Of Best Laid Plans

To a popular Mouse…

That small heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter’s sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.

But Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid plans of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

In less than ten days I will be moved out of our family’s rural 10-acre, 2,850 sq. ft. Ranchita home (FINALLY!), and soon be returning to my life and particular unconventional lifestyle in the enormous thriving DFW Metroplex I had over 3-years ago, of which does not and cannot exist in a tiny rural central Texas town. HAH!

Oh how I have missed my life up there, my appetites quenched up there, and my tribe up there. It has been far too long. But my strong duties to family, their well-being, and of familial values we hold from multiple generations back to 17th century Europe and nine generations here in Texas, refused to let me be so self-centered. I answered the desperate need that in the end took three long, exhausting years and every summer break the last five. It is coming to an end and very soon will be the start of the next phase of life in one of several of my cherished homes: Dallas-Fort Worth.

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As the 5th largest metropolitan area in North America, Dallas (the bigger half shown above) has two major airports (DFW International & Love Field) that boost an eclectic world flavor, many recreational parks with 11 large lakes, arboretums, museums, sports complexes/stadiums, including a pro soccer club, and a very good, extensive public transit system for eco-friendly Green-lifers, festivals galore throughout the year, a very large Steampunk community, and an exceptionally diverse nightlife with, yes you guessed it… a gigantic alternative-lifestyles communities, events, and network found nowhere else in the state in size or participation, bar none.

Am I beyond excited? Does the tin-man have a sheet-metal cock!? Okay, back on topic.

I had planned in vain foresight to post my Excursion to Perversions — II post well before now, however, “The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew.” Interruptions have plagued my well-intended superior blogging time and skills — ‘cept a few various comments on other blogs — at the expense of leaving all of you in but grief and pain for promised blog-joys undelivered! Ghastly I know. Thus, my apology here, now, and likely beyond the New Year’s Day and week. In many ways I will be starting a new phase, a new life in a renewed but familiar place among very familiar friends and new ones yet discovered. WordPress and personal blogging must take a temporary back seat until then.

Meanwhile, I’ll pop-in every so often, see what’s about and what trouble I can find. 😈 😉

Everyone have a safe, sensational holiday season with friends and family, and a marvelous, safe New Year’s Eve and Day! Cheers!

Live Well Love Much Laugh Often Learn Always

Christmas_Lights

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Excursion to Perversions – I

This blog-journey was inspired by and liberally borrowed from a classic book and well-known 19th century American writer you may recognize. I’ve added my modernized twists.

EtP_divider

 

The Programme and Bombastic Hubbub

The travel itinerary had been released months earlier. The 163-day voyage would make port in The Azores, Britain’s Gibraltar, Marseilles, Rome, Athens, Constantinople, Odessa, Smyrna, Beirut, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Tangiers, Bermuda, and home to New York harbor. Only a few select passengers would be chosen for this fashionably grand journey across the Atlantic. It was to be a who’s who list of celebrities to far away places that most could only dream. Quickly the trip was the talk of the country as much as the names to be offered tickets of passage.

“It was a novelty in the way of excursions—its like had not been thought of before, and it compelled that interest which attractive novelties always command. It was to be a picnic on a gigantic scale. The participants in it, instead of freighting an ungainly steam ferry—boat with youth and beauty and pies and doughnuts, and paddling up some obscure creek to disembark upon a grassy lawn and wear themselves out with a long summer day’s laborious frolicking under the impression that it was fun, were to sail away in a great steamship with flags flying and cannon pealing, and take a royal holiday beyond the broad ocean in many a strange clime and in many a land renowned in history!”

Victorian picnic

So how does one finagle himself past the stringent bowelless “Committee On Applications” and onto a prestigious vessel with numerous notable travelers? Voilà! Utilize a popular Shakespearian tactic known as inflated nothingness:

“I referred to all the people of high standing I could think of in the community who would be least likely to know anything about me.”

