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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#11b
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~ In Memoriam: Doris Richards (1923 -2011) ~
~~ Beloved Mother of Del Matherne and Dan Richards
Doris Yvonne Richards, age 88, passed away at Our Lady of Wisdom Nursing Home on Sunday October 16, 2011 after a long illness. A native of New Orleans she was predeceased by her husband of 62 years Percy Francis (Dick) Richards. She is survived by a brother, Bob and predeceased by her parents, Octave Joseph and Ruth Hastings, and siblings, Octave, Jr., Gladys Hart, and Lois Clark Tann. A Beloved Mother, Doris is also survived her two children, Adele Ruth Matherne and Daniel Hiram Richards, and her eight grandchildren: Kim Gralapp, James Hatchett, John Hatchett, Stoney Hatchett, Cherie Shields, Randy Richards, Daniel Richards, and Caitlin Richards, plus her eleven great-grandchildren. She was a gracious lady who will be fondly remembered by all who were fortunate to be her friend or part of her family.

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~~~ WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#11b for November, 2011 ~~~
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Quote for the Thanksgiving Month of November:

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Max Planck , Physicist

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Return November 1, 2011.

GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#11b for November 2011
                  Archived Digests

             Table of Contents

1. November's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for November
3. On a Personal Note
       Featured Reviews
       Movie Blurbs

4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Eggplant-meatballs & Spaghetti
6. Poem from Review of From Comets to Cocaine: "The Nose Knows"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for November:

8. Commentary on the World
      1. Padre Filius Cartoon
      2. Comments from Readers
      3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
      5. Violet-n-Joey Go to South Africa
      6. APOLOGY

9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
10. Gratitude

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

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

This month Violet and Joey learn about Entranceways.

#1 "Entranceways" at

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Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for November, 2011:

Salvo Di Chiera in Australia

Steve Harbauer in Riverside, California

Congratulations, Salvo and Steve !

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Out Our Way:


Like a race horse stumbling out of the chute, my DIGESTWORLD Reminder was lacking a hyperlink in one of the batches of emails I sent out. I apologize to all of you who were confused when the link did nothing when you tried to click on it. Most people knew to copy the link and paste it in their browser, thank goodness, but I did get a few terse messages like this, Bobby, your digest did not open. I was blindsided by my new Email composer which requires me to specify a hyperlink as an extra step and this will not be a problem from now. I was so glad it worked at all that I never noticed the missing hyperlink which was always there in my antique 20th Century emailer. Sometimes newer is not necessarily better, and I got hammered.

That was not the only time hammering happened this month. Our West Portico patio now has a covered roof over it, built into the roof of the house so that it looks like it's always been there. Its western edge is lined by five new white columns which continue the line of columns of the Pergola. The headroom over the three large, squat columns has been increased by raising the support beams and western view of Timberlane has completely changed.

October saw the roof structure completed and the roofing tiles nailed by hand, BANG! BANG! BANG! My main job was to get the electrical work bid on and completed before the blue beadboard was installed. Four ceiling fans had to be installed after the ceiling of the porch was completed. Bayou Lighting was suggested as a place to obtain the outdoor fans. I'd heard that outdoor fans ran about $300 up while indoor ones could be had for $100, so we drove to the place expecting expensive fans. Penny explained to us that indoor fans would warp in the heat and weren't suitable for our porch. She showed us fans beginning at 300 dollars each until I explained that we wanted no ornate designs and she showed us a patio outdoor fan with light kit included for only $135 and we immediately ordered four of them as I let out a silence sigh of relief that another tough task was nearing completion. Ovile Breaux, our electrician, came over with his helper, Lance, right on schedule and installed the wires; Lance having to crawl through a tight space in attic to place the junction box. Then the vinyl siding people came and began covering the soffits, the ceiling, and the top of the squat original columns. Twice, the roofers ran out of Sierra Grey roofing tiles and had to come back and we prayed for the dry weather to last, and it did. Still dry at end of October as I type these notes.

The final touches to the vinyl, the end caps to the truncated gutters, installing the fans into place, resealing and painting minor cracks about the French Doors, having Cox Cable out to re-route broadband cable to my office, clearing out the debris, removing the large dumpster, and finally pressure washing and filling in the holes of the old brick floor of the patio — these tasks kept workers in the yard until the last few days of the month. Although the workers did the work, my supervision of the progress was required to ensure that things happened in proper sequence, and these interruptions kept me so busy that I wonder how I got any reading or writing this month. I finished reading two books and reviewed only one. The longer one will be reviewed first thing next month.


In 1958 I was a freshman at LSU and had never seen an LSU football game, much less been at one, in my entire life. I actually listened to part of one LSU game during 1957 season on the radio and heard the name Billy Cannon for the first time, at how good he was going be as the replacement for then senior Jimmy Taylor in 1958. Nothing said during that radio broadcast could have prepared me for what happened when I arrived and placed a purple beanie over my newly shaved head and walked into the student section of Tiger Stadium for the first time. Or the two away games LSU played before that first home game against Hardin-Simmons.

LSU was a 6-pt underdog against Rice and went into Houston to whip them handily, 26-6, a whipping which led Litkenhaus to rank LSU as No. 1 after just one game! Winning one away game, the Tigers had hardly time to breathe before playing Alabama in Tuscaloosa with its brand new coach Bear Bryant. The message from LSU's coach Paul Dietzel to his team was "It's a Short Trip from the Penthouse to the Outhouse!" That was a time when one of my aunts still had an outhouse in her home across the river from New Orleans, so people knew outhouses then in a vivid way few do today. I was in New Orleans at my girl friend's house that Saturday night and was taken up by the drama of listening to a full football game on the radio for the first time. We beat Alabama 13-3, coming back in the second half from an 0-3 deficit. My first game I was dressed in beanie cap and pajamas, de rigeur for freshmen during those halcyon days and the Tigers beat Hardin-Simmon handily 20-6. But the Litkenhaus ranking had been forgotten and when LSU arrived in Miami, the bellman thought they were a high school team checking it! No mistaking who they were when they shut out Miami, 41-0 that night as I listened exultantly over the radio.

The next game was against Kentucky sporting the SEC's No. 1 offense and my dad was bringing my girl friend with him to attend the game as my guest in the North Stadium Student guest section. As I waited outside Section H2 for them to arrive, I saw a man pacing back and forth slowly as if he were very sad and completely lost. So I walked over and asked what was wrong. "I've been coming here every Saturday night to a Tiger game for over twenty years and for the first time ever I cannot buy a ticket!" The game had sold out completely. We went on to beat Kentucky 35-7 that night and become AP No. 1 the next week and we held onto that No. Ranking to the end of the year when we beat a very good ACC Champion, Clemson in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

So in this year of 2011, a week before the game I predicted that the Tigers would whip Kentucky 35-7 because this year was feeling parallel to that of 1958 and I expected an equivalent win over a similar Kentucky team. My prediction was right on, but my recollection was in error. Well, a day or so later, I checked Bud Johnson's book, The Perfect Season, and score was actually 32-7. I was wrong about the 1958 score, but right on about the 2011 score, oh well. As of now, LSU is 8-0, and just finished demolishing previous year's National Champion, Auburn, 45-10. What's next? Well, in 1958 the big game coming up next was against No. 6 ranked Ole Miss and in 2011 our next big game is No. 2 ranked Alabama. Is it too soon for me to predict 14-0 win for LSU over Alabama. Time will tell. All I know is the feeling in the air of 1958 is back in the air in 2011 and this is a much better team than the one which went 10-0 before beating Clemson in the New Orleans stadium. Oh, that reminds me, Clemson is looking to be ACC Champion again in 2011 and with a few domino falls, they could end up playing LSU in a New Orleans stadium at the end of another unbeaten season for LSU. We beat them 7-0 in a defensive slugfest highlighted by a goal-line stand by the Chinese Bandits which was captured in a great black & white photograph titled, The Great Wall of China.

