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Modern Day Enjolras

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Enjolras is a fictional character in Victor Hugo’s novel “Les Miserables”. A revolutionary who clearly sees the evil of the times, and who charismatically calls the people to man the barricades against a repressive government.

Of course, the young are drawn to him, never having been exposed to war and believing in something larger than themselves. There was much evil in 1836 France, just as there is in America today. Secret cabals ruled against the royalty and the people then just as they do today.  I am surrounded by Enjolras’s, all warning me about the danger about us, of being stripped of liberty and made into tools of the oppressors, and if I will just join them at the barricades, we can slip the tightening noose of the oppressor.

And they aren’t lying to me. From the beginning of time there were oppressors. Nimrods who seem to grasp the reins of government and enslaving man with effortless ease and putting them to work building grand towers of confusion where they rule over them. And from time to time Enjolras’s have arisen and called men to battle, only to die at the hands of the enemy after their comrades deserted them.

But once in a great while, they do succeed despite their meager numbers. But always at a great cost of lives and human suffering, and great civilizations are born, only to succumb to even more clever and subtle Nimrods building their towers with the carcasses of patriots.

Look, Enjolras. I took up arms, and I fought. Now I just want to go into my dotage without the sounds of cannons in my ears. OK?


Grumpy Old Men & God’s Time

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Mr. Bladder has now trained himself to wake me at sunrise, and Tic, the latest acquisition to the canine side of the family, conspires with him. However, it has been a long-time ambition of mine to free myself from that infernal tick tock machine.

So far, I have been moderately successful in getting back to sundial time, but there are many conflicts. Doctors, for one. I wasn’t aware of how linked in to the medical profession I was. They insist on appointment times set by the clock, not the sun.  And Snookums, the love of my life, is a total creature of habit, and governs her life quite nicely by the clock.

In fact, we have wall clocks in every room of the house that we regularly use that enforce her daily routine. Rouse at 7:00am. Morning ablutions at 7:15am. Pour coffee at 8:00am. Feed mutts at 8:20am …

I have a ‘Jewish Clock’ installed on my tablet that sits on my desk that keeps a form of God’s time. It was designed for prayer observances, but the designer mistakenly used the Roman system of twelve-hour days on it, with the 11th hour being the last hour of the day. The 12th hour being sunset.

The Jews had a sundial with eight hours on it, the last hour being the 7th hour of the day. The 8th hour was called sunset.

In the first century, Jews used both Roman and Jewish time, but it wasn’t a major problem because they referred to the Roman clock in Latin, and the Jewish clock in Hebrew.

Those two distinctions were lost when the modern scriptures were written in Greek, and that gives Bible expositors headaches to this very day.

However, for us old men who wake at dawn with full bladders, and nod off to sleep shortly after sunset, our sun clocks only have five hours. Wake, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sleep. We wake with the sun, sleep with the sun. And eat with the damned tick tock machine. And that what makes us grumpy …

A Fool and His Wisdom is Soon Parted

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anthonisz_babel_grt.jpgAnd the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:  And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

So this phrase runs through my head today as I listen to the … ahh … sages of our generation drone on and on, lulling the people to sleep in the hubbub and murmurings.  I watch wisdom being stripped from my countrymen, like there was never wisdom to begin with.

Eight generations from then ‘til now.

I read the ancient prophesies, and wondered how it would be that a people would curse God in the midst of calamity. Yet here it is, and in the midst of calamity, a people too wise for God have arisen.  In thinking themselves wise, they became fools.

This is not going to end well …



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101914_1729_Somedays1.jpgIt’s a little hard to believe. I am sitting out on the porch, barefoot and wearing shorts.  Writing on a laptop is not my all time favorite way to type, but dragging the desktop outside is too much of a hassle.

My neighbor has fired up his lawnmower and is cutting back the winters growth to give the bermudagrass a head start, but I think he may be about a month early. The skies are scuddish and rain laden, and you can almost swim in the humidity, but we takes our victories where we gets ’em.

