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Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #09b
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~ In Memoriam:
Coleen Salley (1929 - 2008) ~
Children's author, UNO professor, Queen of Mardi Gras Day, pushed in Grocery Cart

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~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #09b Published November 1, 2009 ~~~
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Quote for the Thanksgiving Month of November:

To each of us you reveal yourself differently: to the ship as coastline, to the shore as a ship.
Rainer Maria Rilke , German Author and Poet

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Editor: Bobby Matherne, Asst. Editor: Del Matherne
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©2009 by 21st Century Education, Inc, Published Monthly.

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Archived Digests

             Table of Contents

1. November's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for November
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Maman Nette's Icebergs
6. Poem from Agape Lab exercise in 1979: "Fantasy Island"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for November:

  • None
8. Commentary on the World
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, unsubscribing to Digest
10. Gratitude

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

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

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

This month Violet and Joey learn about Rubberwood.

#1 "Rubberwood" at

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

Steve Sanders in Fort Worth, TX

Kathryn Yost in Indiana

Congratulations, Steve and Kathryn !

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Out Our Way:


Last month's Digest brought me two emails. Were they complimenting my writing, my poetry, my cartoons, my Cajun jokes, my cartoons, or my reviews? No, they were complimenting my blue 1990 Ford F-150 pickup truck which I have affectionately dubbed, Babe, after Paul Bunyan's famous Blue Ox. One of them remembered how nice it was to have a truck like mine with a full-size bed that could hold a full 4X8 sheet of sheetrock or plywood. The other writer offered to buy Babe when I'm finished with her at his Red River camp near Alexandria. That makes four offers I've had to buy Babe and she and I are just learning to enjoy each other's company. How many women can awake quickly on a misty morning and get going within seconds?

I may have mentioned that my pickup truck appeared in a movie called "The Father of Invention" starring Kevin Spacey which is due out within the next year I expect. The previous owner told me he was driving up to his favorite boat launch in Slidell when the movie crew offered him $200 to let them include his pickup truck in a location shoot there. He did, and unless the film hits the cutting room floor, Babe will be in pictures. That prospect allowed me to tell my son I had a new Babe who's a movie star.


Someone once said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." After this month of October just past I'd like to say, "A couple divided into two houses cannot stand it." The entire month we spent going back and forth between our Timberlane Road House and our Timberlane Drive House. We slept only in the Roadhouse at night, but spent more time at the Drivehouse during the day or driving back and forth between the two houses.

Usually the tools I needed at one place were at the other place, or through advance planning in my Maxima. We tried our best to minimize unnecessary trips back and forth.

Every day brought us in contact with a minimum of five service people: real estate agents selling our Roadhouse, buyers, house inspectors, Hubert the painter and wallpaper hanging redoing our Master Bedroom and Bath, Marc the carpet guy, Marion the interior decorator and consultant, David the front garden helper for Del, David Babin and his crew removing loads of unwanted trees and shrubs and then leveling pump sand and placing St. Augustine sod on top of it, Lori repairing the French door locks that had no keys and hadn't been opened for 20 years, Mitchell painting the corner molding and door edges marred during the dust abatement of the floor sanding, Mario and Moses who parted the Pickled Sea by sanding 3500 square feet of wooden flooring to remove the yucky pickled finish and stained a light walnut finish and adding three coats of polyurethane varnish, and John who set up our security system and replaced a troublesome zone expander, and the Gretna cops on night shift and day shift who met me when the alarm went off. One day the Panic Button was triggered when the painter was scraping away paint from its side.

Humorous story about the French doors. One of the three sets of never opened doors needed to be repaired at its base, but it was hardest lock to remove, so Lori chose another lock to chisel off. She re-keyed the lock and the new key worked on two out of three locks, but not the very one we really needed to get off the door frame to be repaired. She called me to show me that the door had never been locked! It was only paint and the top and bottom slide locks holding the door shut. The lock still had to come off to keyed be, but the door was basically already open! It had sometime earlier been unlocked and never re-locked after the outside painting had been done which sealed it to the frame. While Lori was removing the locks I was removing the paint which kept the doors stuck to the frame.


Both teams are on a trajectory towards a championship. The Saints just completed a dismantling of the New Giants and a huge comeback victory over the up-and-coming Dolphins in Miami. Saints fans are hoping for a return trip to the Land Shark stadium in the final game of the season. LSU fans are looking for their team to sweep the remainder of their schedule and get a rematch against Florida in the SEC Championship on Dec. 5. Both championship opportunities are hanging out there at this point in the season. There is a lot of heavy lifting to be done before the rings will grace the fingers of the Tigers and Saints. And while the SEC and NFL seasons are in full bloom, a hive of new Hornets await the NBA and another chance to sting their way to Championship rings.

By end of month, LSU is 6-1 and the Saints are 6-0. Next month will bring more challenges and let's hope the two teams continue in lockstep with their rejuvenated defenses and potent offenses. LSU's offense is a work in progress. Our QB began the year as a green sophomore, but is quickly becoming a seasoned junior.


