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 ! *

Monday, December 31, 2012

Foreign Lands - by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson
Foreign Lands
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad in foreign lands.

I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.

I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the sky's blue looking-glass;
The dusty roads go up and down
With people tramping in to town.

If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships,

To where the road on either hand
Lead onward into fairy land,
Where all the children dine at five,
And all the playthings come alive.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Microcosme de France - par TPO

Lencloître - 4 juin 2012


par la Nouvelle République.fr

Pays:                   France
Canton:              Lencloître 
Région:               Poitou-Charentes
Département:       Vienne
Arrondissement:   Châtellerault

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Guilty by Reason of Hypocrisy! - by TPO

Mike Crapo

TPO (a.k.a. FormerET)

Comments on

 "Idaho senator charged with DUI" *


[Sunday, December 23, 2012 - Senator Mike Crapo, R. Idaho, was arrested on a DUI charge in Alexandria, VA. The senator, it turns out, is also a Mormon bishop.  His religion forbids the drinking of alcohol and other beverages such as tea and coffee!]**

Pirates wrote ...
12:30 PM CST
His name reminds me of a Senator from South Dakota. His name was Joe Bottom. Believe it or not, he named his daughter Rosie. Can you believe that? True story. Back in the 1960's. Yes, he was a Conservative Republican.
FormerET responds ...
12:37 PM CST
ha ha ha. That's hilarious.
I was about to comment that Mr. Crap-o must have had a harsh childhood ... what with all the cruel name calling and such. It is a miracle he did not end up being a bully or something. Oh wait. He did become a senator, didn't he?
FormerET wrote ...
12:50 PM CST
Idaho? ....hmm-mm?
Isn't that the state with another hypocrite Republican Senator who was caught soliciting homosexual favors in an airport restroom some years back?
Whazzup, Idaho?
FormerET wrote ...
1:10 PM CST
Date: December 24, 2012
Message to William Shakespeare:
Instead of the lawyers, first thing we need to do here is get rid of all religious fanatics, and hypocrites in congress! But if there are lawyers amongst them, them too!
Your American cousins
Windy_Denizen wrote ...
1:59 PM CST
He was pretty hammered. 
Not sure what sect of Mormonism he follows but it appears to be pretty liberal.
FormerET responds...
2:09 PM CST
The MoreGin sect, maybe? But they are not liberal by a long stretch!
Bmdboy wrote ...
2:10 PM CST
Australia says thank you America.... For having a drunken republican senator named Crapo.....
Your still the funniest nation on earth Merry Christmas. Please drive and shoot responsibly.
FormerET responds ...
2:26 PM CST
I'd say we aim to please ... but that is so cliché.
icyone wrote ...
2:24 PM CST
Maybe the fact that he got elected 3 times is just Montana's way of p**ing at DC & the Gov't long distance.
Rileymon responds ...
2:34 PM CST
IDAHO, not Montana - please, there is a big difference!
FormerET responds ...
2:36 PM CST
And maybe Idaho wants to be famous for something other than potatoes!?
KBlit wrote ...
2:44 PM CST
A name that is fully consistent with being a member of congress. Anyway he will apologize and be reelected in a landslide and if he had a gun, run for president.
FormerET responds ...
2:51 PM CST
Or he could join the crazy pundits and assorted villains at FOX where they magically make news out of nothing for the propagation of fear and hate.
Joseph Calling wrote ...
2:51 PM CST
Whew! It's a good thing he didn't have a woman not his wife in the car with him, and it's a good thing he didn't drive it off a bridge and leave her to drown. Oh, yeah, that was someone else.
cfrost1 responds ...
2:53 PM CST
How many years, decades, centuries are you guys going to be milking that?
FormerET responds ...
2:57 PM CST
Milking? ... No, they're drinking!
yokosuka1985 wrote ...
3:03 PM CST
Amazing people still drink and drive these days.
cfrost1 responds ...
3:16 PM CST
Perhaps God gave him special permission.
FormerET responds ...
3:18 PM CST
I hope he is not a pilot also. I don't like where that scenario leads!
Rush2112CA wrote ...
3:13 PM CST
What happend to the hooker in the car?
FormerET responds ...
3:19 PM CST
Maybe fbutler1 and his right wing cronies here can give the answer to that one.
Hoya4692 responds ...
3:28 PM CST
Hmmm, male or female?
neraksmar wrote ...
3:22 PM CST
A very unfortunate last name.
FormerET responds ...
3:34 PM CST
Or maybe an appropriate (i.e. prophetic) name, nonetheless!
FormerET wrote ...
3:55 PM CST
"When will they ever learn?" is a phrase from that old folk song, "Where have all the flowers gone?"
Apparently, we all must be dunderheads for constantly thinking and doing the wrong things over and over again. What they say about the short memory and attention span must really be true.
A possible solution ...
I believe that history should be taught at every level of the education experience in this country. And by history, I don't mean the revisionist kind. We should hammer ourselves with local, national, and world history as school curricula. That way, maybe, no one will try to pull the wool over our heads ... tell us "up is down" , "wrong is right", etc.
chindi--s wrote
5:59 PM CST
At least as a good right wing ideologue absolutist, he doesn't consume the devil’s brew--well maybe not!
FormerET responds ...
8:05 PM CST
Isn't "Absolut" some kind of vodka?
laytonian2 wrote ...
6:08 PM CST
NRA response to Crapo's arrest:
"Let's put mini-bars in all vehicles, to stop drunk driving!"
FormerET responds ...
6:15 PM CST
Or said another way ...
The trouble with killing is not the guns ... it's the killers!
And it follows ...
The trouble with drinking is not the liquor ... it's the drunkard!
amazd responds ...
6:36 PM CST
Let's ban alcoholic beverages. We know how that worked the first time.
FormerET responds ...
7:10 PM CST
Nah, just ban gun users and drunkards. Problem solved because you are dealing with the demand side, not the supply. 
You will be given ownership licenses only. Why should society give you permission to drink (whether to excess or not) or to use your firearm to kill another human being.
We will have the best kind of Catch-22 situation - one that will force people to think and to act responsibly.
And of-course if you don't want to abide by society's laws, then you can go and live in the wilds. Even a "survivalist" would need to live in a community to one degree or another.
FormerET wrote ...
6:42 PM CST
Re: " Crapo is serving his third term in the Senate. "
I wouldn't say that Senator Crapo is any kind of a servant. The only "serving" he is associated with seems to be either some rapturous praises from his constituents in Idaho ... or the shots of boilermakers he will soon be vowing to ban from his life.
scottmmanson1 wrote ...
7:42 PM CST
At least he did not drive into the water with his mistress like some other Senator
FormerET responds ...
7:44 PM CST
another crapo comment!
scottmmanson1 responds ...
7:45 PM CST
I think we should call dui driving like a kennedy.
FormerET responds ...
8:03 PM CST
It is DUI ... not DLK, genius.
In case it needs to be spelled out ...
DUI ==> driving under the influence
or in the present situation, we might be tempted to say ...
DUI => driver usually inebriated 
And we are concerned with the living only. We leave the dead rest in peace.
* posted by Rosalind S. Helderman in the Washington Post,Dec. 23, 2012
** Source:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2012/12/23/idaho-senator-charged-with-dui/

