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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#12b
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Patricia Dunbar (1934 - 2012) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ Yokefellow Center Director and long-time Friend and Colleague ] ~~~~~

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Quote for the Thanksgiving Month of November:

Sanity is a madness put to good uses.
George Santayana (1863-1952)

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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#12b for November 2012
                  Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

             Table of Contents

1. November's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for November
3. On a Personal Note
       Flowers of Shanidar Poems
       Movie Blurbs

4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Icebergs
6. Poem from Yes, and Even More!:"Machine Miracles"
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
      4. Two Letters to the Editors of Duodecim Journal in Finland

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

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1. November Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
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For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, 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 Possibilities.

#1 "Possibilities" 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, 2012:

Yahia Lababidi, Egyptian Aphorist

Michael Ivory in California

Congratulations, Yahia and Michael!

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Out Our Way:


All novel plots can be characterized in one of two ways: 1) A Stranger Comes to Town and 2) A Hero Goes on a Journey. Last month's Issue focused on the former, Hurricane Isaac as a stranger comes to town, and this issue focuses on the latter, our staff goes on a journey.

What's a Publisher to do when his entire Staff takes a vacation the last two weeks of October which are the busiest time for meeting the November Deadline? That was my dilemma when Del and I scheduled a Cruise from Amsterdam up the Rhine River and down the Danube River to Budapest: what were we going to do about the November Issues of DIGESTWORLD? Until a few hours ago in my planning meeting, lying abed at 3 AM, I didn't have a plan other than to create a Double Issue for November/December as I did back in the Spring for April/May Issue. I had no review completed for the November Issue, even though I had finished reading one book, and I didn't want an issue to go without at least one Review.

I hope you will enjoy the way we've solved the situation by publishing an abbreviated November Issue. No Reviews, but you will have a teaser about a Review, The Last Dragonslayer, which will appear in the December Issue. The teaser includes links to six previous books I have reviewed by the same author, Jasper Fforde. During the month, anyone coming to the November Digest will be able to check if the new Review is ready — which it will likely be by the second week of November. Till then, enjoy the report of our Journey through a half-dozen European countries and the photos I took.


I have always disliked the expression "To Die For" when used to refer to something one might earnestly wish for. Similarly "Death by Chocolate" falls into the same category: it is cute, punchy, but wired backwards, in my opinion. I prefer saying about such things that they are "To Live For" or so far as chocolate desserts that are over-achievers, "Life by Chocolate".

One night we were watching a great movie, "Friends with Kids" (2011), which is like an inverted "When Harry Met Sally" in that the two stars are long-time friends who cannot find that special person to marry and so decide to have a child together, striving to remain unmarried friends and as single parents, pursuing romance elsewhere. Their son becomes their only link to each other for almost ten years when he begins asking his daddy why he has to go somewhere else to sleep.

During the final dramatic scene, where Jason has decided that the time he has had together Julie is the best and most romantic times of all, he pauses at the door before leaving forever. Del and I know that he had just left and that he had returned to tell her what was in his heart, and we don't know if he will be thrown out again, or if Julie will melt into his arms, or if Julie's latest boy friend will knock on the door to break up the fragile reunion, when suddenly we hear a strong knocking on the door! Jason and Jule ignore the knocking, which gets very rapid, and we wonder why the two lovers seem to be ignoring the knocking, were they so much in love? Suddenly Del says, "It's our front door!" We run to open the door and it is our neighbor Connie from next door with a package of some kind for us. Seemed a strange time, about 9 pm to deliver mail. I motioned to Connie to wait as Del was running to reset the alarm. I talked to Connie through the glass door, but couldn't make out what she had in her hands. When Del got back, we opened the door to find that Connie was holding a tray of still warm, large chocolate confections for us. The two large brownie looking things comprised a new dessert she had just made and wanted us to have them right away, "Or Don will eat the whole thing."

Thanking her, we rushed back into Timberlane Screening Room took movie back to PLAY and watched the conclusion of "Friends with Kids" while noshing on the delicious dessert Connie so sweetly and thoughtfully brought us. The movie also had a sweet ending as Jason told Julie, "The time we spent together was the most romantic time of my life and I want it full-time." Julie knew this much earlier and finally melted into Jason's arms, just as Connie's luscious chocolate concoction melted into our mouths! ! ! I told Connie the rest of the story the next morning and told her what I called her dessert. I've always hated "Death by Chocolate" as a name and thought her delicious dessert deserved the name "Life by Chocolate" and she agreed. It is definitely "To Live For".


Our grandson Thomas is a junior at Our Holy Savior Menard Catholic High School in Alexandria. Menard is a small parochial school in Central Louisiana and has to play against local public schools with a much larger population of football players to draw upon, meaning they most often have larger and faster football players. The Homecoming Game this year was against one of those schools, Many High School, and the Menard Eagles were underdogs who were determined to make up for their lack of size with an abundance of heart!

Del and I drove to our daughter Kim's house and went with her to Menard High School for the Pep Rally for Homecoming Game of the Menard Eagles against the Many Tigers. We watched the 8th through 12th grades send a representative group of 3 to 4 cheer leaders to the gym floor to do a peppy cheer routine. Toe-tapping teen songs and high-energy rap songs filled the gym as the costumed groups danced, ran, gestured, and acted out their frenetic numbers to get the audience excited about the football game that night.

As I watched, I imagine what kind of routine I might create if I were given a chance. I imagined a teen in a mask and cape (bright Menard green of course) taking on 11 other teens dressed as Many Tigers, and sweeping them aside with a swoop of his cape causing them to fall on the floor. At that moment two gals in Eagle Green outfits would circle the caped hero with a banner reading, ONE AGAINST MANY.

That night we went to the football game and the Many Tigers seemed to be too much for the Menard Eagles, taking a lead of of 27 to 17 late in the fourth quarter with only a couple of minutes left. To win, Menard would have to score two touchdowns or a TD and two field goals, and that seemed impossible for them to do against Many who had run all over them most of the game. But Menard fought back to a TD, and were down 27-24 with a minute to go. They kicked an on-side kick and recovered the ball, but were only able to make it to the 7 yard line and went for a FG and made it 27 - 27 with time running out. I took a photo of the game clock on the field saying 27-27 and 13 seconds left in the game. Menard kicked another onside kick, again recovered it, and made one long pass to get into field goal range. With 2 seconds left, they kicked a second field goal to win 30-27! Out-manned by Many, Menard won by heart. Look at this photo of Menard's Coach leading the Eagle football players in a prayer following the game. It was a huge comeback win with our grandson Thomas playing 90 percent of the game, leading the charge on offense, and calling the signals on defense, playing with every ounce of strength in his 5'9" body filling the No. 59 green jersey he wore so proudly.

The little team, Menard, found the heart to be the One who defeated the Many on the gridiron battlefield that night. The score wasn't written up in the large newspapers, wasn't mentioned on ESPN, and wasn't recorded by the Associated Press, but it was written forever in the hearts of those of us who were present that night.

In the stands that night pulling for Menard were two notable figures: one was a Two-Star General, head of the Louisiana National Guard and two was a member of the LSU Golden Girls, Allison Stewart. Allison was Del's niece by a previous marriage and we have a photo of our grandson Thomas holding Allison on his shoulders to watch a Mardi Gras night parade in New Orleans.


To the surprise of no Saints Football fan, our quarterback, Drew Brees, has breezed his way into the NFL records by surpassing the immortal Johnny Unitas's long-standing record of throwing a touchdown in 47 successive games. As of the end of October, Drew has reached 50 straight games. He has reached the point with many of his records, like with this one, where he is breaking his own records with each stretch of his arm and flick of the ball. His spirals might not be as gigantic as Unitas or Y. A. Tittle, but they are every bit as accurate. Plus his athletic side-stepping of streaking defenders trying to sack him is always a thing of beauty, like Rudolf Nureyev deftly gliding past Dame Margot Fonteyn on the ballet stage.