I finished a book, "ACT ONE" by Moss Hart the Broadway playwright, which I planned to review for this month, but every day during this month brought me into contact with 5 to 15 service people needing instructions, money, doors opened for them, my presence while they worked, and so on. The day before Halloween I told Del that the painter would not be allowed here because I had to finish my Digest and I couldn't concentrate if someone was talking in my ears about Billy Cannon's famous Halloween punt return while I was trying to type on my PC. She made it happen and at least the Digest will get completed albeit sans reviews for this month.


The two categories are hardly distinct: whoever came to Drivehouse or Roadhouse ended up helping us with the move. It was about the thing we thought about or talked about or worked on the whole month. Here's the names of those who came to visit or help us this month:

First weekend of October, Patrick Thomas, our ad hoc son-in-law drove all the way from Beaumont to help us move. That same weekend we celebrated the birthdays of our twin sons, Jim and John, and John was able to drive from Baton Rouge for some heacy lifting and some chocolate doberge birthday cake from Gambino's. Everyone we know who has tried Gambino's reinforces our opinion that it is the very best. John brought along a friend girl from his work, Christina, who also did some heavy lifting getting boxes hefted up the stairway to the guest bedrooms of the Drivehouse. We couldn't put any boxes or furniture on the ground floors because the 3500 sq. ft. of wooden floors were to be sanded, stained, and varnished with three coats of polyurethane and cured first, a process which takes three weeks. During this time the Master Bedroom, Dressing Area, and Bathroom, would have its wallpaper stripped and painted, then the carpet and wall hangings replaced. The large L-shaped two piece sectional sofa custom-built to fit in the Living Room, had to be hauled into the garage to be picked up and re-covered. Del had our packing and moving planned around the wood flooring work.

We discovered along the way one effect of the economic downturn we're slowly working our way out of: carpeting manufacturers keep the same variety of styles and colors, but keep almost everything in "grey stock". That means no coloring has been done to reduce the size of inventory. That meant for us an extra trip to Westwego and the A-Mar showrooms when the first carpet we chose existed only in grey stock and could be ready for our end of the month move. We re-chose a more expensive carpet which was in ready stock and could be installed in time.

There were glitches like torn off corners of paint due to the tape used for dust abatement, which the flooring company disclaims responsibility for. Best to supervise that process if they ain't gonna pay to fix the problems sloppy taping will cause later. You never know till you find out is one of my Matherne's Rules. So we had to hire a handyman painter to paint the shoe or toe or corner moldings and got him to retouch the corners missing the light Forest Green paint.

I had to test the old Intercom system. It worked but was noisy as heck, volume very low, and would pick up radio stations like a crystal radio so that when no one should be talking on the intercom, some one on a radio station might be. Okay, take the central station off the MBR wall and patch the sheetrock. I marked the wires for later replacement with a newer Nutone intercom if we wish. The wires go stations in the kitchen, upstairs and front door.

Glennda Bach, our real estate agent was a frequent visitor as we had two buyers for the Roadhouse within a week of putting up the sign. I took a photo of Glennda when she was hammering the sign in place and she said, "That's a lucky thing to do. Last time someone did that, we sold the house in a week." That was prophetic. The first couple wanted the doggie door gone, and that kept me busy fixing that problem. Then the money they were expecting someone to repay them from a loan dried up and they had to cancel. Glennda showed up at DH one day with a Cancellation and an Offer to Buy for us to sign on the same day! I began to call her "Warp10 Glennda" after that performance. Warp 10 in Star Trek terminology means the ultimate speed. Warp 1 is just barely above the speed of light, and Warp 9.9 is the fastest any starships can go, so Warp10 is the Holy Grail or ultimate speed sought after in Star Trek's universe of faster-than-light starships. Warp10 Glennda broke the Star Trek speed record, in my book.

This was a month of hard work and very little fun, but I did take time off for a day trip to Baton Rouge to the LSU-Florida football game. A few years ago, I attended an LSU-Florida game and LSU lost the game but won the BCS National Championship. I figured if my going to the game caused that to happen, it might happen again this year. Let's see, lose the battle to Florida, but win the war, the National Championship again this year. No-brainer. I got two tickets, but Del was too busy planning and packing to go, so I invited my good friend Gus to go along with me. Gus had never attended an LSU game, and his hernia operation kept him from helping me move, but didn't keep him from attending a football game. We parked alongside the nearest LSU Lake and walked to find the Tailgating area where my son-in-law Wes was hanging. The campus was a madhouse of gold shirts and LSU fans everywhere. A busy-ness of activity I had never seen before except in Disneyland. We walked toward the area where I thought Wes had described and didn't see him.

