Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Not A Word of English

A few years ago, I became good friends with a pretty typical North American Sikh family.  You know them.  A husband and wife, a couple of kids and the husband's widowed mother brought over from Punjab.  A nice family, nothing unusual.

A nice Sikh family,
although NOT the one in this story

I was friendly with the wife, a woman of my generation who had run a small in-home daycare for quite a few years.  Her husband was a hard-working businessman, sort of successful, but not getting rich.  The kids, a girl and her younger brother, were in high school and middle school respectively.  They did well in school, even though the young son was almost totally deaf.

Now we get to Dadi ji, the one this post is really about.

Like the rest of the family, there was nothing unusual about her.  She was amritdhari and quite vocal in her opposition to her son's monaness, which she blamed on the wife, who had cropped hair and shaved legs.  Strangely enough the two kids kept kesh of their own accord.  She really was quite a pain in the behind.  She was constantly complaining about something, most often about her bad back.  I don't think she meant to be malicious, but she had a negative effect on the whole household.

She was a typical old lady from a tiny village that no one had ever heard of, unsophisticated, unschooled, ignorant and somewhat uncouth..   A pendu that the whole family was just a bit ashamed of, not too bright.  She spent her days helping the mother with her daycare.  While with the young kids, she was a very different person, laughing, playing, happily jabbering with them.  Every day she relaxed with a magazine while they watched Sesame Street.  The magazine, of course, was one with lots of pictures because she was completely illiterate.  Of course, although she had been in the USA for many years, she spoke not one word of English.

One day, I noticed something rather strange.  Her eyes as she looked at the magazine, supposedly studying a picture of something, were moving back and forth in a very regular manner.  She appeared to be reading except, of course, she couldn't read and even if she could, the magazine was in English, a language she didn't understand at all.

Several times more I noticed this phenomena.  I said nothing and waited for one of those rare moments when she and I were alone in the house.  I approached her and said without warning in English, "Dadi ji, you understand English perfectly well and you can read it, too."

Startled, she looked up with a sly smile.  "Haanji (Yes.)"  She went on in Punjabi.  "Please don't tell them, though.  I learn so much when think think I'm just a stupid, silly, old woman that has no idea what they're saying."  It was true.  Whenever they wanted to talk about something that they didn't want her to hear, they would speak English.  It never occurred to them that she might be able to understand.    I suggested that since she knew English, she should speak to me in that language.  She couldn't though very well because, although she could understand, she had no idea how to actually make the correct sounds and anyway, she didn't want to risk being heard.  Likewise, although she could read English perfectly well, she couldn't write it because she had never had the opportunity to learn writing.

So how was this miracle accomplished?  Sesame Street, of course.

Muppets of Sesame Street

She had been watching it with the kids for years and had learned the alphabet and the numbers and simple words and concepts from that. As time went on, she learned more from other television programs, both for children and for adults.  She said her favorite English channel was PBS which aired Sesame Street, but she liked Spike quite a lot, too.  Go figure.  She really liked watching with her grandson best because he always had to have the closed-captioning (subtitles) turned on.

One thing really bothered her.  Although her literacy skills in English were good, she was still illiterate in Punjabi.  There was really no surreptitious way she could learn that.

I had an idea.

All the kids were from Sikh families and perhaps the parents would like them to learn their Gurmukhi letters.    Maybe the daughter, who really enjoyed sewa, would be willing to teach them as she had been taught.  The parents were quite enthusiastic.  It took some time to put together, but finally, when they were ready to begin, I had a suggestion, "Since you're going to be teaching it, maybe Dadi ji would like to learn, too."

The idea was immediately nixed by them all, when the old lady piped up, "Haanji.  I want to learn."  The strength and determination in her voice startled them all.  "I have always wanted to learn to read Guru ji Maharaj and also the Punjabi newspaper."  They all looked at her in disbelief.

Her son, a bit shame-faced, said, "You could have learned along with our kids years ago.  Why didn't you say anything?"

"You never asked me."

So she learned to read and write Gurmukhi and I am happy to report that her disposition brightened as the family's respect for her increased.  She had, however, extracted a promise from me that I would never tell them about her English.  I have kept my promise even today, which is why there are no names in this story.

