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Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #102
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: John Hughes (1950 - 2009) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Director of Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller, among other films ~~~~~

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~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #102 Published February 1, 2010 ~~~
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Quote for the Mardi Gras Month of February:

Chance is how karma is revealed to us.
Bobby Matherne , from ACT ONE Review.

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

             Table of Contents

1. February's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for February
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Rosie's Date Bars
6. Poem from Tidbits of Memory: "Through the Sawmill Town of Donner"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for February:

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. February 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 Safe Sass.

#1 "Safe Sass" 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 February are:

Bob Pruder in Cyberspace

Bill Ward in Gretna, Louisiana

Congratulations, Bob and Bill !

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Out Our Way:


We have finally left the Decade of the Oh-Oh's as I called it in 1999, and how prophetic an appellation that was for the past ten years which brought us the events of September 11, 2001, followed quickly by the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the Housing, Banking, and Stock Market Depression in 2008. So, welcome to the 2010 — this is the year of better than normal eyesight (20-10) and that augurs well for the decisions we will make in the coming year. Already we have replaced Ted Kennedy's seat in Senate with a Conservative who vows to strike down the lugubrious health reform bill. The Tea Party folks are fighting to take back this formerly free country from the Lieberals (Liberals who lie to gain power.) who have swarmed into Washington, D. C. aiming to turn the USA into a beehive of socialism, namely, the United Socialists of America. If our American eyes were dimmed at the end of the Oh-oh's decade, they are certainly beginning to see better than normal again with the onset of the 20-10s.

Shortly before the Sugar Bowl we found out that the tickets we had given to our son to sell hadn't sold after all when a buyer backed out, so we called our friends Chris and Carla in Corpus Christi, Texas to offer them the tickets. Their favorite team, the Florida Gators, were playing the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day at 7 PM in the evening, and they immediately booked reservations on Southwest Airlines for a flight to/from New Orleans and for lodgings at Chateau Matherne, which is the name Del uses for our new home when guests are coming. The Capitol One Bowl starred my alma mater LSU playing Penn State and it began at noon, so we moved our meal from noon to 4 pm, which gave me time to finish up the meal after the LSU game was over.

How was the game you ask? I wish you hadn't. LSU and Penn State played in what should have been called the Mud Bowl instead of the Capitol Crap Bowl game on a field which looked like a herd of cattle had just stampeded over after a monsoon rain had fallen. The rain was still falling for an hour and it was tough to pass, run, or catch passes or block the run and PSU had better runners than the raw freshman Ridley which was the ONLY runner that the Tigers had uninjured.

In the critical last minute the Tigers threw a screen pass to the middle of the field and the runner went down and the Penn State was laying on top of our man keeping us from snapping the ball. Hitt pulled the man off and was penalized 15 yards in the most egregious of the many bad calls by the referees against LSU all day. No penalties against PSU for 3 quarters! Soon as the radio announcers pointed that out, the ref's began calling minor penalties against PSU as if they were listening to the radio. IT STUNK! All season Tigers have been pelted by rain and bad calls causing all four losses to happen! When LSU needed a second to be put back on the clock, nothing! Loss to Ole Miss. When Texas need a second to be put back on the clock, it was, and they went on to win Big 12.

Chris and Carla arrived New Year's morning and Del picked them up from the Louis Armstrong airport while I was cooking our traditional New Orleans New Year's meal of Boiled Cabbage, Blackeye Peas and rice, and Cornbread. Annie and Gus were already booked for the 4 PM meal and Chris and Carla arrived in time to join us. Our friend Joy was flying in from Maine to join us, but her flight was delayed due to snow in the Northeast and unfortunately she didn't make it in time. We had a wonderful dinner around 4 pm and then Chris and Carla took off for the Sugar Bowl.

The next day we took them on a tour of the French Quarter, beginning with a ride on the Lady in Red streetcar where we encountered several masked ladies (see photo at bottom of Digest), a stop at Café du Monde to powder up Carla's black jacket from the powdered sugar on the beignets. Even Chris who doesn't drink coffee had a hot café au lait with his french donuts. We walked down to the Storyville Tavern in Margaritaville to hear our friend Rev. Teddy Graham (as the guys in the band call him) singing along as he hacked out some oldies on his guitar. It is a wonderful treat to show people our city and this January we got to do it twice in close order.


I told folks before the playoff game, that on the floor of the Superdome just as on the floor of the Vatican, the Cardinals would have to respect the Saints. Then a few days before the Saints played the Cardinals, I noticed a bright red spot in a plant just outside one of our french door windows, and as I looked closer I noticed a male Cardinal, bright red, with a curious bend in its back. I placed it on a white brick for a photo which I share with you in this Digest. It was a Cardinal which broke its back flying into a Saints' fan's house! Called up Marie Laveau on the hot-line and she said, "That bodes well as a prediction for what will happen to the Arizona Cardinals who are flying into the Saints's house Saturday night!" Not believing in such things — read what is written about belief in the Steiner review in this issue of the Digest — Del and I sashayed into the Saints' stadium and watched the Arizona Cardinals break the back of their Super Bowl journey on the floor of the Superdome, getting whipped 45-14. Apparently the strong breeze which took the Cardinal crashing into our home was matched by an even stronger Brees which took the Cardinals crashing and burning on the Mardi Grass of the Louisiana Superdome in downtown New Orleans.

That got us into the NFC Conference Championship, and instead of the freezing venue of Soldiers Field in Chicago (like our 2006 team had to endure), this game would be the First Ever Championship Game in New Orleans, in front of me and Del and 72,000 of our closest friends!

Was there an omen about how this game would turn out against the braggadocio-spewing Minnesota Vikings who had manhandled the Dallas Cowboys to garner a visit to New Orleans? There were omens enough, to be sure! But, first, let me tell you that I predicted that the Saints would pummel the 40-year-old Quarterback of the Vikings and make him wish he were a Minnesota bachelor farmer instead of an NFL player. By the end of the game he would be woozy from the hits and mis-throw at a critical time. Back to omens: two I know of in detail. I watched the New Orleans Hornets play the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA basketball game a day or so before the Vikings came to town and our Hornets came back on a last second basket by James Posey to win the game. After watching that game, I expected for the Vikings game a close game won in the last second by the Saints.

OMEN 2: the Saints kicker, 23-yr-old Garret Hartley, called his dad at 2:30 AM a day before the game to say that he had just awakened from a dream in which he kicked the winning field goal from the right hash marks of the 40-yd-line. Well, he was wrong: it was to be the 42-yd line right hash marks! And it went right toward the fleur-de-lis emblem between the yellow goal posts, right where the coach Sean Payton had mentioned as he sent his kicker out on the field, "Just aim for the fleur-de-lis!" The kick split the uprights hitting near the fleur-de-lis. The Saints won the game, the NFC Championship, and their first-ever trip to the Super Bowl in that instant, by a mere three points, one field goal.

A town that goes crazy for celebrations uncorked all avenues for this one. Folks driving across the bridge to the West Bank after the game reported that there was bumper-to-bumper traffic heading into downtown New Orleans at 10 PM, folks wanting to be in that number with the others celebrating. Reports from Mandeville, 24 miles across the lake from the Superdome, said folks ran out of their home, after the kick, yelling and screaming and crying, with horns and fireworks exploding in the air.

Similar reports came from the west suburban of Metairie — comparing the night sky to a Fourth of July or New Year's Eve of noise, fireworks blooming across the sky, and people celebrating. No doubt from the panhandle of Florida all the way to Texas there were similar celebrations, even the alligator-hunting Cajuns were firing off their guns in the air out on the dark bayous after that victory!


Kevin Dann, whose adventures I have chronicled from time to time in the Letters Section of this Digest, finally ventured our way for his first-ever visit to New Orleans. Unbeknownst to me, he had been serenading passengers on ferries around the world, most recently in San Francisco. Naturally we scheduled a ride on the Canal Street ferry during his peregrinations around the Crescent City.

The first night we attended a discussion of the New Orleans Fairgrounds and discovered some salient facts about the famed racetrack: it is oldest in the country, it has the best mud track, and it currently shelters the Horse of the Year, Rachal Alexander. I was tickled by my friend Sam telling me about his horse, E EQUALS M C SQUARED. He said one reporter asked why the name, and he answered, "C is the Speed of Light and nothing is faster." Apparently an Arabian Sheik thought so because he bought the horse from Sam. (Speaking of Sheik, I learned the other night from the movie "Amreeka" that "Sheik Mat" in arabic means "the King is dead" and that's where our word "Checkmate" comes from.)

The next morning Kevin accompanied me to PJ's for my early morning coffee run, and he struck up a conversation with a gal who works at the Audubon Zoo. I asked her if this would be a good day to visit the zoo, and she said, no — the animals will all be inside their cages trying to keep warm. The overnight temperature was about 25 and it would barely get above freezing all day. Apparently our traveling history professor from Woodstock had brought some Vermont weather with him from his home state. But the zoo scientist suggested we drive through City Park and out to the Lake, and we did. We drove through City Park, past the Art Museum and the Great Pond walking trail newly installed, past the Two Sisters' Pavilion, the Amusement Park, and under the I-610 overpass and discovered Popp's Fountain was right in front of us, so we got out and walked to the spraying fountain.

When I visited the fountain back in the 1950s, it was in disrepair, the timbers atop the circular colonnade were mostly all gone, but there was a beauty in its faded decadence which still shone. Here it was newly restored and I could for the first time in my life see the water spraying into the air from the center of the fountain. It was spraying and freezing — the stone dolphins around the center base of the spray heads were frozen about halfway up from the bottom. The wind was blowing from the north and we were only able to stand it for a short time on the upwind side and we left shortly, but not without taking a couple of photos, one of which graces our banner at the top of this Digest.

We drove down Marconi Drive to the Lakefront and tooled along beautiful Lakeshore Drive, past University of New Orleans, down to Franklin Street, taking a turn on Gentilly Road to drive past the Fairgrounds race track. Then we stopped at Terranova Supermarket where Del and my grand-daughter Jennifer Terranova works. She was at the cash register when we arrived. After hugs and photos, we walked back to meet her husband Anthony who is the third generation butcher of the supermarket. People drive from far and wide to buy his marvelous Italian sausages and meats.

When we left the supermarket, it was around lunch-time and Kevin spotted the Santa Fe Café across the street and suggested a bite to eat. We warmed ourselves a bit, had some food, and Kevin got to meet the two guys waiting on us at our table and behind the bar, both of whom had come to New Orleans only a few years earlier and had fallen in love with the city. They told Kevin what a nice area the Esplanade Ave, Fauborg St. John neighborhood is. Walking distance to Bayou St. John, City Park, Fairgrounds for racing and for Jazz Fest.

Then we drove back into the city looking for St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery. It is there we hoped to locate and pay our respects at the famous tomb of Marie Laveau. I had never been there before and since Kevin expressed a desire to see it, we began our walk in the Treme to find its most famous priestess, the Voodoo Queen herself of fame and song. No booklets to help us, we entered the almost deserted tomb city. With its high water table, New Orleans has historically build concrete tombs to hold coffins above ground. These have the appearance of a small city with small walkways, barely enough for one person to walk through. I walked ahead of Kevin, seeking Marie's tomb. He had stopped back aways, so I turned and called him to come over where I was. I had just passed the tomb he was in front of and didn't see anything but a graffiti-covered, dirty white tomb, no names. He said, "Bobby, what's all these X's about?" I walked back and sure enough, the tomb was covered with XXX marking all over and suddenly I realized that I was trying to lure him away from the very tomb I was intent on finding!

A small bronze plaque at the lower left clearly identified it as Marie Laveau's tomb (as far as anyone knew, it was her tomb). We took a couple photos and then moved around the monuments a bit more. I saw a tomb of the Morphy family and spotted the top of the names was Paul Morphy. Wasn't he the famous Chess Master? If so he was buried in New Orleans. My Google research confirmed my suspicions when we got home.

Several times during our wanderings that day, Kevin asked, "When will we see the narrow streets?" He meant the French Quarter, of course, and I told him, "I'm saving that for you tomorrow." For that night we planned to meet our good friends, Renee and Burt Lattimore, at the Bon Ton Restaurant downtown for dinner. I met both Renee and Kevin in 1996 or so on the Steiner98 email list, which had members from Germany, Vermont, Michigan, Texas, Argentina, etc, so it took some time for me and Renee to discover that we were both from New Orleans.

This would be her first chance to meet in person a man she knew as Kevin on the Steiner98 List. We had a great time together. The ambience of the Bon Ton is special and so is the food. It was the first restaurant in New Orleans to serve crawfish étouffée so far as I know because in 1976 when I arrived back here to stay, it was the only place serving any Cajun food at all. That was soon to change dramatically with restaurants all over the world serving Cajun food, but the Bon Ton is still serving it the way they did in 1976 and it is among the best I've had anywhere.

The next day was the last full day for Kevin in New Orleans and we were heading for the narrow streets. But first, Del was going to Dallas for several days to visit her aging mother-in-law from her first marriage. She invited me and Kevin to meet her for lunch at DiMartino's before she left and we could head to town after that.

My friend Gus called up and said he was coming over so I invited him to join us for lunch, knowing how much he likes the muffaletta sandwiches there (pronounced moofa-lotta). At DiMartino's over delicious seafood gumbo, oyster poboys, etal, we hatched a plan to drive to Gus' home on Algiers Point, walk to the Canal Street ferry, and take it to begin our trek through the narrow streets of the French Quarter. This gave Kevin a chance to extend his ferry serenading to New Orleans and he brought his mandolin along. The sights and sounds of our stops for Kevin to pick and sing in the narrow streets and storied lounges of the French Quarter are fully documented (something near and dear to the historian's heart) for your pleasure on my YouTube site. Click Here! Or you can play some of them as you read the Digest.

We walked through Harrah's Casino where I got a large latte to help keep warm. It was another frigid day with temps not getting above 40 the entire day. We walked down Royal Street, visiting the Carousel Lounge in the Monteleone Hotel, then to Bourbon Street, and eventually to Jackson Square where Kevin accompanied some violin group, school kids from 6 to 16 with their teacher.

