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Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #47
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Bob Keeshan (1927 -2004) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ "Captain Kangaroo" ~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #47 Published April 1, 2004 ~~~
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Quote for the Spring Month of April:
Be like the bird that pausing in her flight a while,
     on boughs too slight,
Feels them give way beneath her —
     and yet sings,
Knowing that she has wings.

      — Victor Hugo, (French poet, dramatist, and writer)

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~~ Click on Heading to go to that Section (Allow Page First To Fully Load). ~~
THE GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #47, April 2004
Archived Digests
Table of Contents

1. April's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for April
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: CRESH - Crab-Eggplant-SHrimp Étouffé
6. Poem from Rainbows & Shadows:"Accidents & Miracles"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for April:

8. Commentary on the World
9. Closing Notes - our mailing list, locating books, unsubscribing to Digest
10. Gratitude

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THE GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #47
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ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ON THE WEB
 
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#1 Jul  #2, Aug  #3, Sept  #4, Oct  #5, Nov  #6, Dec  #7
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1. April Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
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For newcomers to the Digest, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons! Check it out at: 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 completing a hologram.

#1 "Hologram Completion" at http://www.doyletics.com/09198089.gif

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

Denise Blommel in Scottsdale, Arizona

Jerry Randall in New Orleans

Congratulations, Denise and Jerry!


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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:


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Out Our Way:

We know from talking to many of you that this is your "don't miss" place in the Digest, so we endeavor to make it fun and informative for you every month. This month we've added a new cartoon character. His name is Padre Filius and he walks around the world looking at things and listening to confessions. You may have spotted him in the upper left corner of this Digest. His first full cartoon is in the Commentary Section below.

Del & I took a trip to Crowley for a presentation she had to give on HIPAA (Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act). We had seen a lecture by Prof. Karen Kingsley to the Louisiana Landmarks Society earlier on the architecture of Louisiana. She talked about the Crowley Opera House, so we made a point of locating it and taking a look at how the restoration is going. I have included at the very bottom of this Digest a photo of the Opera House which now houses Dixie Hardware on the ground floor while the cultural center is being built out on the second floor.

The next weekend we went down to Riverwalk and checked out Annette Fuselier's entry in the art show in the World Trade Center downtown. Met Annette and George at the show. During that week we finally got a new icemaker installed in the Timberlane kitchen — now for the first time in memory, we have excess ice in the kitchen. Wayne of AAA Appliances got the call this time.

The same weekend my daughter, Maureen, gave a Hollywood Red Carpet Baby Shower for her good friend, Katie. All the stars were out that night as you can see, Clint Eastwood and Orlando Bloom were caught on film with the shower attendees. I stayed in the theater room with the guys and watched "School of Rock" on his wall-sized projector DVD-PC system while the gals played with the stars on the floor above us.

Next my daughter, Carla Marie, celebrated her fortieth birthday. She was born March 10, 1964 in Galiano, Louisiana at Our Lady of the Sea hospital. I was working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and had been listening to rescue efforts for a helicopter that had crashed on a nearby rig when a call came in that I was to be helicoptered out. My very first helicopter ride was to be there for Carla's birth.

I wrote this ditty for her on her 40th birthday morning and read it to her over the phone to start her day. I'd like to share it now with all of you who dread the prospect of being forty and all of you who would love to be forty again:

Lordy, Lordy, Carla’s Forty!

If you want someone who’s hale and hardy,
Who can plow the back forty,
Who’s skinny and not lardy,
Who’s not dumb but smarty,
And who’s still young enough to party —

   Well, Lordy, Lordy,
   Carla’s forty!

Think of short and sweet,
With Princess tiny feet,
And a smile that can’t be beat
In other words, a Daddy’s treat,
Someone you’d like to meet.
Here, Carla, take a seat!

After all, you’re forty!

You’re still good for one more sortie —
Not a Witch who’s old and warty
Not a Teach who’s fat and farty
But a Mom who’s never tardy
With a love that’s extra hearty!

Well, la-de-dah and whoope-de-doo
To those who think that this is yucky —
Wait a bit and you’ll be forty, too —
If you live so long and lucky!