DORIS RICHARDS (1923-2011)

Del and I had witnessed her mother's decline after she lost her beloved husband of 61 years, Dick Richards, the year before Katrina. When he collapsed from a stroke, Doris had lifted him out of the bathroom, using all of her 97-lb body and muscles, and placed him on the bed before she called 911. In the ensuing weeks, she began a series of back operations to repair some cracked vertebrae. By the end of four years, she had all of her vertebrae from the thoracic down to the lumbar re-glued together. Slowly her mind began to fail with the onset of Alzheimer's. Del and Dan moved her into assisted living at Woldenberg, then removed her into the ALZ lock down unit there. Several months ago Doris was moved to Our Lady of Wisdom's nursing unit as her condition grew worse. About two months ago she fell and broke her wrist and her femur where it goes into the hip. A hip replacement was done, which had only a 50-50 prognosis of survival, and she survived the operation, but never fully recovered and was put on hospice. Del spent most of August tending her mother after the hip operation — Del only relented when she herself became seriously ill with a strep throat and her brother Dan came in to see about Doris. In two weeks, Del was finally able to visit with her mother and receive a smile from her as she assured her she loved her. I told Del I was putting her on triple hugs after the strep bout and whenever she returned from visiting Doris, I gave her a long hug.

On the day Doris died, Sunday afternoon during a Saints loss to the Bucs, Del had visited with Doris for an hour, and when she got home and I had given her a hug, Del told me that her mother did not look good at all. About an hour later we were watching the Saints game when Del's cell ring tone of "When the Saints Go Marching In" sounded and it was the call from the hospice nurse at Our Lady of Wisdom informing her that her mom had just passed away. Our sainted mother and mother-in-law had gone marching in. When Del arrived, she mentioned to the nurse that she was sorry she hadn't stayed longer, and the nurse had a very telling response, "If you had stayed, she may nott have passed." That was how strong the bond was between Del and Doris.


This is something I've observed for the past ten years: the two teams have become winners since Katrina, both winning the highest championship. LSU the BCS National Championship and the Saints the Super Bowl. The parallels started in the very first game of both teams: LSU had to play an away game against one of the teams in the previous BCS Championship Game, Oregon, and Saints had to play away against one of the teams in the Super Bowl. The Saints with the tougher task had to play the Super Bowl winner Green Bay on Lambeau in Green Bay. They lost, failing a last second chance to tie and win the game, and LSU won handily over the No. 6 team in country, one which is still around No. 6.

This past week the coincidences or parallel karmic episodes went off-chart when both a Saints coach, head coach Sean Payton (who acts as offensive coordinator) and the LSU offensive coordinator both had to be up in the press box due an unexpected reduced capacity. Sean had a fracture bone below his knee when a player was thrown against his legs, and Kragthorpe had contracted Parkinson's Disease and was helping call plays from the press box. LSU had three players from first string missing due to suspensions and the Saints had three players off the field due to injuries. What was the result? LSU played vaunted Auburn, the team which won the National Championship last year and was ranked No. 19, and walloped them 45-10. The Saints played the Indianapolis Colts, the team they beat in the Super Bowl before last, and stampeded them 62-7! One does not have to believe in coincidence or karmic parallels to notice them when they happen. For example, was it a coincidence that this was the first ever game in the newly christened Mercedes-Benz Superdome?


What is entropy? Stuff happens is the bumper sticker version of this physics principle. It means that things break, they leak, they drip, they fall apart, they stop working, etc. All systems in the physical world are governed by entropy — inanimate or man-animated things break over time. ENTROPY — that's what keeps a Maintenance Man busy. I use man because in 71 years of my life, I have never seen a woman show up to repair something in an apartment or house where I lived.

This month when Del reported the faucet on SW corner of the house leaking, I took my ratchet-pliers out and tightened the packing nut — that will fix leaks coming from the stem of the faucet as the packing gets loose over time. It stopped leaking for a second and I slightly re-tightened the nut and it broke, turning a small leak into a large one (If you don't know what a packing nut is on a faucet, see photo below). I turned off all the water, removed the bad faucet, and took it with me to Ullo's Hardware where I was sure Chris, the owner, would have a replacement. He didn't have a replacement packing nut for the one which split in two, but did have a good American made faucet and I could choose either half-inch or three-quarter inch version. Not knowing which one, I bought both knowing I could return the other one when I'm back in the area of Ullo's Ace Hardware in Marrero. The three-quarter one fit and the leak was permanently fixed. I mentioned the American faucet because it was a few dollars higher in price than the foreign-made one, but it will last longer. I learned my lesson on the Chinese made fan belt for my riding mower which only lasted one year — the new one was made in the USA in Georgia.

The other maintenance man to come to the house was David with Delta Ice in Belle Chasse to repair our Kitchen-Aid ice maker which we bought brand-new from Sears Roebuck in October of 2009, a short two years ago. What broke? The electric-actuated water valve! $300 dollars later it was fixed, less than a year after its warranty expired. Fault of Kitchen-Aid or Sears? Or my fault for trusting either brand name. Maybe just a karmic fluke. Curious thing was if we bough a bag of ice from the supermarket twice a month, it would take ten years just to equal the repair of our Kitchen-Aid device after only two years. ENTROPY — keeps Maintenance Man's paychecks coming in.

The other Maintenance Man's dream is the customer who allows them to return time after time to put a Band-Aid on a problem and not fix it. I admit to having been such a customer. The first time he came to stop the dripping on our Delta Single Handle Kitchen faucet, he opened it and replaced the spring and washers. For two weeks the dripping stopped, then it started again. I found a spot where we could close the faucet where no dripping happened. Over two years, that spot became smaller and smaller. So the next time a different plumber came for something else, we asked him to look at the Delta faucet and I carefully explained that the drip had been stopped before by a plumber replacing the washer and spring. I even suggested he switch the faucet with the one in the laundry room, an identical Delta faucet which never dripped. He dispensed the following Plumber Wisdom, "Don't like to do that with older faucets. They tend to break." "Well, Hell," I thought to myself, "if it breaks, at least it will be replaced by one which works." But I let him be, after all Plumbers know best, right? He demonstrated that the leak was fixed, and after he left the faucet began dripping again, exactly as it had before. $85 for a non-fix of a problem we had paid $85 to non-fix before. I decided to once more promote myself to Maintenance Man and in twenty minutes without spending a dime, I had switched the two faucets and stopped the drip completely in the kitchen sink. I had also fully diagnosed the cause of the problem which both plumbers had taken $170 from us and failed to do, causing us, in the wake of their dumb and blind incompetence, two years of aggravation! There was a small crack in the diverter globe! Since the faucet in laundry is used less often and a simple move to the 10 o'clock position there prevents any drip, I may never have to locate a new diverter ball, but if it starts to leak, that's the correct solution. A week later I found my "Plumbing Repairs" book and there was the explicit instruction, "Examine diverter globe for defects", something neither licensed, union-wage plumber bothered to do as if it were against his code to do anything but replace a washer on a dripping faucet. I thought to myself that female plumber I saw on some PBS House program would have examined that ball! Maybe we need more female plumbers.


Okay, you're more interested in miracles than my moving monitors around, I get it. The miracle has to do with four holes for bolts on the back of TV screens which allow them to be mounted on desk or wall-mounts. My left-side Gateway computer monitor's screen had begun intermittently blinking and it got so bad that I was ready to trash it and replace it with a TV screen that had four-inch center holes so it could be attached to vertical Gateway bracket. Unfortunately the Samsung HD TV I'd bought only had three-inch center holes (TV shown at right in photo). So I was stymied when I found this out to my chagrin several months ago. But a new TV screen suddenly entered the picture when Del's mom died and two days later her TV was being moved to Timberlane. I need a plan and fast. Okay, I reasoned, put the Panasonic on top of the solid WEGA in the Screening room, take the new Samsung with six-inch mounting holes and use it for my System 7 (new PC) monitor and use the smaller Samsung as my left-side monitor. I blithely forgot about the problem with the three-inch holes. So I moved the screens around. The big Panasonic fit nicely into Screening Room, the large Samsung worked nicely for my new PC which I also moved to my re-arranged desk to put both PC (the 20th Century antique and the 21st Century Intel7) within a short turn of my desk chair! Great, until I suddenly was confronted with 3-inch centered thread hole in the TV's backside and four-inch holes in the Gateway bracket! Once more I was stymined — exactly as before. How could I be so dumb? Why didn't I remember that the hole in the TV were three inches apart and in the bracket were four inches apart?