Then stopped for the obligatoire beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde and ambled on to the Storyville Tavern of Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in the French Market section of the Quarter. Irving Banister met Kevin and said to come back and sit-in with the band. At that point, Gus suggested we walk to Royal Sonesta for some wine and we walked in that direction. I called my friend Carol to see if we might visit her house a few blocks away and when she heard where we were headed, said, "Come here for some wine." Some more serenading and singing and drinking at Carol's house, and we were off back to Storyville and this time Carol came with us. Kevin did a marvelous a cappella rendition of "Shallow Brown" on the stage, then played guitar with the band on a couple of songs. After that we walked down to Checkpoint Charlie's at the entrance to Frenchman Street. Here was a place I heard talked about on the Live Wire of WWOZ everyday, but had never taken their ubiquitous advice, "Go out and hear some LIVE LOCAL MUSIC!" Not until this day.

This was a night in which I did something I hadn't done in several decades, pub crawling in the French Quarter. Kevin was invited at Checkpoint Charlie's to be the second mandolin in a 6 piece pickup band and he played and sang with them for about an hour and a half as Gus, Carol, and I watched, listened, clapped, and danced. Then we moved up Frenchman Street to DBA and caught a couple of songs belted out by the strong voice of John Boutte, then across the street for a short Spotted Cat nip, and back to Snug Harbor where Leah Chase was performing upstairs. Didn't stay there long, but coming back we dropped into MBC and the singer on stage, Jayna Morgan, spotted Kevin's mandolin case and insisted he join the three piece band she was singing with. Kevin got to sit down and a mike picked up his mandolin and this was the clearest we got to hear him on the mandolin all night. Jayna sang some of my old favorites, Sinatra and Bennett standards, and we enjoyed the casual ambience and music of the place. Then we headed down to Palm Court where we had stopped earlier and were told to come back later. Lionel Furbus and his band were playing some New Orleans style improvisational jazz when we arrived and we finished out the night there, before we headed for the frigid ferry for our ride back across the Mississippi River, accompanied by the music of our intrepid Ferry Troubadour, this time playing to a group of college kids from Michigan who were here working on restoring houses damaged during Katrina. A stop to warm up in the Dry Dock restaurant near the ferry landing in Algiers and after a brisk walk to Gus' house we drove our car back home, arriving close to midnight. Kevin left the next morning, not before I took him to meet our friend, Rosie Harris, and have a conversation in French with her. As he drove west towards Austin, we waved goodbye, knowing he had left an impact on the city and people of New Orleans and vice-versa.


On our way into the Superdome for the Arizona Cardinals game, we met our nephew Dean Matherne and his wife, Inga. In the hallway behind the seating, a gal passed by holding a sign which proclaimed, "Will Trade Husband for Tickets to the Black & Gold Super Bowl" which could be classified as another omen of the impending Saints two victories in the playoffs. We saw a Saints couple dressed as a Black & Gold Pope with a nun companion. When the Saints came onto the field, Reggie Bush held high a black baseball bat labeled with this logo, "Bring on the Wood!". One of these had been given by coach Peyton to every Saints player and no one knew Reggie would be carrying onto the field. It certainly worked for Reggie Bush because he played the best game of his NFL career on this night, 207 all-purpose yards and two TD's.

On the way to our car, Del and I paused for our photo by the large HVAC vents outside of the Superdome which have been dressed up as gigantic PJ's lattes steaming away. When we got home, our son John from Baton Rouge was at the house with our two grandsons, Kyle and Collin. We babysat them while John went to some friends house to celebrate the Saints' playoff victory. After they left, we had a couple of days to recover before our next visitor, Kevin Dann, arrived from Vermont. After Kevin's visit we were kept busy with our new horseshoe driveway being constructed across the East Portico lawn. It will enable visitors and delivery men to pull off the busy Timberlane Drive and get out close to our front door.
For the second Saints playoff game, Chateau Matherne was opened once again for Del's brother Dan and his wife Karen. Del and Dan share the season tickets now and we had asked for the first playoff game in case there was no second playoff game. They got to attend the bruising game against the Vikings which went into over-time, sudden-death playoff.

The rest of the major work in progress for the house will be to get the concrete poured for the driveway which should happen any day now as the forms are in place. This morning I ran to Ullo's Ace Hardware to buy some piano hinges for the new bi-fold shutters which are being painted right now and will be installed shortly. David Babin and his crew have been leveling the dirt removed for driveway, placing it between the squares of St. Augustine grass sod they laid out for us in October. Once the driveway is complete we will fully sod the West Portico lawn. The new shutters and original dark green shutters on either side of the french doors will be painted gray to match the new roof, creating a much lighter prospect for the front of the house. The final item is on order now: a new beveled glass double door to replace the peeling wooden one. By this time next month we may actually have a few days during the month when there are no workers crawling around the inside or the outside of Timberlane.


That's it from out our way for another Digest. Till next month, God Willing and the river don't rise! Enjoy Valentine's Day, Super Bowl, Mardi Gras and make it a great February for yourself wherever in the world you are ! ! !


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New Quotes Added to quotes.htm this month:

  • The body never lies; it displays symptoms. The best proof that a diagnosis and treatment are correct is the disappearance of symptoms.

    Kaisu Viikari, M. D., Ph.D. ( Ophthamologist and Researcher into Myopia since 1955, Turku, Finland )

  • New Stuff on the doyletics Website:

    Look at these Artworks are made by the Dollar Bill Origami Artist, Won Park.
    Each cost him one or two bucks. They were sent to me January 15, 2010 by Anna Keller.

    See the rest of the set by Clicking on the Koi Fish below.

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  • Calvin Peterson was one of seven guys who worked in my department. He was a Mr. Malaprops, coming up constantly with a stream of non sequitor stream-of-unconsciousness which left the rest of us in apoplexy by the end of a typical day, relieved to head for home because our guts were tired out from laughing. We laughed when he said 'em, we laughed when we shared 'em with others, we laughed again when we talked about 'em later. Calvin was full of 'em: unique verbalisms with an infectious air about them, like "busy as two little beavers and a bee" or "you look ripe and smiffy, today" or "take a gander walk". I had to write them down immediately or else I could never capture the lively immediacy of his actual words. Here are samples of the ones I snared, often scribbled down quickly while I was still laughing. The twenty stories are fictional, designed to provide a vehicle for delivery of Calvin's infectious speech patterns. Here are five of my favorites Adventures of Calvin. You can read the rest in The Book of Calvin.

    The Top 5 Book of Calvin Adventures

    1. Calvin stars in Cinderella's Apple and the Charlie Horse

          Where were you yesterday, Lloyd Christopher?" Calvin asked his lanky friend Danny as he stopped by the door to Danny's office.
          "Who are you calling me, Cal?"
          "Lloyd Christopher, you know, the guy on Taxi."
          "Oh, that Lloyd Christopher," Danny said, accustomed to Calvin's bafflegab, "I was boiling some crawfish for my in-laws. Boy, were they good. I especially like the potatoes when they're boiled with the crawfish seasonings."
          "Hey I boiled some potatoes last night myself. The ones I cooked were the finest potatoes I ever saw — they were the blue harvest over the moon. I like to boil them live, you know, with their skins still on."

          "Yep, then I amputate them," Calvin said, "so they're smaller and easier to eat."
          "What kind of appendages do you cut off of potatoes when you amputate them, Cal?"
          "Their eyes, Big Boy."

           Minutes later Danny walked past Calvin's office and noticed a huge, dark red apple on his desk. "What kind of apple is that, Calvin? Is it live — since it still has its skin on it?"
          "I got news for you — this is the kind of apple that Cinderella had when she was crucified!" Calvin said, proud of his knowledge of fairy tales.
          "Oh yeah," Danny said, laughing with tears streaming from his eyes, "and what about the seven dwarves?"
          "I know them," Calvin said, "I work with them."
          "Hey, Cal," said Tim, who had just come up behind Danny, "I'm going downtown for lunch, want to come?"
          "Sure, Tim, let's go get us one of those large roast beef sandwiches at Majorie's place," Calvin said, "I'll drive."

          On the way Calvin, whose eyesight had never fully recovered from his diabetes, swerved wide on a right-hand turn and ran a car off the road. Later he passed a car in a curve and nearly didn't get back in time before the on-coming car sped by, its horn blasting away.
          "Didn't you see him? You idiot!" Tim yelled at Calvin, "That does it! I'm driving back."

          At Majorie's they decided to buy one eighteen inch Po Boy and split it when they got back to the office. A Po Boy is a New Orleans sandwich. It is made on a long, slim, almost round French bread loaf and is usually wrapped in butcher paper when it's ordered to go. The roast beef Po Boy is sometimes called a sloppy roast beef because gravy is heaped on the sandwich and usually drips all over the fingers and plate while you eat it.
          While Tim drove back to the plant, Calvin held the long sandwich in his two hands with one end resting between his legs and, waving the other end in the air, said, "Oh baby, oh baby." He began moving his hands up and down the sandwich in a sexually suggestive manner and went, "ooo... aah... ." As they got out of the car in the parking lot, Calvin said, "Tim, I got so excited, I think I wet myself."
          Tim, looking at Calvin's crotch, said, "I think you've got a big wet spot from the sandwich." Sure enough the roast beef gravy had leaked from the end of the sandwich onto his trousers. With his reduced skin sensitivity due to diabetes, he hadn't felt the liquid dripping out until he got out of the car.
          "Tell Rusty I'm going home to change clothes, Tim, I'll be back later."
          "What about your part of the Po Boy?"
          "You can have it. In the meantime keep this under your skin."
          "Okay, Cal, I promise not to tell anybody. See you later." With that Tim went into the office with his sandwich.


           When Calvin returned from home, Charlie was waiting for him. "Hi, Cal, want to take a ride with me to pick up my horse?"
          "You got a horse, Chuck?" Calvin asked incredulously.
          "Sure thing. Look at this ad," Charlie said, handing a large flyer to Calvin. There in black and white it said, Lot For Sale. $15,600. Free Shetland Pony.
          "Oh, that's one of them pony-sized horses."
          "Right. I've always wanted a horse and we were looking to buy some property anyway, so I told myself, 'This is it, Chuck. This is your big chance.' Yesterday we bought the lot and the owner said I could pick up the horse this weekend. Can you help me tomorrow? I need somebody to drive my pickup truck back from the Gulf Coast after we load up the pony. I'll need to stay in the back with it."
          "Sure, Chuck. I know all about horsies. I had a stick horsie when I was a kid myself. See you at eight o'clock in the morning — don't be dirty."


           The next morning they were at the corral with the owner who pointed to a small tawny Shetland in midst of 20 or so other ponies. "He's yours. By the way, he hasn't been broken yet. Go get him."

          Calvin watched from the fence as Charlie entered the corral. He began chasing the horse around the open area, throwing his lasso at its head several times. Finally Charlie got the idea to get Calvin to chase the pony around in a circle as he waited for it to run past him.
          When the pony finally came by, he looped the lasso over its head and snared the pony. It began dragging Charlie around the corral. Calvin grabbed onto the rope and they both dug their heels into the mud and leaned back on the rope. Their heels were gouging furrows in the soft dirt as the pony circled the corral several times. When the pony wore down and stopped, they walked it over the rear of the pickup truck.
          Every minute brought a new problem. "How are you going to get the pony into the pickup truck?" asked Calvin.
          "Here Cal, you hold the rope in the bed of the truck." Charlie lifted the front legs of the pony onto the tailgate and walked around to the rear legs to lift them. As Charlie lifted the legs, a swift kick by the pony knocked Charlie backwards to the ground.
          "You alright, Chuck?" Calvin asked.
          "Sure, Cal, the mud was soft enough," Charlie said a little sarcastically.

    After several unsuccessful attempts Charlie began looking around for a better way. He saw a shallow ditch nearby and had an idea.

          "Calvin, back up my truck to that ditch — just halfway into it so I can rest the tailgate on the other side."
          That did the trick. He walked the pony right up the tailgate into the bed of the truck. As Calvin drove off, Charlie was sitting on the spare tire, leaning against the cab of truck, and holding tightly his new pony facing him.
          Charlie figured the pony would probably jump out of the truck since it was not enclosed for carrying horses — that's why he decided to sit on the spare tire on the bed of the truck and hold the rope attached to the pony while Calvin drove them back to his home, a forty-five minute trip. Charlie held the pony close to him to comfort the frightened creature, but as the truck picked up speed, the pony became jittery and Charlie pulled harder on the rope.
          Finally the pony was so close to Charlie that he could feel its warm breath on his face. Out on the highway Charlie's anxiety level was raised by two things: the horse began foaming at the mouth and dark clouds began forming on the horizon. As they neared the long bridge over Lake Ponchartrain the foam from the pony's mouth began dripping on Charlie's shirt and large pelts of rain fell on Charlie's head.
          Calvin slowed down the truck and yelled back at him, "Charlie, you want me to stop?"
           "No way!" Charlie yelled back, "if you stop, he'll jump out for sure. Let's get him home!"


           The rain made the already slippery bed on the truck even more so and Charlie held on for dear life. He knew if he relaxed his grip for a second the pony would jump over the side of the truck into the lake. Just then Calvin passed a family in a station wagon. The kids waved at Charlie and the pony. Charlie waved back with his free hand.
          He remembered how much he had wanted a pony when he was their age. He had seen some horses in the country when he spent the summer at his grandmother’s house, and he’d begged his dad to get him one. He remembered the horse he wanted: it was a palomino with an almost all white head. One day he snuck out to the back pasture and rode the palomino bare-back. What fun that was. But his dad lived in the city, and a horse of any kind was out of the question.
          He was brought sharply out of his reverie by a large eighteen wheeler that bore down on the pickup truck causing Calvin to swerve from the passing lane to right in front of the station wagon. Charlie could see through the windshield the kids climbing over the front seat to wave at him and the pony.
          When the semi-tractor pulled alongside the pickup truck, the driver reached up and pulled his air horn giving out one long blast. The horse shuddered in fright and Charlie looked back to see huge globs of horse manure covering the windshield of the station wagon. The wipers came on, splashing the thick brown slush from side to side, and Charlie watched as the family pulled over into the breakdown lane. Charlie was wet, cold, smelled of horse urine and manure, embarrassed and humiliated, but he held tightly onto his new pony all the way home.


