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Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #089
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: ~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~ At Left: J. B. Borel, President of CODOFIL, Rive Ouest (1921 — 2008) ~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~ At Right: Francis E. "Purpy" Matherne, Uncle (1923 — 2008) ~~~~~~~~
Both were good friends of mine. JB Borel I knew for only a few years. Uncle Purpy I knew since I was a few years old.
(Click to see Photos). ~~~~~~~~

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~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #089 Published September 1, 2008 ~~~
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Quote for the Football Month of September:

Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
Thomas Jefferson, (Autobiography, 1821)

RJM NOTE: We are directed from Washington where to drill for oil, where not to drill, and we already lack gasoline.

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©2008 by 21st Century Education, Inc, Published Monthly.

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

1. September's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for September
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: De-boning Redfish
6. Poem by Del for Her Garden Club: Garden Reverie
7. Reviews and Articles Added for September:

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. September 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, in Part 4 of 4, Violet and Joey learn about Beauty.

#4 of 4 "Beauty" 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 September are:

Oliver Tann in Tupelo, Ms

Charles Holloway in Nevada

Congratulations, Oliver and Charles !

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Out Our Way:

August was a little quieter than July, but was filled with two funerals, three birthday parties, the Saints preseason games, a trip to City Park with grandkids, several Twilight Concerts with Paul Soniat and John Rankin, plus other things. Details to follow with photos throughout the Digest. Read on.

Two Old Friends Pass
As you can tell from the In Memoriam, Del and I lost two good friends, Joseph B. Borel and Fran Matherne. A week after Uncle Fran died, our friend J. B. Borel died at age 87. He was President of CODOFIL (Council for Development of French Speaking in Louisiana) local chapter and we've known him for about five years, after meeting him in St. Joseph Church. He would occasionally sit in our pew and would ask Del's help in identifying the next song to be sung during High Mass. Soon we looked forward to having him sit next to us, and found out his name at a meeting at the German Cultural Center in Gretna one night. When I introduced us to him, he said, "Matherne. Hmm, I know some Mathernes from Luling." Matherne may be a rare name in any other part of the country, but in the Luling area there are about 500 Matherne families. I asked for their names, thinking it was unlikely I knew them. "Paul and Joyce Matherne," he said. Well, that's my brother and his wife. He knew them from some Cajun activities like the monthly CODOFIL breakfasts he had just started locally. We began going to the breakfasts with Paul and Joyce, and continued going after Paul and Joyce moved to Opelousas. We attended JB's funeral mass in Harvey nearby.

Fran Matherne was known to me since I was two years old as Uncle Purpy. See photo of him in his Navy blues saluting with me in the Blast From the Past Photo at bottom of Digest. When I look at that photo today, I feel my left hand warm under his touch and the warmth of his body behind me on the walk outside our home in Westwego. He was obviously on leave from the Navy and this may have been the first time he saw me.

Purpy was a good friend to me and the closest brother to my dad, Buster, so far as I know. One story I like to tell was about going fishing with Buster and Purpy when I was about 14 years old. The three of us launched about 5 am out of Madison south of Houma. We probably fished around Lake Barré, their favorite fishing spot. I don't remember how many fish we caught that day, only that we unpacked a case (24 cans) of Schlitz beer into our ice chest before we set out and about 9 am, we came back to the dock for supplies and loaded up another case of Schlitz into the ice chest and set out for Lake Barré to do more . . . er . . . fishing. Mind you, I did not drink a drop of those 48 cans of beer, so Buster and Purpy must have consumed them all. While I was away at college Uncle Purpy and Aunt Maryann moved to Florida.

In the weeks after I graduated in 1962, I accompanied my folks down to Englewood, Florida and spent a week with Purpy and Maryann. Over the years, Purpy and Maryann would come for a visit almost once a year. We will miss those visits with the Matherne reunions and the card games which invariably sprang up whenever they came to town. Uncle Purpy was named "Purpee" as a baby, likely because of his ruddy complexion. That is a common Cajun nickname for a for "red-faced" child, and the name stuck for him in South Louisiana, but in Florida he was known as Fran. If you look at the photo of Purpy in the In Memoriam section, you'll notice his ruddy face.

Del and I were unable to attend his funeral in Florida, but we hold Uncle Purpy in our thoughts as he enters this new phase of life in the spirit world. We have been blessed by knowing him. Our cousin sent several photos of business places around Englewood whose signs said, "We will miss you Fran Matherne", "Goodbye to an old friend", this sign to the right, Gone but never forgotten." We have been blessed by knowing you, Uncle Purpy.

Dean Matherne Returns from Iraq

Our nephew Dean returned from his year long tour in Bagdad. His Engineering Battlion helped clean our Sadr City and return its control to the citizens of Iraq. We celebrated a belated birthday and welcome home party for him in Thibodaux on a warm August day. Was great seeing Dean's sister Robin (with husband Mark and son Hunter) and brother Mark, wife and kids. Also my brother David's wife Barbara was there and we hadn't seen her for a long time. Mark's wife Becky has two growing girls, Abby and Ella, and she was enjoying her new Nikon camera, taking shots more than I was. We talked about cameras for a long time. She mentioned that she had just looked at my Digest this morning, and I shared with her how I go about processing the photos that I take. Keeping track of over 300 photos a month, cataloguing them, cropping them, and backing them up is a constant chore throughout the month. Then there's the ones for the Digest. I need to size them down so that they are the minimum size but still look perfect. One secret is that I only use the Sharpen Image Filter after I minimize the size of the photo. The image does not sharpen noticeably on the 3 Mb images as they come out of the camera. It's only in the 20 to 60 Kb images ready to be posted on the web that the filter sharpens the photo images extra well.

The food was good, the music was fun, and everyone had a great time. There was one incident which we can all take a lesson from. If one's elderly dad does not wear his suspenders one day and spends the middle of the day eating at a party, he may loosen his belt, and forget to re-tighten it when it's time to go. Therefore, it is prudent to advise him to re-tighten his belt before helping him down the stairs. Or while two people have both his arms to protect him getting down the steps, his pants may drop around his knees. The embarrassment may be minimal if you quickly pull up his pants, but it can be easily avoided with a bit of forethought.

Prospect.1 for New Orleans

Our good friend Rosie Harris called me to say that some people from Africa were coming to interview her for a video-taping project and could I come over as she was nervous meeting these people by herself in her home. Rosie is 87-years-old and lives alone in her large home in Timberlane. She is one of the busiest people I know. She told me, "I get up and get all dressed up everyday by 9 am, so if anyone calls, I'm ready to go." And she goes a lot. Often it's spontaneous, but she has such a busy schedule that it's takes her a long time to schedule a doctor's appointment. During one long phone session with a doctor's assistant trying to schedule Rosie for an office visit, the assistant finally said, "Miss Rosie, I can't imagine anyone your age being so busy!"

I told Rosie that I would stop over the next morning after my morning college lecture trip to PJ's Coffeeshop. I drive by her house coming and going to PJ's every morning. My current Teaching Co. course is "British Literature" by Prof. John Sutherland and he's currently covering Edward Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". That morning, I arranged to reach Rosie's house on the way home about 10 am and waited for the Africans to arrive. It turned out to be a couple of Brazilians instead, an artist and her assistant.

Coincidentally the artist was also name "Rose," but Roseângela Rennó pronounced her name HOZ ANG-el-LAH. Her assistant's name was Diogo de Lima, but the "Dio" is one syllable pronounced as DZHO. So his name is pronounced DZHO-go de Lima. She is one of the sixty artists working on the Nov 1, 2008 to Jan 18, 2009 city-wide artshow called Prospect .1 — slated as the largest biennial of international contemporary art ever organized in the United States. Roseângela's project will be a four-screen presentation of side-by-side video interviews with Cajun and Creole speakers, focusing on cooking and their early life growing up as French speakers in the USA. Roseângela asked me some questions, and I explained a some things to her about I grew up, how I learned to cook, about seafood gumbo, my take on the origin of "étouffée" from the word "to stuff"or "smother" and other things. She scheduled a video-taping of Rosie on Monday. Wanted to know where Rosie wanted the interview to be done, and I explained that most things in Cajun household take place in the kitchen. It was where we had guests in our home, even when the parlor was empty. So the taping was done in Rosie's kitchen from 11 am to 1 pm. I cooked some crawfish étouffée and rice for our lunch afterward, and Rosie set the table in her dining room and made a salad and some tea. The production crew picked up some nice white wine for the meal.

Roseângela gave Rosie a colorful cook book of Brazilian cooking, and Rosie later gave it to me. The recipe which intrigued me was a dessert made of avocados. Del and I eat a lot of avocadoes and I have never seen an avocado dessert, ever. So a week or so later, I had accumulated the ingredients and made an incredibly delicious chilled avocado cream for dessert for me and Del.

Luckily I took photos of the preparation and final product, so it will be added to the on-line recipes for Bobby Jeaux's Kitchen in an upcoming Digest. Future dinner guests in Bobby Jeaux's Kitchen will have a chance to experience a taste of Brazil. As the recipe book explains, avocados are used primarily for dessert concoctions in Brazil and rarely if ever in salads as in North America.

