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Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #093
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Robert L. Curr (1940 - 2009) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ 1958 Graduate of Hahnville High School ] ~~~~~
From his obituary:
Dear Family and Friends. It saddens us to announce the passing of Robert L. Curr on February 15, 2009. He leaves behind his wife, Judith, son, Robert, Jr., and daughter-in-law, Daria, his beloved granddaughter, Ashley, and his devoted dog, Barney. Bob spent 21 years in the Air Force and after retirement worked in Hyperbaric Medicine in Austin and San Antonio,Texas. Bob has now completed the journey God sent him on and we are comforted that he is in His loving hands.
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~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #093 Published March 1, 2009 ~~~
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Quote for the Lion and Lamb Month of March:

I think it not improbable that man, like the grub that prepares a chamber for the winged thing it never has seen but is to be, that man may have cosmic destinies he does not understand.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, American Jurist and Writer

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

1. March's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for March
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Navel Orange
6. Poem from Flowers of Shanidar:"Amazing Puzzle"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for March:

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

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

This month Violet and Joey learn about Skeptical Inquirers.

#1 "Skeptical Inquirers" 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 March are:

John Olivier in New Orleans

Dan Goerlich in Texas

Congratulations, John and Dan!

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Out Our Way:

Welcome to our personal notes for February. Jelly side down is a way of pointing out how often it seems that if you drop a piece of bread after spreading jelly on it, it falls with the jelly side hitting the floor. That ruins the sandwich, whereas if it had only hit jelly side up, you could apply the 10 second rule and pick it up and eat it. The bread will fall either way and hit the floor, but jelly side down is the worst case scenario — as was my website going off-line right after I sent out email notifications to all subscribers to Good Mountain Press Digest.

So it was, that February started with my website going off-line on the very morning after I sent out the Digest notification emails. I received emails from disappointed and puzzled subscribers, which I was not able to answer immediately because I was as puzzled as they were. First I called Earthlink who hosts my site. They explained that I needed to contact the provider of my domain name as that was the problem. It had been many years since I renewed the domain name, and I didn't know where to go at first. Sharon on Earthlink Chat told me to contact Network Solutions as they are the Registrar of, So I did, but I found out that their partner, Infinite Communication, holds the domain name and claimed it has expired. Luckily, Sean at the NETWORK SOLUTIONS gave me an automatic 15-day extension of domain name, but noted that it may take a day or two before the renewal percolates through the system. Then I talked to Collin at Infinite Communications, who helped me to renew for ten years. I asked him why I was not contacted and he explained that my notification email was sent to

— Oops! That email has been defunct for years, ever since I switched to COX broadband. So the lesson to domain name owners among my Good Readers is: make sure to update your change of address with your domain name holders, or you might experience a little jelly side down event of your own.

A natural gas well has been completed on some Matherne property (no relation) adjacent to the Babin property owned by my maternal grandparents and the gas line will be routed through the property with a payment made to the Babin estate for the privilege. I drove down to Bourg on a Thursday for a meeting to be held at the home of my mother's sister, Clarice Bascle. It was a convenient Thursday for me and a nice day for a drive. In early February, the first Louisiana strawberries begin to be picked and the best place to buy them is from the side of the road from some pickup. You know those strawberries were in the fields early that morning and are fresh and very delicious. I saw a series of signs for strawberries ahead and when I stopped there was no one selling them at the stand. I knew I should have chosen a pickup truck where I could see the person ready to sell them. I would have another chance on the way back home from Bourg.

I arrived a half-hour early for the meeting and just in time to see Aunt Clarice walking home from Aunt Alicia's house. We walked over to the huge pecan tree which had shaded the area where we ate boiled crabs, BBQ, churned ice cream by hand, or just sat down to read comic books when I was a kid. Hurricane Gustav had laid it on its side, and damaged the rear portion of the roof of the Babin home. I took a photo of Aunt Clarice standing by the base of the roots to show how tall the root base is: over 15 feet, I estimate, about three times taller than my aunt. Then we walked into the Babin house to look at the renovations. Turns out there was very little structure damage, only damage to roof and water damage from water leaking through broken roof. As for the meeting, it turned out that I was a week early for it, but since the following week was not convenient, I had come on the only week I could, and I took advantage of the time to chat with my aunt, and have a look at the felled pecan tree before the last sections of it are hauled away.

On the way back home, just as I was turning onto Hwy 90 from Bayou Blue road, I saw a truck with strawberries for sale. I pulled over and bought a half-flat of red, ripe Louisiana strawberries for $12 and enjoyed eating them while on my hour-long trip back home as I listened to my Teaching Co. lectures on Hamlet. At one point, I decided to stop for some ice cream, but McDonald's had none, so I stopped at Sonic Drive-in and got a vanilla cone for a buck delivered to my car. Each strawberry I ate after that got a dip into the ice cream on the way to mouth. A little impromptu strawberry sundae to make up for the aborted meeting but otherwise nice trip down the bayou.

I pulled up everything from the Fall Garden except one brussels sprouts plant and the broccoli plants which are still producing. The brussels sprouts are still growing larger and the older broccoli plant is producing flowers from which I hope to save the seeds for the fall planting. This is the first broccoli I've allowed to go to seed, so I will experiment with it.

Each day Del and I have been eating "foot broccoli" as our daughter Carla dubbed it when she was here around Christmas. I finally asked her what she meant by that, and she said, "Oh, it's plants around which you walk with your bare feet." Then I remembered telling her what Anastasia wrote about the benefits of eating plants which you planted, tilled, and harvested yourself, and recommending that you walk around the tilled plants in your bare feet before you showered in the morning, so that the chemicals from you feet will stimulate the plants to produce the chemicals your body requires to remain healthy. The work of Barbara McClintock in uncovering "jumping genes" adds credence to Anastasia's recommendation, and Carla gave the whole process the simple name, "foot broccoli".

To get the garden ready for cultivation, I hauled out two wheel barrels full of Bio-Dynamic mulch from our compost bin and the pittosporum beds into the veggie garden. I chopped up and tilled the beds with our Echo Tiller we call Ms. Tillie, and with Del's help we shaped the rows. I planted a bell pepper plant, two rows of radishes, some beans from last years crop, and some bell pepper seeds.

That will begin to germinate by early March when I will add some local plants for the Spring garden. Hope the weather gets warm enough to walk around it barefooted in the early morning soon.

For many years I had been reading about the Krewe du Vieux's parade through the Vieux Carre ('old square') of the French Quarter, and this year we finally made it there. Our friends from Algiers Point joined us crossing the ferry and walking down to the Jax Brewery where we staked out a viewing spot on the stairs. On a chilly night with a cold breeze off the river at our backs we watched the zany krewe struts its "Unrated" wares down the street in front of us. The "Stimulus Package" was the big theme of their parade and of many satiric costumes this Mardi Gras season. I'll post a couple photos of the least offensive floats down below in this Digest.

My club's carnival ball was the Friday before Mardi Gras and it took place along St. Charles Avenue in an elegant, old mansion. On the day of that Ball my krewe has a luncheon at Galatoire's Restaurant. I arrived on Bourbon Street a little early and got to the see the "Pole-Greasing Ceremony" at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

Two pounds of petroleum jelly are rubbed on the poles supporting the hotel's balcony to prevent drunks and enthusiastic revelers from shinnying up the poles to the balcony during Mardi Gras Day. There was a band, some Mardi Gras Indians, some Saints players, and the celebrity was Rita Benson LeBlanc, president of the New Orleans NFL Saints to do some pole greasing.

As I watched the event at the entrance to Legends Park, I heard someone call my name from behind me, and turned to see our friend Dave Roberts. He was waiting for his tour customers to arrive for his French Quarter tour. I listened as he described the New Orleans musical legends portrayed in life-sized bronze statues there, Fats Domino, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, among others. After our lunch at Galatoire's was over, I walked back to my car and noticed how the crowd filled Royal Street. A high school band was in formation curb-to-curb and playing lively music when I heard a siren and saw flashing blue lights.

I thought the NOPD car was going to lead the band down Royal, but instead the police car was headed toward the band, parting it like Moses and the Red Sea, to allow another parade coming up Royal St. to pass between the band. I came home with a bracelet made out of tiny high-heel shoes and a purple, green, and gold stuffed hippo, around whose waist I placed the shoes to made a Prada grass skirt for it.

