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Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #086
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Suzanne Pleshette (1937 — 2008) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Bob Newhart's TV wife, Emily Hartley ~~~~~

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~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #086 Published June 1, 2008 ~~~
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Quote for the School's Out Month of June:

The enemies of truth are always awfully nice.
Christopher Morely

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

1. June's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for June
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Sautéed Okra
6. Poem from Rainbows & Shadows:"The Idyll of March"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for June:

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. June 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 Photography, 1 of 4.

#1 "Photography" 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 June are:

Eddie Coryell in Kentucky

PK Scheerle in Vail, Colorado

Congratulations, Eddie and PK !

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Out Our Way:

06 Personal Notes for June for July's Digest086:

Here we are again after a busy month. The last few days of the month are hectic enough getting the Digest out on time for the first, but this month our cable went out at 9 am as I was in throes of adding the final photos to the Digest. After an hour of treading water waiting for the Cox crew to finish their repairs, I rebooted and soon had my broadband back up. After a couple of hours of hard work, I had the end in sight and the cable went down again! I think I did a couple of speed traces from the anger during that day. I have to remember my own motto: "The world will keep making you angry until you trace the last anger doyle." This can be generalized to every kind of childish or unwanted behavior one may have. Trace it away and not only will you no longer respond childishly, but the world will cease giving you the events which formerly caused you to exhibit the unwanted behavior. There is no clearer indication of how the world is structured than demonstrated in this insight — it illustrates how the world which surrounds exists for our own benefit. Whether we understand that to be true or not is our charge.

We survived the cable disconnect and still had time to finish all our preparations for our week at the white sands and emerald waters of Orange Beach. Last year we had all eight of our offspring and grandkids at Orange Beach with us. This year, we had a problem scheduling our beach week in July when all the grandkids are out of school, so we took an early week sans kids at our beach cabin in Orange Beach. Plus we set a goal for solving the scheduling problem.

The first part of the solution came when we were able to change from floating week to points system during our week in our mountain cabin at Los Lagos in the mountains of Arkansas. The next part of solution came to us in the form of an angel in Orange Beach, a beautiful blonde named Kris. She had talked to us about our goals with Escapes when we arrived and then asked us to her office a couple of days later. After the fiasco we went through in Los Lagos with Escapes, we figured that there was yet another problem, but instead she had a huge solution for us. She had discovered one remaining cabin at Palm Beach in the same week as our current cabin. We were able to upgrade from an every-other-year week in Los Lagos to an every year week in Orange Beach and have as our home week the same week for two cabins! The cost was very reasonable and this was exactly what our goal had been. Now we will be able to provide space for several of our offspring to stay with us at the beach each year on a fixed week in July. Plus we will not have to play telephone tag with everyone else wanting the same week as us. We moved from fixed to floating to points in order to get a permanent fixed week. If this sounds rather convoluted to you, as it did to us, it is the reality of modern vacation scheduling. Thanks, Kris, for your extraordinary help to us in making the final stages of evolution possible.

Pirate's Cove and Orange Beach

Del's birthday present from me was an HP iPAQ, which provides GPS and map directions. I had been using it and getting familiar with its touch screen operation, but the trip to the beach was the first time we relied upon it to get to some place we had not been to before. And that was Pirate's Cove for the Wooden Boat Festival in Josephine, Alabama. It was only 20 miles north of Orange Beach, but there is a large body of water, the inland reaches of Perdido Bay separating our beach cabin from the festival area. So I attempted to put in the address of the festival. Somehow the iPAQ would not accept the address, no matter how I typed it. I went to Mapquest and found the location, and was able to get in the street before where we were headed, typed it in okay, and off we went, following the directions of Karen, whose sweet digital voice instructed us when to merge left, turn right, etc, until we arrived safely at Pirate's Cove. The last twenty miles or so we drove through open countryside with no houses in sight and no water either, but Lo! and behold, there was Perdido Bay and the festival area around the last turn. We parked and walked to the Pirate's Cove restaurant, bar, and bandstand where the music was flowing out of the open air porch. We inspected various boats. Del took a shot of me standing next to a wooden boat that reminded me of one that my Dad made in our garage when we lived in Westwego.

Soon our friend Carol Hicks showed up with her friend Tim, and we sat and enjoyed the cool breezes blowing through the porch, the music from the band, and the view of Perdido Bay and the boats of all kinds on trailers, moored at the dock, and motoring past us into and out of the Bay. Carol & Tim had driven over from Pensacola for the day and had invited us to meet them there. They introduced us to Trish who sang and played a few of her songs in the bandstand during a break. We met Richard who looked like Nick Nolte in a movie as a Beverly Hills tramp and a real live Santa Claus. He said, "This Santa doesn't go for milk and cookies." Tim and Carol took us on a friend's houseboat at the dock. This was about the size of the one-room houseboat of Dick and Jane during our April, 1981 stay in Marsh Harbor in the Abacos, but it was definitely an upscale version. Finely outfitted with velvet cushions and fine wood work. On the top deck was a comfortable lounge chair for getting rays and winks.

From there we were escorted to Steve's Houseboat on a Truck. Built on a Ryder truck bed, Steve's house and jewelry workshop was built inside like an upside-down boat. If you looked up at the ceiling, it resembled a fine wooden boat's keel. He lived on his landlocked houseboat with his teenage son. He showed us his jewelry shop area in the one-room living quarters and sold Del a piece of his handmade jewelry. I admired his yin-yang necklace with the Chinese ideograms and he admired mine. We took a group photo of the four amigos in front of the entrance to Steve's quarters before we left to head to Orange Beach. Carol suggested that we plan a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the beach the next evening and Del got working on it.

The next morning Del and I stopped by Dizzy Bean's for a latte on our way to Tanger Mall in Foley, but we encountered a traffic blockage north of the Intercoastal Waterway and decided to head back home. On the way she picked up a menu at a Mexican restaurant.

Blue chips and tortilla chips and salsa and guacamole began our Mexican feast, with frozen margaritas for the imbibers. Then we served ourselves from the shrimp fajitas, the mixed shrimp, chicken fajitas, the refried bean and salad, plus even more. The veggie platter with Hidden Valley Ranch dip went first, then the watermelon bowl. Tim was amazed that I made that bowl — it was so beautiful he said he thought we had bought it, too. The Mexican watermelon was over-ripe and water poured out as I cut it; first time that had ever happened to me. So I hollowed the watermelon shell, saved the better half, made a sawtooth edge to disguise the bad cut when the water came out and spilled on the floor. I put in it the fresh pineapple I had just cut up in the melon bowl, interlaced with sliced strawberries, and decorated with red grapes. Looked and tasted great. We ate it over yogurt as dessert.

We then walked out to the beach in the dark and sat there. Del was on KP duty and Carol called and asked if she could have a "blankie". Del went to the car and brought several warm sweaters, sweat shirts, and a beach towel and we were warm again to enjoy the cool beach breezes. We four sat under our canopy next to the water's edge and watched the sunset in the west. Carol brought us our own "Crown of Thorns" plant in a beautiful old copper pot which we will cherish.

Two very full days in the company of good friends and then we enjoyed the remainder of the week in each other's company. I read parts of several books which I carried with me and finished the Rittelmeyer book whose review appears in this Digest. Evenings we played Scrabble together, sometimes with a movie on in the background to watch as the other one contemplates a next word. We were watching the beginning of "When Harry Met Sally" — remember how he first met her? She was his ride home from college and she drove up as he was kissing his girl friend. I had just pulled my first seven tiles and they spelled MET RIDE. Of course, it's true! How could I make that up? If you put it in a movie, no one would believe it. That's reality for you. Harder to believe than fiction.

For the first time, I disconnected our Dell Wireless Router at home and took it along. Since we were each taking our HP LT's with wireless capability, it made sense to be able to use our laptops anywhere we wanted to without having to run wires. Our dining table in Los Lagos, AR was so cluttered with wires that we ended up standing to eat all of our meals in the cabin rather than disconnect the whole setup. The wireless connection went smoothly and we were immediately able to receive emails and webpages anywhere in the cabin or on the porch. Sending emails is always problematic in a new location. We called the service provider and they gave us their specific SMTP code ( to use and that worked well. The next step would be to provide us that information in the cabin's resident's binder so we wouldn't have to call.

One glitch occurred while I was enjoying watching an LSU baseball game in my hammock beside the pool outside our cabin. I have learned to turn on both the audio-only process (radio broadcast) and the video/audio process (tv-like broadcast).Then, in case one of them hangs up (usually the video one), I'm ready with the audio already going. Well, just as I was settling into the hammock and the game, I received my first Skype call from Kristina in Melbourne, Australia. This is a good friend of mine that I've known for many years, but we have never talked over the phone to each other before. She was the one who suggested Skype to me about a year ago because it provides free voice and video phone calls anywhere in the world, and there is no charge if both ends of the line are computers. When I got Skype hooked up to my new HP LT which has both microphone and video camera built-in, I had been waiting for her to call. I had tested the hook-up with several New Orleans area friends and the voice-video quality was excellent and the hook-up procedure was easy. EXCEPT, when Kristina called, I had my LT tied up with two audio-visual processes and things went south very quickly. All the way to austral regions of Australia, Matey! I kept getting a few words of baseball game, then a few words of Kristina's voice and not much more. I jumped out of the hammock and went inside th cabin to the table where I could maneuver the controls until I had the baseball game shut off. I was ready to reboot the computer when it gracefully recovered itself (after a disgraceful display of inept thrashing between the three signals). I was able to get Kristina on the line, we talked for a few minutes, and then she had to leave because of an urgent phone call from a sick friend. And I went back to the baseball game.