Two 8-8-8 Birthdays Fifty Years Apart
Del and I have so many grandkids, about 21 including two great-grandsons, that we had to use our Contact Manager/Scheduler to remind us five days ahead of time when a birthday was due. That would give us time enough to place a greeting card/present in the mail. A couple of years ago, as we were updating the birthdays we noticed that Aidan Clark, our grandson in Bellaire, Texas, was going to be 8 on 8-8-8 this year. We mentioned to our daughter Yvette that this unique event called for a special party. So we got the invitation with and image of the old Magic 8-Ball who answers all questions, such as, "Will Aidan's Birthday Be A Hit?" and the answer in the Magic Window came out to be, "Count On It". We planned to drive to the Houston area for Aidan's 8-8-8 party on Friday night, August 8, 2008. Meantime a second invitation to our friend Ted Graham's 58th birthday party came in. Reluctantly we advised Ruth and Ted that we'd be in Bellaire that same night.

As the middle of the week of the party approached I discovered that Aidan's party was going to be coupled with a family reunion for his other grandmother, my ex-wife. So at the last moment we showed up at Ted's party, not really knowing for sure exactly what day his actual birthday was. It was a Friday night and his birthday could have been 3 days or so before or after Friday. Our uncertainty as to his birthday was dispelled immediately as Ted and Ruth appeared in T-Shirts with three 8-Balls on them! Ted was born on August 8, 1950 and he was 8 on 8-8-58! This year he was 58 on 8-8-8! Just as Aidan will be in fifty years.

Ted's party was on North Claiborne Avenue, home of the self-proclaimed, "Emperor of the World" — the inimitable New Orleanian, Ernie K-Doe, and the lounge he named after his mother-in-law who inspired his Top 40 Hit, "Mother-in-Law", several decades ago. Antoinette, his widow, now runs the lounge and it is like a small-scale Watts Towers of eclectic artworks and paintings, both inside and out. While Sam Rodia used broken dinner plates to create works of art, Ernie K-Doe used toilets. Outside in the al fresco dining and picnic area, about 17 toilets were painted various loud colors, filled with dirt, and had live and plastic plants and flowers stuck into the water tank and commode. Large colorful murals filled the inside and outside walls. Antoinette's wheels, a twenty-year-old black Cadillac hearse sat outside on an open slab next to the patio, framing the outdoor tables and plastic lawn chairs — all painted different colors to match or contrast with the toilets. Everyone gravitated outside to knosh, schmooze, and smoke. I had Del take a photo of me giving Ernie K-Doe a High Five, one of us mural and the other of us Live.

Met Cookie and Barbara from Ennis, TX. Cookie is originally Portuguese from a section of Massachusetts near the terminus of the French Transatlantic Cable where everyone spoke french, but he spoke Portuguese. And English. Lives now on a rural farm below Dallas, raising large dogs: mastiffs and others. Wants to get some llamas for his farm because they kill coyotes. Once he got a 60 lb Mexican wolf as a pet for his daughter. The wolf became so territorial about his daughter that literally no one, even Cookie, could go into her room without being attacked. When Cookie would come home from a Blues gig, he would carry an Oreo cookie up to one end of the double-U-shaped house, toss it in the door, and then rush through the other door to his bedroom before Wolfie could tear him up.

Cookie is a large man, who plays a mean blues guitar. He told us how his agent called Cookie right before they left to come to New Orleans for Ted's birthday party. Said that he'd booked Cookie into a band playing for a nudist wedding in October. Cookie told his agent, "If they expect me to play in the nude, they are going to have to pass out Barf bags." Synchronistically, a few minutes after he said that, our old friend Michael showed up with his present for Ted: a bright yellow plastic bag labeled, "Barf Bag." Inside was a stuffed ape who, when you pressed his foot, began throwing his two arms into the air, revealing his T-shirt which read "Older Than Dirt" with some approximate song playing. Later, Michael came outside and updated me and Del on his post-K life. He's only working about 10 — 15 hrs a month doing consultant work. His former company moved to Mandeville and he told them, "I've never commuted more than 15 minutes to work, so I'm leaving." And he did. Before we left, we went inside to see both Ted and Cookie playing on their guitars. Ted was singing, "Oh, Babe, whatya gonna do?" I looked at Del and said, "We gonna go home" and we told everyone goodbye and left. Glad we finally made a party at the K-Doe Palace. It was a memorable 8-8-8 Birthday Party — and the drive home was only 6 minutes instead of 6 hours.

Fall Garden, Garden Club, Flying Horses, Saints, and Sha

Last year, Del needed a lot of help from me to get her Garden Club's Yearbook ready for printing. I wrote a poem for it, and provided the photos for the cover. This year, Del only needed a little help for the final touches to her Yearbook. She even wrote the poem (Featured as Poem of the Month in this Digest), "Garden Reverie", which became the theme for the year. We printed the yearbook in two-sided, booklet form on our LaserJet 4+D printer, and looking at the proof, added .2" to outside edge of Binding. We then put the cover color art on her memory stick and said a big THANKS for the Best Buy Geek Squad for setting up the network connecting our computers. Basically we edited the yearbook on Del's Laptop and then printed out the full booklet from my PC while the original document was residing on Del's LT in her Public Area. After the garden club officers proofed the final copy, Del printed out the galley and copied the cover onto her memory stick. Office Depot then produced the final booklets and bound them.

This month I cultivated our vegetable garden area to get it ready for our Fall garden planting. I used my Echo Tiller to chop up the dead plants from the Spring garden and mix it into the soil and grass clippings of the summer mowing. We had already treated the garden area with our Bio-Dynamic barrel compost last month. After letting the garden sit for a week or so, I added dark, rich mulch from our compost bed covering the vegetable garden soil and hilled the rows preliminarily. The next day Del and I returned with hoe and rake to define the rows and make the garden plot ready for planting. Went to Rose's Garden Center and bought brussels sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes and bell pepper plants. Also bush bean seeds. The next day I placed the plants in the ground, and seeded the bush beans and parsley seeds. I pulled up all but the ikiban eggplant which was still bearing. I will hold radishes till Sept 1,2 when my Bio-Dynamic calendar calls for root plants to be seeded.

One early afternoon, I drove over to go to the opening of the Carousel and Storyland at City Park. Stopped by the fourplex we sold last year, the Hagan house. Saw a guy carrying doors out. Name was David, Suzanne's boy friend who works at a stripping place. He invited me in and he showed me the doors he's stripped an re-hung in the bathroom and kitchen. Fine-grained Louisiana Cypress doors. He put a light stain on them and they look marvelous. I had no idea what lay hidden under 17 coats of white paint. The front, side, and back yards are all clean, and neatly trimmed. David said they're designing a new awning for the front of the house. Told him to say hi to Suzanne for me. Then I drove on to City Park and walked through the Amusement Park. Took photos. I was disappointed by the Carousel. It was working and looked beautiful, but only one door was opened and there was no AC on. In the summer heat and humidity, it was very stuffy inside, so much so that I could not imagine riding the Flying Horses in that stifling atmosphere. Why were all the doors closed, if the AC was not operating? Something did not make sense. The operator seemed obviously clueless. Didn't bother to ask, just walked back out.

Had an Icee at the concession stand, walked through Storyland, took photos. Lots of work on-going, but the place is now back. We now have an Amusement Park for the children of New Orleans to enjoy. Most of the rides were operating. I made a plan to return with some of our grandkids. Hopefully when it's a bit cooler or the AC was working.

Our chance to ride the Flying Horses at City Park came when our grandson Kyle spent the night Friday and Saturday one weekend. I had to decide whether to watch the Olympics Basketball game between USA and Spain (reigning world champ) or picking up my great-grandsons to take them to the Flying Horses in City Park. Finally decided that since I could not record the City Park trip, but could record the basketball game, I recorded the game and Del and I went to pick up our great-grandson, Aven. His older Ben was with his dad this weekend and couldn't come. We drove to City Park all excited about riding the Flying Horses (New Orleans traditional name for a Merry-Go-Round or Carousel.), but we were 15 minutes early for park's opening. Since Del wanted to feed the boys, we drove to Casino Café for lunch while waiting for amusement area to open. The café was empty so we had our choice of tables. While waiting for our food to be prepared, a bus-load of tourists filed in. I asked one guy where he was from, and he said, "Canada, Alberta, right above Montana." I thought, "I didn't know there was anything north of Montana" but that was a parochial thought so I kept it to myself.

Suddenly one side of our table was mobbed by the tourists in line to buy food, so we moved over a couple of tables to eat in peace. Del took the longest time to eat as she had ordered a Caesar Salad, so I took the boys outside to explore the environs of the Casino area. A Live Oak tree limb hovered a few inches above the ground and Aven bounced on it like a horsie. Then we walked to the lagoon and came upon a huge flock of ducks, pigeons, and Canadian geese. The boys fed them some bread offered us by a stranger. Aven and Kyle had a ball among all the fowl.

Then Del joined up with us and we drove the two blocks to the Amusement area. The clouds were ominous heading in from the West, but we decided to chance it. If we only got in one ride on the Flying Horses, it would be worth getting a little holy water sprinkled on us on the way back to the car. So we only bought tickets for us each to ride the Carousel. Ride. We were all three in a row and Del took photos before we started and then held Aven during the ride. He's 3 now and Kyle's 5. Seeing the looks in their eyes during the ride made the whole trip worth it. As soon as we stepped on the threshold of the Carousel to exit, huge drops had just begun splatting on the steps, so I took Aven's hand in my left, Kyle's in my right and we ran as quickly as possible. Del followed with her umbrella. We made it to the Caddy just as it was beginning to pour heavily and got in before we got soaked. It was the most exciting ride of the day: that wild run through the park! We drove Aven back to Tiffany's and apologized for returning so soon.