So, Carla, dear, enjoy your year
And your new decade, too.
Soon, too soon, you will bear
The boon of fifty-two.

Don’t hang your head And be a Saddy —
You’ll always be loved
By me, your Daddy.

A few days later on March 13 we had two birthday parties to go to. Our grandson Kyle in Baton Rouge turned one year old. I have included one of me with his older brother, Collin in this Digest, but you can see one of Kyle with his cake before he began to deconstruct it if you Click Here!, among many more photos. (Don't know how long this will stay up on Shuttlefly.com, so check it out now.)

We drove back to attend a birthday party for a newly-returned to New Orleans friend, Carol. Her husband was off on a three week trip and she decided she wanted a birthday party anyway and we all agreed. Kathy brought a triple-chocolate cake with a photo of a bare-chested young stud sticking out of it We didn't have enough candles for one for each year, so we decided to simplify the candle situation by just lighting one candle, strategically placed. See photo below. Needless to say, when we said, "Carol, it's time to, er, blow out the candle," a roar of laughter went up and double entendres flowed for a long time.

Shutterfly.com is a wonderful new service that Ed Gros called to my attention this month. It's works like this: you upload photos one-time to their website and you can do the following: Order prints for about 25 cents each for 4X6s on up to 8X10s etc. Or you can share the photos with other people simply by pointing to the ones you wish Aunt Tillie to get and entering her email. She'll be able to see the photos in a slide show and order the ones she wishes to have prints of. Check it out. The interface is easy to use and the only thing they charge for is any prints you might wish to have. And the first 15 prints after you sign up are free. I've gotten my first set and they look like 35mm print quality.

Here's a link to some family prints for family members to check out (I don't know how long this link will stay active, so Click Here now).

Here's a link to photos of Joe Newman's Energy Machine. His latest prototype is powering a 10 KW generator and uses no fossil fuels. A machine which creates energy out of its own mass.

Here's a link to check out the photos of a recent demo. Click Here. It includes one of me with my old friend, Joe Newman, which appears to the right of this text.

Del's mother Doris, newly widowed, had surgery to repair her L3 vertebra which was cracked when her husband had his last stroke and she lifted him into bed. This has kept our life in an uproar for most of the month, with Del running her mom's errands, running her mom back and forth to doctors and hospitals, and organizing all the estate settlement details from her dad's death. Thankfully by the last few days of the month, Del was able to get some time in her garden and this has returned a "spring" to her step. Here she is watering the garden on one of these spring days.

Some folks commented that my movie review of "The Passion of Christ" by Mel Gibson was woefully short, so I thought I'd add a potpourri of reviews of a sort from my daughter Maureen's family. She told me that she and her husband, Steve, and her son, Gabe, went to see “The Passion of Christ” together. She enjoyed the movie.

Maureen told me that she loved the movie, and she reported on the reactions from her other family members:

Gabe,her ten-year-old son, told her that he really liked the movie, but he did pull her hands over his eyes several times during the movie.

Steve said he didn’t like it at all, that “It was like having to sit through 2 1/2 hours of religion class.”

Christopher, her 18-year-old son, took his girl friend to the movie and afterward came home and sat on the side of his mother’s bed and told her, “I never realized that He did all that just for us.” Chris was literally in awe of what he had seen. I told her, “It’s hard to believe that Steve and Chris come from the same family.”

Jennifer, her 21-year-old daughter, was planning to go to see it with her boy friend, Anthony, but one of their friends told them that it had subtitles. Jennifer told her mother, “We don’t want to have to read the entire movie.” She and I both got a good laugh from that revelation.

If you haven't seen it, all I can say is whatever you're using as excuses will never make it up to the quality of Jennifer and Anthony's excuse. This movie is already becoming the movie that all other passion plays and movies of the passion will be judged against.