While we were in Orange Beach we received two great pieces of news from our son Rob, who lives in Bloomington, Indiana. He has received a new job at Hewlett-Packard managing all of their North American University Sales/Marketing efforts. Secondly, he and Kathryn have announced their engagement to be married, sometime next summer at their Kerr Creek home. He said he hoped to have as large a Matherne family contingent there as possible.


Let's get the Hornets out of the way quickly. After all that's what they did to their chances to win the NBA championship. They were unable to win all their home games against the Spurs and completely lost their sting during the three away games. They went where no Hornets have gone before, but fell a game short of reaching the final four round. Can't say that a part of me wasn't relieved that there would be no more LSU baseball games on at the same time the Hornets games were on. I must have watched about a half-dozen of these baseball-NBA games in this past month. The worst were the Wednesday and Friday games because they started at almost the same time. To give an idea of how bad it got, LSU game one Wednesday started at 7 pm, Hornets playoff game at 8:30. By the time the Hornets had lost ignominiously, LSU was still tied 6-6 in the 10th inning. I managed to hang in until 12:30 am, 5.5 hours later, when LSU hit a homer in the bottom of the 15th inning to win the game. Whew! A guy can just stand so much fun!

By mid-month the Tigers had a long winning streak going. Ever since they donned their gold jerseys in the third game against Georgia (which they tied), they had not lost a game. (Yes, they had to wear a different color for a throwback uniform night, about 4 games into the winning streak.) As of this date, the 28th, they have won 20 games in a row. Over 15 of these, they came from behind to win the game. In the first half of the season, Coach Paul Manieri looked as if his first in the nation recruiting class were also-rans, now they looked like first-place winners gaining power down the stretch to the upcoming College World Series in Omaha. They have just won the SEC Championship this past weekend, and won the right to have a Regional and Super-regional played in Baton Rouge at Alex Box stadium. This is the stadium where they have been counting down the remaining games for the past season. Someone got to change the number in Left Field on the wall in the sixth inning of each game. Which leads us to Mother's Day. We left the beach early in the morning of Mother's Day to get home in time for me to see the LSU-Miss State baseball game, the last ever game at the seventy-year-old Alex Box Stadium on the LSU campus. As of May 31st, LSU has extended its win streak to 21 and is playing in the Winner's Bracket of the Baton Rouge Regional in Alex Box. Beat TSU 12-1 in first game. Let's Go to Omaha, TIGERS ! ! !

Mother's Days Past and Present

My mother, Annette Matherne died on Mother's Day in 2000, eight years ago. During this last game at Alex Box stadium on Mother's Day, I was reminded a lot of my mother. Especially as I saw the LSU baseball players presenting their mother's with a bouquet of flowers on their special day. My own eyes were flowing with tears as I recalled my mother.

Then the game began, and the Tigers had to claw their way to a victory over the Bulldogs. It was the closest game of the three, 9-6, but the Tigers prevailed in front of the largest crowd at Alex Box Stadium for the last regular season game ever to be played there. After the game there was an hour long ceremony with former Tiger stars and all the folks who made Alex Box work.

There was Alex Box's nephew with his son, the grand-nephew. There was a fan who had been at the first game ever played at Alex Box Stadium 70 YEARS AGO! ! !

Former baseball coach and athletic director, Skip Bertman, led a ceremony where he invited people to recall all their favorite great moments at Alex Box (pronounced ALECK BOX) Stadium. Then two cheerleaders led the two halves of the stadium in cheers: GO! !! TIGERS! ! ! while a large baseball replica three feet in diameter had its top open and the cheers filled the ball. It was then taken away in a police car to be protected until the first game in the new ALEX BOX Stadium is played, during which time the ball's cover will opened for the spirit of the old ALEX BOX to fill the new one!

Then it will be placed in memoriam in the Sports Museum area forever. A great idea and well-executed. Skip did a masterful trance induction to get that spirit into the box. From which, like from Pandora's Box, it will then escape into the fans at the new stadium. A great way of transporting Tiger spirit from an old stadium and rebooting at a new arena!

Did I see the last game at Alex Box Stadium? Well, the Tigers finished first in the SEC West, and went on to win the SEC Tournament and Championship. It seemed me that Alex Box Stadium refused to say die, just yet, just as its namesake, who led tank battles in World War II, refused to die till the battle was over. Think of all the spirits of former players and fans which hover around that field, those stands, and all the memories of great times and great accomplishments which keep them there. Alex Box Stadium and its spirits wanted a Last Hurrah, and the only way there would ever be another game played on that revered field, before it was paved over and re-used, would be for the Tigers to win straight out, finish in the top 8 teams in the country, and get to host a Regional series in Baton Rouge. That was the only way, and the balls kept bouncing LSU's way, skying off LSU's sluggers' bats, and winning games. And that is what has happened.

And in the back of every Tiger's mind is the fact that the last team to start a win streak wearing gold jerseys kept them on and remained undefeated all the way to a National Championship in Omaha.

Picture Frame and new SMILE! Camera

While we were in Orange Beach, I unpacked an Insignia Digital Picture Frame (See it over Doris's left shoulder in photo below with her son, Dan.) which a daughter had given us for Christmas. It had sat unwrapped until I packed it for the beach week to learn how to use it and load it with photos. I plugged it into my HP LT and first thing it did was try to install a Trojan Horse virus in my LT! Imagine that! A picture frame with a virus installed in it as shipped from the factory. I did a search on the Internet to find a number to call about a problem using all the memory and was told about the virus. Luckily Peter Norton's software located it as it tried to enter the Gates of Troy and summarily dispatched all the Greek warriors inside to Hades. I was told to take it to Best Buy to get it cleaned.

After our Orange Beach week, I went over to Best Buy to do as told and have the Insignia 10.5 Photo Frame which contained the Trojan Virus cleaned. The young Geek behind the counter insisted that a virus was impossible, and I told him, Daniel, you're walking close to the edge of a cliff and insisting that there's none there.

You should check for the cliff before insisting or you'll fall over it. He kept on insisting by saying, "If it exists. .. ." So I talked to his supervisor Mark and told him the story. They were able to locate the receipt, I found an identical one for same price, but a different manufacturer. I just installed photos in it and it only took 60 Mb of photos, then gave me the same error as the previous one did. No sign of a virus removed, but the LT was not up when I installed it, so I might have missed the removal box when it came up and then disappeared.
Finally I figured it out on my own. No virus — I had simply tried to put too many files into the Root Directory of the F: drive of the Memory Frame. Tried NTFS file format, no good. Could move more than 107 files, but could not display them. Went back to the standard FAT file format, and then added a Folder and moved 144 files into folder, no problems! No instructions in any of the documentation about this quirk of the DOS file system used by the frame. Somewhere early in my PC experience, I had encountered this limitation on floppy disks. That faint memory helped me solve the problem that the experts I talked to didn't know how to fix. Most people getting the frame wouldn't even think it strange that it only takes 60 or so files using up only a quarter of the file space. They would likely just think, "Oh, that's the limit."

Back at Timberlane: Cleanup Days

First full day back home and I had lots of stuff to unpack. First thing, I went to Rouse's for food for the week. Came home and set up mine and Del's PC and LT's again. Brian came over and we talked for a long time. He came over to check on Steiner and our veggie garden. He ate two cucumbers and we ate two others. After that, no more cucumbers grew on the vine even though the vine continued to grow vibrantly. That will bear some research and thought. I recall how few radishes grew from the first seeds I planted in the Fall last year. Then this year, I was eating one two radishes a day for several weeks. By the end of the month I had bagged hundreds of large seed pods to dry out and be replanted this fall to make more radishes. No eggplants setting yet, but lots of flowers. By the end of the month, we have one large eggplant ready to pick and a golf ball size one growing. The okra is bearing and will have some to eat in a few days. Need a recipe for just okra. Sunflowers are rising in the garden, so we will have sunflower seeds to eat later in the year.

In the past I have only used okra to make seafood gumbo. I really didn't like stewed okra very much, so I puzzled over how best to use the handful of okra that would be coming off of my three plants for much of the summer. One day I chopped three of them up, added some Rotel for seasoning and a bit of color, sautéed them in a frying pan and dumped them on my plate. It was delicious. Later, I bought a larger amount of okra, added the asparagus and the result became the Recipe of the Month.