We drove home, Kyle and Del went to see two movies: "Space Chimps" and "Voyage to Center of the Earth" while I prepared the small portion of seafood gumbo with oysters for me and Gus when he arrived shortly 5 pm to go to the Saints game with me. We sipped a glass of the local Pontchartrain white wine he brought as we ate our hot seafood gumbo with our cold shrimp potato salad. The Saints lost the preseason game 31-27, but acquitted themselves well in the first and second string — all but Jason David, who has got to go! He was horrible. The crowd booed him when he failed to make a stop which was every time a ball got thrown near him. Luckily there are plenty of guys ready to replace him. The last game against the Dolphins we will watch on replay because we will be with John Rankin in the Two Sisters Pavilion in City Park while the game is on.

The next morning our son John picked up Kyle and took him back home to Prairieville. We got ready to go to our friends Sharon (Sha) and Dave Roberts home near City Park which has been completely renovated since Katrina. The living room and kitchen were opened and the ceiling raised almost to the roof to give a long, open hall look. We all sat at the long marble table in the kitchen and talked with the guests, Ann and Alan, Harry, Melissa and Reggie, Jennifer and Nick, plus some other guests. We had not seen Sha's two daughters since they had gotten married and grown up. Melissa has a son, Devon, who's about ten.

Reggie barbequed outside and Jennifer helped get all the dishes ready and served. Sha is due for a hip replacement and wasn't moving around very well. Dave made 60 years old this year and he and grandson Devon blew out the candles on his German Chocolate birthday cake. They had evacuated to San Diego and lived there for several years before returning to fix up their house. Good to have them back in town. Can't remember a birthday party where we laughed so much. Sha has that effect on everybody — you have to know how to belly-laugh if you're going to be around Sha. Sha is a dear and that's the reason we call her Sha (Cher, which means "dear", in Cajun pronunciation).

Saints Shutout Bengals — Chris Paul wins Olympic Medal
On Saturday night the New Orleans Saints NFL football team played a preseason game in Cincinnati, and while most preseason games don't mean anything, this one did. The performance of the Saints meant that the Defense is beginning to coalesce. The Bengals quarterback, Carson Palmer, who tore apart the Saints the last time we played them, was sacked three times and left the game with his face all bloody before half-time. This augurs well for the upcoming Saints season and cheered the hearts of all the Saints faithful and made believers of a few doubters, likely. Only one game to go and we will be looking to see Jeremy Shockey in his first game in a Saints' uniform. Next stop: Tampa Bay and Del and I plan to be in that number.

Why do they make Olympic Basketball games so difficult to locate on the TV? They broadcast the games, but the TV schedule scroller only lists a four or five hour slate of events with no clue as when a particular event starts. The local daily newspaper is just as useless. For the Gold Medal game of the USA versus Spain, I gave up and went on-line to search for the exact time the game started. That was 1:30 AM Sunday morning. I did wonder why, after watching the preliminary games at 7 am and 9 am, they would put the biggest game of all on at such an ungodly hour, but hey, as long as I can find the time, I can watch it live.

Lucky for me, the Saints game was exciting all the way to the final second, and it pumped me up for the basketball game. Got to watch other stuff, like rerun of the Saints game, and the worst spot for me was 1:15 to 1:30 am — those last 15 minutes were torture trying to stay awake.

But I did, and once the game started, it generated its own adrenaline, with Spain taking a brief lead and then keeping the game close all the way to the final buzzer. Then the excruciating wait for the gold medals to be awarded. Game ended at 3:30 am and they began giving out the medals about 20 minutes later. It was worth it. I saw all of the game and all of the medals being awarded.

Our New Orleans's Hornets' star and runner-up for the NBA MVP, Chris Paul acquitted himself like the champion he is. Making deft passes all over the court to the open man, playing the most minutes behind the two big men, and being the one chosen to hold the ball in the last two minutes when Spain was forced to foul USA to get the back. They got it back but only after Paul had downed two free throws. The USA team redeemed itself for its previous losses in Olympics play and showed the world that, while the world basketball level of play is increasing, the USA still is the master of the game that was invented here.

Miracle Occurs When School Bells Ring
We have a grandson Kirt who died several times when he was only 21 months old. He had fallen into a pond and was rushed to a hospital where the doctors were still administering CPR after he was on the operating room table.

He survived, but his brain lost oxygen and he has been recovering now for more than ten years. He is thirteen now and attending school. For many years, his mother Gina had to carry him around wherever they went, but now Kirt has learned to use a wheelchair. I remember one Thanksgiving when Chris, my son-in-law's cousin from Atlanta, was visiting us in his wheelchair. Someone suggested a wheelchair race between Chris and Kirt. It hardly seemed fair, since Kirt was about 11 and Chris about 40, but amazingly Kirt won the race. Kirt has competed in T-Ball, Soap Box Derby, and gone fishing and hunting with his dad, our son Jim.

It was Jim who called us to read the news article that appeared in the Beaumont Examiner of August 22-28, 2008 on page 21A. Click Here! to view that article about our grandson Kirt Rennick.

Till Next Time
One more last minute event for the month: the traditional John Rankin appearance at the last of the year Twilight Concert in the Two Sisters Pavilion of City Park in New Orleans. This year he brought along his friend and colleague, Tom Sanction, a clarinetist who studied with George Lewis. With John singing or squeezing out blues from his harmonic while playing his guiter full speed, with Tom's able accompaniement on the licorice stick, it was a a stupendous occasion! The eight of us shown in the photo at the bottom of the Digest are from left: Renee, Burt, John, Joy, Annie, Guntis, Bobby & Del. And then I took a photo of a half-green, half-reddish-orange leaf on our new peach tree, a sure harbinger of Fall.

That's it from out our way for August. May the winds blow gentle wherever you are! 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. Enjoy Labor Day and the Change of Season wherever in the World you call home ! ! !


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New Quotes Added to quotes.htm this month:

  • Love is the ultimate ulterior motive.
    Bobby Matherne US Writer
  • New Stuff about Website:
  • Five Selected ARJ1 Reviews

    NOTE: These are full reviews of these books for your convenience.

    1. Owen Barfield's Romanticism Comes of Age

    At last the scales have fallen from my eyes and I no longer see as through a glass darkly, but bright and fresh, the reason: I have been drawn to Rudolf Steiner's writings. I have been hitherto stumbling in a graveyard, trying to create some semblance of life from epitaphs and dates on dusty stones and herein I find a quick companion, a pub brother, who over our dark beers, tells me the secret. Not right up front, but only after a long prologue, a tale of man and nature, of unity, splitting apart, and reunion. A tale of many tales, of scientists and poets, positivists and romantics, all narrated in detail, but without an end in sight, until the last five pages of this book when Barfield tells us the essence of Steiner's contribution to knowledge — his discovery of the starting place of acquiring knowledge itself: in the activity of thinking. In one fell stroke, Steiner illuminates the bridge between James' "blooming, buzzing confusion" of the sensory world and our primordial perception of the sensory world mediated by our previous experiences. That bridge is the activity, the process, of thinking. Beginning as we must, with the results of thousands of years of thinking insinuated in our specious present ("specious Given" in Barfield's terms), we can never experience the net Given (the specious Given stripped of the results of our long protocol of thinking) but we can think of its necessary existence. And, having done so, we can know that any science of thought that ignores this distinction of the specious Given and net Given does so at its own peril and creates strawmen that will not survive the heat of closer scrutiny.

    The search for one's eyeglasses is made difficult because the instrument of discernment is lacking during the search. One invariably requires the assistance of someone of acute sight in the search. If one's eyeglasses are perched on one's own nose during the search, the search will be fruitless, even though the eyesight is flawless. No amount of help from clear seeing companions will be of any help either, unless the companion has the perspicacity of Rudolf Steiner, and looking directly at you, says, "Your eyeglasses, dear friend, were in place all along." We can discover that the activity of thinking is not a local phenomenon limited to our skulls, but a living process that fills the universe if we only heed Steiner's admonition to notice the object of our long search has the instrument of our search all along.

    2. R. G. Collingwood 's The Idea of History

    "History as it exists today," Collingwood says, "has come into existence in the last four thousand years in western Asia and Europe". How did this happen? By what stages has the thing called history come into existence?" The answer is given in Parts I-IV of this book, and in the last part Collingwood describes his view of modern history.

    How can history come into existence or evolve? one might ask. The answer is that the processes that existed in the past are not the processes that exist today. Tiberius broke down under the strain of governing the Roman Empire — that we clearly understand today. Tacitus, the major historian of that time, reports the breakdown, not as a change in character, but as a revelation of features previously hypocritically concealed. The idea of a change in character was to Tacitus inconceivable, a metaphysical impossibility.

    We take for granted that the biography of an individual will show character development and Collingwood says that he expects just so that the general course of history will show a similar development in mankind. "All history is the history of thought," Collingwood says on page 215 and again on page 317. It is this quote repeated by Owen Barfield several times that first led me to Collingwood's works. This book brings this quote to life, and in the process generated in me a deep respect and excitement about history in its wake. History is not the bland re-telling of dead stories, but the vivid re-living of thoughts in the present so that the latest and greatest creation of the evolution of consciousness, me, may re-experience the events of the past in the present, and think thoughts never before possible thereby.

    There is no better cure for the brain deadening dullness of the "scissors and paste" school of history than to read Collingwood. By the magic of consciousness the individual scraps of paper spring into action and dance in front of your eyes a tableau produced and directed by your individual imagination, the ideas of the past re-vivified by the ideas of today. Thanks, R. G.

