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Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #058
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~~~~ In Memoriam: ~~~~
~~~~ Don Topping (1936 - 2005) ~~~~
~~~~ Foxborough, Massachusetts ~~~~

Don, we know your spirit lives on.
For you this is my adaptation of a famous haiku about farewells:
                   Seeing Donald off,
                    Being seen off by him,
                    Summer in Foxb'ro.

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~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #058 Published August 1, 2005 ~~~
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Quote for the Pre-season Football Month of August:

The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.


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Editor: Bobby Matherne
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©2005 by 21st Century Education, Inc, Published Monthly.

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~~ Click on Heading to go to that Section (Allow Page First To Fully Load). ~~
Archived Digests
Table of Contents

1. August's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for August
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Fig Preserves: Cooking and Canning
6. Poem from Rainbows & Shadows:"A Fish Tale"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for August:

8. Commentary on the World
9. Closing Notes - our mailing list, locating books, unsubscribing to Digest
10. Gratitude

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#1 Jul  #2, Aug  #3, Sept  #4, Oct  #5, Nov  #6, Dec  #7
2001: Jan  #8,  Feb  #9,  Mar #10, Apr #11, May #12, Jun #13, Jul #14, Aug #15, Sep #16, Oct #17, Nov #18, Dec #19
2002: Jan #20, Feb #21, Mar #22, Apr #23, May #24, Jun #25, Jul #26, Aug #27, Sep #28, Oct #29, Nov #30, Dec #31
2003: Jan #32, Feb #33, Mar #34, Apr #35, May #36, Jun #37, Jul #38, Aug #39, Sep #40, Oct #41, Nov #42, Dec #43
2004: Jan #44, Feb #45, Mar #46, Apr #47, May #48, Jun #49, Jul #50, Aug #51, Sep #52, Oct #53, Nov #54, Dec #55
2005: Jan#051,Feb#052,Mar#053,Apr#054,May#055,Jun#056,Jul#057,Aug#058,Sep#059,Oct#05a,Nov#05b,Dec#05c
2006: Jan#061,Feb#062,Mar#063,Apr#064,May#065,Jun#066,Jul#067,Aug#068,Sep#069,Oct#06a,Nov#06b,Dec#06c
2007: Jan#071,Feb#072,Mar#073,Apr#074,May#075,Jun#076,Jul#077,Aug#078,Sep#079,Oct#07a,Nov#07b,Dec#07c
2008: Jan#081,Feb#082,Mar#083,Apr#084,May#085,Jun#086,Jul#087,Aug#088,Sep#089,Oct#08a,Nov#08b,Dec#08c
2009: Jan#091,Feb#092,Mar#093,Apr#094,May#095,Jun#096,Jul#097,Aug#098,Sep#099,Oct#09a,Nov#09b,Dec#09c
2010: Jan#101,Feb#102,Mar#103,Apr#104,May#105,Jun#106,Jul#107,Aug#108,Sep#109,Oct#10a,Nov#10b,Dec#10c
2011: Jan#111,Feb#112,Mar#113,Apr#114,May#115,Jun#116,Jul#117,Aug#118,Sep#119,Oct#11a,Nov#11b,Dec#11c
2012: Jan#121,Feb#122,Mar#123,Apr#124,May#125,Jun#126,Jul#127,Aug#128,Sep#129,Oct#12a,Nov#12b,Dec#12c
2013: Jan#131,Feb#132,Mar#133,Apr#134,May#135,Jun#136,Jul#137,Aug#138,Sep#139,Oct#13a,Nov#13b,Dec#13c
2014: Jan#141,Feb#142,Mar#143,Apr#144,May#145,Jun#146,Jul#147,Aug#148,Sep#149,Oct#14a,Nov#14b,Dec#14c
2015: Jan#151,Feb#152,Mar#153,Apr#154,May#155,Jun#156,Jul#157,Aug#158,Sep#159,Oct#15a,Nov#15b,Dec#15c
2016: Jan#161,Feb#162,Mar#163,Apr#164,May#165,Jun#166,Jul#167,Aug#168,Sep#169,Oct#16a,Nov#16b,Dec#16c
2017: Jan#171,Feb#172,Mar#173,Apr#174,May#175,Jun#176,Jul#177,Aug#178,Sep#179,Oct#17a,Nov#17b,Dec#17c
2018: Jan#181,Feb#182,Mar#183,Apr#184,May#185,Jun#186,Jul#187,Aug#188,Sep#189,Oct#18a,Nov#18b,Dec#18c
2019: Jan#191,Feb#192,Mar#193,Apr#194,May#195,Jun#196,Jul#197,Aug#198,Sep#199,Oct#19a

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1. August Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
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For newcomers to the Digest, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons! Check it out at: Also note the rotating calendar and clock that follows just to the right of your mouse pointer as you scroll down the page. You'll also see the clock on the 404 Error page if you make a mistake typing a URL while on the website.

The Violet-n-Joey Cartoon page is been divided into two pages: one low-speed and one high-speed access. If you have Do NOT Have High-Speed Access, you may try this Link which will load much faster and will allow you to load one cartoon at a time. Use this one for High-Speed Access.

This month Violet and Joey learn about qvj1nameq.