Two large projects reached culmination this month, three if I include the removal of the hot tub as one. First thing was to get our flagstone walkway, which was installed four years ago, pressure washed and resealed. While we were at it, we decided to have the entire 1400 sq ft of the portico's pebble stone flooring done as well. Once we made that decision, it was clear to me that we should quickly remove the hot tub so the area beneath could be cleaned and sealed. It has been there for eight years and I recently decided that even if it worked, I would want it removed. The other project was the removal of pine branches hanging over the South Portico fence from a neighbor's tree. When David Babin came over to see the tree trimming job I had for him, I asked him if he could remove the hot tub for me. He did it the very next day, and I hope he will give it a good home.

We decided that we would rather have a jacuzzi tub inside Timberlane than a hot tub outside. Having managed an in ground swimming pool for three years in my California backyard, I know the hassles of keeping a heated pool clean and maintained. How much easier to just drain the tub each time you use it.

After the hot tub was removed, Del moved all chairs and miscellaneous items from the porch and placed them in the yard. We prayed the rain would hold off for the washing and sealing of the porch. All went well the first day, but the second day after the sealing was done and mostly dry, I had to truck the stuff which could get wet back onto dry areas of the portico while a small gully-washer hit.

A couple of days later David returned with his crew and cleaned out the over-grown trees, dead bushes, and trimmed everything neatly. A beautiful yard, a hammock hanging in the East Portico garden calling me, and I'm sitting here typing indoors! AH! The life of the writer and publisher! Deadlines loom and good weather goes begging for company to enjoy itself with.

Camera Club at Rookery

I know only one member of my club who cares as much about cameras as I do. When I'm having trouble with my camera, I talk to Seth Nehrbass. He is also the only other physicist in the club. So we talk alike, but know slightly different things about cameras and stuff, so we can learn from each other. While negotiating with the folks at Best Buy about the Digital Frame, I tested and took photos with several of the new SONY cameras there. Found one that interested me as a replacement for my SONY P200 which has been incubating families of dust bunnies inside the lens. They don't show up in normal photos, but let me take a photo of a beautiful sky and it's dust bunny time! They fill the sky with their amorphous fuzzy shapes, and I need to spend several minutes on every sky photo to remove them and sometimes lose an entire photo because the detail against the sky will be lost or require too much editing to clean up. The banner photo of the Perdido Bay view from Pirate's Cove is such an example. I spend nearly an hour cleaning it up because I wanted to use it for my banner image for the June Digest. If you don't see any of the artifacts left from my pixelic euthanasia of the dust bunnies, that's a testament to my growing skill in a process I would not have had to learn but for the P200 camera.

He told me about his new SONY, the H9 with telephoto lens and multiplier. I would love to have one like that, but I like carrying a camera with me 24/7 and that means finding a replacement camera that fits easily in my pocket. The P300 intrigued me the most of the all cameras on display. It had no buttons on the back side, only a full camera size view screen with touch-screen controls that were intuitive and handy, for the most part. It did superb ultra-macro shots, a capability I tested at Best Buy. It also had a Smile feature which caused me to giggle. What it does is keeps itself ready to shoot until someone's face develops a smile and then it snaps a photo instantly. I got to try that before the month was over at a Memorial Day BBQ at our son John's home and I'm no longer giggling. That is an incredible feature. You see the results for yourself. How it works is pure software. I worked on pattern recognition software back in the cave man days of IBM 1410 and punched cards. You've likely seen cameras which recognize faces and draw little boxes around them to set the camera focus.

Once you have the box, it's a simple extension to have software analyze the face to find the lips and calculate if it's a downward arc (frown) or upward arc (smile). My SONY P300, first generation of the smile cameras, has three settings for Smile: Mona Lisa, Rachel Welch, and Martha Raye. Not really those names, more mundane names like small, medium, and large smiles.

One Saturday Seth and I decided to meet at the Audubon Park rookery near our club. Since sub-clubs seem to form from several guys meeting to play pool, talk about books, or drink port and puff cigars, we may have started our camera club. The rookery is an island in the park lagoon which has hundreds of nests of aquatic birds: several types of heron, egrets, ibis, geese, ducks, and even a couple of Anhingus Snaker Darts.

What an incredible morning! Brilliant sun and birds everywhere. Building nests, feeding their young, sitting on eggs, flying in and out of the huge 200-year-old live oak tree hanging halfway across the lagoon towards us. I had my new P300 and Seth his H9 telephoto setup and tripod. He had never seen my camera, but was pushing selections like an old pro the first time he had it in his hands.

He had asked me if mine had an automatic shutter on it that would take photos continually while you held down the shutter button. I said that I thought so, but didn't know how to make it happen. He took my camera and found the setting within seconds. By the end of the morning I had taken 177 photos during a time period that I might have shot about 31 photos. By the time I had edited all the shots, I kept about that many. At one point he offered his telephoto set-up to me, and allowed me to put my memory stick in his camera to take photos that I could then take home with me. (Try doing that with a roll of film!) We shot, shot, and shot until we were both shot and ready to go home to inspect our wares. It was most fun that I've ever had with all my clothes on ever. It was a magical 4 hours in the middle of Nature at its finest. The only ticket you needed was to enjoy this magic was to live in New Orleans so that you can find out about this open secret and walk over to it and enjoy it. I heard one lady calling a friend telling her how incredible it was. It's the kind of feeling that if you get it while you're reading some incredible passage in a book, you have to get up and walk around a bit because your body cannot hold the incredible thoughts while sitting down. Luckily you will be already standing up most of the time while visiting the rookery, but if you wish a bit of relaxed contemplation, there are several park benches fronting the live oak rookery area.

Gotta Go — June is Busting Out All Over

What did I leave out of my notes so far? A trip or two to my Dad's to play cards and visit with him.

He'll be celebrating his 91st birthday this Michaelmas, September 29, and is getting hormone shots to help keep his bones strong during the remaining time he has left on Earth for this lifetime. He is still sharp at playing Pay Me! usually winning more money than losing. I tell him what Frank Sinatra used to say about Las Vegas, "I come here to visit my money." My brother Steve who lives across the back yard of Dad's home, brought over a copy of Woodsmith Magazine to show us the other day. Some article on how to cut signs into a piece of wood with a scroll saw. We had seen him do this work over the years, so didn't notice anything special about the article, until he directed our attention to the author of the piece. It was Stephen Matherne. He has innovated a new way of easily creating special fonts for doing scroll work letters in wood. He takes any text in a bold font, duplicates it in a contrasting color (black and white), shifts the text slightly to create a shadowy mask, then lays the paper on the board and cuts out the black portions of the letters. The result is a 3-D effect that is most striking. Good work, Steve! You can see one of his earlier scroll work lettering which appears in the banner saying Bobby & Del at the head of this Out Our Way Section of the Digest. These particular letters were the leftovers from Steve's sign which graces the front of Timberlane.

Doris, Del's mom, has been wandering and we've been wondering how to protect her. The solution was to move her into an identical apartment, but one inside the lock-down ALZ ward of Woldenberg Village. Del and her brother Dan managed the move with very little trauma for Doris. Dan came into town and drove his mother around while Del orchestrated the movement of her apartment's contents. When Dan ran out of places to take his mom, they came over here for some coffee.

On another day out for Doris, Del was taking her to Timberlane on an afternoon that I had an envie (Cajun for desire) for some ice cream. Del picked some up and when they appeared in the driveway with the ice cream, our neighbor across the street, Lavelle Isbell, was walking down his driveway to get the newspaper and I invited him to come over for some ice cream. It was like old times, thirty years ago, at Timberlane seeing Lavelle and Doris sitting at the counter chatting away. Doris enjoys company and is very pleasant to have over. Del has found that it is helpful to take Doris out as often she can, especially to Timberlane where she lived for some 18 year before we bought the house after she and Dick moved into the luxurious river view penthouse he built for them. It helps her to remember who she is and reduces the confusion she otherwise gets into when it's time for Del to say goodbye for the day.

Twenty years ago when we got together with friends, we all talked about what our kids were doing, and today, it seems that we mostly talk about what's happening with our parents, those lucky ones of us who still have parents alive.

Last minute May events included a Memorial Day BBQ at our son John's home in Prairieville near Baton Rouge (See photos below) and a potluck supper at my club.

Once more I see from the calendar on my cell phone that it's time to close out these personal notes and to wish all of you a happy, healthy, and fun month of June. Enjoy your time outdoors, get your summer tan, your healing rays of the Sun, and enjoy the local produce from your backyard or your local farmer's market. Enjoy the animals which are crawling around. This morning I saw a nice garter snake crawling under my citrus trees, but unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me. On my way back from my circadian trip to PJ's Coffeeshop, there was a box turtle completing his long journey across the width of Fairfield Drive. I stopped to take a photo of him, but he had pulled his legs in by the time I got out of my Maxima. I got a great closeup of his face, and a long view of him walking once I returned to my car. Look carefully around where you live, and notice the wild life which inhabits your grounds. They are there and will appreciate being noticed.

Till next month, through the Grace of God, we will return to these pages with more original photos, reviews, cartoons, Cajun jokes, and other things to help make your life worth living to the fullest extent than I am able.