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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, and all of the original dialogue.
P. S. Look for HD/DVD format movies which are now available from NetFlix.
Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise ignore.):

“The Hours” — starring Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, and Nicole Kidman, but it may take you some time to locate Nicole — in makeup as Virginia Woolf she looks like a “before ad” for cosmetic surgery. Three stories which tell "a woman's whole life in a single day" are woven together in a tapestry of 1923, 1952, and 2001 threads. In 2001, Ed Harris the dying poet calls Streep “Mrs. Dalloway”, the eponymous heroine of the Woolf novel whose theme zips back and forth through the decades and hours like a shuttlecock through the fabric of the movie. In 1952 Moore plays the plastic suburban wife whose life is decorated like the birthday cake she makes for her husband. Nicole as Woolf walks into the river and drowns to open and close the movie. Somebody else is going to die before the movie is over. Will it be Harris, Streep, Moore, or all three in huge gush of trans-generational suicide? I would tell you, but I have to buy some flowers for a party I'm giving tonight.
“The Gangs of New York” — this is the history that didn’t make the history books because it didn’t take place downtown where the Mayor and the councilmen lived, but involved the Irish immigrants who filled old tenement houses and the lowest paying jobs during the middle of the 19th Century. Their mode of survival was to form into tribe-like gangs and suckle on the benevolent breast of Boss Tweed of Tamany Hall. This is gripping drama which holds the audience through two DVDs, all the way through a butchering that makes “Braveheart” look like a walk in Central Park by comparison. Send the kids to bed before cuing up this one.
“The School of Rock” — Jack Black turns a group of bored 10-year-olds into a rock band complete with security, special effects, groupies, roadies, band manager, and a lead singer, namely himself. Don’t look now, but Joan Cusacks has become the Our Miss Brooks of the new generation. And Jack Black the Piped Piper.
“What Women Really Want” with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt asks the question: “If you were a woman would you want a man to know your inner thoughts?” If men get one lesson from this movie, it’s this: Women who speak their minds are a lot easier to be real with than those who don’t. For all the lesson is: “Women are different than men, and Vive le difference!”
“The Man from Snowy River” a tour-de-force performance by Kirk Douglas who played the estranged twins, one a prosperous rancher and the other a miner digging into a mountain for gold. But the real star was the young man, Jim, the eponymous man from Snowy River, the mountain man. Who could watch his horse ride down the precipitous mountain-side without feeling the excitement? A love story, a hate story, a Romeo and Juliet in Oz story with a happy ending. Don’t miss it. Watch it again when you can.
“Shanghai Knights” with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. Wilson plays probably the worst sidekick of all times — he lies, cheats, goofs off, womanizes Chan’s own sister, jeopardizes Chan’s life, and still gets knighted instead of kicked in the end. This is a goofy movie, but it works due to Chan’s natural charm and naiveté — plus, his unique utilization of props during fights is utterly amazing. Don’t miss the out-takes at the end, if you think Chan makes it look easy when he does his own stunts.

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.


“A Mighty Wind” stunk!
“Eye of God” deserves the “Nay of God” — young couple with lots of promise realize none of it. Never did THE END seem so welcome.
“Dogma” — appropriate that I watched this one on the Comedy Channel. Alfred O. Korzybski, if he were alive today, would be turning over in his grave! The whole movie is based on a loophole found in Church doctrine that will cause the entire cosmos to disappear. In AOK’s words, the territory will be destroyed because of a glitch in the map! If you must watch this one, have a “dogma barf bag” ready.