In Section 6, I have included a poem about how machines that work perfectly fail exactly when you need them to, but it's rarely clear at the moment of failure that it's something you need to happen. What happened to me while trying to load software for my Hand Scanner falls into this category. A little background, for Christmas in 2011, Del gave me a hand scanner. I loaded the software into my Toshiba Laptop and took it with me on our cruise of the Panama Canal in January and to our mountain cabin near Hot Springs, Arkansas in February. I was amazed by how easy it was to operate and how accurately it converted the text I scanned into editable text for my word processor. It is my Harry Potter wand and it magically types in text from books I am reviewing and saves my fingertips from unnecessary typing. In April on the second day of a month-long cruise from New Orleans to Istanbul, my Toshiba cratered. Instead of booting up, it sat there and grunted quiet disk-access-type grunts. I was without a laptop for the entire trip, but even worse, when I returned home and bought a replacement LT, I couldn't find my ABBYY hand scanner software disk. Finally with a week left before our river cruise, I ordered a replacement disk for the software. Here's what happened:

The requested CD arrived by snail mail, and I was ready to load its ABBYY software to run my hand scanner. I placed the CD into my new Lap Top, and it only clicked erratically and continuously. I removed CD, inspected it, noticed some smudges, so I cleaned it. Put it back in LT, and same thing. Removed it and went through the extensive repair cycle to remove scratches, hexes, and voodoo from the CD. Same thing. In desperation, I took the CD and put it into my older workstation which runs Windows XP, and it loaded the software perfectly. Go figure! I thought perhaps it was my LT's new DVD reader which didn't handle older CD's. There was a hardware failure of some kind. A Machine Miracle had happened.

I gave up! I figured that I'd never get the ABBYY software loaded on my new LT, so I marked the CD as questionable, and I put it on the top of my bookcase. I decided to work on something completely different, so I bent down to locate a disk to load some other software on Windows 7 computer. When I placed my hand on the top of the PC Mainframe box sitting under my workstation, I pulled out the ORIGINAL ABBYY CD which came with the Hand Scanner, the one I had originally loaded and used on my now defunct LT. I carefully compared to the new CD I had just received to the original CD I had just stumbled upon, and the two CD's looked identical. I put the original CD into my LT and it immediately loaded without a problem! What had happened? I haven't a clue!

What I do know is that just when I had given up on the whole Hand Scanner project, the original CD fell into my hands and it worked and loaded into my new LT! Another Machine Miracle! Perhaps you're thinking that if I had 30 years of expertise in computer hardware that I could understand what happened, but I have 50 year of experience and I still can't understand it. I would need special hardware to test both disks and both LT drives, and even then I might not understand it. As we say in the computer field, if it happens once forget it. Sometimes, in computers, as in life, understanding is the booby prize.


The first night aboard ship in Amsterdam, we sat down in the dining room at a table with Sherry and Al, Mona and Warren, and Janice and Greg, three couples we later spent many hours sharing a meal, walking on a tour, or just having an interesting conversation with. On a cruise, the key conversation opener is, "Where are you from?" Everything just flows from that point, like the Rhine River flows down from the Alps.

The next morning we awoke to find ourselves in Kinderdijk. It sounds like Kinderdike, the ijk in Dutch is always pronounced as ike, and is a UNESCO site because it contains 19 of the original windmills for which Holland is famous, all in one easy-to-walk to location. Note that I said easy, not comfortable; the weather was horrible on this day. Horrible for sight-seeing, that is, but for duck hunting, it would have been perfect. Give me a shot gun, a dry blind, some warm boudin sausage, and a couple of hunting buddies and it would have been perfect weather. The one thing duck hunters do not do is walk across large open areas in the cold wind with rain blowing in our face. We hunker down and wait for the raw weather to send flying ducks into the gun sights of our steel-shot pump guns. With the ground around the blind peppered with red and green shell casings, the retriever plowing through the water with the latest pintail in its mouth, it doesn't get any better than that.

Take that same weather and walk along a ridge to look at antiquated windmills while a wind chill of 31 is freezing your tootsies, that's another thing. But we did get to go inside a working windmill, see how the wind rotates the large axle which lifts the water from the lower canal into the higher one. These windmills are the last resort, being pressed into use only if the electric pumps or the electricity fails and the diesel powered ones run out of fuel or fail. The tour guide made a point of explaining how pumps were sent to New Orleans after Katrina to help remove the flood waters, but never mentioned how the Dutch engineers came to New Orleans over a hundred years ago to learn how to make the huge water pumps which our local engineer invented. His pump designs are still being used a hundred years later. The pumps can pass through an entire king-sized mattress without getting clogged up.

In our visit we learned that space is limited in the miller's quarters, so he and his family have to learn to sleep sitting up in four foot long beds. Made us all long to be back aboard ship and stretched out in our king-sized beds, and as soon as we had walked about twenty minutes in the cold and rain, we were able to do that again.

Back on board we met Troy's lady friend, Juby, who told Del, "What's wrong with this toilet paper? Its so rough I got splinters in my ass!" We sat down to lunch with Claude and Rita from Portland, Maine, who both speak French and Claude called me Robért afterwards. Later we met and talked with Marty and June from Alaska who have owned a lodge on an island there for 29 years. I asked Marty what's the best time of year for fishing there and he said, "July." When I mentioned that fact to Del, her response was a curt, "I don't fish." Which I followed with an equally curt, "I don't care." Actually I do care that she would be happy while I'm fishing, so I suggested that she talk to June who mentioned fun things for Del to do, like exploring local glaciers and hunting grizzlies. Okay, I lied about the grizzlies.

At supper we eat with Barry & his wife Mary, plus Fred and his wife Liz. Del went to Gin & Cheese lecture after dinner.


One could never say Cologne Stinks, but it certainly Smells, as it was the world's first perfume center. So much early perfume came from Cologne that the most popular name for perfume is the name of the city itself, Cologne. Since the Rhine River flows through Cologne, I suppose you could call the Rhine the original Eau d'Cologne.

In Cologne (Köln, in German) our knowledgeable tour guide was Detlev Linde. I found out that he writes kiddie books on the web which you can buy one and have it written especially for some special kid. Detlev hinted it was expensive, but worth it. It was a cold, dreary, and rainy morning, in other words, the beginning of a fine German day. Oh, did I forget, "very windy"? Es tut mir leid. You can get away with almost anything in Germany if you remember that phrase, spoken as "Ess toot mere light" and means "I'm sorry." English is definitely shorter for most expressions than German.

One pretentious tour guide, not Detlev, said that "Gemütlichkeit" had no direction translation in English, but I could forgive her because she has probably never experienced "Southern Hospitality" — an expression, which if you say it quickly, will sound like one word and will create the feeling of the German word Gemütlichkeit in anyone who experiences it. Once we started walking with Detlev, the rain stopped and we made it to the Dom (nice word meaning Cathedral and easier to spell, an exception to the rule that German words are usually longer) and went inside for a visit. I had only seen it from the outside during my 1998 visit as I recall, and I welcomed a chance to get up close and personal with St. Ursula.

This Dom was not bombed, except one bomb which fell by accident. The cathedral was begun in the 1200s, it was finished in 1800s, so it's like a living museum of the History of Stained Glass. Ursula was a saint who refused to budge off of her blatant "NO" when Attila the Hun demanded that she marry him. Attila proceeded to kill a virgin each time she refused him, and when he ran out of other virgins, he shot her.