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  • Website Features:

    My Five Favorite Steiner Books:

    I have read and reviewed over 175 Steiner books, so it's difficult to choose my five favorites. This list contains five of the most important books to read of Steiner's, in my opinion. There are many more. These may not be the best ones to begin reading Steiner, however, so later I will put together a list of the best five to begin with.

    1. Rudolf Steiner's An Outline of Occult Science, GA#13

    In 1996 when I first read my copy of this book, I wrote a short review of it that you can read in A Reader's Journal, Volume 1. Seven years and over a hundred Steiner books later, it is time for me to devote myself to an in-depth re-reading of this book. I can confirm that what Steiner had to say in those many books, "if inserted in this book in the proper place" would appear as "an amplification of the outline" given in this book. (Page xvi) One cannot appreciate the scope of this book or its degree of condensation unless one understands that all of the words he spoke in over 6,000 lectures from 1900 through 1925 provided an elaboration of some part of this book.

    My reasons for re-reviewing this book are threefold. One, it will give me a chance to re-study Occult Science with a grounding of knowledge I didn't have the first time. Two, it gives me a chance to present Steiner's great insights in a vernacular that can reach a greater audience today. Three, I hope to make Steiner's insights available to everyone, mothers, engineers, hairdressers, scientists, managers, philosophers, physiologists, psychologists, and business professionals, among others, not just to anthroposophists. Few people of the 17th Century read Isaac Newton's Principia — it was those who read it in Latin and converted Newton's insights into everyday prose who brought about the Newtonian Revolution almost a hundred years later when Edmond Halley's prediction, based on Newton's laws, of the return a comet was confirmed. One hundred years since Steiner began working on this book, it's time in the 21st Century for a Steinerian Revolution of thought and spiritual outlook.

    To devote myself properly to the task of reviewing this book, I have broken it up into three reviews which will divide the book into three almost equal parts. This review is Review 1, Reviews 2 and 3 are linked to at the end of each review, 1 and 2 in turn.

    2. Rudolf Steiner's The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations, GA#157

    This review covers a lecture series Steiner did at the beginning of the first war of the twentieth century. The lectures contain important information and prayers for us today in the middle of the first war of the twenty-first century, post 9/11. One lecture he ends with a prayer which he describes as "thoughts we are sending forth, in the way I have indicated, to those who are at the front." I offer this prayer now in this time of peril to those souls at the disparate fronts of this new war:

    [page 48] Out of courage shown in battle,
    Out of the blood shed in war,
    Out of the grief of those who are left,
    Out of the people's deeds of sacrifice
    Spirit fruits will come to grow
    If souls with knowledge of the spirit
    Turn their mind to spirit realms.
    You can read the rest of this review by clicking on the bookcover above.

    3. Rudolf Steiner's Nutrition and Stimulants

    This is a book about nutrition, how much protein does your body need, what happens if you get too much. How fat is quickly metabolized and what this has to do with cheese and crackers as cocktail party fare. How your body produces all the alcohol you ever need inside, so if you imbibe it from outside sources, you screw up your insides supremely. Why writers drink coffee and society patrons drink tea. What is brain sand? How taking in nicotine in any form displaces your heart rhythm from your breathing rhythm and causes you what is called "shortness of breath" which explains nothing, only gives it a name. That name hides such facts as your increased suceptibility to infections because of the offset of your circulatory and respiratory rhythms. How babies taste their mother's milk with their whole bodies. How to avoid Mad Cow disease by never feeding cattle any animal products, including bone meal. Why Jews cannot eat pork and what disease they likely get if they do and why. Why we eat eggs and fruit preserves in the morning and love to eat potatoes. Why arsenic is good for you. How hay fever is something like a safety valve against hardening of the arteries. And lastly why I must end this blurb with a CAVEAT:

    Potato Eaters Beware! Avoid this book at all costs. You’ll find out why you love to eat potatoes, but what else you’ll find out won’t taste good. Here, have another bag of potato chips or maybe some McDonald’s fries. That will satisfy you better than reading this book. Especially avoid the simpler presentation that awaits you in my review, which means you should not click on book cover above.

    4. Rudolf Steiner's A Psychology of Body, Soul & Spirit, GA# 207

    What good is a psychology that attends only to the psyche (soul) and ignores the body and the spirit? If you consider that that is exactly what we have today which most people call "psychology", then you have the answer already. But there are some people, notably Robert Sardello, who work with a psychology of body, soul, and spirit, and that makes him an apt person to write an extensive introduction to Jung & Steiner and to this book by Rudolf Steiner.

    In three successive years, Steiner gave 3 sets of 4 lectures and those 12 lectures comprise the body of this book. First in 1909 about a "psychology of the body" of the full human being, then in 1910 about a "psychology of the soul", and in 1911 about a "psychology of the spirit." These lectures are as fresh and new and interesting to the 21st Century reader as they were to his listeners one hundred years ago, plus we have the legacy of a hundred years behind us to prove how ineffective a psychology merely of the soul is. If you would cross the full stream of psychology, you must use the stepping stones of a psychology of the body, soul, and spirit which Steiner lays out for us in this book.

    Click on book cover above to read the review.

    5. Rudolf Steiner's The Archangel Michael, GA# 67 — His Mission and Ours

    Mi-cha-el is the highest of the Archangels, whom, in comparison to the other Archangels, Steiner likens to the Sun in comparison to the planets. In our time, Michael will pass over into the nature of Archai, the hierarchy of Spiritual Beings directly above Archangels. As the Archair known as the Time Spirit, Mi-cha-el will guide the whole of humanity. How will this show up in the material world? Every process in the spiritual world has an imprint in the material world, if one knows how to locate it. Basically the human personality that formerly has come from below, from Lucifer, will henceforth come from above, from the spiritual world. The blood and temperament that formerly were the hallmarks of personality will diminish and the Mi-cha-el Impulse will infuse our soul with personality directly from the spiritual world.
    Excerpt from Review:

    [page 9] Mi-cha-el cannot fulfill his mission without humanity's cosmic vocation of freedom, individuality, and love. Human beings, too, depend on Mi-cha-el for the fulfillment of their task . . . His great joy is helping those who of their own free deed enter the ranks of those collaborating in the great work of the invisible.

    • New Stuff on the Website:
    • Dr. Seuss wrote a series of books for Adults which were circulated privately, up until now. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, these books have been discovered and their covers can be revealed here. Titles include such perennial favorites as "Slammed I Am", "Horton Hires A Ho", and "The Cat in the Hat on Aging". Send the kids to bed and click here:


    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. Often you get the Director's Cut Edition which adds back excellent footage that was cut from the theater releases.
    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.):
    “Mother Teresa” (2003) Olivia Hussey stars in this amazing docudrama of the sainted nun of Calcutta. If you thought you knew about Mother Teresa, watch this movie and learn about her up close and personal. A DON’T MISS HIT !
    “Stranger Than Fiction” (2006) Bears up well under second viewing. (see digest073) Will Ferrell stars on equal level to Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffmann in this great movie. Hoffmann is at his can’t-be-bothered best and still spouts gems of wisdom as literature professor. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “Starter for Ten” (2007) A lower class boy gets into prestigious Bristol University and stars on the Brit’s version of College Bowl and strikes out with the gals until he answers a question before it’s asked in an innocent mistake and has to ask a very tough question of his gal. “A starter for ten?” she asks.
    “No Reservations” (2007) about it: This is “Mostly Martha” (digest076 )converted ably from German into American idiom.
    “Because I Said So” (2007) Diane Keaton as a control freak mom who needed a Mr. Goodbar at 60 and lacking that picked a husband for her youngest daughter by placing an ad on the Internet. She interviewed candidates and a guitar player watching her efforts, decided to place himself in the race for matrimony with the daughter. Nothing seems to work until Diane falls into a candy store with the guitar player’s father.
    “Starting Out in the Evening” (2007) is a poignant but hopeful tale of a fading novelist whose light is restored to vibrancy by a young graduate student who makes him her thesis project. Frank Langella a powerful presence in this movie.
    “Comanche Moon: Road to Lonesome Dove” (2008) In thi prequel to Lonesome Dove, we follow the adventures of the Texas Rangers as young men fighting the Comance. Val Kilmer is a hoot as a crazy Captain. Fun, old-style Cowboys & Indian fun.

    “Bella” (2006) Jose, a young soccer star, is cut down in his prime and becomes a Chef. Waitress Nina is fired one day and Jose discovers that she is pregnant. Unwilling to let her do consciously what he did unconsciously, Jose spends the day with her and changes both of their lives for the better.
    “P. S. I Love You” (2007) Ms. Swank’s Irish husband of twenty years dies and she is haunted by his ghost which is bad enough, but he has sent her delayed letters and gifts which arrive in unique ways all ending with the eponymous phrase which is Palm Springs’ motto. Barely exceeds a Your Call.
    “Fierce People” (2004) Diane Ladd as a gentle massage therapist with a drug habit who moves into a house on a large estate to massage the owner, Donald Sutherland. Her son learns to cope with the society people, but soon finds the fierce aspect of them lurking beneath. Can he and his mom survive? A quirky plot with fine acting makes for a Hit.
    “Trade” (2007) Kevin Kline stars as a cop looking for his daughter in the seamy underbelly of Mexico City and the sex slave market when he meets a young Mexican who has lost his 13-yr-old sister to the slavers. They team up to bring justice and the return of some of the girls.
    “Reservation Road” (2007) Mark Ruffalo faces off Joaquin Phoenix in this dark drama of two families brought together by an accident which killed a son.
    “Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives” (1989) and is building a skyscraper with high hopes of forming another band. Michael Paré in a reprise of the great classic. So great that it kept us wishing to hear all the songs from the first movie.

