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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#131
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Andy Griffith (1926 - 2012) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Sheriff Andy Taylor on TV ~~~~~

~~ (Who didn't whistle along to his theme song?) ~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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WELCOME TO   DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#131   January, 2013
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Quote for the Janus-faced Month of January:

Fatigue makes cowards of us all. When we are tired, the level of serotonin sent to our frontal cortex is reduced, which makes us less able to make strong decisions.
Bobby Matherne, American Writer

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DIGESTWORLD

GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#131 for January 2013
                  Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

             Table of Contents

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

4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Cream of Cauliflower Soup
6. Poem from "Yes, and Even More" (1996): "Doing The Paradigm Hop"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for January:

8. Commentary on the World
      1. Padre Filius Cartoon
      2. Comments from Readers
      3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
      4. DIGESTWORLD IS A PUBLICATION

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

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DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#131
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ON THE WEB  
~ ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ~
2000: INAUGURAL YEAR: Jun  
#1 Jul  #2, Aug  #3, Sept  #4, Oct  #5, Nov  #6, Dec  #7
2001: Jan  #8,  Feb  #9,  Mar #10, Apr #11, May #12, Jun #13, Jul #14, Aug #15, Sep #16, Oct #17, Nov #18, Dec #19
2002: Jan #20, Feb #21, Mar #22, Apr #23, May #24, Jun #25, Jul #26, Aug #27, Sep #28, Oct #29, Nov #30, Dec #31
2003: Jan #32, Feb #33, Mar #34, Apr #35, May #36, Jun #37, Jul #38, Aug #39, Sep #40, Oct #41, Nov #42, Dec #43
2004: Jan #44, Feb #45, Mar #46, Apr #47, May #48, Jun #49, Jul #50, Aug #51, Sep #52, Oct #53, Nov #54, Dec #55
2005: Jan#051,Feb#052,Mar#053,Apr#054,May#055,Jun#056,Jul#057,Aug#058,Sep#059,Oct#05a,Nov#05b,Dec#05c
2006: Jan#061,Feb#062,Mar#063,Apr#064,May#065,Jun#066,Jul#067,Aug#068,Sep#069,Oct#06a,Nov#06b,Dec#06c
2007: Jan#071,Feb#072,Mar#073,Apr#074,May#075,Jun#076,Jul#077,Aug#078,Sep#079,Oct#07a,Nov#07b,Dec#07c
2008: Jan#081,Feb#082,Mar#083,Apr#084,May#085,Jun#086,Jul#087,Aug#088,Sep#089,Oct#08a,Nov#08b,Dec#08c
2009: Jan#091,Feb#092,Mar#093,Apr#094,May#095,Jun#096,Jul#097,Aug#098,Sep#099,Oct#09a,Nov#09b,Dec#09c
2010: Jan#101,Feb#102,Mar#103,Apr#104,May#105,Jun#106,Jul#107,Aug#108,Sep#109,Oct#10a,Nov#10b,Dec#10c
2011: Jan#111,Feb#112,Mar#113,Apr#114,May#115,Jun#116,Jul#117,Aug#118,Sep#119,Oct#11a,Nov#11b,Dec#11c
2012: Jan#121,Feb#122,Mar#123,Apr#124,May#125,Jun#126,Jul#127,Aug#128,Sep#129,Oct#12a,Nov#12b,Dec#12c
2013: Jan#131,Feb#132,Mar#133,Apr#134,May#135,Jun#136,Jul#137,Aug#138,Sep#139,Oct#13a,Nov#13b,Dec#13c
2014: Jan#141,Feb#142,Mar#143,Apr#144,May#145,Jun#146,Jul#147,Aug#148,Sep#149,Oct#14a,Nov#14b,Dec#14c
2015: Jan#151,Feb#152,Mar#153,Apr#154,May#155,Jun#156,Jul#157,Aug#158,Sep#159,Oct#15a,Nov#15b,Dec#15c
2016: Jan#161,Feb#162,Mar#163,Apr#164,May#165,Jun#166,Jul#167,Aug#168,Sep#169,Oct#16a,Nov#16b,Dec#16c
2017: Jan#171,Feb#172,Mar#173,Apr#174,May#175,Jun#176,Jul#177,Aug#178,Sep#179,Oct#17a,Nov#17b

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1. January 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: http://www.doyletics.com/vjtoons.htm 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 doyletics.com 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 Heart.

#1 "Heart" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/122412jv.gif

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2. HONORED READERS FOR January:
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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 January, 2013:

Ali Petrov in Ottawa, Canada

Brian D. Lynch in Texas

Congratulations, Brian and Ati!


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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:


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Out Our Way:

IN A TREME EPISODE

If any of my Good Readers have not yet viewed episodes of the series Treme produced by HBO, it's not too late as they are available as DVD's from NetFlix. These episodes show a side of New Orleans which all natives of the city are familiar, but few tourists get to see. The Treme is a section of town inhabited by talented musicians, artists, wait and service staff which add life and ambience to the French Quarter, but which are rarely if ever portrayed in Hollywood movies. In Treme they are the stars. They talk like real New Orleanians talk, not like what some Hollywood dialogue coach thinks they do. Example: take this line from a Treme episode, "Who dead?" The actor got it right on, sounding like "Hoo dayed?" Most of the scenes are shot in the area around Treme and the French Quarter, including the most popular singers, musicians, and bands in the favorite pub-crawl area known as Frenchmen Street which is home to The Spotted Cat, DBA, Checkpoint Charlie's, and many others.

Why I mention Treme is because around the first of December, I found myself in the middle of what could have been a scene from a Treme episode. We got an invite to meet Ruth Ryan and Andy Lowell at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Café's Storyville Tavern in the French Quarter. Del picked up an oyster poor boy for us to share for a late lunch before going there. We watched the ending of the SEC Championship football game, hoping to see Alabama go down, but they scraped past Georgia in the last minute.

Hope Notre Dame blasts Alabama Coach Nick Saban back to Michigan with a rout of his team in the BCS championship. In my opinion, his team does not deserve another Crystal Football since they dropped the one from last year's BCS and smashed it to smithereens.

We got to Storyville Tavern just as Ted was gearing up to start. Ruth was there talking to the other groupies, spouses and friends of Ted's band members. We found a table for us, but Ruth had a lot of other people to shmooze with. Andy came by later and I got photos of him with Del. He was Del's first secretary at a Healthcare company she helped get started, and the only male there for a time.

Ruth had mentioned that Ted had just gotten laid off, so when I talked to Ted outside during his break, I joked about his not keeping his day job. Ted smiled, and said it wasn't his choice. I told him that he and our son Stoney were on opposite sides of the employment picture: Stoney's working full-time out of his home for a company based in Dallas and Ted has been laid off by Xavier due to enrollment drops and a large expansion which cut into their funds this year. Even though he's without a job, Ted's not concerned about finding another job in computer technology.

Meanwhile Ted had just finished assembling his band called Reverend Graham and his All-Stars, and this was only their second appearance, to my knowledge. Of course, they sounded as if they had been together forever, as is typical for New Orleans bands: they have played forever, if not with each other and they know all the songs, local rhythms and riffs. As we talked about his new band outside, I mentioned that he's going through what Antoine Baptiste was going through last season in Treme. Ted laughed and said, "Yeah." Then I looked around and realized that he and I while having this conversation was just like a bit out of a Treme episode, which definitely would have included Rev. Graham and his All-Stars. Inside earlier there was a black gal was doing a saucy dance to the tune "Walk the Dog" which would certainly have been part of a Treme episode as well. Life in New Orleans is like living in an episode of Treme, eating the food, hearing the music, talking to the musicians, having spontaneous music break out while walking through the French Quarter, the sounds, the smells, the tastes, the rhythms, the joie-de-vivre ebbing and cresting like the flowing waters of the Mississippi circling past the fertile crescent of the Crescent City on its circuitous way to the eternal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

PANDORA'S BOX AND CHRISTMAS CONCERT AT LOYOLA

On Sunday, December 2, Del and I decided to go to the Christmas Concert at Loyola at 3 pm and so we got dressed up and went first to Jared's on Vets to find some Pandora charms for grand-daughters, Molly and Katie, both of whom have a Pandora charm bracelet. Unknown to us, we arrived at noon, just a few minutes after Jared's had opened and all of the dozen or so clerks were busy answering questions about Pandora charms. Who knew they were so popular? We felt like we were present at the scene of mythical Pandora opening her famous box and releasing all the foibles of humanity into the world in a pandemonium. A tall gentlemen stopped us at the door and saved us from wading willy-nilly into the buying frenzy He advised us of the wait time, and told us that we could have a seat till he could inform us that a sales clerk was available to sell us something.

We walked around and through the crowd clustered around the island featuring Pandora charms and bracelets, and listened to a sales rep answer about 17 questions before the woman found what she wanted. This was typical of the wait time for each customer. We looked through the stock of charms and found one for Katie and one for Molly, but decided that Del would come back at a better time to actually buy the piece we wanted. We drove down the block to eat lunch at the Red Lobster, and from there, drove down St. Charles Avenue to Loyola University's campus for the concert. We arrived in time to get a fairly good seat in the Holy Name of Jesus church. .

Choral music interspersed with a singalong was enjoyable. We ran into a long-time friend, Debra Guidroz, who recognized us and called us over to her. She was saving a row of seats, but we had time to talk to her and get updated.

She has a new job with the Archdiocese of New Orleans in a counseling role and is very happy with her work. Concert was performed by the faculty and students of the Loyola Music Department, with a mixture of classical pieces and sing-a-long of carol favorites. It lasted about hour and a quarter and definitely helped us get into the Christmas spirit early in Advent. Given the raucous tumult of Pandora's realm and the harmonious interior of the Holy Name Church, we'd take the latter anytime.

DROWNED IN THE BAYONA

Oh, we weren't drowned because of the light rain which fell the day we walked back with John and Sandra Calender from my first trip to Bayona's Restaurant. No, the drowning victim was the grits which were supposed to be the base of the BBQ Shrimp I ordered as my main course for lunch. Okay, from the top: It was cloudy, but Sandra said, "It won't rain." We walked towards Canal a few blocks, then switched to Dauphine Street and the building housing Bayona had on its outside wall an old Spanish Street sign saying Calle Bayona in colorful blue-trimmed porcelain. Apparently Baronne or Dauphine was originally named Bayona. For an appetizer I had the roasted garlic soup; it was okay, but not the great taste of the Austrian version of garlic soup, called Knobloch soup, which I loved. The BBQ Shrimp over the Grits, which constituted my entree, was absolutely lousy. The messy eating was trumped by the over-spiced taste. I asked if the shrimp were peeled and was told by the waiter that "both the head and the tails were left on shrimp for presentation." I wanted to reply, "You can't eat presentation", but held my tongue and ordered it anyway, hoping for the best from Susan Spicer's famous cuisine.

To my chagrin, it was worse than I ever imagined — they poured almost a cupful of over-seasoned sauce over the grits, drowning it into a soup, and destroying any taste or savor of the grits! The over-spiced shrimp were too large, hard, and meaty. I would give it a 1 on a 10 point scale. I ate it all, but only because I was hungry. Matherne's Rule No. 1 reared its lovely head, "Once in a Row is enough." True, we enjoyed the ambience of the place and the company of John and Sandra was wonderful. The light rain on the way back to their place was typical New Orleans drizzle, what Californians call rain, and the lack of umbrellas seemed only to speed our pace and our fun. We barely got damp and we quickly dried off as we sipped coffee in the Calender kitchen before heading for home.

REMEMBERING OUR 1970s FRIENDS

Early in December was the Memorial Service for a friend we've known since the 1970s, Patricia Dunbar. Del and I got dressed and drove down St. Claude to the church and got there at 1 pm and already the parking lot was half-full. Folks came from all over the country and from as far away as Switzerland to be here.

The service was interspersed with personal reflections of Patricia by Lynn Koch, Sally Sadler, William Emerson, Yvonne Olree, and other colleagues and former clients of Pat's. One guy claimed to be in therapy with her for over half his lifetime of 46 years. A long-time friend, Pat Sauvegeot, also in Yokefellow with Patricia, spoke about her as well.

Almost every group which Patricia was part of had created a skit or presentation to honor her. There was the Journey School, a Jean Houston group, a Women with Wings group, and several other groups. One group was so large that the group making the presentation was larger than the remaining audience.

I thought of two groups Patricia was part of which were not represented: she and Sally Sadler were flower girls for Del and my wedding on July 16, 1978. Patricia was also a member along with Yvonne Olree, Del, I, and several others in our leaderless Anam Cara group which met for several years during the first decade of the new millennium. When I saw her Louisiana license plate which read JOURNEY, my eyes went immediately to the standard phrase on every custom plate, PERSONALIZED. Patricia was on a personalized journey for much of her life, one which brought her in contact with multiple groups and people from all over the whole world. The Spirits group presented a skit performed by each member of the group: The Red Queen took several swigs and sprayed gin over every member of the audience at one point. My favorite was the gal from Switzerland who had brought with her some hand-made Swiss chocolates which she passed out to the audience. We paused for a break with refreshments about 4 pm and resumed with equal energy as each different group Patricia was part of took front and center to honor her friendship with them.

The service was scheduled to run from 2 pm till 5 pm and we had planned to ride on the river in Fireboat with our friend Guntis who is the perennial Santa Claus for Algiers, but the service didn't end until 6 pm and we missed the ride with Santa. We did have a chance to talk to Pat Sauvegeot who had some updates about two other 1970s friends, Lucy Destin and Lanny Goldfinch. Lucy, she told us, had moved to Austin, Texas and had some medical problems, but no details on that. Lanny has moved into a nursing home due to some illness. Coupled with the loss of Patricia Dunbar, and another friend from the 70s, Pam Murphy, who we learned last month had died in 2006, it was not a good month for our 1970s colleagues.

SAINTS CACOPHONY AND LOUISIANA SYMPHONY

We watched the Saints game, eating portoburgers that Del made for us around kick off. Looked like it was going to be a Saints win, but the cold, rain kept Morstead's kick-offs from the clearing end zone, and long run-backs of the kickoffs gave the Giants the ball deep in Saints' territory nearly every time. Our New Orleans Saints play well in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and other domed stadiums, but going up north to Chicago during a freezing snowstorm or to cold, wet, and windy Giants stadium in the Northeast, things can get pretty raggedy. Our kicker Morstead can usually get the ball on kick-offs well into or even out of the end zone, but on this frigid day with swirling winds and a soaking wet football, his kick-offs came up very short and so did the special teams who allowed the Giants to start all but one possession on the Saints side of midfield, several times inside the 30. Any NFL will score if you give them starting position that good. Add two fumbles on Saints' possessions and two interceptions, one a tipped ball, and several dropped passes, it was amazing that Drew had us within 8 points of the Giants in the second half. Final score was a lugubrious 52-27, but our defense looked great against the run and our own running game continued to sparkle.

For the Gretna Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Christmas concert we had received patron tickets from our friend Betty Hoffman. When she offered the tickets, we had planned to watch the Saints game which would have overlapped with the concert. But I figured out how we could do both so I decided to audition my new Saints cummerbund and tie from Porter-Stevens for the concert. The Saints game started at 3:25 so we recorded the last few minutes to leave to get there right at 7. With seats in second row, we should not have trouble if we were a few minutes late, except for parking. So I planned to record game and dress during half-time. With the game still a possible win for the Saints at half-time, I quickly donned my Black Tie Tux, but soon the game looked out of reach, so we left got to the Concert Hall about 6:30 pm, with no idea of where to sit, not having our actual tickets and arriving before Betty did. Councilwoman Brenda Constant couldn't help us, either, not recognizing Betty Hoffman's name. But when we mentioned Betty's condo under construction, Brenda pointed out that the first two rows were reserved for Riverview Condos.

Betty arrived and showed us to our seats in Row 2. I spied our Mayor Ronnie Harris with his wife, Donna, and his mother, our good friend, Rosie Harris, sitting several rows behind us in row six, so I went back to talk to Rosie and teased her saying, "You usually get to sit up front at events as mother of the Mayor, and we get to sit behind you.!" We laughed about that, but unbeknownst to me at that very second, things were in the works to get 92-year-old Rosie, Ronnie and Donna moved up to the end of our row, and Rosie ended up sitting next to me during the concert. During the several sleigh rides and ice skating songs she and I and Del held hands and jingled along together. We had a lot of fun. Del really enjoyed the symphony, especially being so close and hearing the various instruments fill the small hall. There was never a dull moment and Del looked spectacular in her sparkly gown. Two Christmas concerts in the first week of December was enough to get Momma Claus upstairs, turning purchases into gifts, wrapping away as if she were the Ghost of Christmas Present. In the summertime, she is planting seeds which bloom in our garden, in the wintertime, she is planting seeds which bloom in the hearts of children and their children and grandchildren.

