T   P   O
The Patient Ox (aka Hénock Gugsa)

G r e e t i n g s !

** TPO **
A personal blog with diverse topicality and multiple interests!

On the menu ... politics, music, poetry, and other good stuff.
There is humor, but there is blunt seriousness here as well!

Parfois, on parle français ici aussi. Je suis un francophile .... Bienvenue à tous!

* Your comments and evaluations are appreciated ! *

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!... Bonne Année! - by Hénock Gugsa

Happy New Year!... Bonne Année!

Mireille Mathieu chante: "Je ne regrette rien!"

Non! Rien de rien ...
Non! Je ne regrette rien,
Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait,
Ni le mal tout ca m'est bien égal!

Non! Rien de rien ...
Non! Je ne regrette rien...
C'est payé, balayé, oublié
Je me fous du passé!

Avec mes souvenirs,
J'ai allumé le feu,
Mes chagrins, mes plaisirs,
Je n'ai plus besoin d'eux!

Balayés les amours,
Avec leurs trémolos,
Balayés pour toujours,
Je repars a zéro ...

Non! Rien de rien ...
Non! Je ne regrette rien ...
Ni le bien, qu'on m'a fait
Ni le mal, tout ca m'est bien égal!

Non! Rien de rien ...
Non! Je ne regrette rien ...
Car ma vie, car mes joies
Aujourd'hui, ca commence avec toi!

Telba (*) is Good for You!! - by Hénock Gugsa

Telba (*) is Good for You!
Hénock Gugsa

Telba is the Ethiopian name for what is otherwise known as flax seed. It is a very common staple. Oddly enough, it is even deemed a poor man's staple by some who don't really appreciate or know its goodness. The beauty of telba is in its easy availability and the simplicity of preparing a quick meal.

Two Ethiopian recipes are presented below ...

1 -Telba Fitfit (Flax Water mixed with bits of Injera)

- The first step is to take a cup of flaxseed and pour it into a frying pan, preferrably a cast iron one.

- Then heat the seeds till they are nice and brown, be careful not to overcook the seeds. Low heat is recommended.

- After that let them cool down a bit, and grind them in a clean coffee grinder. Presto, you now have flax in powder form.

- To the flax powder, add some salt and mix it in. You may also add a small measure of cinnamon powder and some berbere, if you wish.

- Then add water, and as you stir up this concoction, throw in some broken bits of injera in there.

- It is all now ready to serve; and bon appetit to all!

- Caution: This food can act as a mild laxative!

2 - Telba (flax) Paste or Sauce

- Take a cup of flax powder, add in a pinch of salt and some water. Stir continuously.

- The flax would start to thicken and form a paste as you keep stirring. The more you stir, the thicker it will get.

- You can always control the thickness by adding in more water, or by slowing down the stirring.

- When you have the right thickness (not gooey, and not watery), then it is ready to eat with injera or toasted bread.
(*) Telba is the Ethiopian name for flax seeds.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Little Green Apples" - Roger Miller

Roger Miller

Roger Miller (1936-1992)

"Little Green Apples"
  And I wake up in the mornin'
With my hair down in my eyes and she says hi
And I stumble to the breakfast table
While the kids are goin' off to school, goodbye

And she reaches out and takes my hand
And squeezes it and says, how you feelin' hon
And I look across at smilin' lips that warm my heart
And see my mornin' sun

And if that's not lovin' me,
 then all I've got to say ...

God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime
And there's no such thing as Doctor Suess
And Disneyland and Mother Goose is no nursery rhyme

God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime
And when myself is feelin' low
I think about her face aglow and ease my mind

Sometimes I call her up at home knowin' she's busy
And ask her if she could get away and meet me
And maybe we could grab a bite to eat

And she drops what she's doin'
And she hurries down to meet me and I'm always late
But she sits waitin' patiently
And smiles when she first sees me 'cause she's made that way

And if that ain't lovin' me,
 then all I've got to say ...

God didn't make little green apples
And it don't snow in Minneapolis when the winter comes
And there's no such thing as make believe
Puppet dolls, autumn leaves and BB guns

God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime ...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Now, Zen - by TPO

click to enlarge

Some Great Zen Sayings (*)


=> Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead.

=> Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow.

=> Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

=> The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

=> It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

=> Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

=> Always remember that you're unique, just like everyone else.

=> Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

=> If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

=> Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

=> If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

=> Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

=> If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

=> If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

=> Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

=> Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

=> Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

=> The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

=> A closed mouth gathers no foot.

=> Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

=> There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

=> Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

=> Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

=> Never miss a good chance to shut up.

=> Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

(*) Source:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Help Me Make It Thru The Night" - Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson

"Help Me Make It Thru The Night"
Kris Kristofferson (1936 - )


Take the ribbon from your hair,
Shake it loose and let it fall,
Layin' soft upon my skin,
Like the shadows on the wall.