Detlev told us the story of a priest who transported a statue of Christ Jesus depicted as dying in agony on the Cross from Rome during the tenth century. This golden crucifix held people of Cologne transfixed as it was the first depiction of Jesus in agony they had ever seen. But its arrival involved a controversy because during its placing into position in the Dom, a splinter came off its head. Debate broke out over how to restore the splinter. After theological considerations (and perhaps consultation with a carpenter), a priest used a sanctified communion wafer to hold the splinter while he set it back in place on Jesus's head, whereupon the splinter immediately resealed itself into position and where it remains to this day, about a thousand years later.

The Dom was a very friendly, airy, and open cathedral, allowing photos of all kinds, and had no sections of the tiled floor roped off.

When we said goodbye to Detlev, we walked Hohe Street. Bought two cappuccinos and two Berliners (jelly donuts) at a café. Walked through the Kaufhof (dept store) and found our Viking ship, the Danube, in time to have some lunch and catch the Germany Today lecture by a tall 6'8" guy later in the afternoon. The Danube ship is sailing its penultimate cruise for the Viking Lines and will be sold to another line and its place taken by one of the new Long Ships of the Viking Lines. I suppose all the ashtrays on the Sun Deck have filled up.

We met many couples and sometimes their names fit together so well it was easy to remember them, William and Mary from Pennsylvania was a prominent example. Elaine and Jimmy were Bostonians from near Andover, Massachusetts and their accent was enough to spot them at twenty paces. For dinner we sat with a delightful couple Joseph and Carol Orze who currently live in Boca Raton, Florida. Joe was President of Worcester University and sat on the Board of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass when I was in their graduate program in Management Science & Engineering in 1975. Later he went on to be President of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Joe played football at Syracuse University and his team mate was the great Hall of Fame running back, Jim Brown. After a great dinner, Del and I went back to the Viking Launch, er, I mean, Lounge, at 9 pm for an hour concert of classical music by a male guitarist and female violinist who also sang. Our Cruise Director Michael spoke English, but his German tempo and vowel sounds often required subtle, on-the-fly punctuation and correction.


Rheingau is the name of the middle Rhine River region which goes through the state of Hesse. It is home to a rich concentration of large castles which in German are called "burgs" or "fortress". Thus Burg Rheinstein in German is the same as saying Rheinstein Castle in English. Take your pick, just remember that "ei" in German is always pronounced like "I" and "ie" is always pronounced as "E". No such rules as i before e except after c as in English. German pronunciation is always regular. If you can read it, you know how to say it. Learn how to modify a few vowels whose sounds are modified by an omlaut, those pesky double dots over vowels and you can say any German word. Omlaut began in gothic script as a shorthand way of entering a trailing e by placing it over the vowel it comes after. A gothic e looks like two tilted squares (parallelograms) and in Roman fonts become the familiar pesky double-dots.

The only thing the Rheingau has more of than castles is churches, and after churches, vineyards. It is home to the delicious Johannisberger Riesling wines. To my taste, these are the finest wines, and this is where they are grown.

The Bishop of Johannisberger Castle has to give permission to begin harvesting the grapes, and one year, the Bishop was delayed by two weeks and the harvest that year was the best ever. Lesen in German means to read or harvest information from a book and spät means late, so the late harvest grapes are used to make Spätlese wines which are smooth and delicious. If the grapes are left on the vine long enough that they are caught and frozen by an early freeze, they are used to make Eiswein, which means simply, ice-wine, and this concoction is like a delicious nectar and costs 4X that of normal Riesling wine. If you have grown tired of the bite of a typical Chardonnay wine, switch to Riesling, a Johanisberger Riesling or Spätlese and you will be delightfully surprised.

Early morning Del got off ship and went on bus tour to Marksburg Castle, and I chose to stay on the ship which will cruise upriver to Braubach to pick up the tour passengers. I wanted to avoid stomping up and down hill over stony paths as much as possible. I did take a walk over to inspect the Wilhelm the Great monument at the confluence of the Main and Rhine Rivers. Climbed the stairs to the overlook and took some photos of Main side and Rhine side.

Then I walked over to the aerial tramway, but its opening time was too close to our sailing time, so I demurred on the round trip ticket. It takes folks over the Rhine River by air for about 6 euros a round trip. Instead I walked down to a castle-like structure upriver from the tramway. It was originally a Prussian Headquarters and now was devoted to Military Technology. Thought it might be a large hotel, so I walked up to front door and when a guy came out, I asked him about the building. He excused himself, went inside and brought back a pamphlet which describes the building, its history and current use. The trees were in full color along the river and I took a bunch of photos. Best Fall color we've seen since Bar Harbor and the Smoky Mountains, bright red and vivid yellows all along the river banks and towns we visited.

This was the most gorgeous day of the cruise, the best weather, and the best sights of all; it was a day to be spent on the Sun Deck, telephoto camera with an extra battery and memory stick at the ready.

Unfortunately, I had to run down to our cabin to pick up the extra battery at one point. A detailed guide book with photos of the castles is essential, one that has the KM markers for unambiguous identification as these markers are on the sides of the river every kilometer and many of the castles are not easy to identify at various angles of approach. I had spent two weeks in the Rheingau in 1998 as I mentioned elsewhere, but this view, from the center of the Rhine River, up on the Sun Deck gave me a better view of every castle than I had from either side of the river while driving. On the river road, you can only see the castles on the opposite side clearly, but on the top of a river boat, you can get closer to each castle from the middle of the river and have a clear view of both sides of the river. Double the pleasure, double the fun, double the clarity of shots. Unfortunately we were cruising into the sun early on and this causes a bit of haze in the photos, but it cleared up by noon.

In the afternoon we neared Burg Rheinstein and I was able to take great photos of it to replace the blurry shots from my 1998 trip. Also shot the tunnel entrance to the castle which goes under the road. Several of the castles have been converted into luxury hotels and lodges, such as Burg Reichenstein, close by to Burg Rheinstein.


We awoke cruising towards Miltenberg. I slept in late, and got up finally to back up all my photos, recharged my batteries, and had lunch waiting for us to dock.

Our tour guide to the medieval city of Miltenberg was a quick-footed brunette. She explained how Miltenberg had a high wall with a huge door that was locked every night. The guard, after locking the door, would take the key to the Mayor for safe keeping. This, I understood at once, is the origin of the ceremonial procedure of a Mayor awarding a Key to the City to a visiting dignitary. The Key would metaphorically open the doors to the City to the dignitary.

Our guide dropped us in the middle of the city to get back on our own. Del went in search of hair spray. I needed to take a rest and saw Greg and some friends. Met Don and his wife, Sandy. Don was stationed in Germany and spoke German like an American. Fred was a tall oriental guy, and Dave, a short oriental-looking guy. Dave was in the ROTC and later in Quartermaster's Corps. Don was in the tooth of the Army and Dave in the tail, as Don explained the common metaphor used in the Army for the fighting corps (teeth) and the feeding corps (tail). We each had a half liter of beer in a tall glass. Don went and bought 3 pretzels for us to share.

Miltenberg was like Disneyland, Del said, with its authentic half-timbered houses that were actually built about a thousand years earlier, and still in use today. We saw many examples of religious statues adorning the walls and corners of walls of buildings here. Our tour guides never mentioned that these statues were here because during the Black Plaque times people could not go outside to attend church for fear of their lives, so they installed these statues to have an object of worship handy. One can imagine a typical Sunday in the Middle Ages: people with their windows open on the second floor, leaning out the window and praying to the Blessed Mother or whatever local saint they may have chosen to grace their walls.

Came back to the Viking Danube and after well-earned post-parade-ial-repose, went downstairs for dinner with Sherry & Al, Joe & Carol Orze. Sherry is rental manager and Al is in carpet business. They get a lot of free trips around the world by selling padding for Carpenter Co. in Texas. Gives new meaning to padding one's travel account. Al was fun to have around. Once while talking about what he did, he said, "I sell things" and picked up a stainless steel bowl on our table, that we had been wondering about its use, and added, "I could sell this." After a good supper with great friends, we sorta designated that round table near the back of the dining room as our table and migrated to it on future nights. Up in the Viking Lounge that night we had a pumpkin carving demonstration in which our Chef Laslo called up Darcy, a saucy Argentinean, to be his assistant, but her apron covered up most of her visible assets. We could see she wanted to get her hands on the knife, but unfortunately she was relegated to using her hands to empty the inside of the pumpkin.