Immediately I went into problem-solving mode, which may be a bit different for me than for some of you, so indulge me please while I explain what I did. First thing, I created the simplest solution I could imagine in my mind given the status of the TV and the bracket. I imagined my drilling four holes in the bracket exactly three inches apart. That would allow me to mount the TV securely on the Gateway bracket. I felt immediately relieved by having a solution and crestfallen by the difficulty of drilling holes exactly three inches apart on the bracket. Doable, but not fun at all, lots of room for mistakes in hole placement! Then a MIRACLE HAPPENED! I went to the bracket to examine it and the four three-inch holes I had envisioned having to drill in my mind and BLIMEY! the four three-inch holes were already drilled ! ! ! They were set right inside the four four-inch holes I had seen months earlier. The hard part of work was already done, and like the Shoemaker the morning after the Elves had made his shoes, all I had to do was give thanks for the quick invisible work of the elves, my Guardian Angel, and mount the Samsung in a couple of minutes! At this point, many of you are thinking of alternate explanations for what really happened and I encourage you to pay attention to those explanations as each one will reveal something important about how you operate in the world and how the world works or doesn't work for you. For me it had exactly the status of a miracle — those holes I had never seen before had been drilled in the process of my envisioning them where I wanted them to be!

Hard to believe? Okay, try this for yourself, I call it "Creative Parking". You can try this at home or work even though it requires a professional to do it. You are a professional and fully qualified human being, are you not? So, you can do my "Creative Parking" process, which goes like this: If finding a good parking place is difficult for you, then next time you're planning to park your car, imagine a parking place next to the door in the shade and drive directly there first. See what happens. If you start from disbelief, scoffing that Creative Parking will not work, it won't, so don't bother trying it. Your version of reality is safe and stable and not subject to change unless your belief system changes first.

In fact, your belief system may cause you to skip over this next miracle which happened a few minutes later. First, a bit of background. My two Gateway Monitors came with a pivot mechanism each bracket and some Pivot Software which responded to a move from Landscape to Portrait position of each monitor by rotating the screen image to match the monitor's new position. I had no idea whether the Pivot software would work on Windows 7 which is the 64-bit operating system on my new System 7 computer.

I strongly suspected that the Pivot software would not work and I'd have to search to find a solution, something which I had deferred researching due to unlikelihood of finding any solution, much less an easy one. I returned to my Sys 7 PC to get the setting established for the new large Samsung TV and there in the dialogue box of Windows 7 was an option I had never seen before except on outboard software like Pivot Software: Landscape or Portrait? I chose Portrait and the screen contents rotated to Portrait! Microsoft had once more taken software functions which formerly required outboard software and incorporated it into its latest new Operating System! A MIRACLE! Just what I needed and not a second too late! Software engineers at Microsoft had anticipated my request and built the new function into Windows 7!

I had specified four monitors for my new System 7 PC (INTEL 7 and Windows 7) when I ordered it built especially for me by A PROMPT Computer Co. here in Gretna, and I can now add up to four monitors and change any one of them or all of them to Portrait mode, which is the preferred orientation for this writer as the writing surface best resembled a sheet of typewriter paper in Portrait mode. Not likely I'd ever wish to trade in my typewriter keyboard for a touchpad screen. I cut my teeth typing on a manual typewriter and I need to feel K E Y S under my finger tips during my blind-typing where I never look at the keys. I doubt that I will ever see someone blindtyping as I do at 55 wpm on an iPhone or iPad. One of you is likely thinking, "Oh, but I could add an outboard keyboard to my iThingie!" Sure you can, and when you do you will have paid a lot more money for what my $399 Toshiba Laptop can do already without being separated into two parts.


Del never lies. Her voice is always true to the given situation we are in and I've come to depend upon that. This morning she had listened to a song from the 1940s on her XM radio and when she got out the car she was singing in the same voice as the Modernaires sang it some 60-plus years ago with the curious Indian or Australian lyrics. To illustrate how good she is at this, our friend Fae who learned to speak English with a musical Begali-accent told Del, shortly after we moved in and became neighbors, what Connie told Fae about Del. Fae imitated Connie's Ninth Ward dialect and out came a Begali-modulated Ninth Ward voice! Well, when Del told me what Fae had said, out of Del' mouth came Fae's voice, Bengali-Ninth Ward modulated and replicated by Del! If you think this is easy to do, try it sometime.

This is by way of explaining the start I got as I was typing the above paragraph when Del walked up behind me and said, "Aren't you going to say Hi to Mama?" in a tone exactly as that she would use if she had brought Doris, her mom, home with her, as she had done many times over the past five years, but less frequently in the past year as Doris' condition worsened. Del was saying something impossible, namely that Doris had come back with her! Either Del was lying or . . . and as I turned around I met Doris in her beautiful new Urn in Del's loving hands and said Hi to her. Del said, "I spent a lot of time talking to her on our way home from Lakelawn." There was Doris, her earthly remains, in the Urn which we will place at the front of St. Paul's Episcopal Church this coming Saturday, October 29th. Doris' ashes will be later interred in the Garden of Memories plot where the remains of her stillborn daughter is buried. A plaque will be added for both Doris and Dick Richards in their memory to that site.


The Memorial Service for Doris Richards took place on Saturday, October 29th, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Canal Blvd. Doris was in charge of the Sunday School at this church for a number of years. Family and friends gathered for the Visitation in the small chapel and then Father John officiated at the service. Pat Clark from Houston, Wes Gralapp from Alexandria, and Bob Legendre from Picayune were three readers. After the service, in accordance with Doris' wishes we had a party at Timberlane in the afternoon, a catered affair so Del and I could visit with everyone. The weather was cool and sunny with a slight breeze and many of the guests enjoyed the new patio and pergola. Cars filled the driveways and lined the drive along the bayou, but no one had trouble getting into a parking place or getting out. The food was marvelous with crab cakes, portobello chicken pasta, delicious sandwiches, and various desserts, including a chocolate doberge cake from Gambino's with Doris (1923-2011) spelled out on the top. The caterers did a great job and we want especially to thank Connie for opening the house for the caterers while we were still at the church. All of Del's kids made it in with their children, and my three girls came in along with my oldest grandchild, Tiffany, and her three boys.

Del and I joined Dan and his wife Karen for dinner at the Bon Ton Restaurant a week earlier and Karen remarked how we had each lost a parent in 2011. She and I separately lost our fathers, and Dan and Del lost a mother.

We'll remember Buster Matherne, Ross Hotard, and Doris Richards and hold them to our hearts, giving thanks for the many gifts of life and loving we received from them, as also our offspring have received from them directly and through us. We have been truly blessed and find nothing but joy in contemplating our life ahead with their spirit accompanying us through life.


The month of October brought us a new West Portico Covered Porch and took away our last remaining parent, Doris Richards, Del's mom, who has come to her new beginning in spiritual reality. Most of our other activities paled in comparison to our losing Doris in physical reality, but her physical presence will remain because she was so instrumental in shaping Del's life and those of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Thank all of you who have sent prayers and expressions of sympathy and consolation. They are well received. May you enjoy a Blessed Thanksgiving Day! It's America's gift to the World. Till December arrives, with Christmas cheer and carols filling the air, may you enjoy a wonderful Christmas Season, God Willing. Wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it the onset of Winter or Summer, in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, in the New World or the Old World, remember our motto: Enjoy the present moment, it's the only Eternity you have and it's given to you for Free!


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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:

  • Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
    Albert Einstein ( 20th-century physicist and celebrity )
  • New Stuff about Website:
  • Click to Read these Engineer Stories forwarded by Candice Reed from Gary Morton. Thanks, Candy!

    Click to Read these Health Hints using Honey and Cinnamon in our new Tidbits Page from email forwarded from Kristina Kaine in Australia.

    NEW MATHERNE'S RULE #49: You are allways arriving at the beginning of your future.

    Inspired by Michael Paterniti in his book Driving Mr. Albert — A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain where he writes on page 17, "I wondered if I'd arrived at the beginning of my future."

    We tend to think of the future as happening in, well, the future, but rightly understood the future, our future, is beginning right now, at this very second. As you, dear Reader, read these lines, your future is beginning at this moment, this moment, this moment. What are you doing with your future? The next moment will tell. Keep yourself fresh, alive, and optimistic by memorizing and repeating this Rule# 49: You are allways arriving at the beginning of your future.