Unbeknownst to me, I had walked right past, within 10 feet, of Wes's truck which backed up on the tailgating area with its tailgate open and a TV blaring away. I missed the truck and tailgate area, but Wes happened to glimpse my black hat just as we disappeared from sight. He immediately ran to his truck to retrieve his phone and call me. But by the time he called I had entered another area of a dozen tailgate parties and had bumped into Norman Pineda, one of the kids who called Del, Mom, on Marcie Street. Wes called and said, "Turn around and walk back 30 paces." I was talking to Norman so I hung up and continued the conversation. After Norman left, I wasn't sure what direction was "back" but figured Wes could see me and was in one of the dozen groups. Gus and I walked around and couldn't find anybody. So I called Wes back and finally got him on the hook and said, "Stay with me until I see you. Now talk me towards you." And we found him. Later Norman bumped into John who was on his way to the restroom with his son, our grandson, Collin.
So Norman came over and sat down next to me. I mentioned the incredible job Chad Jones had done in the Miss State game blocking that pass on the one-yard line. He went high up in the air batted it away, even though he was driving forward expecting a run for a TD. Norman said, "Chad was playing football for St. Augustine HS when I was teaching there. I wanted him to be goalie on my soccer team, but the football coach wouldn't let him." Clearly Chad's blocking of that TD pass was a soccer goalie move — and Norman knew his capabilities back when he was in high school. Some of you may remember that it was Norman who told me Chad was a pitcher of Major League ability, long before Chad struck out a Texas batter to win the National Championship for LSU this past year. Along with Wes were his college buddies, Don Cupid and John Verret, our son John, grandson Collin, Christine, and grand-daughter Katie Gralapp and her friend, Stephen, both freshmen at LSU this year. Plus a passel of other visitors who stopped by. One brought his Gator sauce piquante, and I had a dish of it. Probably made from a Florida Gator as it lacked the taste and seasoning of a Cajun alligator.

Gus and I watched the LSU game from the nose-bleed section at the tiptop and southern edge of the West Upper Deck. I took a photo in which you can see the entirety of Tiger Stadium during the game in one un-retouched photo.

The only other place you can take such a photo was in the Goodyear Blimp! I longed to be back in the Timberlane Screening Room watching on my big screen TV in High Def. Especially when it got cold and starting raining during the second half. All told, but for some very suspicious penalties called in Florida's favor, the Tigers would have won the game. As it was, they kept Florida almost scoreless and within striking distance, but our neophyte QB struggled with finding open receivers and that allowed Florida to box in our running game.

The next fun event we attended was the John Rankin concert at the Two Sister's Pavilion in City Park during the final Thursdays at Twilight Concert of the season. Attending these concerts is like doing the Jazz Fest, but spread out from April through October, one session each week, in rainproof, air-conditioned, and soft chair comfort. For intermissions I like to walk through the flower gardens and take photos of the unique flowers in bloom at various times of the year there. Our friends, Renee and Burt Lattimore met us there and we had a great visit with them, before, during intermission, and after the performance. So much fun seeing and talking to them again, my camera stayed in my pocket and no photos to show for it.

Then next week was a poignant time for us as we said, "Fare Well" to our beloved Schnauzer Steiner who has trained us since he was a pup some 11 years ago. Unfortunately we lack the facilities at the Drivehouse for him to continue to get things his way, no fences and no doggie door, so he asked to be sent off to a retirement home somewhere. Our son Jim and his wife Gina came to our rescue and offered to provide a place for Steiner on their estate in Kountze, Texas. They already have two female Schnauzers there.

When I told Steiner, his eyes lit up, and he said, "Wow! You're sending me to the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas!" His attitude helped ameliorate the sadness we felt at his leaving. A very wise dog indeed. Plus we will be able to visit him when we visit Jim, Gina, Amanda, and Kirt. Several times after he left, Del and I have sung the Mighty Dog song with which we greeted Steiner's wagging tail, aroooing, and jumping face at his doggie gate each morning, "Mighty Dog! Sing your song -- Keep on waggin' along!"

A few days after Steiner left for parts West, Del and I were working up in the attic of the Drivehouse. She was sweeping its floors and I was cleaning around an intermittent zone expander which had been triggering for several nights in a row and introducing me to the night shift of the Gretna police who responded to the false alarm. Was good practice for me because it trained me on what to do in case of a real alarm, and how to fix any troublesome alarms, first By-pass them, then call our Security Company to replace or repair them. This was a replace request eventually. But while we were in the attic a tall, wide shadow fell across the attic floor, blocking the source of light from the hole for the ladder, First thought was this was Stoney, our son, but no, it was our nephew, Daniel! He and his father had come into town to see the Saints play the then unbeaten New York Giants in the Superdome. His father, Dan, Del's only sibling, was walking through the rest of the house checking it out. They had a great time watching the Saints dismantle the Giants and the QB manning their offense!