LT, PC, LLO, Speed Trace, and TSR

After two Lap Top disasters this year, one for me and one for Del, it was time to make a change. Del was no longer carrying her laptop with her every time we went on a trip, and with my Blackberry to check emails, I needed mine less also. On short trips like the one to Alexandria and Natchitoches in mid-December, I was too busy to open a laptop and left it home. I bought a new LT to replace the one whose hard drive burnt out the first day out at sea on our cruise from New Orleans to Istanbul. When I got home I bought a new one, identical to Del's. I immediately did a full System Backup which filled 5 DVD's. Several months later Del's LT would not reboot and I used that Backup to restore her operating system. The process took about 7 hours and was not fun at all! But it worked, almost. She had to restore all her data and lost her emails and addresses in the subterranean bowels of Outlook. She could use the LT to get her work done, but it worked much slower. Everything took longer. Slow as molasses in January, my mother would say, from her childhood of living close to a sugar refinery, no doubt. As a teenager, she and her friends would go to a refinery after a late night date, and the night watchmen would allow them to watch the hot brown sugar rolling by on the drying conveyor belt and take a sample to eat. A sweet memory, but I digress.

Finally I decided, as Del's Tech Support that she needed a PC designed by me, similar to the one I designed and had built by nearby A Prompt Computer Co. Neat name — it recalls the early days of PC's with 5 1/4" floppy disks and DOS which greeted you on boot up with a cheery A> which is called an "A Prompt". We went there and I got her PC built with the same CPU, less RAM and VRAM, to run two screens, and with two 1 Terabyte hard drives (1 Tb is 1,000 Gb) partitioned into four separate drives of C:, D:, E:, and F:. All of her data will be on D: and backed up with a speedy XCOOPY to F:. Her complete System on C: will be backed up on F:. Any HD failure on C: or D: can be easily restored from E: and F:.

Call came from A Prompt Computer that Del's new PC was ready to be picked up. Brought it home and Del and I had several LLO's (Loud Learning Opportunities) as she ranted about the wires all over the place in our office. After a quick doyle trace we could deal with issues about where to place the PC case and finally we agreed to set it on top the desk till everything was working and then move it down below the desk. Got the DVI adapter to VGA from my S7 PC and put it on Del's new PC so both of her monitors were working. Had to fool around with the two screens' resolutions until a circle on each of them was actually round and the sizes of objects in both her screens were close to the same. We're using TV screens because they are cheaper and have PC inputs which accept VGA plugs, but they require some finagling to get installed properly.

We quickly loaded up Quicken from disk and from on-line and created folders in D: drive, her Data drive and a Backup Batch file for her to quickly update everything from D: to F: (her Backup Drive). Used up an entire day getting her PC up and it was worth to see her smile when her desktop had an efficient computer working on it. It was a rare day when she was home the entire time and she listened and watched all that I did.


For the Timberlane Screening Room, I always wanted a sixth screen right over the large plasma screen in the center, and this month I got the next best thing. We had Santa wrap for the poster of the LSU Golden Girls given to us by Allison Stewart. It is autographed by her and all the other Golden Girls and is now posted in the sixth screen position in the TSR. Something to look at during time-outs in the Fighting Tigers, Saints, and soon-to-be Pelicans games.

ALEXANDRIA, NATCHITOCHES, AND MANY HAPPY EXPERIENCES

Our trip to Alexandria was filled with what I call "Discover America Accidentally" or taking the wrong road in one way or another. We left as soon as Del returned from her Les Dames Christmas Luncheon at the Timberlane Country Club and headed first for our stock broker, Mike Brown, and his annual party. As we walked towards Mike's office, we saw a WWII Jeep outside and Del said Shelby must be there. I wasn't sure that it was his jeep, so I took a photo of it. We walked in, and said hello to Vicky, who usually handles my calls when I phone for Mike, and my stock requests if Mike's not in. Mike looked rather casual with his almost shoulder-length silver hair and dressed-down look. I found Shelby, my high school pal talking to Buddy Graver, another fellow Hahnville High graduate. I mentioned how much he is beginning to look like his silver-haired dad, and said, "It seems like the older we get the more we begin to see our dad's face staring back at us from the mirror each morning when we shave." Never thought I looked much like my dad until about five years ago. We talked to Mike who has also been doing some traveling of his own. Enjoyed the food which sustained us on our 5 hour trip to Alex.

The other place I wanted to visit or actually drive past was the nuclear power plant I retired from in 1995 to be able to work full-time as a writer. When I went there in 1981, there was a hole in the side of the reactor building and that hole has been re-opened for the replacement of its heat exchangers and reactor head. As I drove towards Waterford-3, I mistakenly overshot Hwy 3160 and had to back-track a mile or so, the first of my backtracks on this day. I rolled the window down and got a distant shot of the building, but got a better one as I passed the former parking lot entrance. The hole is nearly closed, with scaffolding and forms in place to add rebar and concrete it up good as new. Called my co-worker Steve on the phone, and he said they're hoping to be up to power and on the grid by January. What a way to spend Christmas, I thought, working an outage, probably six or seven days a week and 12 hours a day, if they're doing it the way they did when I was there. Del and I called it "nuclear prison" because of the long hours spent behind barb-wired fence and armed security forces.

Then I drove back to Hwy 3127 and on toward Vacherie, and at Hwy 20, decided to take shortcut to Hwy 90 via Thibodaux. Second mistake of the trip because about five miles down the road, the two-lane highway was blocked by stoped cars as far as we could see, and many cars were already turning around, so we joined them in an immediate U-ie. We got back on 3127 to Donaldsonville and when we got to its end, encountered a Gordian Knot of the entrance to Hwy 70. Imagine a nautical knot diagram, that's what the GPS showed it to be. Like double-square knot with absolutely no signs nor GPS guidance to tell us which of the four directions would get us to 70. It was either remain stalled at stop sign to figure it out, or guess wrong, which I did, and had to loop back, and with the traffic, we lost 10 minutes. We made it to I-10 and we got slowly through Baton Rouge to Lafayette, and then drove easily with little traffic on I-49 all the way to Kim's house in Alexandria.

Del's four kids came to there as a central location from Dallas, Mandeville, and Baton Rouge areas for a family gathering and sharing of Christmas gifts with each other. Last year we had both sides of our family come to Timberlane and as I recall we had 17 people sleeping over that night. With neither side able to come before Christmas this year, we put up several small Christmas trees, but saved ourselves the expense and trouble of the ten foot Fraser Fir this year. Our son-in-law Wes made two large pots of gumbo, one chicken and one seafood and we had an enjoyable visit with the kids and grandkids. Two of Kim's are at LSU: Katie is a senior and Weslee is a sophomore, and both of them came home for the festivities. We arrived and stayed over night on Friday, and planned to head to Natchitoches the next night for the Christmas Lights.

For 86 years, the old city of Natchitoches (NAK-EEE-TUSH') has strung lights along the Cane River bank which abuts its downtown street. Several years ago we went to see the lights and it was a miserable cold and rainy night, which dampened our enjoyment, so this was a make-up trip. Some rain was predicted, but thank God, it stayed away until the next day. At times we could see stars over head indicating a lack of clouds and I think we felt only a couple of drops, but it might have been the artificial snow falling from a bubble machine which simulated a light snowfall. The weather was cool and dry otherwise and the Cane River never looked prettier.

Our first stop was at the Holiday Inn Express on Hwy 6 which runs from the town of Many to Natchitoches. We checked in quickly and headed to the Cane River, crossing over the river on the first bridge and driving to the area of the second bridge which was directly across from the downtown celebration, as someone had suggested I do. We parked our car a block off the river and walked across the second bridge, taking photos, and looking down at the kiosks and people already filling up the banks of the Cane River about 20 feet below the bridge.

We walked slowly into town down the main street to Kaffie-Frederick's General Mercantile store, the oldest continuously open General Store in Louisiana, since 1863. I looked around and found a flashlight with a curious design. A larger one was $45 and a smaller one was $35. It looked like a suitable replacement for the LED torch which burnt out on me at home. So after some examination and a question of the clerk, "Is this an LED light?" She said it was a LUMENS light because the word was emblazoned on the side of light. Well, lumen is a physics unit meaning amount of light or luminous flux, and had nothing to do with whether it was LED or incandescent bulb. I bought it anyway and put it in one of my cargo pants pockets. I took photos in the store and of the city's lights displays, but soon it was clear that I required a charged camera battery so I asked Del to sit on the sidewalk where she could watch the fireworks and where I could find her easily in the crowd when I got back. We had already acquired $5 each armbands which allowed us down in kiosk and bandstand area, with in and out privileges.

The trip to get the battery should have taken me about fifteen minutes, but here I got into the biggest delay and detour of the weekend, and on foot, and in the dark, too. I walked across the bridge, quickly picked up the charged battery, and headed back to get across the bridge and use one of the Porta-Johns. There were two dozen lined up across the bridge under the bridge approach on the lower level at the edge of the line of kiosks. About fifty feet from the bridge, a fireman told me I couldn't walk there, so I moved over behind the fire engines, walked across the edge of a neighbor's lawn and was only about ten paces from being on the bridge when a state trooper or local LEO (Law enforcement officer) told me to halt, and said that I could not cross the bridge. I explained to him that I had left my wife about ten minutes ago to pick up something in my car and had to get back to her. "Didn't that officer back there tell you not to cross the bridge?" "No, I thought he meant that I couldn't walk in the middle of the street." To my chagrin, there were no Porta-Johns to be found, which I confirmed by asking several of the local LEO's. I had to pull a Daniel Boone in order to find comfort and then began my hour-long walk in the dark in an unknown neighborhood, all the way to the First Bridge and back to the Second Bridge where Del was. I called her on her cell and told her the problem. She offered to walk to meet me, but I said, "No, stay where you are and enjoy the fireworks if they go off before I get there." Sure, enough, it was one half-hour to the First Bridge and one half-hour back to where Del was. I arrived about a minute after the last firework lit up the sky. Lucky for me that I had bought the fancy flashlight! It had a red ring around it which lit up and if I held it in my street-side hand, using it to light my way through dark uneven grassy areas and across the front of houses with no sidewalks, traffic coming behind me could easily see the red light and know to avoid me.

Del said later that it was the best fireworks display she'd ever seen! The lights of the bridge changed in synchronism with the fireworks as did the music played over the loudspeakers everywhere. She said she felt such elation that she began smiling, tears ran down her eyes, and she even laughed out loud from overwhelming joy. A small festival, perhaps, our tiny town of Natchitoches has, but try to find that kind of reaction to a large city fireworks display. We walked over to find a restaurant to grab some hot soup and coffee perhaps and found Mama's Café. Del went to the ladies room while I waited for a table to come vacant. I talked to the folks who were leaving, "How was the food?" "Okay, if you don't mind waiting an hour and a half for it to be cooked." Maybe the rush is over, I thought, and took a seat at the table while waiting for Del to come back. A waitress came and said, "You have to register in the other room if you want a table." I asked her if she would check for me, if there is a long wait. The word came back from someone else, "An hour and a half wait." Hmmm, a quick calculation on my cell phone app told me that 1.5 + 1.5 = 3.0 hours to get seated and served. Another long delay so when Del came, I was still seated in the same chair and we got up and left.

We walked down a few steps where we bought some hot chocolate for me, funnel cake for us, and coffee for Del. We found a vacant seat in the aluminum bleachers (four rows high) and sat down to enjoy our largesse (took us 30 seconds to be served and 1.5 minutes to prepare our order) and only cost $9. While sitting in the bleachers they played Cajun Twist, and I got up and did the twist. I noticed that no one on the dance area was actually doing the Twist, like they had no idea of the 1960s era dance. That was in the middle of the previous century, wasn't it, Chubby? The band was marvelous, also playing rock & roll, blues, Fats Domino, Cajun, Zydecho, and Christmas songs, beginning their next song before the last beat of the previous song had died out.

At one point the singer mentioned that they had waited a long time to be invited to play at this festival — they were apparently coming loaded for bear and wanted to play as many songs as they could during their allotted time. The dance floor was just a bit of sidewalk between the hill up to main street and the green sward down to the Cane River's edge, and most of it was taken up by people just standing, but a half dozen or so dancers moved in between the standing audience. Naturally the band got a standing ovation after every song.

It was a great night and we hated to leave the festivities, but we had been festive since early morning and it was nearly 11 pm and we had a short ride back to the Holiday Inn at corner of I-49 and LA Rte 6.

We walked back across the bridge that I was not allowed to cross an hour or two earlier, found our car and turned left and drove to the First bridge and headed to the Holiday Inn, just a short slow down due to heavy traffic which lessened when we had passed the campus of Northwestern University. We got in bed after taking a shower and slept like babies. Another day of adventures awaited us the next day. We planned to drive through the town of Many to my first cousin, John Matherne's new place on Toledo Bend Lake outside Many.

We got up early and fixed some breakfast in the dining area, but brought it back to room to escape the obnoxious morning programs on TV. There was a pancake machine which made plastic like pancakes suitable for drink coasters more than eating. The predicted rain had started and I had to move our car under the overhang to load her up. The drive to John's place was long and dreary, taking nearly an hour in the rain with winding roads the whole way, plus our car was nearly on Empty. When we got close, another detour. Our GPS did not signal us to turn right onto the final stretch to John's place, so we stopped to turn around and while stopped, I checked for the nearest gas station and found a Shell down the road we going the wrong way on, but it was the right way to get gas. Another adventure in a weekend of adventures, including several instances of discover-America-accidentally, even with our GPS. It showed our path as a bolded line, but that turn was onto an "Unknown Street Name" for which no verbal guidance is offered, and such streets were shown as a Green line and we had no non-route green lines to compare the bolded green line with, a problem which is a software design problem that should be corrected. But the error helped us get gas before we headed back.

When we arrived, John came out. We met his son David who is 32 and has been unable to walk due to balance problems since his motorcycle accident in Colorado Springs 12 years ago. David was on an exercise bike when we arrived and stayed there most of the time. John grilled some steaks and his wife June made a salad and some delicious soup. We enjoyed our meal with them. John is my Uncle Ray's youngest son, about 17 years younger than I am, the age of my brother Kevin, so I didn't have much interaction with him as a kid, mostly knew his older brother Adrian, Raymond, Brian, and Nathan. Plus he's been living in Colorado where they still maintain a house. This is a new place they bought for when they come to Louisiana and is near June's relatives. They showed us around the house. They've only owned it for about a year, but it looks comfortable and settled. It has a great view of the Lake which borders two sides of their 5 acre land which includes a small island with an earthen bridge to get onto it. A boat dock, a gazebo, several large greenhouses, a stained glass workshop, large garage and carport plus a guest house adjoining their two story home. After a nice visit, we drove home, the rain still coming now and then until we reached Baton Rouge and had a dry drive under threatening skies the rest of the way with no more slow-downs or detours.

CAPTAIN ANDY AND DELACROIX

In the afternoon, Captain Andy Kleamanakis called; he finally found the phone number I gave him over the phone. He was driving in Atlanta last time I called him, before our Rhine Cruise, and had misplaced my number. He said he was looking for someone to go fishing with him. Said to get myself a fishing license to be ready.

Del came home and we stopped by Academy Sports for my license. The clerk, Tabasco or something like that, dumb as a stump, waited on me, or rather, I waited on her to remove the gum she was chewing which was visible in her mouth as she tried to talk, her talking was not very clear, gum or not! A slurred mumble is the best way I can describe her verbal skills, or rather the lack thereof. She asked for my Driver's License, I gave to her, she gave it back to me, and then asked for it again and walked away holding onto it. I followed her before she got out of sight at a new register. I asked why she moved to a new register, no answer. Got my $5 hunting and fishing license, but only after $50 worth of wasted time and aggravation.

Shortly after we got home, Capt. Andy called and wanted to go fishing the next morning, so I had to find my tackle box (found my straight hemostat I thought was lost in the box), my fishing rods (got them ready), my clothes to wear for a 48 degF morning, racing in open boat on open water. Took me several hours to get ready.