Come and lay down by my side,
'till the early morning light,
All I'm takin' is your time,
Help me make it through the night.

I don't care who's right or wrong,
I don't try to understand.
Let the devil take tomorrow,
Lord, tonight I need a friend.

Yesterday is dead and gone,
And tomorrow's out of sight.
And it's sad to be alone,
Help me make it through the night.
Hmmm hmmm hmmm ....
" " " "
Lord, it's sad to be alone,
Help me make it thru the night.
Hmmm hmmm hmmm ....
" " " "
[trailing off]
Lord, it's sad to be alone ...

Some Ethiopian Cures - by Hénock Gugsa

Some Ethiopian Cures *
Hénock Gugsa


Mix 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon honey.
Boil the mixture in water.
Steep a tea bag of your choice, and drink daily.

Eczema (rash, itching):

Cut open some raw fresh garlic.
Rub the affected area with the garlic all the while squishing the garlic, getting the squished juice out of it and onto the skin.
Caution : It will sting and you may get a burning sensation lasting for quite a bit! But that is the price one has to pay for a lasting (maybe permanent) cure.

Other Skin (problems):

Generally, oil of the olive tree is recommended.
NOTE :  Ethiopians use Fetto, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and honey to cure most ailments. 

 * “Some Ethiopian Cures” ~ © Hénock Gugsa  (ሄኖክ  ጉግሣ ) - 12/28/2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ticked Off at NMMC (*) - by Hénock Gugsa

Ticked Off at NMMC *
by Hénock Gugsa
So, here I am again, dear friends … in another raving and ranting fit … but this time at a supposedly modern, “state of the art”, medical institution and how it conducts business. And perhaps I should be specific about what it is that has put me on my high horse [of furious indignation] ... simple: it is the staff in the radiology department of North Memorial Medical Clinic (Hospital.)

This was now my second outpatient visit (within a 16-day period) at this hospital. The ailment I had was the same one. My health distress was a right lower-back disk dislocation that had been causing pain down my right leg all the way to the toes. This situation had been going on for over three months, and my physician had finally recommended I undergo an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) followed by a lumbar epidural injection (a steroid shot.) And so, on November 30th, I was at the hospital in the x-ray department ready to take the shot.

As is to be expected, the hospital first conducts a screening procedure where all the necessary or required data is gathered from the patient. Next, they take readings of the patient’s “vitals” (pulse, and blood pressure.) Then, someone would explain to the patient what all the steps of the planned procedure were going to be. This was all just fine, and acceptable to me except
for some few idiotic details which I will enumerate here:

• 1 – One of the questions a nurse asked me was about the medications I was taking. I enumerated them to the best of my ability. But the nurse was not able to find some of them in the drop-down selections after keying-in leading letters. And alternative spellings were to no avail either. Yet, the nurse kept reading out the names of possible medicines back to me in the hope that I would recognize some of them! What a way to run a railroad!

• 2 – Then out of nowhere, I was asked if I had been under any sort of abuse lately. They wouldn't specify what kind however. I responded: “No,” ... because I had not been under any type of abuse, not even the self-inflicted kind. But the nurse kept on asking the same question(s) again and again with slight variations as if she did not believe me. Naturally, I was beginning to feel like a suspect in a police interrogation room.

• 3 – Just when I was thinking things could not get any worse, I was asked if I had any problems understanding the English language, and if it was indeed my primary language. I replied, “Yes, English is my primary language, and I understand perfectly all the questions you are asking me.”

• 4 – I suspect that they had more questions for me about my level of education and/or intelligence; but I guess that they could see in my face that I was getting agitated and working up a fury. Good for them for noticing that ... because I would have made some rather caustic remarks along the lines of … Er, yes, actually I’m college-educated and I even have a degree. Would you like to know my GPA? … or … I have a higher than average IQ, … or … I’ve actually been told that I’m smarter than the average bear.

On my second and last visit to the same radiology unit, on December 16th, the staff were different. And I went thru the same rigmarole, but this time there was the added bonus of two especially out-of-this-world, dunderhead nurses. The first one, the one that brings you into the procedure room and interrogates you, was taking long pauses between his questions … same questions that were asked of me the first time 16 days ago. I do not, for the life of me, know what they do with the patient data that they collect. I should also mention that my provider clinic had already faxed the hospital all the pertinent medical information more than two days before this visit.

But moving right along, ... and on to my extreme irritation with a doozy of a nurse, also a male. As he was prepping me for the procedure, he read out my name and then asked an innocent (yet dumb) question about its origin. He specifically wanted to know where I was from. This was a completely inappropriate question no matter what the setting. A nurse could [and should only] be asking how I was feeling, and assure me that everything was going to be okay, etc. etc. But, this guy obviously did not know or care about the boundaries.