Our son from Mandeville, Stoney Hatchett, came one day to help Del clean out the Roadhouse attic. It was a hot sweaty job and when he was done, the attic was clear and the garbage pile in front of the Roadhouse was so huge that the City of Gretna sent us a notice of commendation via certified mail. He also helped me to get my ARJ2 books transferred to the Drivehouse without losing their alphabetic-by-authors-last-name sorting.

There was still a major moving job to be done, and I had not located someone to help move: the Plasma Screen TV. Normally Gus would help me, but he can't lift anything heavy until December. Finally I called my youngest brother Kevin and he drove over to help me. When Cox arrived, I discovered that I had to have both the Plasma screen and the PC hooked up before their Tech could leave. Suddenly I had to rush to move PC but got it ready in time. That slowed down the Plasma move, but Kevin and I did it just fine. Hardest problem was figuring out how to move the Styrofoam spacers correctly to get the screen to fit in the box. So glad I didn't cut the straps but kept them for re-use. They were a bit snug, but held the box and plasma TV secure while Babe hauled it to the Drivehouse. Used the country cart, a last minute brain storm which prevented me from hauling the TV sideways down the hall, etc.

We parked Babe on grass to the south side of sidewalk, lowered TV onto the cart and rolled it gently up the walk into the TSR where we lifted it into position on top of its table later. Then we went back and took the three glass shelves from the TV table and hauled the base on the country cart and carried the glasses separately. Worked great. With the table in place in the TSR, we hefted the Plasma TV onto it, plugged it in and it working.

Two more visitors from our family before the month was out: our son Rob and his wife Kathryn. Rob was doing some consultant work at Tulane University and planned to stay over an extra day to visit and help us move stuff to the Drivehouse. We showed them the house, moved a bit of stuff the first night, and took them to eat at our favorite quick and delicious place to eat, DiMartino's Deli. Only a few blocks away, it has the best poboys and plate lunches anywhere, plus incredible shrimp potato salad and fried eggplant strips. That night we watched a Blu-Ray of "Max Payne" and after about 20 minutes, the sound track of the main actors voices disappeared completely, but occasionally showed up on a nearby microphone. We read the subtitles, and tried some Movie-Karaoke for awhile. It was a very disconcerting way of viewing a movie. The next morning we began moving in earnest. For lunch we went to the Alligator Pear and we ate outdoors as a cold front was blowing in from the Northwest creating a very blustery day. Then we moved several more loads.

As for helpers there were more than I can safely describe without boring my Good Readers. Our hero was Lori the locksmith of Acme Locks who quickly figured how to solve the problem of the lack of a door lock accessible from the garage side of the kitchen door. It was configured so that one could only lock the garage door from the kitchen, and then one had to walk through inclement weather to get into the garage. Plus, if one drove in when it was sleeting or hailing, one could not simply drive into garage, open the door directly into the kitchen! One had to walk outside and get pummeled by the hail and walk 20 feet in the open air maelstrom to unlock the entrance door. She saw a way of quickly and cheaply adding a keyed lock, keyed to our entrance door, onto the exiting lock! Thank you, Lori!

Moses and Mario were our constant companions for several weeks when they did the sanding, staining and varnishing. We were there to let them in, cover while they went to lunch, and lock up after they left every day until they were done. They did a masterful job.

It was Hubert who masterfully redid the ceilings and walls on our Master Bath and Bedroom without disturbing us unless he had a question in regards to the job. He finished the job professionally and on-time! Thanks Hubert!

David Babin, our landscaper, marshaled his hard working crew of Sean, Herman, Antonio, Alex, and others to clear out and landscape the south lawn, turning a cluttered, overgrown, ugly and forgotten space into a soon to be St. Augustine lawn with elegant gardens along its border. When the first dump truck got stuck in the mud after a rainstorm, David used his Bobcat to extract the dump truck and get it back on the road. Thanks, David!

John, our Security Tech, showed me how to use the various codes and settings to manage our security system and when we had persistent trouble alarms, he came out and replaced a zone transducer in the troublesome zone to fix the problem. Thanks, John!

Pat the Plumber with Care Plumbing came over and handled all the plumbing challenges we laid out for him and his helper. Last I heard he was headed to the Bahamas on his new two-masted schooner. Bon Voyage, Pat!

Cindy Schwehm, Del's garden helper, trimmed back the overgrown shrubs against the southside of the house and pulled up the wiry rose bushes from the East Portico garden.

Also Mitchell, our handyman painter, came over to paint the corner moldings which were marred by the sanding, staining, and varnishing of the hardwood floors. I questioned the need for the repainting before the job, but afterward I could see the wisdom of Del's insistence on having them repainted. There were also some corners where the tapes from sand abatement plastic sheeting tore loose the paint and Mitchell and his son Andy took care of restoring the beauty with their deft finishing brushes and expertise.