Prepared my lunch and put ice in my ice chest for bringing home fish. The next morning I was up at 4:30 am, aiming to leave for 5 am, but getting the ice chest filled, making a thermos of hot coffee, getting warmly dressed in layers took time and I left at 5:30. Got to our meeting spot on Paris Rd for 6:00 am, however, the exact time that Andy said to meet him. He was already there when I arrived. His height has shrunk since the last time I saw him, but he is in his upper 80s now.

He was competent with his boat, and I enjoyed the drive to Delacroix to launch it. He backed into slip while I got the Launch Ticket. No more hoist launches anywhere in area except for one at Hopedale and it costs $25. We went through Gentilly Bayou to Little Lake and then took Oak River to some other bayou where we fished. We caught about 10 fish for the day, a measly production for a South Louisiana fishing trip. Red, Black, White and Speckled were the colors of the fish: redfish (one below legal limit), speckled trout (one below also), the white trout we kept as well as the black drum.

We divided up the fish, five each, and I drove home, arriving too exhausted to unload the car. Took a two-hour nap with Del and then she picked up an oyster poor boy at DiMartino's which we split for supper. Peter's Deli seems to have changed to a lighter bread which is much better for his poor boy sandwiches. Deli-sh!

COX EMAILS FUBAR, NOT SNAFU

FUBAR is a fun acronym from the military which translates into polite terms as Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition! That's what happened when we were at Kim's home in Alex and our two Blackberry Cells, Del and mine, stopped receiving emails. Called Verizon our cell provider and a nice clerk stayed on the phone with me for almost an hour to finally determine that it was my email provider COX's problem.

Back home three days later I was trying to get emails working on BB again. Sure enough Cox's email system had gone down and had been down from Friday until Wednesday. I discovered they had been queuing up the emails and only on Monday had they begun sending them out. Del's new PC doesn't have any email capability installed yet, so she had all of her emails queued up until this afternoon. Neither of my PCs were receiving but a dribble of emails from Wednesday.

I had to call COX, but their call line was very busy, so I tried to go to the Internet as they suggested and was able to get a Live Chat line opened. Well, the first person was so incompetent that they disappeared without my asking and were replaced by someone with a much better attitude and just as helpless to do anything. Sometimes Live Chat is great, not so in this case. So I bit the bullet and called the Tech Support line again and this time I got someone. I explained briefly what happened and she went into my account and released the HOLD that had been put on it, probably because I had tried so many different ways to fix the problem that it issued an intruder alert. Immediately two emails came in while we were on the phone. No longer on HOLD, my account was fine! I thanked her profusely and she offered to fix my wife's account, but that required Del's password and Cox had recently required her to add a number in her password, so the two older PW's I tried didn't work. When Del came home, I went to her account put in the correct PW and her 75 emails began coming in, all the ones since Friday when Cox went FUBAR. Just a note about FUBAR and SNAFU which are often used interchangeably, but which have distinctly different meanings and application. FUBAR means something bad happened to a normally operation system, like Cox's email system; SNAFU means Situation Normal, All Fouled Up and it refers to dysfunctional systems such as Congress which continues to operate while screwing up the country, or at least some section of the lives of its citizens, with every law it enacts to try to make things better. For example, everything might become FUBAR in 2013 if the country falls over the Fiscal Cliff created by the SNAFU we call Congress.

PAPA NOEL'S LANDING LIGHTS

Every Christmas Eve for over a century, the folks along the River Road in St. John and St. James Parish have built huge bonfires on the top of the levee purportedly to light the way for Papa Noel, or Santa Claus to you Anglish folks, to find his way to bring gifts to their children. Naturally a big party goes along with the bonfire, and nearly every home has a bonfire and a party across the street. Del and I drove down the River Road when the bonfires were ablaze several years ago, but we wanted to go to one of the parties also, and this year it happened.

Anne and Guntis have gone to Kevin Vicknair's bonfire for several years and invited us to go along with them this year. All bonfires must have a permit and the fees collected from the permit and a festival before the season pay for insurance to cover any damage from the fires.

Each bonfire has a single letter followed by a number, such as G1 which is the first bonfire and is in Gramercy, then come the L series in Lutcher, and the P series in Paulina which I've heard goes up to P131. So that's over 100 bonfires, each lined up as close as the houses are to each on River Road. That gives you barely a cool spot between two adjacent blazing bonfires to set up a table with food and drinks, usually homemade gumbo and beer with appetizers.

Expecting we would be eating inside the house, and not on the levee, I decided to make some shrimp-stuffed merlitons. I boiled the merlitons and defrosted the shrimp and as soon as an hour had passed, I started scooping out the inside of the shells to cook the stuffing. Got half of them in square baking pan and baked them till slight brown on the top. Covered the in foil and packed them into a large paper shopping bag with a spatula to carry wherever. The weather seemed be clearing and we hoped it would hold until the bonfires were over, so the game was afoot! Annie said she got a text saying the local fire marshal has cleared the bonfires to start on time which is 7 pm. We got to Guntis and Annie's house for 3:05 pm and Burke Fountain from Taunton, Mass. was there with two gals from Irish Channel, Angela and Penny (Penelope). Guntis rode up front with me, and his lady Annie in back seat with Del. I led the way with Anne navigating and two cars following us.

We decided to drive up the River Road while there's a bit of daylight to see the bonfire structures before they were set fire. The Jack Daniels bottle was the most impressive, followed by the large creche, one which would obviously be emptied before burning its wooden shell. I wondered if the USA flags atop the pyres were removed before the fire started.

Traffic was slow until Paulina and then we could travel faster until we found Kevin's bonfire sign. We found parking places easily on the side road next to the home of Kevin's mother-in-law. We had to haul everything up the levee beside the fire. It was getting dark and there were no tables to put anything on. The merlitons were losing their warmth, but we had no utensils or plates to eat anything with, so we noshed on Annie's and the others' appetizers. Next time, I'll just make my spinach and artichoke dip and bring it instead.

So things were messy and uncomfortable till Bonfire King Kevin arrived from attending Mass, and then we ate the merliton which disappeared quickly and about 5 or 6 people said they liked it and requested the receipe which is on my Web site. Then folks moved onto the chili, chicken and andouille gumbo, and potato salad. Potato salad was okay, but when I went to use bathroom in the house across the street, whose yard and kitchen were filled with more people, I found some fried frog legs in the kitchen, and ate one which was delicious, even if a bit cool. I also sampled the fudge on the table. At one point Del and I sat on a large cypress glider on the carport. We both decided that we wanted one of these at Timberlane as we enjoyed immensely.

It was a fun time with lots of people to talk to and to watch; the sky remained clear with the Full Moon and a couple of planets visible. Kevin's bonfire was one of the tallest and sturdiest and it caught fire slowly, good for marshmallow roasting, which I'll remember for next year. Once the fire began blazing after an hour or so, it was too hot for marshmallows or wieners to roast as you couldn't get close enough. When we left we hit a blockage on 3125, but I was able to backtrack over to Airline Highway to get to I-10 and we made it home okay afterwards. A long day and a fun night — a great way to spend Christmas Eve. Would love to take some of our Out-of-State kids and grandkids there one Christmas.

BITS AND PIECES

Called my buddy in NYC, Kevin Dann, to tell him about Ted's new job at Margaritaville and how it seemed like an episode from Treme last night. Found out that Kevin hadn't seen Treme, so I gave him that to do as homework before he brings his friend Cathline with him to New Orleans. He let me talk to Cathline, a Good Reader, who immediately began with, "I've become a great fan of yours." I told her in reply, "I'm a big fan of any friend of Kevin's."

While researching photos for Andy Griffith's In Memoriam, I found a photo named: "Andy Griffith dies dead." I can just imagine Andy himself asking this question in his quaint way of talking, "What other way is there to die?"

After hearing a lecture by Poppy Tooker about Madame Begue's first Creole restaurant on the site where Tujacques is now, I bought a copy of her new edition of Madame Beque's Cook Book autographed for Chef Bobby Jeaux. All I need now is to buy some lard and get cooking. It is called for in almost every recipe in the book. The cookbook is a great revival of the original Creole cookbook written by Madame Begue herself.

At another recent event we enjoyed talking to our friends, the Calenders and the Jorgensens. Maddie had a bright gray vest on and I asked Del to take a picture of Maddie with me. I had on my bright and festive vest which drew admiring comments from over a dozen folks over the holidays. Most missed the Mardi Gras theme of brightly colored pattern. A handy vest which can be worn from Advent till Ash Wednesday every year.

During our Thanksgiving trip to Dan Richard's home in Charlotte, NC, a side piece on my driving glasses broke. These are prescription lenses and I needed them for the 14 hour drive back home, so with Dan's help, I managed to glue the broken plastic ear pieces together. But later, during this month, the glued pieces came apart and I needed a better solution. Luckily an expensive part of some other eyeglasses had broken in the piece between the lenses, and had two sturdy ear pieces available, which I had saved. I removed the side ear pieces from the $10 glasses, and used them to replace the ear pieces on my driving glasses, one of which was broken. Had to drill out the holes and add some spacers, but everything has held tight. During my repair, I really needed my straight-line hemostat for handling the small screws and bolts, but the one I had long ago disappeared, so I had to make do with angled tip hemostat in my small tools kit. I wondered where I might get a straight-tipped hemostat which would have made tightening the small bolts so much easier. Well, my old fishing buddy Andy Kleamenakis called me to go fishing with him and when I went to check the contents of my fishing tackle box, there was the straight hemostat safely stored in my fishing tackle box!

Del reminded me to tell this story about a secret spy mission which had to be concealed from her until after Christmas morning. When in Blowing Rock with Dan and Karen the day after Thanksgiving, I was in a small gift shop where I got a hot chocolate and saw a nice Framed Map of the mythical town of Mitford, created by a Blowing Rock native, Jan Karon in her novels about Mitford.

Dan and I looked around for rolled-up tubes of the map, but there were none, so I asked Mandy who had fixed my chocolate, and she said the framed one was for sale. It was a high price, but worthy of a special Christmas gift for Del. I asked Dan if he would help me keep this a secret from his sister Del, and he agreed. I bought the gift, using up almost all of my trip cash to keep Del, who is our family bookkeeper, from asking, "Where did you spend this large amount on your credit card?" and "What was it for?" Then the cloak and dagger work began to smuggle the large framed object, first to Charlotte where our car was waiting, and then move it surrepetitiously from Karen's car into our car under the shadow of night. Then to drive it home safely without the frame's glass from breaking and to spirit it into the house and into a hiding place to be opened after Del had finished opening the rest of her presents. I felt a little like Agent Maxwell Smart doing all this, and now that I can report that I carried it off, with Dan's help, I think I deserve a phone in my shoe as Max had on the 1960s TV series.

The shop kindly wrapped in a Christmas wrapping with a handle for easy carrying, but I couldn't have my carrying it spied by Del and Karen who were who knows where out on Main Street Blowing Rock or in a shop ready to come out. So Dan went ahead of me, clearing the way and we finally made it to where Karen's car was. We removed the rug in her station wagon's back area and placed the frame under it. Back in Charlotte, everyone went inside while I moved the frame into our trunk, being careful to repack the car so nothing heavy was placed over the rug where the frame was stashed away. Arriving home, I quickly removed it while Del was in the house and stored it in a garage closet over night. Then the next day when she left, I moved into a little used closet with some white paper over it where it stayed, undisturbed and unspied, until Christmas morn when I retrieved it, gave to Del and she opened and enjoyed the surprise.

One day I noticed a wrapped present at our front door. FedEx and UPS and USPS has been delivering presents almost daily, but this one had no TO: or FROM: address on it, so it must have been hand-delivered. We opened the present together and found it contained an Elf Gift! This is a gift from an anonymous person in our subdivision and it came with instructions to post the Elf Sign on our front door, which tells others that we have been Elf'ed already. Then make two copies of the sign and the Elf instructions and wrap two presents with the sign and instructions in them and select two other friends or neighbors in the northern section of Timberlane Estates, which we did. A neat idea for spreading Christmas Cheer and we understand that there will be an Elf Party at Timberlane Country Club at which the Head Elf will be revealed and we can all share our experiences with Elf'ing.

Maureen and I were scheduled to have lunch and go Christmas shopping and she called early in the morning to say she had to get some dental work done first. Told her to call me after she got out of the dentist, and she did, at 10 am. I drove to her house on Newton Street and saw my great-grandson Ben Huber and got a hug and a photo of him with me. As we were leaving, I got a photo of Maureen and her tree, and we drove to Zea's Restaurant in Clearview Mall for lunch. Since Hurricane Isaac, I've learned to enjoy their grilled rainbow trout with the corn grits side. They don't drown the grits like Bayona and they're delicious. She talked and I got caught up on her family of four kids and three grandsons. Chris and Sarah are planning to build a home on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. Tiffany is going through another phase of being single as she enters thirty. Jennifer and Anthony are doing great running Terranova Supermarket on Esplanade. I hardly ever see Benny and Karen when we stop by occasionally to visit Jennifer. Gabe is working at Smoothie King near Mt. Carmel Academy and saving money to go back to UNO after losing his scholarship until his grades improve. Jay and his daughter, Trinity, will be moving to New Orleans in a few weeks and he and Maureen will soon be able to have some Face-Time without staring into a cell phone.

WHITE CHRISTMASES

Two of our sons are experiencing a White Christmas this year. Jim and his wife Gina are in a mountain cabin in the Ozarks and sent us a picture of their snowed in Maxima. Robie sent a YouTube clip of his son Walden piloting a remote airplane taking off from a snowy runway in Indiana, using an innovative runner Walden designed for his new airplane.

LAST MINUTE ITEMS

This is the last week of the month as well as last month of the year 2012. During this time, I like to say that we hope nothing exciting happens so that I don't have to sit down and write it up to share it with you, my Good Readers, and usually not much happens, partially because I'm so busy working against my first of the month deadline for publishing the new DIGESTWORLD Issue. We are expecting our three daughters coming by in the next day or so, and likely I'll add a photo or two of them and their kids before the monthly Reminder goes out.

In addition, with New Year's Eve coming up, we have one more LSU football game to play, against Clemson in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl that night. And the day before that is the last New Orleans Saints football game and a win against its division rival will lock up second-place in the NFC South and an 8 wins, 8 losses record which would be great for a team which was torn apart by the NFL Commissioner: literally ridden hard, put up wet, and left to die under nourished with hobbles on its feet. In many years, an 8-8 record would have gotten the Saints into a playoff game, but that wasn't in the Tarot cards in this star-crossed year. We look forward to having our head Coach Sean Payton back to right our nearly capsized ship, sent up the Jolly Roger, and load up our cannons to be ready to blast our way into the next Season. Every season has a Super Bowl and every season the Saints are ready to win it from now on. Once in a Row is not Enough for our courageous crew who can sail treacherous seas with a mighty Brees filling its sails.

AS WE LIKE TO SAY EACH MONTH, EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING, SO UNTIL NEXT MONTH IN 2013 WE WISH YOU ALL THE BEST THAT LIFE CAN OFFER.

For the past 31 days December has been a month with intermittent cloudy warm days and sunny cold days as we entered Winter. After 8 weeks of cruising to Panama, Turkey and the Rhine-Danube Rivers, it was good to be back in New Orleans on solid ground. Our 100 foot long cruise ship we call S.S. Timberlane has endured high winds, rain, and near-freezing cold and kept us warm and cozy with its wood-burning fireplace at times. It has a fully equipped kitchen with two Chefs, Bobby Jeaux and Deli Ruth who have provided the best meals we've had anywhere all year. Except for a short trip to Central Louisiana for a Christmas Celebration with family in Alexandria and to see the Lights on the Cane River in Natchitoches, we have enjoyed being home. On December 21st the Mayan Calendar reset and the World Celebrated a new Era of Peace and Prosperity as the next Golden Age inches closer to us. With the excitement of the world quieting down, as people are still pinching themselves for being around, God Willing, we will next see you in these pages in the February, 2013 DIGESTWORLD Issue. Till then, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, Here's our slogan for the NEW YEAR:

MAY THE WORLD BE PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-THIRTEEN ! ! !