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


“Real Women Have Curves” — about the passage into womanhood of a young Chicano girl who works in a sweaty clothing manufacturer shop with her mother. Highlight: the underwear dance in the shop. That’s about it. Will she fly across the country to go to Columbia University in NYC or stay in the barrio with her abuelo and the rest of her family? We find out and the movie ends.
“How to Lose a Man in Ten Days” — an interesting attempt to apply the ‘Be Spontaneous Paradox’ to catching and keeping a man. Do consciously what you otherwise do unconsciously. This is a recipe for breaking the unconscious habit. Like typing “hte” for “the” by habit – the way to break the pattern is do it consciously a few times. While the gal has a bet she can get a man to fall in love with her and then lose him in ten days, the guy has a bet that he can choose a gal at random and get her to fall in love with him in ten days. And both have put their careers on the line as a stake for the bet, unbeknownst to each other. The ole irresistible force meets the implacable object ploy. So we get an hour and half or so of screwing around with a relationship which naturally results in no screwing, around or otherwise. Gals will laugh during this one; guys will find it too painful to laugh.
“Phone Booth” about a Public Relations guy whose office was a pair of shoes. He walked down New York City streets making deals, making up new truths by the second to utilize whatever the world offered him. Till one day, a guy gets him on the phone in a phone booth and makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Stay in the phone booth, tell the truth, or die. Maybe all three. Your call on the Phone Booth — will you take it?
“Dark Blue” — a good cop/bad cop flick with Kurt Russell playing a good cop taking orders from a bad cop and breaking in a rookie in the routine. With L.A. in the middle of the Rodney King riots, life was anything but routine and Kurt’s boss’s retirement fund and boat was definitely in trouble.
“Rock Star” — a close look at the on-stage thrills and back-stage emptiness of the rock star business. Guy gets girl, guy loses girl, guy finally sings song she requested, guy gets girl back.


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4. CAJUN STORY:
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Boudreaux and Broussard needed themselves a new retriever for duck hunting, so they called on their good friend, Wayland, who raised retrievers.

“Eh, Wayland, wat you got for a retriever dat we could buy from you?” Boudreaux said.

“Mais, you two in luck today, I guarantee! I gots de best dog dat I never seen before!”

“Dat’s fine, but how much dat dog gonna cost us?” Broussard asked.

“Dat’ll be one thousand dollars.”

“Hoo-weee,” the two men exhaled together, “dat better be some fine dog. Can you arrange for us to see wat he can do?”

“Shore t’ing. You just brought yo’selves over here tomorrow at dawn and we’ll go shoot some ducks.”

The next morning Boudreaux and Broussard are all decked out for hunting ducks. They meet Wayland who introduces them to Phideaux, the thousand dollar dog. They pile into one boat and head for the swamp. Once in the swamp, Wayland explain how the dog works. “Just past dese cypress trees is a clearing. I’m gonna send Phideaux over dere and he’s gonna come back and tell us how many ducks are dere and you’ll go kill dem. Okay?”

“Okay,” said the two anxious hunters, loading up their shotguns and strapping up their waders.

“Go Phideaux!” Wayland says and the dog jumps into the shallow water, runs through the trees and comes back almost immediately, stops near the boat and wags his tail twice.

“Dat’s means dere’s two ducks in dere,” Wayland explained. Boudreaux and Broussard went into the clearing, two shots rang out, and they came back with two ducks in their hands.

“Dat was pretty good, eh?” Wayland asked. The two nodded briskly. “Now, let’s move to the next clearing and try it again.”

This time the dog returned, waved its tail three times and the hunters went into the clearing and came back with three ducks.

Wayland said, “You got the hang of it so I’m gonna leave Phideaux with you two in the pirogue at this clearing while I go find the next clearing. Remember just say, ‘Go Phideaux’ and he’ll tell you how many ducks are in the clearing. Okay?”

“Mais, yeah, you go on,” Boudreaux said and Wayland left.

A few minutes later Wayland returned to find that Phideaux was dead.

“Bon Dieu!” he exclaimed, “what happened to Phideaux?”

“We did wot you told us to do,” Boudreaux started.

“We told Phideaux ‘Go!’ and he jumped out of the pirogue into the water and went into the clearing,” Broussard continued.

“Yeah,” Boudreaux took over, “but when he came back, he had a stick in his mouth and he was shaking his tail so hard, we thought he had rabies, so we shot him.”

“Sacre bleu! You couillons! Phideaux was trying to tell you dat dere’s too many ducks to count and dat you could kill dem with a stick!”

