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Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #05b
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Don Adams (1923-2005) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ "Get Smart" Agent 86 has entered the Cone of Silence for good.] ~~~~~

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~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #05b Published November 1, 2005 ~~~
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Quote for the Thanksgiving Month of November:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
Blaise Pascal, Philosopher

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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. November's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for November
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Crawfish Stew
6. Poem from Yes, and Even More!:"Thanksgiving Prayer "
7. Reviews and Articles Added for November:

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. November 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 make a new beginning. Until I have time to create new Violet-n-Joey Cartoons, I will let you view the series from the beginning. It was 1979 when I first began inking these primitive cartoons based mostly on actual conversations between me and Del. As an Aries, Del is lightning quick and is often catching me off-guard with her comments. Enjoy. . .

#1 "An Unbelievable Beginning" 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 November are:

Clay Andrews in New Orleans

Melody Irle in Cyber Space

Congratulations, Clay and Melody !

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Out Our Way:

On the first day of the month I was working on getting my Personal Notes for the Digest. I decided to do a daily log of our activities since so many friends had asked about how things went for us during the evacuation. On the first Sunday of October, I sat down to watch the Saints versus the Buffalo Bills and our Cox Cable went out. I was furious until I recalled it was Cox Cable that went off, not WWL broadcast which was only a click away, so I was able to watch the rest of the game. The cable was still out the next day and I was without my broadband connection as well as cable news programs. Also I was unable to call Cox to report my outage. Either the lines were busy or I received a standard message saying, “We are working on the problems.” How can they be working on my problem if they don’t know it has just broken? I called the Atlanta office and left a message with some corporate big wig, who called me later to allow me to explain what was wrong. My basic message was this: You have offices staffed with personnel all over the country. Why not have some of those open offices connected via a toll-free number to take trouble reports instead of essentially turning off the trouble reporting system?

The next day I saw a Cox truck working on an overhead line, and I stopped to ask the guy on the ground if it would be fixed soon. He said yes. Sure enough, it was back on within minutes afterward. I was finally able to get my Digest sent out using my normal email program. I asked everyone to let me know if they received it, and enough people replied that I knew it had finally gotten out okay. Some of the replies are given above in comments from readers. Thanks to all of you dear Readers who took the time to let me know you got the Digest.

Outages happened several more times during the month, always during a football game I was watching. The next time happened on the night of Del’s twin sons turned forty and were having a joint birthday party, just as they did at the hospital forty years earlier. It was LSU and Vandy, the game was on ESPN, and I needed the cable for it. I had decided to forgo the birthday party when I found it was scheduled at the same time as the game and there was no cable tv at the party’s location. When the cable went out, I drove to the Red Maple Restaurant to watch it, figuring I could grab a sandwich at the bar and watch the game at the same time. When I got there, I was told that the manager didn’t allow people to eat at the bar. So I drove home rather than spend money at a place so inhospitable to LSU fans. By the time I arrived home, the cable had come back on-line and I was able to eat in front of my TV while enjoying watching LSU beat Vanderbilt handily after a few first half scares.

The Saints didn’t play the next day, but unfortunately the opposing team showed up on the field in Green Bay anyway, and it was a 52-3 riot. Green Bay showed every intention of fumbling away the game in the first few drives, but the Saints were not going to deny them their victory. At the end of the day the 0-4 Packers were victorious over the 2-2 Saints who went into martyr hood again. Just as they were going to do with the Falcons and the hapless Rams before October was over. For the Saints their season is Over and Out. Hopefully it will be their last season. If I had a car which was as undependable as the Saints I would have scrapped it long ago. Their pass defense is as leaky as the roof of their home field, the Superdome, at the moment. But the Superdome’s roof will be fixed soon, and the Saints defense will not. Not so long as the current coaching staff is still calling the signals. Not so long as the current owner is still calling the signals. Their offense is as stagnant as the Fleur-de-Lis which graces their helmets. Just standing there waiting for something to happen. They need a Logo-upgrade to something with motion action like so many other NFL teams have adopted, the Patriots, the Broncos, and so on. The Patriots could never win a Super Bowl so long as the Patriot was in a fixed stance on the helmets. Not until the Logo took on a flair of action were they able to win big time. Neither will the Saints.