Del and I decided to go with the bus to the Bishop's Residence. Bishops and Archbishops back in the Middle Ages were not only ruling Church officials, but ruling governing officials of their city and region. Thus the Bishop's Residence was a palace very much like the Doge of Venice who occupied a similar position of authority over Venice, Italy. Unfortunately this palace was a pale shadow of the Doge's Palace in Venice. The trompe d'oueil also a pale imitation of the Borghese Gallery in Rome. The highly touted artist from Italy who did that ceiling in Würzburg probably couldn't have touched the ceiling of the Borghese. The Mirror Room was spectacular, especially given that it was restored in 1987 or so after being destroyed by WWII. We could have skipped the whole tour, I thought, but Del hadn't been to the Borghese with me and she enjoyed the tour. On the way out we separated from the guided tour to walk down to the ship on our own. Along the way I bought some delicious red radishes and ate them as we strolled over the Main Brücke, the Main River's bridge.

Came back unsure if LSU game with A&M would be on ESPN until it started. Finally put the round desk stool on the easy chair to get up to the right height and I didn't need glasses to watch entire game. I had bought a baguette and a bag of fresh radishes earlier, so I was on bread and water stuck in a small prison-like cell until LSU beat Texas A&M in their first SEC game together. Johnny Football as Manziel is called by the sports media had a very rough time with LSU's staunch defense and our offense came through with enough points to win.


We stopped in Hassfurt (name means Rabbit Fortress) for an hour or so then got on bus to Bamburg for the afternoon. Our new friends Mona and Warren Smart had told us of their pet rabbit earlier, how friends back home were taking care of it and what it was like to have a pet rabbit as adults. I made a point to tell them that we were in a city named after rabbits.

Hassburg has an incredibly spiritual, spirit-filled Cathedral called Ritterkapelle. Ritter means Rider or Knight in German. It was pilgrimage church, attracting Knights from all over to it in the late Middle Ages. With its high nave and clean gray stone walls, it looked brand new, but it was built in the 1450s. Inside this cathedral was a holy place, unlike any other church I had ever entered. The sacred feeling was so palpable that no one dared speak or make a noise; it was so holy and sanctified. I lit a candle for our dear ones who have transited in the past ten years, our parents and brother David. In a holy place, if you light a candle while holding an image in your mind of a loved one who is in the spirit world, they will come to that spot and be able to see the fire of the candles and feel comforted. This is a wonderful thing for you to do for them.

Hassfurt is a lovely town with its two cathedrals easy walking distance of the ship, one Catholic (Ritterkappelle) and one Protestant. We walked along the cemetery and later through it and I took a lot of photos both inside and outside the cathedral. Lots of Fall color everywhere.

Bamburg in afternoon. What can you say about a town which is famous for its Smoked Beer which tastes like bacon according to one of my beer-drinking buddies who had some. We joined a walking tour into the old town and then left on our own. Bamburg is a beautiful medieval town, with a dank road leading to a steep hill at the end of the road. I heard from Don and Sandy that they walked to the top. We came back to the Neptune statue that we were told is called the Fork Man by locals, so that if we got lost, we should ask "Wo ist der Fork Man?" to get back. We left the square to roam about for 3 hours or so. We sat in a café for two hours, then went into the large Dom which had candles burning and I lit one for Buster & Annette, Dick & Doris, and David. Told Joe and Carol about how the spiritual world works and they loved hearing about it.

We then walked to the Fork Man and met up with our group and were whisked back to our ship the Danube. Dinner in dining room with our usual group of Sherry and Al and Joe and Carol. Watched the NFL games on ESPN and was able to get updates on Saints-TB score as it developed, some emails from Guntis as well. Saints took it 35-28 but score was in doubt with TB driving with time running out.

Glad to hear Jonathan Vilma played and called signals on defense for first time this year. Also Joe Vitt is now back as head coach for rest of season. He said afterward that he was in agony the whole time and didn't want to waste a second to get back.


We took an early 9 am bus towards the center of the old city, first touring the wall, and then up to the Fortress overlooking the old town and city. Beautiful color of leaves, almost past prime on the Fall color. Janet, a Scottish lass, led our tour, spoke native English, and was a pleasure to have her. Lots of walking over cobblestones, but she scheduled a portion of her talk while the gals had to stand in a long line for W.C. rest stop. After the Fortress, we went down to a market area near the King's Fountain which was decked out in gold, but unfortunately covered with dark wire near the base. It was our meeting point after our free time to explore and buy stuff. Fresh local strawberries reminded me of the taste of those we had fresh-picked from Irwin and Dory Ziegler's lawn garden in Hesse during my 1998 trip to Rhine area.

Del bought dried apples and a Lebkochen both of which were delicious. Came back to Danube for lunch and joined Sandy and Don. Delightful couple that we thoroughly enjoyed talking to. Came to room for a long post-prandial repose (sounds better than nap, doesn't it?). Tried the trying Wi-Fi and after an hour unable to get connected. One time I did connect for a while and after 15 minutes, 2 emails were pending and only 1 Kb of 10 Kb of first email had been received by the time it gave me an error. Takes so long that many websites time out before I get anything done. The worst was checking my web statistics on Earthlink where I must log on, go through three screens before I actually get data. Most times I didn't get to second screen.

We had a lovely and animated dinner that night with Sherry & Al and Carol & Joe Orze. Joe told us how his name got truncated to Orze from its Polish origins of Orzeshauski or something like that.

Carol told how Joe's father, who had said nothing after Joe sent him copy of his book with shortened name (suggested by his publisher), until they were together in car one day and Carol mentioned her first husband's name was Finkelbein and the father from rear seat said, "I suppose you tried to shorten his name, too!" The presupposition of "too" was that she was responsible for Joe's name change which was untrue. She replied sarcastically, "Yes, I shortened it to Fink." I mentioned to Carol that she had squelched her father-in-law by calling herself a Fink, which was what he was trying to do. He threw her a curve ball and she hit it out the park.


We woke up finally close to 9 am and Del showered while I joined Bob & Millie, and Betsy and Dave for breakfast. Betsy wanted to know about my dolphin novel and took down the name Spizznet to check it out.

Came upstairs because we were stuck briefly in a lock and the view outside our top deck cabin was of a muddy concrete wall. This was the first lock going down on the Danube River side of the foothills of the Alps as we headed into Regensburg. Once we were docked, we met our tour guide, Christina, a local German lass who was a wonderful tour guide; she loved Americans, and spoke almost like one. We walked to middle of a 12th Century stone bridge above the Würstkochen factory (early sausage factory), then into city to visit St. Peter's cathedral. It was dark, empty, and dusty, causing Del to leave immediately and me to take a few photos and leave. We met up with Joe Orze and walked back to ship together. Stopped at Strudelerei for some topfen strudel — it was not as good as the Café Maxmillan in Vienna as we recalled, but the cappuccino was hot and good. Braced us for our long walk back along the Danube River from the old bridge.

After an hour nap, I shaved and dressed for dinner. Joined by Carol and Joe, plus Al and Carol, at our usual table. Then we went upstairs to be entertained by Mozart, Puccini, Sound of Music, and other operas by piano player, baritone, soprano and mezzo soprano. Very good. Before going to sleep, I noted that I had processed 386 photos and have 456 or so left to do. By the end of the cruise, my total was up to 1100 plus photos and I had processed all but those I took on the last day's drive to the airport from Budapest.