Words.  I am told that some people are mystified by some of my words, so I will explain.

A keshdhari Sikh is a Sikh who keeps all hairs on the body intact without shaving or cutting any of them.  The unshorn hair, especially that on the head is called kes(h).

A mona Sikh is one who does not keep kesh.  Occasionally, the term moni is used for such a woman, but this is rare.

An Amritdhari Sikh is one who has been initiated into the Khalsa Brotherhood by partaking of Amrit, a sacred beverage.  Sometimes called a baptised Sikh.

Gurmukhi is the alphabet that Punjabi and Sikh religious writings are written in.

Sewa is selfless service.

Dadi means paternal grandmother.  Ji at the end is an honourific indicating respect.

I sincerely hope I am never called on to write a dictionary.

About the family picture:  This is NOT the family in this story.  I got it off the "Net and think they look like really nice people and there is not a mona among them. The Dadi ji was added from another picture.  Oh, the wonders of Photoshop.

The First Amendment

Somebody somewhere has declared Thursday, 15. December 2011 as First Amendment Day.  The refers to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the USA.  I often rightfully bash the US of A.  That country has become a big bully, the biggest bully in the world.  I can go on and on about what is wrong in the USA. This is about what the USA has gotten right.  These are arguably the most powerful 45 words ever written.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I live in and write from the USA.  Respect for these words is what permits me to freely express my sometimes unusual and/or radical beliefs, so I give due where due is merited.  I pray that I will be able to write the same next year at this time.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Radical free speech

WHAT did she say?
I believe in the concept of radical free speech. 

I am in favour of minimal control,  only disallowing overt threats to life and limb and certain types of slander, with truth being an absolute defence against charges of slander.  I am opposed to any curb on people expressing themselves on issues, however obnoxious I consider their opinions. Yes, I would allow hate speech, as long as it did not contain threats to life and limb. I have a strong belief in radical free speech that is not shared even by my Canadian compatriots. I do not believe that suppressing ideas stops them; it only makes them invisible, underground, hard to spot and even more dangerous.

This non-control pertains only to governmental control. Individual sites and groups have the right to set their own TOS (Terms of Service). For example FB has the right to ban porn and hate speech if they choose. I will continue - as an individual - to report sites I find hateful to the FB administration, but I will not report them to any government. This dovetails with the law (USA), which mandates the government not to infringe on free speech, but I am still free to control what is said in my home. A religious house is free to kick out a proselytizer from another religion. An atheist group has the right to ban proreligion speech within their own group.; they are not free to silence me in the public arena.  Voltaire summed up my stand perfectly:

"Je ne suis pas d'accord avec ce que vous dites, mais je me battrai jusqu'à la mort pour que vous ayez le droit de le dire."

[I do not agree with what you are saying, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."]

[Note: I had earlier listed child pornography in the exceptions because, while I completely 100% believe it should be outlawed, it is a different issue, not speech.]

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lt. Pike

My participation in the "Pepper-Spraying-Cop meme.  Lt. John Pike...Well, take a look:

That is the short version of what actually happened.Lest I am acused of bias, here is one report of the long vision:

Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis from Mary K. Johnson on Vimeo.

OK. The meme consists of Lt. Pike

pepper spraying unlikely people and other living things and sometimes inanimate objects.  My contributions: 

Pike Sprays Pike

Lt. Pike sprays my profile guy
Even Happy Cat isn't safe!
I often go off on a tangent, but I don't expect a faceful of pepper spray


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

(Robert A.) HALL vs. (Inderjeet) KAUR


Since August 2011 this opinion piece has been widely circulated on the Internet in a version that presents it as the work of comedian Bill Cosby. Dr. Cosby (who is actually 75 years old) had nothing to do with writing it, and his own site features a denial of any association with it:
There’s an email floating around — entitled “I’m 76 and tired” — purportedly sent by me. I did not write the email, I did not send the email, I’m not 76, and I don’t subscribe to the ugly views expressed in the email. We are coming up to an important anniversary on Sunday [the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks], which is a day when we should all come together. Whoever wrote this email is not thinking about our country, or what is important. If you get the email, it’s time to hit DELETE.


was penned by Robert A. Hall, a former Massachusetts state senator and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who is also the author of the 2005 book The Good Bits (The Marines, the Massachusetts Senate and Managing Associations). Robert Hall blogs as The Old Jarhead at, and the piece quoted here, titled "I'm Tired," was his blog entry for 19 February 2009.