I was thinking this guy is more interested in blabbering about outside trivial matters rather than concentrating on the job at hand. But, I was good. I restrained myself. I chose to give a pleasant response. I said that I was from Ethiopia. After a slight pause, he said, “Ethiopia, huh? I had a roommate from Ethiopia.” I said nothing, I didn’t want to encourage this guy any more.

But he continued, “Oromo, my roommate ... he said he was Oromo. Are you er ... Oromo too?” Now, I’m really getting ticked off, and beginning to wonder how long I was going to put up with this moronic discussion about stupid oromos anyways. I’m an American now. I don’t go around announcing what my ethnic Ethiopian background is! The hell with that! I was getting mad because not only was I this idiot’s captive audience, but I was also in a vulnerable and defenseless situation here. In a few minutes, they would be sticking a needle into a lumbar nerve. If they don’t do it right, I could be paralyzed for life!

Then, I remembered that, in all this back and forth, nobody had bothered to tell me who my doctor was going to be. So, I asked if it was going to be the same doctor as the last time. And this same, irritating, lame-brained nurse replied in a smarmy tone, “No, it is going to be Dr. XXXXX. Is that going to be alright with you?” But, I just bit my tongue and kept quiet.

A minute or two later, the doctor entered the room, walked over to the head of the gurney so I could see him as I was laying face down. He stretched out his hand, shook mine, and introduced himself. He reassured me that this procedure was pretty simple and that he saw no problems or complications. Everything should go smoothly. Truer words were never said. This young doctor was really good to his words, the procedure was painless and quick. I was very relieved and at the same time itching to get out of there post haste.

On the way out, the first nurse accompanied me outside to the lobby, and again asked if I was having somebody give me a ride home. I was not to do any driving for the next two, three hours until the immediate effects of the medicines wore off. So, I again told this nurse that I was going to sit there and call my wife to come and pick me up. He did not seem to believe me, and was worried about insurance liabilities for the hospital. He sat next to me to make sure I made the call to my wife. Unfortunately, I could not reach her because she was at work and not expecting my call for another 45 minutes. The problem was that I had arrived at the hospital a half-hour early, and when I checked in they took me in right away because the nurses did not have any patients to torment at the time. They must have been bored out of their minds until I came along.

But, at any rate, I was eventually able to convince this nurse that I understood where he was coming from, that I did not drive to the hospital, and that ergo, I could not possibly drive myself back home and would have to wait for my ride. I did not think of it at the time, but I should have also said to him, “Don’t worry about me. Everything is cool. You can go back inside to your dungeon of tortures and await your next victims.” Oh, yeah, and I could also have added that he and the other nurses in there won’t have another go at me ever again! This second date had sealed it … NMMC and
Hénock definitely are not compatible!

 “Ticked Off at NMMC” ~ © Hénock Gugsa  (ሄኖክ  ጉግሣ ) - 12/17/2010

* NMMC … is North Memorial Medical Clinic (hospital) in Robbinsville, MN

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Silver Bells" - by Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson (1911 - 1972)
"Silver Bells" 
(TPO's  Favorite X-Mas Song)


"RIDIN' THE ROAN" - by Ann Applegarth

A beautiful blue roan mare!

By Ann Applegarth (C*)

I stopped by the horse show to check out a mare.

It was hot as blazes – hardly anyone there.

The horses were dragging, and the judge finally said

that riders could show in shirtsleeves and bare head.

The guy who owned the little blue roan

said he wanted three thousand for the mare alone,

but he’d make me a deal and throw in the tack

for thirty-five hundred (the guy’s name was Mack).

I tried out the mare, and I liked her a lot.

She had a smooth lope and a rocking-chair trot.

I jogged her around just to see how she’d ride.

She was honest and willing with a stranger astride.

Then we sprayed with water (I sprayed myself too).

When her hide got wet, she looked really blue.

I decided to try her for a three-week test.

Mack said, “Lady, you’re gettin’ the absolute best.”

I told Mack I’d pay part right then and there

and the rest if I wanted to keep the roan mare.

We shook hands on the deal, and I loaded her in

for the long ride back to the barn – and then

I swigged the cold Pepsi I’d bought at the show,

turned the a.c. up high, hollered, “Mare, here we go.”

Well, I’ve had that blue mare now a goodly long time.

She’s fast and she’s smart and she’ll turn on a dime.

I reckon she sure was worth all that money

‘cause as horses go, my blue roan’s a real honey.

(C*) Copyright belongs to Ann Applegarth

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"I Won't Back Down" - by P J

Pearl Jam lead singer, Eddie Vedder

Pearl Jam

"I Won't Back Down"

Well, I ... won't back down,
Well, I ... won't back down,
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell,
But I'll stand my ground,
And I won't back down,
No, I'll stand my ground,
Oh, I won't be turned around,
In a world that keeps on draggin' me a down,
I'll stand my ground,
And I ... won't back down.