#1 "Anarchy " at

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Each month we take time to thank two of our good readers of Good Mountain Press Digest, books and reviews. Here's our two worthy Honored Readers for this month. One of their names will be in the TO: address line of your email Digest notification. Our Honored Readers for August are:

Tommy Harrell in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Alan Sheen in New Orleans, Louisiana

Congratulations, Tommy and Alan !

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Out Our Way:

This month began with a week's visit by our 12-yr-old grandson Gabriel. Due to his propensity during previous visits to stay one night and the next morning say, "I want to go home," we did some brain-storming about what we wanted to do while he was with us. Gabe, Del, and I each wrote on Post-it notes some thing we wanted to do, one thing per page. On a flipchart in the living room, I outlined the days Gabe would be with us and we proceeded to find spots for each activity. I encouraged Gabe to look at our schedule each morning and move things around. We didn't plan on the tropical storm Cindy paying us a visit, so she muscled her way into our plans for the week and some things got left undone, for this year. But the plan worked! When we were finished on Friday night sticking all the notes in place, Gabe could see a week's worth of fun things ahead of him. Sure enough, Gabe awoke after the first night all enthused about the coming week.

The first day we went to the CODOFIL breakfast, "where all these old people speak French," Gabe said to his mom later. Gabe drew the ticket out of the hat and Rosie Harris, the founder of the chapter won the money. Afterwards, Gabe, Del, and I came back to Timberlane and played Pay Me! and Gabe got to play along with Buster and Emily, Paul and Joyce, and JB Borel. After everyone left, Del took Gabe to Block Buster with her and bought him a video game for his PlayStation which he had hooked to the guest room's tv set. Several times during the week he came to use my PC to Google some shortcuts to one of his games.

On Sunday morning Gabe came to High Mass at St. Joseph's Church with us. Afterwards I bought him a candle in the outdoor chapel and showed him how to light it. He lit it for his Papa Herb who lives in the spirit now. Del was unable to come to the Jamison's BBQ pool party, so I took Gabe with me. Where there's a pool, Gabe will be in and will likely be underwater more than above water. He's like an otter in a stream, always popping up for air and going back under. He played with the Jamison's niece, Jo El, in the pool and later on the hammock when the rain storm came back. Mike didn't let a little rain stop his activity at the BBQ pit and seemed to enjoy the cooling respite the rain provided him. That night we watched "Wizard of Oz" together. A special guest explained how she goes to refugee camps around the world with that movie, and it is a universal hit with these children who have never even heard of Oz.

For the Fourth of July, Del and I took Gabe to watch the fireworks from Woldenberg Park on the levee in the French Quarter. They had two barges of fireworks out in the Mississippi River which were both pumping out fireworks right in front of our eyes. Gabe seemed to enjoy his walk through the Riverwalk, first time for him, on the way to the fireworks. I had some catfish fingers from Mike Anderson's restaurant and Gabe had a hamburger with Del at another food kiosk.

To get ready for Gabe's visit, I had taken down the B17 Bomber balsa stick model I had begun almost fifteen years ago when his older brother Chris was only three. I had done only the fuselage and one wing, but had stored it carefully in the attic and it was ready to work on. Gabe and I did a little work on it. Gabe and I also worked on getting his website fleshed out with some webpages he could fill in later as he gets older. You can see the results by viewing Gabe's website. Simply Click Here!

I took Gabe with me grocery shopping at the A&P. He wanted some Danimals Yogurt among other things. Gabe helped me pick figs and after a couple days of picking I had enough to preserve them. I have waited for 5 years to get my fig tree able to produce enough figs to put up some preserves. This was a perennial activity when I was a kid. I loved picking figs on my Granda Babin's trees when I was Gabe's age and I hope to instill that joy in him. My brother Paul reminded me that our brother David loved fig preserves so much that when he was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, he bought a case of fig preserves to eat during the last months of his life. I imagined that David was guiding my hands as I made these fig preserves. I have chosen to share with you my recipe for preserving figs in the Recipe of the Month. One of the chores I didn't like about jarring preserves was the boiling of the jars. I use my dishwasher on the long POT cycle with the heater on and it sterilizes the jars just fine without all the fuss. Simply time the completion of the dishwasher cycle to when the figs are ready to jar. Take out the hot jars one at a time and fill immediately.

Cindy came to pay us a visit this month, not my cousin, Cindy Matherne, but tropical storm Cindy who packed near hurricane winds and took down the last of my Lombardy Poplars across the back fence. Left us with a gaping hole which had to be repaired after the stump was removed. I've seen farmers remove such a stump in movies, and they usually had a mule or an ox, neither of which I possess. I do have an Irish buddy, Brian Kelley, who is strong as an ox, and together we managed to overcome the weight of the stump and the suction holding it in the ground, place it on a cart, and dump it by the front road for pickup.

Outside of the yard mess to clean up, Cindy left us without power for 12 hours. By keeping the doors closed on the fridges, we did not lose any food, but the power was out from midnight till noon, and about ten A.M. I took the propane torch I had just bought for some plumbing repairs, a metal CSA cup I bought at Gettysburg, heated water in the cup and ran it through our Melita 1-cup drip coffee-maker so we could have a refreshing cup of coffee.