          When they arrived home, all three were nervous wrecks, Charlie, Calvin, and the horse. The pony's legs were shaking, his knees quivering from exhaustion. Trying to stand in the slippery truck bed for almost an hour had worn out the pony. Charlie put his pony in his backyard and left it alone for several days to recover.
          He stocked up on feed and hay and began in earnest to teach the pony to accept riders. Using half full feed sacks on the pony's back, Charlie walked the pony around the above-ground swimming pool. The pony bucked at first but gradually got used to carrying full feed sacks on his back.


          One night after supper Charlie called Calvin, "Cal, I'm gonna ride the pony tomorrow after lunch. Why don't you come over?"
          Unknown to Charlie, his daughters had also called their friends to come over, and there were several eight year-old girls hiding in the bushes to watch him ride the pony for the first time.
          The pony was low enough that Charlie's feet could almost touch the ground on both sides when Charlie sat on his back. Calvin held the reins while Charlie lifted his right leg over the pony and sat down. When his right leg touched the ground, however, his left leg lifted from the ground.
          At that exact moment the pony pulled the reins from Calvin's hands and with Charlie's arms waving wildly in the air, the pony bolted towards the swimming pool. At the edge of the pool, the pony stopped suddenly and Charlie took a swan dive into the pool.
          When Charlie raised his head from the water he was greeted by a gaggle of young girls giggling through their fingers.
          "Tumble, tumble, toil and trouble, huh, Big Boy?" was all Calvin had to say.


          The next several months were exciting for Charlie's daughters. Their pony was now ride-able and they began offering their friends pony rides around the pool for a dollar a ride. During that time, it was becoming evident to Charlie that the pony would have to go as he was running out of storage space for the huge globs of manure this one small horse was producing daily. So Charlie put an ad in the paper, "Shetland Pony For Sale, $500."
          Several days later a black man appeared in a pickup truck who wanted to buy the pony. Charlie looked at the pickup truck and shook his head, "No, I can't put that poor pony through that again. You need to come back with a stake body truck." Several hours later the same man was back, in the same pickup truck, but as Charlie walked out to the truck, he noticed that freshly cut saplings had been jammed in the holes of the side panels and horizontal braces had been lashed in place making a crude but effective pony carrier. Charlie gave his pony a long last hug and said goodbye.


           "Calvin," Charlie said over the phone, "I did it. I sold the pony finally. I don't know it I did the right thing or not, but I did it."
          "Well, Chuck, it all depends on what the future lies," Calvin said. "It just goes to show — you can't squeeze blood out of a tournament. Am I right or am I lying?"
          "Yes, Cal, I do believe you are right."
          In Calvin's own words, quoting Holy Moses: So let it be said, so let it be written.

    2. Calvin stars in The Miracle on Fifth Avenue

          Calvin dropped the phone in its cradle and pushed the intercom button. “Rusty, get me reservations for New York, the Big Enchilada!”
          Rusty shook her head. She had been warned about her boss’s malapropisms, but every day brought some new verbal creation that took her aback. She felt like the waitress who told her yesterday that she didn't know what the soup du jour was. “It's so confusing,” she told Rusty. “They keep changing it every day.” So Rusty took a deep breath and said, “I think that's the Big Apple, Mr. Preston.”
          “But I'm gonna have Mexican food while I'm there for the convention,” Calvin said, with an assurance that allowed no room for response or further correction.
          Rusty got busy with the reservations and was on hold with the company travel department when Tim came in the office. “He's in, Tim. You can go right in.”
          “Hey, Cal, did you hear about the big convention at Madison Square Garden next week?” he said as he saw Calvin.
          “I thought it was a machine tools exhibition, not a flower show.”
          “It is, it is. It's not a garden, you idiot. It’s a big hall,” Tim said. “You're a stupid ass, Calvin.”
          “At least I'm admitting it,” Calvin said.

           “Anyway,” Tim continued, “the whole company is going, Chuck, Kenny, Steve, Danny, Rob, Wag, and Mikey. Make sure you get tickets for the big banquet on the last night. We're trying to reserve a table for all of us.”
          “I just found out about the trip myself,” Calvin said, and paused to reflect on his happiness over the upcoming trip. “I want to express the moment.” Calvin remained quiet for a few moments, thinking about the trip.
          “You certainly seem excited.”
          “I always wanted to go to New York City, especially around Christmas time, like in the movie The Miracle on Fifth Avenue.”
          “You know, the one where Natalie Cole was a little girl and her father played Santa Claus. The judge finally threw Santa Claus out of court. Anyway you gotta see that movie — they show it every Christmas Eve on TV right after Life Is Wonderful.”
          “If you say so, Cal. Look, I gotta go pack. See you on the plane.” Tim left just as Rusty came in with Calvin's itinerary. As she came in the door, she heard him singing, “deck the halls with balls of folly . . .”. She said, “You sure seem happy about this trip, Mr. Preston.”
          “You bet,” Calvin said, “I had a dream that I played the big piano on the floor at A. P. O. Schwartz. The one Tom Hanks danced on in Big. I was all rhythm and a rappin' and tappin' away. I played a song with my feet and sang along with myself. Do you know that song that goes, it's raining so hard, I can't find my drawers?”
          “Anyway, that one. I don't know how I did it. It just floated up naturally for me. I sounded like D. C. Hammer.”
          "Pretty awesome what the mind does at night, huh?” Rusty said.
          “It's a wonderer, all right,” Calvin said.
          “I wish I could go shopping in New York,” Rusty said wistfully.
          “Yep, it'll be splender, splurge, and bluster all over town. Did you get my reservations?”
          “Yes, in fact you can call up the flight schedule on your computer,” Rusty said, pointing to Calvin's computer screen.
          “Great. Rusty, slide that gremlin over to me. I gotta learn how to use this Windows stuff sometime.”
          “Here it is,” she said, handing him the mouse. “It’s really easy to use. It’s WYSIWIG (whizzy-wig).”
          “What’s a whizzy-wig?”
          "WYSWYG is an acronym, Cal"
          “Oh, I thought it was a noun.” Rusty smiled as she thought to herself, “I'm supposed to be in training for my new job, but I'm the one doing all the training.”


          Charlie, Tim, and Calvin were walking along 42nd Street looking at the sights. Calvin’s attention was caught by an ad for Live Sex Acts. “Look at the scolmuncha on that guy,” he exclaimed. Just then a horse and carriage rode by.
           “Hey, Cal,” Charlie said. “Let's take a ride through Central Park. That looks like fun.”
          “I don't know, Chuck. It looks expensive.”
          “C'mon, Calvin,” Tim joined in, “we'll split it three ways.”
          “Okay, guys, you twisted me on,” Calvin said.
          Soon the three were clippety-clopping towards the park in their carriage. Calvin was urging the driver to go faster. “C'mon, slap that whip — whip that lash! Let's go! Boy, look at all those historical places. I wish I had my motion-movie camera with me.”
          “This is the rich part of town, Park Avenue,” Charlie said.
          “I'm glad we're far away from that 42nd Street with all its moral turpentine,” Calvin said.
          “Calvin, your shopping bags are on top of my feet,” Tim said. “Can they go on the opposite side?”
          “No, on the other opposite side, over there. Look! I think that's the house Long Cheney lived in when he was Mr. Jekyll and Dr. Hyde. It was a mythological movie. He had two personalities like in The Three Faces of Eve.”
          “Speaking of Jekyll and Hyde, I saw this TV preacher the other night,” Charlie said. “He was possessed. He told one poor fool, 'The power of the spirit come up your ass and out your throat and make you holler like a goat!”
          “Sounds like Dr. Hyde to me, Chuck,” Calvin said.
          “Yea, we're riding a carriage just like he rode in during the movie,” Tim observed, “both of him.”

          “Good thing about horses is you never have any batteries to worry about,” Charlie said. “I just had to buy a new one for my Buick before I left home. Set me back seventy-five dollars.”
          “Yeah, I know,” Calvin said, “my son's battery is going bad. I had to buy some jumping cables to get it started last Sunday before we left.”
          “Did you finally get it started?” Tim asked.
          “Yeah, but my hands started to get dirty. I was all dressed to go to church with Kathy so I had to go in the house and then run back outside with my Platex living gloves on.”
          “I bet all the neighbors laughed when they saw you,” Charlie said.
          “You know it. I was the talk of conversation that day, Big Boy.”
          “Kathy?” Tim asked. “What happened to Heather? Did she cling to you too much?”
          “Yep, she really clanged to me, Tim. So now I'm dating Kathy. She looks like Venus the Miler.”
          “Sounds like she's got you sucked in like a Venus flytrap,” Tim said lasciviously. “Do you know what a Venus flytrap is, Calvin?”
          “Yeah, it's like bubble gum for flies. But I can't spell it. Too many e's and u's in that. All them vowels, mountains, and continents get me flubbered up. Look, we're almost to the hotel, guys. As soon as we make this anglish turn.”


          After the carriage ride, the trio walked back to their hotel. They stopped in front of a shoe store and Charlie said, “I wonder if this is where that gal from the Philippines bought her shoes.”
          “I know about her,” Calvin said, “Mel Di Marcos, the former first lady of Mr. Di Marcos. They got booted out of the Philippines.”
          “Yeah, Cal,” Charlie added, “They booted her and her shoes out of the Philippines.”
           “Look, there’s a pickle vendor,” Calvin said excitedly. “I gotta get me one of them coacher pickles. You know, big, green, and juicy.”
          “You like pickles, Big Boy?” Tim said, taking a dollar out of his wallet. He stuck it inside his belt so that half of it hung over the top of his pants. “Here you go. All you can eat — under a dollar.”
          “Oh, grossify,” Calvin said, “Tim, you pervertial person. You beat me to the cake.”
          Calvin got his pickle and was almost finished eating it when they turned a corner on the sidewalk and one of Calvin’s legs got caught in the other one. He started to fall and caught a nearby lamp post.

          “Whoops, I caught myself in a cross-thread,” Calvin said as he recovered his composure. “It's those new hiking boots I bought at the Timberland Store. I feel like Grizzly Bear walking around in these things.” He finished off his pickle and started singing, “like a rhinestone cowboy, totterling along .” When he stopped singing he noticed Tim and Charlie were looking at him funny. “That was a Jerry Humbledink song.”
          “Humble dink? What's a dink?” Tim asked facetiously.
          “A dink — that's the male part of a human,” Calvin answered.
          When they reached Rockefeller Center there was Christmas music playing over the loudspeaker. Calvin sang along, “Felice Favida, Felice Favida, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas,” followed by a chorus of “hark the herald angels sing — tra la la la la — la la la la.”


          Later that night at the banquet they were seated around a large round table and were having drinks before dinner. As guys do at times like these, they were swapping jokes and stories. It occurred to Rob that he had never told Calvin his reverse Knock, Knock joke. Rob turned to his left and asked Calvin, “Do you like Knock-Knock jokes?”

          Calvin said, “Yes.”
          Rob said, “Say, 'knock, knock'.”
          Calvin said, “Knock, knock.”
          Rob said, “Who's there?”
          At this unexpected turn, Calvin's head tilted to one side and his eyes opened wide with his pupils dilated. Kenny, who was seated to Calvin's left and had heard the interaction, began laughing. Suddenly Calvin realized what had happened and began laughing, too.
          “I don't know why I'm laughing, but I'm gonna find out,” Calvin said, prophetically.
          Rob had switched the process of telling Knock-knock jokes by telling Calvin to say “knock, knock” instead of just starting the joke by saying “knock, knock” himself. Calvin decided that it was so funny that he wanted to pull it on Charlie, who was seated to the right of Rob, and had not heard their conversation.
          “Chuck, you like Knock-knock jokes?” Calvin raised his voice so Charlie could hear him. At this point the rest of the ten employees at the table turned to look at Calvin in anticipation. Calvin seldom told jokes and rarely got them right when he did tell one.
           “Sure,” Charlie said.
           “Knock, knock,” Calvin said.
           “Who's there?” Charlie responded, which is exactly how the normal joke process goes. Calvin's head tilted exactly as it had moments earlier and his eyes widened again. This time the entire table laughed.
           “No, no, wait,” Calvin said, trying quickly to recover. “You're supposed to say, 'knock, knock', Chuck.”
          Charlie obliged by saying “Knock, knock.”
           “Who's there?” Calvin asked.
          “Archie,” responded Charlie without hesitation.
          “Archie who?” Calvin said quickly, without realizing what was happening.
           “God bless you,” Charlie said. By this time the entire table began roaring with laughter as Calvin's head tilted again, and his eyes widened again. He was stumped. He couldn't figure out how he had gotten tricked three times on the same joke.
          “I can't believe I said that. It came out too quick,” Calvin said, finally looking around and smiling at all the attention he was getting. “It looks like you guys threw me a loop. Chuck, how did you know to do that? You must have been in the Nazi wars and read the spies.”
          “No, Cal, I just learned to read you.”
          "You just dug yourself in deeper, Cal," Tim said from across the table.
          Calvin puffed himself up and said, “Do I look like somebody who digs itself a foot in the ground? Don't answer that question, Tim. Besides, I'm an innocent victim. I just stepped in a big muddle puddle. Now stop ruffling my dandruff.”
           And for the rest of the trip they did.

    3. Calvin stars in Hunting the Road Elephant

          It was another typical day when Darlene popped her head into Calvin's office, “Mr. Preston, it's Nairobi on the phone. They say they have a problem that only the ‘Wild One’ can handle.”
          “Oh Baby, Oh Baby, it's probably another Road Elephant! By the way, Darlene, you look very secretarial this morning.”
          “Hello, Nairobi!” Calvin shouted into the phone as he snapped the handset to his ear, pulling the base of the phone onto the floor with a loud noise. “Wow. You made me ring my bell!” "Ok, ok," Calvin thought to himself, "I'd better calm my jets."
          He was off the phone in a flash and headed to his Lear jet for an immediate flight to darkest Africa to hunt down another rogue elephant. In his hurry to leave for the airport he pinned Darlene's badge by mistake on his shirt. When he tried to get through security, the captain laughed out loud when he saw the badge. “Calvin,” he said, “you're a freakin' idiot!”
          “I am not a freakin' idiot!” Calvin shot back. “I may be a boomin' idiot but I'm not a freakin' idiot!”
          Calvin told me later, “I could tell I was threading on thin water so I quickly changed the subject. I offered the security captain part of my snack pack. 'Would you care for some sugar-free raisins?' I asked him. The captain took some and smiled. I told him, 'Look, I'm leaving in about five minutes — I gotta head myself up!'”