That night at the Ball, I met five people from Luling who knew my brother Paul and his wife, Joyce. J.P. Hymel, his mother Anita, and their friends, George and Karen Sauzer and daughter. Our friends from Algiers Point came to the Ball with us, Guntis Melbardis, Annie Koch, and Joy Paolo.

We had a great time, talked, ate, listened to music, and danced up a storm to the New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra. A special appearance by a small combo included folk songs by a Russian singer and a musician who played a large white bass fiddle while riding it like a horse.

The first LSU Baseball game of the season was on the night of our Ball. The Tigers start the year in the new Alex Box Stadium. I DVR'ed the game and also the Hornets game which overlapped the baseball game, so the next morning, I could watch both games by fast-forwarding over the commercials and time-outs. I was able to watch the second and third games of the series on-line during that weekend and cheer No. 1 LSU on to a series sweep against Villanova. For the Sunday game which began at noon, I needed to get starting cooking some crawfish-leeks-tarts for the upcoming Mardi Gras days, Monday and Tuesday, so I brought my wireless Laptop over to the kitchen counter where I could watch the game while cooking.


No Algiers Point breakfast on Mardi Gras morning this year as Joy has her kitchen and dining room undergoing renovations. But we were able to park in our usual spot and take the ferry across. Del felt a bit of sore throat, and we agreed to return early if she started getting tired.
She called our son, Stoney, as we got off the ferry at the foot of Canal St. and he was already on Bourbon Street. We decided to head up that way first to see if we could meet him there. He has to drive back to Dallas in the afternoon, so he got himself an early start. As we walked down Canal Street in front of the Astor Hotel, we met Linda, a schoolmate of our daughter, Kim. She and Kim have always looked like sisters and they still do. Linda had her husband, Skippy Santos, and her son with her. I told Skippy that it was nice seeing him for a change. We've bumped into Linda at various events, but usually without her husband, up until now. As we headed down Bourbon Street, we met an old Waterford-3 colleague of mine, Max Green. I used to see Max a lot when we were both building and upgrading our own PCs at nights and weekends, plus bringing paperwork for him to sign when he was in QC and I was in I&C. It was great bumping into him. Further on down the street, we met an old colleague and boss of Del's, Michael Lawrence. Del had to get an update from him.

I mentioned to him that I heard of the death of Antoinette Kadoe that morning on the radio. He said that he heard that she had been sick. Our mutual friends, Ted and Ruth, who we usually bump into on Mardi Gras Day, are good friends of Antoinette, and we have met her at a New Year's Eve party and most recently at Ted's 58's birthday party at Antoinette's Mother-in-Law Lounge on North Claiborne. (See photo.) According to reports in the Times-Picayune, Antoinette loved Mardi Gras and had had a heart attack on Mardi Gras 2008 — must be what Michael had heard about when he said she was sick — and now a year later, she died from a heart attack. If Del had been feeling better on this day, we would have walked to the Mother-in-Law to see the festivities there in honor of Antoinette who was so dearly loved by all the musicians of the city as well as the locals around her lounge. After Katrina, Antoinette was cooking hot meals every day and feeding the locals who were returning and couldn't afford to buy a meal. She and Ernie Kadoe are together again, and her daughter's husband will now be running the lounge who got its name from Ernie's big hit song, "Mother-in-Law", but will be now run by a man who loved his Mother-in-Law, Antoinette.

That's it from out our way for another Digest. Till next month, God Willing and the river don't rise! Enjoy St. Patrick and St. Joseph's Day and make it a great March into Spring for yourself wherever in the world you are ! ! !


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New Quotes Added to quotes.htm this month:
  • New Stuff about Website:
  • My Top 5 ARJ1 Traveling Books:

    1. Robyn Davidson's Tracks — The exhilarating tale of a willful woman’s solo trek across 1,700 miles of Australian outback .

    Robyn Davidson began with a simple idea: head for Alice Springs, capture three wild camels, and trek across the 1700 miles of desert to the Western Coast of Australia. After two years of taming camels and that wildest beast of all, herself, she set off on her journey, but not before she has nose-pegged, hobbled, tracked, injected, castrated, and killed camels during her camel training preparations for the trip.

    Determined to make her trip alone to best understand the desert and the ways of its indigenous people, the Aborigines, she caved in at the last moment and accepted support from National Geographic for her trip. This brought with it ample funds, periodic visits from Rick, the photographer, and an unwanted infamy by the end of her trip. She makes it clear in her writing that the photographs Rick took recorded his trip not hers.

    Robyn's trip was a communion with the desert, her dog Diggity, and her camels. Each day started with an hour or so of packing 1500 lbs. of gear on her camels, after she had located them.

    Camels, in order to forage naturally, had to be hobbled at night. This necessitated tracking them down in the morning and returning them to camp. During an early leg of her trek an Aborigine, Eddie, accompanied her for 200 miles. Eddie was "healthy, integrated, whole" and "If," she writes, " 'to be truly civilized, is to embrace disease,' then Eddie and his kind were not civilized."

    After months of walking twenty miles a day through the desert, every step thinking over her life's experiences, recalling every event in crisp detail, she experienced a "giant cleansing" and a "gentle catharsis". Dropping every last vestige of civilization, at times she walked dressed only in her sun-toughened brown skin, oblivious to cuts, nettles, and bleeding. She had become a creature of the desert, acclimated to its every nuance of terrain, flora, and fauna. When she reached the abandoned settlement at Carnegie she was shocked to find an even more desolate place than she had been, "man's desert", where overgrazing by cattle had eliminated many species of naturally occurring plants, replaced by poisonous ones such as the turpentine bush. When she encountered two men who had traveled by jeep through the same region, she was appalled that they hadn't even noticed the change.

    In a day when travel over long distances is seldom made at speeds below 70 mph, Robyn Davidson takes us through the uninhabited desert in slow motion and shares with us her recovery of herself along the way.

    2. Robert Heinlein's Tramp Royale

    The Master Storyteller's Travels Around the World

    When Heinlein's wife Ticky insisted that they go around the world by ship instead of airplane, Robert "firmly gave in." When she insisted that two bags were not enough, he did likewise, and they carried ten stuffed suitcases. At every step of the way Ticky flirted with incarceration by the local gendarmes by stretching and twisting points of law much to Heinlein's chagrin. When a customs official asked what she had to declare, she said, "Two pounds of heroin." Luckily the official had a sense of humor and let her by unmolested, which is more that her husband did. But his exhortations after the fact had little effect on his indomitable spouse who reminded me much more of Lazarus Long than Heinlein did. Nothing seemed to faze her disdain for petty tyrants and their Xmas rolls of red tape.

    He told her the story of the two dogs who crossed paths at the Chile-Argentina border, each emigrating to the other's home land. "Why would you leave a land where you are so well-fed?" the skinny Chilean dog inquired incredulously. "I thought I'd like to bark," came the answer. But that did little to curb her open dislike for officials at all levels. Somehow Robert managed to smuggle her into and out of Juan Peron's tight-lipped fiefdom of Argentina without her tongue landing them both in jail.

    They toured the world mostly in a cargo ship in first class, and their accommodations seemed preferable to most large ocean liners due to the smaller number of passengers and the close, personal service. Most of their travel was below the equator, across South America, South Africa and Australia. Their favorite places were the Panama Canal, Uruguay, and South Africa. Their least favorites were Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. "Dreary Utopia" he referred to NZ in the chapter heading, giving it low marks for hotels, food, and service — even the scenery could be easily matched by the Northwestern section of the US, he thought, and in far more comfort.

    At times reading this book I would lapse into a reverie in which I imagined I was reading one of his novels and it was Lazarus Long and his wife Dora visiting earth during the 1950's. Long was on vacation, however, and not much happened — except for one very detailed history lesson of the world during that time period, told by someone who observes everything and reports it with clarity.

    We see ourselves in the 1950's, the good, the bad, and the ugly — and get to judge how far we have come since then. For the price of this book, we can take a trip around the world without the inconveniences of bad food, seasickness, and interminable customs red tape — quite a bargain all the way around. I was struck by many of the changes in the world in forty years (she would say "Two kilos of heroin" now) — the shrinking of the British Empire, the disappearance of communism, the appearance of US fast food places all over, and many other minor things.