Cindy also re-arranged our plans for our anniversary celebration. Brian and Judy Kelley took us out. We went to the Twilight Concert in City Park, the Sculpture Garden, and the Train Garden before dinner, but discovered that all three venues were closed due to Cindy's immoderate visit to New Orleans. Will take a week to get all the tree limbs removed from those areas. We ate dinner at Semolina's as planned, however, and had a great time.

My three daughters had given me a Father's Day & birthday gift of stepping stone they had designed. They wanted a verse from one of my poems to go with the plaque, so they spent three hours poring over my books of poetry looking for just the right phrase to use. The results can be seen in the Poem Section of this Digest, "A Fish Tale". I had placed it immediately alongside the new water garden off the East Portico. I could step on it to feed the goldfish. They liked it and I liked it. One morning I awoke with an image of the plaque turned into an animated .GIF image. I immediately set to work creating it and the results can be seen in this Digest. The phrase on the plaque says, "Swims serenely by", and in the animated image, the fish on the plaque does exactly that. Thanks, Yvette, Carla, and Maureen! ! !

One day I decided to repair the red shovel with the broken handle. I banged out the old pin and the handle piece from the shovel. Then I made a jig to align the drill for the hole for the new pin. Then I heated up the shovel with the propane torch and banged in the new hickory handle till it went all the way to the shoulder. When it cools it will be very tight! Learned this from the Wheelwrights on "Into The West" just this month. I had seen my dad, Buster, replace shovel handles when I was a boy, but didn't remember the details. It cost me more for a handle than to buy a new shovel, but the new shovels were of inferior metal and wood than this one.

After Gabe left, Del offered to help me with the B17 model. That was great on two counts: she wouldn't object to its being handy on the dining room table, and she could help me with the organizing of all the parts. She has begun to learn to cut out parts and glue them into place and we now have completed the two wings and the rudder is being assembled as I type these words.

This month, we sold our older 96 Maxima to Chris, our grandson. He works for a Nissan dealership and can keep it in fine running order for another 150,000 miles. It still looks great, and driving it felt to me like putting on an old pair of slippers — you know the feeling — they're so comfortable, you hate to part with them, even for a new pair of slippers. With two Maximas in the garage, Doris's Cadillac in the driveway and John and then Stoney's cars parked in our driveway for the past couple of weeks, Timberlane looked like a new car lot. Now we're down to only two cars in the garage and none in the driveway again.

For our anniversary I got Del's Eddie Bauer watch shined up at the jeweler's, a new battery put in, and a new crystal. It is her favorite all-time watch and it had been waiting for me to get its battery replaced. She was so glad to remove her wide banded replacement watch and get the loose bracelet band of the Bauer back on.

My daughter Maureen got promoted to Assistant Principal in charge of curriculum at East Jefferson High School, her mother's alma mater. Our three sons went there, and Stoney told us the current principal there, Maureen's boss, is his old football coach. Del and I decided to give Maureen the "Launch a Dream" framed poster which has graced several of Del's offices over the years. When I went to retrieve that picture, I found with it the framed astrological poster of the Crab which I wanted to give to my masseuse, Laura, who has the same astrological sign and has just moved to a new location. Both pictures are now in place in their new homes with happy new owners.

We celebrated the return from Baltimore to New Orleans of Stoney and Sue and their son Sam by taking them and Sue's parents, Phyllis and Foster Budd, to lunch at Morton's Seafood restaurant on the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville. Was a great day for a ride across Lake Pontchartrain for a visit with family.

For my birthday I got great gifts from Del to open, plus lots of cards and best wishes. With eight kids, it's always interesting to note the order in which the phone calls come in on my birthday. Received a spooky story from Anna Keller on my birthday which I share with you in the Cajun Story Section this month. This one was too good to wait. For dinner we went to Bon Ton Restaurant downtown and enjoyed a great meal together.

This next story is a true one. It involves my grandson Gabe and his father Steve. Steve took Gabe fishing and he taught Gabe how to bait the hook, but the bait kept falling off. He showed Gabe again and again, it fell off. Finally he left Gabe to his own resources and about fifteen minutes later, Gabe jumped up, threw his arms into the air in triumphant and yelled, "I've mastered baiting!" Steve nearly fell out the boat laughing. For the rest of the day, Gabe was called the Master Baiter! [Note: I've added this story to my Grandparent Tidbits webpage along with Gabe's Jingle Bells story.]

On the last Monday of July Del and I had just finished eating some red beans and rice when I got a call from our fourplex that a water line had broken. It turned out to be a pipe going out to a hose connection, but it took several hours to locate it and get the pipe replaced.

I was reading "Toward Imagination" by Rudolf Steiner this month when I came upon this passage which conjured up a poem in me. First the passage, and then the poem:

[page 54] The kind words spoken to us have a direct effect on us, just as color affects our eyes directly. The love living in the other's soul is borne into your soul on the wings of the words.

On the Wings of Words

Love is borne from soul to soul
       on the wings of words.

No dictionary can reveal
       the meaning of
The words that fly soul to soul
       on the wings of love.

No transcription can reveal the warmth
       of love that flows


Love is borne from soul to soul
       on the wings of words.

No philosopher can explain
       the magic of
The words that fly soul to soul
       on the wings of love.

If you wish to share the love
       a'borning in your heart
If you wish to span the gap
       keeping you apart

Fill your words with Love
       and send them flying o'er


Love is borne from soul to soul
       on the wings of words.

