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, June 28, 2013

Dr. Kerry Washington! - by GW University

Kerry Washington

Dr. Kerry Washington ! *
GW University alum and
2013 Commencement Speaker
--- *** ---

*Note: Kerry Washington is indisputably one of the most alluring personalities of her generation!

Friday, June 21, 2013

"The Cracked Pot" (a Parable) - by Unknown

“The Cracked Pot”
(a Parable)
==== ** ====

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his shoulders. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was perfect for the task for which it was made, and proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your
house.  Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?" That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them.

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without your being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.


Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots.

It's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take people for what they are, and look for the good in them.

TPO says ... Let us be thankful for all our 'cracked pot' friends!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Those Scary-Ugly Controllers - by A. M. Uhl

boss from hell

Those Scary-Ugly Controllers
Arlene Matthews Uhl *
===== // =====

Controllers can really get our hackles up, because they can make us feel like helpless children who are always being told what to do. Interestingly, childhood conflicts might be what caused those controllers to become the way they are.

Four Controlling Styles 

Not all controllers exercise power and control in the same ways. Some are very forthright about their desire to dictate what happens, who does what, and when and how they do it. Others are much more subtle—even covert. Control can also be achieved through duplicity, even seeming passive.

The Volatile Controller

Volatile controllers get others to do what they want by holding a threat like a sword over their head. The threat is simple: if what they want to happen doesn’t happen they will lose their temper.   

The “good” news, such as it is, about volatile controllers, is that although their blow-ups can be fierce and frightening, they are usually relatively short-lived. In fact, controllers don’t especially like losing their temper because doing so gives them a fleeting feeling of being out of control. They would rather intimidate by threatening what might happen, rather than actually losing their cool.

The “Smarter-Than-You” Controller

The smarter-than-you controller wants everyone to accept their authority because their knowledge, expertise, and logic are infallible. They’ve got an answer—yes, often a smart one—for every objection you could possibly make.

To get a handle on smarter-than-you controllers in your life, remember this: They draw their power not from their smarts but from your insecurities. If you want to get this type of controller to accept your ideas, you have to believe in those ideas, and in yourself. Put your self-doubt on a shelf. Then you will be able to employ strategies that can gently and effectively get a smarter-than-you controller to redirect their attention from their idea to yours.

The Deceptive Controller

Deceptive controllers crave control so badly that, for them, the end justifies the means. They’ll bad-mouth others, start and spread rumors, mislead, set one person against another, omit crucial facts, and sometimes lie outright.

Precisely because they are so good at what they do, it might take a while to realize how events are being orchestrated behind-the-scenes by deceptive controllers at work, in personal relationships, and elsewhere. Moreover, they’re slippery when confronted, and they are very good at protesting—with some degree of believability— Who me?

If you can’t always expose a deceptive controller’s shady tactics, you can at least keep yourself from being a primary target by not painting a bull’s-eye on your chest. Don’t share secrets with deceptive controllers—they won’t be secrets for long—and never discuss your self-doubts or fears with them. If you do, they’ll just use them against you.

The Passive-Aggressive Controller

Perhaps you know someone who displays several of the seven signs of passive aggression. This type of person …
1.   Repeatedly promises to do things and then “forgets.”
2.   Continually finds seemingly plausible excuses to delay taking action.
3.   Says they wish they could do what you ask, but claims they are just not capable.
4.   Withholds important information (or sometimes money or other resources) so that you are unable to take necessary actions when you need to.
5.   Evades direct questions by offering vague or ambiguous responses.
6.   Sometimes sulks and plays “poor me.”
7.   Expends extreme effort to maintain a friendly, cooperative persona.

You are dealing with a person who controls by saying yes when they mean no, by stonewalling, or by playing the victim. If it makes you feel better, you are hardly alone in your frustrations. Passive aggression is a very common style.

Like any controlling style, passive aggression masks a great deal of anxiety. But the passive-aggressive person’s anxiety is of a particular nature. This type of person, although determined to get what they want, dreads confrontation and conflict. If they say what they want, that would put them at risk of being questioned or challenged. Instead they devise diversionary tactics.

disgusted employeeUnderstanding the passive-aggressive’s motivation doesn’t make their behavior any more excusable or any less hurtful. But it does give you a clue as to why they so often leave you feeling baffled, insecure, and perhaps even guilty. They’re exceptionally adept at making you feel as though you’re the problem. If you buy their spin, you’ll end up apologizing to them.