    If you were arriving at your past, you could do nothing to change it — your attitude would be "Oh, well, here I am again." — but the future, your future, is rife with possibilities especially if you open yourself to them as they unfold for you, one moment at a time. You are always on the verge of a great adventure — one that will be understood as a great adventure — some days, weeks, years, or decades in the future. You are living on the edge of the future every moment. Enjoy the thrill of climbing above the mundane past into the heady realm of your future right now and at every moment from now on.

  • Five Featured Reviews:

    1. A Slot Machine, A Broken Test Tube

    What can one say about Salvador Luria: that he is a scientist's scientist (John Watson of DNA fame was his grad student); that he is a pinko socialist radical (regularly solicited donations for full page ads of 'concerned' scientists in the NY Times - his daily fare - and the Washington Post - delivered free to all of congress); that he once voted for a Republican (maybe more than once); that he never learned biochemistry (he got on with his physics knowledge he gleaned from Fermi and others); that he was a Nobel prize winner.

    He discovered the process called "fluctuation" for understanding bacteriophage mutations (the slot machine reference of the title) and the process of "restriction" in viruses (the broken test tube). An amazing man, completely open to all possibilities in pursuit of science and closed to all possibilities but socialism (" a just distribution of wealth and opportunities for all") in the pursuit of humankind solutions.

  • He lived in Paris till the Germans entered it - he rode out towards Marseilles on a bicycle as bombs were exploding in the eastern section of Paris. A full recounting of his experiences en route would make good reading fare, I suspect. He said: in Paris men bought 5 or 6 newspapers a day so as to debate the essays of the various intellectuals in them. (When is the last time you read an intellectual in an American daily? Does Kilpatrick or Buckley qualify? Do we live in a backward country? I know teenagers who read both the Baton Rouge and New Orleans daily newspapers to compare sports writers comments on the latest or upcoming football game, but to read intellectuals? We seem to be heading towards a single nationwide daily, USA TODAY, and hellbent on stamping out all intellectual content by replacing it with the insipid intellectual tradition of Time, Newsweek, Look, and Life. The latter two, of course, no longer exist as weekly magazines.)

    The section on the DNA code, the protein stop-start signaling process are worth the price of the book. How similar the molecular machinery parallels the human machinery of communication and production. The presence of a sugar for food strips off a protein and uncovers a code to start production of an enzyme to digest the food. Sounds like the U. S. welfare free food surplus distribution program.

    2. Humberto Eco's Six Walks in Fictional Woods

    I first read this book in April 1994. I remember it well because when I reached page 88 on April 14, 1994, I read the following, " . . . today is Wednesday, April 14, 1993 . . . ". Exactly one year, 365 days, had passed from when Eco wrote the original words until I read them in a finished book, second printing. I noted the date in the book, and later, on August 14, 1995, I again encountered the same page in the course of re-reading this book, one year and four months later. I return to Six Walks like Eco gets lost in the woods in Sylvie. After his first reading of Sylvie at the age of twenty, Eco returned to it time and again: in his papers, seminars, and graduate courses he gave on the novel. He says, "Every time I picked up Sylvie, even though I knew it in such an anatomical way — perhaps because I knew it so well — I fall in love with it again, as if I were reading it for the first time." Eco gets lost in Sylvie's fictional woods like I did in the Foxborough State Park on my trail bike. Soon I came to know where all the trails came out, where all the waterfalls were, where the granite quarry was, but still I rode to enjoy new combinations of trails and the changing of the terrain with the different seasons of the year. Each time Eco's Model Reader reads the same book another time, the Empirical Reader is experiencing a different season of the year, of life. During our perambulations with Eco, we discover there are Model Authors and Empirical Authors as well — makes for a busy reading time, since four's company.

    Here is a potpourri of Eco from Six Walks:

    Eco gives a process description of a pornographic film: what is non-sexual takes as long as real life, what is sexual takes much longer.

    Eco asks, "How can a verbal text put something before our eyes as if we could see it." He explains how the impression of space is created by expanding "both the discourse time and reading in relation to the story time."

    Eco points out that "it was believed that the Morning Star was different from the Evening Star (Hesperus and Phosphorus, as they were called), but that these are really the same celestial body — namely, Venus." Thus, those who worshiped the Morning Star held their adorations in the morning. They were loath to believe that the object of worship of their evening worshiping brethren was the same as their beloved morning icon. Two perspectives, one object.

    Eco says, "During the seventeenth century, Francis Lodwick put forward the idea that original names were the names not substances but of actions." Like the American Indian names we hear today, such as "Dances With Wolves" or "Rainbow Dancing Waters." The focus is on the action, the process, not the thing. Using this naming process, one might call Umberto Eco: "Walks in Fictional Woods."

    3. Guy Davenport's Every Force Evolves a Form — Twenty Essays

    If the title is true one can wonder what driving force evolved the form of this book: twenty essays filling a "thin volume" of English criticism of anything that moves or goes bump in the night. The title essay is a curious assemblage of literary blurbs about birds: Poe's Raven, Wordsworth's Robin, Emily's Lark, and Whitman's Thrush. The essay "Balthus" consists of a melange of one-sentence paragraphs about the famous painter. In another essay we discover that Montaigne was the first to comment in writing on the observation that the number of tree rings equals the number years of life of a tree.

    Guy tells us there were precursors to Montaigne that were found later, all centered on the locale of Pisa in Italy. He tells us that the woodcutter who made the observation to Montaigne "had probably learned it from a professor at the university." This statement betrays Davenport's academic bias: where did the professor first learn of the rings if not from an observant woodcutter? Knowledge, contrary to Guy's understanding, originates not from professors and books but from direct observation of nature.

    I liked his essays in this volume much better than his "Geography of the Imagination" which I got bogged down in. Each essay in this book Davenport prepares like a little Italian pizza-maker: first, he twirls a subject in the air and when it lands, he deftly strews slices of mythology, chunks of fiction, sprinkles of poetry upon it, and then bakes the concoction in our brain until the smells of literature come alive and we're ready to sit down for a feast. By this time the essay has come to an end and we can hear in the other room the pepperoni being sliced in preparation for his next pizza pie.

    4. Benjamin Farrington's The Philosophy of Francis Bacon

    And indeed it is this glory of discovery that is the true ornament of mankind.

    It was the glory of God to conceal a thing, the glory of a King to find it out.

    Writing at a time (1620) when America had not yet been named (he called it New India), Francis Bacon brought his training as a lawyer to his study of natural philosophy and laid the foundations of the inductive method upon which future scientists would erect their lofty edifices of thought.

    . . . let Aristotle be summoned to the bar, that worst of sophists stupefied by his own unprofitable subtlety, the cheap dupe of words.

    Let Plato be next summoned to the bar, that mocking wit, that swelling poet, that deluded theologian.

    Thus in turn he calls up and deflates the puffery of each philosopher, his animadversions verging on poesy.

    You, Paracelsus, adopted son of the family of asses, owe him [Peter Severinus] a heavy debt. He took over your brayings and by the tuneful modulations and pleasant inflexions of his voice made sweet harmony of them, transforming your detestable falsehoods into delectable fables.

    Bacon tells us that, what his precursor by 400 years, Roger Bacon, received from the Greeks was the childhood of science: "It has what is proper to boys. It is a great chatterbox and is too immature to breed."

    Thus did Francis Bacon bring maturity to the philosophy of science by his experimental method and his famous inductive method. He required scientists after him to receive truth "from the light of nature, not recovered from the darkness of antiquity." To seek new insights from the present, not the past, was a dramatically new concept for the scientists of Bacon's day, and the payoff began with the discoveries of Newton, Leibnitz, and has continued until this day. It was Bacon himself who found comfort in the remark, "The blacker the past, the brighter the hope of the future."

    "Not to try is a greater hazard than to fail. If we fail, it is the loss of a trifling effort. Not to try is to forgo the prospect of measureless good."

    Let us be thankful that Francis Bacon tried.