Saint Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans, could be considered a Patron Saint of New Orleans, and she carried a Fleur de Lis on her banner as she led attacks on the English invaders. After enduring Katrina hurricane winds, St. Joan's golden statue in the French Quarter still has its banner flying high. Give the Saints that dynamic banner on their helmets to lead them into battle.

We took Steiner and Ita, our two Schnauzers, for their yearly shots and checkup at the Airline Park Animal Clinic. Glad to hear that their vet, John Wayne Melancon, did well through the hurricanes and was back open. He gave them a clean bill of health. They are so healthy that they kept getting out of the yard, through gaps in the fence, or under the fence. On the very day that Ann Hopel, the kind lady who took them in while we were evacuating, received the flowers we sent her in thanks, Steiner and Ita went to visit her again. She called us and we drove over to get our two wanderers. We finally found the low spot under the fence they were escaping through, and the rest of October they were well-behaved. But I must say, Steiner gave us a funny look any time he noticed us locking up to leave Timberlane.

The first game in Louisiana for Sam Hatchett, our grandson, took place on the football field in Mandeville for a brand new Monteleone Junior High School, and we were there. We drove to Pontchatoula first to retrieve the generator I had asked Yvette to buy for us the day after Katrina hit. I figured she’d have a better chance getting one in Houston than I would locally and my grandson Chris was staying with her so he could bring it to us. One thing led to another and 6 weeks passed, including a power outage from Hurricane Rita, before we were able to see our generator. Kathleen showed it to us and it was immediately obvious it was too big to fit into our car. We need a pickup truck just to move this thing around. A beautiful yellow McCollough generator, 5.7 KVA, in a skid on wheels with handles for easy moving. We told her we’d be back later and drove on to Mandeville and Sam’s football game.

But we were hungry and the thought of driving straight to a Jr. High football game where the only fare might be hot dogs and cokes caused us to drive to find a place to eat. We hit rush hour traffic in evacuation-bloated Mandeville, but found a neat place called Mona’s with great Middle Eastern food. We arrived at Sam’s game during half-time. He had already made four tackles. He is the signal caller for the defensive squad and plays tackle on offense also. Sue, his mom, told us he had the flu earlier in the week, and he was clearly tired by the second half and got some rest. But it was a great night. I had never seen the first game every played by a football team in person or the first Touchdown scored by a team before this night. Took a lot of photos and some .mpeg movie clips of the action. Those of you interested in seeing all the photos I took can do so by clicking on the cheerleaders’s photo at the top of the Digest. This takes you to where you can do a Slide Show of all the photos.

Our fourplex on Hagan Street has some minor damage and we have lost a couple of tenants. We have several people interested in buying the apartment building and expect to be out of the landlord business within a month or so. Del’s mom’s building has also required some repairs to the roof, to offices, and the apartments overlooking the river where we rode out the storm. But for the green fiberglass skylights which blew out, the apartments would not had any water. Home at Timberlane, we finally had the adjustor for State Farm come out and we’re expecting to have a new roof installed in a couple of months when things settle down and all the heavily damaged roofs are redone.

Del’s mom, Doris Richards, is still in Charlotte, NC, living with her son, and she seems to be doing better. She had just started recuperating from her fifth back operation when Katrina hit, which was the primary reason why we stayed with her during the storm: she was not leaving. Six weeks later, her back is healing nicely and she can even walk up and down stairs now without her back hurting. We’re hoping to find a nice place for her to stay and get her back home in a few weeks. She is very much ready to come back — New Orleans is her home!

Called my brother Paul to help me get the generator to Timberlane. Good thing I asked him to come along. It was so heavy that both of us could just barely lift it into the bed of his pickup truck. When we got home, I found a convenient place for the generator against the wall in front of the riding lawn mower in the garage. Come on, next power outage! We’re ready for you now!

Del took a phone call from our mayor, Ronnie Harris, who had just returned from an interview by “60 Minutes”. They wanted the inside story of what really happened when the police chief of Gretna stopped the evacuees from the Superdome from streaming down the Greater New Orleans Bridge into Gretna. He said that the filming crew came up to him after the taping to say, “We want to thank you for telling us the real story behind the sensationalized news stories which went out.” Fortunately for me and Del, we had no television sets to watch when the news stories broke about the Oakwood Shopping Center being set afire and the evacuees streaming down the bridge. We’ll get to find out along with you when “60 Minutes” airs the interview with Ronnie Harris. Let’s hope they allow him to tell the whole story and do not “CBS-ize” it.

