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Monday, October 28, 2019

Headed Home

There was a time when I had a full head of teeth and a mouthful of hair, but my brain is clear and youthful...I mean useful --or something I can't think of. Here is a candid Normaphoto taken last night. It showed up when I checked my e-mail today. Asked her about it. She said, "You were smiling and nodding at whatever you were looking at."
I was watching and listening to one of my favorite singing duos,  Jilda and Rick Watson . Rick is a longtime follower of my blogs, and I of his, but this time I felt some special instruction going on. I guess it's because this year is closing and I shall be 70 when it does.

I move in space and time but am not alone. Sometimes I encounter a giant vessel and call out, "What ship are you? What cargo?" 

I am answered,"The 'Fado' of the Pliades-Bombay Navigation Company, 15 billion years out, carrying cures, ideas, peace, progress and prosperity for all life on earth! Headed home! What vessel are you?"

"I am Geo., only 70 years out and carrying nothing  much except maybe a vaccine for Urban Sprawl. Also headed home."

"Good enough, meet me at the pier pub. I'm buying."

Now who could resist that?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Ladybug Tuesday

Because of Norma's photo today on our afternoon amble,
I thought it apposite to visit  April 17th, 2012 . On that day, the subject wandered to the disciplines of higher education and my experiences with them. I ought to give it more generous and current thought but it goes deep into 1970 and my memory is not what it used to be --whatever that was. It concerns my time at Chico State College. You can see a picture of that august institution below. I can't recall who doodled over the sign.
Word List #14: How Spring Break 1970 Never Ended


There are many definitions of knowledge. We may begin with Aristotle, who divided knowledge into three parts: theoretical, what wants knowing; practical or praxis, which ought be known; poetikos, what we think we know before it gets shoved way back in the fridge and turns into something else. One may augment this catalogue by consulting other philosophers, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Locke, Mill, all of whom explored particulars --method, substance, sensation, synthesis, transcendentalism, intuition, induction and deduction-- but I never went beyond Mill for a simple reason. When I was in grade school, people knew only half what is known now so encyclopedias just went up to M. Our school did get an advance Britannica that went clear to end of the alphabet. We were excited and suspicious. Some of us snuck into the library and peeked. Volumes N through Z were just blank pages.


When it came time to go to college, we students were asked to write our choices on a special form with a special IBM pencil and turn it in to the office. I wrote "Chico State" on mine and it was fed into the school computer, a recently upgraded Babbage Engine designed for weaving 19th century textiles but could sometimes calculate polynomials during lightning storms. It enrolled me into "Coccinellidae" which I, being young and adaptive, figured was close enough.

When I got to college it was immediately obvious some mistake had been made. The desks were tiny. I didn't fit. And all the courses were on the same subject, aphid-eating. When I asked what majors were offered, the registrar answered, "Aphid-eating, of course! For lady-bugs there are no other professions." I was referred to a counselor who didn't ever seem to be in.

I am still haunted by the idea that I may have stepped on him during my first frantic visit.


  1. I was a ladybug for Halloween a few (oh wait, make that nearly 10-ish) years ago. I would have fit right in! Your poor little counselor.
  2. Thanks CarrieBoo. I think a lot of surrealism is experience streamlined into something more manageable.
  3. Okay, now, if you're thinking about writing a novel in which the main character wakes up, only to find he has changed into a ladybug, alas, I must tell you, that theme's already been used ...
  4. At the end of the Ms there is mysticism. After that, what's to know?
  5. Thank you Susan and DB. Yes, I really did withdraw from Chico State in my Junior year, but there was no Kafka Hall. Mysticism does indeed complete the Ms but "Metamorphosis" appears slightly ahead of it and, as we know, never really ends.
    Current comments (please!?) begin below....

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Enigma Of Toybox Wisdom

I have been trying to make a video but am not 
very good at it. I had to use stuff from my toybox.
[Best viewed at FULL SCREEN. Please click lower right icon.]
I still don't know if I did it right but will continue to post as if I had something to say. So, onward and offward. 

I have followed PG&E's bewildering rationale regarding their whole-California electrical (the E part of PG&E) outage. I was doing pretty well until I figured out what the "G" might really stand for: "G"ravity! 

In response to numerous complaints that things, especially round things, roll off tables, shelves and fall down, and other things, like hairbrushes, ballpoint pens and my briar pipe, hit the floor benignly enough but pick up energy as they clatter toward the door and have to be chased down the road.

This has got PG&E threatening to shut off California's gravity (a vital utility) unless the Legislature repeals the laws of physics.

There may be no central theme to this post but it gives me an opportunity to quote one of my favorite newscasters, who brightened my lunch breaks at work for many years. I refer to Paul Harvey, who invented up-speak: "Good day?".