* Extracted from:  
"The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Coping with Difficult People" – by Arlene Matthews Uhl

Monday, June 17, 2013

Raison-d'être of a Swordfish - by Jim Toomey ("Sherman's Lagoon")

Raison-d'être of a Swordfish
- Jim Toomey -
("Sherman’s Lagoon") *
June 16,2013

Sherman’s Lagoon is a comic strip set in an imaginary lagoon inhabited by a cast of sea creatures whose lives are curiously similar to our own.

click to enlarge
  (Click on image to magnify)
 ** Note from TPO **
The swordfish is a good metaphor for all the dim-bulb supervisors and managers out there in the world!!
* Source: http://shermanslagoon.com/

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"What's Sauce Pour L'oie ..." - by Ogden Nash

What's Sauce Pour L'oie 
Is Sauce Pour L'état C'est Moi

by Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

=== // ===
I know, mon Général, it hurts your pride
To see your cherished language Yankeefied,
Your pure, precise Parisian prunes and prisms
Walk cheek by jowl with Americanisms:
Your earnest students of Racine and Zola
Consuming le hot dog and Coca-Cola,
Or roaming through le drugstore in a quest
For paperbacks depicting le Far Oest.
Although I do not wonder that you fuss,
Have you considered what you've done to us?
Just take a gander at your addenda, pardner,
To the heritage of Shakespeare and Ring Lardner.

Let's to the Opal Room, where for a fee
We're seated ringside by a mater d'—
In such crepuscule ambience are we meant
To reach a démarche or perhaps détente?
A young chantoose is facing her premeer.
On her dressing-room chaise lounge lies her brazeer.
Aglow from kneading by a skilled massoose,
Her cheek is pink, her longeray chartroose.
The gourmet meal is guaranteed to please,
Concluding with that hybrid treat, bleu cheese.

I, too, conclude with this observation cursory:
English makes prettier French than vice versary. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hmmm Moments - by TPO

 Hmmm Moments
------ *** ------
The only true love is love at first sight; second sight dispels it.
- Israel Zangwill
When love is not madness, it is not love. 
- Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Marriage is the only war where you sleep with the enemy.
- Gary Busey
Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious; both are disappointed.
- Oscar Wilde

Life (or Death)
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
- Dr. Seuss
Life is the sum of all your choices.
- Albert Camus
Because I could not stop for death, He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves and immortality.
- Emily Dickinson
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
- Bernard Shaw
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
- Louis Hector Berlioz

Those who will sacrifice liberty and freedom for security will have neither freedom or security.
- Ben Frankin
Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back.
- Blaise Pascal
When you get to the end of the rope, tie a knot and hang on.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
- Mark Twain
God gives every bird a worm, but he does not throw it into the nest.
- Swedish Proverb
A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.
- Benjamin Franklin
The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile. 
 - Plato
A champion is someone who gets up, even when he can't.
- Unknown
Tell the truth and run.
- Yugoslavian Proverb
Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. 
- Mark Twain
Dare to think for yourself.
//** Note:  The last three quotes are TPO's special favorites **\\

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Feng Shui Way - TPO

Transforming Your Life
( The Feng Shui Way) *
----- ### -----
by TPO

The Chinese system of geomancy known as Feng Shui is, in the view of TPO, quite appealing and subscribeable for at least two reasons:
  • scientific reasoning – using the five elements of Feng Shui (i.e. Fire, Water, Earth, Wood, and Metal) in accordance with the laws of the universe.  “The five elements are believed to be manifestations of the Yin-Yang in the universe.”
  •  deep-rooted rationale –  simple and practical ideas are given (offered as divination) for the day-to-day concerns and preoccupations in a person’s life.
Feng Shui believes that the universe is made up of Yin and Yang, often interpreted as heaven and earth, good and evil, or masculine and feminine. It is only through the synergy of these that balance is maintained in the universe. 

When harmony between the five elements is achieved, we have what is known as the Productive Cycle.

On the other hand, when there is incompatibility or discord between the elements, we will get disharmony … and the result is known as the Destructive Cycle.

The Five Elements:

1 element: Wood ( mù)
Direction - East
Season - Spring
Color - Green
Influences - Liver and Gall Bladder
Commonly Used Forms - Living Plants, Flowers, Grass

--Wood signifies new growth and expansion. People associated with the wood element are extremely generous, and can be quite the spendthrifts. They are the explorers and adventure seekers who are constantly challenging their limits. They make loyal companions, and trusty friends. True connoisseurs of the arts, those born with the wood element bring in their creative side into any field that they are a part of. They stand out from the crowd and are born leaders.
-- In their never-ending endeavor to constantly push the envelope, they tend to take up a lot more than they can handle. They are often short-tempered, and can be rather insensitive.
!!Alert!! -- Stay away from strong winds.