    “Ryan’s Daughter” (1970) if you’ve only seen this on a square TV screen decades ago, get this 2-disc DVD and treat yourself to sweep and grandeur David Lean presents of the Irish coast, Maurice Jarre’s incredible musical score, and a set of great performances by Robert Mitchum, Sarah Miles, John Mills, and Trevor Howard, to name a few. Ryan tells his daughter Rosie, “I didn’t think he was a good enough man, now I think perhaps there is none better.” About whether it would be good for Rosie and Charles to separate at the end, the priest tells him, “I doubt it. And my doubt is my gift to you.” A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !

    “Resurrecting the Champ” (2007) There are no mistakes, only karmic-balancing outcomes. No movie better illustrates this dictum of mine. The title gives the process operating at every level: Samuel Jackson takes on the identity of a champ who died; a cub sports reporter finds Sam, buys his story, writes it up; Sam begins to live again, the cub reporter is knocked down by the lie, then is revived by writing the story on which this movie is built. This movie resurrects the champ on many levels. Hooray for the Champ! A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
    “An American Rhapsody” (2001) with Hungarian roots. Young girl stays behind as a baby when parents escape to USA in 1950s. Can she adjust to her parents and in 1960s Los Angeles? A DON’T MISS HIT !
    “In the Arms of Angels” (2004) In the childhood of humanity all humans could see angels and other spiritual beings and elementals, now only our children can. We mostly ignore a child’s report of seeing what we grossly call “imaginary things” but this young man’s report was confirmed by his older sister who was there. Only she was too old already to see the angels. A very short 14 minute-long Hit.

    “Tara Road” (2005) A Hollywood gal (Andie MacDowell) loses her son and trades houses for a month with a pregnant Irish gal whose philandering husband is leaving her. Their lives criss-cross each other and both win this transoceanic Tic-Tac-Toe match.

    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.

    “Transformers” (2007) Okay, boom boxes turn into deadly predators. Reality check time. Pull this DVD out of its sleeve and stomp this one right away before it turns into a 1948 Wurlitzer juke box playing a 78 rpm record of “Cold, Cold Heart.” A DVD STOMPER! ! !
    "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (2008) The LAST Indy Jones movie. You can feel Hollywood’s crystal balls being sucked up during this turkey. We’ll never attend another one. The second one had heart, humor, and class with Sean Connery. This one has neither. Tired metaphors, lousy writing, and too much of the unbelievable special effects. Ridiculous plot about ET’s underground with crystal bones and skull. Hollywood should have its crystal head examined.
    “Into the Wild” (2007) in which Alexander Supertramp learns that love is meaningless unless it is shared, but does he learn it too late to be useful in this lifetime?

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

    “No Country for Old Men” (2007) and no movie for anyone else. A waste of Tommy Lee Jones’ talent in this shoot ‘em up, cut ‘em up, kill people like cattle potboiler which wanders back and forth across the Mexican border, but otherwise goes nowhere. There were some really good lines and words of wisdom, but can't remember what they were. Ah, “There are no clean getaways.” The good lines from this movie were used by Wayne Leonard, CEO of Entergy in the annual meeting to accentuate his points.
    “Youth Without Youth” (2007) is a Movie without a Movie. It starts out like a movie, but begins wandering through beautiful venues without a script and gets lost at the end without a plot.
    “Brief Encounter” (1946) in this David Lean B&W leads to long-term pain.
    “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (2007) Spoof of docudramas of rock stars goes a bit over the top silly, but it’s all in fun.
    “Youth Without Youth” (2007) is a Movie without a Movie. It starts out like a movie, but begins wandering through beautiful venues without a script and gets lost at the end without a plot.

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    Boudreaux got home late one evening. He had been drinking beer with some friends at Mulate's, very sad because his good friend, T-Boy Wright, was due to be executed at midnight. He had begged T-Boy's attorney to plea for clemency to the Governor all day and he only left the bar about 11 pm when he heard the plea had failed. Boudreaux was both worn out and depressed.

    But, as soon as he got through the door at home, Marie tore into him for being late and drunk, "You been drinking again? Look at de time! You been drinking with dem no-goods at Mulates, huh?"

    Boudreaux was too tired to answer, so he poured some Jack Daniels in a big glass and dragged himself upstairs to take a long hot bath. Thirty minutes later, he was draining the water and getting out, so he never heard the phone ring.

    Downstairs Marie answered the phone. It was the lawyer calling to tell Boudreaux that T-Boy's execution was postponed. Suddenly Marie remembered about T-Boy and that explained Boudreaux's bad mood, so she rushed upstairs to tell him the good news. She swung open the door and, oblivious to Boudreaux's rear end as he bent over to dry his feet, she blurted out, "They're not hanging Wright tonight," she said.

    Boudreaux whirled around and yelled, "Sacre Bleu, Marie! Don't you never stop?"

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    5. RECIPE of the MONTH for June, 2008 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
    (click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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    Sautéed Okra

    Background on Sautéed Okra: In my first ever vegetable garden, the okra plant has begun producing. The only dish I've ever made with okra was gumbo, but I've wanted to try cooking okra some other way and this month I got the chance. Three beautiful okra appeared on my plant, and I decided to have them for a quick lunch. Here's the result, fancied up a bit later with more okra and a side of fresh asparagus.
    (NOTE: "mess" is Cajun for: an appropriate size for the meal you have in mind. I used frozen Rotel and chopped off a TBSP for this dish. A small amount goes a long way. )

    A mess of okra
    1 TBSP of Rotel Classic (chopped tomato with jalapenos)

    A couple of green onions and sprigs of fresh basil
    A dash of chopped garlic
    A bunch of fresh asparagus spears

    Chop the okra in short slices, discarding stem and tail ends.
    Chop asparagus stems to fit pot without bending.
    Finely chop the green onions and sprigs of fresh basil

    Cooking Instructions
    Asparagus: drip Bertolli extra virgin olive oil over spears, sprinkle Season-All salt and fill pot with water. Boil for about 10-15 minutes to the firmness you like in the spears.

    Okra: pour just enough Bertolli extra lite olive oil to cover small sauté pan, heat on medium and toss okra in pan. Microwave Rotel if it was frozen, or else open a new can and freeze the leftover. Add Rotel to the pan and sauté for about 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle Tony Chachere's seasoning and Season-All salt to taste.

    Serving Suggestion
    Place a pat or two of butter over the asparagus spears and place them alongside the okra.
    Serve and eat immediately.

    Other Options
    Instead of Rotel, chop up fresh tomato (use pieces left from slicing tomatoes) and a couple of jalapeno pepper slices. Add some chopped garlic into frying pan when cooking.

    For a quick brunch entree, simply crack about three eggs while sauteing the okra to make an instant and very tasty omelet.
    Also makes an excellent side dish with Cresh, the Crab-Shrimp-Eggplant Etouffee.

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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from Rainbows & Shadows:
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    This poem could not have written without the assistance of my friend, Calvin, who, like Einstein, "was no ordinary quack". Rather, Calvin formed new islands of meaning in the English language almost every time he opened his mouth. He knew what these interesting word combinations meant because he kept them "under the skin." Recently I met Calvin for the first time after some 12 years and I told him, using his own phrase, "Hey, Calvin, you look ripe and smiffy today." He took it as a compliment and said a genuine, "Thanks, Bobby." To create this poem I simply combined some of Calvin's unique expressions into a poetic form which Wee Poets, the Idles of March, call, in honor of Julius Caesar and Calvin, "The Idyll of March". Now, get "busy as two Little Beavers and a bee" and read this paean to Calvin.

    The Idyll of March

    Vowels, continents
    Mountains, and volcanoes
    All form in their own water,
    The finest blue harvest over the moon
    To irrigate you to life.

    Beware of the Idles of March,
    Wee Poets who,
    No longer professors by faith,
    Do the hieroglyphic dance
    Upon our page.
    We peons in the wind,
    Up wind, of course,
    With our steady rock fingers
    We pen our slip of words
    Hoovering over one spot
    So the mile-minute man will catch it.

    With words
    Found by pot luck,
    Meanings kept under the skin,
    Rhythm caught in a cross-thread,
    We throw you a loop
    Then move the rocks and walk out.

    Like the Miracle on Fifth Street
    We Bridge-Over-The-River Choir
    Hum the future,
    With a Greek chorus in the background
    Their Yankee-Southern voices
    Rhythm and a-rapping and a-tapping away.