Hey, baby, ... there ain't no easy way out,
Hey, I ... will stand my ground,
And I won't back down.

Well I ... know what's right,
I got just one life,
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around,
I'll stand my ground,
And I won't back down.

Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out,
Hey, I ... will stand my ground,
And I won't back down.

Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out,
Hey, I ... will stand my ground,
And I ... won't back down,
And I ... won't back down,
No, I ... won't back down.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sarisha Palin (a.k.a Abiola Abrams) - by TPO

Abiola Abrams (1976 - )
This video was made right after the Vice-Presidential debates in 2008 by News One. It may be old, but it is still good and valid and hilarious!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"My Rifle, My Pony, and Me" - Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Dean Martin (1917-1995)
 From: Rio Bravo - "My Rifle, My Pony, and Me"
with Ricky Nelson (1940-1985), and Wally Brennan (1894-1974)

The sun is sinkin' in the west
The cattle go down to the stream
The Red wing settles in her nest
It's time for a cowboy to dream.

Purple light in the canyons
That's where I long to be
With my three good companions
Just my rifle, pony and me.

Gonna hang my sombrero
On the limb of a tree
Comin' home, sweetheart darlin'
Just my rifle, pony and me.

Whippoorwill in the willow
Sings a sweet melody
Riding to Amarillo
Just my rifle, pony and me.

No more cows to be ropin'
No more strays will I see
'Round the bend she'll be waitin'
For my rifle, pony and me
For my rifle, my pony and me.

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Umbrella Man" - by Gillespie & Armstrong

Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993)
& Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)
"Umbrella Man"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"12 Laws of Karma" - by Raven E. Aurlineus

The 12 Laws of KARMA
Raven E. Aurlineus

The Great Law
As you sow, so shall you reap.
This is also known as the Law of Cause and Effect.
Whatever we put out in the Universe
is what comes back to us.
If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Friendship, Love...
Then we should BE Happy, [we should be] Peaceful, [we should be] Loving, [we should be] a Friend.

The Law of Creation
Life doesn't just HAPPEN, it requires our participation.
We are one with the Universe, both inside and out.
Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
BE and DO yourself...
what you [want to be],and what you [want done] in your Life.

The Law of Humility
What you refuse to accept, will continue [flowing to] you.
If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative, then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence.

The Law of Growth
Wherever you go, there you are.
For us to GROW in Spirit, it is we who must change and not the people, places or things around us.
The only given we have in our lives is OURSELVES and that is the only factor we have control over.
When we change who and what we are within our heart, our life changes too.

The Law of Responsibility
Whenever there is something wrong, there is something wrong in me.
We mirror what surrounds us and what surrounds us mirrors us.
We must take responsibility [for] what is in our life.

The Law of Connection
Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected.
Each step leads to the next step and so forth and so on.
Someone must do the initial work to get a job done.
Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance. They were both needed to accomplish the task.
Past, Present, Future
They are all connected...

The Law of Focus
You can't think of two things at the same time.
When our focus is on Spiritual Values it is impossible for us to have lower thoughts such as greed or anger.

The Law of Giving and Hospitality
If you believe something to be true, then sometime in your life, you will be called upon to demonstrate that truth.
Here is where we put [that which] we have learned into PRACTICE.

The Law of Here and Now
Looking back to examine what was, prevents us from being totally in the HERE AND NOW.
Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams... prevent us from having new ones.

The Law of Change
History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.

The Law of Patience and Reward
All Rewards require initial toil.
Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil.
True Joy follows doing what we're supposed to be doing and waiting for the Reward to come in it's own time.

The Law of Significance and Inspiration
You get back from something whatever you've put into it.
The Value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.
Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.
Lackluster contributions have no impact on the Whole or [only] work to diminish it.
Loving contributions lift up and inspire the Whole.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mozart's Piano Concerto # 20------Conducted by: Mitsuko Uchida

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto # 20
by Mitsuko Uchida (born 1948)
W A Mozart
Mitsuko Uchida 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lessons Learned --- by Hénock Gugsa

Lessons Learned *

Of late, I have been musing … whether I can take total stock of my life, and whether there has been anything meaningful and useful there that can be shared. Certainly, I am quite wary of the dangers of too much self-preoccupation and of straying from the path of humility and simplicity. But then, as a happenstance, I came across this rather confounding quote from Jack Handey: “I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it.” Whoa there! Stop, bring the gears to neutral and hold on there! There is now no doubt in my mind that the best path for self-assessment is to have a sense of humor and to take the good with the bad.

For simplicity’s sake, it seems appropriate to divide my life into three parts: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. On a time-line, these three periods altogether actually span upwards of five and a half decades. Hence, like good wine, ha ha, I'm well-aged. To my pleasant surprise, I have discovered that aging is not really a totally disastrous mental process. It is true that the capacity to retain memories is different from person to person. Speaking for myself, I’m certain that I still have a lot of my childhood, vibrant and intact within me.