          The flight to Nairobi was uneventful and within a couple of hours Calvin and his “Wild One” partner, Bob the Hunter, were heading into the jungle. Calvin drove into a stretch of muddy land and began spinning the tires like crazy. “Bob, the wheels are spinning, but I think I'm getting lucky!” They were soon hopelessly bogged down in the mud and the Hunter said, “Calvin, can't you drive this thing?”
          Calvin responded, “Whattaya expect from a one-eyed bandit?”
          “Look,” Bob said, “this is your thirty-seventh trip to Africa and you still don't know how to drive through these muddy flats! It's all your fault!”
          Calvin was insulted, “Hey, you're skating on thin water there, Bob, besides I don't have a guilty body in my bones.”
           At that point Bob began to cough and Calvin said, “Hey, Bob, want me to do the Hind-Lick maneuver on you?” Bob told Calvin to get his elephant gun ready because he heard a rogue elephant nearby. Calvin said, “I hope so, I want to get home early, we're having a cooked roast turkey for supper tonight.”
          Suddenly a huge elephant roared into the clearing, knocked the jeep on its side, spilling Bob and Calvin into the mud. “Boy,” Calvin said, “when shit happens, it happens deep!”


          The next day Calvin was using a crutch under his left arm to help him walk. Bob came over to see how he was doing and began laughing as soon as he saw him. Calvin was peeved. “Bob, that's terrible. God will get you for that! That's just like throwing dirt on top of the pain!” But a little pain never stopped our hero. “Call me Moses,” Calvin said, “Wounded Moses, that's me! Look, I got my shaft! I'll throw it to the ground and it'll probably turn into a crippled snake!”
          Bob was ready to leave for the States, but Calvin told him to wait a minute while he went to the doctor to get his Band-Aid changed. “Please hand me my crotch,” Calvin said. Bob laughed and said, “You mean 'crutch,' don't you?”
          “Crush, crotch — what's the difference? That's how it's pronounced to me! Bob, I'm warning you — I'm gonna put a big black bird on your desk in memorative of you!”


          They stopped by the Nairobi Tavern for a cool one and the waitress came over to take their order. Calvin whooped, “Oh Baby, Oh Baby, you spark my flame!” As Calvin would say, the waitress played it to the “T” and gave him a big kiss. “You're the famous Rogue Elephant killer, aren't you?” she asked. “Haven't you ever been injured?”
          “Oh Baby, I got a scar from my belly button to my ding-dong,” Calvin said, “I guess I'm just an ass coming and going!” Just then the movie on the bar's TV caught Calvin's eye and he shouted, “Look! That's Michael London! He's playing a werewolf running around howling and snorkeling!”
          On his way out of the bar Calvin put money in several slot machines, “I like to make them all go rinkedy-dinkedy, Bob, by the way could you drop me off at my barber? Before going home I have to get the wingtips trimmed from my hair.” As they approached the old barber shop with the red and white stripped pole outside, Calvin was reminded of his teens when he went to a barbershop similar to this one.
          “Bob,” he said, “ain't it great?”
          “What's great, Cal?”
          “Memories, Bob, the lifetime of my heart!”

    And one trip with Calvin is worth a lifetime of memories . . .

    4. Calvin stars in The Wild One Eats His Way Through Paris!

           Darlene, get me tickets to Italy. I want to go see the Eiffel Tower!” Calvin shouted into his intercom.
          “But Mr. Preston, that's in Paris!”
          “Well, Italy and Paris are a country!”
          “OK, I'll book you on Air France to Paris.”
          “Thanks, Darlene, but I'd rather take a plane.”
          “Sure. Would you like Business Class?”
          “No, I hate school. I'd just like some French pastry, some French scenery, to just be in the place where everyone says when you sit down for a meal, 'Bon Ala Lafitte!'”
          “You mean, Bon Appetit?”
          “Yeah, that's it. Boney Feet!”


          The next day the Air France stewardess placed a dinner tray of crabmeat covered with cheese in front of Calvin. “Hmmm, hmmmmm! Crabmeat au Grotto! My favorite!” After dinner, Calvin finished his second glass of wine and began singing, “There ain't a mountain so high that could reach the sky!”


          That evening Calvin met his three friends, Danny, Tim, and Steve at a Paris brasserie. When the waitress came by, Calvin told her, “Cherie, you smell like a pooperee!” The waitress took it as the compliment Calvin intended and said, “Your order, Monsieur, s'il vous plait.”
          “That's what I want! Seafood Plate!” While waiting for dinner Calvin excused himself to go to the restroom. He came back immediately and said, “Hey Guys, somebody stole the toilet. There's only a hole in the floor.” Danny explained to Calvin that this was customary for men's rooms in Paris, and how to place his feet on either side of the hole and squat. When Calvin came back, he was feeling proud that he had mastered the Parisian technique. He was also proud about something else. “You should have seen my turd — it was my prize possession. If only I could savor it.” The look on everyone's face rattled Calvin, who started to sit down and sat on the arm of the chair by mistake. He jumped up yelling, “Tim, you Dippus-Marippus! You made that chair seduce me! It went up my careetozoids!”

          Tim, to get even, playfully reached over and goosed Calvin. This goosing happened so often that Calvin was nervous about walking in front of Tim, especially if Tim was carrying an umbrella since that greatly extended his reach. In this instance, Calvin began to shutter all over and said, “Tim! You started a chain reaction!”
          Steve, trying to change the subject, said, “I almost didn't make the trip with you guys. I tried to get Roy to change my vacation, but he kept barking about doing it.”


          A street peddler came by and tried to sell Tim a ticket on the Paris Lottery, but Tim declined saying, “That's too much of a long horse.” The music from the bar was blaring into the dining room and Danny recognized an American rock song. “That song has santanic lyrics,” he said and all the guys agreed with him.
          Calvin and Tim went off on their own to find McDonald's on the Champs d'Elysee. Calvin said, “I wanta get me a Lean McKeen.” Walking along the Seine River, Calvin spotted the carcass of a river rat lying on the concrete banks of the river and commented, “That's no longer an endangered species, it's a dead animal.” They passed through Tivoli Gardens and saw a small whitetail deer. “Look!” Calvin said, “there's a dosgris!”
          “What's that?” Tim asked.
          “A dosgris, a dosgris, you know, a dwarf doe. Hey! I'm speaking French!”
          “I thought a dosgris was a kind of duck, Calvin, a dumb duck.”
          “Okay, so I got it backwards. I got anorexia, so?”
          “You mean dyslexia?”
          “Yeah, dyspepsia!”


          They walked over to the Ile de la Cite', visited Notre Dame Cathedral, and then walked to the Latin Quarter to the Moulin Rouge. “We're just as busy as two little beavers in a bee today, aren't we, Tim?” Calvin said. Tim had to agree.
          At a store along the Rue d'Rivoli Calvin stopped to buy himself some high top tennis shoes. “How do you like my high waters?” he asked Tim. Calvin had forgotten his wallet at the hotel and asked Tim if he'd pay for the shoes. The salesman brought the credit card slip for Tim to sign and Calvin told Tim, “Okay, get your handy cock ready.”
          Later they rejoined Danny and Steve at the American Drugstore where they compared notes about the sights they had seen that afternoon in Paris. Steve said, “Did y'all see that pregnant woman outside the drugstore?” Calvin said, “Yeah! She looked like Ethel Williams. You know, the famous swimming actress that Howard Huge designed a special pregnancy bra for.”
          Tim said, “Did you see those bums by the Arche de Triomphe?” “Yeah,” Calvin said, “they looked just like the bums on Jackson Square Street.”
          “We saw that famous Hawaiian singer,” Danny said, “you know, Don . . . , Don . . . ”
          “Oh yeah, I know,” Calvin blurted, “Don Juan!”
          Steve chimed in, “We also saw one of the Beetles!”
          “Which one,” Calvin asked, “Paul McCarthy?”

          While they were talking, Calvin was dripping his snow cone all over the floor of the American Drugstore. Dan chided him, “Calvin, you're making a big mess!”
          “I can't help it! They put too much ice in my snowball so it melted too fast!”
          Tim said, “Y'all should’ve seen Calvin on the Champs d'Elysee!”
          “Yeah. I was struttin' myself — I was a cocker!”
          The next morning the four had just finished petite dejeuner and Tim asked Calvin if he had liked the croissants and cafe au lait. “Did I? I ate the dogshit out of it!”
          They had planned a foursome for golf on a small nine-hole course near the Tuileries garden. Steve commented that the course resembled the Fashion Golf Course back in Hahnville. Calvin said, “Yeah, I know that course like the inside of my hand! Look at it! See the big M in my hand? Stands for Moron!”
          When they were teeing off, Steve noticed Calvin was not wearing his favorite golf shirt and asked him what happened. Calvin said, “My golf shirt? I forfeited it by reasonable doubts. I hope I don't look like a rag pickle.”
          “You mean 'rag-picker'?”
          “Yeah, that's what I said.”


          That night they attended the Folies-Bergère and Calvin told one of the chorus girls, “Gail, you have nice big, long hips.”
          As the show progressed, Calvin said, “Those gals are busy as a bee pod! They move so fast they make my eyes blurry.” Later when Calvin returned from the men's room he had a funny look on his face.
           “What happened?” Steve asked.
          “Well I paid this old lady seven francs to use the hole in the floor and when she threw me the keys I couldn't see them and they hit me in the crouch. Boy, there were definitely stars in the air tonight!”


          They had received an invitation to the Embassy Ball and Danny saw the RSVP. “What's that mean?”
          “That means Reserved Seating, Very Personal,” Calvin explained authoritatively.
          “Didn't you go to the Embassy Ball in New Orleans last year, Calvin?” Steve asked.
          “Yeah, Steve, I was supposed to, but I was too busy sitting in a hospital.”
          “Do you think we'll ever come back to Paris for an Embassy Ball after we do this one, Calvin?” Steve asked.
          “I don't know, Steve, it all depends on what the future lies.”

    And who knows on what lies the future depends.

    5. Calvin stars in The Oil Well Fire Fighter

           RING! RING! RING! The phone on Calvin's desk was ringing just as he and his secretary, Rusty, returned from lunch. “Rusty, get that quick. I'm expecting a call from Fred Astaire, the famous oil well fire-fighter.”
          “Mr. Preston's office,” Rusty said, quickly picking up the phone. “Yes, Red, Mr. Preston's expecting your call.” Handing the phone to Calvin, Rusty whispered, “It's Red.”
          “Red, that's what his friends call him,” Calvin whispered back, as he took the phone from her.
          “Hello,” Calvin said into the phone, “yes, it's me. I have a mild-mannered voice. Sounds like you're in the middle of a hot potato over there.” Calvin went through a long conversation but all Rusty heard was “Yes” coming from Calvin's mouth every few seconds or so.
          Finally Calvin handed the phone back to Rusty to hang up with a “Whew!”
          “What happened, Mr. Preston?” she asked.

          “Rusty, you wouldn't believe the thirty degree I went through. That man's tough as fingernails. He wants me to help him put out a large oil well fire in Kuwait.”
          “What will you be doing?”
          “I'll be the guy who will carry the dynamite and drop it into the burning oil well.”
          “Isn't that dangerous?”
          “Only if it explodes. But they'll be spraying me with water all the time. Anyway, like I always say, 'What you don’t see, don’t hurt.’ ”
          “Doesn't Red have anyone else who can do that job?”
          “Just this one guy, Sam Farkle, Frackle, or something. I forget his name — I'm bad with memories. Anyway he had an accident — he trips when he chews gum, so Red won't let him carry the dynamite anymore. Call and get me a flight to Kuwait right away. I've got to see if Tim and Charlie want to come along. By the way run over to the Piggy Wiggy and get me a box of Grape Nuts — you know, for my Prickly Diet. They might not sell them in Kuwait. I know there’s some other things that Dr. Prickly recommends, but I can’t think of them now — I got too many other shit on my mind. Oh — while you’re at the supermarket, buy yourself some more flowers for your desk. Those roses have dead pedestals for petals.”
          “Thank you, Mr. Preston.”
          “ I gotta go now — I’m chomping away at the bit,” said Calvin as he closed the door.


          Two days later, Calvin, Tim and Charlie were flying to Kuwait. They had stopped in South America to pick up some fire-fighting gear and were flying over Africa on the last leg of their trip.
          “Look at that enormous herd of cattle,” Tim said. He was standing in the aisle of the first class cabin, leaning over Calvin’s seat and pointing out the window. He had his right arm stretching such that Calvin’s head was almost under his armpit.
          “Stop putting your cockpits in my face!”
          “Sorry, Cal, but look at that!”
          “Oh, I know what that is — that’s the Willow Beast migration. I saw it on the Discovery Channel last week,” Calvin said proudly. “They all go into a ditch and drown. It’s awful.”
          Charlie, who was busy eating breakfast, said, “I’m sure glad you brought those Grape Nuts. They’re great. You’re getting to be a regular cereal guy, Cal.”
          “Just call me Cereal de Bergerac, Big Boy.”
          “You know, Cereal de Bergerac, that Spanish Quaker Oaks-type guy with a dago nose.”
          “Oh, that Cereal de Bergerac!” Charlie said, smiling. He was used to Calvin’s malapropisms, but never missed a chance to have Calvin explain one of them. To Charlie it was like fishing — when they start biting, you keep throwing out baited hooks till they’re all in the boat.