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  • New Stuff on Website:
  • From Flowers of Shanidar, A 1990 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne

    INTRODUCTION
           In a small dark cave in the hills of Northern Iraq near the Turkish border the excavator Ralph Solecki found in 1960 the bones of a young man placed in the recess between two large boulders. Analysis of the remains from the cave of Shanidar determined that the burial occurred over 60,000 years ago.
           Soil samples collected near the bones were only analyzed several years later and produced a quite unexpected result. Ordinarily a small random assortment of pollen grains would be found in funereal soil samples, but the Shanidar soil analysis revealed thousands of pollen grains from wild flowers of the region. Flowers of rose mallow, hollyhocks, hyacinths, and other indigenous varieties of flowers had been systematically collected and transported to the cave of Shanidar as a funerary tribute.
           Astonished, the scientists were confronted with the earliest known evidence of a burial ritual. From the very dawn of mankind a message had come down to us, written in pollen grains from the flowers of Shanidar, of the birth of a new consciousness — the consciousness of death.
           How far have we progressed in the knowledge of ultimate destinations in the 600 centuries since that funeral celebration? As we stand before the door to the new millennium, do we dare to knock? Are we ready for the new flowers of Shanidar and the birth of consciousness that will surely accompany our passage into that new era?


    These poems are from Bobby Matherne’s 1990 book of poetry, Flowers of Shanidar and have never been published on the Internet before. Here in the beginning of the new millennium, we are publishing each month five poems, one from each Chapter of the book. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne)

    1. Chapter: Hollyhocks

          Conquer The World

    You never wrote a song before — what of it?
    Alexander never conquered the world
          before he did it.

    He crossed the sea in harmony
          and stayed until the land was won;
    His only goal was just to see
          what lies beyond the next horizon.

    He won the world but not with might,
    The evidence is now at hand,
          he won it with his rag-time band.

    So heed the lessons one and all
          the world is at your beck and call
    To conquer the world without a casualty
          you must first set their bodies free.

    Free to dance and free to sing
          will bring them joy in everything,
    For bodies free will ne'er lie
          and let their carefree spirits fly.





    2. Chapter: Hyacinths

          Dogma

    Thought becomes theory
    Theory becomes dogma
    Dogma becomes no one.



    3. Chapter: Rose Mallow

          I am your fetus

    I am your fetus.
    I am a pulsing bulb
    Hanging by a stem
    From the tree of life.

    I am your fetus.

    If you pluck me before I'm ripe
    You'll have a bloody mess —
    If you keep me till full term
    I'll be your happiness.

    I am your fetus.
    Living fruit of life
    Conceived in joy
    And patterned ecstasy.

    I am your fetus.
    I swim in my amniotic bassinet
    Doing Esther Williams somersaults
    In my scuba gear

    Looking for a way
    Out of this morning cave
    Without a gory fuss.

    I am your fetus
    The father and the mother
    Of your child to be.

    4. Chapter: Shamrocks

          Mutually Assured Love

    A new law is written in our hearts
    As natural as can be
    Without any coercive parts
    Between us and liberty.

    The essence of natural law
    Requires no armed enforcement —
    It rules without a single flaw —
    And monetary inducement.

    The laws of nature we obey
    Are creations of our mind
    And if we find another way
    The old is left behind.

    Then comes man-made law's ascent,
    Those maps of maps entwined,
    Outfitted with its armament
    Like a keyway fits its spline.

    Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)
    May be the law of the nation,
    But Mutually Assured Love (MAL) will be
    Our future destination.

    5. Chapter: Violets

          Elven Shoes

    The funny thing is the elves made shoes,
    Not wallets, or purses, or handbags —
    Shoes — in the style of the shoemakers time,
    Not Reeboks, or Nikes, or wingtips.

    How did they know the style of shoe
    The shoemaker wished to make?

    Why did they work at night
    When the shoemaker was asleep?

    How did the shoemaker call the elves?

    Do we have elves around us even now
    That come into our shops at night
    Producing products of our choosing
    For us to discover in our day of light?



    Quotes Selected from
    quotes.htm this month:

    • I learn by going where I have to go.
      — Theodore Roethke (from his poem "The Waking")

    • What sort of love is permeated by jealousy? You are jealous because you are unaware that everything you need is inside you.
      — Peter Deunov


      New Stuff on the Internet:
    • The newly widened Huey P. Long Bridge will be open next year. Check the Website where you can view the Construction History of the world-famous Bridge in the video in the upper right corner of webpage. Look at time=6:09 and you can see Del's Aunt Ruth helping Huey Long's Widow do the ribbon cutting. To see video, Click on Photo at right.





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    Movies we watched this past month:

    Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ 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.):
    “Bernie” (2011) Jack Black is a hoot as Bernie, the assistant funeral director whom everyone loves, until he kills Shirley MacLaine, shooting her in the back four times. Based on a true story so get ready for some rural Texas dialogue, with real logs and rolling on the floor funny bits.
    “Butter” (2011) Iowa, we never knew this about you: filled with greed, blackmail, sex, and butter. Lotsa butter and lotsa fun.
    “The Only Thrill” (1997) Starring Diane Keaton and Sam Shepherd in a long-lasting love affair, never quite consummated, but one which brought Carol what she called “the only thrill I need”. When his son begins to make the same mistake, Reece finally intervenes forcefully. Oldie but goodie spanning 60s to 90s.
    “For Greater Glory” (2012) Andy Garcia leads the Cristeros in 1920s Mexico against the President who is closing all the Catholic churches. Amazing movie showing the Mexican people rising up to keep their churches open. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
    “Definitely, Maybe” (2008 2nd Viewing, 1st DW#089) is a story told by a father to his 11-year-old daughter about how he chose her mother. It involved three women, two of which he changed the name in the story. Did he end up marrying the one whose name he didn’t change? Definitely, maybe.
    “3 Godfathers” (1948) A western with a hero named Robert played by John Wayne who nurses a newborn baby. Movie in Technicolor and with a Christmas theme of a baby born in abandoned covered wagon when three wise men arrive to present the gift of life and become his godfather, Bob, William, and Pedro.
    “The Lemon Drop Kid” (1951) with Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in a series of Damon Runyan adventures at race track and casinos leading up to a Christmas finale in which William Frawley gruffs out the inspiration for Bob & Marilyn to sing “Silver Bells”. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "Arbitrage" (2012) when the world of higher finance meets the world of family, nothing is risk-free, especially if you are caught napping. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “Hysteria” (2011) is hysterical! The laughs just keep coming and coming and coming! A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "Campaign" (2012) Thank God for the PAUSE button! ROTFL so much you need to take a break just to recover! More laughs than an incumbent gets payoffs! Shot prominently in a white Timberlane mansion nearby, our Gretna City Hall, and nearby bayous. A ROTFL 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.

    “The Sound of My Voice” (2011) is incongruent, full of psycho-babble, encouraging adults to vomit, and screaming, "I want you to watch my freaking movie!"
    “Killer Joe” (2011) Bloody, ugly, stupid people in a movie designed just for them.

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

    “This Is My Affair” (1937) Barbara Stanwyck goes for Robert Taylor who plays an officer undercover for President McKinley charged with stopping wave of bank robberies.
    “Lady of Leisure” (1930) Barbara Stanwyck in first movie as call girl who turns model for rich artist and falls in love. Parents block their marriage.
    “The Sunset Limited” (2011) with Samuel Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones, the worker Christian rescuing the professor atheist from dying in the path of the Sunset Limited train, after which they direct a long series of monologues at each other. A TKO for the atheist, who railing at the night, will not likely last it.


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    4. STORY:
    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

    Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission

    Boudreaux's son was in the second grade at Breaux Bridge Elementary and was doing his homework in the kitchen. Marie came in and heard her son saying, "Two plus five, the sonuvabitch is seven. Three plus six, the sonuvabitch is nine".

    "Boo, what are you doing? Why are you saying that?!"

    Boo answered, "Ah'm doing my Math homework."

    "And is that what your teacher taught you?"

    "Yes, Mama."

    The next day, Marie, worried about the education her son is receiving, goes to Boo's school to talk to the teacher. Marie approached Boo's Math teacher, and says indignantly, "Ms. Porrier, Ah would like to know wat you are teaching my son in Math.

    The teacher replied, "Right now, we are practicing addition."

    Marie, said, "Yeah, Ah know dat! And did you teach Boo to say 'two plus two, the sonuvabitch is four'?"

    Mrs. Porrier began laughing, and when she stopped, she replied, "Not at all! What I taught them was two plus two THE SUM OF WHICH IS four."


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    5. RECIPE of the MONTH for January, 2013 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
    (click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Cream of Cauliflower Soup

    Background on Cream of Cauliflower Soup: Our neighbors Connie & Don have a small veggie garden and when either cauliflower or broccoli heads mature, it's all at the same time, so we share with each other the largesse. Thus one night Don came over and brought us this large, beautiful head of cauliflower. The next day Del suggested we made a soup with it, something we had not done before. She looked up recipes in various cookbooks, and after listening to them, I suggested we use as a model the Broccoli Soup I made after enjoying some in the Verse Restaurant on a cold day Montreal. See DW#10c. This is simple to make and uses ingredients we usually have in our pantry. The addition of the jumbo lump crabmeat was an experiment and added a delicious verve as a garnish to the hot soup.

    Ingredients
    1 large head of cauliflower
    4 TBSP of Butter
    4 TBSP of Flour
    1 Bay Leaf
    1 tspn of chopped garlic
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1 can of evaporated milk
    sprigs of fresh basil and parsley
    1 yellow onion


    Preparation
    Chop the basil, parsley fine and dice the onion. Remove leaves and heavy stem of cauliflower and separate florets. Add cauliflower florets in pot, cover with water, add juice of half lemon and one Bay Leaf to the water and boil until tender. (About ten minutes) Remove one-third of florets and set aside. Remove Bay Leaf and discard. Drain and Puree the remaining 2/3 of cauliflower florets in blender. Save the stock.

    Cooking Instructions
    Melt butter in soup pot, saute in the onion, garlic, parsley and basil until onions are translucent. Stir in the flour, it may ball up, keep stirring till all flour is in the pot, then add evap. milk, continually stirring to make white sauce. Stir in 4 cups of cauliflower stock, add the pureed cauliflower, and heat to a near boil. Lower heat and add 1/3 of unpureed florets and season to taste with salt, pepper, Season-All, and Tony Chachere's Seasoning. Should look like this in pot.

    Serving Suggestion
    Serve hot with toast points as shown. Unused portion can be saved in fridge for a couple of days and re-heated in microwave for instant hot soup, especially nice on cold days.

    Other options
    Substitute heavy cream for evaporated milk for an elegant touch. Add Jumbo Lump Crabmeat on top for a tasty treat and garnish with tiny green onion tips chopped in parallel to make small circles, as shown in Served Photo above.



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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from "Yes, and Even More" (1996):
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Doing The Paradigm Hop

    In Star Trek
    Spock taught us to collect data.

    In The New Generation
    Spock’s replacement in collecting data
           is named Data.

    In the evolution of consciousness
    We give name to, in the new generation,
    What we learned to do in the previous.
    Thus is Content ever created from Process
    In the quantum leap of faith
          we call Language.


                      ~^~

    "Doing The Paradigm Hop": Written December 6, 1995 at 217 Timberlane Road.
    This poem highlights the process by which we give names to things now that previously we only did in process. The process of recognizing what we’re doing is quickly followed the process of naming the process, or creating content out of it. Until we have created content by naming, we may have no options, but once a name has been pinned on its tail, the donkey can no longer control our actions out of our awareness. And by the very act of its being in our awareness, we quicken the time when it becomes a voluntary action rather than involuntary. That meta-step of recognition is a dance I call the “Paradigm Hop” — it’s time people became as aware of this dance of life as they are of the “Bunny Hop”, the “Twist”, or the "Tango".


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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for January:
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    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 Bridge Between Universal Spirituality and the Physical Constitution of Man, GA#202 by Rudolf Steiner

    Physiologists accept that the human body is about 60% water, by which I assume they are talking about H20 and not about the amount fluids in the human body of which water is only the liquid substrate, which could make the fluid percentage of human bodies even higher when figured by weight. These fluids are hardly considered as part of the human body, especially since the advent of post-mortem dissection which led us into so-called modern medicine. Corpses in the anatomy lab have been drained of bodily fluids, do not breathe air, and are no longer naturally warm. The fluid elements, aeriform elements, and warmth elements of the human being are vital processes which are often overlooked in the normal study of medicine in our academies today. If we are ever to understand the connection between the spiritual and physical composition of the human being, we must investigate not only the solid elements of the human organism, but also the three neglected elements of fluid, aeriform, and warmth(1). Those three elements correspond to the Etheric (fluid), Astral (aeriform), and Ego/I (warmth), which together with the solid organism comprise the four-fold organism of the full human being according to Rudolf Steiner. The Etheric body permeates the fluid organism, the Astral body the aeriform organism, and the Ego (I) the warmth organism, and all three of these permeate in various ways the solid organism formed by the minerals of the Physical body. Except for the Physical body, the human being does not stop at the skin, but involves the surrounding space as well.

    Consider the multi-faceted spiritual and physical nature of our human blood.

    [page 11] Let us think, for example, of the blood. Inasmuch as it is mainly fluid, inasmuch as this blood belongs to the fluid organism, we find in the blood the etheric body which permeates it with its forces. But in the blood there is also present what is generally called the warmth-condition. But that 'organism' is by no means identical with the organism of the fluid blood as such. If we were to investigate this — and it can also be done with physical methods of investigation — we should find in registering the warmth in the different parts of the human organism that the warmth cannot be identified with the fluid organism or with any other.
          Directly [i.e., As soon as] we reflect about man in this way we find that it is impossible for our thought to come to a standstill within the limits of the human organism itself. We can remain within these limits only if we are thinking merely of the solid organism which is shut off by the skin from what is outside it.

    Our solid organism is demarcated by the limits of our skin, but not the other three organisms.

    [page 12] It is different when we come to the second, the fluid organism that is permeated by the etheric body. This fluid organism cannot be strictly demarcated from the environment. Whatever is fluid in any area of space adjoins the fluidic element in the environment. Although the fluid element as such is present in the world outside us in a rarefied state, we cannot make such a definite demarcation between the fluid element within man and the fluid element outside man, as in the case of the solid organism. The boundary between man's inner fluid organism and the fluid element in the external world must therefore be left indefinite.

    What about the air we breathe? We are taught to think only of the air we inhale as containing oxygen which is necessary for life, but in addition, we also draw in other aeriform elements and expel them with each breath. These elements are permeated with forces of the Astral body and our aeriform organism changes with each inhaled breath and exhaled breath. (Page 12)

    Three of our organisms are ignored by so-called modern science which focuses only on the physical organism, up until now.

    [page 13] It is of course quite in keeping with materialistic-mechanistic thought to study only the solid organism and to ignore the fluid organism, the aeriform organism, and the warmth-organism. But no real knowledge of man's being can be acquired unless we are willing to acknowledge this membering into a warmth-organism, an aeriform organism, a fluid organism, and an earth-organism (solid).

    The last of the four organisms is our warmth-organism which is intimately connected with our Ego (I). If we are embarrassed due to an inordinate or unexpected attention directed towards us, our I creates an excess of warmth which shows up as a flush in our face. If, on the other hand, something frightens us, our I withdraws its heat and we turn pale and may even faint. The I is controlling the blood flow and warmth in our body at all times.

    [page 13, 14] The warmth-organism is paramountly the field of the Ego. The Ego itself is that spirit-organization which imbues with its own forces the warmth that is within us, and governs and gives it configuration, not only externally but also inwardly. We cannot understand the life and activity of the soul unless we remember that the Ego works directly upon the warmth. It is primarily the Ego in man which activates the will, generates impulses of will. — How does the Ego generate impulses of will? From a different point of view we have spoken of how impulses of will are connected with the earthly sphere, in contrast to the impulses of thought and ideation which are connected with forces outside and beyond the earthly sphere. But how does the Ego, which holds together the impulses of will, send these impulses into the organism, into the whole being of man? This is achieved through the fact that the will works primarily in the warmth-organism.

    The understanding of the close operation of the I and the warmth-organism with the human Will is important to understanding the bridge between the spiritual and physical in the human being. At this point in human evolution, we cannot perceive the warmth-organism directly or concretely — we can only know it by its effects, such as fainting and flushing as mentioned earlier. If you would picture it, try the process recommended in this next passage:

    [page 14] It can be envisaged if we disregard the physical organization within the space bounded by the human skin. We disregard this, also the fluid organism, and the aeriform organism. The space then remains filled with nothing but warmth, which is, of course, in communication with the warmth outside. But what is active in this warmth, what sets it in flow, stirs it into movement, makes it into an organism — is the Ego.