    Einstein was no ordinary quack,
    No headless detective.
    Even though he treaded on thin water
    And made us think too quick,
    He never insulted his fellow neighbors
    With too much light and not enough air.
    First came his theory
    Then came the residuals,
    The afterbirth bubbles.
    And, after his whole life had been drained from him,
    He decked the halls with balls of folly,
    And danced by the pale of the moon.

    Inside of the well-curvature of space-time
    An over lapse of rain
    On the other opposite side
    Has produced a dry rout
    Of war sensing conditions.
    But surrounding me is
    A goal mine,
    Where acres of diamonds
    Cluster about my feat.

    No more!
    This bottles the mind!
    I will keep my mouth silent . . .
    No more words will wander from these lips . . .
    My lips — where I do my thinking —
    I will cut you no mercy,
    But keep the humor up
    While I slip messages to you
    In side-language
    Straight to your intimate self-conscious.

    Some say I should have written this in my youth
    But that was before my time —
    Besides I was being preoccupied at the time,
    And the flaw in the ointment
    Was I took offense
    At every work I did.
    But now I know
    You can’t give
    Until you get rid of
    Especially if you have a mind like a memory.

    Sometimes I see double vision
    My wandering ears extend themselves
    And make my eyes go blurry.
    I find myself thinking too fast
    And am overcome by mental celebrity.
    Suddenly a long horse sparks my flame
    And a voice stored in memory says to me,
          Shut up, Short Gargantua!
          You are a victim of blind innocence.
          You have over towered yourself.
          Remember this:
          The whole body is a human weapon.
    Then I know I am only hearing the tip of the iceberg
    And that it all depends on what the future lies.

    RJM NOTE: If this poem whets your appetite for more Calvinisms, read the Book of Calvin here:

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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for June:
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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: Rudolf Steiner Enters My Life by Friedrich Rittelmeyer

    While reading A Life for the Spirit by Henry Barnes, I first heard of this book about Rittelmeyer's relationship with Rudolf Steiner. Here's how Barnes describes the book:

    [page 171 of "A Life for the Spirit"] Late in 1910, while searching for a broader and more encompassing view of the religious life, Rittelmeyer met the work of Steiner. This meeting was decisive for Rittelmeyer, who sensed that Steiner was a thinker who could lead him farther in his search for a contemporary Christianity. Yet he took nothing on faith; each of Steiner's statements was challenged, questioned, and though through. This process is wonderfully described by Rittelmeyer in his book, Rudolf Steiner Enters My Life, from which one gains not only warm and vibrant impression of Rudolf Steiner, but also of Rittelmeyer himself. After years of strenuous testing, Friedrich Rittelmeyer joined the Anthroposophical Society in 1916.

    As I read the Note by Translator on page v, I was reminded of my own experience of reading Steiner for the first time. It took me ten books, purchased at random and read with puzzlement, before I began to make sense of Steiner's works. Over the 15 years since that first book, I have found Steiner's works to be lucid and enlightening, often mind-boggling in their revelations of new and unsuspected truths about human and cosmic origins. Osmond writes about Steiner's colleagues from his years working in the Goethe archives at Weimar, "Very few of those . . . followed him into Anthroposophy."

    [page v] Was this most gifted scientist and philosopher on the wrong track? or was his progress too rapid and too unusual to be followed by lesser minds? An answer to these questions may be found in the pages of this book. The author, Dr. Friedrich Rittelmeyer, tells us of his experiences with Rudolf Steiner over a period of many years in the form of a personal narrative, speaking of his ten years of apprehension, critical investigation and cautious scrutiny of the new body of thought, and his final conviction of the unparalleled greatness of Rudolf Steiner's spirit.

    A friend of mine who recently read Steiner's book Nutrition and Stimulants at my recommendation, wrote to me afterwards, "While I enjoyed reading your review of that 1923 book, I must confess that I would be more inclined to listen to a more recent information. He never addressed alcoholism because it was not identified as a disease until the 1930's. We know a lot more about nutrition as well. He was very advanced for that period of time."

    This is a typical attitude of our time in the sense that we tend to credit more recent information as being more valuable than older information. For my part, I have noted that new information, when it proves valuable, is never completely new, but simply a modern spin on much older information. The very process of in-form-ation is something that must be done by readers in every age, and those writers who best describe how to do the process of in-form-ation are the most valuable to me. Rudolf Steiner describes the process of in-form-ation better than any other author, scientist, or philosopher that I have found. In the Preface to the Second Edition of this Rittelmeyer book, A. Heidenreich states that Steiner's work will only become more important to future generations. As someone born seven months after he wrote this next passage, therefore of a future generation he spoke of, I can wholeheartedly agree:

    [page 8] Steiner undoubtedly belongs to those few human beings whose influence and importance grow as time goes on. As our present civilization more and more disintegrates, it is very likely that an increasing number of men will find in his work the powerful seeds of a better future. They will then like to have a picture of his personality drawn by one who knew him well, and who was himself great enough to gauge the exceptional rank of the other. January, 1940.

    My feeling is that I want to hear about Rudolf Steiner from someone who knew him personally, not an opponent of his, but someone who did not accept what Steiner professed without opposition and severe questioning. That would be Friedrich Rittelmeyer by his own admission. Friedrich Rittelmeyer was one of many who found Christ through Rudolf Steiner and continues to do so today. Most religions focus so much on Jesus the Teacher, the Man, and so few on Christ Jesus as the spirit-embodied Man, up until now. The result is that a clear concept of Christ is yet alien to most Christians today. Michael Bauer gave Rittelmeyer a stack of theosophical literature to read. He worked his way through the pile and said, "The only one who interested me was Rudolf Steiner." This was similar to my experience, but I didn't need to read much to come to that conclusion. Whatever light theosophy had to reveal seemed to be hidden under a bushel basket of sesquipedalian verbiage. Reading theosophy for comprehension seemed to me equivalent to learning to play the violin by starting on Beethoven concertos.

    When I later began reading Steiner, I found his words lucid, and comprehensible, but I was reading lectures given to people who already knew the basics, so I was left with lots of unanswered questions. After ten books of such lectures, the Internet bloomed into being, and I quickly located folks who could tell me what his basic books were, which ones are best for me to read first. After the next ten books, I was in much better shape to comprehend Rudolf Steiner. But even now — after 157 books of his, each new book I read of his lectures contains mind-boggling concepts and revelations about the spiritual world that I had not imagined existed. Thus said, you can imagine that I find sympathy with Rittelmeyer's statement at the head of this next passage:

    [page 18] How can a man say such amazing things, one after the other, unendingly new, and make such astounding statements with the air of a prosaic recorder? At that time I had no idea that Rudolf Steiner had already made a name for himself by philosophical works of historic and fundamental value before he came forward as a spiritual investigator, nor had I the slightest inkling that he was thoroughly at home in the various branches of scientific research. I simply felt: Here is a man who must be taken seriously.

    That Rudolf Steiner was a philosopher is something that is often glossed over by his critics who would prefer to ignore the credentials of the man they wish to deride. His Philosophy of Freedom is one of his fundamental philosophical works. In it he develops a critique of Kant's philosophy which is cogent and lucid. Steiner shows that it is possible, contrary to Kant's claim, to know the ding an sich or the "thing in itself". My approach to Steiner was as a physicist wanting an explanation of the spiritual world which jived with what I understood of the physical world. I found it. Rittelmeyer's approach to Steiner was as a Christian theologian, and he was taken up short immediately. He writes on page 19, "Either this man has no inkling of what we theologians think of the Bible, or he has something absolutely new to give." That meshes with what I found after I had pored over and worked my way through the basic books of Steiner's: he had something new to give in every subject he covered.

    He didn't argue about what was true, he simply gave the truth, and invited me to understand how what he gave illumined the whole of which it was a part. I began to fit, like a jigsaw puzzle piece, each book's contents into the whole and they fit perfectly every time. Never once did I find a conflict between what he described and what I had learned in other fields of learning — with every puzzle piece he expanded what I had already learned, made it more comprehensible and useful to me. — And improved my own life and health in the process.

    After 15 plus years of putting Steiner's work to the test of my life and my life to the test of what he wrote, my own life is a fortress of testimony to the truth and validity of his work. It has become clear to me that my lifetime of study and work in physics, computers, software, psychology, philosophy, physiology, etc. before I found Steiner was merely prologue to prepare me for his revelations. To ensure that I would be ready to comprehend the reality of the physical and spiritual worlds and to assist others in doing likewise, whatever background they brought to the task.

    Kristina Kaine has written a fine book called, I-Connecting, in which she describes the salubrious effects that I-connecting has upon one's health. One feels lighter, happier, and has fewer neurotic symptoms when one learns to connect with one's I. The exercises that Rudolf Steiner suggested for Rittelmeyer seemed to have that effect upon him. What he calls "unexpected domains" are exactly the domains which Kaine's book explains would lead one to expect changes for the better from I-connecting. I-connecting is a complex concept which, rightly understood, requires an entire book to assist those who are disconnected from their "I" to learn about the process, both to understand it, learn to do it in your own life, and to recognize its healthful consequences when it later occurs. Many of the smooth and delightful experiences, what a poet would call "ineffable" experiences, result from unconscious I-connecting. After a study of Kaine's book, one is able to trace the roots of these unconscious events and create more of them via one's will or conscious volition.