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry X-Mas, Everyone! - by TPO

 "I wonder as I wander"


Annalisa Kerrigan

Annalisa Kerrigan

 "I Wonder As I Wander"
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander ... out under the sky.

When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.

If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have had it, 'cause He was the King.

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander ... out under the sky.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

True Love Ways - Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly
 True Love Ways
Buddy Holly (1936-1959)

 Just you know why
Why you and I
Will by and by
Know true love ways
Sometimes we'll sigh
Sometimes we'll cry
And we'll know why
Just you and I know true love ways

Throughout the days
Our true love ways
Will bring us joys to share
With those who really care

Sometimes we'll sigh
Sometimes we'll cry
And we'll know why
Just you and I know true love ways

Throughout the days
Our true love ways
Will bring us joys to share
With those who really care

Sometimes we'll sigh
Sometimes we'll cry
And we'll know why
Just you and I know true love ways

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NRA under Fire [post "Newtown massacre"]- by TPO

graphics by Henock  (click to enlarge)
NRA Under Fire [post "Newtown massacre"]


 by TPO (a.k.a. FormerET)

Subject: "Protesters target NRA’s Capitol Hill office to call for gun control after Newtown killings"
Venue: Washington Post, December 17, 2012
Article by: Fredrick Kunkle *

12:57 PM CST
Maybe the real reason the NRA is keeping a very low profile at the moment is because that is the best strategy. Gun violence is a very hot issue right now and may stay that way for a while. The national mood right now is that of self-disgust, remorse, and anger at the undelying impotence.