    5. Reshad Feild's Here to Heal

    In this book Reshad covers some basics that any healer requires to be successful in his art. He covers the three R's of healing: Recognition, Redemption, and Resurrection. The second R, redemption, he says, we keep ourselves from by erecting three walls around our heart: the walls of resentment, envy, and pride. (See my poem, "Three Walls", which was directly inspired by this book.) Unless we dissolve, shake apart, or tunnel through these walls we will not heal ourselves and thus will not be able to heal others.

    Feild discusses his experiences as healer of the earth, called a geomancer. By divining rods held over maps, he discovers vortices of negative energy and using iron rods clad with copper, he is able to divert the energy into useful channels. A couple at a small cottage have their peace interrupted by fires and floods (from an underground river, no less). He discovers that the nearby site of an old monastery had been paved over (shades of Amityville) and once he restored the disturbed flow of energy to its former path by directing it around the slab with his copper clad rods, peace was restored to the cottage.

    He gives directions for the Mother's Breath: a sequence of 7-1-7-1-7 breaths: actually a rhythm, not a fixed time sequence. This is the same rhythm used by smokers of marijuana to produce altered states of consciousness.

    Once when I was moving my furniture, a glass desktop sheared and a huge guillotine shard of glass sliced across my wrist. I automatically began breathing deeply and regularly in a similar fashion. The result was that the cut hardly bled at all. A friend who was watching me said she saw me stop the bleeding. That was the Mother's Breath I'm convinced now. Everyone should practice enough of this to ensure its availability in time of need.

    Read this book and be ready with the Mother's Breath.

    [Bobby's commentary found in handwriting from Back Inside Cover of Book]:

    April 20, 1989:
    Whenever you ask a question and happen to say remember when, if you mention a person, place or thing, you lead, via a subtle form of hypnosis, the other person into conjuring up an image of what you described. Do not do this unless that is your intention! ESPECIALLY note that the negation word "NOT" does not operate here. If I tell you "Do NOT think of a PINK briefcase," what color was the briefcase?

    June 4, 1989:
          Large Groups Suck:
    You must wait for everyone in the group to show up before you can move to another place. Thus, the person who has the most problems, the most kinks in their life, will hold up and inconvenience everyone else. This is the major difficulty with democracy. We are all dragged down to the lowest level of limitation, up until now!

      New Stuff on the Internet:
    • The Richard KLINE & Floyd FOGLEMAN Airfoil ( a new type of aerodynamic wing ) (Thanks to Ralph Lewis for sending this in). Click Here!
    • Store Front by LG Optimus in Berlin (Thanks to Anna Keller for sending this in). Click Here!


    Movies we watched this past month:

    Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, 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. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.
    P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray DVD movies from NetFlix.
    Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise ignore.):
    “An Angel for May” (2002) is Tom, a bored eleven-year old, who slips through a time hole into war torn England and befriends May and her dog. Coming back to 21st Century, he is not happy how May turned out and goes back to save her. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
    “Jagged Edge” (1984) classic thriller with Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close, very close, and Peter Coyote howling in the background. When Glenn gets Jeff acquitted of murdering his wife, the movie is eerily not over. Why? A DON’T MISS HIT !
    “He's Just Not That Into You” (2009) Lots of stars and all the relationships work out in the end except the married couple (dried prune & philanderer). See also digest35.
    “Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy” (1998) Herding cattle to market in pre-WWII times. A cowboy and his lady and a couple of kids. Fun, romantic, modern day oater.
    “Wonderful Life” (2009) Matthew Broderick as Ben Singer, grown up, is a loser and alone till he takes a trip to Senegal and becomes a singer again.
    “The Switch” (2010) only this time it wasn’t the bodies that got switched but the sperm. Proves even neurotics can have fun and make a great movie. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !

    “A French Gigolo” ( 2008) A young married guy needs extra money to keep his wife’s hair salon in business and stumbles into having sex with single women executives for money. One of them falls in love with him, and soon his wife finds out. Can either of these two love affairs be saved? Even the Gigolo doesn’t know.
    “The Battle of the Brave” (2009) woman who was beat up by her husband and sentenced to death for killing him, but refused to confess to his killing to the priest. Set during the time of the cowardly capitulation of Quebec to the British by corrupt officials more interested in their hides than their country. An engrossing DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “Takers” (2010) Best thing about this movie was Matt Dillon: finally played a good part and showed some acting skills as lead detective on capturing the robbers.
    “Jane Eyre” (2011) a new version of the classic Bronte novel with a new ending. Great scenery and outstanding acting.
    “Killers” (2010) 2nd Viewing, see Digest112. A funny romantic comedy about a husband who gave us a job with CIA as a killer to marry the love of his life and settle down in suburban obscurity. Just as she gets pregnant and has her hormones deranged, his boss shows up with a bevy of cupidic suburbanites to kill him. A stretch of reality, but a fun comedic farce with a happy ending. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “Way Down East” (1920) a D. W. Griffith film with Lillian Gish as an ingenue. After a pretend marriage, she is abandoned to have a baby on her own and lose it. Can this orphan ever recover from the infamy laid upon her?
    “Thesis” (1996) Angela working on her thesis is drawn to a study of violence and stumbles upon a snuff film and her Nancy Drew muscles work overtime and she becomes the subject of one. Can she escape? Who is her friend, if anybody? Suspenseful without being over gory.
    “Win Win” (2010) Paul Giamatti hits one out of the park in this story of a wrestling coach and his job as starving attorney in small town NJ. He takes a rich client as his guardian to feed his family and gets a wrestling star as a bonus. But can he make this into Win Win for both sides? A DON’T MISS WIN WIN!
    “The Fifth Quarter” (2010) true story of Wake Forest’s most successful football season after No. 5 dies and is memorialized by the fans.
    “My Louisiana Sky” (2001) Juliette Lewis stars as the whimsical aunt who helps Tiger Ann grow up and visit cosmopolitan Baton Rouge at menarche. Her simple-minded mother and father become heroes when a large hurricane hits their rural home. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !

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

    “Red Cliff” (2008) Drop this DVD off nearest cliff, red or not! How many Chinese warriors killing each does it take to change a light bulb? Who cares? A DVD STOMPER ! !
    “The Virginity Hit” (2010) teenagers treating sex like bungee jumping, a dare, a challenge, and turn growing up into a farce for a teenage boy who can’t think for himself because he surrounds himself with pals who tell him what to think and what to do and then film the very follies they lead him into. A DVD STOMPER ! ! !

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

    “Aura” (2005) about an epileptic taxidermist who planned bank heists in his head, until one day the one he got involved in one and well, things didn’t go as he planned. Barely enough dialogue to fill a teacup.

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    4. STORY:
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    Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission

    Thanks to Jeff Parsons for inspiring the Cajun Ghost Story below.

    Three Cajun boys Boudreaux, Lecompte, and Broussard attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette right out of high school. One day they walked into the middle of a public lecture where a professor who traveled around the country was lecturing on ghosts. He always asks if anyone in the audience has ever seen a ghost and he usually gets numerous responses. He also asks has anyone ever had sex with a ghost, but no one has ever answered yes to that question. The three Cajun buddies who grew up near each other on farms outside of Abbeville walked into the lecture as the professor was asking his second question, "Has anyone here ever had sex with a ghost?"

    The three buddies looked at each other and immediately raised their hands high in the air. The professor was flabbergasted! No one had ever replied yes to that question and here were three young men who did. He asked them to come up to the front of the room.

    "Which one of you would like to answer this next question first?"
    Boudreaux stuck his hand high in the air, "Mais, Ah would!"

    "Okay, can you tell me what it was like to have sex with a ghost?"

    Boudreaux looked at his two buddies and they whispered something in each other's ears.

    Finally the professor said, "Aren't you going to reply?"

    Boudreaux said, "Bon Dieu! Professor. We . . . we thought you said, 'with a Goat'."

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    5. RECIPE of the MONTH for November, 2011 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
    (click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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    Eggplant-meatballs & Spaghetti

    Background on Eggplant-meatballs & Spaghetti:

    There is no meat in these meatballs. This recipe is for folks who love the texture of meatballs and spaghetti, but who no longer eat meat. The meatballs are actually chunks of eggplant cooked until done but still retaining their shape. If there's a trick to this recipe, that's it. Learning how long to cook the eggplant chunks so they are tasty and still retain their shape. The timing I give is only approximate. You will need to experiment for yourself. One easy trick is starting with a Ragut or Newman's sauce out of a jar. We like Sockaroni by Newman's and the Parmesan-Romana from Ragu.