"I'm 83 and Tired" 

Worth reading
This should be required reading for every man, woman and child in
The UK , United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and
To all the world...

"I'm 83 and I'm Tired"

I'm 83
. Except for brief period in the 50's when I was doing my National
Service, I've worked hard since I was 17. Except for some some serious
Health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn't call in sick in nearly
40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my
Income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as
Though retirement was a bad idea, and I'm tired. Very tired.  

I'm tired
of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who
Don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take
The money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy
To earn it.      

I'm tired
of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I
Can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and
Daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight
Offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't
"believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning
Teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the
Genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and
Shari'a law tells them to.  

I'm tired
of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let
Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques
And madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia, New Zealand,
UK, America and Canada, while no one from these countries are allowed to
Fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other
Arab country to teach love and tolerance..  

I'm tired
of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global
Warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

I'm tired
of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help
Support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ
Rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses
Or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off?

I'm tired
of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all
Parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful
Mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting
Caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.  

I'm really tired
of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and
Actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination
Or big-whatever for their problems.

I'm also tired
and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and
Early 20's be-deck them selves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making
Themselves un-employable and claiming money from the Government.

Yes, I'm damn tired.
But I'm also glad to be 83.. Because, mostly, I'm not
Going to have to see the world these people are making.I'm just sorry for
My granddaughter and her children.   Thank God I'm on the way out and not
On the way in.

There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us
Sends it on!

This is your chance to make a difference.

" I'm 83 and I'm tired.    If you don't forward this you
are part of  the problem".

This is my response:

Worth Reading

 This should be required reading for every man, woman and child who read Mr Hall's presentation.

"I'm 59 and handicapped and I'm tired."

I'm 59. Except for a brief time in the 1980s, I worked all my life until my physical disabilities made that impossible. I paid my taxes without too much grumbling and didn't expect anyone to take care of me. 

 I'm tired of hearing people, young and old, complaining about giving something back to the society that enabled them to accomplish what they are doing or have done. 

I'm tired of reading those who are lumping groups of people together and labeling the individuals in those groups as bad because they have severe problems coping with life.  There but for fortune go you and I, Bud.

I'm tired of Islam being demonised because of the cultural - not Qur'anic - teachings of some adherents.

 I'm tired of those who regard non-incoming producing adults as parasites without regard to why they are not producing income or what other useful services they may be performing.  I'm tired of feeling like a parasite personally, although I know my feelings about myself are mine to handle and don't really belong in this public forum.

I'm really tired of listening to uncalled-for condemnation of people who take responsibility for their lives by attempting to change injustices in society.   I'm tired of  them being disrespected, beaten by police, pepper-sprayed in the face, and called ugly names.  I'm tired of those who ignore the facts about discrimination and act as if they rest of us should simply accept these inequities and pretend they don't exist.    

I'm tired of social Darwinism which condemns the less fit, by society's definition, to lives of unproductive despair with the only possible escapes being drugs or death.  I'm really tired of hearing those who have given up written off as subhuman.  There but for fortune...  

I'm tired of hearing older people mouthing platitudes about "What has become of the younger generation?"  Every generation has said that about the generation following since the beginning of human history.  It's both old and pointless. 

Most of all, I'm tired of Robert A. Hall ranting and raving and holding himself above everybody else.  I will, however, defend to the death his right to do so. 

Yes, I'm damned tired and really sorry I won't be around to see how our current societal problems will be coped with by the coming generations who will have the benefit of a wider vision and a better education provided by the Internet.  I see a glorious and difficult future ahead, as there has always been a glorious and difficult future ahead for our species.

Mr. Hall I disagree with your pessimistic assessment;  if you're ever in my neighborhood, please drop by and I'll teach you about something called chardi kala.

BTW,  I am not part of the problem.  I AM THE PROBLEM!  I disagree with you and I won't shut up.  Sure, I will cheerfully send your gloomy, hateful diatribe to others - along with my  much more optimistic predictions.

Send this on if you wish.  It's totally up to you.