Del stayed in bed most of day with her cold. We had both been experiencing a slight sore throat and now the cold symptoms began. I walked into the small town in search for cold medicine and found some GlaxoSmithKline concoction called Cetebe, antiGrippal. Seemed to help.

I had to ask directions to the Apotheke (apothecary or drug store) from two German locals, and made out enough words from the first to get halfway there, then the retailer smoking his cigarette pointed me the rest of the way. When I saw the big Red A I knew I had found it. I passed a street performer sitting in mid-air while holding onto his cane. Neat trick. I reached into my pocket to give him some euro coins, and, for the first time, his eyes appeared. Like that possum on my shovel years ago that I thought was dead and was going to bury it, I became aware of his eyes following my hand. I went in and asked for Alka-Seltzer Cold Medicine after searching around and finding nothing familiar. The cute Fraulein gave me a box which said Alka-Seltzer CLASSIC, all white and gray, so I supposed it had no orange, lime, or cherry flavoring. But as I walked past the man in the air again, a curious thought came into my head, what if it were only a headache tablet? I looked and sure enough, it seemed to be just aspirin in Alka-Seltzer form.

So I walked back the hundred feet to the Red A and swapped it for Cetebe which was 4 euros cheaper. The diagram of the man with red areas of the chest, throat, and head clearly indicated good for colds and flu symptoms. I gave the Air Man some of the coins I received in change as I imagined he was thinking the very thoughts as I passed him earlier which led me to return for the right product. My change of attitude as I passed him was a miracle and I credit him as the agent of the miracle. One has time to think a lot of things if one is sitting in mid-air on a city street, huddled under a blanket in the cold.

During the night, I felt my dripping nasal passages dry up and I felt like the worst of the cold was over, but there were still plenty of würsts of pork to be found at lunch and dinner. As in our previous bus tour of Europe for the Christmas markets, we noted that meat and potatoes were the main dishes and the best tasting dishes were the desserts.

In the afternoon, Del was feeling well enough after taking the Cetebe to go on the Simon the Gingerbread Baker Man tour. A small tour which began with a short walk to his Bakery, actually a tent set up to the right of his shop in which a long table was spread out for us to make first a face out of marzipan. Simon gave us each a cube of marzipan, which molded like Play Doh, and we each made a face following Simon's instructions. After that he brought out a baker's tube with icing in it for each of us and gave us a gingerbread figure to decorate. Then we had some hot chocolate and got to wrap up or eat our confections. A fun outing on a very cold day.


Two stops today. First one in Melk, Austria and the second in Dürnstein (name means dry stone).

Melk has a gorgeous tan-colored baroque Monastery which hovers over the city square. It is run by monks today and has a school for some 900 children who come to classes there every day. Del stayed aboard ship and I choose not to walk up the 76 steps. Walked into town instead and took photos.

At Melk, I felt like Little Red Riding Hood on her walk through the woods to Grandma's house. They told me it was about 15 minutes and the town could not be seen until one got close to it. There was a freezing cold and brisk wind blowing across the path from the ship to the woods, and then gratefully, no wind, just a nice winter's day walk through the woods. After visiting the Melk square, I walked back and noticed I was a bit warm coming back, from all the walking, I'm sure. Met a blond gal heading back who was sad that her camera battery had gone dead, so I took a photo of her after getting her name and email address. First one of Elizabeth in front of cathedral and then the Cathedral alone. Later we met up with Richard, her husband, on the trail, and they went upriver slightly to their cruise ship.

Similarly with the second city, Dürnstein, its prize was a blue baroque Stift (Monastery) and they wanted to stiff me for $3.50 for the privilege of walking into it blindfolded, in other words, not knowing if it would be worthwhile, so I took photos outside and walked back to the Danube (Name of our ship and the river). On that excursion, I picked up a chestnut, but later tossed it into the river so prevent forgetting about it and bringing it illegally into the States. Also on my trip to the Stift, I walked a short way into a ripe grape vineyard and took photos and ate a ripe green grape, about the size of a wild cherry back home, but its single seed was a bit smaller. It was sweet, but wouldn't do as table grapes as they were so small. These are likely very old vineyards which have been growing the same grapes for centuries.

This stretch of the Danube, in bright sunlight, appeared to be blue, which was appropriate as we are heading next into the city where the famous Blue Danube Waltz was written by Strauss.


Sat down with Marty and June for breakfast this morning. Hope to visit their lodge in Alaska some July soon to do some fishing, plus they are very much like me and Del. I told Marty the story about the gargoyles on the Dom in Cologne, how Detlev said the gargoyles were there to ward off the lazy evil spirits who would else enter the Cathedral, but seeing evil spirits already there, would look to find some other place to sit. He then mentioned about the great bells of the Dom which, when rung, filled the city with a holy song which caused all the evil spirits to leave town. When Del was born, it was on the day that Franklin Delano Roosevelt died and all the church bells in the city of New Orleans were ringing as Del came into the world. I told him I suspected that was a reason that Del did not have an evil bone in her body. Marty said he felt the same way about June, and never could figure out what she saw in a scruffy bounder like himself. Needless to say, Del and I both got along well with Marty and June and hope a visit to Alaska will take the place of our next cruise.

In Vienna, we had a lovely tour guide named Gabe (pronounced Gah-bee), a female in the bright green colors of a local region of Austria. She seemed to be wearing a Mardi Gras costume, to us from New Orleans. To the Irish, she might have looked like a large Leprechaun. She had the greatest (actually only) sense of humor of all our guides. Our guide tomorrow in Bratislav will need one as it will be near freezing and rain all day. Luckily most of the time, we will be in a warm bus. She took us into St. Stephens Cathedral, which is definitely worth the visit and we walked right in with no wait.

After a tour around the Ring, we got out and walked to Stephens square where we went into Aida for strudel and cappuccino and photos. Saw Marty and June getting a seat by the only open window, a very Alaskan thing to do on a frigid day. Then we sat outside with Joe and Carol and others waiting for Gabe to pick us up for ride back to ship. Del saw Al sitting on a bench where he had claimed earlier that women kept trying to pick him up, so she went to Al and flirted with him, too.

The Kookie Knaben (Cookie Boys) were waiting to offer me a cookie, and they did it for me, as the last one to come aboard, with the same level of excitement as if I had been the first one. These were Dirk and Zoltan, our two favorite Viking employees. You could not tell from their actions that they were the Hotel Manager and the Maitre d'.


The prospects for a town that sounds like a German sausage were not bright as it was near freezing, a strong gusty wind, and rain or snow predicted for the whole day. We planned a few hours bus tour, perhaps in the rain, then a cruise to Budapest, arriving by night with the city all lit up for us. The prediction was right: Bitter cold, Heavy gusts, and Light rain. We stayed on the bus. I wore winter silks and was miserably hot on the bus and had to remove them while in the back seat of bus while most of tour passengers went out in the cold. I finally got comfortable and found that there was a working rest room on bus. These are rare as Republicans on CNN in Europe. In Italy, if you find a bus with one, it will be locked. While waiting I worked on a crossword. We toured the city by bus, but I was unable to take photos through drippy windows. As we say when a firecracker mis-fires, the day was a shoo-shoo!

Back on board the Danue in the Viking Lounge, I spent time talking to Joe and Carol. He asked about my work and since his laptop was connected to the web, I took him on a guided tour through my October DW issue, skimming through all the sections.

This was the night of the Captain's Dinner, and it turned out to be his birthday. Got a nice photo of him glowing with a rosy face as everyone on board sang Happy Birthday to him. The lobster thermidor must have embarrassed the lobsters who sacrificed their life as a crustacean to sit on our plates. The half lobster on a shell was not tasty. The bed of wild rice the lobster laid upon was dry. The sauce on the lobster was dried out and the lobster was tiny. But the dessert was even worse, although everyone was prepared for a delicious creme brulée. Instead of brulée, it was brutal! Must have run out of fuel in the blow-torch as the brown sugar crystals were not melted at all and the creme was soggy like partially cooked pudding. Sacré Bleu! But it was our penultimate supper on board as the next evening will be our Last Supper and we could still hope for a pleasant parting meal.