One day I went out to the East Portico garden to see what kind of weed was growing up in it. Turns out it was a new papaya tree sprouting. I had plucked the only papaya that lasted over the winter when I noticed it getting yellow (indicating ripe), and ate it. It was delicious and I saved the seeds. This is a Hawaiian papaya, but the A&P no longer sells that kind of papaya — it has gone exclusively to Central American papayas which are either very large or red flesh instead of yellow. I had been in despair of what I would do if the two remaining papaya trees were to die without an offspring, and now my problem was solved! I called Del and said, "We have a new grandbaby!" She said, "Tiffany had her son already?" "No," I replied, "our papaya had a baby." She laughed. Our grand-daughter Tiffany is due in early September and this will be our second great-grandson.

My club's summer dinner was at the Crescent City Brewhouse again this year. About a dozen of us were present. The four course meal was great: a whole plate of tasty steamed mussels with sauce, a fried softshell crab over pasta with a thin slice of eggplant over it, a gilled Mahi-Mahi over chili cheese toast, and a light cheesecake for dessert. All elegantly presented and delicious. Everyone had a great time.

We heard that our son John got promoted — he's now in charge of acquisitions and will be doing some traveling to possible new additions to his company's business. Seems all of the children we worried about at one time are now running the world.

Del's mom, Doris Richards, has survived her latest kyphoplasty on her T11, T12 vertebrae. Those are the first thoracic vertebrae and sit directly above the lumbar ones she had glued awhile back. Rest of her back looks fine. With some minor procedures for her remaining pain, she should be getting more and more comfortable. Her visual exam showed that she has lost the sight in one eye due to macular degeneration, but the sight in her remaining eye is still good. Del has been able to release the night-time help, which means Doris is now able to get out of bed without help, which is good news. Your continued prayers for her are most appreciated.

Till next month when September comes knocking, may you enjoy the rest of your summer . . . Bobby


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Movies we watched this past month:

Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, and all of the original dialogue.
P. S. Look for HD/DVD format movies which are now available from NetFlix.
Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise ignore.):

“War of the Worlds” (2005) H.G. Wells’ classic updated for the 21st Century with huge tripods rising from the ground after being entered by creatures coming down on lightning bolts. Interesting twist. Close up and personal point of view from Tom Cruise’s eyes as he strove to save his teenage son and pre-teen daughter and get them to Boston while the world was falling apart around them. May be too intense for adults. Let the kids go and keep the adults at home.
“The Jacket” (2005) stars a man who was killed in the Gulf War, but brought back to life with a stunted memory. He is discharged and wanders around till one day he helps a woman re-start her car and her daughter sees his dog tags and asks for them. Later he hitch-hikes a ride and when a policeman stops them, the driver shoots and kills the policeman and leaves the hero in the snow with the gun. He is convicted and hospitalized with the criminally insane where he is placed in a jacket and stored in a morgue bin for long periods of time. What happens allows him to sort out the details of his life in an amazing and gripping fashion.
“Stone Cold” (2004) with Tom Selleck as an LA cop transplanted to Paradise, Massachusetts, a small town on the upper coast as police chief when a serial killing spree breaks out. How he handles the investigation makes for a fine movie.
“Twice Upon a Yesterday” (1998) One of Penelope Cruz’s first movies in which this fledgling British actor ignores his girl-friend and falls in love with his co-star. When she dumps him later, he finds his girl-friend is scheduled to marry someone else. He goes back in time to make up with her and this time the roles are reversed and she does all the things he did to her to him and vice versa. Can this relationship be saved? Worth a second viewing as well.
“Coach Carter” (2005) Samuel Jackson morphs into every part he plays and Coach Carter shows it. Magnificent portrayal of a coach who wants to achieve credibility to his alma mater’s basketball team and college credentials for its players. The obstacles he has to overcome include the players, their parents, his principal, the school board, and the people of the town itself. Why don’t schools change for the better? Too few coach Carters out there, up until now.
“Nobody’s Fool” (1994) A Paul Newman classic worth another look or a first look if you missed it back in 1994. An aging worker in small town upstate New York has a bum knee, a bum lawyer, a bum friend, and a bum boss. And an estranged son who shows up with a kid and without a job. Another bum. This movie is full of amazing scenes, like the stealing back and forth of the snow-blower, but the one constant is the steely blue eyes and a locked-on portrayal of a man with a strong grip on life pulling his way through.
“The Wizard of Oz” (1939) see also One of the 1939 classic movies which bridged B&W and color technology and brought Frank Baum beloved book to millions around the world. Now playing in refugee camps around the world to a new generation of children. Caught these jokes: When the evil monkeys tore the stuffing out of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man looked at him and said, “It’s you all over.” And when Dorothy reports how she killed the Wicked Witch, the Wiz said, “I see; you’ve liquidated her.”
“ The Cooler” (2005) Not an Igloo ice chest but a Las Vegas gambling metaphor — Bill Macy as a guy whose bad luck is contagious and he works for a casino as the guy who cools down a player on a lucky streak. What happens if the Cooler’s luck changes for the better? Can he escape the gambling world he’s ensnared within and re-enter the world of day and night and rooms with windows and clocks in them? Can a beautiful cocktail waitress really fall for the Cooler?
“St. Ives” (1998) A romantic romp during the Napoleonic Wars with St. Ives as the French soldier of fortune and boudoirs who falls for the very lovely and very British Flora. Richard Grant is a blast as the English Major who is all full of himself but a bumbler in love.
“Roger Dodger” (2002) is reminiscent of Neil Simon’s “Come Blow Your Horn” with a younger protege (16 this time) of an older bachelor and ladies man (his uncle). Only we only see the bachelor shedding females, not bedding them. And the young nephew, AH! he gets his first kiss and a close-up look at the fail-safe option before he heads back to high school.
“Joshua” (2002) Tony Goldwyn, who played a man overcome by evil in “Ghost,” has a chance to wipe out that image of himself with this starring role as Joshua in the small town of Auburn. If you watch closely you’ll see the events of a famous carpenter’s life re-enacted in a modern setting. Giannini is terrific in his role as Pope in the closing scene.

Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off.

“Dirty Filthy Love” (2004) in which the title doesn’t come from the movie’s sexual contents but from the dirty words uttered by the hero in fast quick-time, like barks, as is common in many Touretters. See my review of Twitch and Shout. This was an extremely unpleasant movie to watch in the beginning, but as the movie wore on, it became even more unpleasant to watch. Except for Tourette’s Syndrome researchers, this is a DVD STOMPER. Either stomp it now or mail to a researcher you know.
“Imaginary Heroes” (2004) This is a sad movie. Full of teenage suicides. Hard to find anything positive about the movie excepting its ending which came about one hour and forty minutes late.
“7 Seconds” (2005) Another movie in which Wesley Snipes with superfluous car crashes, blondes, and bullets. Will keep you awake and make you forget it as soon as it’s over. Oh, the title — maybe it refers the amount time when real dialogue happens.
“Artworks” (2002) doesn’t. At every level: morality, acting, script, continuity, art, and ending for starters.

Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:

“Max” (2001) Max (John Cusacks) loses his right arm in the Great War and can no longer be a painter so he becomes a critic, an art dealer; Adolf loses everything in the war, his family, his home, his job, and all he can do is paint. He was to be an artist on the political scene with his mouth, and with his vision of the future, he was to destroy the sameness that was downtrodden Germany after Versailles and create an energetic, prosperous society with a dark side that the world saw almost too late. Max saw Hitler’s dark side early enough to encourage him to express it in his painting, but a little thing called fate got in the way.
“The Wooly Boys” (2001) Cowboys who herd sheep, get it? Peter Fonda plays a dying wooly boy, looking a bit like his dad Henry as he fades away. Kris Kristopherson sings and co-stars in this tacky but interesting twist on cowboy movies.
“The Safety of Objects” (2001) An at-times exasperating movie about four families interweaves scenes from the past and of the present leading us to the central event which allows us to make sense of their lives and them to transcend the event at the end of the movie. It’s especially poignant when the Barbie doll dies.
“Miss Congeniality 2" (2005) — Armed and Fabulous Sandra Bullock reprises her role as FBI agent, this time she’s a celebrity since the Miss America shenanigans of the first movie. Should be subtitled “Armed and Dangerous” — to others. Only “fabulous” in the sense of a made-up fable. She is assigned to be PR face for the FBI and sent to Las Vegas where her exquisite ability to foul things up comes into full play and once more she escapes unscathed with her man. Chick flick fodder.
“The Man on the Train” (2002) A slow movie of a man on a train who disembarks, buys a headache powder, and accepts the hospitality of a local man for a glass of water to take it with. They becomes friends although from different worlds. The local man owns a fine house gated from the town and teaches literature. The man from the train is in town to rob a bank and doesn’t speak much. But the driver hired for the getaway car speaks only one sentence a day — precisely at 10 am every day. One senses a karmic connection for the two new friends who seem to be spending the last days of their life together. Excellent cinematography. Worth a look.
“Admissions” (2005) The only member of the family who could not lie was the idiot savant 20 year old girl. Her sister and mother both had admissions to make and the father was no help at all. The whole family structure, mal-adapted as it was, falls apart when the Evie does a lousy job on her admission interviews at Stanford, Harvard, Dartmouth, etc. She receives a sheaf of rejection letters and has to deal with reality. “Spies” (1928) Fritz Lang classic silent movie about spies, spies, spies, everywhere. They literally crawled out of the woodwork. 2 hrs and 30 mins of spies. No. 326 was the hero who fell in love with the Russian woman, another spy. Will they ever get back together? A train wreck, a hari-kari, and a clown shoots himself in the head. Could have been inspiration for spy sitcome “Get Smart”. Spies.
“Million Dollar Baby” (2004) a tour de force by Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman about a tough gal who wants to become a fighter and does. Great boxing sequences followed by a lugubrious ending with a Hollywood message that it’s okay to terminate someone’s life if they ask you to.
“Whale Rider” (2003) We watched this movie in expectation of an exciting, interesting movie about whales and humans and got instead a slow, drawn-out tale that could have been told in a 20 minute documentary much better than this amateurish movie.
“Manna from Heaven” (2002) Money showered from the Heaven in Buffalo, NY, when they decided to let Hollywood make this movie in their city. Money, not plaudits. This movie is a slow slog most of the way and the only interest is how will they tie all the fershlugginer pieces together at the end. Well, they do manage the trick nicely and it barely gets a Your Call rating.
“Holy Smoke” (1999) with Harvey Keitel and Kate Winslet in the Australian Outback. She found pure love in New Delhi from an Indian guru and then was kidnaped home to Oz where she found impure love from an American guru hired to de-program her. A film version of Disneyland’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride with neck-wrenching turns of plot. Holy Smoke!
“This Is My Father” (1999) James Caan goes to Ireland searching for his father and uncovers a world in which the best meaning people caused untold misery to a young couple.
“The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi” (2003) An amazing look at old Japan when Samurai wandered about doing their thing. Zatoichi was an itinerant masseur who was blind. His blind walking stick enclosed his samurai sword. Along his way he helped all those he encountered, a lonely widow beset by thugs, her gambling addict of a nephew, two siblings whose parents were brutally murdered, and he leaves them better off. As Joe Bob Briggs would say, “Blood and body parts fly everywhere.”