I won't promise it'll save the world or bring you good luck or make God to smile upon you.  

I ask only that you include both presentations.  They balance each other. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Please shield this post from the snoopy eyes of all Christian fundamentalists.  I don't carry to have the Rev. Huzzit issuing fatwas against me.


"On the eighth day, Yahweh fully rested, resumed creating. He created the PC and the MacIntosh and the Internet and Photoshop and Facebook and a host of other cybercreations, and, lo, He saw that it was very good. And it was evening and it was morning, the eighth day." 

Chapter 9


Asha, my friend
is a wonderful gurl
Sharp as a tack, 
Sweet as a pearl.
Open the window
And her flag unfurled
Will throw peace upon
The unwary world
Hair laughingly curled
Goodwill wil be hurled
Jade Buddha will smile
We'll laugh all the while...
'Cause Asha, my friend, 
Is a wonderful gurl.

Pearls are sweet
But not good to eat , 
Like a turnip or beet
Or pickled pig's feet.
(But I don't eat meat.)
So sit on a seat
And don't try to cheat
Enjoy the heat
At Jade Buddha's feet
'Cause Asha my friend
Is wonderfully neat
And believes in World Peat.
(OK World Peace, but that doesn't rhyme.)
And peat is good stuff, too.)

Out of ideas but not out of rhyme
Chardi kala means
Let's have a good time
And we won't even have
To eat that darned pearl
And Asha my friend's
Still a wonderful gurl.. 

From "The Kitteh Loleth Productions."


Monday, November 14, 2011

Surinder Kaur Khalsa Ji

You never know. I once knew an old lady, a "pendu" they called her, uneducated, dull, stupid. She helped her daughter in law babysit children. The kids watched Sesame Street. So did she. She saw other TV shows in English. She told no one, but very soon, she could read and understand English. She still told no one and no one guessed because she was an illiterate, dull stupid pendu...There is much more to her story...

When I first met her, I could not see her;  her jyot was too bright for me to see through.  She must have noticed that I was blinking and had to look away because when I looked back, I saw only a withered old Sikh lady walking with a cane, welcoming me, whom she had never seen before, as if I were a long-lost sister.  She understood no English and couldn't understand my form of Punjabi.  Nonetheless we became friends and often went on walks together and watched broadcasts from Darbar Sahib Amritsar on her TV.  I often saw her looking at the pictures in the TIME magazines sitting around her home, bought I suppose by her son and his family.  Somewhere along the line it seemed to me she was spending an awfully long time looking at one picture when I saw her eyes moving and realised that she was reading.  Not only was this illiterate woman reading, she was reading in English.  It occurred to me that she understood every word I said to her in English.  For a time, I kept this knowledge to myself.

One day, though, I was with her alone, with the rest of the family gone somewhere and I asked her.  She smiled a sly smile and said, "Haanji!"  An interesting situation.  She could read and understand English, but had never spoken it and didn't know how to make the sounds.  Likewise, she could read, but not write, having never held a pen.  After that, whenever we were alone, I helped her with pronunciation.  We never did get to writing because that would leave evidence and she didn't want the others to know or guess the extent of her self-education.

I became ill and didn't go out for several weeks.  When I was able to go see her, her grandson told me she had returned to India.  I haven't had word of her since then.  I know this account raises more questions than it answers, but I think I made my point.

You never know the extent of another's knowledge or education unless they choose to share it with you.  And be very careful about looking down on the lowly pendu mai.  You never know.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Textile Arts

Leopard Hiding In Tree
I forgot I has animated this...
Marley I

Northern Lights
Mother and Daughter - Forever Allies


You Can Call Me "Dicky"

No description necessary.  Or possible.

Reggae to Tibet - A Journey of Six Minutes

This piece measures about 7.5' X 3' ( that's 229 cm x 91 cm in the civilized world). I made it on 14 gauge interlock canvas using acrylic yarn. (I know that makes purists blanch, but it comes in so many pretty colors and it's cheap.) The frame is faux poIt took me several months of intermittent work to complete.

I would really like to add some reggae and some Tibetan music, if anyone has any of that without copyright issues that I could use for free.