    At the end of the book RH says he'd like to take another trip around the world, this time across the Northern Hemisphere, but he'd like to wait till he can travel completely in non-communist territory. If he'd lived only a handful more years, he could have done just that.

    3. Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence

    Recently I bought a large format book of color photographs of Provence after having repeatedly read a description in the Daedalus book catalog that went approximately, "Every so often we get a desire to stop writing these silly blurbs and run away to the south of France(Provence)."

    When the Christmas mail brought this book as a gift from my daughter Carla (See Photo of Carla Below), I got my chance to spend a year in Provence over the next two weeks with Peter and his wife.

    They bought a cottage in the Luberon section of Provence and moved into it. It came with an estate of 47 acres and Faustin, the tenant farmer who tended the grape vineyard. He adamantly defended its existence against a metamorphosis into tennis courts by rich seasonal tourists intent on recreating in Provence the pastimes of their non-holiday world. A defense that was unnecessary in Mayle's case, because he intended to merge into the milieu of the region, not fight against it with foreign conveniences. And merge he did. And thereupon hangs a tale — this book.

    Through Mayle's delightful writing, we discover the gustatory delights of a folk who dedicate their lives to dinner — a middle of the day main meal that covers a minimum of 10 courses, 6 bottles of wine, and 3 hours. We discover the dreaded Mistsral winds that blow hot and dry in the summer and arctic cold in the winter from the steppes of Russia. These dreadful winds were the cause of the only foreign convenience that Peter chose to add to his cottage: central heating. Normalement that installation would take several days in the States, but the author found the meaning of normalement to be a movable feast in Luberon. Six months, beginning in June, were insufficient to the task of completion, and, in desperation for a dust-free, windowed Christmas, Mrs. Mayle came up with a brainstorm, "Let's invite the workers and their wives to a Christmas dinner." The very next day the workers returned and, without explanation for their sudden return, proceeded to complete the job in time for the party. Vive La Femme!

    Vive La Provence!

    4. Joana McIntyre Varawa's Changes in Latitude — An Uncommon Anthropology

    An anthropology of everyday life in the Fiji islands is the fare provided by this courageous woman from Los Angeles. Pulling up her roots in Hawaii on a whim, she moved to the Fiji islands, where a native man, Malé Varawa, asked her to marry him. After becoming part of his extended family for over a year, she finally married him.

    What spices up this tale of marriage is the confluence of Joana's European culture and Malé's Fijian culture. Malé's father had urged his son to marry the "European", as all white foreigners are called in Fiji. She was considered a rich woman and his father bargained with her for an outboard motor and boat as part of the arrangement. Soon Joana began drinking yaqona, the local beverage of choice that performs a similar function to wine in the South of France and beer in the South of the USA. It is the universal beverage and anesthetizer against the travails of Fijian life.

    Joana moved into a bure or grass hut with Malé on Vedrala, an island of their own, which had been in the Varawa family for generations. Malé's family soon became her family and she describes for us the circadian existence of herself in that family: the fishing on the reef with spears, the boat trips for firewood, the cutting of the brush for farming, the picking of breadfruit for supper, the weaving of the tapa mats for the floor of their bure, the ritual ceremonies of birth, marriage, and funerals, the ever-present drinking of the mildly intoxicating yaqona.

    She describes these, not as a cultural anthropologist observing the scene, but as an assimilated member of the family. Not as a temporary visitor for an anthropological study, but as a permanent way of life she had chosen for herself. We undergo with her the tough times when she tottered in her resolve and nearly moved back to civilization as she knew it before Fiji. Once she packed her stuff and dragged it alone to the water side only to find no boat or help to get her away from her island in the South Pacific.

    If any of you has ever entertained the notion of giving up the stress of western civilization and moving to the carefree South Seas to find an abandoned island and live off the land and the sea, this is the book for you. Here's a story by someone who actually did it, and she writes about all the details of her experiences, wart hogs and all.

    Read this book and you may be ready to catch that next flight to Fiji by the time you're finished reading it. Ready to build your own bure, weave tapa mats to cover the dirt floor, read by the light of a kerosene lamp, eat fish and cassava, drink yaqona to numb your remembering of the places you left behind every night before you roll over on a grass mat to go to sleep. Or you may find yourself very thankful to slide between the cool sheets in a comfortable bed in a bug-free, air-conditioned bedroom when you go to sleep that night.

    Joana McIntyre Varawa provides a Fiji vacation, an island paradise respite we can enjoy as her guest. We become the anthropologists as we visit and observe her daily life in paradise. Buy yourself a ticket by opening this book and you can experience changes in latitude as you begin reading.

    5. Farley Mowat's Woman in the Mists — The Story of Dian Fossey and the Mountain Gorillas of Africa

    When a friend suggested I read Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat in 1969 I said I never read books about animals, but I would read it anyway. The book turned out to be about that most curious and humorous of animals called man, in that case, Farley himself.

    In Woman in the Mists Farley reprises Never Cry Wolf, but this time the main character is Dian Fossey and the companion animals are gorillas, mountain gorillas in the wilds of the Varunga Mountains. Like Farley, who came to love and understand wolves, Dian came to love and understand the mountain gorillas. She called on her work with autistic patients for new strategies for habituating gorillas to humans. After months of work, she was able to make physical contact with the gorillas, becoming an adopted member of the group — playing, wrestling, hugging, cooing, chest-beating, and even given to long, thoughtful staring when a favorite gorilla named Tiger was suffering from chest wounds. The gorilla scenes are touching and made me yearn for a world in which such majestic animals would be allowed to live in peace.

    But there is little peace in Dian's life outside of the time she spent with her gorillas. She was beset by physical ailments (pneumonia, emphysema, kidneys, corneal growths, sciatica, heart murmurs, stress fractures of her feet, and broken ribs just to mention a few) and psychological ailments in the form of continual betrayals, including the theft of her ideas and the products of her work at her mountain camp Karisoke . When her beloved gorilla, Digit, was beheaded for a trophy room, she established a fund in his name. Shortly thereafter all the funds she had collected were re-appropriated (stolen) by bureaucrats and funneled into building parking lots to bring more of the very tourists Dian was dedicated to eliminating from the gorilla park.

    Bereft of the support she helped create, she used her personal savings to dismantle traps and to provide patrols to scare off and capture poachers of the gorillas. The poachers did to the gorillas what Harcourt, the VW couple, and park officials did to Dian's work. They took away every piece, idea, credit, camera, gun, lamp, and goodness they could get their hands on and justified it to themselves and the world as being for the good of the gorillas. Only in her death did these meta-poachers rid themselves of the Woman in the Mists.

    Thanks to Mowat's book, we can long remember the work and the indomitable spirit of this unique and courageous woman of the mists.

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    Movies we watched this past month:

    Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, and all of the original dialogue. 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.):
    “Nights in Rodanthe” (2008) marvelous scenery along Carolina coast, hurricane, and two strangers, Richard Gere and Diane Lane, fall in love. Great romantic chick flick. A DON’T MISS HIT !
    “Righteous Kill” (2008) DeNiro and Pacino track a serial killer whose offing bad guys — is one of them next?
    “Flywheel” (2003) Jay, an unscrupulous Used Car salesman, asks Christ to connect God to his life. Max, his mechanic, finds a flywheel for Jay’s Triumph sports car which connects its motor to the transmission and suddenly Jay’s life is on a roll in his business and personal life. A surprising DON'T MISS HIT!
    “Meet Dave” (2008) aka “Eddie Murphy Plays Eddie Murphy” or “The Homunculus Has Fun in Manhattan”. Lotsa kid fun for all ages.
    “Henry Poole Is Here” (2008) How does it go from “Was Here” to “Is Here”? Thereupon hangs this tale of a lugubrious neighbor who is brought out into the open by a stain on his stucco. Proves what you try to hide, you advertise. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !

    “Foyle’s War, Set 5, Disk 3, All Clear” (2008) Chris Foyle is fishing again, Americans are leaving, Andrew Foyle is dating Samantha, everyone’s celebrating VE Day, and there’s only a murder and a suicide to be investigated in everyone’s spare time. A marvelous ending to a marvelous series, a serious look at WWII from an embattled seashore town of Hastings. See the series from the beginning, each one as long and good as any movie, and you’ll agree it's A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “Ronin” (1998) A gang of undercover operatives band together to recover a Whatzit (metal case) and cry havoc all over the city of Paris. De Niro stars in this one and takes shots twice.
    “Roman Holiday” (1953) Classic with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. How can a Princess ever get to enjoy one day of holiday in Rome as a tourist, without paparrazi and news hounds? This one almost does and gets even more. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
    “Fanny” (1961) What an incredible performance by the two great French stars, Charles Boyer and Maurice Chevalier! One only wishes the music had been included. Be sure to watch the last ten minutes of this epic story. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! ! ! !
    “Get Smart” (2008) None of the wonderful camaraderie of Don Adams and Agent 99 of the TV genre (86 & 99 are more competitive in this one), but still an entertaining reminder of the fun and kitsch of Maxwell Smart, Control, and Chaos.
    “Traitor” (2008) Don Cheadle as the traitor — but for which country? Fasten your seat belt for some spy-vs-spy-counter-spy crossing national and ethnic boundaries. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !

    “Feast of Love” (2007) and a feast of beautiful bodies, some with clothes on, in a delicate script of young love, old love, parental love, all woven around a coffeeshop owner and a college professor.
    “Lillie” Disk 1 (1978) Time to learn the rest of the story of the famous Lillie Langtry who is known by Americans mostly for her visits to the Old West.
    “Much Ado About Nothing” (1993) Kenneth Branagh directs and stars with his wife Emma as two people afraid of marriage in this love romp through the Middle Ages. Much fun and no one gets killed. Michael Keaton is a hoot as Dogberry.

    “Changeling” (2008) Angelina Jolie in 1920s story of lost boys in Los Angeles area, about a mother who was thrown in mental hospital for insisting the boy they returned to her was not her son. Great exterior scenes of L.A. and autos of the time, Model T Police cars, etc.
    “Lillie” (1978) Disk 2 Ms. Langtry goes through affairs with the British royalty and friendships with artists like Whistler and Wilde on her way to deciding to become an actress like her friend Sarah Bernhard.
    “Bangkok Dangerous” (2008) Nicolas Cage is an international hit man who meets his match in Bangkok, a deaf/mute saleslady in a pharmacy. Can he retire from his dangerous profession and remain alive? The answer takes us through the deadly streets and waterways of Bangkok.
    “Blindsight” (2005) Pogo said, “What so bad about the blind leading the blind? The seeing been leading the seeing so many years and look where it got us!” In this movie, the blind lead the blind up to the Mt. Everest Base Camp, this time teenagers in Tibet follow the team of Eric, the blind guy who stood on the peak of Everest. A great story of courage and endurance.
    “A Lot Like Love” (2005) and a Lot seem to run away from it, over and over again, like Amanda Peet and her sometimes boy friend, till finally they give in to it. Second viewing, see also digest05a.
    “Griffin and Phoenix” (2006) Griffin is dying and Phoenix (Amanda Peet) seems as if she will be his resurrection, but life is either tragic or funny or sometimes both . . .
    “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997) A Hollywood message of corporate executives run amock, this time a “Rupert Murdoch” in a “stealth ship” tries to ignite WWIII to grab headlines, and instead loses his wife, his ship, his life as the movie grinds to an end. Peirce in another Bond tour de force.

    “I’m Not There” (2007) Bob Dylan’s many lives as folk singer, electric guitarist, poet, and many more played out and interwoven as a black runaway kid, Rimbaud, Billy the Kid, and his mercurial self played by Cate Blanchett. This one is requires a re-viewing with Director’s Commentary to comprehend the artistic tapestry of the movie.
    “The Women” (2008) Great to see Meg Ryan back in starring role in this remake of Clare Booth Luce’s original story and a 1939 movie. At one point Meg asks ironically, “Is this a 1930s movie?” Well, yes, but the update went swimmingly. This is a fun movie to watch and laugh along with, not encumbered by men on-screen, only off-screen. A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
    “Lillie” (1978) Disk 3 of 4 Ms. Langtry becomes a full-time actress and takes American by storm, a Wilde storm of witticisms accompany her, and another guy with a big yacht and lots of money. But she is still encumbered by Edward who won’t divorce her.
    “Roman Holiday” (1953) Classic with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. How can a Princess ever get to enjoy one day of holiday in Rome as a tourist, without paparrazi and news hounds? This one almost does and gets even more. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
    “Fanny” (1961) What an incredible performance by the two great French stars, Charles Boyer and Maurice Chevalier! One only wishes the music had been included. Be sure to watch the last ten minutes of this epic story. 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.

    “Sweeney Todd” (2007) Ugly, macabre, deadly musical enters the toilet with “Chicago” both of which deserve to be flushed, but only after a good stomp. A DVD STOMPER! ! !
    “Deck the Halls” (2005) and their even dumber neighbors across the street with a right jab, then stomp this DVD! A DVD STOMPER ! !
    “American Teen” (2008) is like listening to like American teens like talking, you know, like all the time, is like A DVD STOMPER

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

    “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (2007) Two brothers in money trouble stage heist of family jewels from parents' shopping mall jewelry store and soon their money troubles are replaced by trying to stay alive, and one of them does. Barely a Your Call.
    “WALL-E” (2008) “It only takes a moment” to realize this is a cartoon movie about a Trash Masher — with a crush!
    “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” (2008) on your way to the top of the magazine world like this quirky Brit did when he arrived in NYC, but he opted out for the sweet life with Spiderman’s girl.
    “One Last Dance” (2003) Patrick Swayze and his real-life wife return to dance floor and must dance through the estrangement of their relationship and open ballet-like the secrets which have kept them apart.
    “August Evening” (2008) was too long and too slow with not enough heat. Illegal immigrants in southwest Texas deal with loss of spouses: a young widow and her widowed father-in-law try to survive with no jobs and staying with his two children was worse than being alone. Where does this movie go? Where else? Into the sunset.
    “The Orphanage” (2007) A gothic orphanage waiting for someone who got out, got lost, and grew up to return forever.
    “The Miracle of St. Anna” (2008) was a hatchet job of WWII through the eyes of angry black men who even hate John Wayne. Only sympathetic whites portrayed in movie were Italians. Rest were angry Southern red-neck officers determined to kill their own men because of their color. This kind of stereotyping is as bad as when 1930s movies portrayed blacks only as maids and shoe-shine boys. A lost chance at a great movie.
    “WALL-E” (2008) “It only takes a moment” to realize this is a cartoon movie about a Trash Masher — with a crush!
    “The Duchess” (2008) Beautiful period piece about an ugly period. Only her husband couldn’t take Keira Knightley.

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    This joke came to me from Sharon Roberts (2008) and I converted it to a Cajun Joke:
    When Boudreaux and Broussard were teenagers, everyone on the bayou bought most of their stuff from the Sears Catalog. One day the two of them were sitting out on Bayou Teche fishing, and Boudreaux was passing the time looking through the Sears catalog, admiring the good looking gals.

    Boudreaux asked Broussard, "Mais, you seen de jolie femmes in dis catalog?"

    Broussard grabbed the catalog and took himself a good long look, "Oui! Tres jolie. And look at de price!"

    Boudreaux took the catalog back and said with wide-opened eyes, "You right dere! Dey not expensive at all. Me, Ah'm gonna got me one!"

    Broussard smiled and slapped him on the back. "Bon Idee! You bought yourself one and if she's as pretty as she is in the catalog, Ah'm gonna got me one, too."

    Three weeks later, Broussard came over to go fishing with Boudreaux and asked him, "You ever got dat girl you ordered from the Sears catalog?"

    Boudreaux replied, "No, but it won't be long now. Her clothes came in de mail yesterday!"

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    5. RECIPE of the MONTH for March, 2009 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
    (click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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    Navel Orange

    Background on Navel Orange: Okay, what's the big deal about peeling an orange? Well, navel oranges grown in South Louisiana a regular winter treat and the thin skins of the orange sections makes them difficult to peel by hand like other oranges. Those from Florida or California are designed with thick skins and peels and require no special treatment to eat them, and frankly, they are mostly not worth the trouble of peeling.