          Their first stop in Kuwait City was the hospital where Sam Farrell was recovering from surgery after his accident at the well site. Calvin was talking to Sam at his bedside where Sam was in traction. Tim and Charlie had stopped to buy some supplies for the fire fighting.
          “Look, Sam, there’s Tim and Charlie now,” Calvin explained to his friend who was unable to move or talk very much. “Unngghh, unngghh” was about all Sam was able to get out.
          “How is he, Cal?” Tim asked.
          “Better than he looks, I guess. They got his head taped across his forehead to the bed to keep him mobile.”
          “Immobile, Cal.”
          “Right, that’s what I said.”
          “Look,” Charlie said, “that must be Sam's doctor coming this way.” A dark skinned man wearing a white turban came up to Sam’s bed and flipped over a page on his clipboard. He started to say something when suddenly Calvin bowed deeply towards him and said, “Oh Salami, Oh Salami.”
          “Never mind him, Doc,” Charlie said to the doctor, “How's Sam? Is he going to make it.?”

          In impeccable English the doctor explained that Sam would be out of the hospital in a few days, but that he would be recuperating for several months.
          “Looks like our itinerary is all messed up,” Chuck said.
          “I'm not an itinerary, Chuck!” Calvin said, insulted.
          “Okay, okay, don't ruffle your dandruff,” Charlie shot back, amused at his own use of a Calvinism. The doctor looked at both of them, mumbled something, then took his leave, saying he was expected over in Pathology.
          “What's pathology?” Tim asked Charlie after the doctor left.
          “That's the study of pathetic people,” Calvin offered, with a self-assured look on his face that defied correction. “By the way, did you guys get all the equipment we need?”
          “Yep, we even got some earplugs for you to wear when you dump the dynamite in the oil well fire,” Tim said.
          “Wait just a minute! If I wear earplugs I won't be able to hear myself,” Calvin said, “but that's okay, my senses only work one at a time anyway.”
          “If that dynamite goes off while you're carrying it, you'll hear it alright!” Charlie said.
          “Why don't they just use a big crane to drop the dynamite in the hole?” Tim asked.
          “I tried to tell them, Big Boy, but they wouldn't adhere to me.”


          The three companions packed up their jeep and motored out of Kuwait City towards the darkening sky.
          “Look at that, Calvin,” Tim said, “it's almost eye-boggling.”
          “Yeah, Tim, it looks like a Molly Tail cocktail. It really makes me mad, too. I think we should bomb all of Iraria.”
          At the well site the heat was very intense and a strong wind was blowing. They helped Calvin into his fire suit and placed the visor over his head.
          “Can you see, Calvin?” Tim yelled over the roar of the oil well fire.
          “All I can see is basically light,” Calvin shouted back.
           “Remember there's some metal debris to the left side of the hole. Think you can work around that?”
          “Yeah, Big Boy, we'll revolve around that.”
          “What about the suit? Does it fit you okay?”
          “The bottoms are so loose I could stick my pants down my arm — but they'll be okay once my body gets adequated. Anyhow this'll only take a few minutes.”
          “Calvin,” Chuck said, “you look like a big banana in that yellow suit.”
          “Shut up, Banana Kid! Get me the dynamite pack. I wanta get this over with. It's so hot in here I'm getting dry rout.”
          After several radio tests of Calvin's headphones, he put on his rain hood. His buddies sprayed water on him as he turned in the direction of the fiery hole. He carefully held the dynamite pack away from him on the end of its ten foot pole.

          “Calvin?” Tim's voice crackled in Calvin's headset.
          “Everything under control?”
          “If I were a supervisor, I'd be in control — I'm not controlling myself now — I'll just take a gander walk over to the hole and then I'll hightail it out of there.”
          “Want to back out now, Cal?”
          “That's a negatoriola, Big Boy!”
          When Calvin reached the hole, he did a sudden move to the right, placed the end of the pole over the fiery hoe and released the dynamite. Dropping the pole, he ran back to the bunker and jumped in. He had just cleared the embankment in front of the bunker when the well exploded.
          Within seconds the fire was out and there was a strange quiet for a moment, then a loud roar as the gas and oil gushed high in the air and began to drench the crews. Cheers rang out as the workers ran to buckle the well head in place to stop up the well.

    Calvin and his friends congratulated each other as they walked to the trailer to shower and put on clean clothes. Their job was done.
          “Maybe we should send a cable back home so the girls will know we're okay,” Chuck said.
          “Good idea, Chuck,” Calvin said as he came out of the shower, “You write it and I'll have a go-getter take it to the cable office.”
          “Why don't we just call them on the phone?” Tim asked.
          “Numb Nuts — Quad Head!” Calvin scolded, “There's no telephone in the desert. Look at those people over there,” he said, pointing out the window at the Arabs passing in a jeep. “You know what all those people have in comparison? They're all Muslins. They pray in Mosque Code. I heard one of them yelling prayers from the top of one of them Minuet Towers yesterday morning before we left. That's why there are no phones in the desert. They don't need them. Except in their Rolls-Royces, of course.”
          Charlie began laughing and this perturbed Calvin. “Just remember, Big Pilgrim, he who laughs first, laughs last.” At this Charlie began laughing more. “Stop that, Chuck, don't go putting more fire on the flames. Look at him, Tim, he's having himself an instant orgasm. He sounds like a gibbling, gobbling goose.”


          Later on the flight home, the boys were reminiscing about their adventures in Kuwait. “I'm sorry we didn't get to meet Red,” Tim said to Calvin as he looked out the cabin's window at the distant ocean below.

          “Yeah, Big Boy,” Calvin answered, “I meant to tell you. Red had to fly home to his brother's funeral. Red said his brother left a note saying he wanted to be excremated after he died, you know, like a steak.”
          “Oh, I didn't know Red had a brother.”
          “Yeah. He's got three brothers, four counting himself. That is, until this one murdered himself.”
          “Well, I missed seeing Red in action — he's a real fireball.”
          “I know. Once in Venezuela I watched Red really give Sam some lip service when he dropped the dynamite before reaching the hole.”
          “You don't think much of Sam, do you?”
          “I could call him my fellow asshole, but that would be nice.”
          “Speaking of hole,” Charlie said, who had just sat in the aisle seat, “that was some dance you did to dodge the old well head when you got to the hole in Kuwait.”
          “Yep, that was one of my Hari Kari moves that I learned from Joe Jitsu. I took the ball by the hand and went straight to the source. I didn't have much choice by then — I was at the end of my ropes. Did you see me as I cleared the embuttment jumping into the bunker?” Calvin puffed up his chest and said, “I guess you can just call me Mr. Suave' Boner.”
          “Are you gonna watch the in-flight movie, Cal?” Tim asked looking for the earphones.
          “Sure, it's that new Clint Eastwood movie, The Unforbidden. I wouldn't miss it for anything. Where's the stewardess? I want to get some more M&M's. I'm putting them in alphabetical order.”
          “Yeah, it'll probably take you two hours.”
          “I know how to put 'em in order, M&M..M&M..M&M..M&M..wait a minute I'll put them in numerical order.”
          “Oh, they got numbers on them?”
          “Okay, in color-coded numerical order.”
          Meanwhile Charlie was opening his Baby Ruth candy bar, “I'll bet you don't know who Babe Ruth was named after, Cal.”
          “Sure do. It was O Henry.”
          “Here comes that cute Hispanic stewardess. Did you get a date with her, Cal?”
          “Yep,” we're going to Bart's on Sunday. “She'll be speaking Spanish, and I'll be speaking French ooh-la-la.”


          Soon the coastline of Louisiana came into sight. “Look! There's the Gulf of Mississippi!” Calvin exclaimed. “We're home.”
          “That's Mexico, Calvin,” Charlie corrected him.
          “Mexico, Mississippi, same thing. So, I got a glitch in my thinking cap, okay? You guys'll miss me when I'm dead gone and in prison.”

    And who knows but that they will.


    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.):
    “Flakes” (2007) is the name of a New Orleans' French Quarter bistro serving only cereal. A surreal cereal café, only in New Orleans. Can it be franchised? Who cares? Until the fait accompli and then everyone lawyers up. Funky, funny, and freaky from beginning to end.
    “The Whole Shebang” (2003) Giannini and Tucci star in riotously funny look at two competing Italian fireworks companies. Starts with a BANG! and the sparks keep flying for the entire movie. Talia Shire and Anna Maria Alberghetti as the prima donnas of the two familias. For any fan of fireworks and sex: A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “Gloomy Sunday” (1999) What is the hold the song ‘Gloomy Sunday’ has on those who hear it? Andras, Lazlo, Hans — only one can end up with Ilona — but which one? Marvelous look at Jewish businesses in Budapest as WWII approaches. Duden und Juden. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “Nowhere in Africa” (2001) A German woman and her daughter join her husband in the shadow of Mt. Kenya as they eke out a living during WWII while their relatives are part of Hitler’s final solution. What will be the solution for Walter and Jettel’s marital differences when the war winds down? Walter as Judge in Wiesbaden sans wife or farmer in Kenya with wife? 2nd Viewing, see also digest071
    “The Wendell Baker Story” (2005) Luke Wilson as an ex-con who tries to go straight by working at old-age home and uncovers his evil twin Owen Wilson’s shenanigans and flies to the aid of the old folks with the help of the old folks.
    “A Murder of Crows” (1999) A lawyer faces frees a murderous lecher and chooses disbarment. Then a book is dumped in his lap about 5 lawyers who freed murderers and were subsequently killed. Unable to write his planned novel, he takes credit for the novel and gets credit for the murders. Can even Cuba Gooden escape from this self-set snare? Will he ever write his own novel? A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
    “The Spy Game” (2001) played by Brad Pitt and Robert Redford on each other.
    “Hula Girls” (2006) In a remote and frigid Japanese coal-mining village, young girls are recruited to learn to dance for a Hawaiian theme resort being built to provide work after the mine closes. Daughters of miners, they have to fight their fathers to learn dancing which they see as their only escape from the grubby village. In a tortuous and torturous journey to promote the new resort, coal-miner daughters turn into a new generation of black diamonds for their village in this true life story. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !

    “Catch and Release” (2006) Jennifer Garner stars in this movie about her fiancé who became a bigger part of her life by dying on the Bachelor Party fishing trip. She had caught him and still had trouble releasing him, right up to the credits rolling on the beach of Malibu. 2nd Viewing, see also: digest08c
    “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” (2009) Michael Douglas in another “Perfect Murder” reprise, but this time he is only one of the seekers of perfection.
    “Uncle Nino” (2005) pops unexpectedly into the life of a struggling suburban American family, right off the plane from Italy to see his beloved brother’s grave and his gravely overworked nephew. Can a violin and a garden turn this family around?

    “Victoria and Albert”: Disc 1 of 2 (2001) How Victoria got her Prince Albert on the cover of the tobacco can! By the end of disc 1, she got her man, but can she keep him!
    “Wind” (1992) Jennifer Grey (Ferris Bueller’s sister) and Matthew Modine in a spectacular movie about the USA winning back the America’s Cup. This ain’t your father’s sailing boat! This is sailing in three dimensions, more like a combination of Demolition Derby and Roller Derby than a cruise across a lake. For sailors of any age: A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
    “The Answer Man” (2009) Jeff Daniels is a know-it-all to everybody and in everything but his lonesome hermitic life until he crawls into Lauren Graham’s and gives away books for answers. Three lonely people meet each other and themselves in this hit.
    “The Dog Problem” (2006) Giovanni Ribsi and Scott Caan (James’ son) star in this droll movie about a young man whose goes broke on psychotherapy and gets cured by a dog with no name and the girl who helps look for the missing dog.

    “Victoria and Albert” Disc 2 of 2 (2001) Keep him she did and moved his office into the room with hers and gave him control over the household and her heart. What he couldn’t control was Birdie his son, Albert Edward. A marvelous look at the happiest times of Victoria’s 60 year reign over most of the 19th century.
    “Speaking of Sex” (2001) A romp in the elevator with James Spader and Laura Finn Boyle as the-rapists. Hilarious hi-jinks and lo-jinks in and out of the connubial bed.
    “The International” (2009) IBCC bank is financing war big-time and anyone getting in the way of the hydra-headed conglomerate will get snuffed including heads of state. Clive Owen of Interpol jumps into the fray and discovers his very badge is a hindrance to obtaining justice.

    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.

    “The Spirit” (2009) of Samuel Jackson and Scarlett Johansson couldn’t save this pathetic morphing from comic book to movie. Interesting cinematography without interesting script. Mud and oil and gunk diving ain’t fun to watch.
    “Not Easily Broken” (2009) and not easily watched unless you like basketball games played in the dark to rap music.
    “District 9” (2009) is “ET” with a YUCK! replacing its gentle grace. Enough gore and puke to eliminate even the thought of popcorn! Kafka had the grace to have Gregor Samsa awake up already turned into a horrible bug, this movie stretches out the process for two hours! Find a Prawn to stomp this one out ASAP. A primo waste of time. A DVD STOMPER ! ! !

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

    “Off the Black” (2006) with Nick Nolte as a baseball umpire who befriends a young pitcher after he tossed toilet paper rolls in his tree. Takes him to his high school reunion as his son. (See also this movie blurb in digest078.
    “Amreeka” (2009) is how Arabs pronounce America and that’s where Muna and her teenage son Fadi end up: in a rural Illinois town where the two degreed bank officer ends up flipping burgers at White Castle and her son ends up being flipped off by his classmates. Can they find sanity and peace in a new land built out of the labor of immigrants?
    “The Hurt Locker” (2008) What kind of a man likes tackling high explosives on a daily basis? In Iraq we get to see such a man saving lives.
    “The Work of Director Michel Gondry” (2003) A collection of zany music videos, some 5 hours of them, some with great music, full of ideas, like a poetic anthology executed in music and video form.

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    This month's Cajun Joke reminds us that if you drink too much, you may forget important things like Boudreaux did in this story.
    Boudreaux had been drinking at Tee Paul's bar all night. The Tee Paul came over to where Boudreaus's head was resting on the bar, his last customer in the small bar. He shook Boudreaux awake, told him the bar was closing, and went in the back to turn out the lights.

    Boudreaux groggily looked up as Tee Paul walked away, said, "Okay, okay." He slowly climbed down from the barstool to leave and fell flat on his face. He tried to stand one more time — same result. Once more and he figured he'd better crawl outside and get some fresh air and maybe that will sober him up. Once outside, he stood up and fell on his face again. After a couple more attempts, he decided to crawl the four blocks home.