    1 lb thin spaghetti
    1 jar of Ragu Parmesanl-Romano or Newman's Sockaroni sauces
    1 can of Tomato Paste (medium can)
    1 can of Diced Tomatoes (or whole tomatoes, then chop them) 1 tsp of chopped garlic
    1 large eggplant
    8 oz mushrooms 2 yellow onions 1 bell pepper
    1 green onion
    Some fresh springs of parsley and basil
    Some Olive Oil
    Chop the various greens. Chop the yellow onions. Chop mushrooms in large chunks. Peel the eggplant. Cut eggplant in one to two inch chunks and put aside with the chopped mushrooms.

    Cooking Instructions
    Follow instructions for spaghetti on bag. For sauce: cover bottom of large sauce pan with olive oil. Turn heat on high and add a tsp of chopped onions until they sizzle aloud, then cut heat back to about medium. Add rest of onions and greens and saute until they are translucent and when onions begin to yellow or char, add the diced tomatoes, keep stirring. Next add the sauce from the jar, keep stirring. Add the tomato paste and stir until it is well mixed with the other ingredients. Watch your time as you add the eggplant meatballs (chunks) and mushrooms. They will need to cook about 15 minutes or until a fork enters the meatballs easily. This is a cook time to cook the spaghetti as it will be ready when the meatballs are cooked.

    Serving Suggestion
    Serve over spaghetti or other favorite pasta.

    Other options
    Use portobello or other favorite mushrooms.

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    6. POETRY from Review of From Comets to Cocaine
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             The Nose Knows

    Our brain grows from within
    To touch our skin.

    Because it cannot swim
    It tastes the world from within
    It feels the world
    Because it cannot swim
    It feels fit and trim
    Because it cannot swim.

    Our brain grows
    To meet our nose
    It smells the world
    Because it cannot fly

    Birds fly because they cannot think
    Our brain thinks because it cannot fly.
    As any human knows
    We owe a lot to our nose.
    We think ourselves sly
    Because we cannot fly.

    Our dreams have wings
    And other things
    That smile
    Like butterflies.

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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for November:
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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: Driving Mr. Albert — A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain by Michael Paterniti

    Is this book fact or fiction? Didn't matter to me, as I had too much fun reading it. Paterniti's play with words leads the reader to bungee jump over steep "metaphoric ledges" swinging at prosodic pinatas all the way down.

    Michael was on a ledge with his own life and the idea of locating a weird doctor who dissected Einstein and now possessed his brain was too tantalizing for him to pass up. Like many others he had tried unsuccessfully to locate Tom Harvey and failed. Then one day a random conversation led to a discovery.

    [page viii] As time passed, I thought less and less frequently about Einstein's brain, filed it in life's arcana file. But several years later, living in New Mexico, I struck up a friendship with my landlord, a man named Steven, who randomly happened to be friends with the writer William Burroughs. A veteran of all things cool and outré, Steven often watered the flower garden in his adobe compound where I lived. When I told him about Einstein's brain, he didn't even blink. "Yeah, the guy with the brain lives next to William in Lawrence, Kansas," he said.

    Not believing Steven till he came up with the doctor's phone number from Burroughs, he called the number and said, "Uhhh . . . Is this Thomas Harvey?" and got a prompt, "Way-ell, yes, it sure is." The sound of Tom's Kentucky drawl gets to be an old friend by the end of this trek across America from the Jersey Shore to the Golden Gate. How did the idea of the trip begin for Michael who was otherwise stagnated in his life, as he put it, "a perfect study in uselessness"?

    [page 18] During these months, I visited Dr. Harvey three or four times. Once, when we went for sushi together, Harvey vaguely mentioned that he needed to take care of some business "out West." Before leaving Kansas, he'd had a little fender bender, so there was the matter of meeting with insurance people. And then he said he was hoping to get to California to see several neuroanatomists who'd studied pieces of Einstein's brain. But most important, he wanted to meet Evelyn Einstein, the granddaughter of Albert, who lived in Berkeley. Although he didn't explain why, I assumed he might be facing down some late-in-life desire to resolve the past with the Einstein family once and for all. Or, before his age permanently grounded him, maybe he wanted to hand the brain over to the next of kin.

    So Michael blurted out, "I could drive you" surprising even himself. Harvey's reply was classic, "Way-ell, I don't see why not." So, the "directionless one" was going to drive the pathologist and his prize, the shiny pearl in the oyster of Einstein's skull, from sea to shimmering sea.

    His trip began in Portland, Maine where his live-in friend girl, Sara, dropped him off at the bus stop. In Boston he switched to a train and offers this vignette of the difference between bus riders and train riders when he encounters the train riders after a long bus ride.

    [page 29] On board, there nothing but easterners: cashmere-sweatered students on their way from Harvard to Yale for a debating contest, businesspeople with briefcases and laptop computers, well-dressed older folks off on a museum trip to Manhattan. These were train people with their subdued bonhomie rather than bus people with their naked desperation.

    The brain is ensconced in Harvey's duffel bag and placed in the trunk of Michael's Buick Skylark during the trip. Michael wants to see the brain, but can't figure out how to get Harvey to say, "Way-ell, okay." Instead he day-dreams of how he might sneak a peak, a touch, of the magnificent treasure tucked away in his trunk.

    [page 42] A confession: I want Harvey to sleep. I want him to fall into a deep, blurry, Rip Van Winkle daze, and I want to park the Skylark mother-ship and walk around to the trunk and open it. I want Harvey snoring loudly as I unzip the duffel bag and reach my hands inside, and I want to — what? — touch Einstein's brain. I want to touch the brain. Yes, I've admitted it. I want to hold it, coddle it, measure its weight in my palm, handle some of its fifteen billion now-dormant neurons. Does it feel like tofu, sea urchin, bologna? What, exactly? And what does such a desire make me? One of the relic freaks? Or something worse?

    It is as if Michael were singing to his Buick subcompact, in the words of Johnny Mercer's famous lyrics:

    Skylark, have you anything to say to me?
    Won't you tell me where my love can be?

    The answer is "in the trunk, of course". Michael yearned to touch Einstein's brain, to ride it like a ray of light as Einstein once dreamed, "To clasp time itself. To feel the warp and wobble of the universe." (Page 43) He thought of Einstein's thoughts:

    [page 43] "I am a deeply religious nonbeliever," he said. "This is a somewhat new kind of religion." Pushing further, he sought to marry science and religion by redefining their terms. "I am of the opinion that all the finer speculations in the realm of science spring from a deep religious feeling," he said. "I also believe that this kind of religiousness . . . is the only creative religious activity of our time."

    When Michael calls Evelyn for the first time to discuss a meeting between her and Tom Harvey, she reveals a sense of humor similar to her grandfather's, "she says, 'Ah, yes, the White Rabbit.' Then falls silent for a moment. 'He lived in Kansas; his name's Harvey. Enough said." By this time in the book, we have witnessed enough of Dr. Tom Harvey's hijinks to think of him as Jimmy Stewart's oversized, imaginary white rabbit! Evelyn expresses some disgust, demurs, and then relents with the thought, "I'm interested in science." The game is still afoot and early the next morning they are flying westward in the Skylark and the author lays out a picturesque metaphor, "The earth of Ohio looks pale and vulnerable, as if it's been under a winter-long Band-Aid."

    In Kansas City, they stop to visit Raye, one of Harvey's ex-wives, who walked out on him years before. As Michael watches Harvey ineptly helping Raye fold flat her empty boxes from a recent move, he muses to himself, "By the time we reach San Francisco, I suspect I'll be gray and hunched myself."

    [page 76] Now, witnessing Harvey rendered somewhat useless, I wonder how it is that you become a man with ex-wives and ex-families, how you start as a young doctor with all the promise in the world and end up working in a plastics factory. And how you wake up near the end of that life in a body that betrays the will of your mind, rusted by rickety joints that walk you down the hall three times slower than they once did. Until you somehow find yourself standing in a generic Kansas City living room with a religious calendar on the wall, with half of America behind you and another half to go, doing mortal battle with a cardboard box, as if it's some wild alligator.