    When I was a kid, my dad worked for a time in Buras, Louisiana, a spot near the mouth of the Mississippi River with an ideal climate for Navel Oranges and other citrus crops. On his trips home, he would always bring us some large navel oranges and this is the technique he used to peel them for us. All it requires is a pocket knife, but I find that a serrated edge Cutco knife works best for me.

    One large Louisiana Navel Orange, fresh picked if possible.

    Cut the top first, the part away from the bulging area we call the navel. Note this is because it resembles in looks the human navel, but not in function. The human navel is the remnants of the connection to the mother, but on an orange the navel is on the opposite pole of its connection to the mother tree.

    Cooking Instructions
    Begin by paring away a flat area where the stem came into the orange. Then cut from the flat area down to the navel end of the orange in approximately 30 degree sections (about 12 per orange) as shown in this photo.

    When finishing cutting, start at flat area and carefully peel away one sector of peel at a time. The cuts made longitudinally by the knife will help the peelings to break away evenly until you reach the navel area. At that area, the peel gets thinner and may remain attached. Leave it there until you have split open the orange beginning at the stem end. (See above photo where you can see some peel and the navel section of the orange.) Once split, the peel can then be easily cut away or discarded after eating away the "little beauties" as our grandson Garret calls the tiny orange slices in the navel region. See closeup of little beauties. The navel is pure orange essence and is a special treat usually reserved for the peeler, so learning to peel a navel orange for yourself has a bonus for you.

    Other options
    Del and I prefer to eat the Navel Oranges cold, either when picked directly off the tree during the winter or after spending over night in the refrigerator. Each navel orange is different, some are easier to peel than others, but all are delicious. The only ones we don't peel are the large windfalls after a storm and those make the most delicious orange juice you can find.

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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from Flowers of Shanidar:

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    This poem written by Bobby Matherne on April 23, 1990. Inspired by the thought I had while trying to finish my poem "Growers and Mowers" that finding an ending to a poem was like trying to complete a crossword puzzle — one that I had created for myself.

    Amazing Puzzle

    A poem is a crossword puzzle
           that the poet poses himself,
                  mazes of meaning
           and syntax
                  that torture
                        him on the rack.

    It stretches him till it breaks him
           free from 'crustations of culture'

    The bucking bronco of rhythm
           sends him mast over beam

    Slam! Bam! into amazing realities

    No man nor genie
                  ever dreamed,
                  up until now.

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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for March:
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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: A Feeling for the Organism — The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock by Evelyn Fox Keller

    What if you discovered that the fruit and vegetables that you grow with your own hands will keep you healthier than those you buy from a supermarket or even from a local farmer's market? How would that change your life? It was this possibility which led me to study the work of Barbara McClintock which is laid out so thoughtfully and carefully by the author in this book.

    My first contact with the above idea came from the Russian lady, Anastasia (ann-uh-STAH-see-uh), in the Ringing Cedars Series written by Vladimir Megré, which were translated into English in this decade. In my review of Book 3 of the Series, The Space of Love, I wrote that the chemical exudations of a human who is planting seeds and cultivating the plants create plants which have adjusted their nutrients to the requirements of that human's physiology. The plants grown by one's own hand can act as a doctor's diagnosis, prescription, and dispensing pharmacist to correct health problems while they are only incipient, not detectable by one's human doctor's examination or invasive technological instruments.

    In my review of Book 3, I wrote:

    [Space of Love, footnote 1] I had been doing some study of neuroscience with Prof. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford, and believe that I have found the process by which the gardener, the garden, and the soil are interconnected in an exquisite feedback loop. Plants have lots of transposable genetic events which Barbara McClintock's work predicted ("jumping genes"). There is apparently a complete feedback loop which goes from gardener to seed to plant to produce to gardener which creates health in people who garden and eat their own produce. When you plant the seed or the seedling, it receives chemical information from the moisture in your breath, the perspiration of your hands, among other things, and that information acts as a "stressor" on the plants and leads to the moving of sections of genes around so that they code for new proteins exactly designed to re-balance whatever incipient imbalances in one's body could lead to illness. Plants, in other words, can act as our personal physician if we allow them to by planting and eating food planted, nurtured, and harvested in local gardens.

    In my September, 2007 Good Mountain Press Digest, I wrote an extended commentary on JUMPING GENES and SEEDS AS PHYSICIANS in which I expanded upon the above theme. But most importantly 2008 for me and Del was the year that I began planting vegetables in our home garden for the first time. Previously I had various kinds of fruit growing here, such as Celeste figs, Navel and Honeybell oranges, Meyer lemons, grapefruit, wild cherries, avocados, loquats, blackberries, and wild strawberries, but during the next planting season in the Spring, I bought a small hand tiller and devoted half of our flower bed to growing vegetables. I had grown up eating vegetables that were home-grown by my parents and grandparents, and had noticed the improvement of taste those had from the store bought ones, I">I had never equated "better taste" with "better for you", up until recently. Two of my new heroes are Anastasia, whose life is the subject of the Ringing Cedars books and Barbara McClintock whose life is the subject of this present book.

    Anastasia knew nothing of the transposition of genes in plants, but she knew that the plant was adjusting to her body, a knowing which came down from countless generations of ancestors who lived in the Ringing Cedars area of Siberia, a portion of Siberia not on anyone's cognitive map until Megré began to write books mostly dictated to him by Anastasia. From Anastasia we can learn of the healthy effects of growing one's own vegetables, something that is becoming a growing trend in Russia by urban families who own small dachas in the country and work them on weekends and vacations. From Barbara McClintock, we can learn of the genetic mechanism which makes it possible for our home-grown plants, via custom-designed genes, to produce the exact proteins our body needs to maintain a long, healthy existence. We have the circumstantial evidence of thousands of years of Anastasia's ancestors, many of whom lived well past their hundredth birthday, and the scientific evidence of over fifty years of Barbara McClintock's life.

    What exactly does McClintock mean by her "feeling for the organism"? I cannot say for sure, but there is plenty evidence in this book that points to a method that McClintock has of obtaining information about the subjects of her experiments. To clarify what I mean, consider the process of obtaining information. Something exists outside in the world and after you have received information that something exists inside of you. Take a detailed look at the process of "informing" by breaking it into its constituent parts: in-forming. This is a process by which you enter into the object of consideration by concentrating your focus of attention fully inside of the object so that you become in-formed, or inside of the object, doing whatever the object is doing, and during that imaginative process, what the object is doing is revealed to you. This is such an intimate process that, although the results you receive are describable, the very process you used to acquire the results is ineffable and therefore indescribable.

    Perhaps it would help if I described how I first came to understand the process of in-forming. It came to me from W. K. Chesterton's book The Innocence of Father Brown, full of stories of the priest-detective who solved mysteries using that process. In the "Twelve Fishermen" story, Father Brown apprehended the perpetrator of a heinous crime that had been committed right in the sight of unsuspecting observers while he was writing down some notes in an isolated darkened room out of sight of the crime. In that small room, he had deduced both the existence of the crime and identified the criminal as he listened to the footsteps in an adjacent hallway. How was Father Brown informed of the existence of this invisible crime? Better to ask the question, "How did Father Brown go about in-forming himself of the crime?"

    [from my Gospel of St. Mark Review] He heard the quick steps of waiters delivering food and recognized the pattern by imagining himself as a waiter, placing himself imaginatively into the person making the step . Then he heard slow-paced steps of the honored guests that were being served. Another pattern. He continued his writing until a strange thing happened: the steps of a waiter coming from the kitchen suddenly turned into the steps of a honored guest. When this repeated itself several times, he put himself in his imagination into the steps he heard and realized suddenly that the only reason one would perform such a quick change of pace was that one wanted to appear to be a waiter to the other waiters and a honored guest to the other guests. Since both guests and waiters wore formal attire, the switch was possible. The waiter/guest removed the precious silver knives from the dining table as a waiter and was ready to leave the building with them as a guest when Father Brown confronted him with the crime. Our word "information" is a very flattened form for expressing this interesting process — to get information, we must in-form ourselves into the person or situation from which we wish to obtain information.