    When he reached the gate outside his house, he lifted himself up, opened the gate and promptly fell down again. Crawling up the walk, he finally reached his front step, and crawled through the door and into his bedroom. When he reached his bed, he tried one more time to stand up. This time he managed to pull himself upright, but he quickly fell right into the bed, sound asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

    He was awakened the next morning to Marie standing over him shouting, "SO YOU BEEN DRINKING!"

    Putting on an innocent look, and intent on bluffing it out, he said, "How come you say that?"

    "Well, Boudreaux, Tee Paul just called. You left your wheelchair there again!"

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    5. RECIPE of the MONTH for February, 2010 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
    (click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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    Rosie's Date Bars

    Background on Rosie's Date Bars:

    Our good friend Rosie Harris is an octogenarian who lives alone and loves to bake. Several times a year she will bake these delicious date bars for me. The last time we asked for her recipe, and Del, the baker in our family, baked some date bars several times over the Christmas holidays. The recipe came out just fine the first time she tried which should encourage the novice bakers among my good Readers.


    2 cups Sugar
    2 sticks of butter (1/2 lb, salted okay)
    3 eggs (medium)
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    8 oz package of chopped dates
    1 1/4 cup of chopped pecans
    2 tsp water
    1 tsp Baking Soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp powdered cloves
    1 dash of salt

    Sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Cream Sugar and Butter till light and fluffy in bowl. Mix water and baking soda.

    Cooking Instructions Add eggs to bowl, one at a time, and beat.
    Add baking soda with water to mixture.
    Add the flour mixture at this point, mixing well into ingredients as you add.
    Add dates and then pecans. Stir well as in this photo of final dough mixing.
    Refrigerate overnight (or place in freezer for one hour).
    Date Bar Preparation and Baking Instructions
    Take a ball of dough and make ropes approximately 3/4" X 10". Lay each rope out on greased (buttered) cookie sheet. Using index and middle fingers on one hand, press gently down on the rope till it become almost flat, but with gentle rolling hills and valleys. Sprinkle Sugar over the flattened ropes.

    Preheat oven to 350 degf. Place cookie sheet in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cut diagonally while still hot. Makes about 2 regular-size fruit cake tins full of date bars.

    Serving Suggestion
    Excellent with tea or coffee.

    Other options
    Substitute walnuts or other local nuts for your region in place of pecans.

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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from Tidbits of Memory:
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    Through the Sawmill Town of Donner

    This month I would like to share with you, dear Readers, this poem I dedicate to the loving memory of my mother, Annette Mae Babin, who grew up in the little sawmill town of Donner and whose mother always let her play with the Italians. [Note: The word "pecan" in south Louisiana rhymes with "gone" and "gone pecan" is a familiar idiom meaning "lost completely".]

    As the fireflies took flight
    And violin music filled the night
    Little ones did their homework early
    Before the mill turned off the ‘lectric light.

    At nine o’clock the glow of kerosene
    Flickered through the cypress scene
    And filled the Southern starlit world
    As earnest scholars stayed up late
    And burned the midnight oil.

    Through the sawmill town of Donner
    Every day walked little girls with baskets
    Filled with hot meals for their papas
    Who worked the dusty planning mill
    And in the shady stacks they ate their fill.

    When the men went back to their boards
    Girls took their baskets to the lumberyard
    And under the stacks of cypress drying
    Sat down to take a rest
    And had a picnic every day.

    Through the sawmill town of Donner
    Huge old growth cypress trees were hauled
    And dollied through the buzzing blades
    Which sliced them into planks and boards
    To build the houses for the young and old.

    On the weekends there were silent movies
    With Charlie Chaplin and . . . I forget
    Where they sold popcorn and candy at the door
    And kids would laugh and talk out loud
    While grownups read the words as the movie rolled.

    Through the sawmill town of Donner
    Dry leveed from the cypress swamp
    Ran boarded walks of cypress planks:
    Banquettes raised o’er the muddy ground
    Were weekly scrubbed from front to back.

    Water from the rain-filled cisterns
    Was piped into the house to use
    To drink, to cook, to wash, to bathe
    In Number 3 tubs on the floor
    Of a bedroom shuttered for the bath
    And tossed outside when all the bathing done.

    Through the sawmill town of Donner —
    Through is the sawmill town of Donner —
    No buzzing blades, no shady stacks no more
    No Mr. Stephan’s violin at dusk
    No planning mill no cypress dust
    No Charlie Chaplin no I forget
    No straw basket picnics yet
    No sidewalk scrubbing every week
    No old growth cypresses to seek
    The town is gone, to a tree
    The town is gone for you and me
    The town is gone from dusk to dawn
    The town is gone, a gone pecan.

    Through the sawmill town of Donner
    Came the little girl who gave me life
    Came the little girl who gave my papa wife —
    Came Annette Mae Babin who liked her town
    And like her town is gone now

    And who knows but that every night
    When the fireflies take flight
    She sits out on the porch to hear
    The strains of Mr. Stephan's violin draw near
    Through the sawmill town of Donner,
    A gone pecan — gone — but not forgotten.

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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for February:
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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. NOTE: these Blurbs are condensations of the Full Reviews sans footnotes and many quoted passages.

    1.) ARJ2: Learn to Understand & Prevent Myopia by Kaisu Viikari

    Thy body has the eye for its lamp; and if thy eye is clear,
    the whole of the body will be lit up; when it is diseased,
    the whole of the body will be in darkness.
    Luke 11.34 (from the front of Kaisu Viikari’s book, Panacea, 1978)

    You may wonder, as I did, why a tank fills the cover of a book about "Myopia". After reading the book cover to cover, I inspected the book jacket again and located the author, a thin Finnish lady, standing in front of the armored tank like the young man did in Tiananmen Square in 1989 as he confronted a Chinese Red Army tank and brought it to a standstill. Here is Kaisu Viikari, an M.D., Ph.D. female pioneer in ophthalmology, standing in the way of the medical establishment to stop their centuries long mistreatment of myopia. Similar to how baby doctors have co-opted the natural process of birth and treat it as a medical condition which requires the mother to be admitted to a fully-equipped hospital, eye doctors have treated myopia as a medical condition requiring permanent negative (minus) Diopter lens. Few eye-doctors seem aware of the potential and actual harm they do by prescribing minus lens — the situation is especially egregious in the case of small children because their eyes are still forming and use of minus lens can cause permanent myopia in place of the temporary myopia which is natural when children begin to do close work such as drawing, painting, and reading.

    Against the juggernaut of the scientific establishment and optical practitioners, Kaisu Viikari is presenting the facts in her books, Tetralogia, Panacea, and now this simplified book for everyone called, "Learn to Understand & Prevent Myopia". She clearly shows that naturally-occuring myopia due to eyeball elongation is a rare condition, and that the prevalence of pseudo-myopia is a nosocomic condition — a disease caused by doctors. It is a disease in the true meaning of the word, causing dis-ease in a person's body. How does pseudo-myopia cause dis-ease? By keeping the eye muscle, the ciliary muscle, in constant tension. This tension becomes a constant stress which leads to headaches, migraines, tight muscles throughout one's body causing a low-level of dis-ease which remains present at all times.

    The book title claims to help people learn how to prevent myopia. Note the presupposition in the verb prevent — to prevent something is counteract some influence which causes the condition, and this ironic situation the world finds itself in for the past 200 years, the influence which causes most cases of intractable myopia is the medical establishment itself by prescribing minus eyeglasses to all cases of myopia, as if all cases of myopia were some malfunction of the eyes instead of a mal-adaptation to the wearing of minus glasses for too long a time.

    The key to understanding myopia is understanding the process of accommodation and Viikari has studied this process and in long series of case studies shown that the stress of accommodation in the majority of the cases of myopia (the pseudo- or nosocomial-myopia) can be relieved by the appropriate use of plus lenses, what are normally called reading glasses. It is commonly known that reading glasses become necessary for many people who are far-sighted when they get older, and the condition is parodied in comic strips and sitcoms by someone holding an object as far as possible from their eyes to read. What is not commonly known is that use of such "reading glasses" with their plus lensesby those suffering from years and decades of pseudo- or iatrogenic-myopia can provide them relief from the stress of accommodation! The reasons for this are clearly described by the author in this book, and the judicious use of plus glasses can not only relieve the stress (headaches, migraines, spasms, etc) of pseudo-myopia but over time eliminate the myopia itself when the in-grained accommodation of the ciliary muscle relaxes under the pressure relief provided by wearing of plus lenses (reading glasses).

    What do eye-doctors know about iatrogenic-myopia? Nothing. A Google Search on "iatrogenic myopia" gives 34 Results, and in almost every result appears the phrase, "iatrogenic myopia does not exist". This is the armored tank that Kaisu Viikari is standing in front of to block its further movement against future generations of the world's children, most of whom will otherwise grow up with iatrogenic-myopia without ever knowing it. If peace is the absence of stress, then just like the young Chinese man was trying to bring peace and freedom to his country, this mature Finnish woman is trying to bring peace and freedom from minus glass to her country and the peoples of the world.

    When a country doctor in Austria went to the big cosmopolitan city of Vienna and worked in the teaching hospital there, he noticed a huge percentage of the women died in childbirth, whereas he delivered babies in the countryside outside of hospitals and childbirth fever was rare. Ignatz Semmelweis studied the matter and discovered that doctors were going from teaching childbirth in the dissecting room using cadavers to assisting childbirth in live women, in other words, they took their hands from a dead woman and placed them into a live woman without every washing or sanitizing their hands. As horrible as this sounds to us today, doctors of the time accepted this barbarous practice and ignored Semmelweis's pleading for them to wash their hands in an antiseptic solution he had formulated to help save the lives of the 200,000 women woman each year who died from the feared puerperal fever, for which there was no cure. No cure, but it could be easily prevented, as Semmelweis had proven in a year-long study. His results were ignored. He decided to stand in front of the armored tank of the hospital administration and was summarily run over and flattened. He was sent to a mental hospital where he was declared insane and died there. This is the man who is today considered the Father of Antiseptic Procedures.

    Childbirth fever was incurable, but easily prevented, and yet hundreds of thousands of women, otherwise healthy, died in childbirth from it each year because the armored tanks of the medical establishment rolled over Semmelweis's innovation for many years. Myopia in its most prevalent form, iatrogenic- or pseudomyopia, is incurable, but can be easily prevented by the judicious use of plus eyeglasses (reading glasses). Someone might say that myopia is curable using minus eyeglasses, but is it really a cure if the cure causes more problems than the disease it is supposed to alleviate? Do crutches cure a broken leg? No, they alleviate the problem while the leg is returned to normal use so that the crutches may be thrown away. Eyeglasses should be treated as crutches: worn only when necessary for seeing and taken off when the eyes are returned to normal vision.

    In a nutshell, here what I took away from this book:

    1. Everyone begins with hyperopia or farsightedness.
    It is an urgent survival need. Early human had to be able to see long distances from birth to survive and to hunt for food. Our eyeballs today are born too short so that we are guaranteed farsightedness at birth. By a slight tension or accommodation a focus is achieved at the back of the too-short eyeball. If the eyeball were too long, we would be unable to see long distances because "the lens is incapable of reducing its refractive power from its original thickness." (Page 11) Only by a too short eyeball can we be assured of excellent far vision from birth. Think of how we buy belts — we always buy them too long because we can easily shorten them but not elongate them. Nature builds eyeballs too short for a similar reason — by accommodation it can effectively make them longer, but not shorter.

    2. Myopia comes from doing close work as a child.
    Pseudo-myopia comes if a child does close work and an accommodation sets in which causes the ciliary muscle to maintain a constant tension. Fitting our children with simple plus glasses when they begin doing close work will help prevent a lifetime of pseudo-myopia, which in our current culture is simply called myopia by those unaware of Dr. Kaisu Viikari's finding. As strange as it sound to have children with normal sight wearing reading glasses (mostly seen on old folks), it is exactly what will prevent them from requiring eyeglasses to fix their pseudo-myopia when they become teens and their subsequent iatrogenic-myopia will become a lifetime condition. My wife and I have 19 grandkids and 3 greatgrandsons, so it's not too late for them to benefit from the pioneering work of Dr. Viikari of Finland.

    3. Eye operations to get rid of glasses are dangerous and mostly unnecessary.
    Consider the fads over the past decades: hard contacts, flexible contacts, soft contacts, daily wear contacts, and all the various saline solutions, cleaners, etc sold to contact lens wearers — it's a huge business. In recent years laser shaping of the corneas have become popular, and after such surgeries, people have found their night vision corrupted by dazzling of lights while driving.

    4. Prevention and Correction of Myopia is Easy and Inexpensive
    Prevention is clearly better as it will allow children to grow into adulthood without pseudo-myopia which has become inured myopia. Dr. Viikari points out that some 200 years ago myopia was rare, something like one person in a thousand had myopia. This statistic proves that our prevalence of myopia today is doctor-induced or iatrogenic. The prevention comes by having small children wear reading glasses while they're doing close work. The correction is having adults wearing reading glasses while reading even though they think they don't need them! We myopic readers are unaware of the tension of accommodation and thus we do not notice when it gets relieved by wearing reading glasses, but if we wear them anyway, the accommodation stress will be relieved so that we will be able to see objects at a distance the way we did as a child before we began doing up close work. Our eyesight will gradually return to normal range and our use of reading glasses will be our ticket to normal seeing. My last set of eyeglasses cost me $800 for special frames and Zeiss lens and coatings. A pair of comfortable and stylish reading glasses cost me $28, but less expensive ones were 3 for $14. Inexpensive. Now read how easy.

    [page 16] In order to control the situation and release the spasm of accommodation the need for accommodation is suppressed by placing a (plus) lens in front of the eye. To begin with the distance will drop, but will lengthen again as the spasm is released. At the same time, distant vision without glasses begins to improve.

    This diagram on Kaisu Viikari's Website shows how the contracting of the ciliary muscle — encircling the lens of the eye — causes the lens, due to its elasticity, to become rounded thus increasing its refractive power. When the ciliary muscle relaxes, the lens become thinner. Any unnecessary or prolonged contraction of the ciliary muscle can result in an accommodation spasm (Asp).

    What does the good doctor tell us about stress? She says that typical stress in any area of our lives comes from accommodation spasm (Asp).