In addition, the Crate & Barrel driver who delivered our wooden cutting board topped kitchen cart, the upholsterers who recovered the large L-shaped sofa sectional custom-made for the Living Room (and the two guys from Dr. Grout who delivered the sofa pieces), the A-Mar crew who helped design and pick out colors for curtains, carpets, and sofa: Marion, Leslie, Rhonda, and Mark and their carpet installation crew who laid out the carpet and stretched it, and the two guys from Hurwitz-Mintz who delivered our new breakfast table, but lacked the bolts to attach the two handles. Later, they said. We wait.


That's it for another month of Digest. Till next month, God willing, we will return with a new Digest for you to enjoy, designed, written, and published in our new home and office space. It's only November 1st, but Turkey Day is coming soon. Hope your Thanksgiving is the best ever. Make it a great month for yourself, wherever you are ! ! !


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New Stuff about Website: Five 1988 Reviews

1. 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.

2. Henry Margenau's The Miracle of Existence

One of the miracles is the existence of this book. It is written by the author of one of my senior physics textbooks (c. 1961) and is undoubtedly a result of his collaborative effort with Larry LeShan on Einstein's Space and Van Gogh's Sky, a book I will take from my library to re-read shortly.

The Miracle of Existence covers a territory well-traveled by metaphysical and theological explorers but seldom by a physicist, especially in public, and Margenau does it without LeShan as a guide this time. The first chapter on the connections between the mind and physical reality is a big help for the novice explorers. In it Margenau establishes operational definitions for discussing the real world: how to separate perceptions, objects, and mental constructs from each other.

He discusses evolution and the existence of morphogenetic-like fields without specifically referring to Rupert Sheldrake's term, which seems a little strange. This is an oversight that the good physicist would never make when writing about physics. It would be like his trying to talk about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle without using either Heisenberg or Uncertainty. For example, in this book he points out the usefulness of "rules of correspondence" which are, in fact, operational definitions, the introduction of which concept he attributes to the philosopher-physicist Bridgmann.

Overall the book promised meat and delivered menu. The menu offered a visual splash of perennial philosophy stuffed into scientific pastry shells covered with toppings of Eastern metaphysics to create the effect of a Mondrian painting. Pretty as a picture, but who can eat it or explain what it means.

One repugnant tendency of modern science over the centuries has been to thrash someone's ideas in one century and a century or so later, suddenly find a way finally to make sense of the same ideas. The creatio ex nihilo tenet of Thomas Aquinas was regarded as absurd by the modern scientists of his time, and modern scientists of our time find it plausible that matter is created out of nothing in the theory of the Universe known as the Big Bang.

One quotable quote:

[page 131, For Insomnia] As far as I know the best remedy is a psychic one: convince the patient that the sleep he gets is all he needs.

Perhaps that is the message of this book for me: "The knowledge I have of this subject is all I need" and that I can safely avoid such books in the future.

3. Brian Swimme's The Universe is a Green Dragon — A Cosmic Creation Story

The universe is a green dragon, as in numinous and fire-breathing. We each breathe the primordial fire of the Big-Ban fireball as Swimme leads us to understand.

His view of life is presented as a dialogue with a younger person who asks the big questions and then is awed by the answers. We should all have younger people around us like that. The awe is appropriate for Swimme's exposition of the evolution of the universe is awe-inspiring in its depth and breath-taking-ness.

Watching the moon causes the electrons of your body to be excited by the moon- photons and thus cases you to become a different person, a moon-person. The basic energy that drives nerve impulses through your body derives from the collapsing fires of the primordial explosion which generated the suns and galaxies. Speaking to someone a sentence such as the previous one requires 10 billion years of preparation to evolve the writing materials, the human being and the thoughts that led to the sentence. Every action by us is an action of the earth in Swimme's view and a chance to use the resources kept waiting for us to use for the further development of the universe we find ourselves in.

Swimme gets grandiose when he envisions the 10,000,000 species voting on whether to allow human beings to survive. Rather than making his point (how destructive humans seem to be), I believe he makes a good case for the "reverse efficacy" of democracy. (The more people in favor of a proposal the more likely they are be dead wrong.) During the evolution of life, each emerging species was completely outnumbered by the previous species, which usually served as its major source of food and thus made possible its emergence in the first place.

Therefore every new species would have been outvoted by its "food." Who out there reading these words would suggest that their "food" be given the vote?

On the whole, an enlightening and engrossing book — well-suited for giving to adolescents of all ages to enliven the bleak boredom of their imitation-filled lives. Here's an example of how Swimme manages to achieve such an incredible feat:

[page 171] . . . the universe is a green dragon. Green, because the whole universe is alive, an embryogenesis beginning with the cosmic egg of the primeval fireball and culminating in the present emergent reality. And a dragon, too, nothing less. Dragons are mystical, powerful, emerging out of mystery, disappearing in mystery, fierce, benign, known to teach humans the deepest reaches of wisdom. And dragons are filled with fire. Though there are no dragons, we are dragon fire. We are the creative, scintillating, searing, healing flame of the awesome and enchanting universe.