There is no benefit in bringing out charlton-heston-look-alike zombies shouting "from my cold, dead hands!" 

The reality seems to be that everybody including sane and sensible members of NRA are now doing serious soul-searching , questioning America's madness about ... me, me, me, ... mine,mine, mine, ... my rights, my rights, my rights, ... and never my obligations and responsiblities!!!
2:13 PM CST
Isn't it sad and scary that Texas' Tea Party politicians are now doubling down on their "Alamo" stand that teachers should be enabled to carry handguns on school premises? 

Somehow, Texan logic dictates that such a law would take care of potential violent outbreaks (i.e. lessen the gravity). The rationale is that Newtown Elementary School should have been run by Wyatt Earp, and all the teachers there ought to have been gun-toting Annie Oakleys!

Glad I got out of Texas with my hide in tact!
4:15 PM CST
And, on another front, can someone explain to me why "assault" weapons are considered sportive? What is gentlemanly or even manly about owning them (much less using them)? 

If we cannot see and understand the role of paranoia as a motivational force here, we can consider ourselves at sea rudderless.

* source:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/protesters-target-nras-capitol-hill-office-to-call-for-gun-control-after-newtown-killings/2012/12/17/eb3423c0-4898-11e2-ad54-580638ede391_story.html

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Beggar to Beggar Cried - by W B Yeats

W B Yeats
Beggar To Beggar Cried
 William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

'Time to put off the world and go somewhere
And find my health again in the sea air,'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'And make my soul before my pate is bare.

'And get a comfortable wife and house
To rid me of the devil in my shoes,'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'And the worse devil that is between my thighs.'

And though I'd marry with a comely lass,
She need not be too comely - let it pass,'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'But there's a devil in a looking-glass.'

'Nor should she be too rich, because the rich
Are driven by wealth as beggars by the itch,'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'And cannot have a humorous happy speech.'

'And there I'll grow respected at my ease,
And hear amid the garden's nightly peace.'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'The wind-blown clamour of the barnacle-geese.'

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"L'amour est un oiseau rebelle!" - Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet
Denyce Graves 

Habanera - Carmen **
-------- // ---------



    L'amour est un oiseau rebelle
    Que nul ne peut apprivoiser,
    Et c'est bien en vain qu'on l'appelle,
    S'il lui convient de refuser.

    Rien n'y fait, menace ou prière,

    L'un parle bien, l'autre se tait:
    Et c'est l'autre que je préfère,
    Il n'a rien dit mais il me plaît.

    L'amour! L'amour! L'amour! L'amour!

    L'amour est enfant de Bohême,

    Il n'a jamais, jamais connu de loi.
    Si tu ne m'aimes pas, je t'aime
    Si je t'aime, prends garde à toi! (Prends garde à toi!)

    Si tu ne m’aimes pas,

    Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime! (Prends garde à toi!)
    Mais, si je t’aime,
    Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi!

    L'oiseau que tu croyais surprendre

    Battit de l'aile et s'envola.
    L'amour est loin, tu peux l'attendre.
    Tu ne l'attends plus, il est là!

    Tout autour de toi, vite, vite,

    il vient, s'en va, puis il revient.
    Tu crois le tenir, il t'évite,
    Tu crois l'éviter, il te tient.

    L'amour! L'amour! L'amour! L'amour!

    L'amour est enfant de Bohême,

    il n'a jamais, jamais connu de loi;
    Si tu ne m'aimes pas, je t'aime.
    Si je t'aime, prends garde à toi! (Prends garde à toi!)

    Si tu ne m’aimes pas,

    Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime! (Prends garde à toi!)
    Mais, si je t’aime,
    Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi!

    Choir: L'amour est enfant de Bohême,

    il n'a jamais, jamais connu de loi;
    si tu ne m'aimes pas, je t'aime
    si je t'aime, prends garde à toi! (Prends garde à toi!)