Too damn cold to go on an excursion. Imagine this: being boarded up a the bus and have a strident female European tour guide's voice blasting into your ears from a loudspeaker only a few inches overhead which you cannot turn off or even get the volume lowered. If you haven't experience that, I can tell you that I've been there, done that, just the day before in Bratislavia in fact. When the couple behind us on the Delta flight home complained about the six-year-old boy who cried incessantly, the stewardess brought them ear plugs; the Viking representative on our bus, Nicole, when I complained, only said, "No one else has complained." Hmmm, my complaint was null and void because I was the only one complaining. Did she bother to take a show of hands? Nope. The couple on the Delta flight were not treated that way, she offered the complaining parties a set of earplugs. My feedback to Viking included mention of this ungracious and unhelpful action by one of their representatives.

There was a 50 mph wind blowing as I could easily tell from the way the small trees were bending to one side, plus, with a light rain there's no way I was going out in that prime duck hunting weather without a shotgun, some hot boudin, and some ducks to shoot at! Del was napping now, having taken some more Cetebe. I went down and as our folks left the ship, they asked me if I were going. I said, "I'm staying here to defrost folks when they come back." Reminds me of our first trip to Venice where it poured down raining the entire day. Luck of the draw. Next time we went to Venice, we planned to stay three days and got perfect weather all three days. Next time at least three days in Budapest.

As I was writing down my notes aboard ship in Budapest, I noticed that there was a tsunami heading to Hawaii in a few minutes, and I watched for that. There's a Frankenstorm heading for NYC on the next day. One might think that the world is playing Trick or Treat with the USA this weekend.

Del slept most of morning, still coughing, and not feeling great, but got up and went for some tea. We had a delightful dinner together for our last meal together on board. Joe and Carol joined us at our usual table.


Mondays are notorious for being the worst day of the week, and this Monday was definitely the worst of the worst because it lasted about 29 hours. We woke up in Budapest at 4:30 am and got ready to leave the ship. Breakfasted downstairs. We got to say goodbye to and give a hug to our favorite people, Joe & Carol, Marty & June. Got on the bus, a large van towing our luggage in small trailer behind. It was raining and on the way to BUD the Budapest airport, and it turned to snow, large thumbnail-size globs of wet snow fell on our van, and created a couple of inches accumulation on the roadside as we drove, but the snow stopped shortly after we reached the airport and caused no delay of our flight to DeGaulle.

At DeGaulle, we were carried by bus to our terminal and had some time to wait. We got some quiche and tried to find some ice cream to no success. France likes to fill the entrance to every concourse with stinky perfumes and other swanky shops, but few food kiosks. I walked forever and couldn't find another food vendor or drugstore, but I could have bought a Prada handbag or some Gucci shoes in several places.

On our flight home, the Delta food was better than the Viking Danube on most nights. Our flight took us directly over Hurricane Sandy due to the Great Circle route from Paris to Atlanta. As Sandy was battering the Jersey shore we were flying directly overhead. We felt a slight bit of buffeting and it was soon over. We pray that Sandy's aftermath will be soon over for the people of the East coast.


For the past 31 days October has been a month with clear skies and cooling temperatures of Fall. It is always sad for us to leave New Orleans during the most beautiful weather of the year and 2012 saw us do it twice: First in April and then in October, for our two cruises. Fall has arrived, and the true cold waves have brought us nights in the lower 50s and days in mid 70s with low humidity. God Willing and the next Ice Age doesn't come, we will next see you in these pages for the December DIGESTWORLD Issue. Till then, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, Remember our slogan:

Take Care of Yourself in Twenty-Twelve ! ! !


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  • New Stuff about Website:
  • Five Flowers of Shanidar Poems, One from each Chapter:

    These poems are from Bobby Matherne’s 1990 book of poetry, Flowers of Shanidar. and have never been published on the Internet before. Each month this section will have five poems, one from each Chapter of the book. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne)

    1. Chapter: Hollyhocks

          Blank Spaces

    Mendeleev did as he was able
    To create a periodic table.
    He left blank spaces for the elements
    And he ignored the Ph D's laments.

    "Dmitri," they would wail, "they just don't fit.
    Your table has some vacant spots in it."
    "Yes, I know," the table maker replied,
    "But by their holes, the missing can be spied."

    Leave blank spaces in your life:
    Ones not filled with toil or strife.
    Plan them empty without sin,
    Joy will come to fill them in.

    2. Chapter: Hyacinths

          Circles of Science

    The paradigms of science
           are a worthy lot
    They separate the wheat from the chaff,
           the kettle from the pot.
    But they are the enemy
           of any new idea that you've got.

    If Reality is formed from ideas
           (and few dare say that it's not)
    Then science is the enemy of progress
    The very thing that
           it says it does the best.

    3. Chapter: Rose Mallow

          Dance of Energy

    A ladybug
           is in the tub
           as I pull the plug.

    As she swims,
           the water that washes against her shell
           has earlier washed
    Against every part of my body.

    In the ocean
           is water that has washed
    Every part of Mother Earth's body
           and dissolved within itself,
    Evenly distributed:

    Silt of the Mississippi, Nile, and Po
    Minerals from the gorge of the Grand Canyon,
           the angular outcroppings of the young
           Appalachians and
    Detritus of 3 billion years of
           baths and showers
           by the Mother of Us All.
    And when we bathe our bodies in her ocean,
           we, like you, dear Ladybug,
           rub the molecules of our shell
           with molecules of our Mother's body

    And in the dance of molecules
           exchange our fields of energy.

    4. Chapter: Shamrocks

          Life's What's

    Life's what's bringing things together
    Life's what's pulling things apart.

    Babe and parents grow together
    Loving, nourishing each other
    Life's what's bringing them together.

    The teen goes off to college
    Leaving parents with an empty heart
    Life's what's pulling them apart.

    Left at home's an empty nest
    They re-create what they like best
    Life's what's bringing them together.

    Father gives away his daughter
    Into marriage at the altar
    Life's what's pulling them apart

    With his grandchildren he's a hit
    They love for him to babysit
    Life's what's bringing them together.

    5. Chapter: Violets

          Circles of Life

    The caterpillar is a moving warehouse
    Gobbling up leaves as it plows
    Across the tender tips leaving
    Barren twigs in its tenebrous wake.

    Green chyme fills the worm-like tube
    Which undulates from leaf to leaf
    Until the star wave arrives
    From a butterfly-to-be.

    The message is to begin to spin
    A chrysalis, a tomb, a womb
    For the butterfly seed within
    To sprout and grow and fend.

    And in the fending feeding
    On the dark spearmint jello
    Of its pendulous home
    Until the food is gone.

    Hungry, with claustrophobic wings,
    The flyer nibbles away
    The warehouse walls
    And blow-dries its feathery appendages.

    Climbing columns of air
    It explores invisible waves
    On surfboards of delight,
    Drinking longnecks of honey.

    The seed that became the butterfly
    Creates the seed that becomes
    The caterpillar that awakes in spring
    And begins its journey into everything.

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    • Look at Squares A and B. Which is darker? Can you believe your eyes? Click checkerboard image to Verify.


    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. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. 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.):
    “Friends with Kids” (2011) which is like an inverted “When Harry Met Sally”, stars two long-time friends who decide to have a child together and remain unmarried friends while pursuing romance elsewhere. This is an amazing movie which works on so many levels for couples of all ages. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
    “Fly Paper” (2011) is a ROTFL riot! PB and Jelly two memorable screen characters! Best line, “This is not money, it’s fly paper!” Or perhaps a Venus Fly Trap for two sets of hoods robbing one bank at the same time. Like the “Usual Suspects” set inside a bank! A DON’T MISS HIT! ! ! !
    “Run the Wild Fields” (2000) Father, MIA after Bataan, and his wife and daughter Opal struggle in small rural community while awaiting his return. Opal finds hobo injured in a ditch and they take him in to help on the farm and keeping up their morale. Love blooms, fights break out, and farm prospers, but will it last?

