying to get his energy back, and I’m preoccupied with keeping tabs on him and passing on updates as needed.
When I can keep my head on straight, I’ll see if I can’t pull some posts out of the drafts from time to time, but I think my own blog is on hiatus for now.
Thanks, C.P., for sending the photo from last week.
And thanks again, everyone,  for all your kind thoughts.
Jeanne

Shooting 50,000 unsolicited words at the Universe

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

Jeanne tells me November’s going to have several thousand people grinding out first drafts of immortal prose again.  Poor old Universe will be ducking and dodging new characters, events, plots, subplots, trying to keep track of what’s really happening, and what someone dredged up from the imagination and stuffed into 50,000 words packed into the month of November.

I’ve wondered about this phenomenon for a longish time, several years, and honestly can’t quite figure it.  Probably tens of thousands of November novels written in past years nobody but the authors ever laid an eye to all the way through.  Pages, electrons on the screen, characters floating around in the ether wondering what the hell happened, why their pent-up events just ground to a halt.

All I can figure is those people doing that are trying to shoot down the Universe and know it’s going to take a lot of ammunition.

If a person were looking for a worthy project that would be less likely to damage the Universe he might consider taking the JRR Tolkein Lord of Rings trilogy and working it up into a second draft, which wossname, Tolkein failed to do.  At least not the part about say, cutting about 2/3 of the extraneous immortal prose, working it around so it’s tight, a pleasure on the tongue of the Universe, rather than just something out of some fast food joint.

Maybe someone everyone does what he says will think of this sometime and tell them they ought to do that instead of picking out targets of opportunity trying to shoot down the Universe.

Old Jules

Old Sol: You’ve got’em by the shorthairs

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

Old Sol: You Chosen People don’t need any international agreements anymore. All that World Trade and Free Trade crap can go down the tubes. Along with NATO, and all those Asian and Pacific treaties. You won’t need NAFTA anymore because all of North America will be Chosen People.

Me: Isn’t that a bit extreme?

Old Sol: Only because you didn’t know you were ALL Chosen People in the United States. You thought just some people were Chosen People. Once the word gets around everyone’s going to want to be Chosen People. All those Mexicans, Guatemalans, you name it, they’re going to be gnawing at the doorstep. Begging to be let in. Oil. Oil. Oil. $20,000 per head per year for all Chosen People.

Me: What about the Four Civilized Nations on Earth you mentioned earlier? Australia, New Zealand and Canada?

Old Sol: No problemo. Canada’s already as good as in. That border’s just a damned nuisance to them. And Australia and New Zealand won’t have much choice. If they don’t join up to be Chosen People they’re going to be chock-full of Asians. It’s bad enough already.

Me: And Israel gets to be Chosen People again when they move to Nicaragua?

Old Sol: Yeah! Isn’t that exciting?

Old Jules

Trickle-down economics and pornography

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

When Ronald Reagan invented trickle-down economics and sold it to US lawmakers it sounded like one-heluva good idea to the people who know most about money by having a lot of it. The idea was that if people who have more than a million dollars didn’t pay as much in taxes the extra money they had would trickle down their legs and end up in the pockets of store clerks, hamburger flippers, ditch diggers, truck drivers, and guys who spend their days in slaughter-houses whacking hogs on the forehead with sledge-hammers to keep hams flowing into the grocery stores.

The problem was that all those rich people spent the extra money they got with tax breaks watching pornography. Vanessa Del Rio, Annette Haven, Lisa Deleeau and Marilyn Chambers did indeed find themselves plenty of work, though. Johnny Wad Holmes and Ron Jeremy got a fine boost from trickle-down economics.

But that was back before the Internet. Once Donald Trump, wossname, the Microsoft guy, and wossname #2, the AOL married to Jane Fonda guy, had worn themselves out watching porn they naturally just went back to trying to figure out how it could make them some more money. Probably a lot of that went into recruiting new porn stars and putting their work up where it could make them some more tax breaks.

Today there are a million porn sites on the Internet, I read somewhere. Which must mean there are what? 50? 60 million? people out there working to keep the porn industry going, moaning, grunting and sweating all day long taking advantage of trickle down economics.

In fact, I’m betting old Bill Clinton’s probably spending his idle days when Hillary’s busy checking out the economics of it. He was too young when the Kennedy’s were passing Marilyn Monroe around between them, but Vanessa Del Rio might still be alive.

Old Jules

Happy days are here again

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by.

The Inkspots are singing, “I don’t want to set the world on fire” on the player this morning. Those high old times when the US and the Rooskies were staunch allies in the worldwide struggle against the forces of darkness appear to be seeping into world events.

This guy, Arnold Swartzneigger Putin has pulled Br’er Rabbit out of the Briar Patch. “A small step for a man, a giant step for mankind,” someone observed. Taking a page from a presidential debate during the 1990s, the US President complimented Putin. “You are not Joseph Stalin. I knew Joseph Stalin. You are not Joseph Stalin.”

Putin preened and flexed his biceps in response and provided the escape route out of the briar patch. Henceforth, Russia will take care of the problems on its doorstep, or ignore them. This will allow the US to withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan and the various other pest holes in the area and tend its own affairs. Move into the 21st Century, or at least into the last decade of the 20th Century, where the Middle East ain’t our problem.

“You have more oil now than any place on the planet,” Putin quipped to the President. “You don’t have to be stuck back here in the middle ages anymore. These people are all just semites. Let them destroy themselves. They’re better at it than we ever were.”

Well, whatever comes of all that, he isn’t Joseph Stalin and this guy in the White House doesn’t have to be John Kennedy.

Old Jules