    3. James Boyd White's When Words Lose Their Meaning — Constitutions of Language, Character, and Community

    This book might easily be titled "How to Read a Book, Part II" — as the information within is a logical extension of Mortimer Adler's classic book on reading. This book is about the reading process itself. Professor James Body White addresses the changes that occur in the reader during the reading process. He brings to bear a wealth of experience in the fields of Law/Rhetoric/Literary Criticism/Philosophy as the back cover subject matter attests.

    The following quotes illuminate the theme of the book:

    [page 270] . . . reading involves a dialectic between the ideal version of oneself that a particular text seeks to call into being and the rest of who one is.

    [page 279] Our concern has thus been with the ways in which words — and languages — acquire and hold and lose their meanings, with the methods by which culture is maintained, criticized, and transformed.

    [page 277] The language marks the mind, and one will normally see that one's language is contingent, not necessary, only if one experiences a basic cultural dislocation: the sense that words have lost their meaning.

    The author draws us skillfully into readings of Homer, Thucydides, Swift, Samuel Johnson, Jane Austen, Edmund Burke, and John Marshall (Chief Justice) by analyzing one of their texts in light of his theme, which theme deals with the establishment of new meanings that come into being because the old meanings are lost, discarded by the writers.

    Jane Austen establishes new meanings in Emma Woodstock and in us in the course of Emma. Burke creates new meanings in his penpal and us during the course of his "Reflections on the French Revolution." Burke's work becomes a discourse on the beauty of the British Constitution, a right-brain, territory-to-map, bottom-up design, and on the evils of the French Constitution, a left-brain, map-to-territory, top-down design.

    This is an intriguing book and sent me scurrying for copies of Austen's Emma and the books of the other authors he discusses. My review of Emma indicates the value I found for myself in it.

    Whites's volume is 285 pages of text followed by 90 pages of footnotes, so be prepared for lots of page turning back and forth if you wish to come to terms with this author and lose some of your old meanings as you create new meanings for your words.

    4. Paul Watzlawick's The Situation is Hopeless, But Not Serious — The Pursuit of Unhappiness

    Note the subtitle of this book is The Pursuit of Unhappiness. Knowing that happiness is something that happens spontaneously, Watzlawick devotes this book to a study of ways for folks to carefully pursue unhappiness. By cataloging the most popular ways that folks make themselves unhappy and giving intricate details on how to do it, those folks who recognize their own strategies for creating unhappiness as they read this book, will be unable to perform the tasks as well as before, their careful processes for making themselves unhappy will be broken!

    When confronted with a desperate predicament, the Northern German is said to take the attitude that "the situation is serious, but not hopeless" whereas the Southern German, confronting the same predicament, would take the attitude that "the situation is hopeless, but not serious". With the southern attitude, Paul Watzlawick offers a simple solution to seemingly impossible predicaments.

    One predicament is choosing to operate on the world the way one thinks it should be instead of the way it is. Watzlawick says of such a person, "As captain of his ship, which the rats have already abandoned, he heroically steers into the stormy night."

    Of another favorite predicament, "Games with the Past", Watzlawick details four variations for the reader to consider:

    1) Glorification of the Past: Seeing one's youth as Paradise Lost and "making it into an inexhaustible reservoir of nostalgic misery."

    2) Mrs. Lot: Looking back obsessively on the past so as to avoid any possibility of discovering something new in the present, in effect, turning oneself into stone.

    3) The Fatal Glass of Beer: In this predicament, the single act of sinning starts an irreversible decline (like the young man drinking his first glass of beer in W. C. Fields' movie, The Fatal Glass of Beer). "Then I sinned, but now I am the victim of my own sin." Watzlawick tells us in the voice of the hopelessly lost sinner.

    4) More of the Same: The story is of Nasruddin, the Sufi joker sage, who was crawling around the campfire in front of his desert tent when a friend walked by.

    "What are you looking for?"
    "My key" At this his friend got on his knees and joined in the search, soon another friend came by and there were three of them helping, then a fourth. Soon, a fifth friend came by and asked, "What are you looking for?"
    "My key"
    "Oh, where did you lose it?"
    "In my tent."
    "In your tent? Then why are all of you looking for it out here?"
    "Because the light is better here."

    Sounds absurd, doesn't it? If you look in the wrong place, you will never find what you're looking for, right? Yes, but continuing the game of "more of the same, is one of the most effective recipes for disaster that has gradually evolved on our planet."

    The only hope for the irrepressible "more of the same" player is to follow these two directions explicitly: [Liberally reworded from the author's text.]

    1) You must keep doing what you're doing the same way, since only one way of doing it is permitted, and if the way you choose to do it is not working, just apply yourself more forcefully.

    2) Under no circumstances doubt the assumption that there is only one way to do it; only your application of that one way and its effectiveness may be questioned and refined.

    After these playful romps with the past, Watzlawick examines other ingenious ways that people use to make themselves unhappy. As Margaret Mead pointed out, while an American would pretend to have a headache to avoid an unpleasant social engagement, a Russian would have to have a headache. The American suffers from a hurting conscience, and the Russian from a hurting head.

    For persons unfamiliar with the tools of the average paranoiac, Watzlawick, in The Story of the Hammer, gives details on how to convert floaters into failing vision, tinnitus into hearing loss, and one's friends into co-conspirators. It only takes a little practice with the detailed exercises to become proficient.

    Given that all these simple tools may never allow one to achieve the true unhappiness of Oedipus, Watzlawick points out how the self-fulfilling prophecy, conscientiously applied, can save the day. He leads us to see Karl Popper's point that "the very actions that Oedipus took in order to avoid the horrifying predictions of the oracle led to the fatal fulfillment of those predictions."

    Need stronger ammunition? Try mixing messages at the object and relationship level, Watzlawick suggests. "Do you like the soup I made especially for you?" If it tastes bad and you say, "No" honestly, the relationship will suffer. Some folks spend their entire lives nourishing themselves on bad tasting soup rather than risk upsetting the relationship by telling the truth.

    The author finally unsheathes the most powerful weapon of all in his armamentarium, the "Be Spontaneous" Paradox. It's use is demonstrated below by two unhappiness experts:

    "Do you love me?"
    "If you really loved me, you'd say so without my asking you."

    Any request or command for a spontaneous act will cause other persons to be unable to perform the act spontaneously. Whether it's to: "Go to sleep", "Show me you love me", "Be happy", or even "Do a good job", the mere gracing of their ears with the request will make it difficult or impossible for them to perform as requested. This is the reason why actors before a stage performance are told to "Break a leg". Since breaking a leg can only happen spontaneously, it will not happen on command, and the actors are not stuck in the exquisite "Be Spontaneous" paradox of being wished to "Perform well tonight". Even the simple request by a photographer to "Smile" will evoke a faked or posed smile in place of a genuine one. True unhappiness enthusiasts are experts at the "Be Spontaneous" paradox.

    With so many effective ways to create unhappiness, small wonder that one can continue along unhappy for a lifetime, when merely stopping one's pursuit of unhappiness would allow one to be happy in a moment. "The situation is hopeless," Watzlawick ends his small book saying, "and the solution is hopelessly simple."

    5. Philip Gould's Les Cadiens d'Asteur — Today's Cajuns

    The "Acadians of Today" is a delightful potpourri for the eyes and ears. If you know even a little Cajun French, try reading the Cajun text first. Some of text is English, most is French, some of the translations are side-by-side, some are in the appendix. The pictures and stories began resonating with a deep part of me, each photo, each vignette, like a bass violinist plucking a string fashioned from my very flesh. Though I've never been to a Cajun horse race nor chased chickens on Mardi Gras, even those activities felt like a natural part of my past. What a joy to read an authentic Cajun as he tells you how to make a gumbo. "Season it as you want," he says.

    That's what we Cajuns did with all we found when we were cast out of our chains on the shores of Louisiana. We had been uprooted from our native land in Acadia like slaves and shipped overseas in chains. Not to waiting employers and caretakers like slaves from Africa, but to empty land and poverty. Empty, but filled with food on the land, in the water, and in the air. Surviving on indigenous plants, seafood, and wildfowl, my ancestors forged a life for themselves, complete with its own unique culture. And in the twentieth century, they prospered on a new natural bounty under their land and water: oil. Over 200 years they maintained their native language, weaving in American words where convenient, until they now speak a French dialect whose basic structure has not changed from that of the Brittany potato farmers of the seventeenth century.

    Nowhere in this book were my heartstrings more poignantly plucked than by the story on page 126 about the Cajun grandmother who would like to speak to her beloved grandchildren. But she can only speak Cajun French and they can only speak English. She tells how her daughter, Emma, was slapped one day by an American schoolteacher who came from North Louisiana. She had told the class to write something, and Emma, who knew no English, tried to find out from her cousin what was expected. Her father, Sosthene, lost a day's work in the fields to go to school to tell that teacher she'd better never lay a hand on Emma again or he'd make her paddle a pirogue full of holes and see how good she'd do that. When the grandchildren call on the phone, the Cajun grandmother uses her only English words to tell them, "Grammon's fine. An' y'all?"