4. Hazrat Inayat Khan's Spiritual Liberty

[page 78] I have known good and bad, sin and virtue, right and wrong; I have judged and have been judged; I have gone through birth and death, joy and pain, heaven and hell; and what I realize in the end is that I am in all and all is in me.

With these words HIK ends his essay on Auibat — life after death. It is a fitting summary of much of his writings. This is the fifth volume of his collected speeches and writings, this one from the period of 1910 - 1917. I am reading these volumes for a second time in order from Vol I to XI. Since I acquired the volumes at random and read them as I acquired them, I first read them in that random order.

These orange bound books with the volume number only on the spine under the dust jacket and nowhere else are a perfect size for reading while driving. In addition the subject matter and writing style of HIK has a meditative quality that starts off each day and ends each evening of my hour long commute in a spiritual manner.

Here's an example of one of HIK's stories. Moses invites God to have dinner with him in his house. He prepares a huge feast and while waiting a dirty, starving beggar knocks and Moses says, "Wait till my guest has gone there will be much food left." The beggar wandered off. God is a no-show. Naturally Moses goes to God the next day distraught. "What have I done that you would stay away from my supper invitation?" You can guess God's response.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit. . ." from the Beatitudes takes on a beautiful new meaning in HIK's mind; he translates it as "Blessed are the mild in ego . . ." Pretty hep for fin-de-siecle writer. [Year 2000 Note: make that fin-de-previous-siecle.] HIK points out that Christ was called the Lamb of God by his contemporaries and again the mildness of the lamb points to the mildness of the ego interpretation.

[page 207] The emblem of the Sufi is a heart between two wings, meaning that when the heart is cultivated, man can soar up into the heights of heaven.

Certainly HIK can teach where he has gone, as this volume amply proves.

5. Natsume Soseki's The Three-Cornered World — Kusa makura - the Grass Pillow (a journey)

The "Grass Pillow" aspect of Soseki's book never lived up to my expectations. He went to a hot spring and stayed at a large and largely abandoned house, so he never really slept on a pillow of grass as the idiomatic Japanese expression might lead one to assume. Every time something happens to him, e.g., the beautiful girl O-nami gets naked in the bath with him and pops up in front of his nose — he starts writing about quince blossoms. The three-cornered world seems to refer to Jung's quaternary with the intellect left out — what Soseki calls common sense.

[page 3] An artist is a person who lives in the triangle which remains after the angle which we call common sense has been removed from this four-cornered world.

The key figure of the story is the artist who is always ready to imagine a painting - a flash of purple here, a flash of metal there, or to compose a poem on the spot. The artist never paints but frequently composes poems and paints word pictures of O-nami, who seems to him to have some quality missing in her face which prevents him from painting her. Only at the train station when her brother leaves for the Russian-Japanese War front does the quality finally appear and he prepares to paint her.

The descriptive sweep of Soseki's writing is enthralling and pervasive. So much that the plot developments seem merely to be foils to set up a chance to describe the sunset glowing through the paper screen (fusuma), the calligraphy on the shoji screen, or the color of O-nami's obi.

The book provides a close encounter with the country-side of Japan — a holiday retreat far from the "fart-counting inspectors" of modern Tokyo.


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.):
“Shrink” (2009) is a word. It’s a noun, it’s a verb, it's got meaning. As Norman Mailer wrote, “We shrink from the immensity of the purpose we are here for.” Fits each of the characters of this incredible movie. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Camille Claudel” (1989) about an amazing sculptress who became Auguste Rodin’s inspiration in many ways. Her brother read a Victor Hugo quote to her, “He who is a legend in his own time is ruled by that legend. It may begin in absolute innocence, but to cover up flaws and maintain the myth of Divine Power one has to employ desperate measures.” An apt description of the womanizer Rodin who met in Camille an innovator, a better sculptor, and a stronger personality. His desperate measures put her in an insane asylum for 30 years. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Rosenstrasse” (2003) A group of Aryan German women protest in the middle of “Roses Street” because the Nazis are holding their Jewish relatives imprisoned there. Will they be mowed down by machine guns? Movie disabuses the notion that all Germans supported the Nazis.
“Away We Go” (2009) about a peripatetic family of 2 and a half persons searching for a place to live. Off to Phoenix, Tucson, Madison Wisconsin, and other venues of zany people till they arrive at their new home away from all of them.
“Fireproof” (2008) another Kendrick Bros Come-to-Jesus flick of a fire fighter’s marriage about to flame out when Dad pulls out a New Testament fire extinguisher.
“My Life in Ruins” (2008) Big Greek Wedding gal has slimmed down and shed all signs of a script writer in this tacky, predictable movie in which Athens’ ruins and ocean views are the big stars and the cast are merely markers for the cameras to follow until the last 30 minutes when fun actually breaks out — making the early slog worth it.