Having miraculously been selected as one of the traveling “select,” a supplemental programme arrived in the postal box. It informs the passengers boarding, the Quaker City will be graced by the celebrated Plymouth Collection of Hymns for heavenly song. A more joyous activity can scarcely be found. There were more pragmatic items to be addressed:

“This supplementary program also instructed the excursionists to provide themselves with light musical instruments for amusement in the ship, with saddles for Syrian travel, green spectacles and umbrellas, veils for Egypt, and substantial clothing to use in rough pilgrimizing in the Holy Land. Furthermore, it was suggested that although the ship’s library would afford a fair amount of reading matter, it would still be well if each passenger would provide himself with a few guidebooks, a Bible, and some standard works of travel. A list was appended, which consisted chiefly of books relating to the Holy Land, since the Holy Land was part of the excursion and seemed to be its main feature.”

Pilgrims excursionWith such acclaimed fanfare and America’s social prominents and acolytes, surely there was more ornation to be done! A renown physician and reverend upon the passenger list perhaps? Someone from the Ben Carson and Billy Graham family lines would conflate this voyage nicely and return America To Greatness in the eyes of the world, yes?

“Reverend [Carson] was to have accompanied the expedition, but urgent duties obliged him to give up the idea. There were other passengers who could have been spared better and would have been spared more willingly. Lieutenant General [Rex Tillerson] was to have been of the party also, but the [Russian deals and collusion] compelled his presence on the plains [of Siberia]. A popular actress had entered her name on the ship’s books, but something interfered and she couldn’t go. The “Drummer Boy of the Potomac” deserted, and lo, we had never a celebrity left!”

Alas, the August proportions of wonderous pomp and circumstance and snazzy names were pruned down or rescued despite the vivacious programme to the City of Amour, the Sultans of Constantinople, the enlightened Greek culture of Smyrna, the hallowed martyrs of Jerusalem and Jericho, concluding with native Bermudians. With such effervescent destinations, nay, what chance there be for any fuss?

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Final Preparations and Bon Voyage

Curious about the goings on at the slip where the Quaker City underwent some refitting, questions about the additions and non-additions were about and murmurings of why. As departure loomed the details of the steamer, amenities, and personalities of the “select” versus the unselective rattled ears and out of mouths. It seemed the adventure had already begun and the great ship had no more cargo than it had when her builders laid the keel, let alone cast off from port. What more could possibly add to the anticipation?

“I was glad to know that we were to have a little printing press on board and issue a daily newspaper of our own. I was glad to learn that our piano, our parlor organ, and our melodeon were to be the best instruments of the kind that could be had in the market. I was proud to observe that among our excursionists were three ministers of the gospel, eight doctors, sixteen or eighteen ladies, several military and naval chieftains with sounding titles, an ample crop of “Professors” of various kinds, and a gentleman who had “COMMISSIONER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO EUROPE, ASIA, AND AFRICA” thundering after his name in one awful blast!”

Clearly I have found myself outclassed and outgunned. If I hadn’t so little to offer, I would reconsider my risks among such company, but the allure and majesty of a Mediterranean excursion complete with all possible luxuries, history, spirit and drink had transfixed my compass beyond reason or caution. Why was this particular organic cargo necessary? How many enemies has this gaudy, trumpish man bred?

“I fell under that titular avalanche a torn and blighted thing. I said that if that potentate must go over in our ship, why, I supposed he must—but that to my thinking, when the United States considered it necessary to send a [trum-pity] dignitary of that tonnage across the ocean, it would be in better taste, and safer, to take him apart and cart him over in sections in several ships.

Ah, if I had only known then that he was only a common mortal [posing as an orange Zeus], and that his mission had nothing more overpowering about it than the collecting of seeds and uncommon yams and extraordinary cabbages and peculiar bullfrogs for that poor, useless, innocent, mildewed old fossil the Smithsonian Institute, I would have felt so much relieved.”