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

    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.):
    “Mama Mia!” (2008) It will be hard to imagine that these songs were not written for this movie; they fit in so seamlessly and beautiful. This movie never stops, only flows from one scene, one song to another until the credits stop rolling. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
    “More Than Dreams” (2007) Stories of five Muslim men and women who accepted Jesus Christ directly, not through a missionary, but from a personal visit from Jesus, often in their dreams. Some did not even know a Christian before they accepted Christ. This shows that Christ has returned in his etheric body and is present to anyone who invites him into their lives. A Don’t Miss Hit!
    “Step Up” (2006) A 21st Century “Flash Dance”. Tyler grows from stealing cars to stealing extra bows as a dancer. When he enters the dance academy, he is no longer orphan, but a valued member of the class. Has moves that Gene Kelly and Fred Astairie might have envied.
    “Mad Money” (2008) Tres Amigas Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes, and Queen Latifah team up to recycle old money destined for shredding at the Fed. With bags of money stuffed everywhere, they begin to spend it and the fun begins. The Feds want to play, the bank examiner is upset, and no one can figure out how or for sure if they did it. As immoral as it is funny. In the spirit of the movie, don’t buy this DVD, steal it!
    “Lars and the Real Girl” (2007) Lars’ mother died when he was born. His father never felt anything again till he died about 18 years later. Lars’ older brother left home when Lars was a child because he was freaked out by his father. Now Lars is working full-time, living in the garage of his father’s home and never visits his brother or his wife who live 50 feet away.
    He feels intense pain when anyone touches him. One day a box arrives with Bianca, a real-life doll, Brazilian, anatomically correct, and Lars asks if she can stay in his mother’s old bedroom in the main house. Soon Bianca has a job reading to kids, goes to church with Lars, goes to a party with him, and then she dies. Come on, I couldn’t make this up. This is an incredibly sensitive and wonderful movie, great acting, especially the doctor played by Patricia Clarkson. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! ! !
    “Music Within” (2007) Story of Richard Pimentel’s life after he lost his hearing in Vietnam. He went on to speak for disabled people and helped pass the ADA Act which opened public venues for disabled people. Great story well portrayed.
    “Definitely, Maybe” (2008) Everybody likes a good story. What do you think? Is this one? We think definitely, maybe. “Definitely, maybe” will identify the step-mother.

    “The Eye” (2007) Sydney gets new corneas and they allow her to see the material world and the spiritual world. Can she overcome these fearful images using the spiritual sight she received via cellular from the donor, a girl in Mexico?
    “The Last Castle” (2001) Robert Redford, a court-martialed general arrives in a military prison full of prisoners being abused by the dastardly coward, Col. Winter. The only recourse is for him to take over the castle from the inside and put a stop to the carnage. He can mastermind this takeover but can he survive it? A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “The Brave One” (2007) is Jody Foster who “walks the city” and loses her fiancé. How can she deal with the loss? Can she return to her talk show host on radio? Can she help bring the killers of her beloved to justice? A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “The Band’s Visit” (2007) When the Alexandria, Egypt Police Orchestra gets on the wrong bus and ends up in an isolated town in Egypt, they must either walk back or make friends. This is the story of how enemies become friends in a small town. Poignant, sad, happy, and amazing. Enjoy a night in the desert with the Band.
    “The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn” (1999) Sidney Poitier and Mary-Louise Parker star in this big corporation against the little guy, Noah. But Noah was a powerful, well-loved nonagenerian carpenter, who healed everyone who came near him, who fixed things without being asked, and no bulldozers were going to push him around and convert his land into a shopping center. Or were they? A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “Anna Karenina” (2000) Tolstoy’s masterpiece done masterfully. The life and times of Anna come alive in great acting performances and vividly real scenery and sets. A gripping tale which holds you to the very end of this 4 hour film. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” (1981) What is a Scarlet Lady if she has no Pearl to prove it? If one finds a Pearl of Great Price, one should not leave it unattended or it might walk away and one might spend the rest of one’s life looking for it. A provocative and amazing movie adaptation of John Fowles’ novel which develops parallel stories of Streep and Irons as actors in the movie and on the set. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !

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

    “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” (2008) — unfortunately, and they made this dumb, gross, horrible movie. They should have retired in “White Castle” while they were ahead.
    Quinceañera (2005) In a chicano debutante or “coming out” event, a fifteen year old celebrates her birthday by getting pregnant while her brother just comes out. Slow, nothing much happens, we shut it down and stomped it. If it shows up in your mailbox by mistake, you can, too. A DVD STOMPER ! ! !
    “The Bicycle Thief” (1948) Post-war angst in Italy and not much more. Man gets job, needs bicycle, sells everything to buy one, lets bike gets stolen on first day at work nailing Rita Hayworth poster. Spends rest of movie looking for bike. Never finds it. — Don’t look at this one and reduce the angst in your life.

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

    “Layer Cake” (2004) Daniel Crag as a happy and rich drug dealer when suddenly he gets an assignment he cannot refuse. Suddenly his simple world goes up in a cloud of cocaine dust and bullets. Intriguing.

    “Even Money” (2006) is about writer’s block turned into gambling addiction, but an amazing thing happens on the way to ruin: Amazing Abraham with his sleight of hand provides a plot for a new novel. Filled with lessons that even money can’t buy, like love.
    “Kingdom of Heaven” (2005) Forget the Director’s Cut, this movie is already much too long. It drags at every stage of the movie. Always people waiting to make decisions. Get your toothpicks ready to hold your eyes open if you wish to survive this one. Useful for details on Crusades and the folly of their effort. The Middle East suffers to this day from their after-effects.
    “The Machinist” (2004) is actually about a man who works machining steel parts in a factory, Christian Bale, who looks like half-a-Bale in this movie. Excruatingly, anorexically thin, under 120 lbs, so thin it pains one to watch him. Hard to believe this is same man who starred in “The Prestige” and “Batman Returns”. Why has he not slept for a year? Who is the strange man at work who follows him in a red convertible? What is the origin of the Hangman’s note on his fridge? Is this a good movie? Your Call.
    “Sleepwalking” (2008) A brother and sister from an abusive father sleepwalk through life, barely surviving. When his sister runs away and leaves her 13-year-old daughter with him, the brother must suddenly wake up. But will it be too late for all three of them?
    “The Savages” (2007) is about a family who savage themselves with guilt when their dad is losing his mind. A short look at a long goodbye inside a dysfunctional family.
    “Little Chenier” (2006) was a little movie with a little plot that sounded a little like Cajuns and was shot in a little Cajun community. Only watch this if you want to see the bayou scenes. This is a dumb movie. A barely YC
    “Stop Loss” (2008) a lugubrious look at the worst side of the Iraqi war. A soldier who wants to defect other than go back to Iraq is the focus of this overblown anti-war commentary. When I talked to my nephew upon his return from a year in Iraq, he gave me got a better look at the reality of the progress made in Iraq in recent years than anywhere is hinted at in this movie.
    “Ma Vie en Rose” (1997) not to be confused with “La Vie en Rose”, this is about 7-yr-old Ludovic who wanted to become a girl and was already dressing the part, something which his parents had to address. A heart-warming adventure into a family’s loud learning opportunities.
    “The Salton Sea” (2002) A neo-noir film with Val Kilmer in a druggie role like in the “Doors”, but with a twist, turns out he’s working undercover for himself while pretending to work undercover for two cops. Then he pretends to work undercover for the FBI, but ends up double-crossing everyone but himself, his real self the gentle trumpet player. Savior or Judas? Avenging Angel or Revenging Devil? Hit or Miss? Your Call.

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    One evening after returning home from the oilfields, Boudreaux found his door broken open, his house burglarized, and all his possessions completely disappeared. He telephoned the police, "Wat's wrong? Mais, mah house done got broken into! Send a policeman, toute de suite!" The police dispatcher said, "Yes, Mr. Boudreaux."

    The police dispatcher broadcast the call on the radio, and a K-9 unit, patrolling nearby, was the first to respond.

    As the K-9 officer approached the house, with his dog on a leash, Boudreaux was standing waiting out on the porch. He looked incredulously at the cop walking up the banquette behind his dog, then rushed back into the house and phoned the police again.

    "Wat you doing to me?" he cried into the phone set.

    "What's wrong, Mr. Boudreaux?" the dispatcher replied.

    "Looka here — Ah come home, all my stuff is a gone pecan, Ah call you for help, and you done sent me a blind policeman!"

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    5. RECIPE of the MONTH for September, 2008 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
    (click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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    Cooking Instructions — De-boning Redfish

    Background on De-boning Redfish: Above is an excellent example of a large Baked Redfish by John Folse. This photo was taken during a taping of his show on July 18, 2006. No deboning is necessary for baking a redfish, but one must take the scales off the fish and remove the guts. Both of these processes are very messy and smelly. The scales tend to fly all over the place, and as a result, I avoid de-scaling fish completely unless I'm at the fishing dock. One can BBQ redfish with the scales still on, something I've heard about, but haven't tried. If you wish to do this, simply stop at Step 3.

    I have on occasion received frozen packs of redfish, sheepshead, and drum which claimed to be filleted, and yet still had bones in them. It is so difficult to be sure that you have removed all the bones left in filleted fish that I would prefer to fillet a fish myself than remove bones left in a fillet by someone else. You have to inspect with your fingers (bones are mostly not visible) every inch of the fish after the fillets are completely defrosted. Any ice still in the fillet will feel like a bone.

    This is the technique I use to ENSURE that there are no bones in my fish when I fillet them. The bones are visible and easily avoided. If you slip, you'll know exactly where you missed some bones and can easily remove them. Then, whle washing the fillet, you can make one final inspection with your fingers and remove any bones which slipped by earlier, something which happens infrequently. With this technique, you can defrost and cook up the large chunks for a redfish courtboullion with confidence that there are no bones in your fish. Cutting into chunks before packing for freezing is best, if you know it will go into a courtboullion, and you can mark the package at that time.