2 – element: Fire ( huǒ)
Direction - South
Season - Summer
Color - Red
Influences - Heart and Circulatory System
Commonly Used Forms - Fireplace, Lit Candles, Incense Sticks, Night Stand

--Fire is linked to strength and persistence. Those associated with this element are warm and loving. They make for good leaders, and are very competitive. They have a rather magnetic personality, and like to always be the center of attention. They can be pretty dramatic even about little things. People of the fire element are great orators.
-- They can get overaggressive whilst pursuing their goals. Impatience and selfishness are other negative qualities linked with them.
!!Alert!! – Stay away from excessive heat, and keep your emotions in check

3 - element: Earth ( tǔ)
Direction - Center
Season - Change of Seasons
Color - Yellow
Influences - Digestive System
Commonly Used Forms - Sand and Rock Gardens, Rocks, Stone Jars, Ceramic Bowls

-- The element of Earth is one that is associated with hard work and stability. People born in this element are known to be ambitious and hardworking. They make for excellent additions to any group or organization, as they are reliable, and can be very patient. They follow their instincts, which more often than not lead them to success. True to their element, their feet are grounded, and they are always in touch with reality.
-- People belonging to this element can be painfully stubborn and self-centered. They can be prone to anxiety and fear of the unknown.
!! Alert !! -- Stay away from marshy places and wetlands.
     [Note - TPO has discovered that his element is Earth!]

4 – element: Metal ( jīn)
Direction - West
Season - Autumn
Color - White
Influences - Respiratory System
Commonly Used Forms - Silver Trays, Metal Cookware, Brass Pots, Gold Jewelry

-- Metal is associated with persistence and unyieldingness. People of this element are extremely independent. They tend to downplay their achievements, although they are known to pursue their ambitions aggressively. They are adept at handling even the toughest of situations, and do not let setbacks affect them. They are very particular about cleanliness and hygiene, often lingering on the borders of OCD.
-- 'Metallic' people can be rather impulsive. Vanity tends to get the better of them, and they can be very unreasonable about it.
!!Alert!! – Stay away from hot regions.

5 – element: Water ( shuǐ)
Direction - North
Season - Winter
Color - Black
Influences - Lungs, Excretory System, Bones
Commonly Used Forms - Bowls of Clean Water, Fountains, Water Coolers

-- The element of water stands for wisdom and flexibility. 'Water babies' tend to keep to themselves, and are creative geniuses. They can handle pressure easily, rarely losing their calm. They make for perfect diplomats, and are effective at communicating with people.
-- People belonging to this element can be extremely secretive and reserved. Fear always seems to lurk deep within them.
!!Alert!! -- Stay away from hilly regions.

* Alex Mathew, http://www.buzzle.com/articles/amazing-power-of-the-5elements-of-feng-shui.html

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Naming of Cats - by T.S. Eliot

by T. S. Eliot

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey –
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter –
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum –
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover –
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Nastiness of American Politics - David Horsey

Dealing with Rude Political Discourse
David Horsey *
LA Times Political Commentary
June 6, 2013
===== ### =====

First Lady Michelle Obama has shown us all how to deal with the nastiness that has infected American politics: do not indulge it. 

At a fund-raiser in a private Washington residence on Tuesday night, a gay rights activist standing only a few steps away interrupted the first lady as she spoke. Michelle’s reaction was immediate. She did not try to talk over the heckler or engage the person in a debate or pass it off as a joke or wait until the rant subsided. Instead, she stepped away from the microphone, walked over to the shouting woman and said, “Listen to me or you can take the mike, but I’m leaving.” And then, to the rest of the crowd, “You all decide. You have one choice.” 

The audience, of course, cheered and called for her to stay. Meanwhile, the heckler -- a self-described lesbian pushing for broadened federal protections for homosexuals in the workplace -- was escorted out of the building.

“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” Mrs. Obama had said when the heckling began, but the opposite is true; she handled it very well. Perhaps of necessity, her husband gives protesters more time to carry on; a president faces harsher judgment if he handles such a situation poorly. But Michelle’s way seems worth emulating. She put the heckler on the spot, confronted the woman’s rudeness and made obvious the counterproductive stupidity of her tactics. 

One of the most demoralizing aspects of American civil society in our times is the way political discourse has sunk into a sewer of epithets and shouting. Hecklers at political events are the lesser offenders in this regard. Worse are the professional ranters on talk radio and cable TV who peddle anger, fear and mendacity. Worst of all are the growing number of congressmen who think lies and vilification in the defense of their version of liberty is no vice.

It is easy to sample the bullying rhetoric; simply peruse the reader comments at the end of this, or any other, political column. Respectful disagreement is a casualty of the information age. The true hallmark of our times is juvenile name-calling unworthy of the dimmest schoolyard brat.
* David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist. Currently, he is a political commentator for the Los Angeles Times.

Thursday, June 6, 2013