    [page 17] Stress is absolutely a factor provoking Asp, stress is maintained by such as pressures of studying and rush. I am bold enough to declare that the most universal type of stress that concerns everyone is precisely accommodation strain.

    Okay, you want proof of this?

    [page 17] Very convincing proof of this provided by the study conducted with cadets who started at the US War Academy, West Point, in 1935 (Gmelin, Robert T. Myopia at West Point: past and present. Milit. Med. 1976:141: 542-543.) This study found an almost linear increase in myopia each year of attending the school.

    And the solution for our children?

    [page 21] The most important means of prevention is getting plus glasses (+3.0) for near work as early as possible. This, however, had received less attention, as this point has been highlighted in the current form for no more than the last few decades.
           We must keep an eye on children's reading distances, which many parents fortunately do understand, but if you watch a class of schoolchildren on television, for example, at least every one small child out of two draws or does sums with his nose stuck to the paper! This no longer is a case of reading glasses of even + 3 d being enough! In this precise situation, the reading glasses will force relaxation of the accommodation tension and increase the distance. Teachers have more than enough work here, and I dare say this should take first place in priorities. Looking too close is a bad habit, by no means a necessity.

           If the child will not learn to keep his working distance long enough, the primary method is to teach him to regularly support his chin with his hand at a forearm's distance from the desk. The children also quite commonly seem to have the habit of lying on their tummies in front of the television, which is not at all to be recommended, as the viewing distance often is very short.
           The most superior trick is to rest the accommodation by looking "dreamily" far away, and lifting the gaze from the page without focusing e.g. after every passage. This piece of advice is just as important for children and adults. The need for a good working light is self-evident, even though poor light alone is not the crucial cause in the development of myopia, unlike often suspected by laymen.

    If you are already myopic, what should you do? If you're like me, you've been using minus eyeglasses (the kind usually prescribed for myopia) for decades, and figured you'd always be using them. Since first communicating with Kaisu a couple of months ago, I began taking off my minus glasses a lot, both when reading and often when looking into the distance. About a week ago, I began to realize that the blurriness of distant objects had gone away, replaced by a more acceptable and minor ghosting or double-image slightly above the real image. I expect my previously myopic vision to continue to improve now that I have purchased and begun using regularly some plus or reading glasses. My minus glasses rarely come into play now, even when driving.

    Her recommendations for those of you with long-term iatrogenic myopia like me follows:

    [page 22, 23] Here are rough generalizations, allowing applications demanded by the case and conditions.

    • Nobody at any age should ever be allowed to read with distance minus glasses; however, there is nothing to stop you from using under corrected minus glasses at a distance.
    • One should have at least two pairs of minus glasses, the weaker one to be put on as soon as one gets home, in case it is not possible to abandon the glasses altogether at home.
    • One should also attempt to manage driving in the daytime with the weaker glasses, with the stronger pair kept for night time driving.
    • We should watch television from as a long a distance as possible, staying as near as needed but always attempting to move the chair a little bit farther.
    • Monofocal (non-bifocal) minus glasses should not even exist.

    Bifocal minus glasses should have lower half of plain glass. For half-glass reading glasses, there should be no frame at the top of the lens and these should be worn all the time.

    So, what's the big deal? This whole book is "only about eyeglasses", isn't it? Just get the right prescription so you have "as good eyesight as possible" and you'll be fine, isn't that so? One may hold that opinion before reading this book, but no reasonable human (at least no one without a pecuniary interest in prescribing and selling eyeglasses) would hold those opinions after reading and studying it. In its few easy-to-read pages, Dr. Viikari lays down a gauntlet for us to run through, after which we can not be led blindly to use minus glasses for all activities and pretend that our headaches and other aches and pains are due to other causes. Pogo, the intrepid philosophy of the twentieth century, said, "What wrong with the blind leading the blind? The seeing been leading the seeing all this time, and look where it got us." Dr. Viikari is a prime example of the seeing leading the seeing into a world in which the hidden stress-inducers in their minus eyeglasses will be a thing of the past, and they will look forward to the future instead of dread it.

    [page 33] My greatest joys achieved through this type of therapy have been seeing a patient (who used to wear strong minus glasses) getting rid of suicidal tendencies.

    Doctors who tell their patients that they will have to wear a strong prescription lens for the rest of their lives are like the doctor in this story I heard 30 years ago from Richard Bandler. A client came to him saying that he had begun wandering around late at night recently heading in the direction of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a notorious place for suicides to jump to their deaths. Here's the story Bandler uncovered from the young man in deep trance. He had developed an incurable disease. His doctor told earnestly, "Your disease is incurable, but this medicine will keep you alive. You must take this medicine every day, or you just as well jump off the Golden Gate Bridge." He took the medicine everyday and did fine for ten years. One day his doctor called him to say, "They've developed a new medicine which will cure you, and you won't have take the old medicine any more after that." He took the new medicine but found himself with these suicidal tendencies. Doctors, like the young man's, when they make earnest pronouncements, can put their patient into a deep trance with a post-hypnotic suggestion. When he stopped taking the original medicine, the post-hypnotic suggestion stepped in to "jump off the Golden Gate Bridge". What kind earnest pronouncements about your eyes have your eye doctors given you, dear Reader? "You will have to wear these thick lens for the rest of your life," is a pronouncement which could lead to a decision that having a long "rest of your life" is not an acceptable goal.

    Like Bandler did by de-potentiating the Post-hypnotic suggestions of his client to remove his suicidal tendencies, pseudo-myopia sufferers can neutralize the earnest pronouncements of their eye doctors by studying this book and learning to see without glasses.


    Portions of the Text and Images from the Book can be accessed on Dr. Kaisu Viikara's website: Click Here!

    Print Out the Review at:

    2.) ARJ2: Rudolf Steiner's Mission and Ita Wegman by Margarete & Erich Kirchner-Bockholt

    NOTE: This is a shortened version of the full Review which can be read by Clicking on the Title.

    The structure of this book is like a review of many related Steiner books — like a review of mine of a Steiner book which is often composed of my detailed commentary interspersed between quoted passages from the book. This poses the problem of how do I write my review of this book of reviews and commentary? Perhaps I will start with some thoughts which came to me near the end of the book as I was reading it — thoughts which I would not have had except for this book. Let my thoughts give you a glimmer of the wealth of information contained within the covers of this long-out-of-print 143 page book by the Kirchner-Bockholts. They have pulled together in one short volume the key passages and connecting thoughts of the incredible series of lifetimes of Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman from near pre-historical times to the present era.

    [page 7] from the Foreword: Such information about Ita Wegman as has been published hitherto conveys no true impression of the historic significance of her individuality in connection with Rudolf Steiner's mission to humanity. Hence the authors decided to collaborate in writing a book on the subject.

    After reading this incredible book, it occurred to me that so-called modern historians view events of the past much the way Martians might view a football game. They will have to invent motivations for the progress they observe left and right on the field, because the true motivations of the football players and the score will remain meaningless to Martian observers. Our modern historians single-mindedly view events of history by observing physical objects left on the ground after a "football game" or "war" (sometimes millennia later) and from the reports left by the combatants, and these historians are often as clueless about the purpose of the combatants actions as Martian observers would be, since the intents and motivations of the combatants are hidden from view and exist only in the spiritual realm, not the realm of sensory experience. Whether it's live action watched by Martians or it's stones, bones, inscribed clay tablets, or papyri analyzed by modern historians, neither will reveal the intents and motivations which produced the live action or the artifacts left behind it.

    This is especially pertinent to those modern historians analyzing why Alexander traveled so far over the known world. They ascribe his wanderings to his intent to conquer the world, but that glib attribution cannot explain why the world seemed more to conquer Alexander than vice-versa. Historians note the discontent of his army chiefs, dismayed by Alexander's actions, such as taking on the dress of foreign lands, often participating in their religious rites, kowtowing to local high priests, etc, but they en toto miss the point that Alexander was more of a missionary than a conqueror. Alexander was a harbinger of the Christ, a pre-Christian St. Paul, if you will, carrying to disparate lands and people the good news of Christ's reality and the approach of Christ to Earth.

    [page 87] When someone in the spiritual world is chosen to go to the Earth with a particular commission to fulfil, how must we picture the procedure? We all go to the Earth either with the injunction or an intention to fulfil the dictates of karma and the resolutions of which we have become aware in the spiritual world to meet those human beings who are truly connected with us by karma. In the spiritual world this is clearly in our ken and we are fully conscious of it. During the actual descent this knowledge is obscured but in the process of disappearing from clear consciousness it becomes an organ-forming power which in the Moon sphere helps to build the earthly body in accordance with spiritual resolutions in which lofty Beings play a part. In the body it now becomes the urge to fulfil destiny, to meet particular individuals, to endure suffering or catastrophes. Whither our body leads us — that is the karma-instinct or Ego-instinct in us.

    Such a mission infuses us, not with conscious intent, but with life-shaping decisions we make along the way so that, in the fullness of time, we meet the persons with whom we will fulfill our destiny. I have seen this operate so clearly in my own life that I can attest my feelings about these happenings is not a matter of belief on my part, but of certain knowledge.

    [page 93] The reason for our special love of roses is because they take into themselves and harbor the first memories of childhood.

    Gertrude Stein famously wrote, "A rose is a rose is a rose."

    And by that phrase she leads us to memories of our own childhood by reminding us that a rose is more than just a rose as we think of a rose, a rose contains memories of our early childhood during which we knew what our mission was, but through our maturation as a human being of the present time, we lost those memories. We lost the memories, but not the earthly body informed with a destiny to meet and fulfill. This book contained the informed destiny of two powerful individualities spread over six disparate lifetimes and across the pages of literature and history books from Gilgamesh and Enkidu to Ita Wegman and Rudolf Steiner.

    Is it unusual that two individualities as Steiner and Wegman should follow one another through multiple incarnations, always managing to meet each other? Not at all. No less than Rudolf Steiner explained it to me in a compelling way in one of his lectures in the Karmic Relationship series. Simply put: look around you, consider your age, your friends, and your immediate family members. If you are middle-aged or older, the friends you make in the present time and since middle-age are individualities who were likely members of your immediate family in a previous incarnation. Then you knew them since birth (your parents and younger siblings) or almost since birth. Now you meet them as strangers to whom some attraction grows into friendship. This is a general guideline only, but there is a potent point to made: someone you had a close relationship at any time in your previous lifetime will show up at some time in this lifetime so that you two may continue to balance your karmic acts and deeds involving each other. These deeds cannot be balanced unless you two re-incarnate together, i. e., with some intersecting lifetimes, no matter how short. Thus said, it seems clear that if karmic balancing occurs, then individualities must re-incarnate together. This is true for all human beings, not just for a few selected ones.

    What we find in the case of Rudolf Steiner (RS) and Ita Wegman (IW) are two individualities who assisting each other over multiple lifetimes, sometimes one leading, sometimes the other one. Enkidu (RS) leads Gilgamesh (IW) to seek immortality, and later Aristotle (RS) leads Alexander (IW) to spread understanding of the coming of Christ.

    If you read many of Steiner's lectures, you will find notes frequently explaining that he often covered during his lectures a slightly different subject than he had intended because of the questions he felt hovering in the minds or mouths of his audience. In his famous "Questions and Answers" sessions for the workers at the Goetheanum, there were no lectures, only Rudolf Steiner answering his workers' questions. They were engaged in building the magnificent architecture to be devoted to his Spiritual Science. They wanted answers and got them during work breaks at the construction site.

    [page 7, 8] from the Foreword: The law governing the work of every leader of mankind is that he may give impulses only when human beings are sufficiently alert to put the decisive questions to him. Hence he is particularly in need of individuals who place themselves at his disposal and support his aims unreservedly.

    In this next passage the authors lay out their aim for this book: "to shed light upon the spiritual backgrounds of their collaborative work." Ita Wegman took Steiner's first Medical Course in 1920 and decided after that to found a clinic in Arlesheim where "Rudolf Steiner's indications in the sphere of Therapy could be put to practical tests by qualified doctors." One prominent remnant from Wegman's laboratory for the production of remedies is the Weleda International who is still making and selling Steiner's remedies. She died in the clinic she founded in Arlesheim, and it is now called the "Ita Wegman Clinic."

    One would be wrong if one got the impression that Steiner shared all his thoughts about people's previous incarnations with them. Only when the burning down of the first Goetheanum occurred did Wegman have questions which led him to speak to her about their previous experiences in Ephesus together. Usually he waited till members were 70 years old and Ita was only 47, but if he had waited till she was 70, he would not have been alive. The temple in Ephesus also burnt down when they were priests in that temple, and Alexander the Great was born on the day that temple was set fire to by an arsonist. An artist's rendition of the burning of the two structures graces the cover of the book I read immediately before this one, World History in the Light of Anthroposophy.

    [page 12] The communication about their concurrent incarnations was made to Ita Wegman when she herself was 47 years old. Certain spiritual happenings had been a determining factor here. In the year 1922, during the burning of the first Goetheanum, remembrances of Ephesus had certainly arisen in her, ripening her soul to the degree which enabled her to put questions to Rudolf Steiner on the subject of ancient and modern Mysteries, questions which made it possible for him to speak to her about karmic experiences also connected with Ephesus.

    The authors ask a pertinent question whose answer should be clear to all who have followed the progression from ancient times to the present time in the course of this book, "Is it not significant that Thomas should have incarnated a few centuries before Bacon of Verulam, who then came down to the Earth to inaugurate the materialistic Natural Science by which the world is dominated today?" The drawing I made of the lighthouse shows the incarnations of Rudolf Steiner since 3,000 B.C. to the present and how he contributed to the founding of modern science culminating with Einstein famous statement about Light, E=MC2 which indicates that Energy is in effect Mass traveling at the speed of Light or conversely, Light when it slows down turns into Mass, i. e., the spiritual world is not perceptible to us because it exists in a realm where Light is not moving at all and where Mass does not exist. Energy is frozen spirit (Mass) which can be released into Light. This Logic, if followed, will convince you that it is folly to try to perceive spiritual realities with our materialized senses. It is a double folly to believe in the existence of the spiritual when by study one can become convinced of its existence without need for belief. Only through the development of spiritual sight, super-sensory perception — which Steiner possessed at birth and later proved such perception to be a human capability — can humans achieve spiritual sight. To do so requires a new organ to be developed consciously, which organ will in future centuries become a common human capability from birth onwards as it was for Rudolf Steiner.