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5. RECIPE of the MONTH for April, 2004 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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CRESH - Crab-Eggplant-SHrimp Étouffée

Background on CRESH - Crab-Eggplant-SHrimp Étouffé: I first ate something similar to this at the Bon Ton Restaurant on Magazine and Poydras in downtown New Orleans. I had never before considered making an étouffée using eggplant. But consider that the word étouffée is derived from to "stuff" which means to smother in English. You will never have trouble getting the correct spelling of étouffée if you'll remember "stuff" which also has one "t" and two "ffs". My mother used to smother eggplants all the time to make eggplant dressing. Smother simply means to cook down with onions until the onions and eggplants are one in texture and flavor. So my crawfish-eggplant dressing is made by smothering eggplants. The difference is that an étouffée is generally thought of as a thick sauce which is poured over rice to eat, but a dressing is made by working the sauce or étouffée into the rice and using as a side dish or perhaps stuffed in bell peppers, etc.

Ingredients
3 small to medium eggplants
2 lbs. Peeled Shrimp
4 to 6 Stuffed Crabs

Three yellow onions
Bertolli’s Extra Lite Olive Oil
Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
Shrimp Powder
Zatarain's Liquid Shrimp Boil

Preparation
Boil Shells of Eggplant for 1 hour.
Boil Shrimp: Decant the soaking water into pot, bring to rolling boil, add shrimp for 6 to 8 minutes, strain shrimp, save shrimp water.
Cover the bottom of a large fry pan with Olive oil and sauté onions.
Once onions are translucent, add the chopped eggplant pieces, sauté in with onions. Add a teaspoon or so of shrimp powder. Add saved liquid from boiling shrimp, enough to cover onions and eggplant.
Bring to boil and cook on low till eggplants are mushy, about one hour.
Use masher to remove chunks from eggplant, if necessary.
Add crab mixture from stuffed crabs into pan, cook for about 10 minutes, then add the shrimp and remove heat immediately. (Shrimp shrink upon cooking, so never cook shrimp more than necessary.) Click Here for photo of mixture at this step.

Click Here for photo of cresh mixture cooking ( at 9 o'clock position), rice (at 12), shrimp drained (at 2), stuffed crab mixture (at 3), and eggplant shells boiling (at 6)

Cooking Instructions
3 small to medium eggplants
2 lbs. Peeled Shrimp
4 to 6 Stuffed Crabs

Three yellow onions
Bertolli’s Extra Lite Olive Oil
Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
Shrimp Powder
Zatarain's Liquid Shrimp Boil

Serving Suggestions
I. Serve Cresh over Long Grain and Wild Rice as shown in Right Side of Photo at top. Add enough Cresh to fully cover rice. (Add only a minor amount of bread crumbs to mixture for flavor. Click Here for recipe for rice. Bon Ton method of serving.)


II. Serve Cresh as a dressing by stuffing it in Eggplant Pirogue (or Boat) as shown in Left Side of Photo at top. Remove boiled half-shells from pot and drain. Place shells in a baking pan. Separate enough mixture to fill shells and add bread crumbs. Stir well into mixture to absorb excess moisture so that Cresh will mound in the boat. Scoop the cresh mixture into the halves and create a mound. Sprinkle liberally with bread crumbs. Place under a broiler on high for about ten minutes or until the bread crumbs brown nicely, then serve.

Other options

Leftovers Mixture from Step II. above:

Save mixture leftover before adding bread crumbs and place in container to serve over rice later. Click Here for photo.



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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Rainbows & Shadows and a Bonus Poem:
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I. Accidents & Miracles

     (from Rainbows & Shadows)

Accidents are miracles
      of wrong-mindedness.
Miracles are accidents
      of right-mindness.


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II. Birthday Poem for Del
It was no accident that this next poem was written shortly after I wrote the above poem about our daugher Carla turning forty. When I read the poem to Del, she asked me if I was going to write her a poem for her upcoming birthday. When she turned 49, I wrote her a poem called "Fifty Roses for Fifty Springs" and sent her fifty roses. Del was born April 12, 1945 on the same day that Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia. Being a Spring baby means that she was experiencing her 50th Spring on her 49th Birthday. So, coming up this year, in a few weeks, is Del's 60th Spring. This one's for you, Del ! ! !
             Sixty Springs

The way I count, in Oh-Oh-Four
You, Adele, will soon be fifty-nine,
And it won’t be oh so long before
You shut the door and leave behind
The decade of your Fifty-ness.