Childhood -

My childhood years were a period when everything appeared enormous … my dad seemed like a giant although he was only 5’ 9” tall … houses and fences loomed large … and a block of street was like infinity to my eyes. I do not believe that in the very early part of my childhood I had any concrete concept or even awareness of time; but later on, I remember feeling it was the slowest thing on earth; it felt as if everything was standing still, that all moments were one and the same. An hour was like an eternity. Of-course my attention span was probably only just at the bare minimum level to qualify me as a human-being. That was understandable as this was a time when I was absorbing everything about my surroundings, i.e. the sights and the sounds.

The most joyous and fun times were when I was between eight and twelve years old. This was a time of innocence, of curiosity, and of endless discoveries. But I had not yet reached complete self-awareness, or acquired a sense of responsibility when you know to be always on your guard and not require adult supervision. I had friends and playmates both at school and in my neighborhood. There was peace and stability in Ethiopia, and I felt safe and unharassed by anything. My family was not enjoying a life of luxury, but we were not in dire poverty either. We belonged in the lower middle class, and the future held some good promises.


Discoveries continued, but at a much faster pace. I was doing well in school, I joined my school’s boy scouts club for a couple of years. This was character-building time. My new-found love was reading, I loved hanging out in libraries. Another obsession was going to the movies every weekend. My dad used to say that I was using his money to enrich the white man (the ferenjii) both there and in foreign lands. He was correct about that; but I was also benefiting from the fact that my language skills were growing at a rapid pace. By the time I was eighteen, I was fluent in English and had a good working start in French. And to cap everything, I had the great fortune and privilege of coming to the United States for my last year of high school. I had at last come to the States (as an exchange student) at the tender age of seventeen; and it was my first big adventure in life.

A deficiency of my adolescence was the fact that I never actually developed a steady or lasting friendship (romantic or platonic) with the opposite sex. It was not a problem of sexuality or attraction to girls, it was more a problem of shyness and/or social awkwardness. The school that I went to was not co-ed, and that led to complete ignorance of what girls were all about. When the time of awakening came, I was completely unprepared. The friends I had were also in the same boat, we were all what you would call today “nerds.” I now know that if I at least had the gift of gab, I would have done alright. However, back then there were other outlets for gratification that were satisfactory for the time-being, and so I somehow survived the ordeal.

After finishing high school, I did not go to college immediately. There were complications in getting admission because of an unresolved dispute I had with a school supervisor who refused to give his approval. And so I had to abandon all hopes of attending college in Ethiopia; and at the vigorous age of nineteen, I had no choice but to join the adult working populace. My first job was that of a transportation agent for Ethiopian Airlines. It was a great job, and I was very fortunate to work for a fine employer. But my stint there lasted only two years and four months because I was determined that I should acquire higher education somehow. And yes, I did in due time achieve this goal by coming to the United States.


Well, I have arrived. I am officially an adult. This is a time when your life is in your own hands to a large extent. The decisions you make and the paths you take coalesce with the randomness of fortunes (or misfortunes) to put you at a certain place in a certain state. I learned early on that sometimes you need to take substantial leaps of faith and venture forth to get to what you aspire. Some momentous decisions that I made led to disastrous and distressful situations. But, somehow I would extricate myself from danger thru sheer luck and quick reactions to opportunities. The reasons for some of the bad decisions that later led to bad places were several – I was not alert enough, I was gullible, I was rash, and maybe at times I was impatient for change. But somehow, I have survived. I have now been married and been living a happy and relatively stable life for over fifteen years. There have been more happy times in my life than sad ones. Without reservation or doubt, I attribute a lot of my survival to my father’s prayers when he was alive, and his eternally protective spirit around me as I write this.

And so, at this juncture, I have completed more than five and a half decades of living. I am not at a moment of crisis nor am I at my deathbed. Yet, I am here now assessing the net worth of my life to see if it has all been meaningful. In balance, I am sure that it has. I do not have many serious regrets; I have not accomplished great and momentous deeds; I have, however, been a serious and beneficial factor in a few people’s lives. The great lessons of life: Your deeds are important, and the good memories you leave behind in the lives you have touched. But for yourself ... have you laughed enough? Have you cried enough? Have you ever been exhilarated and gratified to be alive? Have you felt pain and disappointment? If your answer is yes to all of the above, then you have indeed lived and your life has been meaningful enough.

Certainly, my life has been like a roller coaster ride. There have been thrills, there have been ups, and there have been downs. But is it all over already? No, positively not! It has only slowed down, and this is only a cruising break when I get a chance to catch my breath. I'm doing that now and I'm also sitting here wondering what I’ve been doing with my life. Ah yes, at last, I have taken stock of my life … and I find that I am smiling!

