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, August 30, 2013

Widmark Salutes Poitier (-1992-) - by AFI

"No Way Out" (1950) - Sidney Poitier, Richard Widmark

Widmark Salutes Poitier
AFI (American Film Institute) *
~~~~~~~ /// ~~~~~~~

* Richard Widmark salutes fellow actor Sidney Poitier at the 20th AFI Life Achievement Award: "A Tribute To Sidney Poitier" (1992).

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hymne à l'égalité - Marie-Joseph Blaise de Chénier

Marie-Joseph Blaise de Chénier

Hymne à l'égalité
Marie-Joseph Blaise de Chénier (1764-1811)

Égalité douce et touchante,
Sur qui reposent nos destins,
C'est aujourd'hui que l'on te chante,
Parmi les jeux et les festins.

Ce jour est saint pour la patrie ;
Il est fameux par tes bienfaits
C'est le jour où ta voix chérie
Vint rapprocher tous les Français

Tu vis tomber l'amas servile
Des titres fastueux et vains,
Hochets d'un orgueil imbécile
Qui foulait aux pieds les humains.

Tu brisas des fers sacriléges ;
Des peuples tu conquis les droits ;
Tu détrônas les priviléges ;
Tu fis naître et régner les lois.

Seule idole d'un peuple libre,
Trésor moins connu qu'adoré,
Les bords du Céphise et du Tibre
N'ont chéri que ton nom sacré.

Des guerriers, des sages rustiques,
Conquérant leurs droits immortels,
Sur les montagnes, helvétiques
Ont posé tes premiers autels.

Et Franklin qui, par son génie,
Vainquit la foudre et les tyrans,
Aux champs de la Pensylvanie
T'assure des honneurs plus grands !

Le Rhône, la Loire et la Seine,
T'offrent des rivages pompeux
Le front ceint d'olive et de chêne
Viens y présider à nos yeux.

Répands ta lumière infinie,
Astre brillant et bienfaiteur ;
Des rayons de la tyrannie
Tu détruis l'éclat imposteur.

Ils rentrent dans la nuit profonde
Devant tes rayons souverains ;
Par toi la terre est plus féconde ;
Et tu rends les cieux plus sereins.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Grain and the Chaff - by TPO

Malawi woman winnowing grain

The Grain and the Chaff
(Human Traits) *
~~~~~~~ // ~~~~~~~
by TPO 



able, agreeable
compassionate, courteous
dependable, disciplined
focused, farsighted
harmonious, hopeful, humble , humorous
patient, polite
selfless, sensitive, sincere
tactful, thoughtful

belligerent, biased, bossy
conniving, controlling, cowardly
deceitful, disrespectful
harsh, hostile
ignorant, immature
malicious, materialistic, mean
pessimistic, petulant
scornful, selfish
unreliable, unscrupulous

* Source: “List of Human Qualities” by Kashmira Lad

Friday, August 23, 2013

Seeking Riches - by Naftali Reich

Seeking Riches
Naftali Reich *
~~~~ // ~~~~

"Would you give a leg," asked the sage, "for a bagful of diamonds?"

"Yes, I would," said the young man. "The pleasures riches bring would easily compensate for my loss of a leg."

"Come with me," said the sage, and he led him into the marketplace where a one-legged man sat leaning against a wall.

"My good fellow," said the sage, "would you give me a bagful of diamonds if I could restore your leg?"

"I would give two bagfuls," he replied, "even if I had to spend years stealing them. I would do anything to be relieved of my legless misery."

The sage turned to the young man. "Would you still make that deal?"

The young man shivered and shook his head.

"Go home," said the sage. "You don't have to seek riches. You have it already."
* Rabbi Naftali Reich

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Belafonte's Social and Political Activism - by TPO

Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte Stands His Ground

Regarding the recent so-called "feud" between Mr. Belafonte and Jay-Z ....

Mr. Belafonte stands his ground! That shouldn't surprise anyone. He has always been more than what you see on the surface. To begin with, his social commitments and political activism were never self-serving. Conversely, however, Jay-Z , Beyonce, et al seem to me to be the antithesis of someone like Belafonte. He sacrificed a lot ... he could have been a mega movie star if he had been a laid-back, part-time political activist. Today's punk moguls will never be his equals in my view.

God bless Belafonte!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Us Two" - by A. A. Milne

A. A. Milne ( 1882 - 1956 )

Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin

Us Two
A. A. Milne

Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
"Where are you going today?" says Pooh:
"Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too.
Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.
"Let's go together," says Pooh.

"What's twice eleven?" I said to Pooh.
("Twice what?" said Pooh to Me.)
"I think it ought to be twenty-two."
"Just what I think myself," said Pooh.
"It wasn't an easy sum to do,
But that's what it is," said Pooh, said he.
"That's what it is," said Pooh.

"Let's look for dragons," I said to Pooh.
"Yes, let's," said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few-
"Yes, those are dragons all right," said Pooh.
"As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That's what they are," said Pooh, said he.
"That's what they are," said Pooh.

"Let's frighten the dragons," I said to Pooh.
"That's right," said Pooh to Me.
"I'm not afraid," I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted "Shoo!
Silly old dragons!"- and off they flew.

"I wasn't afraid," said Pooh, said he,
"I'm never afraid with you."

So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,
"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True,
It isn't much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. "That's how it is," says Pooh.

Monday, August 19, 2013

When a voice calls .... - by Tom Utley

The Union Jack

When a voice calls 'Inspector Sands', terror is never far away


Tom Utley *


People of my parents' generation sometimes tell me that they quite enjoyed the Second World War. In saying that, they are not belittling the sacrifice and suffering of all those millions. What they mean is that there was a sort of excitement to be had from living through those dreadful years. They had a sense of perspective and of fellow-feeling that my generation hardly knows.

In a very small way, the current war against terrorism may be bringing those feelings back. For example, it must have been more than a year ago when I first heard the announcement, on London Bridge Station: "Would Inspector Sands please report immediately to the barrier at Platform 12."

The surname struck me, because it also belongs to the revered Saturday editor of this newspaper. Later that day, Inspector Sands was also wanted at the ticket-office on Bermondsey station. The next day, he was wanted at Canary Wharf. And at Victoria. And at Blackfriars. Slowly, it dawned on me that "Inspector Sands" must be a code-word for a security alert.

Today, there can hardly be a single regular traveller on public transport in London who doesn't realise that when the man on the Tannoy demands the urgent presence of Inspector Sands, what he means is that the nearest officer from Special Branch or the Bomb Squad should go immediately to the place specified.

We seasoned commuters look at each other and smile. And when we smile, we are telling each other this: "Aw, bless them! They are trying not to frighten us. But we know exactly what they mean. And still we are not scared."

* The Telegraph / Comment, November 22nd, 2003

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sherm gets recruited! - by Jim Toomey

Sherm gets recruited!

by Jim Toomey
("Sherman’s Lagoon") *

August 14,2013
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 the strip to enlarge.)
* Source: http://shermanslagoon.com/

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ambiguous Gastronomics (The Red Menace?!) - by Tim Torkildson

Mrs. Torkildson's masterpiece!
Ambiguous Gastronomics (The Red Menace?!)
Tim Torkildson * 
~~~~~~~ /// ~~~~~~~
My mother was a frugalista from the get-go. Her wary eye, sharpened by a childhood spent surviving the Great Depression in a single-parent family, could spot a bargain from half a mile away.