The House of Eliott: Series 3: Disc 1 (1993) Three new episodes in which we watch as Beatrice gets more involved with the American businessman and Jack works in Germany on a new film. The House of Eliott adds readymade clothes for business women and takes us new designer and illustrator and Evie adds jazz to her avocation, but remains otherwise unattached. Can that be a gleam in Bea’s eye in the last scene?
“Sunshine Cleaning” (2008) with Amy Adams and her movie sister becoming post-mortem cleanup crews to make money to get Amy’s “Lil Bastard” into a private school which would recognize and test his genius instead of suppress it. Well, they have some post-mortem cleanup to do with their mom’s suicide when they were pre-teens and their new job forces them to growing up past their past, which all of us must do eventually.
The House of Eliott: Series 3: Disc 2 (1993) A fire in the new ready-warehouse, Sears switches designers, subterfuge or bad luck? Tillie loses her baby and Bea has Lucy with Jack. Evie finally gets serious with a man.
“The House of Eliott: Series 3: Disc 3" (1993) Eliott sisters are disgraced by the Ready-to-Wear guy and Grace who stole the ideas and worked shop girls 80 hrs/week and left without paying them, plus caused HE to lose all its RTW business to shoddy merchandise. Bea and Evie fight back and Jack turns the table on his foes and decides to run for Parliament.
“The Wackness” (2008) Luke is a teenage virgin but not for much longer if he heeds the advice of Jeff (Ben Kinsgley looking like a seedy Harvey Keitel), his drug customer and therapist.
“All the Pretty Horses” (2000) were mustangs and so was Penelope Cruz till Matt Damon rode her. One hoped for a “lived happily ever after” but was glad to settle for a lived after for Damn’s character. He had to return to the USA to get a judge to listen to his story and believe him.

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.

“Sex and Zen” (1992) a soft porno flick disguised as a movie having nothing much to do with Zen except the actors were all Japanese. All the Japanese pornographic drawings are enacted during this movie and even more. AAAC

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

“Un Coeur en Hiver” (1992) Camille is unable to warm Stephane’s cold, cold heart and wastes an entire movie trying. A very trying movie.

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This one came to me from Cindy Schwehm, our garden helper.

Boudreaux and Broussard were driving to an LSU game and they had already finished off the first six pack of longneck Dixies. Suddenly a flashing light appears behind them and a State Policeman is signaling them to pull over to the side of I-10. Broussard said, "Mais, Boudreaux, wat we goin' do?"

Boudreaux said, "Quick, took dem labels off those two Dixies." Broussard carefully removed the first label and Boudreaux grabbed it from him and stuck it on his forehead. Broussard took off the second label and Boudreaux said, "Now you stick dat on yo' forehead." Broussard quickly complied.

A few seconds later the Statie's head appeared at Boudreaux window. "You boys been drinking beers, haven't you?"

Boudreaux said plaintively, "Mais, non, Officer. Look." He pointed to the patch on his head which said Dixie Beer. "See! We be wearing de patch!"

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5. RECIPE of the MONTH for November, 2009 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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Maman Nette's Icebergs

Background on Maman Nette's Icebergs: My four children called my mother, Maman Nette. She made for us when we were growing up in Westwego these delicious cool treats that she called "icebergs". She could make it even when we had a small refrigerator with a tiny freezing compartment that only had space for ice trays and maybe aa pound of ground meat and a couple of 7-steaks. She would pour this mixture in the ice tray and then when frozen, dump out the cubes and place 3 or 4 in a glass. We would eat them with forks because the forks could chop up the icebergs before they melted. Semi-hard icebergs are the easiest to eat, if you can wait that long before eating them. I can't. Enjoy!

Makes six muffin sized icebergs.
12 oz can of evaporated milk
10 oz of Dole's Crushed Pineapple in its own juice (half can)
1 TBSP of powdered sugar (For quicker dissolving, regular sugar also works)
6 paper muffin cups (or old ice tray)
Mix ingredients and pour into cups in a muffin tin.

Cooking Instructions
Place in the freezing section for at least 90 minutes.

Serving Suggestion
Let thaw slightly (or run a bit of water over the back of the tin. Remove each iceberg from muffin cup and place two each in a coffee mug. Serve with a fork for quick and easy eating.

Other options
Maman Nette occasionally make icebergs using various flavors of Kool-Aid or leftover cokes or rootbeers, but my all-time favorite was the pineapple and evaporated milk ones of this recipe. They were the easiest to eat and the most delicious.

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6. POETRY by BOBBY from an Agape Lab exercise he created in 1979:
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Fantasy Island

Frustration is when your fantasy of the way things are
       Doesn’t match your fantasy of
       The way things ought to be
Your fantasy is that you can’t do anything about it.

Success is when your fantasy of the way things are
       Matches your fantasy of
       The way things ought to be
Your fantasy is that you had something to do with it.