* “Lessons Learned” ~ © Hénock Gugsa  (ሄኖክ  ጉግሣ ) - 11/20/2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Meet Rep. John Shimkus - by TPO

Meet Rep. John Shimkus
by TPO

<< Rep. John Shimkus Not Worried About Climate Change Because of God's Promise to Noah >>

Rep. John Shimkus, the Illinois Republican who would like to be the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Wednesday that a promise God made to Noah about 6,000 years ago keeps him from worrying about global warming. "I do believe in the Bible as the final word of God," Shimkus told Politico. "And I do believe that God said the Earth would not be destroyed by a flood." Shimkus, who sounds like an excellent candidate for Energy Secretary in a Palin White House, is competing against three other Republicans for the top spot on the energy committee, and Politico predicts that even if he doesn't end up with the chairmanship, he'll at least be named the chairman of a subcommittee. Salon's Andrew Leonard shudders. "I'm glad that John Shimkus can sleep at night, faithful that that God's word is 'infallible, unchanging, perfect,'" he writes. "But for those of us who are less confident in humanity's ability to keep from massively screwing up, the thought that the Bible will be determining government energy policy is massively ulcer-inducing."
From: http://slatest.slate.com/id/2274659/?wpisrc=newsletter

Friday, November 5, 2010

Unhappy with 2010 Elections - by Hénock Gugsa

Unhappy with 2010 Elections
by Hénock Gugsa

My contempt is for the fickle and irrational voters out there who change directions from election year to election year. Because of their inconsistency, we remain on a plitical seesaw of diametrically opposed positions. Everybody gets a whiplash and no one wins in the long run.

New directions with a new party? Humbug! Were we ever aware of the fallacy that the Tea Party is not really the Repubican party in wolf's clothing? And now that the Republicans are back in power, are we going to delude ourselves that they will not undo everything that's been done? Let's face it. The country is going to be like the RMS Titanic if it keeps this up.

And as far as Minnesota is concerned, we might as well admit it. We are as kooky as they come. We elect a Bachmann, an Ellison, a Cravaack, a McCollum, etc. And for Governor, it looks like we may not want to change captains in the middle of an unhappy voyage.

So, what's the point? The sum total of all our efforts appears to amount to zero! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

One Silver Dollar - by Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962)

 "One Silver Dollar"
One silver dollar
Bright silver dollar
Changing hands
Changing hands
Endlessly rollin'
Wasted and stolen
Changing hands
Changing hands.

Spent for a beer he's drinkin'
Won by a gamblers lust
Pierced by an outlaw's bullet
And lost in the blood red dust.

One silver dollar
Worn silver dollar
Changing hands
Changing hands.

Love is a shining dollar
Bright as a church bell's chime
Gambled and spent and wasted
And lost in a dawn of time.

Ooh-ooh..., Ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh..., Ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh, Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

One silver dollar
Worn silver dollar
Changing hearts
Changing lives
Changing hands.


Some Words of Wisdom from Buddha - by TPO

Wisdom from Buddha
** All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?

** All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

** Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.

** An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.

** The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.

** The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.

** It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

** However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on them?

** Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Gauguin at the Tate" - Tour with art critic Alastair Sooke

"Gauguin at the Tate"
Tour with art critic Alastair Sooke

source: Telegraph.co.uk 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"A Little Less Conversation" - by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley, "the King", 1935-1977


Elvis Presley (1935-1977)
"A Little Less Conversation"

A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more spark
Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me
Satisfy me baby.

Baby close your eyes and listen to the music
Drifting through a summer breeze
Its a groovy night and I can show you how to use it
Come along with me and put your mind at ease

A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more spark
Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me
Satisfy me baby.

Come on baby Im tired of talking
Grab your coat and lets start walking
Come on, come on
Come on, come on
Come on, come on
Don't procrastinate, don't articulate
Girl its getting late, gettin' upset waitin' around

A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more spark
Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me
Satisfy me.

Come on baby I'm tired of talking
Grab your coat and lets start walking
Come on, come on
Come on, come on
Come on, come on
Don't procrastinate, don't articulate
Girl its getting late, gettin' upset waitin' around

A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more spark
Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me
Satisfy me. 

"Incivility" in the U.S.A. - by TPO (aka J J Sefton)

Incivility in the U.S.A
by TPO (aka J J Sefton)

In Response to Gordon Stewart's article in MinnPost

Thank you, Rev. Stewart, for this refreshing, thoughtful, and timely assessment of the times we are living in. I am sorry I was not aboard as soon as you posted it, and I apologize for the slight delay in my response. But perhaps this is not a bad thing altogether. I think that maybe, for me, it is better that I haven't rushed in to post my two-cent worth of comments (reactions.)

Let me venture now to give the points you brought up the gravitas they deserve. I promise not be flippant, and not to show my colors (my party affiliation or political persuasion.) But, I will confess my heroes are Sinclair Lewis and George Orwell.