    Carmen: Si tu ne m’aimes pas,

    Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime! (Prends garde à toi!)
    Mais, si je t’aime,
    Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi! 

** Georges Bizet (1838-1875)
** Denyce Graves (1964 - )

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Conducting Business - by Elissa Ely

Conducting Business
Elissa Ely
The Boston Globe Op-ed (July 9, 2011)    
AS if by wide-eyed coincidence, the calls and letters all began to arrive at the same time. There must be some rule about this in the small print of the industry. No one made a peep until three months after the funeral.
That was just enough time to accomplish the small, practical, haunting tasks one cannot do for oneself - no matter how independent in life - because one is now dead. The apartment had been closed. Plants were given away; magazine articles, torn for a future reading, recycled; clothes sent in one direction, small household items in another. We knew the charity donation criteria (“NO TVS OR COMPUTER MONITORS PLEASE’’) by heart.

The medical supply store had accepted their equipment back. They ran a distribution program for patients who couldn’t afford ambulatory aides otherwise. Taking them out of the car trunk was like reviewing the stages of deterioration: first, the decorative cane, then the metal three-legged one; the walker with tennis balls, then the sitting walker; the shower chair, then the wheelchair. Each piece of equipment, during its months of use, seemed the only one that would be needed. But there was always another helplessness to follow, and the medical supply store, while filling one order, was too kind to tell us they would see us again soon.

After three months, the first letter arrived, hand written. “My dear friend,’’ it began, “Our deepest sympathy is extended to you on the loss of your Loved One. Unfortunately, a most difficult task now lies before you.’’

I looked down a paragraph. “Upon visiting our showroom, you will find a complete selection of the finest certified Barre Granite Memorials. You will find our prices amazingly reasonable, and will receive Everlasting Satisfaction through our Certificate of Quality and Workmanship.’’ The return address was in Long Island, where the burial had taken place.

Other letters from the tri-state area were soon flying north. Some enclosed template pictures with labeled measurements. Some had invoices requesting signature and deposit. One was a contract. Each knew the precise date of death. It was creepy.

A few weeks later, the phone rang. A man asked for me by first name. He said he was sorry for my loss, and following up on the letter he had sent about the memorial proposal. It sounded like we were already a team.

I began to tell him that we had made arrangements with the funeral home for a headstone. Before I got to the end of the sentence, he had hung up on me. The consoler had hung up on me in the midst of his consolation. I understood it was not personal. It was just the most efficient thing to do.

I also understood something else, if I hadn’t before. The dead get buried, but the living, conducting business, go on. Everyone has to go on.

Elissa Ely is a psychiatrist.
© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Turning the Table - by TPO