    Now we are ready to cope with how the four organisms work together in harmony in the full human as a being of I (will, warmth), Astral body (feelings, aeriform), Etheric body (conceptual processes, fluid-form), and physical-organism. Once you can make these connections, you can understand the processes as described in this next passage.

    [page 14] As an earthly being, man's constitution is such that, by way of the warmth-organism, his Ego gives rise to what comes to expression when he acts in the world as a being of will. The feelings experienced in the astral body and coming to expression in the earthly organization manifest as the aeriform organism. And when we come to the etheric organism, to the etheric body, we find within it the conceptual process, in so far as this has a pictorial character — more strongly pictorial than we are consciously aware of to begin with, for the physical body still intrudes and tones down the pictures into mental concepts. This process works upon the fluid organism.

    There is another level called ethers which must be understood, if we are to comprehend the life of soul in our human being. The first ether is the Tone-ether, which is also called the Chemical-ether.

    [page 15] The solid organism itself is, in reality, only that which provides support for the other organisms. The solid organism stands there as a supporting structure composed of bones, muscles, and so forth. Into this supporting structure is membered the fluid organism with its own inner differentiation and configuration; in this fluid organism vibrates the etheric body, and within this fluid organism the thoughts are produced. How are the thoughts produced? Through the fact that within the fluid organism something asserts itself in a particular metamorphosis — namely, what we know in the external world as tone.

    There are fluid-filled channels in the human brain known as ventricles, whose agency in receiving thoughts is ignored in modern science, up until now. Here's a passage describing the ventricles claiming their only function is to provide a shock-absorption role. If you read and study the location of the fluid-filled cavities, it seems likely to me that they are the place in the brain where the Tone-ether produces what we recognize as our thoughts after they have been processed by the higher cortical regions. The fluid in the ventricles is likely the key area where spiritual realities enter our brains via the Tone-ether to be later turned into thoughts, but conventional science ignores this and recognizes only the fluid's mechanical aspect.

    [page 27, The Brain(2)] Limpid pools of cerebrospinal fluid bathe the brain and cushion it against shock. Secreted from choroid tissue resembling tiny egg clusters, the plasma-like fluid fills four cranial cavities, the ventricles. From the low fourth ventricle, the fluid circulates through shallows around the brain and down the spinal cord.

    Do not confuse the Tone-ether with tone as it is transmitted in the air, the physical vibrations in the air accompany the Tone-ether which is woven into the air, but the tone is an etheric reality not a physical reality, thus no scientific instruments can measure or record the impact the Tone-ether has on the ventricles of our brain nor any other part of our physical body. It is a soul effect.

    [page 15] Tone is, in reality, something that leads the ordinary mode of observation very much astray. As earthly human beings, we perceive the tone as being borne to us by the air. But in point of fact the air is only the transmitter of the tone, which actually weaves in the air. And anyone who assumes that the tone in its essence is merely a matter of air-vibrations is like a person who says: Man has only his physical organism, and there is no soul in it. If the air-vibrations are thought to constitute the essence of the tone, whereas they are in truth merely its external expression, this is the same as seeing only man's physical organism with no soul in it. The tone which lives in the air is essentially an etheric reality. And the tone we hear by way of the air arises through the fact that the air is pervaded by the Tone-Ether which is the same as the Chemical Ether. In pervading the air, this Chemical Ether imparts what lives within it to the air, and we become aware of what we call the tone.

    Our four human components of Etheric body, Ego (I), Astral body, and Physical body have a complete etheric organism, consisting of Chemical Ether, Warmth-Ether, Light-Ether, Life-Ether. Here is how the Tone-ether works in our fluid organism:

    [page 16] This Tone-Ether or Chemical Ether is essentially active in our fluid organism. We can therefore make the following distinction: In our fluid organism lives our own etheric body; but in addition there penetrates into it (the fluid organism) from every direction the Tone-Ether which underlies the tone. Please distinguish carefully here. We have within us our etheric body; it works and is active by giving rise to thoughts in our fluid organism. But what may be called the Chemical Ether continually streams in and out of our fluid organism.

    Next comes the Astral body and the Light-Ether which works in synchronism with it.

    [page 16, 17] The astral body which comes to expression in feeling operates through the air organism. But still another kind of Ether by which the air is permeated is connected especially with the air organism. It is the Light-Ether. Earlier conceptions of the world always emphasized this affinity of the outspreading physical air with the Light-Ether which pervades it. This Light-Ether that is borne, as it were, by the air and is related to the air even more intimately than tone, also penetrates into our air organism, and it underlies what there passes into and out of it. Thus we have our astral body which is the bearer of feeling, is especially active in the air organism, and is in constant contact there with the Light-Ether.

    Likewise the Ego, our I, is filled with instreaming and outstreaming Warmth-Ether, which leads to an important understanding of what happens during sleep when both our Ego and Astral body have left our Physical and Etheric bodies on the bed. In them the Life-Ether and Tone-Ether remains at work, but the Astral body has left these bodies and entered the very world in which the Light-Ether exists.

    [page 17, 18] From the moment of falling asleep to the moment of waking, the astral body is outside the human organism; the astral body and feeling do not then work upon the air organism, but the air organism that is connected with the whole surrounding world — is sustained from outside during sleep. And the human being himself, with his astral body and feeling, goes out of his body and passes into a world with which he is related primarily through the Light-Ether. While he is asleep man lives directly in an element that is transmitted to his astral body by the air organism during waking life. We can speak in a similar way of the Ego and the warmth-organism.

    Can anyone read this and still wonder why materialistic science misses so much of the essential components of our human nature?

    [page 18] It is obvious from this that an understanding of man's connection with the surrounding universe is possible only as the result of thorough study of these members of his being, of which ordinary, mechanistic thinking takes no account at all.

    Especially important is the interpenetration of our solid, fluid, and aeriform organisms by our Ego (I) with its warmth-organism, and our so-called modern science misses that aspect of our humanness completely, up until now.

    [page 18] But everything in man interpenetrates, and because the Ego is in the warmth-organism, it also permeates the air organism, the fluid organism, and the solid organism, it permeates them with the warmth which is all-pervading. Thus the warmth-organism lives within the air organism; the warmth-organism, permeated as it is with the forces of the Ego, also works in the fluid organism.

    The Ego and Astral body are related in that they both leave the body at night when we are sleeping and return upon waking in the morning. But the four elements remain at work in the human body during sleep.

    [page 19] During sleep, when the Ego and the astral body are outside, the four elements are nevertheless within the human organism: the solid supporting structure, the fluid organism, but also the air organism in which the astral body otherwise works, and the warmth-organism in which the Ego otherwise works. These elements are within the human organism and they work in just as regularly organized a way during sleep as during the waking state, when the Ego and the astral body are active within them.

    What happens when we go to sleep at night, is this: our Astral body and Ego leaves our physical and etheric bodies lying on the bed, which makes room for the cosmic spirit to fill our warmth-organism and the cosmic astrality (world-soul) to fill our aeriform organism. (page 19, 20) It is as if we are in-breathing soul and spirit during the night while we sleep.

    Steiner gives us this caveat for those mesmerized by the skewed view of modern science with its abstract logic and fancy electronic devices:

    [page 20] If we study man without preconceived ideas, we acquire understanding not only of his relation to the surrounding physical world, but also of his relation to the cosmic spirituality and to the cosmic astrality.
          This is one aspect of the subject. We can now consider it also from the aspect of knowledge, of cognition, and you will see how the two aspects tally with each other. It is customary to call 'knowledge' only what man experiences through perception and the intellectual elaboration of perceptions from the moment of waking to that of falling asleep. But thereby we come to know man's physical environment only.

    Many people try to stay awake for days without sleep with no awareness of the deleterious effect such an endeavor has upon them. One thing that is lost is the ability for one's thoughts to be deepened and come into a clarity of knowledge after a good night's sleep. We all know the admonition, when one is stuck on a problem, to "sleep on it." Even in deep dreamless sleep, our knowledge is sharpened and brought into focus.

    [page 21] It is generally believed that deep, dreamless sleep contributes nothing at all in the way of knowledge, that dreamless sleep is quite worthless as far as knowledge is concerned. But this is not the case. Dreamless sleep has its definite task to perform for knowledge — knowledge that has an individual-personal bearing. If we did not sleep, if our life were not continually interrupted by periods of sleep, we should be incapable of reaching a clear concept of the 'I,' the Ego; we could have no clear realization of our identity. We should experience nothing except the world outside and lose ourselves entirely in it. Insufficient attention is paid to this, because people are not in the habit of thinking in a really unprejudiced way about what is experienced in the life of soul and in the bodily life.

    We have three forms of everyday knowledge: that which comes to us while we are awake, that which comes to us in dreaming sleep, and that which comes to us in our deep dreamless sleep. It is a shallow life we live if we acknowledge and depend solely upon the everyday knowledge which comes while we are awake. If we remained awake all the time, our spiritual being would fade and disappear because we would remain in the external world all the time. Periods of sleep are essential to our remaining as a full human being during this stage of our evolution.

    [page 22, 23] We should lose ourselves entirely in the external world if we were always awake, if this waking state were not continually interrupted by sleep. But whereas dream-filled sleep mirrors back to us in chaotic pictures certain fragments of our inner, organic conditions, dreamless sleep imparts to us the consciousness of our organization as man — again, therefore, knowledge. Through waking consciousness we perceive the external world. Through dreams we perceive — but dimly and without firm definition — single fragments of our inner, organic conditions. Through dreamless sleep we come to know our organization in its totality, although dimly and obscurely.

    In addition to these three forms of knowledge, often chaotic and disorganized, there are three forms of knowledge which are higher forms, lying above our waking consciousness, which require our individual development of spiritual organs, similarly to the way that individual yogis had to work hard to develop a means of controlling their breath to be able in ancient times to think and breathe as a rational being, which is something we do naturally in our own time. These are Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition, and Rudolf Steiner gives us in various places instructions for achieving these higher, super-sensible modes of perception. The three lower means of knowledge: waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep come naturally to us now. But the three higher modes of perception require conscious effort and training to acquire. The antiquated methods of the yogis which led to rational thinking and Ego consciousness must be replaced by the modern methods which lead to supersensible perception.

    Steiner has now built the bridge he promised us in the title of this book, "The Bridge Between Universal Spirituality and the Physical Constitution of Man". From the solid body we rise into the fluid body, then into the aeriform body, and thence into the warmth body. As we track these steps down from ordinary consciousness, we go from the everyday Ego (warmth) consciousness, down to dream (air) consciousness, and down to dreamless sleep (fluid) consciousness. (Page 26)

    [page 27] That Spiritual Science aims everywhere for wholeness of view, that it in very truth builds the bridge between the bodily constitution on the one side and the life of soul on the other, that it draws attention to states of being where the soul-element becomes a bodily element, the bodily element a soul-element — all this riles our contemporaries, who insist upon not going beyond what presents itself to external, prejudiced contemplation.

    Lacking this bridge from spirit to body, materialistic scientists claim that the spirit and soul components of the human being do not exist, up until now. In the future, as what happened when people attained rational Ego functioning without special yogi practices, people will eventually achieve the three abilities of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition. Those yogis of today who have already achieved them, such as Rudolf Steiner, are the way-showers for the rest of us that a bridge does exist between the spirit and body of every human being.

    In Lecture II, Steiner strives to show us how morality makes possible the creative power of the world. First we must understand that in sleep, as in death, we soon feel deprived of our body and seek for it again in earnest. We wake from sleep searching for our body; we return to a new body when we are reborn. In the body we strive for the soul; in the soul we strive for the body. This is our dual nature as spirits embodied as human beings.

    [page 30] As an Ego he would feel no connection with his body if he did not leave it during sleep and seek for it again on waking. It is through the deprivation undergone between falling asleep and waking that he is able to feel himself united with the body(3). So from the ordinary consciousness which has really nothing to do with our own essential being beyond the fact that it enables us to have perceptions and ideas, we are led to the dream-consciousness which has to do with actual bodily processes. We are therefore led to the body. And we are led to the body even more strongly when we pass into the consciousness of dreamless sleep. Thus we can say: On the one hand our conception of the life of soul is such that it leads us to the body. And our conception of the bodily constitution, comprising as it does the fluid organism, the aeriform organism, the warmth-organism and thus becoming by degrees more rarefied, leads us to the realm of soul. It is absolutely necessary to take these things into consideration if we are to reach a view of the world that can really satisfy us.

    But in the course of human evolution we have arrived to a time when we have fallen so far into materialistic thinking that our morals have shrunken almost out of sight. We can build physical bridges across rivers, but with our abstract logical thinking and sensory-based sciences, we cannot build a bridge from body to soul. Our theory of evolution postulates a "heat-death" as the end our beloved planet Earth.

    [page 31] According to the modern world-view, this [Earth] is a conglomeration from a primeval nebula, and everything will eventually become a kind of slag-heap in the universe. This is the picture of the evolutionary process presented to us by the science of today, and it is the one and only picture in which a really honest modern scientist can find reality.

    In the science fiction movie A. I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) we are given exactly such an image of the future of our Earth: a drab, gray, lifeless world in which a robotic boy longs for his mother. What kind of morality can exist in a world of robots for which the idea of mother is but an abstract logical construct? Likewise, morals must have arisen in Man during the course of evolution and morals must die with Man. Modern science cannot build a bridge over water unless it maintains a logical consistency. Similarly science cannot remain consistent and build a bridge from soul to body! Nor can it remain consistent and postulate morals independently of human beings.

    [page 31] Within this picture a moral world-order has no place. It is there on its own. Man receives the moral impulses into himself as impulses of soul. But if the assertions of natural science are true, everything that is astir with life, and finally man himself, came out of the primeval nebula and the moral ideals well up in him. And when, as is alleged, the world becomes a slag-heap, this will also be the graveyard of all moral ideals. They will have vanished. — No bridge can possibly be built, and what is worse, modern science cannot, without being inconsistent, admit the existence of morality in the world-order. Only if modern science is inconsistent can it accept the moral world-order as valid. It cannot do so if it is consistent.

    This leads us to an anatomy which deals with the solid body of humans, ignoring the fluid and aeriform bodies, and grossly misconstruing the Ego or I. Only the insights of Spiritual Science can give us a living image of the full human being, which is what the portmanteau word "anthropo-sophy" means: full-human-knowledge.

    Nor can we image a robot who is fired-up with enthusiasm for some project in which it displays generosity, goodness, morality, and freedom. Our modern physiology can describe the effects of enthusiasm on the body, but cannot trace its cause, as it doesn't exist in the physical world, but it certainly has an effect on the warmth-organism of the human being experiencing it. He is in the heat of enthusiasm, we might say. She is experiencing the flush of victory. We all know it and recognize it when we are in it or watching others in it. "Moral ideals have a stimulating, invigorating effect upon the warmth-organism." (Page 32)

    [page 32] Think of a man whose very soul is fired with enthusiasm for a high moral ideal, for the ideal of generosity, of freedom, of goodness, of love, or whatever it may be. He may also feel enthusiasm for examples of the practical expression of these ideals. But nobody can conceive that the enthusiasm which fires the soul penetrates into the bones and muscles as described by modern physiology or anatomy. If you really take counsel with yourself, however, you will find it quite possible to conceive that when a man has enthusiasm for a high moral ideal, this enthusiasm has an effect upon the warmth-organism. — There, you see, we have come from the realm of soul into the physical!

    When we are fired by a moral ideal, our warmth-organism experiences more warmth, but our aeriform or air-organism receives not warmth, but a source of light.

    [page 33] Sources of light, as it were, are imparted to the air-organism, so that moral ideals which have a stimulating effect upon the warmth-organism produce sources of light in the air-organism.

    The fluid body (etheric), which is warmed by moral ideals, receives the spiritual tone. Surprisingly, it is not the aeriform body which receives the tone, but the fluid body. The aeriform body (astral) receives light.

    [page 34] Think of all the experiences in your life that came from aspiration for moral ideas — be it that they attracted you merely as ideas, or that you saw them coming to expression in others, or that you felt inwardly satisfied by having put such impulses into practice, by letting your deeds be fired by moral ideals . . . all this goes down into the air-organism as a source of light, into the fluid organism as a source of tone, into the solid organism as a source of life.