Soon enough the call went out, the Quaker City was ready to receive her illustrious seafaring men and women and those higher ranked. The pier was congested with carriages, luggage, porters, and hats of every sort all scurrying to unload, load, and embark. The traveling costumes were quite the unattractive sight as the rain and drizzle fell revealing molty wigs and toupees not even a Wall Street umbrella could hide. Even the glorious Stars-n-Stripes was limp along the ship’s flag pole. Yet, the time was nearer for casting the ties off the pier, the gangways retracting…

“Finally, above the banging, and rumbling, and shouting, and hissing of steam rang the order to “cast off!”—a sudden rush to the gangways—a scampering ashore of visitors—a revolution of the wheels, and we were off—the pic-nic was begun! Two very mild cheers went up from the dripping crowd on the pier; we answered them gently from the slippery decks; the flag made an effort to wave, and failed; the “battery of guns” spake not—the ammunition was out.”

USS_Quaker_City

USS Quaker City

Apparently, while threatening the North Korean leader with never before seen fire and fury, someone forgot to first check the inventory of gunpowder and shot. It was too late. All bark and show, but no bite or brains. And if that shouldn’t clamp a bigly Chihuahua yap closed:

“We steamed [ten minutes?] down to the foot of the harbor and came to anchor. It was still raining. And not only raining, but storming. “Outside” we could see, ourselves, that there was a tremendous sea on. We must lie still, in the calm harbor, till the storm should abate. Our passengers hailed from fifteen states; only a few of them had ever been to sea before; manifestly it would not do to pit them against a full-blown tempest until they had got their sea-legs on. Toward evening the two steam tugs that had accompanied us with a rollicking champagne-party of young New Yorkers on board who wished to bid farewell to one of our number in due and ancient form departed, and we were alone on the deep. On deep five fathoms, and anchored fast to the bottom. And out in the solemn rain, at that. This was pleasuring with a vengeance.”

Pleasuring with a vengeance indeed. All the steamy, drippy expectations of a grand exit, a phenomenal finale had all the pow and distance of a little trum-pity cap-gun. So much hoopla for hasty idleness. You might imagine how utterly relieved I was to hear the ring and hail for the prayer meeting and hymns to soothe our drab, wanting souls — like intestinal gaseouness sitting on a Buloke-wood seat atop a trotting donkey — I was thrilled.

Lulled by the to-and-fro sway of the ship, and the wavering chatter of voices outside my cabin hallway…

“I soon passed tranquilly out of all consciousness of the dreary experiences of the day and damaging premonitions of the future.”

Would tomorrow hold more tantalizing surprises, more peculiar intrigue? Was more even possible and of what recipe, what flavor? Sweet or sour?

(paragraph break)

To be continued…

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Cyber-status: Self-Reminder

Surprise! This is a quicky shorty.

clockwork orange overkillIn my previous 4-part series Games of Unknowledging, one of the general classifications of ignorance, or in this case so much information ready, available at your fingertips or just a mouse-click away, practically every hour of every day is a prime example of Time and Mental Constraints. It means that given how quickly information is available in our high-tech modern world, we online users, computer geeks, iPhoners and Androiders cannot possibly study and understand all things. We must leave some alone, select what subjects deserve our needs and attention. As a result, this form of ignorance is a product of inattention and can be lost for a period of time or forever. Being the eternal student and lover of broad education in as many areas of life and disciplines as possible, I really struggle with these constraints! After almost 8-years of blogging here and 40+ blogs I’m following, one of my recurring restraints is now my inability to keep up in a timely fashion with all the WordPressers that post/publish every 1-2 days, or sometimes multiple posts per day!