We had one more birthday party to go to, and once again I opted out. This time it was a kids’ birthday party. I told Del I had done my duty on kids’ parties in the process of raising my own kids. I dropped her off in Baton Rouge to go to Collin’s fifth birthday and fifth birthday party. She, Kim and Katie went shopping at the Louisiana Mall after the party and didn’t come back to Alexandria until the LSU-Auburn game was nearly over.

While Del and her daughter and grand-daughter were shopping, Wes and I drove out to see the property he and a friend are negotiating to buy. It is a hunting camp on the Red River. Along one side of the 150 acre property runs the placid Red River, dammed between two sets of locks and dams. Only traffic this far out from town is an occasional barge. We saw one while we were there. The camp is about a 1,000 square feet, with AC, pool table, iron wood stove, vaulted ceiling, mounted animals on the walls, a fully equipped kitchen, a master bedroom and a loft which can hold several bunk beds for guests and kids. Along the other side is a pristine cypress swamp which opens into open water for duck hunting.

The porch faces the Red River and a wooden stairway descends down to a platform with benches, and down again to the water line where a boat could leave people off. Sycamores line the front of the camp and the sides of the stairway.

A small out-building houses the power generator and a separate shed houses four-wheelers, lawnmowers, and a smoke house. A hundred yards away from the main house is the cypress swamp which has a dock to get into boats for the short boat ride to the duck blinds. One of the blinds has a covered building with a propane stove and the blinds extend along each side and in the front. If the deal goes through we could be hunting ducks from these blinds before the year is out.

We came back to Wes’s cooking. He made a shrimp creole in his inimitable fashion and John Doggett joined us for kickoff of the LSU-Auburn football game in the Leatherdome. That’s the name Wes’s friends have nicknamed his living room area with the 65" High Definition TV and the large leather sofas which surround the TV. LSU won one of the most exciting games I have ever seen in my almost fifty years of following LSU football. It began in 1957 when I listened to my first LSU game on the radio. It starred Billy Cannon and Jimmy Taylor in the backfield. Cannon was a sophomore and Taylor was a senior. Little did anyone suspect the greatness that would follow with a National Championship the next year when I started at LSU as a freshman. LSU won by three points in the first overtime period. We cheered at every point of the game, and especially at the end, with high fives all around.

On Sunday we went to High Mass at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church with Kim and the children each of whom attended school there at one point. Del and I were amazed that the sung parts of the Mass were identical to those at St. Joseph’s Church in Gretna. We’ve heard so many variations at other Catholic Churches, that it surprised us that we knew all the words and how to sing all of those parts. Singing during a High Mass is a wonderfully spiritual experience, especially if you can sing with confidence and volume. One lady at St. Joseph’s told us after Mass that we ought to sing in the choir. When I sang in a Barbershop Chorus, I liked the singing, which only took up a portion of the time during rehearsals. So thank you very much for the suggestion, dear Lady, but we already sing in the choir — from the pews.

The next Saturday I drove across the Causeway for lunch with some guys from Mouse Practice (see photo and .mpeg above). While waiting for them to show up, I noticed a Mike's Den which sold LSU paraphenalia. Our good friend, JB Borel, lost the LSU Pennant he'd placed on his wife Agnes's crypt during Katrina. It probably still flying through the air. I bought him a new pennant and, after High Mass at St. Joseph's the next day, Del and I presented it to him and accompanied him to the mausoleum to place the flag in Agnes's vase. (See Photo) Following that we adjourned to Timberlane for seafood gumbo from Bobby Jeaux's Kitchen. (See Recipe)

LSU continued its winning ways and can win the SEC Championship and move into the top four of the BCS ratings by winning out. Saints gave the 2-3 Dolphins a mercy win to make Nick Saban smile in Tiger Stadium one last time.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving Day wherever you are, complete with family and friends and all the fixings. God knows, we're fixing to . . .

If you're wondering what the normal fixings are in Bobby Jeaux's Kitchen, here's a couple of our perennial favorites:

Shrimp Stuffed Merlitons
Oyster Dressing Stuffed Turkey


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New Quotes Added to quotes.htm this month:
  • (SAMPLE) What frenzy has of late posssess'd the brain
    Though few can write, yet fewer can refrain."