As the only boy in a family of girls, I was an especial challenge to her -- because she could not fob any hand-me-downs off on me. Although she tried. One winter she hopefully dyed my sister's discarded pink galoshes black, so I could wear them to school. The dye was an inexpensive brand, naturally, and began to peel off on the second day I wore the galoshes. It looked like I was slogging through the snow in a pair of eucalyptus clogs.

She was cheap, but she was not cruel -- so I was excused from further humiliation. She bought me a pair of boy's galoshes -- albeit at a discount store called Arne's Shoe Remainders. They were not the same size, so while the right rubber boot fit snugly over my shoe, the left one would fly off whenever I attempted a brisk trot; I had to slide my left foot along to keep the darn thing on, giving a graphic impression of Igor limping off to the graveyard to dig up a spleen for dinner.

Speaking of dinner: My mother had a nearly diabolical penchant for mixing cheap cuts and/or organ meats with the finer cuts of meat. She discovered that a very small piece of steak could be mixed with a large amount of beef liver, sliced thin, and fried together with some onions -- and no one could tell there was any liver in it! It tasted pretty much like the steak.

This was the basis of her faux beef stroganoff -- a dish she routinely prepared for church potlucks and school picnics. It contained not an ounce of sour cream (have you seen the price of dairy products lately?); instead, she thickened skim milk with corn starch, adding enough red-pepper flakes (which she got for free by heisting a dozen red-pepper packets every time she stopped by Totino's Italian Restaurant to visit with the owner, a friend from high school) to fricassee discerning palates before they could discover the anemic ruse.

Her other dish that qualifies for a Nobel Prize in Ambiguous Gastronomics was chicken livers and gizzards fried in bacon fat and then mixed with stale bread cubes. This made a hideous mash that she turned red with a dash of Red Hawk paprika -- a brand so X that I swear I remember the label reading 'Contains no paprika.' Although it did not taste too bad, it was hard to get past its sluggish appearance. Even my dad disliked its appearance -- and this was a man who liked to dip pretzels in pickle brine. So my mother resorted to bald-faced bribery. She served the dish only on Monday nights, when my dad was desperate to watch 'Gunsmoke' on TV -- she made it quite clear to him that if he ate the Red Menace (as he called it behind her back), he could sit in the living room in his Jockey shorts, drink beer, and watch Matt Dillon dispense rough frontier justice. If he turned up his nose at the dish, the TV would develop reception problems and his mother-in-law would be invited over for the evening, so he had to keep his pants on and his church-key bottle opener in his pants pocket. She also made chocolate pudding that night, which we were not allowed to touch if we did not eat her Red Menace. And she made good chocolate pudding.

As I say, she was frugal, but not heartless. Not with us children, anyways.

The curtains were always halfway shut during the day, to keep sunlight from fading the upholstery; and woe betide anyone, man or child, who turned on a light when entering a room and then forgot to turn it off when departing, even if for only a second. Some Sixth Sense told my mother when such an outrage occurred anywhere in the house, or even the garage, and she would drop whatever she was doing to track the miscreant down and dispense a vigorous piece of her mind.

Bars of soap were used until you needed a magnifying glass to find them in the soap dish. The plastic bleach bottle was repeatedly rinsed out, to get the last bit of bleach out of it for a load of whites.

Until I was 5, I thought my name was 'Do you think it grows on trees?'

On my 8th birthday, I finally got my own bike -- with a paper route attached to it.

You might think such rigorous economizing twisted my youth, turning me into a spendthrift or a fearful miser as an adult. It did neither. I appreciated my mother's attempts to stretch a dollar, and I even adopted her steak/liver trick when I began to raise my own ravenous bambinos, but I refused to kowtow to her slavish devotion to economy. Despite what I've just written here, I know my kids are never going to say to me: "Hey, Dad, remember when you saved 50 cents by making our sandwiches out of bread from the day-old store?" No, if they remember anything, it will be something prodigal -- like ordering pizza on the day I got laid off from work.

Department of Bad Timing!
* Bulletin Board, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 8/11/13