    Large redfish
    Sharp, pointed filleting knife (Rapalla brand shown in Photo Here.)


    I use my flower arranging table with a plastic covering, so that it can be washed clean before and after the filleting is done. Have your Ziploc Freezer bags ready with some water in the bottom to place the fillets into as you remove them from the skin in the final step. My Ziploc bag in shown being held in position by my patented ZZ-Top bag holder. See Photo. Have a trash can with a bag in it to deposit the carcasses of the fish.

    FILLETING, STEP 1: See Photo 1.

    Force point of filleting knife in at Point 1 on photo, right behind the gills, about midway on a side, until the tip touches the large back bone. Cut with knife to Point 2 on photo, then turn knife and continue to cut along the backbone, directly above and touching the bones extending the dorsal edge of the fish (top when it's in swimming positon). Aim the point to spot tailward of where the cloaca exits the redfish. Approximate position marked here and shown directly in earlier Photo. Carefully force the point of the knife through the ventral edge (bottom side) of the fish directly behind the cloaca, taking care not to puncture the abdominal sac of the redfish. Once through the skin and scales, continue to cut away towards the tail until both sides of the fillet are free of the redfish body (past the cloaca).

    STEP 2: See Photo 2.

    Raise the redfish with dorsal side up and pick up cutting from Point 1 of Photo 1. Cut through skin and scales, riding carefully above the lower rib cage of the redfish like shown in Photo 2. When you pass over the cloaca, cut away the fillet. Wash the fillet, then carefully run your fingers over the fillet to check for and remove any random bones which may have been cut out by accident.

    STEP 3: See Photo 3.

    This photo shows the fillet free of the fish, ready to remove from its skin and scales — a fillet completely free of bones . [If you wish to BBQ your redfish with scales intact, you are done. Wash off the fish and place in its container.]

    STEP 4: See Photo 4.

    Removing the fish from its skin and scales is the easiest part of the task. Simply lay the fillet, scales down, grab the tip of the tail hard with your other hand, cut with knife facing forward, letting knife cut the fish away from its skin. Photo shows the completed action. Simply repeat Steps 1 through 4 for the other side of the redfish.

    STEP 5: See Photo 5.

    Photo 5 shows the completed side of a redfish with no puncturing of the gut sack. This technique not only ensures you will have fillets free of bones, but it also reduces the blood, the gore, the smell, and the cleanup problems.

    Other options
    If you are planning to use large chunks of redfish or sheepshead or drum for a courtboullion, then chop the fish up into chunks after Step 4. Wash thoroughly and place in Ziploc Freezer bags. Fill leftover space in bags with water to keep fish from drying out. Always freeze this fish with extra water so all the fish fillets will be encased in ice when frozen. Any dark red areas of the fillets are best cut off before bagging the fish. These will be very dark when cooked and not appetizing, so remove them before saving.

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    6. POETRY written by Del for her Garden Club Yearbook:
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                Garden Reverie
                 Adele Matherne

    Under the warming springtime sun
    My gardening work was well begun.
    I tilled the soil and pulled the weeds,
    Put in the ground the bulbs and seeds.

    With sun streaming upon my face
    I chose myself a shady place.
    Cooling beneath a broad oak tree
    My mind soon filled with reverie.

    I thought of good friends I have made —
    Of loved ones — in the soothing shade.
    The garden — where time is no more —
    A haven for my thoughts to soar.


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

    1.) ARJ2: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

    After watching so many of Sherlock Holmes' adventures in the Black & White films over the years, it was sheer pleasure to hold in my hands a small red-covered cloth-bound book of 124 pages which contained all the original words of Arthur Conan Doyle. No longer did some script-writer come between me and the master detective story writer and his creations. I was back at the helm of my adventure into the dark moor. With my inner ears I could hear the howling of the fearsome hound, and in my imagination observe the deer sucked into the great Grimpen Mire. My heart rate was the up tempo background music letting me know that the "game was afoot." I could follow the very thoughts of Dr. Watson as he attempted to assist his colleague, Sherlock Holmes, in uncovering the mystery, striving ever to stay alive while doing so.

    The game begins with a cane left behind by a visitor the night before. Watson shares his deduction with Holmes and is greeted with responses of Good!, Excellent! "Perfectly sound!" and when Watson finally says, "Then I was right!" Holmes replies "To that extent."

    [page 2]"Has anything escaped me?" I asked with some self-importance. "I trust that there is nothing of consequence which I have overlooked?"
           "I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth. Not that you are entirely wrong in this instance. The man is certainly a country practitioner. And he walks a good deal.

    Apparently Sherlock Holmes, like God, never wastes a mistake. Later when Holmes inquires of the cabman who his fare was that day, he identifies him as "Sherlock Holmes." Dr. Watson records Holmes' surprise, which in movie fare would only be hinted at by the actor playing Holmes. Note the use of the word "foil" in Holmes' response to his surprise. It is a fencing metaphor about being touched by an epee, a foil, during a fencing bout. Holmes was foiled in the sense of an opponent slipping in a touch during a fencing match and also in the sense being thrown off the track of his prey. A subtle and poetic use of ambiguity by the master author, Doyle.

    [page 36] Never have I seen my friend more completely taken aback than by the cabman's reply. For an instant he sat in silent amazement. Then he burst into a hearty laugh.
          "A touch, Watson — an undeniable touch!" said he. "I feel a foil as quick and supple as my own. He got home upon me very prettily that time. So his name was Sherlock Holmes, was it?"

    Another gem of literary note is when Dr. Watson comments in a letter to Holmes about his complete indifference to whether the Sun moved round the Earth or the Earth round the Sun. (Page 55) This would be precisely the position one might take who was versed in Alfred Korzybski's Science and Sanity. Both ways of describing the motion of the Sun and Earth are merely maps, and whereas the maps may represent the territory, it can never include all of the territory, and more importantly, making a map does not change the territory one whit!

    Soon an escaped convict who murdered someone, and another stranger, who is spotted in a tower by night, are loose on the moor, which is a most inhospitable place with no means of acquiring food. All this heightens the mystery as we move into the second half of the book, in which Dr. Watson is mucking about in the moor along with Dr. Mortimer, Stapleton (a naturalist), Stapleton's sister, and of course the unseen, looming presence of the great Hound. One feels like the plot of this book has gotten stuck in the great Grimpen mire, and cannot be extirpated. But just then, there's even more: a lady's initials L. L. shows up on a crumbling note and must be identified.

    Dr. Watson undertakes a daring plan to ensnare the murderer, Seldon, who is apparently living in one of the ancient stone dwellings in the moor. Gun loaded, he waits through the night, and instead of Seldon, he ensnares the strangest quarry of them all. We catch a hint of who this quarry may have been in this next passage. But who can it be?

    The tale winds to a dramatic conclusion and all the loose ends are tied up. If it can be said that, "All writers can be found under Gogol's Overcoat", then surely all mystery writers can be found breathing in the smoke from Sherlock Holmes' pipe. One can spot a close similarity to the way the mystery is revealed to us, deepens, spreads out in many directions, and then is all pulled back together neatly in both Sherlock Holmes stories and the modern TV series, The Closer.

    We have closed the book on the mysterious Hound of the Baskervilles. He has led us on a merry chase through the pages of this novel, howling dreadfully right on cue. We have been interrupted by no TV commercials nor had to watch obnoxious previews of coming attractions. The projector bulb did not burn out and the projector operator did not miss the third reel. Our popcorn was popped fresh a few feet from our comfortable seat. No one answered a cell phone the next seat over and began talking during the chase over the moor. All in all we spent a marvelous couple of hours in the magical world woven by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We have gained a new respect for his marvelous writing. Actors and directors may come and go, screens may turn Technicolor and High Definition, but the original handwritten words of Arthur Conan Doyle will ever conjure their magic for all future generations of readers.

    This is a condensed version of the full review which is just a Click! away.

    2.) ARJ2: Occult History — Historical Personalities & Events in the Light of Spiritual Science, GA#126 by Rudolf Steiner

    What light can spiritual science shed upon historical personalities and events? One might even ask: How can there be anything left to study when materialistic science has finished its examination of history? The answer can be stated this way: a fuller realization of historical personalities and events can be achieved by looking at the influences upon them by spiritual beings who hover ever behind the scenes. Steiner explains in these six lectures how the potentials of personalities and events are fulfilled to the greatest extent by spiritual beings. We may not be able to experience these spiritual beings in our time, but in the historical times discussed in these lectures, many people were able to do so. This ability to bring out the full expression of a potentiality is what Aristotle labeled entelechy. This was Aristotle's way of sharing what he experienced directly from spiritual beings with whom he was familiar.

    Most important for newcomers to Rudolf Steiner's work is that he brings to us in these lectures, not a dogma, but a description of reality as he experiences it and which we can all feel as true and right in our hearts. Feeling is not a way of experiencing reality that is accepted by materialistic scientists, so one would not expect any of them to be swayed by the exhortation to use their hearts and feeling to determine the truth of anything.