    Samuel Garth ( 17th-century physician and poet ) US writer

  • New Stuff about Website:

  • The five most popular A Reader's Journal, Vol. 2 reviews visited during October, 2005:

          1. An Outline of Occult Science by Rudolf Steiner
          2. The Archangel Michael, His Mission and Ours by Rudolf Steiner
          3. The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved by Edward Reaugh Smith
          4. The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Vol 1 by Henry David Thoreau
          5. A Psychology of Body, Soul & Spirit by Rudolf Steiner
  • New Stuff on Website:

  • Check out these three new Tidbits of Art:

    Sly as a Fox       Click Here!

    Funny Signs       Click Here!

    Mouse Practice       Click Here! (Turn Sound on first)


    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.):
    "Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire" (2003) A marvelous dual romance by two brothers living together who leave long term relationships and get involved with two new ladies. One of the women is a postal carrier and the other is an animal wrangler for a movie studio, just off the boat from Italy. A Don't Miss Hit!
    “Clean Slate” (1994) with Dana Carvey as a detective who lost his memory when he went to sleep each night. Scheduled to testify against a mob boss in a week, he struggles to tell himself each day what happened the previous day to maintain a continuity. Sort of a reverse of the “Groundhog Day” situation Bill Murry found himself in where he remembered what happened the previous day, but no one else did. A fun movie, especially the dog bits.
    “Hero” (1992) — I had forgotten how hilarious this movie was. Dustin Hoffman is right up there with Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Stan Laurel in his comic timing as the morose loser Laplante who lives by selling stolen goods until an airplane lands in his lap, er, actually a few yards away from his lap and he reluctantly stumbles, cusses, and falls flat on his face in the mud helping the trapped people inside escape the plane. How do they repay his help? By immediately trampling over him as they rush out of the burning plane! More face down mud duty for Hoffman. Maybe it was more funny the second time watching it because we knew all the passengers were going to get out safely (there – now you know), but Del and I roared at Dustin’s exquisite performance. Heck, we got belly laughs from the DVD menu screen which showed John Bubba (Andy Garcia) and TV reporter Gail (Gena Davis) in aligned profiles staring off idealistically into space and Laplante turning to the audience giving us his usual morose “get outa my face” stare. Great film. We watched this only a year ago in June, 2004, and we laughed just as much this time if not more. A Don't Miss Hit!

    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.

    “Event Horizon” (1997) When this DVD appears on your event horizon, stomp it immediately! Do not pass GO, do no collect $200, just stomp away. Or else you might be seduced by the wonderful visions of space travel as we were into thinking this would be a movie of the class of 2010. Try Nightmare on Elm Street instead. This is pure drek. A DVD STOMPER! .

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

    “The Crimson Rivers” (2000) Jean Reno adds life to any movie he appears in. This time he and another French cop’s investigation parallel and then intersect. There’s evil in River City, this time it’s Crimson River city with its inbred intellectuals who have innovated a way of bringing new life to their gene pool. Yes, blood flows, bodies mutilated, and a good movie gets overwhelmed with unnecessary bloody realism.
    “The Hunted” (2003) with Tommy Lee Jones as a Special Ops trainer of trackers and assassins. One of his charges returns home and switches from killing humans who kill who kill other humans (assassinations) to killing hunters who kill animals. Soon it’s the whole federal police force against one man and only his former teacher is able to take him out. The suspense of “Predator” without needing some invisible alien monster as a plot device.

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    Adapted for this Cajun joke by Bobby from a story forwarded to me by Del on September 23, 2003 from Andre de La Barre.

    Boudreaux met a beautiful blonde, Clothilde, and he told his best friend Broussard, "Ah'm gonna marry Clothilde rat now!"

    Broussard said, "Mais, Ah can see dat she's pretty and all dat, but you two don't know nuffin about each other!"

    Boudreaux said, "Dat's all right, we'll learn about each other as we go along."

    So Boudreaux and Clothilde were married in Abbeville, and went on their honeymoon to Las Vegas.

    One morning they were lying by the pool when he got up off of his towel, climbed up to the 10-meter board and did a two-and-a-half-tuck gainer. This was followed by a three-rotation jackknife where he straightened out and cut the water like a knife. After a few more amazing dives, he came back and lay down on the towel, beside his bride.