Good luck is when your fantasy of the way things are
       Matches your fantasy of
       The way things ought to be
Your fantasy is that you had nothing to do with it.

Resentment is when your fantasy of the way things are
       Doesn’t match your fantasy of
       The way things ought to be
Your fantasy is that someone else is responsible for it.

Guilt is when your fantasy of the way things are
       Doesn’t match your fantasy of
       The way things ought to be
Your fantasy is that you are responsible for it.

(Therefore Guilt is Resentment held against yourself.)

Happiness is when your fantasy of the way things are
       Matches your fantasy of
       The way things ought to be
Your fantasy is that only yourself and people you like
       had something to do with it.

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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for November:
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Unfortunately for my Good Readers, there’s no new reviews and articles for this month. The simultaneous move of our home and offices preempted the time I usually spend on writing my reviews. I had one book ready to go for this month, having already completed reading, "ACT ONE" by Moss Hart, famous Broadway Playwright who married a New Orleans gal, Kitty Carlisle. Look for it next month.

1.)        None

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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 National Enquirer this Month:

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

This month the good Padre reads a Headline about Twin Girls.

2.Comments from Readers:
  • EMAIL from Lenny re my Cresh Recipe:

    Great work on your website. Outstanding writing and photos. I appreciate the recipes. This is one of the best sites I have visited, possibly the best.

    I am also writing to get your ok to publish one of your recipes and pictures on my humble site. It got my mouth watering and I wanted to share it with the few friends and relatives I have through my website.

    BTW: Where do you get Shrimp Powder?
    This is the link I have your recipe and photo posted to.

    Thanks for the great site.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RJM REPLY:
    Shrimp Powder:
    I use it in all of my seafood recipes. It is dried shrimp which has been run through a coffee grinder. I have a small one I use mostly for making shrimp powder. You can buy the dried shrimp at most New Orleans area supermarkets, Rouse's or Breaux Mart. And often they will also sell the shrimp powder alongside. I recall as a kid down along Little Caillou road south of Houma there were large horizontal screens out in the sun drying shrimp. When you use shrimp powder, remember dried shrimp are heavily salted, so reduce the other salt in the recipe to compensate. One tsp shrimp powder about equals one tsp of salt.

  • EMAIL from Chris in Corpus Christi, TX after Saints beat Giants:
    That is not only the best Saints team I've ever seen, it's one of the best I've ever seen in the NFL, full stop.
  • EMAIL forwarded by Jeff Parsons:
    This is the message that the Maroochydore High School, Queensland, Australia, staff voted unanimously to record on their school telephone answering machine. This is the actual answering machine message for the school. Turn on your speaker volume and Click Here!

    This came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children's absences and missing homework.

    The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children's failing grades changed to passing grades even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete enough school work to pass their classes.

  • EMAIL from Rob about Inversions:
    > Hi Bobby,
    > I came across your website searching for info provided by Rudolf on
    > inversions. Could you guide me to which one of his books talk the most
    > directly about the inversions of the spiritual etheric plane.
    > thank you,
    > ~rob

    Dear Robert,
    Thanks for writing. Everything is reversed when you enter the spiritual world. Time runs backs (during kamaloca), near is far and far is near, the universe becomes a point and a point becomes the universe, the visible becomes invisible & vice versa, solid becomes a vacuum, et cetera, und so weiter.

    I have placed a Google Search engine specifically to search my website on the main page and each review's page. Also there is the List which is the Rudolf Steiner study guide which points to books which handle certain key topics. I got about ten links to RS books for "inversion" from the Google search, such as The Mission of the Spirit by Rudolf Steiner. Search for inversion, review, backwards, Rückschau for starters.

    in freedom and light,

  • 3. A Black & Gold Saints Fleur de Lis on the Surface of Mars:

    Okay, you know I'm a New Orleans Saints fan and our Saints are 5-0, having just beaten soundly the New York Giants after earlier having dispatched two other NFL teams from the Northeast, the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles. But I'm not joking about this unretouched photo at right. It is a crop of an actual photo of the surface of Mars showing trails made by wind vortices on the surface of the Red Planet. You can view the entire image on NASA's website: Click Here.

    Good to know that the Dust Devils on Mars are pulling for the Saints to win out this season!

    4. Comment on my Writing:

    Del and I were talking to Bill and Sylinda Ward a few days ago when Sylinda told me that Bill had asked her to print out my recent Digest to make it easier for him to read it. She said that the printout covered 63 pages. She wanted to know, "How do you find time in one month to write 63 pages?" We chuckled over the question and I explained that I worked full-time at writing and that's what comes out. I was thinking of Sylinda's comment as I was closing this Digest off, having to apologize for not having a review to share with you, my Good Readers, due to our long, complicated process of buying one house, selling another, renovating the one we bought, and fixing up the one we're selling, all in one month. Like Scarlett O'Hara said, "Tomorrow is another day." And next month brings new possibilities and challenges. Look for more writing next month — Bobby

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