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Adapted for this Cajun story from one received by Bobby on his birthday, July 20, 2005, from Anna Keller. Thanks, Anna! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Anna wrote: This happened about a month ago just outside of Cocodrie, a little town in the bayou country of Louisiana, and while it sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock tale, it's real.

An out-of-state traveler’s car had broken down and he had been walking on the side of the narrow, unlit road for a long time and trying to catch a ride. Late in a pitch-black night a heavy rain was falling and there was no traffic. He was soaked, an hour passed and still no cars went by. In the rain, he could hardly see a few steps in front of him except during the flashes of lightning. Suddenly he saw a car approaching him from behind — appearing ghost-like in the rain. With its lights off, it slowly and silently crept toward him and stopped.

He hesitated getting in, but he wanted to get out of the rain so much, he got into the car and closed the door. He looked over to thank the driver and realized that there was nobody behind the wheel, and that there no hum of an engine running. He could only hear the rain pounding on the roof of the car, which slowly crept forward again. He was petrified — too scared to move a muscle, much less think of jumping out and running.

A few minutes later the car approached a curve and, still too scared to jump out, he closed his eyes and began praying, “Dear God, help me survive this!” The ghost car was headed right into the bayou. “I can’t swim! I’ll surely drown!” was all he could think. “O God help me!” he kept praying.

Just before the curve a shadowy figure appeared at the driver's window and silently a hand reached in and turned the steering wheel, guiding the car safely around the curve. Then, just as silently, the hand disappeared through the window. He was alone again!

The ghost car continued down the road along the bayou and approached another curve. Still paralyzed with fear, he watched as the hand re-appeared as the car reached the curve. Soon, another curve was coming up and he was no longer paralyzed but scared to death, and he jumped out of the car and ran to town.

Soaking wet, he limped into a bar and with his voice quavering, he ordered two shots of whiskey, slugged them down, and then told the bartender and a couple of locals about his supernatural experience.

The bartender and the two drinkers went silent and just stared at him. Goose bumps rose on their skin as they realized the man was not some drunk, but was telling the God's truth.

About half an hour later two guys walked into the bar. One of them pointed over to him, and said to his buddy, "Eh, Boudreaux, dere’s dat idiot dat rode in our car when we wuz pushin’ it in the rain."

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5. RECIPE of the MONTH for August, 2005 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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Fig Preserves: Cooking and Canning

Background on Fig Preserves: Cooking and Canning : My favorite preserves from my childhood. A perennial activity among Cajuns in South Louisiana is picking and preserving the brown-colored Celeste Figs. Here' s how I do it.

12 quarts of freshly picked Celeste figs (brown)
4 lbs Cane Sugar
1 Quart Honey
6 empty quart jars (or 12 pint jars) with caps and new lids.

As you pick figs, place them in a 12 Quart pot as shown here and cover them with a layer of sugar each day. Let them set in a refrigerator until the pot is full. (At least over-night).

Cooking Instructions

Turn fire on Medium and bring to boil. When figs are boiling keep fire set to a slight rolling boil, but no higher. See Photo.

Cook until the ingredients in pot have been reduced to about half-size and the liquid has taken on a syrupy consistency. Usually takes about 2 hours at sea level (more at higher elevations).

Canning Suggestions
While pot is boiling prepare Jars by setting in dishwasher on bottom shelf. Wash on longest setting (Pots) with HEAT DRY ON. Time completion of wash cycle to match figs being ready. If wash finishes early, re-run only the DRY cycle to sterilize the jars.

Using 4 cup measuring cup, dip and pour fig preserves from pot to jar. Use wide mouth funnel to eliminate spillage. Fill to half inch of jar and immediately add new lid and tighten cap. Place on counter top to cool. Here's the lineup from our second batch.

Other options
Sometimes the last jar or so might not click to indicate a tight seal. No problem, just put that one in the fridge to be eaten out of first. If figs are too dry, add simple syrup as liquid till just right or decant extra syrup from older batch of fig preserves.

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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Rainbows & Shadows:
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A Fish Tale

       Streams of fish
         speeding past
            one another

Each fish
     on the
       ahead that it is passing
          soon to pass.

One fish
       ever in school


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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for August:
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And for my Good Readers, here’s the new reviews and articles for this month. The ARJ2 ones are new additions to the top of A Reader’s Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, and the ART ones to A Reader’s Treasury.