    Clothilde said, "Mais, Boudreaux, Cher, dat was incredible!"

    Boudreaux said with a smile, "I used to be Olympic diving champion. You see, I told you we gonna learn more about ourselves as we go along."

    So she got up, jumped in the pool, and started swimming at a fast pace from one end of the pool to the other. After doing thirty laps she climbed back out and lay down next to him on her towel, not even breathing hard.

    Boudreaux was speechless. After a few seconds, he said, "That was incredible! Were you an Olympic endurance swimmer?"

    Mais, non." she said, "You ever been down to Golden Meadow?"

    "Mais, oui! beaucoup times, me."

    "And you know how wide Bayou Lafourche is dere?"

    "Mais, oui! About a half mile."

    "Well, I was a hooker in Golden Meadow, and I worked both sides of the bayou!!"

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    5. RECIPE of the MONTH for November, 2005 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
    (click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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    Crawfish Stew

    Background on Crawfish Stew: This is a combination étouffée and stew. Let me explain. My mother all the time used to say she was going to "smother something." I'd ask her what she was cooking and I'd get back, "I'm smothering some okra," — or 7-steaks, or mushrooms, or just about anything. She never explained what "smothering" was and I never asked. She's gone now and I can't ask her what she was doing, but recently I discovered that the word "étouffée" derives from our English word "stuff" in the sense of "compress" which can then mean to cook down, specifically cook down in onions, which is what my mother was doing whenever she told me she was smothering something! So to cook an étouffée is to smother something in onions. A crawfish étouffée is a stew made by cooking down onions and adding crawfish. Normally a stew is made by Cajuns by making a roux out of flower and oil, cooking it until the mixture is the consistency and color of peanut butter.With this recipe, I did a combination of an étouffée and a stew. I cooked down the onions and bell pepper with a stick of butter until the onions turned a slight brownish color, then I added a few tablespoons of flour to thicken the gravy. The butter gives it the richness of an étouffée with the color of a stew. Hope you enjoy it ! (Note: the transliteration of stuff into étouffée by replacing the initial "s" into a French "e" will help you to remember how to spell étouffée — one "t" and two "ff"s, the acute accents are optional, only helps with the pronounciation.)

    2 12 ounce packages of crawfish tails
    3 medium yellow onions
    1 green bell pepper
    2 bunches of green onions
    8 ounce pkg of mushrooms (optional)

    ½ capful of Zatarain’s Liquid Crab Boil
    1 tsp shrimp powder
    1 stick of butter (1/4 th lb)
    1 tsp of chopped garlic


    Start by soaking frozen crawfish in crab boil, a half capful to enough water to cover the crawfish in a rectangular Pyrex dish just big enough for the two packages of crawfish. Run through Defrost cycle on microwave if short of time. You want the crawfish to be separated from each other before adding to the pot. (Note: Best way is to use boiled crawfish freshly peeled when available, and then you can skip all these steps. When you throw a crawfish boil, peel what's left over for a stew the next day or so. They will already be well-seasoned. Save the yellow fat when you peel the crawfish, it adds flavor and color, too.)

    Chop your green and yellow onions and bell pepper finely. Chop mushrooms in medium size pieces as shown in the pot image.

    Cooking Instructions
    Put heat on HIGH and add the stick of butter, as soon as it is melted, add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Add shrimp powder. Stir and cook without adding water until onions take on a yellowish cast. As soon as onions begin to brown a bit, add liquid from soaking crawfish together with a half dozen crawfish. Add about three tbsps of white flour at this point. You should reach a nice brown color. If not, add a tsp or so of Kitchen Bouquet, which I didn’t have to for this stew. See photo of finished stew in pot.

    Add enough of crawfish soaking liquid to cover the cooked onions and simmer for about an hour until the gravy thickens. When about an hour from serving, add the crawfish and mushrooms. Raise temp until it comes to boil and return to simmering boil for at least 20 minutes.

    If the liquid is too thin at this point, put some cold water, about an ounce or so, in a cup and stir in a tbsp of corn starch till all is dissolved. Add to the stew liquid while it’s lightly boiling and the stew will thicken up immediately. If too thick, you can add water, but add just a tbsp at a time.

    Serving Suggestion
    Steam some long grain parboiled rice and wild rice and serve crawfish directly over the rice. [No Cajun ever serves rice on the side of a dish! the dish is always served over the rice, completely covering it so that there is enough liquid to keep the dish juicy all the way to the last kernel on the plate. Del gives this dish her Plate-Licking Clean Award.]