I mean, "The Drums of War" is really pretty good, but it could be better. Speaking of which, the attribution:


Truly Julie's Blues by Bob Lind

Bob Lind's music has been a part of my life since the 1960s. This has always been one of my favorites.

Bob Lind

When you're thirsty and no one will fill your cup for you,
And your well-dressed friends don't want you on their street,
When you are so far down, the gutter looks like up to you,
I will still be kneeling at your feet,
I will still be kneeling at your feet.

When you can't remember where you left your laughter,
And you forget the definition of your name,
When your yesterday sets fire to your ever after,
I'll reach down and pull you from the flames,
I'll reach down and pull you from the flames.

When all the crippled children you give strength too,
Lay their crutches down and walk away,
And you realise that all their mothers hate you,
I'll be there to hear the things you say,
I'll be there to hear the things you say.

When at last your bitter problems all ignore you,
And you've come out clean, everything is done.
And you realise I've been through it all before you,
Come down and walk beside me in the sun,
Come down and walk beside me in the sun.

If you like this song, please visit Bob Lind's website at
You might also enjoy The Bob Lind Forum at

Mr. Lind graciously gave his permission for me to make and post this video.


Marc Ogeret sings all six verses in the original French.  On screen lyrics in French and English.

The anthem of the workers, the socialists, the communists, the anarchists and the progressive movement sung as it was written by Eugène Pottier.

I first heard this wonderful recording of L'Internationale, the immortal song of the workers, on the channel of iwanttobelieve. I think the addition of on-screen lyrics and a reasonably good translation will help in the understanding and appreciation of the message that is being conveyed. I can find no sung translation that does justice to the power and the poetry of the original French. I have resisted the temptation of adding pictures so that the words can speak for themselves without distraction. It's worth googling on Marc Ogeret, though; he's pretty awesome-looking.

I was inspired to actually go to the work of putting this together now by the current Worldwide Workers' Rebellion of 2011. I know the definition of "worker" is being stretched to include all of the 99% of us who are not super rich financially. The more the merrier, I guess.

May we live to see the day when the sun will shine always.

Birds And Bird-brains

Amazon parrots are smart. Yes, they really are. If you are to call them bird-brained you're likely to be bited. HARD. OK, even if you don't insult them, you still need to be careful. They do tend to be feisty.

I have tried to potty train my White-fronted Amazon parrot Thuki to poop on command to make life easier for me. She has no interest in making life easier for me and refuses and, I admit, I just don't have the patience (or something) to insist.

All she wants to do is eat pizza and squawk and the the Lady Empress Supreme of the entire universe - and terrorise our little, black Toto dog.

OK, she does jap Naam, or at least repeats "WaheGURU, waheGURU, waheGURU, AAAK, waheGURU"incessantly, much to my amusement and much to the dismay of the neighbours.

Here is a true story from Joanie Doss, who had too much success teaching her Amazing Amazons
the whole potty training thing. Read this only if you want to be a bit amazed and more than a little amused.

BTW, everyone who has ever raised kids or tried to break a bad habit knows that that last line applies to us unfeathered bipeds, as well.

Potty Training

When I had three performing Amazons, I decided it was time they got potty trained. I started with my Nape TJ. I timed his poops so I knew when it was time for him to go potty. I held him over newspaper and said, "Go poop." Since it was time for him to do so, I did not have to wait very long. When he went, I would give him lots of praise. I was surprised one evening when he was in his cage and he told me, "Go poop!" I took him out and held him over some newspaper and sure enough, he had to go "poop". A few weeks later he made me laugh. TJ was watching the other birds. If Blue Front Pepper went poop TJ said, "Good Pepper goes poop." If it were Nape Maggie, he would say, "Good Maggie goes poop." He got the poop behavior down to perfection. One day Maggie and TJ were playing on the top of their cages. At that time all the birds flat top cages were the same height and close to each other so they made a long are for them to play. Maggie and TJ were playing roughly as usual. Pepper was safe in his cage trying to avoid the frisky duo. When The Boys were playing like this, I often interrupted them and ask, "Do you have to go poop?" When they play so hard they forget about telling me about going poop. As Maggie and TJ continued with their wrestling. Maggie became increasingly more aggressive. Suddenly TJ had enough. He jumped up and began running over the top of the cages to get away from Maggie. Maggie chased after him yelling, "Do you have to go poop?" Obviously he thought the only reason TJ stopped their rough housing was to go poop.