    Barbara McClintock similarly placed herself inside the organisms she examined under her microscope, and thus in-formed, she developed her results which she attributes to her having "a feeling for the organism." It is not surprising that this recurrent phrase was used for the title of this book — a book title that refers to an indescribable process which much of the book is devoted to describing. Here's how the author describes the process. Keller is talking about McClintock in the next passage and describing her in-forming as "identification" with her material.

    [page xxii] She herself cannot quite say how she "knows" what she knows. She talks about the limits of verbally explicit reasoning; she stresses the importance of her "feeling for the organism" in terms that sound like those of mysticism. But like all good mystics, she insists on the utmost rigor, and, like all good scientists, her understanding emerges from a thorough absorption in, even identification with, her material.

    Here is another example where McClintock explains how she in-forms herself of what's going on inside the cell on a microscopic level.

    [page 69] Given the state of knowledge at that time — a good three decades before biologists would be able to match a molecular description to the processes McClintock was observing under the microscope — her interpretation emerges as something of a tour de force. Marcus Rhoades recalls once saying to her: "I've often marveled that you can look at a cell under the microscope and can see so much!" She said, "Well, you know, when I look at a cell, I get down in that cell and look around." He laughs, "I'll never forget that," he says. This is one of the many instances in which "looking around" paid off; without being able to say quite what it was she was seeing, she was able to arrive at a functional description that, except for the absence of biochemical terminology, accords remarkably well with contemporary analyses.

    Barbara McClintock was like a female Henry David Thoreau whose Concord was a cornfield. She made detailed inspections of corn at every level, from the shape and color of its leaf, to the spots on the kernels of corn, to the chromosomes with the nucleus of its cell. She was a cytologist, a geneticist, a naturalist, a biologist, and even more. She was rarely wrong, except in one case where she thought she had made a mistake in judgment and later found it was a simple recording error!

    [page 102] So adept did she become at recognizing the outward signs of those structural alterations in chromosomal composition that she could simply look at the plants themselves and know what the microscopic inspection of the cells' nuclei would later reveal. "Before examining the chromosomes, I went through the field and made my guess for every plant as to what kind of rings it would have-would it have one, two, or three, small or large, which combination? And I never made a mistake, except once. When I examined that one plant I was in agony. I raced right down to the field. It was wrong; it didn't say what the notebook said it should be! I found that. . . I had written the number from the plant adjacent, which I had not cut open. And then everything was all right."

    In Chapter 8 Transposition, the author gives us the details of how McClintock discovered the process of "jumping genes" or transposition. It began simply with her noticing patches of color on corn leaves which didn't seem to belong there.

    [page 121] As part of her continuing investigations of the new mutations produced by the breakage-fusion-bridge cycle, McClintock had grown a culture of seedlings produced by self-pollination of plants in whose early development one or both chromosomes 9 had been newly broken. Depending on the particular kind of breakage cycle that had occurred in the parent plants, these young seedlings included a number of familiar variants of the basic green color of most young seedlings: they might be white, light green, or pale yellow. But unlike other mutants that had been studied in corn, these "mutations" were apparently unstable within the life of a single plant. In each mutant seedling, streaks or spots of color could be seen that didn't belong-patches of pale yellow or green in a white leaf, or patches of normal green in a light-green or yellow leaf. The genetic instability that these patches reflected had been described in other organisms under the names of mutable genes, variegation, or mosaicism; but only rarely had such variation been seen in corn. In this crop "mutable genes" seemed to be everywhere.

    McClintock soon noticed that seedlings had a certain rate of mutation and that pointed to something which was controlling the mutation.

    [page 123] McClintock's constant rates of mutation provided an instance of developmental regularity, directly linked to genetic events. The mutations acted as a tracer, allowing a history of cell differentiation to be read off; and that history turned out not to be random. She knew she was "onto something very important." For her, the question of how gene action might be regulated had always been a pressing one. "It seemed to me that if you look at the overall organism and how it develops, these things we call genes just had to be controlled." Her long familiarity with the outward life cycle of the corn plant and with the replication cycles of its chromosomes had trained her to see and think in terms of process. Now she was certain that she had a clue to the control of genetic events in normal development.

    She began to notice that one cell seemed to be gaining what another cell lost, and she was at a loss to explain it fully, but she knew the process was important. It turned out to be the key indication that a gene had been transposed from one position in the chromosome to another — the first jumping gene had been spotted!

    [page 125] Two years later she knew that what she was observing was a form of controlled breakage (or dissociation) in the chromosome — her first glimpse of transposition.

    Why did it take her two years? Why did she work in that direction for so long? That was a question put to her by Evelyn Witkin. Her answer is revealing and especially important to me because I went through a similar stage while investigating my insights into how dolphins communicate and how the doylic memory trace works. As I began to work in each area, the data I found confirmed what I initially suspected must be the case, e. g., the amount of auditory cortex in the dolphin brain should be the same as the visual cortex in the human brain. The work had to be done, but I always knew what the answers would be ahead of time and all the puzzle pieces fell into place.

    [page 125] Years later, Evelyn Witkin — at the time a young bacterial geneticist on fellowship at Cold Spring Harbor — asked her how she could have worked for two years without knowing what was going to come out. "It never occurred to me that there was going to be any stumbling block. Not that I had the answer, but [I had] the joy of going at it. When you have that joy, you do the right experiments. You let the material tell you where to go, and it tells you at every step what the next has to be because you're integrating with an overall brand new pattern in mind. You're not following an old one; you are convinced of a new one. And you let everything you do focus on that. You can't help it, because it all integrates. There were no difficulties."

    It turns out that Witkin was the only one who really understood at the time what McClintock was doing. (page 137) When McClintock published a paper on transposition of genes, the title "The Origin and Behavior of Mutable Loci in Maize" gave little clue in 1950 to the importance of what she was discussing to the history of genetics and human life. Witkin said back then that what McClintock was finding was "completely unrelated to anything we knew, and it was like looking into the twenty-first century." (Page 137)

    This statement of Evelyn Witkin turns out to be prescient because in the beginning part of the twenty-first century, a young Russian girl revealed to the world that plants can act as diagnosing physician, prescribing physician, and dispensing pharmacist to cure ailing human beings. This is a capability which would be scoffed at by scientists today, were it not for the work by the now Nobel-Laureate, Barbara McClintock which proves that genes can be transposed and in the process create new proteins, and that transposition can be created by signals coming in from the outside of the DNA itself — a final complete contradiction of the so-called "central dogma" of genetics laid down by Francis Crick.

    But that central dogma acted as impenetrable wall, a paradigm barrier in Kuhn's terms(5), for everyone but McClintock who refused to accept its so-called existence — she flowed through it as if it didn't exist and after some forty or so years of work, it didn't exist anymore.

    All of the above is but prologue to what I consider to the be the most important aspect of Barbara McClintock's discovery of transposition of genes in chromosomes: it provides a scientific basis for the work of Anastasia which claims improved health and well-being for people who sow, cultivate, harvest and eat their own food in small, local gardens. Now that McClintock has shown that plants have jumping genes, we can understand how these genes once transposed can produce custom-designed proteins to overcome any deficiency present in our body before it causes deterioration of our health. And, at the end of the day, do we not want and desire earnestly a doctor who prescribes for us medication that keeps us from having to go to the doctor in the first place?

    Read the Full Review at:

    2.) ARJ2: Freedom of Thought and Societal Forces, GA#333 by Rudolf Steiner

    It was with some trepidation that I undertook to read and review this book of lectures by Rudolf Steiner on the "demands of modern society." My minor agitation has to do with my access to Volitional Science which was not available to Rudolf Steiner in his time, and is not, so far as I know, generally known in any detail by those whose generally study and write about Steiner's works. One example of the discontinuity of thought or dissonance I must deal with comes from the Introduction in which Chris Bamford writes:

    [page xiii] Steiner could sympathize with the reality that, as a result of industrialization and "soul-destroying capitalism," working-class people found themselves forced into a life almost exclusively dominate by economic activity — i. e., living only to work for the pittance that enabled them to survive.