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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from Yes, and Even More!:
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    Thanksgiving Prayer

    Some cartoon character said recently that hurricane season ended on October 31 so we could celebrate Thanksgiving Day shortly thereafter. This year is a special Thanksgiving for those of us who survived Katrina, Rita, and Wilma and who are blessed to have our families intact, albeit dislocated a bit. I offer to all of you, my Good Readers, this special Thanksgiving prayer for your celebration this month. May God be with you in the rebuilding of your properties, lives, and families in the coming years, Bobby

                Thanksgiving Prayer

    Let us bow our heads in Thanks

    That, as Children of the Universe,

    We are born out of the Stars

           into the Sun Light of Christ’s Presence,

    And that We gladly accept the responsibility

          to develop in Ourselves

    The Forces given to Us by the whole Universe

          in our Moment of Grace

    To become the best Person

          We can Become.

    ©2005 by Bobby Matherne

    Thanksgiving Prayer: Written in Timberlane Easy Chair in Living Room on October 26, 1997 on page 55 of the book by Rudolf Steiner, Life Between Death and Rebirth. The inspiration and words came from page 53 and 60.

    On page 53: “The more conscious I become that I am born out of the universe, the more deeply I feel the responsibility to develop in myself the forces given to me by the whole universe, the better human being I can become.”

    On page 59 & 60: “One who seeks to create according to a schedule will produce only works of inferior quality. [RJM: i.e., kitsch] He who seeks to create, be it the smallest work, prompted by an outer stimulus will not succeed as well as if he had waited quietly with loving devotion for the moment of inspiration. We might say for the moment of grace.” [italics mine].

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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for November:
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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: The Riddle of Man by Rudolf Steiner

    There is no “Reality for Dummies” book. But that doesn’t keep people from wanting books about the deep secrets of reality written in simple form, easy-to-understand, like “Windows for Dummies” or “Canadian History for Dummies”, to name a few actual titles of recent Dummies’ books. This quote from Johann Gottlieb Fichte indicates this tendency of people even back in Steiner’s time to avoid reading anything which had not been dumbed-down for them:

    [page 11] But when they themselves now demand that everything to which they cannot lift themselves be brought down to their level, when they demand, for example, that all printed matter should be like cookbooks, arithmetic books, or service regulations, and when they decry everything that cannot be used in this way, then they themselves are in error in a major way.
    Reading Steiner is heavy lifting. And there is no way to make it lighter, no “Steiner for Dummies” book. It is not the content of Steiner books which make them difficult — it is the changes in modes of thought in the reader which they require for comprehension. Until new readers of Steiner’s books and lectures have developed their muscles by actually reading and attempting to comprehend his words, the words will not create meaning in them. These muscles are required to lift oneself to the level at which Steiner is thinking and writing.

    This book is titled, “The Riddle of Man.” One of the riddles is this: “How is it possible for two people to look at the same reality, and come to two completely different opinions on it?” If two people cannot agree, how can billions of people ever agree? This book provides answers to many riddles in the course of revealing the "germinal points in the world views of a series of thinkers from Fichte to Hamerling."

    Read Review here:

    2.) ARJ2: And Then You Die, An Aurelio Zen Mystery by Michael Dibdin

    The existentialist's plaintive refrain, "Life's a Bitch and Then You Die," is the origin of the title, but no one in the novel seems to ever catch the joke. Two reasons: one it appears on a T-shirt as "Life's a Beach, and Then you Die," and two, the phrase is translated into Italian. The result of the translation is that the humor is lost and it appears to be some weird American humor, which it is, actually, but the idiomatic humor of it is completely lost on the Italians who adopt it for their T-shirts. But it serves as an apt title for this mystery novel which begins with a man being murdered as he lay on an exclusive beach in Versilia, Italy. Thus begins this novel, an Aurelio Zen Mystery.