    You will recognize these as the elements of Light-Ether, Tone-Ether, and Life-ether from earlier in these lectures. These three, combined with the fourth warmth-organism operate within us without our consciousness of them being present. The moral ideas we encounter and foster during our life between birth and death may not appear to produce fruit outside of the satisfaction we feel from being part of them, but they become part of the life which pervades the universe when enter our life between death and a new birth. The ashes-to-ashes path only applies to our physical body, i.e., the minerals we borrowed for a time from the Earth are returned to the Earth but not the organisms which pervade it — they go forth into the universe with us.

    [page 35] So we see that our whole constitution, beginning with the warmth-organism, is, in very fact, permeated by moral ideals. And when at death the etheric body, the astral body, and the Ego emerge from the physical body, these higher members of our human nature are filled with all the impressions we have had. Our Ego was living in the warmth-organism, when it was quickened by moral ideas. We were living in our air-organism, into which were implanted sources of light which now, after death, go forth into the cosmos together with us. In our fluid organism, tone was kindled which now becomes part of the Music of the Spheres, resounding from us into the cosmos. And we bring life with us when we pass out into the cosmos through the portal of death.

    When you look out on the starry universe at night, you see but visible light reflected from the spiritual realities of the myriad of souls whose sources of life, tone, and light have filled the universe.

    [page 35] You will now begin to have an inkling of what the life that pervades the universe really is. Where are the sources of life? They lie in that which quickens those moral ideals which fire man with enthusiasm. We come to the point of saying to ourselves that if today we allow ourselves to be inspired by moral ideals, these will carry forth life, tone and light into the universe and will become world-creative. We carry out into the universe world-creative power, and the source of this power is the moral element.

    Our moral ideas are the seeds of future worlds, and the uplifting we feel from them are time waves from the future(4) coming to us at the very moment we feel the uplifting and satisfaction from those seeds we plant into universe, into future worlds with our moral ideas and actions. The study of the whole human, which anthroposophy promises, provides the eponymous bridge between spiritual and material being.

    [page 36] So when we study the whole man we find a bridge between moral ideals and what works as life-giving force in the physical world, even in the chemical sense. For tone works in the chemical sense by assembling substances and dispersing them again. Light in the world has its source in the moral stimuli, in the warmth-organisms of men. Thus we look into the future-new worlds take shape. And as in the case of the plant we must go back to the seed, so in the case of these future worlds that will come into being, we must go back to the seeds which lie in us as moral ideals.

    Do you think when we use the expression cold, rational logic, we are talking metaphorically? When we talk and think theoretically, our warmth-organism is cooled down! In addition, our air-organism is paralyzed, our fluid organism's tone is deadened and our life-organism experiences an extinguishing. What some people, those who are unconscious of the spiritual realities, call metaphor, those who understand the spiritual world call reality. (Page 36) We extinguish worlds with our theoretical thoughts, and we bring new worlds into existence with our moral thinking, and this process is so seamless that few are aware of it happening.

    [page 37] A past world dies within us, down to its very matter and energy. It is only because a new universe at once begins to dawn that we do not notice this dying of matter and its immediate rebirth. Through man's theoretical thinking, matter — substantiality — is brought to its end; through his moral thinking, matter and cosmic energy are imbued with new life. Thus what goes on inside the boundary of the human skin is connected with the dying and birth of worlds. This is how the moral order and the natural order are connected. The natural world dies away in man; in the realm of the moral a new natural world comes to birth.

    As a child I always wanted to discover how the world worked, by which I meant the physical objects of the world moved and mixed with one another, all of which led me to study physics. Those first thirty years were thirty years of death for me because I concentrated on thinking using cold, abstract concepts.

    [page 40] All the ideas we evolve about the external world, about Nature in her finished array, are theoretical ideas. No matter with what exactitude we envisage a machine in terms of mathematics and the principles of mechanics, or the universe in the sense of the Copernican system — this is nothing but theoretical thinking, and the ideas thus formulated constitute a force of death within us; a corpse of the universe is within us in the form of thoughts, of ideas.

    Gradually into my thirties, I wanted more — the dead realm of Science with its abstract reasoning and logic had lost its charm for me, and I began to study the Arts side of Arts & Science, and felt warmed by what I found. I took several long courses in Volitional Science, which involved studying morality and freedom. I had finally moved in from the cold world of logic outside and sat down by the fire and warmth of moral thinking and living. I began to see the light, even though in the early days I imagined that light to be a metaphor rather than a spiritual reality. I grew ready to hear the message of Rudolf Steiner that there is only order in the world, not a dualistic natural order and moral order which has to be somehow reconciled with each other.

    [page 40] These matters create deeper and deeper insight into the universe in its totality. There are not two orders, a natural order and a moral order in juxtaposition, but the two are one. This is a truth that must be realized by the man of today. Otherwise he must ever and again be asking himself: How can my moral impulses take effect in a world in which a natural order alone prevails? — This indeed was the terrible problem that weighed upon men in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century: How is it possible to conceive of any transition from the natural world into the moral world, from the moral world into the natural world? — The fact is that nothing can help to solve this perplexing, fateful problem except spiritual-scientific insight into Nature on the one side and Spirit on the other.

    Along the way I studied astrology, but I found in it only more abstract logical thinking and calculations which chilled me instead of warming me. Why was this so? I found my answer inside the writings and thoughts of Rudolf Steiner which warmed me in its light-giving glow.

    [page 41] We can look back from this world-conception to ancient times when man's picture of the universe was very different. All that has remained of it are those traditions which in the form in which they exist today — in astrology and the like — are sheer dilettantism. That is what has remained of ancient astronomy, and it has also remained, ossified and paralyzed, in the symbols of certain secret societies, Masonic societies and the like. There is usually entire ignorance of the fact that these things are relics of an ancient astronomy. This ancient astronomy was quite different from that of today, for it was based, not upon mathematical principles but upon ancient clairvoyant vision.

    Suddenly I saw that the world view of Copernicus had replaced spiritual realities with abstract, logical realities, building a corpse of the solar system, of the universe, inside of us. Is the Earth the center of the physical universe? No, said Bruno and Copernicus and others that followed them. Is the Earth the center of the spiritual universe? Yes, we discover as we go through the period of death and a rebirth, our spirit expanding geocentrically through the sphere of Earth, then Moon, then Venus, then Mercury, then Sun, then Mars, then Jupiter, then Saturn, and on towards the Stars at the end of the Universe. This process of expansion also takes place every time we go through a period of sleep: we expand to the ends of the Universe. Is it the physical Universe? Is there any other Universe? There is only one order of the Universe, not a physical and spiritual order, Steiner says on Page 40 above. Clearly there are two ways of understanding the Universe, but to argue that one is the right way and one is wrong requires the kind of abstract logical reasoning which leads one, indeed leadens one, to death, relegated to being part of the corpse of a Universe instead of part of a living, breathing, light-filled Universe of freedom and love.

    [page 43] Think of how greatly our responsibility is increased when we realize: If here on the earth there were no soul capable of being fired with enthusiasm for true and genuine morality, for the spiritual moral order in general, nothing could be contributed towards the progress of our world, towards a new creation; our world would be led towards its death.

    There is a deep truth which reveals that the moral human draws Christ Light to Earth. Christ is available to help anyone in need, but that person must ask for help. This is shown many times in the Bible when Christ Jesus is asked for help by someone whose faith and belief in the possibility of being helped by Him rays out from the person like a light which is then reflected back manifold to the person. The Samaritan woman at the well, the woman touching the hem of his garment, the Centurion with the sick daughter, and so on — always there is an individual shining out light in a prayer which is then reflected back on them.

    [page 43, 44] This force of light that is on the earth rays out into the universe. This is, to begin with, imperceptible to ordinary vision; we do not perceive how the moral impulses in man ray out from the earth into the universe. If a grievous age were to dawn over the earth, an age when millions and millions of men would perish through lack of spirituality — spirituality conceived of here as including the moral, which indeed it does — if there were only a dozen men filled with moral enthusiasm, the earth would still ray out a spiritual, sun-like force! This force rays out only to a certain distance. At this point it mirrors itself, as it were, in itself, so that here there arises the reflection of what radiates from man. And in every epoch the initiates regarded this reflection as the sun. For as I have so often said, there is nothing physical here. Where ordinary astronomy speaks of the existence of an incandescent globe of gas, there is merely the reflection of a spiritual reality in physical appearance.

    This is a bitter pill for some people to take: the Sun is merely a reflection of light emitted from moral humans on the Earth. They have been carefully taught, as I was, that the Sun is some giant ball of gases undergoing a thermonuclear reaction which creates physical light and heat independently of our meager existence as tiny specks of animals crawling on the surface of one minor planet in its Solar System.

    The last influential person to claim the spiritual reality of the Sun was the Emperor Julian who was reviled and ridiculed, was called thenceforth Julian the Apostate. What was his message? Simply this, "You are becoming more and more accustomed to look only at the physical sun; but there is a spiritual Sun of which the physical sun is only the mirror-image!" (Page 46) Ever since the time of Julian, it has become more difficult to speak the truth of the spiritual reality of Christ as the spiritual Being radiating the light which warms and fills our lives with freedom and love.

    Feeling for me was something I was completely unaware of during my 30-plus years of dead physics thinking. That is not to say I didn't feel anything, but it was something which happened to me out of my awareness: it was just me. One day in my upper 30s, I read "Emma", my first Jane Austen book, and to my surprise, I found characters in the book and the author talking about feelings! I became aware suddenly that I had feelings, but I had never understood them as such and in particular never had accounted for the feelings my actions created in other people. I was studying Carl Jung's work at the time, especially his four types of people: the Intuitive, The Sensate, The Thinking, and the Feeling types. Clearly I had always been a Thinking type, in that all my decisions were made rationally, but using thinking, not feeling. It was a revelation to me when Jung described both thinking and feeling as rational functions! Layers of my neocortex had to stretch to comprehend how feeling could be a rational process. Clearly, I came to see, there are people who reason out things on the basis of feeling and they arrive at clearly rational and reasonable conclusions solely based on feelings. Now that I had been made aware that the way I reacted to things and people around me were feelings, it was a short step to begin making rational decisions based on my feelings. This was very freeing to me. I felt invigorated at the new freedom of expression and action this mode of operating gave me. I dove into Gestalt groups in which feeling was a prominent part of the process, usually led off by some question like, "What are you feeling now?" Questions which forced me into an uncomfortable position and into a knowledge that for some people feeling was important.

    In one group session, I was on the hot seat working on a dream. In the dream I was in a small MG sports car with the top down driving up the Huey P. Long, a very narrow bridge, heading for the West Bank of the Mississippi River. In front of me was this guy on roller skates, skating up the bridge in the middle of the two lanes blocking me from passing him. We got near the top of the bridge and a gal was standing alongside her pickup truck which had broken down. The guy on roller skates simply looked at her, smiled, and skated on. I stopped my car and got out to help her. That was the dream and I had no idea of what it meant! The leader, Ed Hackerson, had me speak for each character, each component of the dream, the skater, the gal, the truck, the sports car, etc. and nothing made sense. Then Ed did a remarkable thing: he asked me to get up and in my stocking feet skate around the room as the guy on roller skates did in my dream. "This is crazy," I thought, but complied. Immediately, as I began to slide around the room taking on the attitude of the roller skater, I was feeling the way he did! I felt something! I felt a sense of freedom, especially freedom from taking responsibility for the gal, as I skated past her. This was a great gestalt for me! I was, for the first time in my life, living as a bachelor. I had gotten married in college, had gone directly from my first marriage into a second, and now unmarried, I was living alone, and had no one I needed to feel responsible for on a daily basis. Until working on this dream, I was unaware of my own freedom from responsibility. This was how I made one of my first rational decisions based on feeling. I had suffered for almost forty years, imprisoned in a deeply feeling person who did not consider feeling as existing, much less as an important source of making rational decisions. Feeling, rightly understood, links our thinking and actions. (Page 47)

    For those of you Good Readers who may be primary thinking types and devaluate the importance of feeling, read what Steiner says in this next passage which opens Lecture III "The Path to Freedom and Love":

    [page 47] Man stands in the world as a thinking, contemplative, being on the one hand, and as a doer, a being of action, on the other; with his feeling he lives within both these spheres. With his feeling he responds, on the one side, to what is presented to his observation; on the other side, feeling enters into his actions, his deeds. We need only consider how a man may be satisfied or dissatisfied with the success or lack of success of his deeds, how in truth all action is accompanied by impulses of feeling, and we shall see that, in reality, feeling links the two poles of our being: the pole of thinking and the pole of deed, of action. Only through the fact that we are thinking beings are we Man in the truest sense.

    Thinking, feeling, and doing are the way we operate in the world. Whenever we are doing something, our will is in action. Yes, using the word will as a noun is an old-fashioned thing to do, but we can only understand how we operate as full human beings if we parse our actions into these three categories, Thinking, Feeling, and Will. Once we have done so, understanding the bridge between the spiritual and physical will become easier.

    [page 48] It is inconceivable that anything should proceed from us in the way of actions or deeds — which may also take effect in the realm of social life — without our identifying ourselves in thought with what thus takes place. In everything that is of the nature of will, the element of thought is contained; and in everything that is of the nature of thought, will is present. It is essential to be quite clear about what is involved here if we seriously want to build the bridge between the moral spiritual world-order and natural-physical world order.

    During a recent river cruise through Germany, I walked into Passau to buy some Alka-Seltzer Cold Medicine for my wife who had come down with a cold. When I located an Apotheke, I saw this man covered in a blanket, his right arm extended, holding a cane, and he was sitting in mid-air as if upon an invisible chair! His face was hidden under the blanket until he heard me locating some euro coins to place in his hat, and then he looked up briefly at me. I went in and asked for the cold medicine and walked out with a box of Alka-Seltzer. As I walked past the man in mid-air again, the thought came to me, "They gave me only Alka-Seltzer, not its Cold Medicine version." I walked back to the drugstore, and left with some strange named concoction that had an outline of a human torso with red shading around the lungs, throat, and head, clearly indicating a cold medication. I once more approached the mid-air man and realized that he had planted the thought in me to check the box and return to get what I had already walked a half-mile or more from the ship in very cold weather to buy. Curiously the cold medicine was several euros cheaper than the Alka-Seltzer and I placed half of my refund in his hat. My reasoning was this man is sitting there meditating and thought about where I was coming and somehow planted the question in my head to inspect my first purchase. One must understand that meditation is not inaction, that the will is fully engaged even in meditation, and things that none of the other people in the plaza would have thought, he thought and helped me acquire what I had come for as thanks for sharing my euros with him.

    [page 48, 49] Imagine that you are living for a time purely in reflection as usually understood, that you are engaging in no kind of outward activity at all, but are wholly engrossed in thought. You must realize, however, that in this life of thought, will is also active; will is then at work in your inner being, raying out its forces into the realm of thought. When we picture the thinking human being in this way, when we realize that the will is radiating all the time into his thoughts, something will certainly strike us concerning life and its realities.

    Looking back on that episode with the man in mid-air, I know that, but for his presence in the plaza, I would have walked back to the ship with the wrong purchase. Our life is filled with experiences like this, some of which we notice, others we never notice, but yet react to their having happened. These experiences in this life form our thought-content, be it rich or poor in content.

    [page 49] The thought-content represents our inner destiny — to a certain extent. But within this life of thought there is something that is inherently our own; what is inherently our own is how we connect thoughts with one another and dissociate them again, how we elaborate them inwardly, how we arrive at judgments and draw conclusions, how we orientate ourselves in the life of thought all this is inherently our own. The will in our life of thought is our own.

    Our will determines how we evaluate, how we judge, and how we orient ourselves in thought. And while the experiences of our life come during our time between birth and death, our will accompanies us as our birthright, something coming from the depths of soul with us into this life.

    [page 49, 50] But through the will which rays out from the depths of the soul, we carry into what thus comes to us from the outer world, something that is inherently our own. For the fulfilment of what self-knowledge demands of us it is highly important to keep separate in our minds how, on the one side, the thought-content comes to us from the surrounding world and how, on the other, the force of the will, coming from within our being, rays into the world of thought.