    Why did I place Steiner above Einstein in the Lighthouse diagram? Because Einstein focused only upon what we can know about the physical world and by stretching what was formerly known about the physical world brought to the edge of the physical world, the phenomena known as the quantum enigma. Only by studying the world of Rudolf Steiner in addition to the world of Albert Einstein can one begin to understand the enigmatic effects of quantum paradoxes. While Einstein was shining Light onto the effects of the physical Sciences, Steiner was also shining Light onto the world of Art in the structure he designed to foster thinking in both the arts and the sciences in the etheric plane, the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.

    We are progressing from head man to heart man with the advent of the Consciousness Soul age. We have learned the Secret that the Fox told the Little Prince, "It is only with the heart that one can rightly what is essential is invisible to the eyes." We can step outside at night under the canopy of myriads of stars and hear them gently laughing, if we will only open our heart.

    Read the Full 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 Sees a Truck Driving Past 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 an Ad Extolling an Auto Detailing Service.

    2.Comments from Readers:
    • EMAIL from Roger in Ohio:
      Dear Bobby, thanks for making the web site possible.

      I have been studying Outline of Occult Science (by Rudolf Steiner) for years but could never get a clear grasp of it. With your commentary the puzzle is now starting to take shape. The way you interweave it with the quoted text seems to be working like the Spiritual Hierarchies wove their forces into the original heat-substance and subsequent stages to bring about the evolution of Humanity. The interplay between your text and quoted texts is illuminating and enlivening my understanding of the process within my mind. The analogy of the airplane construction was another big help in approaching the whole unfoldment. Very down to earth but very "superscientific".

      I admit I have read Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, Theosophy and about 20 or more texts as you suggest. But I never could call up enough spiritual force from within to practice the spiritual exercises that awaken Supersensible perception. You give a very nice simplified way of doing it by observing someone experiencing another person's feelings out of a selfless motive. I am certainly going to practice it the way you describe. I am excited about it.

      Also I have a book by one of Steiner's students, Guenther Wachsmuth, called The Etheric Formative forces in Cosmos, Earth and Man vol 1. Have you ever heard of it? It follows the O.O.S. nicely. I have a xerox copy from 1983. The book was about over 50 years old then. I have never been able to find vol 1 or 2 in book form anywhere. It was as if they did not exist.
      Thanks again, Roger

    • EMAIL Carol in New Orleans who missed her Digests:

      WOW, a New Year and New Decade and Mardi Gras is here!

      Thanks so much for the beautiful Christmas card. I don't get your newsletter (Digest) any more — did I do something wrong? It is such a work of art!

      I am sorry we did not have any connections this year. I used Evite to send our invitations to my French Quarter Fest Brunch last year and when some "familiar" faces didn't show up I found out not all of them were received. Mark your calendar for this year.

      On an ongoing basis, I continue to have a couple coaching clients, but am getting ready to see what results some marketing will do — I do love coaching. I also work with an organization in NO and have been part of a consultant pool for Rapides Foundation in Alexandria.

      I just got back from a week in the Yucatan with my Son and his family. Did a week in Montreal and Quebec in August. I'm itching to go to Greece.

      Thanks again for keeping in touch. Let's get together for coffee or lunch — Del. Take Care, Carol

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reply from Bobby:
      Was great spending a long evening with you, Gus, and Kevin pub-crawling your neighborhood, the French Quarter! Thanks for the wine and companionship. (See Photo in this month's Digest) Had a Great time! Hadn't done anything like that for decades. Will definitely make make your FQF Brunch this year. (Kevin and Gus, are you listening?)

      Carol and others should take note: I cannot just send emails in bulk anymore, my ISP balks at bulk. To receive Digest Reminders, Friends, Relatives, and Good Readers MUST Send Blank Email to:, JUST CLICK LINK AT LEFT and ACKNOWLEDGE Return Email from —

    • 2nd EMAIL from Roger in Ohio:

      Dear Bobby,
      I have been working with the doyletics site since yesterday. I can't thank you enough for what you have done for me. Its so amazing and simple. I studied all the materials and watched the video and practiced dry runs without invoking the doyle itself. It was big watching the girl hold on to it on television. I knew I had a Macro doyle. It was kind of a multiple Macro-doyle made up of several very nasty doyles. The whole thing almost had a life of its own. Like a parasitic negative life force. It seemed to be locked into me something like in the movie Spiderman 3. He was exposed to a morphic lifeform from outer space that glommed onto his Spiderman suit. It turned it black and took over his feelings making him turn negative and effecting his thinking.

      This Macro-doyle has been giving me trouble big time for years. I tried to do the practice food trace but there was not a single food I do not like.

      Then I took your next step of staring at my facial expression and it was like magic. It came right to life in the form of the chills. Waves of chills like my body was a conduit of flowing cold water. Not that unpleasant but dislocating. It was easy — easy to keep focused on. I said to myself go for it! And I started my countdown. I'm getting the chills right now typing. Between 3 and 4 it slowed down and stopped. "I'm 3 and I'm not feeling this doyle. I was dumbfounded and just starred into the mirror. My reflection looked transparent.It was like time, all of experience stood still. My eyes got bigger. A thought came to me, "What do I do?" All I could think of to say was "I remember I am an energy being." It was like I could not remember to ask the plausibility question out loud. I was unable to move until I remembered I was an energy being.

      All day so far I have not felt the restlessness, boredom, futility and dull depression that has plagued me all my life. I have been fighting this since the 4th grade. Up to that time my life was pretty idyllic. At that time LOTS of things changed with my school, friends, etc, plus my SUPER-NEGATIVE grandmother came to live with us.

      Anyway, your word is bond. Every word on those pages was gospel. To prove I am serious, I give you this proof:
      I have two teenagers. Soon after my Speed Trace I found myself in there cleaning up their rooms without a second thought. I was dumbfounded. Those rooms have not been that tidy in years. Effortless energy! My wife let our son take the car to school without telling me she had an appointment this afternoon so I would drive her and accompany her to the doctor. Usually that causes me great aggravation which I stifle and then I'm exhausted for the rest of the day. Not today. Today, no problem! Ive been pinching myself all day to make sure this isn't going away.

      I just wanted to let you know because you have put so much into doyletics and I agree with its goal to have doyletics taught during early school years. It should be taught to everyone. I believe within 20 years it will be world wide. Probably 5 to 10 years with the Internet. Well, that's enough. I will continue my research into doyletics.

    • EMAIL to Chris on his Fish Dock in Corpus Christi, Texas, pulling for the Saints:
      I'm buying me a six pack of Dixie for the "Night We Drink That Dixie Down." PUMP UP the volume on the Fish Dock, Bubba!


      Watch and Sing Along Here: The Night We Drink That Dixie Down!

    • EMAIL from Ginger Thiele in Florida:
      These are strange and beautiful days in New Orleans (Ginger's Home Town) and she wants all of us to watch this video:
    • EMAIL from Cynthia in Metairie, LA:
      Subject: Sports Illustrated Coverage of New Orleans Saints — Good Article and Photos Click Here! Here's another photo she sent, no idea who took it:

    • EMAIL Heidi Matherne in Kingwood, TX:
      GO SAINTS!! Andie's 13th Birthday!! (front row leftmost is Andie Matherne, my great-niece)

    • EMAIL Dorothy in from Tennessee:
      Thanks for the Digest. I really enjoy reading it.
      Best wishes to you and your family for a WONDERFUL 2010.


    • EMAIL from Betty in Kentucky:
      How nice to be in your new home at Christmas and it looks like it was enjoyed by everyone! I wish you lots of love, good memories and happiness in your new home and best to you in 2010.
      Hugs, Betty

    • EMAIL from Leo:
      Dear Mr. Matherne:

      I discovered doyletics a number of years ago in Rudolf Steiner-related Googling and have visited it countless times since then. . . Thanks for the many contributions you have made to my enrichment!

    • EMAIL from Chris in Corpus Christi: A Photo of our grandson Sam Hatchett in the Sugar Bowl.

    • EMAIL from Renee Lattimore in New Orleans area, commenting on how the Internet has permeated the world today as Alexander the Great did in his time:
      Dear Bobby,

      Re Rudolf Steiner's Mission and Ita Wegman: The fact that Alexander spread the Michaelic and Christ impulses throughout the world resonated with me. It makes sense. The Internet is an amazing tool that can definitely be used for the good. That certainly is a good analogy.

      And, last but not least, thank you for the book. ("Christ & Sophia" by Tomberg) I can't wait to get into it. The book I have is "Meditations on the Tarot", and I debated on which one to choose. So this one is NEW!

      Stay warm, see you soon,

    • EMAIL from Ed in Lubbock, Texas:
      Dear Friends:
      This is surely vintage Kevin. What a distinctly discrete assortment of personalities it eoncompasses — all adding meaning to my own life. And hooray for the Bon Ton.


      On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 10:30 AM, Kevin Dann wrote:

      Dear Bobby, Del, Kristina, Ed, and Renee,

      Well, it took Bobby leaving the house to make his ritual run to PJ's Coffee for me to finally have a moment dig to the bottom of my Inbox and reply to Bobby's lovely acknowledgment of our Web-assisted alliance, in the wake also of receiving Renee's reply, and of meeting Renee last night at the Bon Ton, where, in reply to my current question of the moment, pitched at all good folk I've met on this journey: "When I say 'American wizard,' who comes to mind?", Burt said: "Ai-id Smee-ith." That would be North Carolina for "Ed Smith." (And Burt pointed to me and told me that Ed had been sitting right where I was on the night they shared at the Bon Ton) My ear is loving this journey into the long languid syllables of south of Mason-Dixon speech. Since Bobby has left the room, I am emboldened to say that experiencing the review-meister in his own library is a total delight and challenge at the same time. Case in point: I brought down three volumes of Jane Roberts' books to return to the shelf, and in the process of replacing these, Bobby bounced me through three rooms to sidebar comments about Bandler and NLP; Alfred Korzybski's "structural differential" and "time binding," . . . you can imagine, I'm sure!

    • EMAIL to Long-time Friends on Steiner98 List:
      Most of you will remember Kevin Dann from the Steiner98 list a decade ago. I have posted some videos of his singing his way through New Orleans and the French Quarter during his visit here. This song is "Step Outside Your Mind" — Kevin sang it to Del and me in Bobby Jeaux's Kitchen with a view of the Timberlane Country Club golf course through the french doors.

      Bobby Matherne

    3. Saints Fan Gives Up Football! A True Story

    This morning, January 29, 2010, only 9 days before New Orleans appears in its first ever Super Bowl, I was walking away with my steaming latte from the counter at PJ's Coffeeshop when I overheard a man behind me in line say, "I'm giving up football." He said it so earnestly that I couldn't help asking him why.

    He said, "I promised my wife that I would give up football when we have a black President and the Saints are in the Super Bowl. And they both happened in the same year!"

    4. Dixie Beer

    My father-in-law Henry Guthans always drank Dixie Beer. He worked for the brewery for many years and drank beer during breaks there. He swore it was the best beer ever made! And he had facts to back him up. Most beers are quick-brewed using the cheapest grains available at whatever time of year it is, and they are stored in kegs of various kinds of wood. Dixie is the only beer in the world made exclusively from rice grain, slow-brewed for quality and stored in Louisiana cypress kegs. No other brewer could afford to use this expensive cypress to make their kegs out of, but Dixie Brewing Co. has kegs which go back to 1907 when cypress was harvested from local forests and readily available. The wood is durable — the kegs last indefinitely and impart a distinctive flavor to Dixie Beer which local beer drinkers love.

    5. Church Bells Chime, Born at the Right Time

    In a New Orleans hospital on a bright Spring day, a young woman of 22 lies in her bed. She has just awakened from anesthesia. This was her second pregnancy — her first one ended in a miscarriage and she didn't know yet if her baby was born alive or not. She looked around for her cigarettes, but then remembered this was a hospital and they had taken them away from her. Th e seconds passed like minutes as she waited to find out about her baby. Would this be another long period of mourning and despondency? A nurse came into the room with a white bundle in her arms, saying "This is your baby girl, Mrs. Richards." The new mother gently took the bundle, and stared at her new daughter who was yawning and stretching out one arm, fingers tightly together. At that moment a church bell rang out from one part of the city, then another bell began tolling from a distance spot, then another, and soon every church bell in the city of New Orleans was chiming. She looked down at the baby and thought, "They're chiming for you, my dear daughter." The nurse explained that the President had died this morning and the bells were ringing for him, but the new mother hardly heard those words. Her new daughter was born at the right time, with the church bells chiming all around the country.
          It was on that day in 1945, April 12th, that Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia and Adele Ruth Richards was born in New Orleans. She would later come to be known best as "Del" and became my wife. When I heard Kevin Dann sing this song "Church Bells Chime, Born at the Right Time", I could not help but be overwhelmed by the recollection of the events on the day that my beloved Del was born. If you missed the song above, CLICK HERE to go back and hear it as Kevin played his mandolin and sang it with Carol, Gus, and me as the spontaneous chorus.

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    Thanks to all of you Good Readers for providing the Chemistry which has made this site a Glowing Success. — Especially those of you who have graciously allowed us to reprint your emails and show photos of you and by you on this website — you're looking good! As of June 1, 2019, it enters its 20th year of publication. The DIGESTWORLD Issues and the rest of the doyletics website pages have received over 21.6 MILLION VISITORS ! ! !

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    My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner reviews are more detailed and my intention is bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.

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    Look at George Burns, Bob Hope, both lived to 100. Doesn't that prove that "He who Laughs, Lasts"? Eubie Blake at 100 told Johnny Carson, "If I'd known I'd live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Do you find nothing humorous in your life? Are your personal notes only blue notes? Are you unhappy with your life? Fearful? Angry? Anxious? Feel down or upset by everyday occurrences? Plagued by chronic discomforts like migraines or tension-type headaches? At Last! An Innovative 21st Century Approach to Removing Unwanted Physical Body States without Drugs or Psychotherapy, e-mediatelytm !
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