    Read Review here:

    3.) ARJ2: Lost Star of Myth and Time by Walter Cruttenden

    The Earth may Shake, Rattle, and Roll but it no longer Wobbles on its axis since Walter Cruttenden has shown that the Wobble WAG is an unnecessary hypothesis for which no evidence has ever been presented except for the Precession of the Equinox. Thus far the Wobble Hypothesis has only explained the one thing it was made up to explain. Walter Cruttenden's data evinces a Binary Star Hypothesis which explains everything that the ad hoc Wobble one did with none of its anomalies and errors. He presents us with serious evidence that we live in a binary star system consisting of our Sun, namely Sol, and Sirius which revolve completely around each other in elliptical orbits once every 24,000 years.

    Read Review here:

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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 us on some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.

    This month the good Padre reads a quotation from John Keats with a personal meaning.

    2. Reverse Robin Hood Effect

    On October 20, 2005 Rep. Woolsey (D-Calif) spoke in the House of Representatives accusing the Republicans of promoting a “reverse Robin Hood” agenda. I assume since Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor, that the Democrats whose party she represented, consider a Robin Hood agenda appropriate: they wish to take away through progressive taxation money from the rich and give it to the poor through bureaucratic programs. I note that either agenda, a Robin Hood or an anti-Robin Hood one, involves stealing. Apparently Rep. Woolsey was accusing the Republicans of in effect stealing from the poor by deleting certain programs and giving to the rich by keeping the tax cuts. This reveals a lot about what we citizens of this great land have in the place of true government: a coercive bureaucracy that absconds money from one class of people and gives to another class. Let’s look at the facts of the matter: no one is proposing stealing money from anyone when they support tax cuts: they are merely suggesting that a wiser course of action would be to let people keep their own money and those with excess funds can use them to assist the poor. This is the way it has been historically until LBJ’s so-called War on Poverty which created the huge gap between the have and have-nots by keeping the have-nots have-notting through bureaucratic give-away programs which have proven bankrupt in both in conception and execution over the past forty plus years.

    3. Order of St. Theresa Medal:

    During Hurricane Katrina, two events happened which bear analysis. Some New Orleans police officers who have taken a vow to protect and serve disobeyed orders and left their posts. Across the river from New Orleans, the Jefferson Parish’s Director of Emergency Management, Walter Maestri, disobeyed his orders and asked 11 water treatment plant employees to stay on duty and keep the water running for emergency patients at local hospitals. Two sets of people disobeyed orders and which one is commendable?

    In Austria, the Order of St. Theresa is a special medal given to army officers who disobeyed their commands, but won the battle nevertheless. In other words, the medal is given to officers who showed true authority by their authorship of a battle to a successful conclusion. If this were Austria, I would nominate Walter Maestri for the Order of St. Theresa Medal. He showed true authority under battle and for his courage, he has been threatened with firing by the Parish President, Aaron Broussard, for disobeying orders. Instead of showing courage, Broussard showed a rule book saying he should evacuate all parish employees. He shoved it sardonically under the noses of those who homes were inundated with water claiming he had no choice but to evacuate the pump operators. If an officer has no authority than a rule book, what good is having a human being fill the position? Such a rule-bound officer can be replaced by a computer system — they’re good at following rules no matter what the situation.

    The difference between a mediocre leader and a great leader is the great leader takes authorship of situations, instead of merely wielding authority. Rudy Guliano took authorship during the 9/11 disaster and aftermath. We look in vain to find the top leaders who are wielding authorship instead of authority in the Katrina disaster and aftermath. Without effective pumps and leaders, New Orleans would look once again like the swamp in the photo above.

    4. Overrun by Immigrants:

    I am amused by the doomsayers who claim New Orleans will be overrun by Hispanic immigrants in the aftermath of Katrina. Why is it necessary to remind them that this great land of ours has been overrun by immigrants at all stages of its development? First it was overrun by English, then by French, then by Germans, then by Irish, then by Chinese, then by Africans, then by Vietnamese, and many, many more peoples from all over the globe. What is different about the Hispanics? They are only the “immigrants du jour”.

    I recall a story about a guy who asked a waitress, “What’s the soup du jour?” She looked him perplexed and said, “I don’t know — they keep changing it every day on me.” Immigrants are like that — they change over time. Look back to the Irish potato famine and you might have thought New York was going to become all-Irish? What happened? Instead of becoming overrun, they became modulated by the Irish population, enjoying St. Patrick’s Day parades, green beer, corned beef and cabbage, and the Irish cop on the nearby corner. With the current influx of large amounts of Hispanic immigrants, we can expect to be modulated by their influence. New Orleans has certainly been modulated by the Spanish, the French, the English, the Creoles, the Blacks, the Cajuns, and the Germans during its history. None of them succeeding in overrunning a city which welcomed them with open arms eventually.