    After dinner in a kitschy restaurant they take Raye back to her daughter's house, and Michael watches the awkward goodbye of Harvey and Raye and distracts himself by listening to the hog prices on the radio.

    [page 78] And then Harvey is crab-walking back to the mother ship, falls in with a sigh of good-bye relief. Later, hundreds of miles from here, he'll realize he's misplaced his green beret, left perhaps on the table in the living room. But now we buckle and ease back out of the driveway, accelerate and vanish, jetting beneath the flare of streetlights, unspooling across the country again. Harvey and I and Einstein's brain, in the ashram of the Skylark, counting the beads of our memory, our losses and gains.

    The author layers on top of his trans-America travelogue, as if it were a thick slice of stone-grounded bread, a thick fruit compote of quotes and stories about Einstein. For example, this quote: When asked about relativity, Einstein summed it up for reporters like this, "An hour sitting with a pretty girl on a park bench passes like a minute, but a minute sitting on a hot stove seems like an hour." (Page 80) Or the surprising fact that Einstein did not receive a Nobel Prize for his e=mc2 equivalence, nor for his paradigm-shaking theory of relativity, but rather for his explanation for the photoelectric effect, which provided the evidence proving that light beams consist of photons. (Page 82)

    The chunks of fruit in the author's tasty compote were the juicy stories involving famous people Einstein hobnobbed with and shared thoughts with from all over the world.

    [page 84] He met Sigmund Freud and Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka and Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian mystic. In letters he shared pacifist sympathies with Gandhi. He supped with his friend Charlie Chaplin and the publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst . . . and became fast friends with the queen of Belgium . . .

    All these things and many more from the man whose chopped-up brain sloshed away, preserved in Tupperware containers in the trunk of the Skylark traveling from coast to coast. And all along the way, Michael is amazed by Harvey — how he manages his life, going from thing to thing apparently unfazed by it all — and bundles Harvey's complexities and contradictions into a series of insightful metaphors.

    [page 95] Harvey seems to travel through life with far fewer regrets. If he's a sinner, he doesn't seem to know it yet. If he's a car, then he's the one doing fifty-five in the right-hand lane of the highway, forgetfully, unapologetically, flashing a blinker he long ago acted on — and he's been on this highway for over forty years. If he's a house, then he's one with lots of disconnected additions, each new one built in six- and seven-year spurts — full of new wives, kids, and jobs, the only constant being the wallpaper, pink floral blooms of brains floating to the ceiling.

    If Michael is intrigued by Harvey's life, it's probably because he lived in similar spurts with various women but no kids. If I'm intrigued by this book, it's partly because my own life went through such spurts with wives but with kids and thankless stepkids.

    Now as he drives west from Kansas City into the open prairies, Michael's most recent squeeze is staying behind in New England and has not been answering her phone for days. He muses about his life and the girl he left behind to some uncertain fate.

    [page 101] Days pass and months pass and years pass and you light the holy candle of yourself by the glimmer of someone else, and just when you think you're burned out on her, you realize that she's the single thing that raises you above yourself. And now she's dumped you flat and taken up with a lumberjack or that sensitive guy in town who runs the bookstore or the FedEx man who wears tight shorts in the summer. That guy! How could she?

    On page 131 the author says that the Japanese characters for "Relativity Principle" are quite similar to those for "love" and "sex". I recall learning that the Chinese ideogram for "crisis" embodied the two ideograms for "danger" and "opportunity", and I notice that this bit of etymological musing about the relativity principle has placed me on that park bench next to the pretty girl for an hour which seems like a minute.

    Eventually our intrepid trio makes it to California, into the Southland, as locals call the L. A. Basin. Nothing cures the boredom of the monotonous desert faster than a strong shot of 190 Proof Rush Hour Freeway Driving into L. A.

    [page 163] We make Los Angeles at rush hour. After three days of driving through the desert, the city explodes in a psychedelic flash of lush pam trees and red taillights on I-10. We pass a gold-earringed Asian woman, driving a red BMW with a vanity plate that reads 2SUCCESS. It seems the cars here — the Hummers, Jags, and Benzes; the Accords, Jettas, even the Escorts — gleam with their own declaration of erotic or financial prowess: 8MILL; ORGAZ; MONEY. As if everyone is trying to leave some indelible impression of themselves in this five-second casting call of heavy traffic.

    One last glimpse of Mr. Albert when his brain was still intact in his skull, proffered this time by the great political commentator and life critic, Will Rogers, who described one of Einstein's visits to L.A.:

    [page 165] "He came here for rest and seclusion. He ate with everybody, talked with everybody, posed for everybody . . . attended every luncheon, every dinner, every movie opening, every marriage, and two-thirds of the divorces. In fact, he made himself such a good fellow that nobody had the nerve to ask what his theory was."

    Now, like Wiley Post or Wile E. Coyote, we have jumped over a book full of Paterniti's steep metaphoric ledges and have fallen into oblivion or just into the next chapter. We can now lay down our Whiffle bat as no more dazzling pinatas filled with juicy prose will be flying past us. We have placed Mr. Albert's billions of synapses in the hands of young Elliot Krauss at Princeton and allowed Dr. Tom Harvey to go off into his good night. Was it just a minute or an hour ago we started this adventure? You know — the one we call life.

    Read the Review at:

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    I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.

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    In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.

    1. Padre Filius Reminded of LIFE Cereal TV Ad:

    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 with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.

    This month the good Padre reads a Sign over a Microwave.

    2.Comments from Readers:

    • EMAIL from JoAnn Estay Walker re October Issue of DIGESTWORLD:
      Wow what a job well done, enjoyed it so much.Take care. Hello to Del.
    • EMAIL Duplicates, A Caveat.
      Dear Readers,
      During our transition to the new email system for sending out DIGESTWORLD Reminders, one or more of you may receive two reminders as did Josef Graf. The second email had his name as Peterson, and when Josef's email came to Unsubscribe under a different name, I worried about his health. Here's the email I received after I inquired about him.


      Just that I was getting two of the same thing every time — so one should be removed. Thanks, hope all is going well for you all,
      Josep Graf

    • EMAIL from Israel:
      Subject: Rudolf Steiner's Mission and Ita Wegman


      Thank you for the book review by Bobby Matherne of Rudolf Steiner's Mission and Ita Wegman by Margarete & Erich Kirchner-Bockholt, which apeard in the internet site:

      Me and some other friends in Israel are studying this subject, Most of us are members of various Israeli branches of the Anthroposophical Society.

      We have to translate English texts to Hebrew for the some of our members, and need your permission to do it.

      It will be very kind by you to let the people in Israel to get acquainted with the book review in Hebrew.

      Many Thanks,

      Benzion Porat

    • EMAIL To/From son Rob:
      Dear Rob,

      Check out the new Richard Kline & Floyd Fogleman Airfoil (airplane wing) here:

      Project for your son, Walden, perhaps his dad?

      ~~~~~~~~ REPLY from ROB:

      Aha! Note in the video the white foam on top of the wing... KF-2 airfoil :)

      Bottom Line: Rob had already examined the new airfoil and incorporated it in a remote-control aircraft of his as shown in this video. Watch the top video first to learn about new airfoil and then watch Rob's plane in flight using the KF-2 Airfoil.

    • EMAIL To/From Jeff Parsons in Florida:
      I have made it to big time. I have made the Good Mountain Press. Thank you.

      Here’s a story you might like to use.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY: Thanks, Jeff!

      Hope you recognize it in its reincarnation as a Cajun Ghost Story in November Issue of DIGESTWORLD!

      warm regards,

    • EMAIL from Vesa Loikas in Turku, Finland:
      Dear Bobby -

      How are you?

      I just got back from a trip to Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium. I got in last night at 1am and slept most of today. Wonderful trip and some great photographs. It was our 25th reunion of international students from 4 continents who were exchange students in midwest in the late 80's. I had not seen those people for 25 years, but all went well and ate some great food and saw some beautiful sights. I'll attach a couple of shots from the trip (and will be releasing more later at .

      Take care,

    • EMAIL from grand-daughter Tiffany:
      Hey Granpa,

      I just got these emailed to me. I hope you can open them. Enjoy!