Turning the Table
(Pearls before Swine) *
by Stephan Pastis
~~~~ // ~~~~
** comic strip's date: December 9, 2012 **
click the strip to enlarge
click the strip to enlarge
* At its heart, Pearls Before Swine is the comic strip tale of two friends: an arrogant Rat who thinks he knows it all and a slow-witted Pig who doesn't know any better. And once in a while, the two friends run into a mutual friend called Goat. Together or apart, this trio offer caustic commentary on humanity's quest for the unattainable ...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf - by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl (1916-1990)
----- //------

"Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf"
 As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
He went and knocked on Grandma's door.
When Grandma opened it, she saw
The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, 'May I come in?'
Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
'He's going to eat me up!' she cried.
And she was absolutely right.
He ate her up in one big bite.
But Grandmamma was small and tough,
And Wolfie wailed, 'That's not enough!
I haven't yet begun to feel
That I have had a decent meal!'
He ran around the kitchen yelping,
'I've got to have a second helping!'

Then added with a frightful leer,
'I'm therefore going to wait right here
Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood
Comes home from walking in the wood.'

He quickly put on Grandma's clothes,
(Of course he hadn't eaten those).
He dressed himself in coat and hat.
He put on shoes, and after that,
He even brushed and curled his hair,
Then sat himself in Grandma's chair.

In came the little girl in red.
She stopped. She stared. And then she said,
'What great big ears you have, Grandma.'
'All the better to hear you with,'
the Wolf replied.
'What great big eyes you have, Grandma.'
said Little Red Riding Hood.
'All the better to see you with,'
the Wolf replied.
He sat there watching her and smiled.
He thought, I'm going to eat this child.
Compared with her old Grandmamma,
She's going to taste like caviar.

Then Little Red Riding Hood said, '
But Grandma, what a lovely great big
furry coat you have on.'

'That's wrong!' cried Wolf.
'Have you forgot
To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?
Ah well, no matter what you say,
I'm going to eat you anyway.'

The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature's head,
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.

A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, 'Hello, and do please note
My lovely furry wolfskin coat.'

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"The Union Forever!" - by TPO

"The Union Forever!"
by TPO

16th U.S. President  - Abraham Lincoln

Lyrics to "Battle Cry of Freedom" 
We will rally round the flag, boys
We'll rally once again,
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom
We will rally from the hillside
We'll gather from the plains,
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom!

The Union forever!
Hurrah boys hurrah!
Down with the traitor, and up with the star,
And we'll fill the vacant ranks
With a million freemen more,
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom!

The Union forever!
Hurrah boys hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star,
And we're marching for the flag, boys,
We will rally once again
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom!

The Union forever!
Hurrah boys hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star,
While we rally round the flag, boys
Rally once again
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ethiopia's Tom Thumb ! - by Hénock Gugsa

Graphics by Hénock Gugsa (ሄኖክ  ጉግሣ)

Ethiopia's Tom Thumb :  Sinzirro !
Hénock Gugsa

[Ethiopia is a land of fables. It is even said that the great fabulist, Aesop, was from Ethiopia.  His name is presumed to be a derivation of Aethiop. Although the following fable is from Ethiopia, it is however not attributed to Aesop …. I, as the sole author, am here simply transcribing this tale from folklore in my own words.  I beg your indulgence and forgiveness for the literary license I have taken in embellishing it.]

Once upon a time, ... long, long ago, there lived in the land of Ethiopia an old woman and her son, Sinzirro.  The tree goddess, Adbar, had granted the lonely old woman her wish for a small child that would never grow to normal-size and would never leave his mother’s side ever. The old woman named the child “Sinzirro” because he did not grow any bigger than a thumb in size.  In Ethiopia, a sinzir is the length-measure of a thumb … and so you might say that Sinzirro was the Ethiopian equivalent of Tom Thumb!

Now, there was a strong bond between the old woman and Sinzirro, and it was reinforced daily by her feeding him fresh milk from a jar.  And Sinzirro loved the milk so much … he just could not get enough of it.  He was always following his mother around and begging for milk all the time.

One day, the old woman was feeding  Sinzirro his ration of milk from the jar.  As usual, he was laid out on his little bed with his mouth wide open and he was gulping down the milk.  He kept drinking that milk with the happiest glint in his eyes.  His mother was so enchanted by his blissful face that she forgot that maybe he had had enough milk for now.  But Sinzirro did not complain and kept on drinking and grinning.  He started filling up … his naked belly was beginning to inflate and swell … it grew like a balloon filling with air.  Sinzirro was so full he could hardly move.  Then, suddenly his mother realized her mistake and stopped feeding the impish child. 

As she was taking the milk away, one tiny droplet fell on Sinzirro’s belly button.

Sinzirro was not about to ignore that little bit of milk sitting atop the little hill of a tummy in front of him.  He slowly raised himself up, and with tongue stuck-out, he began his lunge for the tempting thing on his belly.  He arched forward and stretched … he moaned and groaned from the effort and the extreme discomfort … he still could not reach the object!  But he was a persistent (if not too bright) child that had to have milk although it had never done anything for his growth.  And now he could almost reach it ... he was close … victory was at hand ... only a little way to go!

In the other room, the old woman put the jar on a shelf … of-course Sinzirro would never be able to reach that droplet on his belly, she thought quizzically!  Then before she turned to get back to her son, she heard a small tearing sound followed by a loud pop coming from the boy's room.  She rushed over there … but alas! ... she was too late.

There before her lay the remains of Sinzirro … the balloon had finally snapped and popped.  And now there was mostly milk all over the tiny bed ...  and hardly anything left of Sinzirro!

Moral of the story: Greed is a destructive thing!