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Enigma Close To Home

No picture on this one. You can see it on the news. It's nearly 1 a.m. here and I've been following an interruption. My dear friend, Will, was talking with me on the phone from Sonoma Tuesday and stopped mid sentence. He reported that his radio had just issued a public service notice that electricity would be off for his town --and the entire coast of our state for 5 to 6 days.

We rang off and I checked the PG&E trouble map on line. They were canceling service up and down the state --mainly coastal except for San Jose and some other Silicon Valley tax fountains-- all the way inland to Juaquin Murrietta (who might have admired their cold-bloodedness), Rancho Cordova and various spots of the Sierra range. Why?  Because PG&E decided we will have high winds and their electric lines are not up to handling them.

Wednesday morning, we woke to a mild breeze. Now the day is over; it is 1:05 a.m. and I shall doubtless wake to a mild autumn day tomorrow. PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) has extended its forecast to 7 days. 

Millions of people are involved. Many, like me, depend on private, electrically operated, wells for water. All depend on refrigerators and freezers for safe food. And I can't, without unmanly tears, think about those who rely on Albuterol nebulizers and O2 generators to get through the day.

Please advise.

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Rat Patrol, Continued

I call him Independent Squared, after his exponentially-great grandfather. He is training for The Rat Patrol. This is not the same patrol that pestered Rommel. Squared's operations will be confined to this property and surrounding fields.

Now don't get me wrong: I enjoy a major rat infestation as much as the next guy but lately it's needed adjustment. We must trust that reality leads outside our moving moment and can improve the future if we help. An example would be the next election.

Will Americans reelect a reality(?) tv personality who's solution to alopecia is a rear-whole-body, crotch-to-top, pubic comb-over? But on to important things. Squared is not alone:
He has two siblings. Both have dedicated their future careers to the abolition of rodents. They are about to enter cat adolescence. 

I remember my own entry into adolescence quite well. It's discouraging to look into the mirror each morning and watch oneself turn into a monster. A similar climacteric comes with age, but I won't go into that --because I'd have to go lie down for a while.

What I'd rather do is concentrate on a new invention that has nothing to do with rats. I'd like the Home Movie Viewing experience to better approximate Commercial Theater Movies --maybe an affordable machine that kicks the back of your chair. On second thought, I will go lie down.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Politics Of Rats

A few years ago I was talking with a huge rat. He had business in our state's capital.

While he was here, he conducted a friendly

"Hello little man! Please come here."


"I detect a bit of hesitancy. Are you nervous?"

"Not nervous, but wary. I'm accustomed to the size of river-rats but have come away from a strange exchange with a thing called M*rat, that accused me of "white genocide" because I insisted all humans are of the same species."

"You're quite correct, but I suspect there was something Freudian at work there. What was his first name?"

"Hmm. Randall."

"And when his mother called him home, what do you think she yelled?"

"I don't know --his name over and over?"

"Yes! 'Randy, Randy' etc.. Then some wag down the street would doubtless answer, 'Me too, but you don't hear me shouting it all over the neighborhood.'"

"Your point?"

"You're an educated man, an autodidact..."

"Yes, I taught myself to fix my own car."

"No, I'm talking Freud here and suggesting your accuser is feeling guilt --imagining matricide!"

"Why on earth would anyone want to kill a mattress?" 

Then he announced his survey was done. He hopped the next barge down-river . I believe he is mayor of Bolinas now.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Jeunism Revisited

In these hard times, when readership has abandoned whole thoughts and youth has migrated to cliquish texting, I find it comforting to travel back to an earlier post that predates ageistic revolution. It lessens the pain of social fragmentation. If you understand the preceding sentence, it rather dates us. I have traveled back a mere 6 years here --and included the excellent comments the post received then-- in hopes that modern readers will agree, disagree, at least acknowledge recognition of its theme. Comments are welcome under those retrieved from the past. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013


I found it necessary to modify an illustration (ok, beyond the little greeting) from the excellent archive, FTIC , because, although it effectively typified  the 19th (and 20th) century standard of bow-wow oratory, it lacked  relevance to history as I have imagined it.

The figure above is delivering an impassioned speech against Jeunism, elder-discrimination, and has just begun an attack upon the overprescription of stool-softeners by pointing at a softened stool.

"Ladies and gentleman, how can we condone a heinous compound which, when misapplied by ne'er-do-wells, causes our most experienced pianists to fall off their art and sends our most skilled saloonists sprawling onto saloon floors?"

The audience was all attention. Interest and indignation had been piqued. They heard more:

"I have the testimony of Macomber Bomby, the man behind Dan Patch, who drove that peerless pacer to break 14  world speed records, finally setting the world's record for the fastest mile by a harness horse in all history. Mr. Bomby confided to me, he said, 'Professor Fustian, I sits a sulky solider than sudden sodden sanity but when I goes for a snort spiked with stool softener --and mind you, it ain't half bad-- I falls right on the floor.'"

The audience indulged in a collective moan of horror.