    One curious paradox about Steiner's spiritual science is that one cannot become an authority on it and oppose it. The root of the word, authority, is author; it would be better spelled out as "author-ship". One only becomes an authority on a subject by investigating it deeply enough that one is able author new and creative works on it, i.e., express "author-ship". Friedrich Rittelmeyer did that with this and other books of his. He also recognized, as I have, that it is impossible to investigate spiritual science or anthroposophy deeply and then find fault with it. Those who do find fault often openly betray their shallowness in various ways.

    Anthroposophy is the one science in which everyone has a fully-equipped lab at the ready: their own human body, soul, and spirit. One does not require microscopes, telescopes, oscilloscopes, pyrometers, thermometers, etc — nor a staff of technicians — in order to affirm the truths which Steiner revealed in his writings on spiritual science. One need only study and work at it and the truth will reveal itself in time. Rittelmeyer had another approach open to him via his direct personal contact with Steiner: test the man who was doing the teaching. If there were pervasive delusions in Steiner's teachings, he could test the man himself. And he did.

    This next passaged tickled me because as a poet myself, I find it a great freedom to write in a way that might engender great opposition among materialistic philosophers were they ever to read them and take them seriously. Some might call it poetic license — using poetry to stretch the truth. I call it using the truth to stretch minds. (Some minds cannot stretch without snapping — those are the ones who do not like my poetry.)

    [page 81] Christian Morgenstern, who, as a poet, frankly and emphatically avowed his adherence to Rudolf Steiner, was still but little known and he, moreover, enjoyed a poet's freedom in not being taken seriously enough in the domain of philosophy.

    Most people, yet today, seem more interested in what so-called important minds have to say about new writers than in the writer's writings. When Rittelmeyer wrote an article on Max Dessoir and Rudolf Steiner, " he was told that he put too much emphasis on the differences between the two men — that "The public were more interested in knowing where the two men were in agreement, and, above all, what a mind like Dessoir had to say about Rudolf Steiner! If I would recast the article in this sense it would be gladly accepted." Before then Rittelmeyer's articles were never refused, but now they were because he was writing truthfully and usefully about Rudolf Steiner. "The invisible pope of public opinion had issued his decree." (Page 87)

    Rittelmeyer knew influential and powerful thinkers and he frankly admits that none rose to the level of Rudolf Steiner.

    [page 93] When I look back today, I ask: Who was there in Germany at that time who saw things with this clarity of perception? Every week I had conversations with men from University circles who were regarded as leaders of thought. But what blindness they had in comparison with Rudolf Steiner when one had just talked with him!

    Most people are unaware that the living spirit of the recently dead may visit their own funerals. Over years of studying Steiner's works, I have learned to be very thoughtful of the presence of live spirits at funerals. I inwardly acknowledge their being alive in the spirit world, and scarcely pay any attention to the dead corpse which they have cast off. I assiduously avoid speaking inwardly or openly about grieving for someone being lost forever from me (something which greatly pains the living spirit when someone does that), rather I speak of their life and the love I felt for them. I speak words which they would wish to hear. After I spoke a eulogy for my beloved brother, David, the spouse of one of my cousins said to me, "When I die, I want you to speak at my funeral." On the other hand, a couple of my siblings seemed to be chagrined that I lacked their sense of onerous grief.

    After a funeral at which Rittelmeyer did the services, he noticed Rudolf Steiner in attendance and walked with him back to his carriage. He chanced to ask Steiner a couple of pertinent questions about funerals:

    [page 100] "Are the dead really there when one is giving their funeral oration?" I asked, and waited eagerly to see what he would reply to this unexpected question. , "When you spoke of the words which had comforted him on his death-bed, he came and stayed there until Prince X. got up so abruptly and went away. Then I did not see him any more." Again I tried to realize the extraordinary situation. There among three hundred others was a man who had experienced this. — But nobody could have guessed it. What kind of faces would they have pulled if they had suddenly seen what was happening? — "It must often be very unpleasant for the dead to be obliged to listen to these funeral orations!" I continued. Dr. Steiner replied: "I have never noticed that. If they have no inner relation to what is said they stay away."

    After pondering Steiner's replies, Rittelmeyer made himself a promise, "Never in my life will I give a burial speech to which the dead himself could not listen!" Consider that the dead are not gone, only passed into the living spiritual world and what you say and think about them can affect them immediately and directly. Excessive grief and mourning will cause them pain, as will the simple thought that they are gone forever and you will never see them again, etc. If you wish to honor and respect your loved one after they have passed over into the spiritual world, follow Rittelmeyer's advice and only think and speak thoughts of them which your loved one would wish to hear.

    Rittelmeyer has one vivid scene to share with us, the burial service he gave for Rudolf Steiner.

    [page 130] When, at the wish of Frau Dr. Steiner, and in the solemnly decorated hall where Dr. Steiner had given most of his great lectures, I was performing the burial service according to the ritual of the Christian Community, a drop of the sprinkled water fell in the center of the forehead and shone there through the whole service like a sparkling diamond. The light of many candles was reflected in this glittering star — even as the revelations of light from higher worlds had been reflected in his spirit. Thus adorned, the body sank into the coffin. — To me it was as if higher Spirits had indicated in an earthly picture what it had been our lot to experience.

    Rudolf Steiner was a sparkling diamond during his lifetime and the light which shone upon him has been reflected in the many brilliant hues of his work: the Goetheanum, eurythmy, sculpture, bio-dynamic agriculture, bee-keeping, medicine, philosophy, Gospel interpretation, and the 6,000 lectures which remain today to greet new generations of seekers for truth which encompasses both the material and the spiritual world.

    Read the Review at:

    2.) ARJ2: Mercury Champagne — A Novel by Dan Goodrich

    This novel is a cross between the movie "Being John Malkovich" and the book, "Teachings of Don Juan" — or maybe "On the Road" by Don Crazy-Ass combined with "Zen and the Art of Cigarette Smoking."

    [page 15] "I'm looking for a moment between moments. I want the Moment in sleep before dreams begin. I need the Moment between heartbeats."

    Goo goo goo joob, Mrs. Robinson. Goo goo goo joob, Ed Derringer.

    John Stanford wants a moment between moments from Ed Derringer — John drove

    him home when Ed was dead drunk the night before. Stanford says he is an Assurance Agent and his assurance that Ed will see him again is Ed's wallet which he kept after driving him home.

    Ed's life is crazy. He'd just lost his job and spent the night in a drunken stupor. His mother, Janet, is in a wheelchair and is going crazy. Janet watched her husband, Ed's father, drive into the water and drown. And now some Assurance Agent is pestering Ed with revelations like, "You are a sorcerer." But things are going to get much stranger for Ed very quickly. His perception explodes and people turn into floating eggs with web-like lines coming out of them, sometimes connecting to other people. Either he is still drunk or he has the worst hangover since Jack Daniel was known as Jackie in Lynchburg Elementary School.

    Ed Derringer — as if he were shot out of a gun — disappears into the night and wakes up face down in freezing, black stagnant water, choking on it. This was not a good trip. He looks around in the moonlit darkness to find he is in a shallow ditch and there is snow everywhere and nothing else. Just a two-lane road alongside the ditch. He is on the road, but to where? There are no landmarks, no lights, just barren waste and no traffic signals to be seen on the road. He is freezing. He has on only the clothes he was wearing indoor in his apartment moments before when this precipitous trip snatched him away and dropped him in a ditch.

    Well, dear Reader, you have the setup. Where is Ed, how is he going to get home, how is he going to find out where he is, and will he do either before he freezes to death? Or, since he's a sorcerer, will he be rescued by another sorcerer? Good guess — two sorcerers arrive in a Ford F-150 pickup truck with a camper behind it, a woman named Bone Kimbé and a man named Bum Bo. They give Ed clothes to wear, but he rejects the shoes which were the right size because he didn't want to put on someone's shoes without socks. Here's a man with his feet freezing and he doesn't want to get someone else's germs on his feet. But, in spite of everything, he still saw two headlights approaching him like death does and stuck out his thumb to hitch hide a ride, which is how he met the two sorcerers.

    Bone and Bo had been following a sign which led to Ed. The sign? — a blood-gorged tick on the head of a huge moose which tore into their camp.

    [page 33] And that sign said get up and move! That was four days from now. That's four yesterdays — we've got some catching up to do before we cross the scrim of dreams separating us from tomorrow.

    Oh, what was that about death looking like two headlights? Bum Bo explains that to Ed, telling him that's how you know Death is trailing you.

    [page 46] "Because Death looks like a pair of headlights in your rearview mirror," Bo told him. Only difference between Death and a pair of actual headlights in your rearview mirror is that Death doesn't keep going when you pull over to let it pass. By the time you realize they're not going to pass, then it's too late. 'Let the lamp affix its beam. The only emperor is the Emperor of Ice Cream." (From a Wallace Stevens poem.)