So to begin .... Civility, that precious social virtue, seems to be a thing of the past in this country, unfortunately. The media have cynically opted for the low road, which apparently they have also found to be profitable. The big icons of the day are the shock jocks and the false prophets whose ravings and rantings are greedily and invisibly slurped up by many people. Shame is thrown out the window, and any sensible approach to problems or issues of the day are dismissed as naive, or high-brow elitism. For example, you mention the word "race", and you are immediately and preemptively labeled a "racist" for even bringing it up.

Another issue to which you have alluded and that I find does not get addressed enough is: Ignorance.

And today, ignorance combined with anger has given birth to the latest developments in the political arena. I am not very sure about their lasting power or even if they would amount to anything huge. But of one thing I am sure: they appeal more to an individual's selfish (almost greedy) instincts than to feelings for the community and the nation as a whole. To be sure, all kindly sentiments one may have for others would be labeled socialist, communist, or some such nonsense.

To conclude, I will leave you with this thought. Where, oh where, is our sense of humor these days? The other day, right here on MinnPost, I was joshing a regular commenter who happens to be present on this page. We were both at another posting; and I was mocking myself, using his favorite catch-phrases in a satirical fashion, to get my point across. Lo and behold, another commenter took serious exception to that and started to get more than personal in his response. Very sad. So much anger, so much ignorance, and so little patience and understanding for our fellow citizens.

Thank you again, Reverend. And maybe, sometime, I may take you up on that chat over a cup of coffee!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"In Your Eyes" - Jeffrey Gaines

Jeffrey Gaines

 "In Your Eyes"
Love I get so lost, sometimes 
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
 When I want to run away
 I drive off in my car
 But whichever way I go
 I come back to the place you are 
 All my instincts, they return 
And the grand facade, so soon will burn 
Without a noise, without my pride 
I reach out from the inside
 In your eyes
 The light, the heat
 In your eyes 
I am complete 
In your eyes
 I see the doorway to a thousand churches
 In your eyes
 The resolution of all the fruitless searches
 In your eyes
 I see the light and the heat 
In your eyes 
Oh, I want to be that complete
 I want to touch the light 
The heat I see in your eyes 
 Love, I don't like to see so much pain
 So much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
 I get so tired of working so hard for our survival 
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive 
And all my instincts, they return
 And the grand facade, so soon will burn 
Without a noise, without my pride
 I reach out from the inside 
In your eyes
 The light, the heat
 In your eyes 
I am complete
 In your eyes
 I see the doorway to a thousand churches
 In your eyes 
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
 In your eyes 
I see the light and the heat
 In your eyes 
Oh, I want to be that complete
 I want to touch the light 
The heat I see in your eyes
 In your eyes, in your eyes 
In your eyes, in your eyes
 In your eyes, in your eyes

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thoughts on Fall - by TPO (aka J.J. Sefton)

Thoughts on Fall
by TPO (aka J J Sefton)

The following is in response to Jane Ahlin's, "The beauty of fall: It can be savored, but not saved." ....

Thank you, Ms. Ahlin.

It is very true, Fall does indeed bring out the romantic, the philosophical, and the spiritual in all of us.

Often, Fall evokes sadness, wistfulness, or tearful exhilaration. And "Nature" reflects to us what our lives have been about. This is a time of self-evaluation, a kind of urgent audit at a critical stage when we still may have some control on our lives.

Have we loved, and have we loved right? Have we appreciated enough the gifts of life and love? Have we given back in at least the same measure as we've received?

And those "cattails" ... oh, those cattails ... they evoke images of empty nests, parents letting their children go out into the world. Transition time, or the baton hand-off. Poof, and they are gone!

Fall is a time of fulfillment, a glad time actually if your life has meant something to you or others. If not, then Fall is still a time of hope, of a chance for redemption. Fall is a hurry-up time, a time of preparation before Winter sets in and finality (death) is at the door.

It is good that "Thanksgiving Day" happens to fall in the Fall. But why did they have to put it all the way out at the end of November?! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

"High Noon" - by Tex Ritter

Tex Ritter (1905-1974)  
"High Noon" (1952)
(Starring: Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly)
Do not forsake me, oh my darlin'
On this, our weddin' day
Do not forsake me, oh my darlin'.

Wait along.

A noon day train
Will bring Frank Miller
If I'm a man I must be brave
And I must face a man who hates me
Or lie a coward, a craven coward
Or lie a coward in my grave.

Oh, to be torn 'twixt love and duty
S'posin' I lose my fair-haired beauty
Look at that big hand move along
Nearin' high noon.

He made a vow while in state's prison
Vowed it would be my life or his'n
I'm not afraid of death but oh
What will I do if you leave me?

Do not forsake me, oh my darlin'
You made that promise when we wed
Do not forsake me, oh my darlin'
Although you're grievin', I won't be leavin'
Until I shoot Frank Miller dead.