When now you celebrate the eve
Of the latest of your sixty springs,
Everyone can see with you and me
The springs aren’t as bouncy things
As they once used to be.

Springs wear down, never doubt,
And over time will sag a bit —
But the warranty will not run out
On your bouncy spirit.

For you, Adele, are eternal Spring,
Which renews itself each year,
A growing, glowing, bubbly thing
Refreshing all our spirits here.

So, dear Adele, my wish for you is this:
Fling your winter cares away
And enjoy your newest Spring today —
The best is yet to come your way
In your blessed Sixty-ness.

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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for April:
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And for my Good Readers, here’s the new reviews and articles for this month. The ARJ2 ones are new additions to the top of A Reader’s Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, and the ART ones to A Reader’s Treasury.

1.) ARJ2: The Yoga of Eating by Charles Eisenstein

The sub-title is "Transcending Diets and Dogma to Nourish the Natural Self" which was enough to pique my interest in this book.

There are too many bad books on diet, but this one re-directs our attention away from the regulation of fat-, protein-, or carbohydrate-intake back to how our body feels when we eat.

When all is said and done, the only diet that endures is the one in which we nourish our natural Self.

http://www.doyletics.com/arj/eatyoga.htm

2.) ARJ2: Just Looking - Essays on Art by John Updike

A more complete title would be "Just Looking and Writing" since Updike does both exceptionally well.

Take a tour of a dozen or so museums and special exhibits with Updike as a tour guide calling your attention to what portions of the artworks to pay attention to.

You will see things you might have otherwise missed. Full of color and B&W plates of the artworks he discusses.

For a sample, read the review. For more buy the book. For a complete view, take the book along on a visit to the museums.

http://www.doyletics.com/arj/justlook.htm

3.) ARJ2: The Journal of Thoreau by Henry David Thoreau

Each night when I get into bed, if I’m not immediately sleepy, this is the book that I pull up to read myself to sleep. Not because it is inherently soporific, but because it is inherently enjoyable. I grew up in the bayous of Louisiana, but for four years in the 1970s I had the pleasure of living in New England, in Thoreau’s home state Massachusetts. I lived in the middle of all the flora and fauna that he meets, inspects, and describes during his daily walks through the woods of Concord and its environs. But he walked through them while I, a hundred or so years later, drove through them on the turnpikes at 70 mph, the back roads at 40 mph, and the bike trails at 20 mph on my trail bike. Not much time for stopping to inspect plants, of for noting which flowers were blooming during which season. In the winter, I did notice the tracks in the snow left behind by the animals of the forest which I seldom noticed any traces of during the summer.

And that leads me to why I enjoy Thoreau so much — he takes me on the walks I didn’t allow myself time for during my impetuous, always rushing, youth. He holds up plants and calls them by their names. He tells me what time of year they are blooming. He even describes how many times it snows during a given winter, and how many significant snows there were. When I reached the end of this book, and he talked in February about the winter’s snowfalls, I thought back and counted in my head from memory that in the winter of 1852-53 there were two major snowfalls of about 6 inches or more up till that time. I was right! He said that there were two. I remembered because I had encountered those two snowfalls with him during the course of this book.

What astounded me was the thought that I now have a stronger memory of the snows of a winter 150 years ago than I do of winters only 30 years ago! A stronger memory of a winter I read about in a book than one that I experienced in person.

Perhaps if you read Thoreau's journal, you will find yourself being astounded by some of the thoughts he conjures up in you. Till then, you can take a quick trip through a year in Thoreau's life by reading my review, linked below.

http://www.doyletics.com/arj/tjr03rvw.htm

4.) ARJ2: From Sunspots to Strawberries by Rudolf Steiner

This review completes my commentary on the complete set of Question & Answer discussions that Steiner held with the blue collar workers building the Goetheanum which was to be dedicated to the teaching and learning of anthroposophy or spiritual science. The workers wanted to know what this unusual building they were constructing would be used for. In a colloquial fashion, Rudolf Steiner answered the workers' questions. His manner of presentation to those completely unfamiliar with his spiritual science makes this set of books among the most approachable books of all of Steiner's works for the new reader.