    The furor over the number of Hispanics coming to New Orleans to help in the rebuilding of the city should call to mind when other groups of immigrants came to help out. The Germans were offered land upriver from New Orleans to settle because they were industrious and would grow fresh fruits and vegetables for the tables of New Orleans. Without the Germans, New Orleans would have never grown at all, unable within the city limits to grow enough food for its population. The Cajuns came with their trapping, hunting, and fishing and added to the fare available to fill the dinner tables of New Orleans.

    Each cultural group has added to the diversity of New Orleans. When can one say the current stage of diversity is enough? When hereditary rulers in history tried to eliminate diversity in their gene pool by inbreeding, the result was sickly and impotent rulers and the downfall of the rulers and their families. New Orleans will always be diverse because it is all we know. Welcome, Hispanics! This is one lifelong New Orleanian who welcomes you and your family to live and prosper here and add to the cultural gumbo which we live and breed alongside Ole Man River as he genuflects to New Orleans' huge crescent rolling along by on his way to the Gulf of Mexico. 5. Comments from Readers: Thanks to all of you who wrote to let me know you received the Digest for last month. Here are extracts from some of the emails we received. Bobby

    • [Note: received this email from Sarah Cherry who took us on a tour of the Stargate Park in Nashville which is a short walk from the Parthenon building. Click Here for why it is called that.]
      Hope you and Del are well. The man who wrote so much on Nashville as a sacred site is William Henry. This is a link to one of his articles on the Bicentennnial Mall. I'm still looking for his book.
      Take care and thanks for the link to your reviews.
    • Your adventures with Katrina and Rita kept me glued to the (web)page. I think you made the best of it; everyone needs an adventure now and then!
      All the best, Dan Turner, Pennsylvania
    • Thank heavens, you’re okay! I was wondering what had become of you. I'll go read about it in the Digest.
      David Dial, California
    • Bobby!!!
      How are you? How are Maureen and the family?
      We're ok. Thank God we bought the house in Algiers!!! My family is all safe, and all friends have checked in and are ok. Their houses aren't, but you know that tale.
      Love and hope, Mary Hicks, New Orleans (Algiers section)
    • I did well at home and fair at the clinic but poorly at the camp in Fourchon. I am opened and doing well as there are not as many Vet. Hosp. as before and their clients are coming in to me.
      John Wayne Melancon, Airline Park Animal Clinic, Metairie
    • We dodged a very big Rita sized bullet over here. How did you fare with her? We boarded up and ducked, but we probably should have evacuated just to be safe.
      God Bless, Chris Bryant, Corpus Christi
    • I spent 3 hours this afternoon with very good-natured, patient, computer tech support guys, who were trying to help me out of a complete breakdown of my email since Friday. I'm still in a netherworld but lo and behold the very first message that came through was the latest missive re: the GMP Digest! Thanks so much for your incredible dedication to your readers, one of whom, I can say, continues to be ennobled by your thinking about thinking.
      Love, Kevin Dann
    • I am so happy that you and your family are well and that you are at your philosophical best. Some experiences you had. I am pleased to see your Digests at work again.
      Very warmly, Andrew Flaxman, New York
    • I started the Shameless Exploitation review and couldn't stop till finished - I really like Paul Newman.
      Glenn E. Martin, California
    • All of this was truly amazing and thank God you are all OK!!!!!
      Betty Chowning, Kentucky
    • Bobby — Successfuly received your email! Thanks for sending your new issue. Best regards,
      Arthur Nead, New Orleans
    • Dear Bobby and Del,
      So glad to see the Digest in my inbox. I was delighted to hear that Timberlane fared out well. Hope all your family is well, especially Doris. What an ordeal!
      Please keep in touch, Renee Lattimore, Meraux, Louisiana
    • Bobby, Sure glad to hear you made it through Katrina. It was sickening to think of all of you, maybe hurt and/or losing property. I'll rest easier now.
      Love, Jim Conley, El Paso, Texas
    • Good to hear that you and family are ok. I was wondering and visited your site a few times to see if there was any news. Thanks alot for Rudolf Steiner's message, it was really inspiring and touching.
      Best, Jim McClaren

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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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