    "How do we become inwardly more spiritual?" Steiner asks on page 50. It is certainly not by studying physics and studying aspects of the physical, material world as I did for over thirty years. What happened to me to change my monofocus on the outside world was this: I stumbled upon a thin book by Rudolf Steiner in an Occult Bookstore I frequented. I bought the book, read it, and didn't understand much of anything he was talking about. Soon I found another tiny book, and the same thing happened. This process was repeated about ten times, and I began to wonder why I was buying these books which seemed to have nothing much to say to me. Today I understand that it was my will at work, judging what I should be reading, how I should be orienting my thoughts, and forcing me to evaluate the decisions it was causing me to make, namely buying these books. When the Internet became live, the first question I asked was "Who is Rudolf Steiner?" and I found a community of people who led me to read and study his basic works and only then could I begin to become inwardly more spiritual as I delved into his spiritual science which spoke to me as a scientist and led me inexorably into the second phase of my life's study — the study of the spiritual world and how the physical world, that I had spent the first half of my life studying, merged with the spiritual world. I was led from the fetters of the physical world to the freedom of the spiritual world.

    [page 50] When we take in thoughts from the outer material world — and between birth and death we can take in only such thoughts — we become, as you can easily realize, unfree; for we are given over to the concatenations of things and events in the external world; as far as the actual content of the thoughts is concerned, we are obliged to think as the external world prescribes; only when we elaborate the thoughts do we become free in the real sense.

    A line from a song goes "they have to be carefully taught", and that refers to the thought-content which comes from the outside world. So long as we continue to think the way we were taught, we are not free in our thoughts. An elementary school teacher who shows her students how to draw a tree is putting hobbles on the thoughts of all her students. This process usually carries on up through all the grades of education into college, and only takes a breather during post-graduate seminars in which original thinking is encouraged.

    [page 50, 51] Now it is possible to attain complete freedom in our inner life if we increasingly efface and exclude the actual thought-content, in so far as this comes from outside, and kindle into greater activity the element of will which streams through our thoughts when we form judgments, draw conclusions and the like. Thereby, however, our thinking becomes what I have called in my Philosophy of Freedom: pure thinking. We think, but in our thinking there is nothing but will. . . . In this way we raise ourselves above the sway of the 'necessity' prevailing in the material world, permeate ourselves with the force that is inherently our own . . . Therefore freedom dawns when we enable the will to become an ever mightier and mightier force in our thinking.

    We reach freedom when our will radiates into our thoughts, but what happens if our thoughts radiate into the realm of will? We unfold love when that happens. To operate in this world in freedom and love is the highest goal we can aspire to as human beings, in my opinion.

    [page 54] Just as we attain freedom by irradiating the life of thought with will, so do we attain love by permeating the life of will with thoughts. We unfold love in our actions by letting thoughts radiate into the realm of the will; we develop freedom in our thinking by letting what is of the nature of will radiate into our thoughts. And because, as man, we are a unified whole, when we reach the point where we find freedom in the life of thought and love in the life of will, there will be freedom in our actions and love in our thinking. Each irradiates the other: action filled with thought is wrought in love; thinking that is permeated with will gives rise to actions and deeds that are truly free.
          Thus you see how in man the two great ideals, Freedom and Love, grow together. Freedom and Love are also that which man, standing in the world, can bring to realization in himself in such a way that, through him, the one unites with the other for the good of the world.

    How can our will penetrate into our life of thought? Only if our life of thought has no outer, physical reality. Can you think of the image you see in a mirror? Does it have a physical reality or is it but a reflection? Rightly understood, our thoughts have the nature of a reflection in a mirror, the mirror of our birth, as the reality of thoughts are only reflected into our current lifetime. This nature of thoughts allows the will, which arises from our metabolic processes, to permeate the life of our thoughts. (Page 54, 55)

    [page 55, 56] The life of thought rays in from our existence before birth, or rather, before conception. The life of thought has its reality between death and a new birth. And just as here the object stands before the mirror and what it presents is a picture — so what we unfold as the life of thought is lived through in the real sense between death and a new birth, and merely rays into our life since birth. As thinking beings, we have within us a mirror-reality only. Because this is so, the other reality which, as you know, rays up from the metabolic process, can permeate the mirror-pictures of the life of thought.

    The a priori concepts of philosophy and mathematics refer to things "before-birth" and thus point to the life of thought before birth which rays into our mirror-reality of thought in this lifetime. This understanding of the reality of their term a priori eludes most philosophers and mathematicians, up until now. (Page 56)

    In an amazing metaphor, Steiner leads us to see the mirror-reality of thought as a womb into which we plant as seeds the gifts which come from our Ego, our individual I, during this lifetime, from which will sprout and grow fruit in our future and the future of humankind.

    [page 59] Let us understand this rightly. What happens when man rises to pure thinking, to thinking that is irradiated by will? — On the foundation of the past that has dissolved into semblance, through fructification by the will which rises up from his egohood, there unfolds within him a new reality, leading into the future. He is the bearer of the seed into the future. The thoughts of the past, as realities, are as it were the mother-soil; into this mother-soil is laid that which comes from the individual egohood, and the seed is sent on into the future for future life.

    When we offer our deeds in freedom and love, something like a plant begins to grow which bears fruit in the future of the world.

    [page 59] On the other side, man evolves by permeating his deeds and actions, his will-nature, with thoughts; deeds are performed in love. Such deeds detach themselves from him. Our deeds do not remain confined to ourselves. They become world-happenings; and if they are permeated by love, then love goes with them. . . . When, out of semblance, through fructification by the will, we unfold that which proceeds from our inmost being, then what streams forth into the world from our head encounters our thought-permeated deeds. Just as when a plant unfolds it contains in its blossom the seed to which the light of the sun, the air outside, and so on, must come, to which something must be brought from the cosmos in order that it may grow, so what is unfolded through freedom must find an element in which to grow, through the love that lives in our deeds.

    What we do has significance in the course of world-evolution, when we plant these seeds from our inmost being.

    [page 60] Thus does man stand within the great process of world-evolution, and what takes place inside the boundary of his skin and flows out beyond his skin in the form of deeds, has significance not only for him but for the world, the universe.

    In the 1970s I came across a cartoon in which a man was trying to cross a flowing stream that was too deep to walk across, but there were stepping stones and he had stepped carefully on the stones until he had reached the middle of the stream and there were no more stones. He was looking down at a sign sticking out of the stream which said, "COMING SOON, ANOTHER STONE". That's where we are at any point when we study the spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner, each book, each set of lectures provides us another stepping stone, and brings to a place where we encounter the sign in our mind which says, "Coming soon, another stone." It is a journey which we take in freedom and love, giving Thanks after each stepping stone for our progress. These three lectures are small but they create a mighty bridge which allow us to cross over between universal spirituality and our own physical constitution, and in the process recognize that the deeds we perform in this lifetime will resonate through the ages of humankind to come, fructifying this Earth from a potential dead rock harboring a graveyard of bones into a thriving orchard in which a human community lives out their lives in freedom and love.

    ---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------

    Footnote 1.
    As a physicist, I was taught that humans maintain their bodily temperature by the process of combustion, as though warmth were merely a physical attribute of being human. One must overcome this carefully inculcated prejudice if one is understand our spiritual and physical natures and how they are connected.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Footnote 2.
    The Brain: Mystery of Matter and Mind, Torstar Books/NY, 1984.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Footnote 3.
    The scaring of children, such as during the annual Krampas Laufen in Salzberg, Austria, has a salubrious effect because their Ego is scared temporarily out of their body, and upon returning they feel immediately more solidly connected to their body. I had heard this expressed as an effect, but now through this lecture of Steiner's, I understand how it happens. [A similar thing can happen with the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians when they take to the streets during parades, see Photo at Left.]

    Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Footnote 4.
    For details on "time waves from future" read Matherne's Rule #36, Remember the future. It hums in the present.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Read/Print at:
    http://www.doyletics.com/arj/bridgesp.htm



    2.) ARJ2: The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde

    Everyone is sad when a beloved character dies at the end of a novel, as Jennifer Strange's strange pet, the Quarkbeast, did at the end of The Last Dragonslayer, dying to save Jennifer's life. Okay, Quarkbeast did not talk much, only dropping a pithy "Quark" into a dragging conversation at times. And he did have a few anti-social quirks such as rows of large gnashing teeth which would send people scurrying away and screaming in terror. He had an appetite that could eat through a chest freezer, contents and compressor, in minutes, combined with a gentle disposition which made him an otherwise ideal pet. Plus Jennifer couldn't get rid of him if she wanted to, but was still sad to see him go. With this brief prologue, you may understand why hearts of Fforde readers jumped with delight when they read the title of this book, as it certainly meant the return of at least one Quarkbeast, in addition to hinting at some vocal skills not displayed in the earlier book.

    The dark book cover also hints at the major quest for Jennifer in this novel: a bridge needs to be constructed by wizardry in a contest between Blix and Jennifer's wizards for control of the Magic energy reserves. The stones are shown being dropped into place by a wizard on a flying carpet to rebuild the bridge.

    The Dragonslayer series of books are classified as Children's Literature, probably because the hero is a sixteen-year-old girl, a foundling who runs Kazam, a large enterprise which controls magicians and wizards who take care of various mundane activities like replacing all the plumbing in a house without disturbing a tea party in progress. Not the usual stuff of kid-lit, is it? Add in the presence of the Quarkbeast and its quantum quirks, and you have enough fictional fodder to satisfy the palette of any lover of literature, of whatever age. Had I not read Fforde's droll adventures of Thursday Next, I might never have found the Dragonslayer series appealing, but now I am hopelessly hooked on his off-the-wall writing style, no matter the genre. If he got into vampires, I might need to turn into a vampire first before reading those books, but lacking a midnight bite and a vampire Fforde novel, I'm a Fforde fan forever! How could one resist an author who could write the following passage which takes place after a lady arrives to ask help in finding a missing ring, and Tiger, the new foundling, is taking Miss Shard to present her request to the Magician Lady Mawgon.

    [page 18, 19] 'It's a ring that belonged to the mother of my client,' she said. 'He would be here personally to present his request, but finds himself unavailable owing to a prolonged sabbatical.'
           'Has he seen a doctor about it?' asked Tiger.
           'About what?"
           'His prolonged sabbatical. It sounds very painful.'
           She stared at him for a moment.
           'It means he's on holiday.'
           'Oh.'

    The Youthful Perkins had a unique skill among the various wizards at Kazam. One which was problematic because everyone liked him a lot, especially Jennifer.

    [page 4] I liked him, too, but since his particular field of interest was remote suggestion — the skill of projecting thoughts into people's heads at a distance — I didn't know whether I actually like him or he was suggesting I like him, which was creepy and unethical all at the same time.

    When Tiger is expected to go down into a well hanging upside down, he says it's going to be as "dark as the belly of whale down there," and Jennifer hands him a curious source of light.

    [page 32] I passed him a glass globe from my bag, just one of the many useful objects that I liked to have with me on assignment.
           'It runs off sarcasm,' I said, handing it to him.
           'Great,' he replied, and the globe lit up brightly.
           'You'll also need this,' I told him as I tied a toddler's shoe around his neck. When done, I spoke into the matching shoe I held in my hand.
           'Can you hear me?'
           'Yes,' he replied, 'I can hear you. Do I have to go down a well upside down while being sarcastic with a shoe tied around my neck?'

    In a footnote, Fforde comments, "The correct term for this is 'sarcoluminescence' and it efficiently converts emotion to power, one of the central pillars of magic. It is one of the first spells to be taught to trainees." (Page 32) Hmmm, I'd never need to carry a flashlight if I had globe like that. Who needs batteries when you're a smart-ass with a never-ending supply of sarcasm?

    When the magical devices like microwaves, cell phones, and GPS no longer worked in Jennifer Strange's world, there were only two magical things left working, and I recall when I first discovered the magic of the compass and the bicycle as a pre-teen myself.

    [page 58] The only magical technologies of any size still running were north-pointing directional compasses and the spell that kept bicycles from falling over — both of which were so old that no one knew how to switch them off anyway.

    The wizard Moobin was a loose cannon as a magician and reminded me of Dr. Emmett Brown in the movie series, "Back to the Future", as Jennifer tells him that Blix is trying to assume the name of "All Powerful."

    [page 63] Moobin laughed.
           'His arrogance will be his undoing. Right, then,' he continued, clapping his hands together, 'to work. What's the Holy Grail of the Mystical Arts?'
           I never saw him so excited as when he was experimenting, and excitement made his wild hair look wilder, and his unkempt manner of dress that much more shabby. He looked less like a person, in fact, and more like an unmade bed with arms and legs.

    The unit of power is a Shandar, named after a famous magician, who is reported on the back pages of this book to possibly be returning in the third book of this series, once it gets written. The Dibble Storage Coils can hold four GigaShandars or the equivalent of 26 cathedral-miles, the energy necessary to move a cathedral 26 miles. (Page 73) That's a lot of crackle, to use the wizardry term applied the actual use of magical energy as it shoots off the index finger or wand of a magician.

    Another useful term is a passthought, a wizardry equivalent of our password which is a word or series of letters, characters, and number used to unlock some software application. With the advent of new visual-oriented operating systems on pads of different sizes, passimages are beginning to appear, so perhaps passthoughts are not very far away. Here's how Fforde describes them in a footnote on page 76, "Very like a password, but infinitely more complex. To share a passthought you really need to have witnessed the event or emotion the passthought was based on." I can think of several passthought candidates I experienced which could not have happened to anyone else.

    Recently we attended a performance of our Philharmonic Orchestra and sat in the second row with an excellent up close view of the conductor. Each time he pointed his wand, some new set of instruments began adding their voices to the composition we were listening to, as if by magic.

    [page 77] Then there followed about five minutes of hand spelling which was almost indistinguishable from the gesticulations of a conductor. Indeed, I am told the skills are interchangeable, and the myth about wands may originally have begun with a conductor's baton.

    Perhaps you'd like to know what it's like to be a foundling and a subject of the King; well, Jennifer didn't like it very much, like this time when the King summoned her to him.

    [page 113, 114] 'Come here, child,' said the King, and I approached cautiously. The last time we had met he had me put in jail for daring to meddle in his plans to invade the Ducy of Brecon. Thankfully, 'averting a war with pacifist aforethought' couldn't be found anywhere on th statute books so I was released after two weeks of half-rations and a single sheet to sleep under in a damp cell without natural light. To anyone else it might have been unbearable, but after being brought up by the Blessed Ladies of the Lobster, it was really quite relaxing. I'd not slept so well for months.

    When Jennifer finds that Quarkbeasts can make exact mirror copies of themselves, she asks why Quarkbeast Q26 and Q28 don't look alike since Q26 mirrored to create Q27 and Q27 did likewise to make Q28. Things suddenly got as strange as Jennifer's last name.

    [page 172] No. It's more complicated than that. They create identical copies of themselves in six different flavors: Up, Down, Charm, Strange, Top, and Bottom. All are opposite and equal, but all uniquely different and alike at the same time.

    As a physicist, I am embarrassed to admit that this scheme was created by my fellow physicists and was not a complete fabrication coming from the strange synaptic connections of Fforde's fertile brain.

    It's not fair to have a book entitled "The Song of the Quarkbeast" and not hear the song until the book is nearly over, and for the song to be a mere whine. The song happens as two mirrored Quarkbeasts approach each other. Were they to touch, there would be a huge explosion, and as they get near to each other the low hum increases to a high whine, and then KABOOM! unless they quickly separate to a safe distance.

    My first job as a physicist was at Oak Ridge National Lab in the Y-12 plant where uranium was enriched in electromagnetic separators known as calutrons. During WWII, brave and foolish technicians were known to place two highly enriched clumps of uranium on a lab top and with long rods, moved the clumps just close enough to reach early critical mass, which was indicated by a green glow and a hum, and then they would quickly move the two clumps away. Anyone who did this was known to have 'grabbed the Dragon by the tail'. One tech waited a second too long and was killed by the radioactive flash which occurred, and afterwards, the whole episode became a myth.

    Jennifer does all she can to lure her pet Quarkbeast away from its and her ultimate extinction, and it is not moved by her pleas. But when Tiger offers to take it for a walk, her Quarkbeast pads away from everyone's extinction and offers a curt 'Quark' to Jennifer's 'Welcome back' and drags Tiger outside for their walk. The situation is defused for everyone but me. Me? I wanted a playlist of Quarkbeast songs and all I got was a high whine. Sure, I was informed that the song was lovely, 'One of lament, of unknown knowledge, a song of resignation, and of love and poetry given and received" (page 257), but, even though listening to the song of the Quarkbeast may have formed a wonderful passthought for Jennifer, for me it was only a bunch of words creating more wonder than magic in me. The book ends with a Darth Vada move and a promise of the return of the great wizard, Shandar, in the next book, The Return of Shandar.