      Love you,

      Tiffany Ostarly

      NOTE: These are our two football playing Great-Grandsons, Aven and Ben.

    3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "Story of First Thanksgiving"

    Give me your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free and I will give them taxes, regulations, restrictions, and every manner of unfairness ever created by persons saddled with the illusion that they can decide what is best for someone else's welfare. The individual, like the business professional, knows what's best in a given situation and, given the freedom, will take that action. The forces of coercion are prying open the shell that contains the living muscle and spirit of the American people — will we resist those forces and keep our muscles and spirit alive, free to open at will, or will we give up like the oyster and settle for "freedom on the half shell?" Here is another poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:

    Story of First Thanksgiving

    ~ PROLOGUE ~

    After the first plentiful harvest of the Pilgrims, they celebrated the event we call the "First Thanksgiving Day". It was a day which would not have happened but for their abandonment of the principles of socialism and communism which had utterly failed them during their first year. This is a fact that is glossed over in our school systems and culture annually, up until now. The First Thanksgiving Day, rightly understood, is a testament to the importance of private property as a basis for prosperity and human dignity.

    The Pilgrims’ experience has become dim memory, and in recent decades we have slipped once again into “taking from each according to his ability” by so-called “progressive” tax rates and “giving to each according to his need” by so-called “government” give-away programs. My poem below endeavors to speak aloud the facts of the case so that every Thanksgiving we can give a clarion call to restore the true basis of freedom in our land: a free enterprise system that recognizes that human rights begin with property rights. A free enterprise system that does not abridge the property rights of any human being in this great land from now on!

    Leonard E. Read, speaking in 1961, remembered that first year of the Pilgrims in America this way:

    I would like to go back, a little over three centuries in our history, to the year 1620, which was the occasion of the landing of our Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth Rock. That little colony began its career in a condition of pure and unadulterated communism. For it made no difference how much or how little any member of that colony produced; all the produce went into a common warehouse under political authority, and the proceeds of the warehouse were doled out in accordance with the authority’s idea of need. In short, the Pilgrims began the practice of a principle held up by Karl Marx two centuries later: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" — and by force! Now, there was a good reason why these communalistic practices were discontinued. It was because the members of the Pilgrim colony were starving and dying. As a rule, that type of experience causes people to stop and think about it!

    And they did. During the third winter Governor Bradford got together with the remaining members of the colony and said to them, in effect, that this coming spring they would try a new idea: each individual has a right to the fruits of his own labor. And when Governor Bradford said that, he enunciated the foundation of private property as clearly and succinctly as any economist ever had. The next harvest was plentiful. Governor Bradford recorded that: "Any generall wante or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day."

                 Story of the First Thanksgiving — Poem

    In the year of 1620
    On the shore near Plymouth Rock
    A pilgrim band sailed into dock
    In this virgin land of plenty.

    By rule of the majority
    They agreed to share their harvest,
    They plowed and planted all their best
    Without the hint of a calamity.

    The winds of winter chased the warm
    And painted snow flowers on the pane,
    The icy drafts blew on stomachs
    As empty as the frozen barn.

    Their sharing pact failed the test,
    Though they didn't falter in the least,
    But when the time came to share the feast,
    All they could share was their emptiness.

    The meager food and starvation
    Devastated the colony.
    There were no food stamps then, you see,
    Only freedom in this nation.

    The governor's hands rose in despair,
    "If we are going to save this town,
    Everyone must be on his own,
    Drop all the rules, try laissez-faire."

    Soon the pilgrims would discover
    What we, alas, have long forgot.
    Left alone to their resources
    To plant and harvest on their own,
    They brought abundance to their home,
    Thanksgiving with many courses.

    Too many years ago you say
    To have a lesson for today?
    Look at Japan, for such a feat
    Did cause history to repeat.

    General Mac in post war Japan
    Had control of the economy,
    "How many items by our factory
    Do you deem best to happen?"

    Getting full of questions like this
    Caused the general to bellow,
    "There will be no rules to follow,
    Do whatever you think is best."

    The rest is anthropology
    Created by technology,
    Once more we see prosperity
    Can only grow in liberty.


    In the two years in our new house the center faucet in the kitchen has been driving us crazy trying to stop its incessant dripping. We called the plumber soon after we moved in and he replaced two spring-loaded rubber washer and sure enough the dripping stopped, for about two weeks. By careful placement of the one-handled Delta faucet, we could stop the dripping, but over the next two years, it got more and more difficult to stop the dripping. I considered switching the faucet with the identical one in the Laundry Room which never dripped, but decided to give the plumber, another plumber, a chance to fix the problem. I suggested to him before he began working that he simply switch the faucets and he said, “No, doing that with older faucets often ends up breaking both of them.” Sounded smart so I acceded to his imparted wisdom. What did he do? Replaced the two spring-loaded washers, put the faucet back together, and it stopped dripping, for about two weeks. Doesn’t that sound familiar?

    I decided I had to take the situation in hand and wrench. I wrenched both faucets off the two sinks and switched them. In the process of doing this I noticed that the Laundry Room had a plastic globe with holes in it to mix the hot and cold water and the Kitchen had a bronze-colored metallic-looking ball. I cleaned off the metallic globe and notice a curious groove looking very much like sinuous creek bed about a half-inch long, leading from one of the holes. If that groove would happen to bridge the edge of the rubber washer, what would happen? A drip would occur! Here in my hand was the cause of the drip! What did I do but exactly what the plumber had rejected doing, switching the faucets. Plus I actually cleaned the ball and inspected it. I had told the second plumber that this was the second time this problem had occurred and that the first plumber had done the same thing he was doing. That makes the second plumber dumber than the first plumber as he did exactly the same thing and got exactly the same result: the leak returned in two weeks!

    All I needed to do was to find a replacement ball, either plastic or metallic, and the leak would be fixed forever. But it was on a Sunday when I made the discovery, so completed the switch of the two faucets tops. The metallic ball one went into the Laundry Room where, if you push it to the far left, will not drip. The plastic ball went into the Kitchen where it simply does not leak!

    If and when the Laundry Room faucet begins to drip, I know of a couple of plumbing supply houses where I might find a replacement ball. One note: the replacement of the two faucets went well. I needed only a rachet-pliers to open the top and remove the handle and the ball. Replacing the ball was not so easy, as the holes had to be aligned properly and the washers at the top also had a tightening adjustment. But with a few attempts, I was able to get everything aligned, re-tightened, and working fine. I did in a half hour without any parts what we paid two different plumbers over $200 to do and they blithely both used the same ineffective method of fixing the drip. The first plumber was dumb, the second plumber was dumber.

    When we moved into this larger house two years ago, Del promised me that I would not longer have to be the roofer, electrician, carpenter, and plumber anymore, that my Maintenance Man days were over. As this examples shows, a Handy Man can be more valuable around the house than expensive paid servicemen. I gave the two plumbers their chance to strike out the Drip, but each was dumber than the other. The Handy Man came in and a got a Save!

    5. Violet-n-Joey Go to South Africa

    We are delighted to announce that we have given permission for one of Bobby's 1980 Violet-n-Joey cartoons to be published by Macmillan in a school book in South Africa. The cartoon is "Strange Dream" and you can see it in our DIGESTWORLD Issue #32.

    6. APOLOGY

    We apologize for those of you who received two DIGESTWORLD Reminders due to an error I made in using the new Template and Emailer. The problem has been solved. Thanks for your patience as we strive to improve the look while ensuring delivery of your Reminders.
    Most cordially,
    Bobby Matherne

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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 ! ! !

    We have received over ONE MILLION VISITORS per Year to the Doyletics Website since its inception June 1, 2000, over twenty years ago. Almost 2 million in the past 12 months. We are currently averaging about 150,000 visitors a month. A Visitor is defined as a Reader who is new or returns after 20 minutes or more has passed. The average is about one visitor for every 10 Hits.


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    Check out the new additions to the Famous and Interesting Quotations at:

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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 to bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.

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    A Short Email Reminder for the Newest Good Mountain Press Digest is mailed monthly to:

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    Any questions about this DIGESTWORLD ISSUE, Contact: Bobby Matherne
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