Should I feel negligent, a sense of remorse? Have I committed the horrible offense of biting off more than I can possible chew, let alone digest? Do all our fellow bloggers go through similar questions, doubts, and feelings of disappointing? Do hyper-frequent bloggers expect every single follower to have 20-, 35-, 50-minutes per post multiplied by whatever number they follow — in my case 43 for a total of 43 x 35m = 1,505 minutes, or possibly 25.1 hours — if all 43 posted a new post per day!? When would I write and compose blogs? When in the hell would I sleep? Is this the avant-garde definition of internet obesity? 😵

Back at ground control, there is a problem
Go to rockets full, not responding
Hello Major Tom, are you receiving
Turn the thrusters on, we’re standing by
There’s no reply

Que the perfect song for this insanity…

Earth to Professor. Come In Professor!

Now of course, more realistically and suspending my incorrigible tendency for satire, all our bloggers we follow do not publish every single day, I know that. Why not? Because they do realize (correct?) that all regular bloggers that not only write and post, but also READ other blogs, can’t possibly be in front of the monitor or on their iPhones/Androids 14-hours, 18-hours, or 25-hours straight per day, right? After all, WordPress is NOT setup like that popular, non-stop, 25/7 social-media platform with only a 140-character limit that even the President of the United States uses tweeting international and national headlines, and political, legal, religious, sporting, or scientific personal opinions that aren’t original from his half-functioning brain, right?

major tom in space

No, WordPress isn’t like that. WordPress is for intelligent, well-considered and planned blog-articles of more than 140 (or less) kindergarten characters that have good original stimulating content from various genres of life, right? These types of blog-posts illicit (demand? require?) quality valuable time and attention from their readers, yes? Thus, my struggle to manage well even my fond favorites of 10-12 blogs, much less 40+ blogs! Hahahaha, who am I kidding? My head and body scream at me if I sit in front of my computer monitor for 3-hours straight a day! There have been times when I pushed that beyond 4-hours — I won’t share details what bodily function became painful before I realized the time spent! I can get very, very focused when in that mode. My personality is such that I try hard to give someone my undivided attention. I was raised that way.

We’re Only Human

Well “informed” or overkill? A bed of roses or hate-cultivator? The debate has been presented before and raged since 1991. Is a hyper-library of all imaginable information-on-steroids good or bad for society? It is a never before seen colossal-version of our U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Free-speech is a legal right here, sure. But it does also involve concurrent responsibility, that is to say that the speaker/writer has as much accountability for their content as the listener/reader has to understand, filter and scrutinize before judging its value. When the topic is serious, impactful, or even life-saving or life-risking, I believe this interchange should NOT be a fly-by-night 5-second operation. With the advent of internet this accountability has exponentially swelled and it’s only growing in size as billions upon billions of people are given a microphone or camera to a global audience. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, naming only two, lit up the Pandora Paradox™ that perhaps outshined (and outburned?) the Hiroshima or Nagasaki bombs.

human leagueMy round-about point with all this is to say I have been having a difficult time kindly and responsibly following all your blogs I’ve liked and selected to read and follow. I think maybe 15-20 could be better manageable; anymore than my current 43-45 I just simply cannot get to everyone if several publish daily. I’m only human afterall — as he hums The Human League song — and only capable of limited time to read, comment, and willingly indulge in WordPress conversations or parleys, while simultaneously finding some limited time to compose and publish my own blog-posts. Hah! I have a total of 13 drafts, unfinished posts currently going back to February 2015! What tha hell? 😲

What does help my time and mental constraints for keeping up with all of you is that over the 8-9 years I’ve been blogging, numerous blog sites I selected, for whatever unknown reasons, have vanished, been deleted/deactivated, or have become lethargic. I see these cyber-deaths as a positive for the living! Their end provides the opportunities for new or active, yet to be discovered and exciting blogs and bloggers. A fluid circle of life! These song lyrics from one of my all-time favorite bands, lyricist, and drummer, have been slightly modified to protect the slightly heathen innocent:

No, followers are not for rent
To any god, site or government.
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren’t permanent –
But change is

(paragraph break)

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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