    Clearly Steiner was referring to soul-destroying implementations of capitalism, but the idea that the implementation of capitalism was the source of the problem, not capitalism itself, is rarely acknowledged or discussed. Instead, the phrase "soul-destroying capitalism" is swung about like a sledge hammer intended to pulverize capitalism as an evil — as if there were no other form of capitalism to be discussed, in Steiner's time, our time, or ever. "Capitalism is soul-destroying" and the only solution is to destroy capitalism. Never has the phrase "soul-enlivening capitalism" ever appeared in any of Steiner's books or compilations of his lectures, and I have read over 157 of these, about.

    The very idea of capitalism as the solution for the soul-destroying effects of industrialization seems fantastic, but so do most dramatically new ideas seem, whether they be in art, science, or economics.

    The ideas presented in Volitional Science will permit the building of freedom, one person at a time, regardless of where the person is located in the working population. Freedom, rightly understood, is something which can be built, and once built can not be destroyed. The implementation of technology offered in Volitional Science will create the culture that Bamford describes below:

    [page xii] . . . the creation of a culture that will bring people together in creative, harmonious ways rather than segmenting them economically and promoting only the financial-cultural interests of the elites (corporate or intellectual).

    Labor will not be able to be priced as a commodity in the Natural Society implemented by the ideas and technology of Volitional Science. In order for labor to be priced as a commodity, human beings must be fungible, that is, of such a nature that anyone can be replaced by another, without distinction. No right-thinking human being considers that the members of their family could be replaced by the members of some other family, without distinction. And yet labor for centuries has been priced as if that were true for every worker, especially since the rise of industrial mechanization when each production line needed so many bodies to keep the parts flowing. Workers could leave their thoughts and ideas home when they went off to such factories. This was the soul-destroying part of capitalism, treating people as a commodity instead of as unique human beings whose very thoughts and ideas were important, both to themselves and to the factories in which they worked. But we live in a state of partial capitalism where only secondary property, namely fungible things, is respected. The result is that employees of a corporation can be incarcerated for stealing the things of a corporation, but the corporation can steal the ideas of its employees without retribution in most cases. It is this asymmetry which leads to the soul-destroying aspects of capitalism: its partial implementation, and the Natural Society will re-align that by providing a way to ensure that every employee's thoughts and ideas will be valued instead of stolen, as so often happens in our "soul-destroying" kind of capitalism.

    Steiner sees the necessity this way:

    [page 6] The cultural aspects of our society has been inadequately developed, and as a consequence we do not understand how to channel the increasing domination of the economy by technology in ways that would permit each individual a humanly worthy existence.

    A "humanly worthy existence", it seems to me, would mean that one's life and all non-procreative derivatives of one's life would be respected by others. Consider a society in which everyone respects primordial, primary, and secondary property. One's life would not be subject to execution by anyone (there would be no coercive government). One's thoughts and ideas would be likewise respected as their primary property and would not stolen, i. e., used by anyone else without permission. One's things constitute secondary property and they would like be respected. Basically the so-called government would disappear because no one supported it anymore, and a true government would arise which provided the functions of defense, justice, and other amenities of civilized life on a volitional basis to anyone who wished them. The so-called government would be exposed as coercive bureaucracy and be replaced by a true government which would not have any ability to infringe on a person's life, thoughts and ideas, and things. That would permit each individual a humanly worthy existence.

    [page 9] People have talked and written about civil rights from many different perspectives, but if our observations and perceptions about them are based on reality, scholarly definitions make as much sense as "defining" the colors blue and read, which are readily accessible to anyone with normal eyes. Similarly, the rights to which all individuals are entitled simply by virtue of being human are evident to any alert human mind, and the minds of the modern working class are increasingly alert.

    An operational definition has the advantage over any scholarly definition in that it is readily accessible to anyone's perception, to anyone of normal intelligence. That is the virtue of Galambos' definition of property as one's life and all non-procreative derivatives of one's life. One's offspring are not one's property as they are a procreative derivative of one's life. One's life can be considered as primordial property, one's thoughts and ideas as primary property, and every thing else as secondary property according to Galambos' operational definitions. Every thing that one owns is a result of some thought or idea one had, and thus it is secondary to the primary property which preceded it. Things are thus of secondary in importance to the primary property which proceed them, an aspect of dealing with property which comes to prominence in the ideas or primary property of Andrew J. Galambos and forms the basis of the Natural Society which will be built upon his primary property. If this primary property, which I can only give you hints of, seems unimportant to you, consider this: it is not my property to give to you, but Galambos' property. I have myself paid dearly for access to his primary property, in terms of spending time studying them (my primordial property), concentrating my own thoughts and ideas upon them to determine their worth (my primary property), and spending my money (my secondary property) on tuition to his courses. Anyone who simply reads my words about Galambos's primary property no more owns them than does one own a new car by watching a TV commercial for it. There are yet many steps before one may drive that new car.

    [page 11, 12] No matter how favorably we view labor contracts, so long as they establish wage relationships, workers will not be satisfied. A humanly worthy existence for all will result only when contractual agreements govern the joint output of supervisors and workers but not labor itself. Then the worker-supervisor relationship will be one of voluntary partnership. This is what workers basically hope to accomplish even though they may not yet be able to articulate it clearly. For the working class, the actual economic issue (and their actual economic demand) is to extricate labor from the circulation of goods in the economy and to establish it as a right within the second member of the social body, the legal or political system.

    In Rudolf Steiner's time, there had to be a legal or political system, which meant then as it does yet today, a coercive bureaucracy, no matter how arrived at: by autocratic, monarchical, democratic, republican, or such means as we find around the world today. Any of such means which established labor in the fashion Steiner suggested it above would also have the right to revoke that establishment at any point. Only a system of true government, one in which coercion does not exist at any level, such as would exist in a Natural Society, could guarantee that separation of labor and keep humans from having their work treated as a fungible good or commodity in the economy.

    The voluntary partnership of workers and supervisors can only come about when all one's thoughts and ideas are respected and valued as much if not more than one's time. When one spends an hour in a factory using one's hand to assemble a device, one is paid one-time for that hour. When one spends an hour sharing an ideas (primary property) with one's supervisor on how to make all devices thenceforth at half the cost, whether it be half the time, half the materials or half of both, then one will be paid a portion of the savings for every device made thereafter implementing that idea — in every factory that uses the idea. In other words, ideas will become treated as if they were as valuable as work, in fact, more valuable. One cannot find an example of this treatment of one's ideas in factories, because ideas as such are not treated as property. Copyrights and patents do not protect ideas, only certain incarnations of ideas. A mechanism which ensures protection of ideas awaits the implementation of the Natural Society and is revealed in Volitional Science Course V201 which I invested my time and money to learn about. All I can share about it here is that it will work and it will achieve the partnership Steiner was envisioning in the passage quoted above.

    How are we to reach such a Natural Society?

    By definition it cannot come about by force because that would violate the operational definition of freedom spelled out by Andrew J. Galambos, "Freedom is the societal condition which exists when everyone has 100% control over non-procreative derivatives of one's life." Coercion or force is ruled out immediately by that definition, so how does society move from a coercive bureaucracy to a true government? Steiner asks on page 20, "Has anyone else introduced the idea of a self-liquidating government?" After taking notice that he was actually referring to a so-called government, i.e., a coercive bureaucracy, I say, No. And while I agree with his next "That is truly an unusual idea," the likelihood of that happening is about equivalent to Wal-Mart liquidating its business of its own volition. Businesses like Circuit City liquidate their businesses only when their customers choose volitionally to go elsewhere for their products. If we in a land controlled by a so-called government, a coercive bureaucracy, and all the lands around the world are simply interesting variations on coercive bureaucracies, where can one go? Spencer Heath is reported to have told Galambos once that, "Coercion in a society acts like friction in a mechanical system — you must do extra work to overcome it." A Natural Society would be dramatically better because it would operate without coercion, like a frictionless machine, and thus be many times more efficient. But, how do we go from a coercive society to a Natural Society? The answer is similar to how customers put Circuit City into its current position of liquidation, they stopped coming into their businesses.