    ~^~

    If you enjoyed The Song of the Quarkbeast, especially the character of Jennifer Strange as she shared her adventures, you might wish to read about the equally strange and fun adventures of Jasper Fforde's character, Thursday Next. Click below to View 3 Books in the Dragonslayer Series and 6 Books in the Thursday Next Series:




    ~^~
          THURSDAY NEXT SERIES by JASPER FFORDE

    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


    Read/Print at:
    http://www.doyletics.com/arj/songqark.htm

    = == == == == == == == == == ==

    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.


    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    8. COMMENTARY:
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    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 coverse 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 Listens to Lecture by Cully Boudreaux 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 Walks by Training Class at Nuclear Power Plant:


    2. Comments from Readers:

    • EMAIL from Ati Petrov in Ottawa:
      Hello Bobby!

      I was delighted to see a quote by Peter Deunov in this month's digest12c. I am from originally from Bulgaria and used to lived close to where Deunov lived. I read his work.

      Best wishes for the holidays,
      Ati
      Ati Petrov DHHP
      www.realmedicineclinic.com
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reply from Bobby ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Dear Ati,

      Delighted to hear from you!

      I was amazed to meet someone who lived close to where the writer Peter Deunov once lived in Bulgaria! You have me trying to recall exactly where I found this wolf quote, probably from a SteinerBooks page or catalog.

      Thanks for writing and it’s great having you as a Good Reader!



    • EMAIL from Salvo in Australia:
      Bobby,
      Here is an email from our local Priest, Flags as we call him....

      From: "Patrick Flanagan"
      Subject: Koalas
      Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2012 11:52:35 +1100

      Dear parishioners and other friends,
      My niece, Fiona O'Brien, from Lockington Vic. Sent me this:

      AUSTRALIA KOALAS WERE ASKING PEOPLE FOR WATER.

      AT 120 DEGREES IN AUSTRALIA , IT WAS SO HOT FOR A WEEK THAT KOALAS WERE ASKING PEOPLE FOR WATER. IT'S NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE.



    • EMAIL from World Traveler Christopher Tidmore in Darwin, Australia and Tasmania:
      Chris is nearing the end of a ten month journey during which he will have traveled around the world without any planned air travel. A few air hops necessary due to a road blockage or Visa problem, but the rest of his MadAventure was done mostly by MadBus. Here's an excerpt in which he looks back on his time aboard the unique traveling vehicle as he says goodbye to it to board a ferry to tropical Darwin from whence he begins a trip to the Outback on the final leg of his journey back to New Orleans. I think we should honor our modern day Pileas Fogg's return to us in January with the sounding of FOGG Horns on all the ferries and ships present in the river of this area!




      Saturday, November 17, 2012 8:53 AM
      On the road to Singapore

      A driver of a diesel truck just flashed the MadBus a "thumbs up", and reached for his camera to take a photo of the wild road craft that looks like a Winebago mated with an 18-Wheeler.
             Five months ago, we boarded the Orange Beast in London, embarking on an expedition that stretched from London to today. It has shielded us from rain in the hills of Armenia, sand in Uzbekistan, winds in Siberia.
            At times, it has heard our curses of frustration, seen our truck parties last well into night, felt our bodies lay on the roof looking at the stars, fed our stoves as we cooked our meals.
            After five months, it has become our home. In Malicca, this afternoon, we bid it farewell. We grab our bags, load them onto another bus, and go forth to Singapore. From there we take a ferry to Bali, and a plane to Darwin, Australia, and another bus to Sydney. But, the MadBus is out of our lives too quick.
            Five months, but too quick.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Christmas Day email from Christopher Tidmore in Tasmania:

    To my Dearest Friends,

    Greetings from Tasmania on this Christmas Day. Sorry it has been so long since I wrote. I've been camping in the mountains, and internet has not exactly been present. Of course, a Kangaroo almost ate my chicken sandwich at the beach. Literally. Okay, it was a Wallaby, a 2' 3" Kangaroo, but when I pulled the sandwich away, it just stood there looking up at me and down at the sandwich, as if to say, "Hey, where's my bite?"

    From the Blue Waters of the Bay of Fires to the Waterfalls of the West, I come to you from the Southern Island of sheep, at least until I return home on the 8th of January.

    I miss you all so much this Christmas and look forward to seeing many of you upon my return to New Orleans — and others soon thereafter. In the meantime, I thought I would send my final update. I've not kept a journal here in Tasmania, but I have the places I have been listed below. But, the end of the six months trip from London to Sydney is here.

    One other interesting note. As I came back to Hobart yesterday, sitting in the Harbor was the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas, the very ship that took me across the Atlantic on April 14. It must be a sign. To go home or what, I have no idea.

    Write me of your Christmases and what proceeds in your life,

    Merry Christmas!

  • EMAIL from Joseph & Carol Orze in Florida:
    Bobby:

    Thanks for the November issue of 2012 DIGESTWORLD. I look forward to reading it. I trust you and Adele had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family. Carol and I shared ours with our daughter, who had us and about 9 more friends over for dinner. December will be a busy month for us. My daughter and I share a December 11 birthdate, and Carol's is the 27th. Then, of course all of the seasonal parties, including a Polish-themed 80th for me with about 50 friends, which I look forward to. I made a big decision after getting back from Europe. I visited my orthopedic sureon and set up dates to have total replacements of bothe of my knees, the left in January and the right in February. Keep in touch.

    Joe and Carol Orze

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Dear Joe,

    Thanks for the photo you enclosed with your letter later which I've posted above. Unfortunately I had not gotten a photo of the four of us together. We had too much fun together to stop to take photos! Hope to see you two soon.

    Bobby

  • EMAIL from Kristina in Oz:
    Morning/Evening Bobby. I have now published my book I-Connecting as an ebook. You wrote a most wonderful review of this book. I was wondering if you would do a short review on Amazon and include a link to your review. Is that possible?
    The book is here http://www.amazon.com/I-AM-The-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00AGBHDJY

    Also check out Kristina's Revelation Meditations here:
                 http://amzn.to/Vc5S4l
                 http://amzn.to/Vc7jzP
    LLL,
    kk

    ~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~
    Did so. Not possible to add link, plus my Amazon blurb of my review is listed as written by some guy named Robert J. Matherne, my evil twin.
    Bobby

  • EMAIL from Kathryn Yost in Indiana:
    Love my scarf!
    It's snugly!
    Thank you so much!!
    Merry Christmas :)


  • 3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "Poortry for the Millions"


    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:


    Poortry for the Millions

    Under the poor tree of poly ticks
    The I-am-bigs do congregate —
    Legacy late and agri-vate our culture:
    Build battle axes with hidden taxes
    Welfare stoats with mini-mom wages.

    'Tis puer trey in motion
    The ex-sect you thieve, Ju-Ju dish shall,
    Ledge is late while the state's a drift.

    The ship is foundering
    and the captain and the crew
    Have better things to do
    Than bail the water from the bilge —
    They're much too busy barking on the bridge
    About how fine their stewardship has been
    And how nice it will be when . . .
    (They're voted in again).


    4. DIGESTWORLD IS A PUBLICATION

    Well-meaning friends and associates have on occasion said to me about something I produced, perhaps a poem, a photograph, or a piece of writing, "You ought to get this published!" I thank them when they say this to me, as it is a great compliment, but inside it feels like an insult, because to me, my digests are publications. What they have suggested ought to published, has already been published, in one of my digests, in which they found it. My digests are publications on the Internet which have the name DIGESTWORLD, which I have recently Trademarked. My digests are not newsletters — yes, they contain news of our lives in the OUT OUR WAY Section, but that is only one of the ten sections of every issue, and not an essential section. These digests have been published monthly since the first issue in 2000 and all these issues are available in our website's Archives for anyone in the world to read. To suggest that, if my work were to appear in some paper document available to only a select few people, such as the subscribers to a magazine or the buyers of a book, that would constitute publication, is presuppositious at best. What would that achieve that I have not already achieved by making my work available to all the people of the world? Weekly I hear from people who read my work in countries all over the world, many countries that would not offer for sale some dead-tree (paper) publication. Already food manufacturers are replacing their glass containers with plastic to reduce their shipping weight — how much do magazines weigh? How much do electrons weigh?

    After publishing several books in the early 1990s under the colophon of Good Mountain Press, the Internet became active, and I saw a chance to publish books using recycled electrons instead of recycled paper while making my work available to the entire world. I came up with the name Good Mountain Press because I had moved back home to New Orleans to stay and left behind the mountains of Tennessee, California, and New England, mountains which I loved. The way I dealt with this loss was to find a way of re-creating the feeling these mountains gave me when I saw them from afar in my home city. I began to realize that snowy white clouds which typically ring our horizon locally during a typical summer day resembled the snow-capped mountains of Southern California. I found I could feel the same awe looking at them as I did looking at the San Gabriel mountains or Mount Baldy in the winter time. Then I remembered how it felt to be in the mountains at high elevations: the air was cool and ionized with a refreshing feel that was invigorating. Well, that's how it feels in New Orleans on a typical summer afternoon shortly before a cloudburst. The hot, steamy air has been replaced by a cool breeze of ionized air (the ions necessary near the ground to create the lightning) and I realized how I had a mountaintop experience during these frequent occurences of afternoon thundershowers. These were my Good Mountains! Towering 25,000 to 60,000, far higher than any other mountain on Earth, these could be viewed from a distance (on the horizon) and from up close, looking up to the peaks as they moved nearer to me without my having to drive to them, and they brought welcome relief from the hot rays of the Sun by shading me and blowing refreshing air towards me. Good Mountains!

    Only in the last few years, did it occur to me that the name I gave to my recycled-electron-based Press was the same name of the first paper-based Press in 1456, namely the Gutenberg Press. A little knowledge of German will reveal that the words "guten" and "berg" mean "good" and "mountain". Unconsciously, my higher self, my Soul Captain, had led me to choose a name for etherical (electron-based) mountains which matched Gutenberg's name of rock-based mountains. Good Mountain Press is a division of 21st Century Education, Inc. which I incoporated in 1977 to form the foundation of what I saw was to become the education of the future, eschewing paper-based for electron-based technology.

    In the future, my wish is that when someone thinks that something I created "should be published", they will have the realization that it is already published on the World-Wide Web in the manner of the 21st Century where so much of what we consider education and publication is migrating towards. Instead of "That should be published", "Thanks for publishing that" would be easy enough to say and most welcomed by me from now on.


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    9. CLOSING NOTES:
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    Thanks to all of you Good Readers for providing the Sunshine which has made this site a Blooming 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!

    By December 1, 2017, in its 18th year of existence, the doyletics website will have received about 18.6 MILLION VISITORS ! ! !

    We have received about ONE MILLION VISITORS per Year to the Doyletics Website since its inception in August 1, 2001, over sixteen years ago. Over 2.5 million in the past 12 months. We are currently averaging about 220,000 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.

    IMPORTANT NOTES about DIGESTWORLDtm

    Our DIGESTWORLD came into existence years before Facebook and all the other social media which interrupt people's schedules many times a a day. All our photos, reviews, cartoons, stories, etc, come to you via a link inside of one short email Reminder at the beginning of each month. We hope you appreciate how we let YOU choose when to enjoy our DIGESTWORLD Issues.

    We especially want to thank you, our Good Readers, in advance, for helping our readership to grow. NOTE our name is now: DIGESTWORLD. Continue to send comments to Bobby and please do create links to DIGESTWORLD issues and Reviews on LinkedIn, on your Facebook page, and on other Social Media. When you copy any portion of a webpage or review, please include this text: "Copyright 2017 by Bobby Matherne".
           Email your friends about the reviews, the handy doyletics Speed Trace, the cartoons, the cajun jokes, the recipes, the poems, and the photos in all the DIGESTWORLD Issues archived on our website. Urge them to subscribe to the DIGESTWORLD Reminder so they won't miss a single issue!
           The Subscription Process SIMPLE: no Reply Confirmation is required. An email to the Editor with your First and Last names is all that's required. There is never a charge for viewing any page on our website; nor for any of the guidance we offer to people using the FIRST AID KIT or asking for help with doyletics in any other areas.

    ~~ NOTE: DIGESTWORLD is a Trademark of 21st Century Education, Inc. ~~

    The cost of keeping this website on-line with its 300 Gbytes of bandwidth a month is about $50 a month. Thank you, our Good Readers, for continuing to patronize our advertisers when they provide products and services you are seeking as you visit any of our web pages. Remember the ads are dynamically displayed and every time you read even the same page a second time, you may find new products and services displayed for your review. Our reviews, digests, tidbits, etc, all our webpages act as Google magnets to bring folks to the website to learn about doyletics and frequent our advertisers, so they support one another in effect.

    We welcome your contributions to the support of the website and research into the science of doyletics. To obtain our street address, email Bobby at the address found on this page: http://www.doyletics.com/bobby.htm and we will send it to you. Every $50 contribution helps toward keeping this website on-line for another month. If you can't send money, at least show your support by Clicking the Google +1 which appears at the top of this Issue of DIGESTWORLD and every Review pages.

    We wish to thank all Good Readers who have made a contribution to the doyletics.com website! A special thanks to Chris and Carla Bryant of Corpus Christi!


    You can read a description of how to do a Speed Trace (either in English or Spanish):

    Learn to Do a Speed Trace Here



    Or Watch Bobby extemporaneously explain How to Do a Speed Trace on Video:



    To make a connection to the Doyletics website from your own website, here's what to do. You may wish to use the first set of code below to link to the site which includes a graphic photo, or to use the second set of code for a text-only link. Immediately below is how the graphic link will look on your website. Just place this .html in an appropriate place on your website.

    <CENTER> < — with graphics link — >
    <A HREF="http://www.doyletics.com/index.htm">Learn to Do a Speed Trace Here<BR>
    <IMG SRC="http://www.doyletics.com/doylepb.gif" width="309" height="102" border="2" TITLE="Learn to Remove Doyles — all those Unwanted Physical Body states of fear, depression, migraine, etc." ALIGN=middle><A/></CENTER>

    <CENTER> < — text only link — >
    <A HREF="http://www.doyletics.com/introduc.htm">Learn to Do the Speed Trace at doyletics.com <A/>
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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 DIGESTWORLD Issue is mailed monthly to:

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    As of August, 2011 we have begun using a Contact Manager with an Email Merge feature which allows us to send personalized Emails to everyone in our Contact List. For the time being the Topica.com e-mail List Subscription List will remain active, but you will receive the colorful Email containing the DIGESTWORLD Reminder beginning with "Dear [Your First Name]". It is important that we have your First Name, so if the name you are addressed by in your Reminder is not your first name, please notify us of the name you wish us to use. For convenience you can send a quick email to give us your name by Clicking Here. To Contact Bobby, his Email address is visible on this page.

    Please do your part by letting us know of any email address change so that you may continue receiving the DIGESTWORLD Reminders. Most of our Readers come from folks who don't get these Reminders, but we offer the DIGESTWORLD Reminder as a service to our regular Good Readers. To send us your new email address, CLICK HERE! .

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    10. GRATITUDE - in Three Easy Steps:
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    Maintaining a website requires time and money, and apart from sending a donation to the Doyletics Foundation, there are several ways you can show your gratitude and support our efforts to keep doyletics.com on-line.

    One would be for you to buy a copy of my Dolphin Novel, The SPIZZNET File. Books May be ordered in hardback or paperback form from Xlbiris the Publisher here:

    online: http://www.xlibris.com/TheSPIZZNETFILE.html

    email: orders@xlibris.com

    The best source at the best price is to order your copies on-line is from the publisher Random House/Xlibris's website above.

    Two would be for you to use the Google Search Engine for your web searches or to find an item on doyletics.com website. New reviews will have a place to do a Google Search at the top and the bottom of the reviews. Just enter a search phrase in the box below to do a Search. Note you can check whether to Search just this site or all websites.

    Three would be for you to let us know you like us by Subscribing to our monthly Reminder. One short email each month with a link to our Latest DIGESTWORLD Issue will keep you apprised of our latest reviews, photography, poetry, Cajun stories, recipes, Movie Blurbs, Travels, and even more! Simply Click Here: Subscribe Me!

    Thank you in advance!

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