    “Phoenix” (2012) First new season 10 episode of NCIS in which Ducky runs a new job and regains an old job. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! The Five Year Engagement (2012) Jason Segel stars in this curious almost married saga which seems likely to never culminate in marriage or happiness.

    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 Sandy Bottom Orchestra” (2001) was the highlight of Dairy Day festival in small town Wisconsin; the line waiting to get into the festival was an entire one person long and he left before it was over. We should’ve also.

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

    “Chronicle” (2012) starts off weird and gets weirder as teenagers develop Superman-like abilities with toddler-like mentalities. Predictable ending: like leaving toddlers in diapers unsupervised in an adult world.

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

    T-Paul came running in the house and into the kitchen where his momma was cooking some shrimp stew for supper. She turned to look at her son and asked him, "Mais, how did you enjoy the trip to the Zoo in New Orleans?"

    "It was great, Mama! We saw lions and tigers and monkeys climbing over everything. And I gave the elephant a peanut. Daddy and me even rode the streetcar down de big avenue!"

    "Dat's nice. Anything else you remember?"

    "Oh yeah! Daddy made me get up and give my seat to a pretty lady."

    "That a very nice thing for you to do, T-Paul," his momma said and turned back to stir her shrimp stew.

    "But, Mama, I was sitting on Daddy's lap."

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    5. RECIPE of the MONTH for November, 2012 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
    (click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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    Background on Icebergs:

    In the 1940s, my four brothers and I as kids hardly ever got ice cream as it was too expensive for our meager family budget, so those nickel Dairy Queen ice cream cones were rare treats, and never did my mom ever splurge on half gallons of ice cream for us. But she did a magic trick with some crushed pineapple and evaporated milk and produced ICEBERGS for us! So far as I know no one else used that name for these frozen cubes in ice trays. Whenever we make a Fruit Smoothie as described in the July DIGESTWORLD issue, we freeze whatever is leftover in ice cube trays for some Icebergs reprises during movie nights in the Timberlane Screening Room. But we still love this recipe the best of all. This recipe is how Annette Matherne, my mother, made Icebergs for pennies for herself and her four hungry boys when we were under 12 years old.

    Half can crushed pineapple in its own juice
    Half cup evaporated milk
    Sugar and honey, to taste

    Dump half can of crushed pineapple juice into 4 cup measuring cup. Add evaporated milk to bring it up to about 3.5 cups, as shown in ingredients photo. Add sugar and honey to taste. Stir well, tasting for sweetness.

    Cooking Instructions
    Pour into two ice cube trays and allow to chill for an hour or so. Should look like this.

    Serving Suggestion
    One tray will fill up two wide mugs such as those above. Serve with short forks which, if frozen solid over night will require some chopped before eating. The mixture melts quickly into a delicious ice cream consistency while chopping, but few dessert hungry kids of all ages will wait for the mixture to melt very much.

    Other options
    Try other fruit in place of pineapple, but the crushed pineapple has the virture of being eatable even while partially frozen.

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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from Yes, and Even More!:
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          Machine Miracles

    A miracle is what happens
           when you need a change
                 of attitude.

    Machines that work perfectly
           fail when you need
                 a miracle.


    NOTES on "Machine Miracles": This poem was written on a MedFirst memo pad with Adele Matherne’s name and title as Director of Marketing & Sales on it. Del and I were driving to the Four Columns Hotel for her to meet a former co-worker who was in from Wisconsin. Del wrote this note shortly after the incident occurred on July 23, 1999 at 4:50 PM: “Bobby was going through his normal speed through the toll gate and the light stayed red. Never happened before. Person in back of him backed up so he reversed the car in order to re-scan the toll tag.” What I noticed about the episode is that what I was thinking about and feeling all changed after it happened, in other words, my attitude completely changed. As such, this was an example of a miracle as defined by A Course in Miracles, which explains that a miracle is a change of attitude.

    I’ve suspected that there is more at work in electronic devices than engineers have any idea. Ever notice how machines seem to fail at exactly the right times? Now, I admit, noticing that they failed at exactly the right times is no easy task for beginners, who have no experience in understanding the world this way. Why? Because it always seems that the failure occurs at exactly the wrong time! But, if you apply the following two questions of mine after one of these so-called failures and examine all the succeeding events following the episode, both internally and externally, you’ll find out that, in fact, it was exactly the right time for the failure to occur. Here’s the two questions:

    1. What happened as a result of the failure that wouldn’t have happened but for it?

    2. What didn’t happen that would have happened but for the failure?

    The answer will appear to you when you carefully ask and listen for an answer to one of the two questions. It was through analyzing illnesses in humans that I first encountered the power of these two questions. I later identified them as “permission and protection” questions, but there have been times when neither permission nor protection were involved, so those two categories were not all-inclusive. The permission-protection categories are useful at times for a simple explanation to someone unfamiliar with this form of mind-stretching. [Question 1 can be thought of as giving you permission to do something and Question 2 as protecting you from doing something.]

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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: The Last Dragonslayer — A Novel by Jasper Fforde

    GOOD NEWS — REVIEW OF The Last Dragonslayer — A Novel by Jasper Fforde IS NOW AVAILABLE. CLICK HERE to READ.

    Due to our Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest in the last two weeks of October, I was unable to write a review of this book which I completed reading at the end of the cruise in time for our November 1st Deadline.

    While waiting for The Last Dragonslayer, namely, Jennifer Strange, to share her adventures with you in these pages, you might wish to read about the equally strange and fun adventures of Tuesday Next created by the same vivid imagination of Jasper Fforde. Click below:


    1. The Eyre Affair
             2. Lost in a Good Book
               3. The Well of Lost Plots
        4. Something Rotten
             5. First Among Sequels
                                6. One of Our Thursdays is Missing
                           7. The Woman Who Died A Lot
                8. Dark Reading Matter (Publication: Release Date Unknown)

          The Chronicles of Kazam

    1. The Last Dragonslayer
             2. The Song of the Quarkbeast
               3. The Eye of Zoltar

    The Review of The Last Dragonslayer will be available before December 1, 2012, and appear in the December DIGESTWORLD Issue. Click Here to Check if Dec. 2012 DW Issue is ready in Archives List. But the Review will be available sooner, and you will be able to read it at:, which, until the Review is completed, will have a message similar to this one.

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

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

    1. Padre Filius Reads about the New Orleans Times-Picayune this Month:

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

    This month the good Padre reads a Headline about New Orleans' Daily Newspaper Folding.