Wait along, (wait along, wait along)
Wait along, (wait along, wait along)
Wait along,
Wait along.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

TPO a.k.a. J J Sefton Strikes Again!

Today, the article in MinnPost about Steele's "Fire Pelosi" bus enticed TPO (as J J Sefton) to respond ....

<< So, here's a scenario for you ...

Steele's "Fire Pelosi" bus is headed west, fast and furious, on a mission of salvation and revival. Simultaneously, another similar vehicle, the Tea Party's "Fire Steele" bus, is coming east with the pedal to the metal.

Somewhere on the turnpike in Missouri, the two buses go out of control, cross into the median, and careen into each other. Witnesses of this horrific collision later tell the media that they'd never seen anything like it before. But one particular witness, a grizzly veteran of WWII, said it reminded him of the Battle of Midway ... ships blowing up in great blaze of glory.

Fox News immediately assembled a team of conspiracy theorists and regular, steamed pundits to run a program tentatively titled: "Restoring Truth: What Really Happened To Our Buses?" >>

William Holden and Neville Brand - Stalag 17

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"A A D D" - by Unknown

"A A D D"

Boy if this isn't one of my typical days I don't know what is!!!

Recently, I heard about A. A. D. D.
Age Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look
over at my car and decide my car needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch
table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can
under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out
the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only 1 check
left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house
to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so
that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting
warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the
counter catches my eye--they need to be watered.

I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water
the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and
suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I
realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the
remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to
put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the
floor. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and
wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do at
the end of the day:

the car isn't washed,

the bills aren't paid,

there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter,

the flowers don't have enough water,

there is still only 1 check in my check book,

I can't find the remote,

I can't find my glasses,

and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really
baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it,
but first I'll check my e-mail ....


Don't laugh -- if this hasn't happened to you yet, your day is coming!!
*Source: Unknown

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Dead Parrot - John Cleese / Michael Palin

The Dead Parrot

(Cast: C => John Cleese, the customer ; P => Michael Palin, the pet shopkeeper )

C: I wish to register a complaint! Hello, miss...
P: What do you mean, 'miss'?
C: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint.
P: Sorry, we're closed for lunch.
C: Never mind that my lad, I wish to complain about this parrot, what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
P: Ah, yes. The, er, the Norwegian Blue. What's er, what's wrong with it?
C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. He's dead, that's what's wrong with it.
P: No, no, he's er, he's resting.
C: Look mate, I know a dead parrot when I see one. And I am looking at one right now.
P: No, no, he's er, he's not dead, he's, he's resting, you know.... Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, ain't it, hey? Beautiful plumage.
C: The plumage don't enter in to it! He's stone dead.
P: No, no, he's, he's resting.
C: Alright then, if he's resting I'll wake him up. Hello, mister Polly parrot, (sound of cage being hit) I got a nice fresh banana.
P: He moved.
C: No he didn't! I saw you hit the cage.
P: I never!
C: YES... YOU... DID!
P: I didn't.
C: HELLO POLLY! WAKEY, WAKEY! This is your nine o'clock alarm call! (sound of knocking) Now that is what I call a dead parrot.
P: He's stunned.
C: Stunned?
P: Yeah, you stunned him, just as he was waking up. Norwegian Blues stun easily.
C: Now look, don't play the slippery eel with me. That parrot is definitely deceased. And when I purchased it not half an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it being tired and shagged out after a long squawk.
P: Well, he's er, he's probably pining for the fjords.
C: Pining for the fjords?!! What kind of talk is that? Now why did it fall flat on his back the moment I got him home?
P: The Norwegian Blue prefers kipping on his back. Remarkable bird ain't it, ay, Major? Beautiful plumage!
C: Look, tosh, I took the liberty of examining that bird when I got it home, and I discovered that the only reason it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.
P: Well of course it was NAILED there. Listen, if I hadn't nailed that bird down, it would have muscled out of them bars, bend them apart with his little beak and VOOM!
C: Mate, this parrot wouldn't voom if you put 4 million volts through it. He's bleedin' demised!
P: No, no, he's pining!
C: He's not pining, he's, he's passed on! This parrot is no more. He has ceased to be! He's expired and gone to meet his maker! He's a stiff. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed him to the perch he'd be pushing up the daisies! He's up the twig! He's curled up his tootsies! He's shoveled off this mortal coil! He's rung down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible! He freakin snuffed it! Vis-a-vis the metabolic processes, he's had his lot! All statements to the effect that this parrot is still a going concern are from now on inoperative! This is an ex-parrot!
P: Well, I better replace it then.
C: If you want to get anything down in this country you have to complain till you're blue in the face. What's the news?
P: Well, I had a little look around the back. And we're right out of parrots.
C: I see, I see. I get the picture.
P: I got a slug.
C: Does it talk?
P: Yep!
C: Right. I'll have that one then.