1.) ARJ2: Secret Brotherhoods and the Mystery of the Human Double — Lectures in Switzerland, November, 1917 by Rudolf Steiner

This is another amazing book of insights shared with us by Rudolf Steiner. We learn how an ahrimanic double is born in human beings and the destruction it brings to the world. How certain brotherhoods mine the insights of recently dead members to further their goals for power. How the way we deal with our deceased loved one can bring us disease or health. In this review I can only offer my extract of insights offered by Steiner in his seven lectures. Like any extract, this will seem bitter if one tries to ingest it directly — one must dilute it with the liquids of thoughtfulness to bring out the full flavor of the insights contained in the book. Or better yet, read the entire book.

Materialistic or earthly sciences end their study of the human being when the body dies. Spiritual science picks up its study of the human at that point and is our only source of information and data. Baconian science can not study what happens to the human being when the body dies because it has restricted itself to dealing only with sensory data — the tapestry of the natural world behind which one finds spiritual realities — it must exclude any other sources of data as fantasy or illusions. Steiner knew this about science and spoke of it frequently because he was a scientist of the earthly sciences as well as spiritual science. He knew his audience consisted of people educated in the earthly sciences. As a result, he offered them factual knowledge of the spiritual world to supplement their factual knowledge of the material world. And that knowledge takes its point of departure from the earthly sciences by focusing its study at the point when the human body dies. The human body dies, but the spirit lives on.

But how does the spirit live on, and what can we do while in the flesh which will benefit us while in the spirit? We are taught how to live, but where is the instruction in how to spirit? These series of lectures are a good place to start and to come back to later when the concepts within have had time to gestate.

2.) ARJ2: Shameless Exploitation In Pursuit of the Common Good by Paul Newman and A. E. Hotchner

This is a fun book to read. And it is required reading for anyone in the food preparation and sales business! Here is Butch and Sundance Redux in the form of ol' PL and Hotch, as they like to called by their friends and you'll feel like a friend after this book. You'll join them on Caca de Toro for some mock fishing, wondering with them if the boat will sink before their food endeavor, on the edge of a cliff with the lawyers and chemists trying to corral them in a normalcy prison and Butch (ol' Pl) will tell Sundance (Hotch) after he admits he can't swim (having been a refugee from a law school), "Hell, the fall'll prob'ly kill ya!" — in the basement of ol' PL's barn that used to stable three horses and smells like it, decorated with live cobwebs, with friendly field mice scurrying about, watching Sundance stir with ol' PL's canoe paddle the salad dressing ingredients as Butch explains the correct way to stroke the fragrant mixture, and sitting in the Newman's Own office in transplanted poolside furniture under a beach umbrella looking over at the sign on the wall which proclaims, "There are three rules of business and we don't know any of them."

3.) ART: The Structure of Magic, Vol. I — A Book about Language and Therapy by Richard Bandler and John Grinder

“WOW!” exclaims Virginia Satir in the opening sentence of her Foreword to this book and here expresses the real sense we had back in April of 1977 when Brian Kelley and I began reading and working our way through the material of this book. Within a week or two, we heard of a seminar to be given by the authors, Bandler and Grinder, at the Touro Nursing School and we signed up immediately. Almost breathlessly we awaited the beginning of the seminar sitting on the front row. We both expected them to talk about the material covered in this book, and we were disappointed on that score while experiencing a WOW at what they were talking about. It was all new stuff: eye accessing cues, phobia cures using dissociation strategies, and lots of incredible stories of deep and pervasive change in people evoked by the strategies these two had developed out of their studies of the works of Virginia Satir, Gregory Bateson and Milton Erickson, among others. Bandler and Grinder had already begun laying the foundation for the field of neurolinguistic programming (NLP) which was to follow in a few years. This was the book which started it all. This book was the first blaze on a trail into understanding, to be succeeded by “Structure of Magic II”, “Changing with Families”, and “The Hypnotic Patterns of Milton H. Erickson, MD I and II.” Looking back I see a trail of blazes leading up to 2005, a trail that might have never gotten started but for Richard Bandler and John Grinder whose signatures grace the red inside covers of this book. “WOW!”

Read the review. If you experience a tiny wow, you should read the entire book for a big WOW! som1art.htm

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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.

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In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.

1. Padre Filius Reads the New Orleans Times-Picayune this Month:

Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of the Digest to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.

This month the good Padre reads a Headline about the miraculous recovery of a Hospice Company. (Adapted from an actual headline on February 8, 2005: "Amedisys nursed back from dead.")

2. Don Topping

In the book, A Zen Wave, by Robert Aitken, he talks about the famous haiku about waving goodbye and farewells. (Note: A haiku is a 17 syllable Japanese poem, and Kiso is a place in Japan. Translation is by R. H. Blyth.)

Seeing people off,
Being seen off, —
Autumn in Kiso.
Aitken tells us how farewells are considered very important to the Japanese people.
[page 38] Farewells are an important point in human relationships. Friendship is mutual investment, and the time of farewell is the time of assurance of that investment. Our love remains with you; our love goes with you. This is the content of being seen off and seeing off.