Are there any questions? Ones you would like answered? They may be answered in one of these volumes. Some sample questions answered in this volume: Why do some young boys have worms? Was man descended from apes? Was there a great flood which covered Atlantis or did it sink? What is liver complaint? What foods are best for me to eat if I: need to think, have weak lungs, poor digestion, feel sick, for breakfast, if I want to be a couch potato? And many more.

http://www.doyletics.com/arj/fromsuns.htm

5.) TSCC: The Soul Captain Chronicles, Chapter Five, 1981 A Memoir by Bobby Matherne

Chapter Five continues the The Soul Captain Chronicles, a Memoir of my life, which answers the question, "What if the Captain of my Soul came to me, gave me complete amnesia for my entire life, and then took me back to a day in my life?" With each Chapter the Captain moves me ahead a decade to witness another day, a decade hence. What happened to me in between? How did I get from where and who I was in one decade to where and who I was in the next? Join me in this adventure of recollection as each month brings another decade into focus for me and for you . . . Bobby Matherne

To begin from the Beginnning, Go To: http://www.doyletics.com/tscc/tscc1941.htm

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


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8. COMMENTARY:
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I. Padre Filius

This Month we introduce Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor about 21 years ago. Padre Filius will appear from time to time in Section of the Digest to comment on the world and its cherished foibles.

This month the good Padre takes on Science. He leads us on an inspection tour of the well-known phenomenon of the 'vanishing point'.

II. My Commentary this month has to do with our over-litigious society as it filters down into the products we have available to purchase.

Fixed the doggie door that was allowing air and insects in. Problem came about when I shaved off a tad from the magnet at the bottom of the rigid plastic swinging door to help our new Schnauzer puppy, Ita, get in and out the door. Since then I’d noticed that a small breeze would hold the door open, allowing warm air and insects to get in. I decided it was time, after seven years, to get a replacement doggie door.

So with the idea of buying an exact replacement of the door or at least an equivalent one, I went to the Pet Superstore. Not only did they not have the original door in stock, but you can no longer buy a rigid plastic door at any price. All they have is clear, soft-plastic doors with a magnetic strip across the bottom. I tried the doors and found that they don’t seal off the air completely, as my firm plastic door did for seven years. They just flop down in almost closed positions. Plus there's no way to lock the dogs inside or outside with a flexible door.

Thinking about what happened to rigid plastic doors, I figured that some dog probably got its head caught in the door, its owner sued the company, and now you have to buy a less efficient and much less sturdy soft plastic door – a door that is so shoddy and temporary that they have to provide replacement doors right next to the new doors.

Americans who get a kick out of the idea of “making it big” by suing a large manufacturer for some problem caused by their own ill-use of a product should realize that they are now having to live in a world of products designed by lawyers! Serves them right for being so klutsy that they use well-designed products wrongly, cause them to break, injure themselves or their pets, and fault the maker of the product instead of faulting the buyer and user of the product — themselves! The result is that all of us to pay more for similar products that are less-well designed and more expensive to maintain. I’ve seen this trend develop during my lifetime and there seems no end in sight, up until now.

I left the Pet Superstore empty-handed and came back home to repair my sturdy doggie-door. Took me about an hour. I removed the magnet assembly. The two metal plates which sandwiched the magnet were rusty. I brushed and filed them clean. I rotated the magnetic 180 degrees to use the unshaved edge. I drilled two notches to allow the flipped-over magnetic assembly to fit into the door and filled the space of the removed plastic cover of the magnet with quick-set epoxy to hold the cleaned and re-aligned assembly in place. The door now seals tightly and stays sealed and Steiner and Ita will have no problem negotiating the refurbished door for the rest of their natural lives. As my friend Manuel O’Canas liked to say, it will “work good, last a long time.”

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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 growing endeavor. — 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!

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

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10. GRATITUDE - in Three Easy Steps:
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