Potty training was very successful and a part of The Amazing Amazons' life. It had top priority and I stopped whatever I was doing and go to the bird that told me "Go poop". The performing season started and I felt I no longer needed plastic or paper under their T-stands as The Boys were completely potty trained. It took three performances before I realized I had created a performing nightmare.

Now it might sound good to have all the birds potty trained, but it wasn't long before I needed to untrain this behavior. The birds quickly caught on that when they told me, "Go poop" I would stop everything to take them to do it. Maggie and TJ did not perform as many tricks as Pepper. They got bored waiting for their turns. Then TJ and Maggie found a way to get the attention they wanted. When Pepper was performing, they would yell out, "Go poop". My audience were generally very young children. When they heard the birds do this they laughed and giggled so much it was hard to keep the group under control. I decided that if the birds were going to continue to perform, we had to stop the poop behavior. It was harder to untrain them then to train them in the first place.

from Living With The Amazing Amazons by Joanie Doss, reprinted with the gracious permission of the author.

Get Mad and Sing!: L'Internationale Sera Le Genre Humain

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's no one anywhere that seems to know what to do with us.

Now into it. We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don't go out anymore.

We sit in a house as slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and TV, and my steel belted radials and I won't say anything."

Well I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad. I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crying in the streets. All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm a human being. God Dammit, my life has value."

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

I want you to get up right now. Get up. Go to your windows, open your windows, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

Things have got to change my friends. You've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open your window, stick your head out and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

Network by Paddy Chayefsky, 1976.

Reprinted without permission.

An Interesting English Lesson

for all those who wonder where some English language idioms come from.

I cannot vouch for the veracity of these, but they all make sense.  I think they are probably pretty much tongue=in-cheek.


Where did "Piss Poor" come from?
Interesting History.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot

And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery...

if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor".
But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot...

They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature

Isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500s

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May,

And they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell,
Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.

The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,

Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.

Last of all the babies.

By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.

Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.

It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals

(mice, bugs) lived in the roof.

When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.

This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings

Could mess up your nice clean bed.

Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.

That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.

Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery

In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing.

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door,

It would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.

Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables

And did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers

In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.

Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.

Hence the rhyme:

“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.

When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.

It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon."

They would cut off a little to share with guests

And would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.

Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.

This happened most often with tomatoes,

so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status.

Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,

and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.

The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days.

Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.

They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around

and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.

Hence the custom; “of holding a wake”.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.

So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.

When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive.

So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be,
“saved by the bell” or was "considered a dead ringer”.

And that's the truth.

Now, whoever said History was boring!!!
So get out there and educate someone! ~~~

Share these facts with a friend.
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering,

'What the heck happened?'

Men And Boys and...


I roached this from someone.

Boys ask questions.  Men ask questions and find answers.

Boys play house.  Men build homes.

Boys shack up.  Men get married.

Boys make babies.  Men raise children.

Boys  won't raise their own children.  Men will raise their own and someone else's.

Boys blame others.  Men take responsibility.

Boys invent excuses for failure.  Men produce strategies for success.

Boys look for somebody to take care of them.  Men look for someone to take care of.

Boys seek popularity.  Men demand respect and know how to give it.

Now.  How is this?:

Girls ask questions.  Women ask questions and find answers.

Girls  play house.  Women build homes.

Girls  shack up.  Women get married.

Girls make babies.  Women raise children.

Girls  won't raise their own children.  Women will raise their own and someone else's.

Girls  blame others.  Women take responsibility.

Girls invent excuses for failure.  Women produce strategies for success.

Girls look for somebody to take care of them.  Women look for someone to take care of.

Girls seek popularity.  Women demand respect and know how to give it.

Zennish Thoughts on Death & Dying

My sheepish karma just ran over your catatonic dogma.

"Remembering that I will be dead soon is the most important
tool I have ever encountered to help me making the big choices in life.
Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all
fear of embarrassment or failure- these things just fall away in the
face of death, leaving only what is truly important .

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to
avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already
naked; there is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.
Don't be trapped by the dogma-which is living with the result of other
people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinion drown out
your own inner voice".

Steve Jobs