    There were spiritual beings operating behind the scenes and individuals operating in the forefront of events who were reincarnations of earlier individuals. Together these acted as guides and leaders in human evolution, and shaped the world the way we know it today. The average human being does not perceive spiritual beings operating behind the scenes today. Few of us even recognize or express gratitude to our individual Guardian Angel who follows us from lifetime to lifetime. But that was not always the case, and the farther we go back into historical lore, the more it becomes obvious that people could see directly the spiritual beings who shaped the events of the world. In ancient Greece, these spiritual beings were given names and personalities and called "gods."

    Over 2500 years away from those times, we are left only with the truth contained in myths and fairy tales, what we might call the "Grimm" truth, after the famous "Grimm's Fairy Tales." Steiner blatantly claims that more truth is found in those tales than in flattened abstractions of modern science and history.

    Our ability to experience the spiritual world directly with clairvoyant vision abated as a consequence of our evolution of consciousness over the earlier Post-Atlanteans cultural epochs. In the Indian, Persian, and Egypto-Chaldean epochs, the people carried this ability to view the spiritual world within them and felt a living connection with that world. This direct connection with the spiritual world only waned until finally fading away during the Greco-Latin epoch when a direct connection with the material world grew to take its place. The farther we go back in time, the harder it is to understand human beings if we do not expand our definition of human being to include direct access to Beings of the Spiritual Hierarchies. Here we come upon the essence of the theme of the lectures of this book: our knowledge of these historical beings must take into account the presence of these spiritual beings operating within these early human beings. Who are these people?

    [page 14] This applies, shall we say, to Hermes, the great Teacher of the Egyptian epoch, also to Zarathustra, and even to Moses. When we go back before the thousand years preceding the Christian era we must reckon with the fact that wherever we have to do with historical personalities, higher Individualities, higher Hierarchies stand behind and take possession of these personalities — in the best sense of the word, of course.

    What happened to our understanding of the world as our consciousness evolved into more direct experience of the physical world? What we had earlier understood as due to spiritual forces and beings, we began to understand as due to physical forces and objects. That is where we stand currently: in a world we understand as comprised only of forces and objects; a world solely determined by the laws of the science of physics. The grand scheme to develop a Theory of Everything, a Grand Unifying Theory (GUT), has foundered on the rocks of reality, as huge gaps have developed in every theory which attempts to be comprehensive.

    The more we look for the ultimate particle of physics, the more we realize that we are merely creating these so-called particles by our own method of searching for them, and they continue to multiply the more deeply we search. We are but recording the waves created by our looking and giving names to them as though they were real objects. In attempting to take our materialistic science to the Nth degree, we have discovered that there is no such thing as a thing! This realization, rightly understood, should bring any thinking person to understanding that a spiritual reality lies below our material world, just as a foundation lies below the building in which you, dear Reader, are reading these words.

    The great myth or story from the Egypto-Chaldean epoch is that of the "God-man" or Gilgamish. The goddess, Aruru, decides that Gilgamish needs a helper and causes Enkidu (Eabani) to arise out of the Earth. In what ensues, we see the first example of a man being partnered with a more primitive man, a theme which continues to this day in movies and television series. We can think of Don Juan and Sancho Panza in literature, but most recently we would think of Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan Matus, plus a slew of popular duos such as The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Cisco and Pancho, Red Ryder and Little Beaver, Batman and Robin, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Amos and Andy, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and so forth. Always one finds the second name mentioned is a man with a more primitive and direct connection to the Earth than the first. The first man listed is an old soul (one of many incarnations) and the second man is a young soul (one of few incarnations) who is various characterized as a wild man, a rough, uncouth, a savage, but still providing insights for the older soul. They are short, Enkidu befriends Gilgamish and helps his friend in many ways, but none more important than when Enkidu dies, and Gilgamish must face his own mortality.

    [page 17] Gilgamish is now alone. A thought comes to him that gnaws at the very fibers of his soul. Under the impression of what he has experienced, he becomes conscious for the first time of the thought that man is mortal; a thought to which he had previously paid no heed comes before his soul in all its terror. And then he hears of the only man of earth who has remained immortal, whereas all other human beings in the Post-Atlantean epoch have become conscious of mortality: he hears of the immortal Xisuthros far away in the West. And because he is resolved to fathom the riddle of life and death, he sets out on the perilous journey to the West. — I can tell you at once that this journey to the West is nothing else than the search for the secrets of ancient Atlantis, for happenings prior to the great Atlantean catastrophe.

    What was life like for Man in the time before the Atlantean flood? It was the time before Adam, whose very name means "hard" and is the root of such words for hard as "diamond" and "adamantine". Adam was the first "hard" Man, the first Man to have bones in his body, the first Man to face the riddle of life and death, as Gilgamish was facing. Before the time of Adam, before the Flood, humans lived as immortals in a land of ever-present mist. They were in intimate contact with the spiritual beings and could see the spiritual emanations from other human beings as their primary method of sight. They saw clairvoyantly and maneuvered through the misty land with their supersensible sight. They never felt the need for sleep because their bodies were fluid and stretchable and not fixed and rigid as our own. When Gilgamish finally locates Xisuthros and asks him for advice on how he might be immortal, Xisuthros tells him he must stay awake for seven days and nights without falling asleep. This is merely a description of how the people of the pre-Flood times lived without sleeping. Yes, it was a condition that accompanied their immortality, but it was a feat that no Man could achieve, even the mighty Gilgamish, because of the evolution of Man after the Flood.

    However, the quest of Gilgamish is fulfilled because he undergoes an initiation when given seven mystic loaves which act as a life elixir. For a time he experiences immortality, knows that it exists, and he is able to meet Enkidu (Eabani). Gilgamish returns to his own country in Chaldea with the knowledge that a spiritual world exists in which Man is truly immortal, even though the circadian evidence of that fact had been lost to post-Atlantean hard Man.

    The secrets of the existence of the spiritual world were passed on to students of the Mystery schools in such places as the Temple of Diana in Ephesus. Soon the cult of personality arose and Man was unable to understand those secrets unless being initiated into the Mysteries, a process which recapitulated the trials that Gilgamish underwent during his long journey into understanding. Steiner reveals to us the epitome of the Man of personality who tried to destroy Diana's temple of Ephesus and we catch a glimpse of the reincarnation of the spirit of the individuality known previously as Gilgamish, re-appearing as Alexander the Great, with a most unexpected Enkidu (Eabani) by his side acting as his teacher, Aristotle. Steiner does not claim that Gilgamish is reincarnated as Alexander, but calls the latter the "shadow-image" of the former. The case of whether this shadow image represents a reincarnation is left to each person. There is no dogma in spiritual science, no rules about how one is to interpret the indications in the descriptions of Rudolf Steiner, and Steiner would be the first to admonish someone who blatantly claimed that "spiritual science says Alexander was reincarnated Gilgamish". Yet, the indications are there. In more recent times when Rudolf Steiner stood side by side with Ita Wegman, there were similar indications that the spirits of Alexander and Aristotle's shadow images were there. Steiner had undergone a similar initiation journey to that of Gilgamish and he returned to describe to us, as members of the fifth Post-Atlantean cultural epoch, the salient events of the third Post-Atlantean epoch in the area of Mesopotamia.

    It may seem strange to some for Steiner to be talking about spiritual beings operating behind the scenes to effect changes in the world through human beings, but such events are happening yet today. One need only look at the life and writings of Jane Roberts, Jach Pursel, and J Z Knight to see the operation of the spiritual beings of Seth, Lazaris, and Ramtha in their lives. They have acted as channels for spiritual beings, who, with the exception of Ramtha, claim to have never been incarnated in a human body, and Ramtha only 350 centuries earlier.

    During the recent funeral of JB, a friend of ours, I picked up about four materialistic presuppositions from the priest doing the Mass. For example, he talked about JB as "going away" during a time in which my thoughts had our dear friend ever present in living spiritual reality. "Where could he have gone to?" was the question raised by the priest's comment. JB's body was present in the coffin, and it, in its temporary material form, was to be buried shortly; it could go away. But JB's spirit was alive and present everywhere in the world. When his friends were led by the priest to feel bad because "he had gone away", JB's spirit experienced great pain. Even now JB is here, present in reality, in living spirit, right now as I think of him while I type these words! The materialistic idea that we go somewhere else after death is so pervasive in our culture today that it goes invisible and unnoticed, as water is to a flounder. It is the medium in which we live, up until now.

    I have learned to talk directly to friends about the living spirit of a recently deceased friend. What I have noticed invariably is a lightening up of the feeling state of the person that I am talking to. When I talked to my friend Tom after JB's death about JB's spirit being still around, Tom agreed, but he took it as if I was using spirit in the form we use for school spirit. After I carefully explained that I was talking about JB's living spirit, not a metaphoric spirit which lives on in friends left behind after someone "goes away", Tom got the reality of what I was expressing, and his demeanor brightened up considerably. Expressions, like "going away" that the priest used, do great harm by fostering the prevalent materialistic view of the world. They are empty phrases which sound logical and well-formed, but, rightly understood, they are abstract ideas vacant of meaning and they do more harm than good.

    Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, was led by the strong spiritual forces of the Archangel Michael and she single-handedly kept England from taking over France and completely changing the face of Europe forever. Steiner describes the details of her deed, both from the view of the Akasha Chronicle (supersensible record of living deeds) and from historical documents, and shows us incontrovertibly the evidence of spiritual beings at work in her life, directing and assisting in her deed. Steiner gives us the full text of a letter from 1429 about Joan of Arc and this comment:

    [page 35] This letter was written by one who knew the Maid and was in close contact with the King. It is indeed amazing when one discovers all these things an purely occult grounds and with occult means of proof — for they are indeed to be found in the Akasha Chronicle — and then sees how, in cases like this, actual historical documents can also be produced. In short, it seems almost madness to doubt what was working through the Maid of Orleans. And when we also take into consideration the fact that through her deeds the whole history of modern time assumed a different aspect, this gives us the right to say that here, verified by documentary evidence, we can see the direct intervention of the supersensible worlds.