    2. Comments from Readers:

    • EMAIL excerpt from Around-the-World Traveler, Christopher, on the Mekong River:

      . . . . Later that morning, we drove to a small village in the mountains where better than half the Madventures purchased tickets to take a boat up the Mekong River to Luang Pratang.
             We traveled on the highway of ancient times, and felt transported into the past as well. Boarding a skiff just wide enough for two seats across and a narrow aisle were eighteen people traveling down a river that seemed untouched by man at most points. Jungle forests came down off the mountains.
             At one point, Sandy said, "Don't you expect to hear Martin Sheen's voice?" That scene on the River from Apocalypse Now seemed incredibly relevant, but as we looked at the jagged volcanic low peaks and the foliage everywhere amongst the cliffs that came up to the tributary of the Mekong on which we began, the feel was more King Kong or Tarzan.
             At one point, seeing the grass-roofed houses on the riverbank, and the utter absence of roads in sight, I felt transported into Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen.
             For five hours we maneuvered, our coxswain led the boat across the current, narrowly avoiding rapids and sunken rocks. We passed water buffalos bathing in the waters, followed by elephants just further down. Children passed swimming the buff, and fishermen held lines from boats that looked as small as a pirogue but had bows that jutted three feet from the waterline.
             On an island, we saw a group of "wild monks". Or as Juli put it, "We knew they were wild monks because they were wearing orange". The religious theme continued as we passed the famed Buddha Caves, with glittering white limestone Buddha statues in caves visible only from the water.
             At one point we made our sole stop, at the village of the driver, to change coxswain [with what I think was our driver's son]. In the village, beside the sole store, life went on. Old men sat and talked about the tourists, and a girl showered in the town fountain, wearing a sarong, but otherwise lathering herself as if she were in the privacy of a western shower.
             For another hour, we sputtered down the river, finally stopping at a makeshift small dock, so small that we did not realize, at first, that it was our destination of Luang Pratang.
             Guide books call the historic town "a tonic for the soul", and so we felt walking down its French Colonial streets, dotted with Wats to various Buddhas, and seeing the huge Temple of the small hill in the center of town.
             To find our hostel, the Spicy Backpacker, we wandered through the Night Markets, past steaming Indochinese foods with a French character, along the paper lamp shades, silks, and other items. After several turns, we arrived at a an open white home once owned by Prince Sing-Kawe Wongkot Rattan in 1936.
             We showered (losing the stream of water at one point due to a power outage, an otherwise warm shower), and then proceeded to an expensive dinner here in Laos. Following the gluttonous path of China, I sat down for Buffalo steaks on skewers with a Lemon Meringue Tart for Dessert. The price was a Princely twelve dollars for that and drinks.

      Christopher Tidmore

    • EMAIL forwarded from Suzanne Potier:
      I'm still smiling after watching these two actors, James Cagney and Bob Hope, at a Friar's Club Meeting. Bob Hope was 52 and James Cagney was 56 when this was made. For the young folks, here is something you probably have never seen before, and, unfortunately, none of us can ever see again as a live performance. This is the best of the best, showing a side of these two entertainers, hardly ever seen, revealing their enormous talent. Bob Hope, the best of the comedians, and James Cagney . . . mostly remembered as the bad guy and gangster ("You Dirty Rat!") in the movies, but both were incredible dancers! Click Here to view.

      [BOBBY: Thanks, Suzanne! My copy editor and I suspect this scene was from Bob Hope's Eddie Foy movie.]

    • EMAIL from Sharon Roberts:
      Thank you both so much for a lovely, fun lunch! I look forward to getting together on a more regular basis when ya'll return from your latest global sailing trip.
      Stories of your Adventures and Escapades are eagerly awaited.

      Much love,
    • EMAIL — a Reply from an Unsubscriber:
      In our acknowledgment of her Unsubscribing, I mentioned that she had sent me a typo correction several years ago. She replied:
      Wow, you have a memory like an elephant!
      Bless you.
    • EMAIL from Brian D. Lynch of Sirius Research, who quotes me:
      "Writing is the art of protecting unique thoughts from disappearing while exposing them to common ignorance." — Bobby Matherne

      Precisely, this is why I am a fan of Good Mountain News. Truly a 'considerate' site. In omnia paratus.

      Brian D. Lynch

    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:

    Deregulation — Story of First Thanksgiving

    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."

    4. Two Letters to the Editors of Duodecim Journal in Finland: Letter 1:
    Dear Editor Johana Arola,

    I would like to call your attention to an ophthalmological pioneer in your midst, Dr. Kaisu Viikari, M.D., Ph. D. in Ophthalmology. She worked with thousands of patients in her modest surgery in Turku, and recently helping people all over the world, though she is nearing her 91st birthday. She is in somewhat frail health, but is still mobile and her mind as active as ever. We communicate in English and she has learned to use emails in recent years.

    She wrote me initially after her attention was called to my review of a book about Dr. Ignatz Semmelweis's shabby treatment by the medical community after he pioneered the simple (to us today) expediency of doctors washing their hands when going from putting them into cadavers to putting them into live women giving birth. Hundreds of thousands of women died of puerperal fever after giving birth and this one man saved millions since his innovation from such painful deaths.

    Dr. Viikari's advice me, myopic since 17, was to discard my -2.5 D eyeglasses and begin using +D lenses for close work, which as a writer, I do a lot. Within a couple of months, I see distant objects well enough to drive and I rarely wear glasses anymore, except for some -1D bifocals I use when driving at night. To me, at age 70, this was a miracle.

    As I began to learn her story, I discovered that while her patients loved her, the medical establishment, especially O.D.'s (eye doctors of all sorts), detested her, mistreated her, and acted very un-scientifically about her work. I found it hard to believe that the obstruction of medical innovation in these modern times was as flagrant as it was in Dr. Semmelweis's time, but apparently it is. He, by the way, was thrown into a mental hospital by his hospital Director after he had proved the efficacy of his antiseptic solution in saving lives. Dr. Viikari has been denied even a Letter to the Editor of Journals in Finland, Sweden, and Germany to explain the value of her work, even after creditable people have vouched for her. Her struggle is summarized below in my review of her book, "jotta totuus ei unohtuisi" which has been translated into English as "The Struggle", see below.

    I hope to awaken your eyes to this injustice while there is still time to correct it, while Dr. Viikari is yet alive. Her work will live forever, as will the record of her treatment by the scientific journals, up until now. You have a chance to set the record straight from now on.


    Bobby Matherne

    Letter 2:
    Dear Editor Heikki Makisalo,

    As a physicist, it surprises me that scientific journals in Finland and other northern European journals would obstruct the publication of Dr. Kaisu Viikari's advice about how one can prevent myopia in small children and undo the serious medical issues that adults suffer from doctor-induced myopia. She worked from her modest surgery in Turku for over five decades helping thousands of people who suffered from over-prescription of minus lenses. During that time over 2,000 patients were relieved of migraine headaches by her judicious adjustment of their lenses to a more positive Diopter setting.

    Nearly 91 years old, Dr. Viikari is still working to spread her good news to eyeglass-wearing people around the world, that the Vertical Furrows (newly named Viikari Syndrome) can be undone by inexpensive plus-Diopter eyeglasses easily available in pharmacies, supermarkets, etc. These furrows, as her detailed research documents, are the result of accommodation spasms and result from increasing minus lens prescriptions by O.D.'s on almost every visit by a returning patient. I experienced that kind of treatment since my first minus lens at age 17. It was a time, when, if I had been advised to use plus-lenses for my reading and close work, I would have had perfect eyesight in no time for distant vision. Instead, my prescriptions kept increasing and I heard dreadful words like astigmatism which had to be corrected as I paid over 800 dollars from my most recent prescription of minus lenses at age 65, B. V. (Before Viikari). Now, at age 72, I buy $15 plus lenses for close work and do not otherwise use minus lenses, even for driving (except a weak -1 D for night-time driving). Through studying her work, I found my astigmatism had been caused by the distortion of my eyeballs over time by the very minus-lens I had been prescribed by well-meaning eye doctors following their time-worn procedures.

    O.D.'s make a lot of money ruining people's eyesight and health this way because they have been denied access to Dr. Viikari's research by the gatekeepers to publications of her work, who seem to perceive their income threatened by her work. You are one as one of those gatekeepers, and I plead with you to open the gate, to let her words speak for themselves. In the long run, her work will come out. My short review of her book on Preventing Myopia has been in the top ten of my most-read reviews. Can you agree with me that your scientific journal should take the lead in working to the benefit of the health of patients, instead of working to the detriment of the health of patients?

    Publish Dr. Viikari's work, publicize her contributions, and let the world decide whether her work is worthy.

    Thank you for listening.

    Bobby Matherne

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