    Any so-called government or coercive bureaucracy is like Wal-Mart or Circuit City, it needs customers coming into their places to do business. But, as Circuit City can attest, they are handicapped compared to the so-called government: they can not force customers to do business with them. Customers have chosen to go elsewhere to do business and Circuit City must liquidate. "That's fine," you say, "but we have only one so-called government and there's no where else to go." I agree that's true for some things, but not all things. What if you decided to stop interacting with the so-called government except when forced to? Consider the impact that would have on your so-called government, no matter where you live in the world. Over time, it would be forced to liquidate because it can no longer pretend to be serving its customers. Something similar to that happened in the Soviet Union after about 70 years of coercive rule. Unfortunately, when it happened there was no Natural Society building up to take its place and all the "soul-destroying" aspects of capitalism rushed in to fill the vacuum left after the Soviet rulership disintegrated.

    [page 21] Anyone who says, "We must seize power!" is speaking in vague, theoretical terms. Seizing power without knowing what to do with it results in no progress at all. Go ahead and seize power. Power is for the birds if you have no inkling of what to do once you have it. Before coming to power, it is essential to be quite clear about what you intend to use it for.

    Steiner could be talking about the transition which the people in the former Soviet Union experienced. People took power in various portions of the USSR with no inkling of how to create something better, so they simply got something different where some things are better and some things are different and some things are worse. Rightly understood, the power belongs in the hands of the people, by which I mean specifically and only "the individual". It is the individual customer who decides to buy from Wal-Mart or Circuit City, no one forces them to go one place or the other.

    The only effective liquidation of a so-called government is one in which volitional agencies have grown up over time to replace the function of the so-called government. When people begin to discover that the volitional government operates more efficiently, no one will have to force them to use the volitional agency, they will choose with their feet, and soon so few will be entering the so-called government to do business that it will have to close its doors. And, no one will miss it.

    We see signs of this happening from time to time on a small scale in the USA, such as contracting out services for garbage collection, road and bridge maintenance, etc, and it usually happens that subsequently the so-called government gets scared of becoming unnecessary or redundant, so it passes a new city ordinance, a state law, or a federal law to force people to use their services, and so their problem is "solved" — the coercive bureaucracy survives to coerce another day.

    We must not be wooed by promises that one part of an prospective government will be protected by some other part — protection is just a cover-up for the real reason, coercion.

    [page 24] Similarly, labor needs to be extricated from economic conflicts and protected by an independent constitutional state.

    It should seem strange to anyone that the Mafia is accused of running a "protection racket" when they force money from their victims in exchange for protection, and yet the so-called government which prosecutes the Mafia for their protection racket is running the biggest protection racket of all. We know it as the Department of Defense. It should seem strange to anyone that the agency designed to protect ideas, the US Patent Office, requires lascivious disclosure of ideas to everyone in the world and in exchange provides only paltry, and at times, non-existent protection.

    Japanese manufacturers scour US patents for new ideas, rush them to market, and when the inventor of the idea finally gets to market, there is a large company refuting his claim for originality. Paying one's income tax is touted as the voluntary duty of every citizen, but try to exercise your so-called voluntary right and with hold paying your taxes and you'll be able to muse behind bars just how involuntary paying taxes really is. The only withholding you can do is the forced withholding of your taxes, often times as in cases of winning money, the withholding is a fixed amount with relationship to the amount you may eventually calculate.

    What Steiner says about a threefold organization applies directly to the Natural Society. There will be a revolution without force, without guns, without coercion of any kind, and the seminal ideas of V50 and V201 which will nourish the change to a volitional society at all levels will not have to be understood by everyone, the majority of the people will simply do what they see their friends and neighbors doing which has become more profitable and healthy for them. Similarly our neighbors in the world community will not be very far behind us.

    [page 24] Once a healthy threefold organism exists, it will revolutionize our circumstances. If it is adopted internationally, we will no longer need to trumpet world revolution, because the revolution will happen in a matter of course. Demanding revolution will not make it happen. It will happen only if we identify seminal ideas that will grow and bear fruit for all.

    What can bear better fruit than the idea which creates an operational definition for freedom which everyone can agree on, once they have either understood its principles or have observed it at work successfully? For the first time one can adopt a definition which allows one to determine whether an action is moral or not by the simple expediency of asking the question, "Whose property is it?" and if the answer is "Not mine" then the action is immoral. No need for law courts to decide if an action is legal in such a society; each person can do so without outside help.

    That does not mean there will be no problems in the transition to such a society in which harmonious social behavior will become the rule enforced from within instead of without. No, there will always be the inertia of the past dragging, slowing down the future. This happens because our attitudes and expectations change but our behaviors are so ingrained that we act automatically out of the old modes of behavior while we learn to practice new habits.

    [page 25, 26] We are right to strive for more socially equitable conditions than have been our lot for the last three to four centuries, but we do so out of a very strange mentality. Essentially, modern human souls are full of antisocial drives and instincts that make mutual understanding almost impossible. Life as we know it is the product of centuries of antisocial attitudes and behaviors, and as we strive for greater social equity, we are still acting out of a fundamentally antisocial frame of mind!

    As I close this review, feelings of gratitude to Rudolf Steiner and those who have transcribed his lectures, translated them into English, and published them rise up in me. In particular, Steiner's writings on the threefolding of society has allowed me a forum for discussing the innovative ideas and technology of Dr. Andrew Joseph Galambos which will eventually bring the separation of the three folds of society into existence. Galambos taught in his volitional science courses that we are to work for the long term. Our building of freedom will lead to the Natural Society if we continue to strive to build freedom one person at a time. Each person who learns to operate in freedom according to Galambos's unique operational definitions will become a cosmic gardener whose dying flowers will bear the moral fruit of a new world.

    Read the Remainder of 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 the New Orleans Times-Picayune this Month:

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

    This month the Padre Filius reads in the Times-Picayune about so-called humanists buying an atheistic ad for New Orleans Streetcars which won't be repeated here because the good Padre sees a different ad on his streetcar.

    2.Comments from Readers:
    • EMAIL from Theresa in New Orleans:
      I am so impressed with your Digest. Looks like a pretty full time job to me and somehow I wonder how you are able to enjoy your life as much as you do when you are so busy chronicling everything. I love reading about all the wonderful things you and Del do as such a great couple. All of your news about you and Del is especially interesting to me, but I also really enjoy the news and going's on of your family and friends as well.

      I know you guys are enjoying the sights and sounds of New Orleans Mardi Gras season. Hope to see you at one of the parades. I must say, though, my most favorite parade of all of Mardi Gras is Endymion. The neutral ground near City Park is the place to be for that Saturday parade. Love the bands and watching all of the people. Hugs to you both. Keep your chronicles coming. Love it! Theresa Chatelain a/k/a TChat

  • EMAILTO/FROM Steve Sanders aka Blackbead the Pirate:


    This song could be a pirate song. Hope you and Melody hum it together,


    Steve Replied:

    REALLY nice! I had never heard that one and I love Mark Knopfler. Thanks for sharing!

  • EMAIL from History Professor Kevin Dann on Mardi Gras Day:

    I was hoping to call you from class yesterday, so my students could meet a real Cajun, but I didn't see you online, so I figured you were off at a parade. Here is one of the four parades I created with my classes yesterday:

    Laissez les bon temps roulez!

    Later, after seeing our pirate costume photos, Kevin wrote:

    Oh man, next year I am coming to play pirate with you for mardi gras.
    Thanks for the photos & the little flick. I'll share it with the kids. They will be so jealous.

  • EMAIL from our daughter-in-law, Gina, typifies the response we got when our domain name expired without warning right after sending out the Digest email:
    Hi Bobby

    For some reason when I click on the link it takes me to a domain page for doyletics. I cant find the digest. I got a new computer so I don't know if it is on my end or if something changed. Suggestions?

    Miss you guys.
    Gina LeBeouf

  • 3. Mardi Gras — A National Holiday: I have received several emails from folks who are promoting Mardi Gras as a future National Holiday. After watching the two short films above of the fun that Prof. Dann's 132 students had in his SUNY History Class up in Plattsburgh, New York, it does seem a shame for New Orleans to be the only city with a Mardi Gras holiday. I recall working in New England when Mardi Gras was just another Tuesday. One year, a friend of mine originally from England invited me over to celebrate Pancake Day with him, a traditional from the Old Country. Other than that Fat Tuesday could otherwise just be another gray day in the Northeast. Till that wonderful day when all of this wonderful Land can enjoy a festive Mardi Gras with us, come down, bring your favorite costume, and join us on the streets just having fun playing with each other.

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