    We are living in the fifth Post-Atlantean cultural epoch, and we must learn to use our understanding of the physical world as a foundation for reaching upward into the spiritual world. People ask me, "Why are you not using your physics?" when they find out my academic background and compare that to my writing. I tell them, "I use my physics everyday; it is the foundation upon which I build my understanding of the world which is composed of both the material and the spiritual." Steiner uses the example of the Maid of Orleans to illustrate that point:

    [page 53] The Maid of Orleans is therefore a personality already working entirely in the spirit of our own epoch, when everything that we can produce on the foundation of our outer impressions must be directed upward to the spiritual. But what does this mean when we apply it to our own culture and civilization? It means this. — We may direct our attention, naively to begin with, to our environment, but if we stop at that, if we have eyes for the outer impressions only, then we are not fulfilling our bounden obligation. We fulfil it only when we are conscious that these impressions must be related to the spiritual Powers behind them. When we pursue science in the manner of academic scholarship, we are not fulfilling our obligation. We must regard everything that we can learn about the laws of natural phenomena and the laws of the manifestations of the life of soul as though it were a language which is to lead us to a revelation of the divine-spiritual. When we are conscious that all physical, chemical, biological, physiological, psychological laws must be related to something spiritual that is revealing itself to us, then we are fulfilling our obligation.

    One can only be conscious of how all physical, chemical, biological, physiological, and psychological laws are related to the spiritual world if one has appropriately studied all those facets of reality. One comes by such diverse knowledge only after long study. When one has studied all these areas of life, one can notice an amazing thing which can be stated this way: "A work of art is the outer language of the spiritual world." (See italicized phrase in the passage below.)

    I recall vividly when the insight that "Art is the process of destruction." first came to me. It was before I had delved deeply into Rudolf Steiner's works, but later when I did, I came to understand that true art originates in the spiritual and when it speaks to us, no one understands it for a time; it speaks a new language unfamiliar to all. A true work of art destroys the sameness of all the art which existed before, because it has arrived fresh from the spiritual world and entered the world of familiar art works with an unfamiliarity that is often rejected and spurned until we come to learn the language it speaks, and then it speaks to us.

    Richard Wagner, the famous composer, brought incredible musical works of art into existence. His opponents were vociferous in their opposition to his works. If one has seen the movie, "Amadeus", which was based on Pushkin's play about Mozart, one can hear echoes of the complaints of Salieri in the movie about Mozart's music with the complaints that Hanlick made about Wagner:

    From such studies as these, we begin to understand what the evolution of consciousness means to us in the field of art. New art works speak to us from out of the spiritual world; they arrive with a freshness is that startling and alarming, but they prepare us for changes in the evolution of humanity which will be arriving. True art is the harbinger of change.

    Aristotle gave the definition of a Greek tragedy play thus: "A tragedy is a weaving together round a hero of successive actions, which are able to arouse in the spectator the emotions of fear and compassion in order that a catharsis may take place in his soul." (Page 64) What made it possible for Aristotle to define a tragedy so explicitly was his initiation, his training in confronting the spiritual world in the Mysteries. The Greek tragedy was a form of didactic art which provided training to those people who would never be initiated directly in the Mysteries. They still perform that role to this day.

    What do we learn about history from all of this? The deeper meaning behind the Persian Wars, for one thing. These wars represented the culture of the fourth post-Atlantean culture fighting to survive against the forces of the third post-Atlantean culture, namely the Greeks against the Persians of the Egypto-Chaldean culture. The whole of Southern European culture hung in the balance with each onslaught of the massive Persian forces. The spirits of the Greeks were inflamed with as it were the deeply felt waves from the future which required them to defeat the Persians in order for European history to survive today as we know it.

    This blurb has provided a sampling from my review of how spiritual beings have operated and continue to operate behind the human beings in the world. But thoughts are but empty phrases unless they find a home in human feelings about the matters which Steiner shares with us in these lectures. It is our job as reader to provide a place in our hearts for these feelings so that we may go forth in our time with an understanding of how modern events are unfolding out of the spiritual world. We live on a robust planet which is designed to be a garden to sustain our life and a launching pad from which we may spring into the spiritual world. We do best to study carefully with heart-felt understanding of the workings of the spiritual hierarchies in our world.

    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 Reads Datamation Magazine this Month:

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

    This month the good Padre reads Datamation Magazine article about the new technology, Cloud Computing.

    2.Comments from Readers:

  • EMAIL from Ruta in Los Angeles:

    Dear Bobby,

    I had a great time in New Orleans and with the added pleasure of meeting some of my brother (Gus) and Anne's friends. Thank you for sending that photo; I'm actually thinking of buying that SONY camera (T300). I was impressed with the ease of it... etc. And it actually has the capacity to make old ladies look ok!! Doesn't do much for older men though. ;-)

    Please say a warm "Hello" to your wife from me.
          Take care. Ruta

  • EMAIL from Brona re my photo of an avocado flower:
    Bobby, your photo ran in the Austin Chronicle on Friday — here's the link!

    All the best Brona

  • EMAIL from Kathryn (our new daughter-in-law):

    Well done in removing the creases (RJM: Kathryn's referring to the artwork at top of this Digest which she and my granddaughter Sierra drew and colored of Sierra's farm animals, then sent to us as a trifold card.). I tried doing it with the original image and it didn't turn out as well. What program did you use?

  • Sierra will be amused to see the image on the website. It's sad that we now only have 6 of the original 14. We finally confirmed it was the neighbor's dog, Lucky, who was stealing the chickens and ducks over the past months. I caught him in the act of chasing our last duck to the pond. I even named one of the ducks after him...thinking the name Lucky might help him. Oh well! There's some humor in Lucky getting Lucky.

    I'm cleaning out the attic now and taking a moment to cool down. Soon I will have a go at making pickles with the surplus of cucumbers.

  • EMAIL from a doyletics user on Children's Speed Traces:
    [RJM NOTE: In my reply to the writer of this email, I wrote two paragraphs on Children's Traces which now grace the very top of the Main Page of ]

    Absolutely amazing.
    Was taking a walk Saturday with my 8 year old and on a whim, I asked him what he is scared of. He told me that he is scared of swimming. Did quick trace and it was gone! Should Have Seen The Look On his face. I quickly asked the plausibility question and out popped the memory of head going under water in his cousins pool at 2 years old.

    The rest of Saturday was busy as I Removed his distaste of chicken. Then Got rid the 6 year old's hatred of hamburger and fried fish. even the 4 year old's dislike of chocolate.

    Still working on the other stuff we talked about, but I had to tell you about my kids.

    All The Best.]]

  • EMAIL from Paula Lucidi:
    Hello Bobby,

    I am a subscriber of your newsletter and also enjoy reading your reviews, particularly the ones on Steiner. I started doing this project on You Tube. I am in a book group and 5 years ago we began studying Philosophy of Freedom and did so by summarizing each paragraph. I decided to share the work of the group and myself on You Tube. I am wanting those interested in Anthroposophy to know about what I am doing. I've contacted the Canadian Anthroposophical Society and am getting something published in their newsletter. If you know of others whom I can contact, I would appreciate it. Also I am wondering if you would like to mention it in your newsletter or site if you are interested. The link is:


  • 3. Bumblebee Ring Tone and Old School Way

    At night we watched an interesting Law & Order episode. The young, female ADA working with McCoy picked up a “bumblebee” ring tone on a teenage suspect's cell phone, to which the teenager said, “Adults aren’t supposed to be able to hear this.” Okay, the older males watching Law & Order could take that as a direct slur. Later the young female partner of Curtis called her boss’s approach “old school” when she was instructed to actually interview the suspects instead of tracking down their email trail. Another slur. Curtis later suggested that he and his female partner do something the “old school way” and it worked. Second slur neutralized (probably by an older script-writer) — first slur left uncallenged.

    My problem with the ring tone tactic was that it had absolutely no plot value, but was gratuitously put into the script by a young writer as a slur against older people.

    Other than teachers, I can't imagine the utility of the general population knowing about bumblebee ring-tones. Only young people who feeled cowed in the presence of mature members of society would insert an age-ist slur into a script like that. My suggestion to young people who feel that way is heed the advice of the sage who said, "I was young once, but got cured." With luck, you will, too.

    4. Gustavean Thoughts

    Henery David Thoreau famously wrote something like this: "The masses of humanity lead lives of quiet desperation." With the slightest hint on an impending storm, I have noticed that "The masses of humanity lead lives of noisy desperation." This is something one can notice on any news program which interviews the populace. One can take solace by noting that the change from quiet to noisy brings a modicum of much needed excitement to these lives.

    Jane Roberts wrote an insightful book about the steering currents for storms, The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, and you might be surprised at how storms choose their targets.

    Whenever a location along a coast has been very "quiet" for many years, storms seem to seek out this location as Andrew did Homestead, Florida. Then that location goes quiet again for many more years, as Homestead has. How does a storm know an area has been "quiet"? Who blabs? Not the palm trees, not the beach sand, not the fishing camps, not the levees. So who? As Popeye famously said, "It's one of the great myskeries of the sea!"

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