So I plan my summer planting. Gardens are out now, but I think I can handle container plants on the porch.  I am tired of the sweet potato vines, with the exception of a very purple variety that flowers. So, thoughts of ivy, and morning glory’s float by, and maybe some taller posies to screen the top rails. I like peeping at the neighbors from behind a wall of greenery.

Still, some physical maladies threaten even that much activity, but then I think that maybe I shouldn’t plan on what may happen, and probably should make my plans based on what I can accomplish now.

It will be good to spend more time puttering and less time fighting the forces of liberal darkness. It is time to let another generation address that. I can still shoot back, but it is highly unlikely that I can use tactics, cover and concealment as effectively as I used to.

So … the daffies are waving in the humid breeze, the paperwhites will pop any day now, the hydrangeas are spent. Yet to come is bluebonnet season, but this year should be a good-un for them.

Then comes the indiaen paintbrushes and blankets, and the long hot summer. A little caution is in order as the rattlesnakes and copperheads start moving to their spring hunting grounds.

The stock pond across the way is brim full, and the neighbor is fattening up some herefords and shorthorns destined for the feedlots.

Yes! A Texas spring!!

… If anything is excellent or praiseworthy …

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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—101914_1729_Somedays1.jpg—think about such things.

Well. This week has been on that I allowed myself to be pushed off my serene perch arguing for the arming of teachers as one positive step we can take to mitigate the death toll of logic impaired megalomaniacs shooting up schools.

The world is what it is. Strip it of all the interpretations and commentaries, and it is still the same. There is someone out there who will delight in killing you for any number of reasons. Fortunately, most killers hate getting killed back, so some sort of equilibrium has been achieved.

But the Shabbat is here. God rested from his labors, and so shall I.

Shabbat Shalom!

Tears, Tragedy and Genealogy

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My sister just sent me a piece of family history that boggles the mind.

My uncle Jim was an engineer who help build the first atomic bombs dropped in Japan. Shortly after the war, he went to Japan and met a Swedish born Japanese woman and brought her back to the states to marry her.

She became pregnant, but the animosity of the US Government was still high, and because of her Japanese heritage, refused both her citizenship and marriage license. She returned to Japan where her daughter was born. But my family had no idea of her fate, and scoured internment camps and wrote many letters to authorities in both Japan and the US.

But it was a tragic series of events that followed. The mother died, and the daughter was raised in the slums by her nanny.

Here is the AP story of that tragedy. I am trying to contact my niece now …

An identity lost in post-war Japan took 67 years to reclaim

In New Mexico, they even had a Mary Ann Vaughn Day …

A Time To Keep, and a Time To Throw Away

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Well, she’s gone. There is a big hole in the carport where she sat. The new owner of my pickup truck came and got it yesterday. I forgot how handsome she was until I saw her go down the road. It is another milestone in my misspent life as I chronicle the passing of days.

So, I note as I sip my coffee this chilly February morning. 31 degrees outside, and the chill seep through the double panes, so I tip the thermostat up a couple more degrees and sit back in my battered executive chair to take another sip of coffee and reflect over my oft squandered past.
Nonetheless, life in my dotage isn’t all that bad. It is quite comfortable thanks to my woman of valor. I am glad that karma is a myth and that we often don’t get what we deserve.
There is a time to keep, and a time to throw away, says the preacher. And it is a time to throw away. I have bicycles I will never ride again, tools I’ll never use, parts for projects I will never complete … and lots of time to decide what to toss. I think. One never really knows, do they.
Oddly, though, there is a quiet joy in ridding myself of encumbrances while I can do so. I still have time to improve my router, time to play, and even time to dream of the future. But that horizon is getting nearer, and much doesn’t seem as important as it once did.
And spring is around the corner. I am already planning the flower boxes and making improvements to the yard. There is always spring, and I have a tiny bit of strength left to do a little porch sitting when the weather warms. I am looking forward to it.