[page 39] People in the West, sometimes quite insensitive to the importance of farewells, can learn from the Japanese, who say farewell to the very end. They wave and wave until their friends are out of sight. One meaning of the Japanese word hate [hah-tay’] is “extremity,” and perhaps one interpretation of the poem could be waving and being waved at until there is nothing left but the autumn of Kiso.

Fare well to you, Don Topping. Remember how we first met? We had just moved to Foxborough, a small town of 14,000 in southeastern Massachusetts, and I went to get our cars registered at the small insurance agency along the Common. Valerie, your wife helped me, and in talking to her, I discovered you did handyman work. I would be very busy in my new job as Applications Engineer at the Foxboro Co. so I knew I'd need your help. Sure enough, a week or so later, my wife slipped and knocked the Sony TV on the floor in our bedroom and it bounced off the window of our house and broke the pane of glass. So I called Valerie and she sent you over to fix the window for us.

My wife at the time, Patty, showed you the window and explained how it got broken by being hit by the tv. You removed the window and went to the only hardware store, Aubuchon's, in Foxborough where everybody knew you. You bought a replacement pane of glass and went home to replace it. While putting the glass into position the glass broke. This meant you had to go back to Aubuchon's to get another pane of glass. And you knew they'd asked you what happened.

You know this part, don't you? You didn't want to admit to the guys in the back of Aubuchon's that you broke the pane installing it, so you made up this story for the Aubuchon guys (or you made up the story when you told it to us — your stories were always so creative and fun we never cared if they were true or not):

"What happened? Well, I installed replaced the pane and re-installed the window and I was standing back looking at my handiwork. I asked Mrs. Matherne how the glass got broke, and she said, 'Like this.' as she picked up the TV and threw it against the window, and now I have to fix it again."
This was only one of numerous stories you regaled me with during the years we lived in Foxborough. I recall that you were a drummer and played back-up to many famous stars such as Ray Coniff, who also entered the spiritual world last year. Perhaps as I type these words, you and he are doing a celestial number together. Go well, dear friend, and, as you did when I lived in Foxborough, drop by any time when you need some company.

3. Announcing a New Verb: "to spirit"

As I listened to a Teaching Company lecture on William Faulkner, I picked up this quotation from his “As I Lay Dying”:

The reason for living is to get ready to stay dead for a long time.
It occurred to me that this expresses a view from one personality, not the eternal individuality or “I” in each of us which moves from lifetime to lifetime in an evolving progression.

The “I” might say instead:

The reason for being dead is to get ready to stay alive for a long time in the next life.
Interesting how we have no verb in the languages I know for the process of being dead. The verb “dying” means living while in the throes of the end of one’s life. The verb “deading” doesn’t seem to work either. This lack in German (just as in English) requires Steiner to say something like, “during the time between death and a new birth” — an entire phrase to make up for the lack of a simple verb.

Let’s see if we can come up with an ingenious way of fixing that problem, plugging a verb into the gap. Such a verb will allow to talk about the processes during the time between death and a new birth in the simple way we talk about living. We live and we die means we undergo the process of living which then terminates. How then do we say we die and then we X where X represents the process we undergo during the time between death and a new birth? That is the process I ask for a genii from the spiritual world to inspire in me a word for it. It must be a word which represents life or vita in its etymology while representing a time between lives.

inter-vita, tweenlive, interlive, insprilive, intercalary, intercalate, spiriting,
This may work:
spirit, vi, to live in the time between death and a new birth.
We live until we die and then we spirit until we are born into the flesh and begin to live again. This seems to work pretty well. Now let’s redo or update the Faulkner quote from above:
The reason for living is to get ready to spirit for a long time.
       And note we can equally say, The reason for spiriting is to get ready to live for a long time.
I incorporated this new intransitive verb spirit in my review of Secret Brotherhoods and the Human Double for this month. Later, when it came time for me to write a piece in honor of my newly deceased friend, Don Topping, in the commentary above, I wrote it in the first person, present tense because I was keenly aware of that he was spiriting and would benefit from my acknowledgement of that as a fact. See this review for more details about this process of spiriting and how it can affect you and your loved ones.
4.Comments from Readers:
  • Dear Bobby,
    Your News and Reviews for July, 2005 is well-written and very interesting. How could I not like it?
    An old friend,
    Warren Liberty
  • Bobby - you are quite a treat! Thank you for your presence, your photos and this fun digest! I'm forwarding it to my mom and family. Appreciate being included! Laurie Kramer [Re: Photo coverage of her mom, Carol Fleischman, and her 70th Birthday party.]
  • Hi, Bobby...
    Thanks once again for sending your newsletter. I loved the photo of the giant safety pin in the park. Where is that?
    Jeff March of EditPros [Note: Safety Pin is in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans City Park near the Museum of Art.]
  • Hi, Bobby,
    I'd very much like to subscribe to your digest.
    I stumbled on your site and was amazed at the depth of Anthroposophical information/widosm. I hold a small study group and the resources will be very valuable. I'd very much like to recommend your site to the group.
    namaste, Sarah Cherry
  • John looks just like Bobby Matherne. I'm guessing Carla's vintage at 32. Kyle Hatchet at Timberlane looks guilty of something. Great photos. — Stephen Chesnut

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My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner reviews are more detailed and my intention is bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.

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Any questions about this DIGESTWORLD ISSUE, Contact: Bobby Matherne
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