    Bone explains to Ed that Death changes with the times — in the post-agrarian age, Death has dropped the Grim Reaper's scythe and shroud for something more modern. Ed is agog trying assimilate all that the odd couple of sorcerers, Bone Kimbé and Bum Bo, are telling him.

    [page 48] "Man," Ed said massaging his forehead with his fingertips, "no cigarettes, no aspirin. Death is following me in a Toyota Camry. What else have I got to look forward?"

    A lot, as it turns out, especially when the last of the four yesterdays becomes today. Until then Ed is stuck with the two weirdos, and after they abandon him, a man named Jack appears. He insists that Ed call him by his proper name, Jack Crazy-Ass. Ed's two crazy rescuers, Bone and Bo, have disappeared claiming the twin headlights of Death were pursuing Ed. Later, Ed wakes up in the camper to the smell of cigarettes and whiskey. It's Kerouac. That's right: Jack Kerouac shows up to go on the road with Ed. Jack doesn't have any cigarettes, but soon helps Ed acquire some menthol cigarettes, and then insists that the only safe thing for Ed to do is to chain-smoke the cigarettes to keep the Weweshaw, the Dream People, away.

    Jack shows Ed how to gather energy from the first rays of the Sun coming over the horizon. Ed becomes aware that this Crazy-Ass is Jack Kerouac who is becoming his teacher, like it or not. He tells Ed:

    [page 117] "Terror and comedy exist hand in hand. Sometimes I call myself Jack Crazy-Ass. That is how I learned to hold on to the seriousness and comedy needed to exist within the Moment. One must be determined and serious, but one should not take oneself too seriously. I've forgotten much of who I once was. I remember some things, of course, but they are jumbled and crazy. They don't make much sense to me. In the end, I think that is what helps to keep me going." Jack took another nip from his flask.

    The moment you open this book, you will begin to exist in Moments and they won't let you go until the Moment you close the book on the last page. Sometimes it will be Moments of terror, sometimes Moments of comedy — you won't know which one to expect next — but it will come in the next Moment.

    Read the Review at:

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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 Encounters a Speed Bump on the Way to the WC:

    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 Warning Sign Outside a Rest Room.

    • 2.Comments from Readers:
    • EMAIL re Tidbit:
      Hello Bobby,

      Someone sent me your Tidbit of Do You Remember When . . . ? and of couse I do and I am only 55. That was very cute — but I have one correction, the puppet is 'Howdy Doody' not 'Howdy Dowdy' !

      Thanks so much,

      Dear Penny,

      Thanks for the typo! Sorry I missed that one. It looked okay, but when you say the words, you know it's wrong.

      There was a time when country folks used that as a greeting, shorthand for "How Do You Do?" That was Howdy Doody's name's humble origins, but after he became famous in the 1950's, on TV every Saturday morning when I was a teenager, the old saying was soon dropped from usage.

      warm regards,

    • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    • EMAIL from Tiffany Ostarly:
            Hi Grandpa,

      I wanted to show you the new baby! It was taken Wednesday, 23 weeks 3 days. His name is Preston Michael Ostarly. The picture is a profile. You can see his head, nose, mouth and chin. His due date is September 7, but I know he will come sometime in August. Well I thought you would enjoy this. I will talk to you later.

      I Love You! Tell Grandma I love her too!

    • EMAIL from Kiki Butgereit re Discovery of New Heaviest Element:

      Research has led to the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

      These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete.

      Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

      When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

      RJM REPLY TO Kiki:

      Thanks, Kiki, for balancing the ledger in the domain of physics. With a little ledgerdomain you have elevated leptons into levity!

      Now, with three rogue electrons seeking election, we can expect the Administratium to activate into 4 years of destructionium of old-fashioned Freedium.

      from the Physics Desk,
      Bobby Matherne,
      Chief Physicist and Bottleum Washer

    • EMAIL from Carol Hicks in Pensacola, which led us to meet her and Tim at the Wooden Boat festival at Pirate's Cove, AL (during a stopover on our way to Orange Beach):
      Hi Bobby,

      We're going to be heading in your direction possibly on the 4th of May for a Wooden Boats music festival that Tim will be picking at and we might even be able to see you then. Otherwise maybe the next Saturday afternoon. I'll be in this world and would love to see you if possible. I hope it works out to reconnect. Call me when you get here and let's fine tune a plan.


    • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    • EMAIL from Barbara Chalmers in London:

      Dear Bobby Matherne,

      I'd like to thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to put your book reviews on the net. You do a superb job!

      I'm 47, and have been interested in spirituality since the age of 14, but only came across Rudolf Steiner in 1986. After finding with excitement that there was a Rudolf Steiner Library on Baker Street, in London where I lived, I burst in exclaiming, 'I want to read everything by Rudolf Steiner!' The librarian smiled, and took me to the inner library room. I stood there with my mouth open; there were shelves and shelves of books. He said, 'I think it might take you a little time.' : ) It actually took almost 9 years, just to read everything in that library....and as you know, many of his lectures aren't translated into English!

      I still find Steiner sometimes hard to understand, and have to go back to passages over & over again. Of course, the effort is the useful thing; but sometimes grappling with the 1900s language is difficult. Steiner said that he hoped someone would rewrite his books in their own words for future generations. What you do in your book reviews is amazing! Often I think 'Hey, what is this? I can't have read this lecture before', because it's like something full of new insights. Then I find, yes, I had read it; but you "talk us through it" in a brilliant way, in modern language, so that what Steiner really meant shines through. E.g., your review of The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations is a masterpiece . . . something that formerly seemed dry and puzzling suddenly comes alive, full of the fire of exciting insights.

      Rudolf Steiner must be very proud of you. Do keep writing the reviews!


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    • EMAIL from Professor Kevin Dann about his Book of Wonders:
      [NOTE: One of the wonders he discusses is Joan of Arc, especially the book by Mark Twain on her life. Click to read a review of Twain's book.]

      Hello Bobby,

      I've dipped into the Reverend Dr. Rittlemeyer's beautiful book on a couple of happy occasions, and kept hoping I'd finish it and then send you a proper thank you note. But here it is weeks later, and I've almost emptied my inbox, in anticipation of a sabbatical from the computer (I'm off to Charleston tomorrow to give a paper on Thoreau at the Association for the Study of Esotericism — we'll see just how esoteric this crowd is!) and I think it is time to say thanks and hello.

      I'm at work these days on trying to turn the last three years of teaching into a sorta textbook; take a glance and tell me what you think. I haven't gotten to the part where I start quoting Dr. Matherne yet, but it's comin'!


    • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    3. Squeezing the Life out of a Metaphor Hold the phone! I love metaphors. Every word was once a metaphor. Words come into being by someone substituting a series of letters for the actual thing, be it an object or a process. Once that assignment is accepted, we use the word as a short hand for the actual thing. The word metaphor refers to that process of assignment. Metaphor is the tool of the poet. It adds life and freshness to the prose of any writer. Cliches are but over used metaphors. They are the most common way of squeezing the life out of a metaphor.

    But there is another and more insidious way of destroying a metaphor: Taking it literally. As if it were God's truth. An example of this process came to me in an email about a preacher who discussed the structure of laminin, cell adhesion molecules, calling it "God's glue." This is a wonderful metaphor. But now comes the crossover which squeezes the life out of the metaphor. Laminin has the structure of a cross as it is diagrammed in some scientific and medical journals. In others it is shown as a sword shaped trimer (reaction product of three identical molecules). See diagram at left. But, because it is conveniently drawn as a cross in some journals, this is taken as proof of an amazing connection between the structure of the cells in our human body and the crucifix upon which Christ Jesus died. And naturally there is a quote from the Bible to substantiate the connection. Col. 1:15-17

    Anyone who attempts to substantiate a metaphor is on very shaky ground because they are attempting to fuse the literal world with the figurative world. They are squeezing the life out of a metaphor. Whatever joy of discovery from the similarity that one person noted in the metaphoric resemblance of laminin and a cross is now gone. A living metaphor has been quashed like blooming flowers cut from their roots and placed between the pages of a heavy book to be preserved as a thin shadow of their living being. A living metaphor has turned into etiolated, paper-thin dried flowers.

    Want to destroy metaphors forever? There is no better way. Want to keep metaphors alive? Create new ones of your own for the world to enjoy.

    4. Dinosaur Grass

    I have recently been trying to locate some wild grass which consists of hollow tubes which used to grow wild everywhere in South Louisiana. I only discovered its name recently when a Smith & Hawken Catalog offered a plant for sale called dinosaur grass and the photo looks very much like the wild grass I remember from my childhood and young adult days.

    Take a look at the photo at right, and if you know where I might find some tubular reeds like this locally, please let me know. My next step will be to visit some aquatic gardens, but I would prefer to find some growing naturally in some marshy area locally.

    Perhaps one of you Good Readers can help me. Thanks in advance.


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