Professor Fustian continued: "Dear friends of culture and American progress, I shall conclude this chautauqua on a hopeful note.  We have perceived something which warns us we are in the presence of tragedy, that our youth have taken to pharmaceutical offense against us. Like Macomber Bomby, we encounter novelty in the form of stool softener and find ourselves brought back upon our own traces. Who is responsible? If we consult imagination and act upon its suppositions, I believe we'll find ourselves justified in blaming the young.

"In the face of misguided enterprise,  errors of youth we cannot ourselves remember making, we must maintain strong character with an immense capacity for self-restraint. When prescribed stool-softener by younger and younger physicians, we must persevere and pretend to agree. Yes, there will backlash and youthful outrage at our stoppage, but we will prevail. Indeed, we have had extraordinary luck isolating this problem and it will be entirely our own fault if we do not succeed in flushing it out."



  1. Hi Geo.,

    Suppositions? Flushing it out? Your posts are so clever and full of double and triple and quadruple meanings, I could probably read them ten times and not catch them all. I can't tell you how much I enjoy your blog.


    (still chuckling over this one)
  2. Kind Michelle-- Thank you. The day was so full of heat and hornets that I sat inside and wrote potty humor.
  3. I haven't yet become old enough to utilize stool softeners, but softening of the brain began afflicting me years ago. I blame it on the Texas dust and heat, although enthusiasts of Jeunism might think otherwise.

    I always come prepared with a dictionary and a reasonably clear mind before I immerse myself in your posts. I immediately had to look up "Jeunism" and became rather alarmed when I realized that it could apply to me.

    It's useless for me to write my own blog posts after reading yours. There's no possible way that I could use "chautauqua" in a sentence.
  4. Jon-- Thanks! Few have heard of chautauquas nowadays. My mother enjoyed them when they traveled to her town in Oklahoma in the 1920s. Didn't hear of them again until I read a book in the '70s called "Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance".
  5. With the most wonderful and all knowing Wikipedia at my fingertips, I slowly pieced this brilliant post together in my slowly dismissing mind. It's all about movement, baby.

    I think this was one of your top ten, Geo.
  6. I know a few people who needs "Kaopectate" for their brain to keep too much shit from coming out.
  7. Hahaha, what a funny and intelligent post! In Germany we have the term 'Jugendwahn' - youth mania - and you can see it everywhere - but who are we to complain? We created it - and now we can't get rid of it, as Goethe's the 'Sorcerer's Apprentice'. I love especially your attentive and very involved audience. Professor Fustian seems a bow to Johann Wolfgang von G. too? If I had to translate Chautauqua - had to look it up - we could take Mr. Friedrich Fröbel - but no - that would be a faux pas: he wanted to educate the very young (Audience, grumbling: hear! hear!) forming them like potter's clay...
  8. I love Pirsig's book about his Chautauqua.

    Sadly jeunism is  alive and well.

  9. Arleen--You honor me! I got the pic of Dan Patch from Wikipedia, which is getting more Wiz-of-Oz-like all the time.

    Keith-- Sometimes I need something to keep thoughts together. You think roughage would help my brain too?

    Britta-- I love your insightful comments! Goethe did come to mind but Fustian --as his name implies-- is far more bombastic and less enlightened than the champion of Wiemar Classicism.

    Laoch-- Pirsig! I'd forgot his name but not his life-affirming inquiry into existence, love and understanding. Thanks!
  10. For sure, it sounds like a vile movement, and rumor has it the ring leader is a buxom young lass named Lucy Bowels...

    Another fun post, dude. We can get back at the young people, ya know. Just feed 'em sugar-free cookies. LOTS of sugar-free cookies. Hehe.
  11. Susan-- I hoot! Decidedly I hoot! Wasn't Lucy Bowels a character in "Threepenny Opera"? "Hey Lotte Lenya and Miss Lucy...(I forget)". Dude likes your sugar-free cookie plot!
  12. With "Fustian" I (flippantly) thought of Goethe's protagonist "Faust": Habe nun, ach! Philosophie,
    Juristerei und Medizin,
    Und leider auch Theologie
    Durchaus studiert, mit heißem Bemühn.
    Da steh ich nun, ich armer Tor!
    Und bin so klug als wie zuvor;", Project Gutenberg translates it as:
    "I've studied now Philosophy
    And Jurisprudence, Medicine,--
    And even, alas! Theology,--
    From end to end, with labor keen;
    And here, poor fool! with all my lore"
    I stand, no wiser than before:
  13. Britta-- With exception of "Juristeri und Medizin" I could use your delightful quote as a personal axiom. Thanks!
  14. What a great post, Mr. G! SNL could use some of your classy wit. But I suppose the bulk of it would be lost on the younguns.
  15. W2W-- Thanks! I hope the younguns find enough hilarity in life without my assistance but I sure appreciate your compliment.