T P O

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 ! *

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ending 2017 ! - by Hénock Gugsa


Ending 2017 on an appropriate note! 
- by Hénock Gugsa -
  "The Sound of Silence" - by Disturbed




Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Annum [ a year! ] ~ by Flora Willis Watson


Winter night
 
Annum [ a year! ]
~ Flora Willis Watson ~
================
January, falls the snow,
February, cold winds blow,
In March, peep out the early flowers,
And April comes with sunny showers.
In May, the roses bloom so gay,
In June, the farmer mows his hay,
In July, brightly shines the sun,
In August, harvest is begun.
September turns the green leaves brown,
October winds then shake them down,
November fills with bleak and smear,
December comes and ends the year.
 
"Time Concept"

Friday, December 22, 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017

America's Stephen Crane - by Hénock Gugsa


America's Stephen Crane 
 A most underappreciated writer and poet 
- by Hénock Gugsa -
~~~~~~~~~~ *** ~~~~~~~~~~

[Click on image to enlarge.]



Monday, December 18, 2017

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Jonathan Winters' Quips - by Hénock Gugsa


Jonathan Winters' Quips 
- by Hénock Gugsa -

     Hats off to all zany people in the world!
 [Please click inside the box to enlarge. ]

"It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"

Thursday, December 14, 2017

"Je sais" - by Jean Gabin




Jean Gabin (1904-1976)

-"Je sais"-
 by Jean Gabin 
~~~~ //~~~~
To people who say "I know" to everything ...
Jean Gabin's response:
Je sais ... Je sais qu'on sait jamais!
I know ... I know that we don't know anything ever!



 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Baxter and Dreyfuss - by Hénock Gugsa


Jack Lemmon and Jack Kruschen ("The Apartment")

Baxter and Dreyfuss 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

Dr. Dreyfuss: Why don't you grow up, Baxter? Be a mensch!
                          You know what that means?

Baxter: I'm not sure.
Dr. Dreyfuss: A mensch -- a human being!
------------------------------------------------------------
Source: "The Apartment" (1960) ...
with Jack Lemmon as Baxter,
and Jack Kruschen as Dr. Dreyfuss

Jack Kruschen (wearing glasses) speaking to Jack Lemmon

Portraits in Contrast - by Hénock Gugsa


Portraits in Contrast !
- by Hénock Gugsa -





Monday, December 11, 2017

Stuck in a Bathroom! - by TPO



Stuck in a Bathroom! 
- by TPO -
===============
[Excerpted from "The Plot Against America" by Philip Roth]
pp. 257-259
======================================
     It was a small bathroom, exactly like ours, quite confining, the door next to a toilet and the toilet abutting a sink and a bathtub squeezed in beside that.  I pulled on the door but it didn't open.  At home I would just have closed it behind me, but at the Wishnows' I locked it --- something I'd never done before in my life.  I locked it and I peed and I flushed and I washed my hands and, because I didn't want to touch their towel, wiped them dry on the back of the legs of my corduroys --- everything was fine, and then I went to exit the bathroom, and I couldn't undo the lock above the doorknob.  I could turn it a little ways but then it would catch and stop.  I didn't bang on the door or rattle the doorknob, I just kept trying to turn the lock as quietly as I could.  But it wouldn't go, and so I sat back down on the toilet and I thought that maybe it would somehow work itself out.  I sat there for a while but then I got lonesome and stood up and tried the lock again.  It still wouldn't uncatch, and I started to knock lightly on the door, and Mrs. Wishnow came and said, "Oh, the lock on the door does that sometimes.  You have to turn it like this."  She explained how to do it, but I still couldn't get it open, and so very calmly she said, "No, Philip, while you're turning it you have to pull it back," and thought I tried to do as she told me it still didn't work.  "Dear," she sad, "turn and back simultaneously --- turn and back at the same time."  "Which way is back?" I said.  "Back.  Back towards the wall."  "Oh, the wall.  Okay," I said, but I couldn't get it right no matter what I did.  "It won't work," I said, and I began to sweat, and then I heard Seldon.  "Philip?  It's Seldon.  Why did you lock it?  We weren't going to come in."  "I didn't say you were," I said.  "Then why did you lock it?"  "I don't know," I said.  "Do you think we should call the fire department, Mom?  They can get him out with a ladder."  "No, no, no," Mrs. Wishnow said.  "Come on, Philip," Seldon said, "it's not that hard."  "But it is.  It's stuck."  "How's he gonna get out, Ma?"  "Seldon, be still, Philip?"  "Yes."  "Are you all right?"  "Well, it's hot in here.  It's getting hot."  "Take a glass of water, dear.  There's a glass in the medicine cabinet.  Take a glass of water and slowly drink it and you'll be fine."  "Okay."  But the glass had something slimy at the bottom, and though I took it out, I only pretended to drink from it and drank instead from my cupped hands.  "Ma," Seldon said, "what's he doing wrong?  Philip, what are you doing wrong?"  "How do I know?" I said.  "Mrs. Wishnow? Mrs Wishnow?"  "Yes, dear"  "It's getting too hot in here.  I'm really starting to sweat."  "Then open the window.  Open the little window in the shower.  Are you tall enough to do that?"  "I think so."  I took off my shoes and stepped into the shower in just my socks, and standing on my tiptoes I was able to reach the window --- a smallish window of pebbled glass that looked onto the alleyway --- but when I tried to open it, it was stuck too.  "It won't go," I said.  "Bang it a little, dear.  Bang the frame at the bottom, but not too hard, and I'm sure it will open."  I did as she told me but couldn't get it to budge.  By now my shirt was saturated with sweat, and so I angled myself to be able to give the window a good strong shove upwards, but in turning I must have struck the shower handle with my elbow because suddenly the water was on.  "Oh, no!" I said, and ice-cold water was poring over my head and down the back of my shirt, and I jumped out of the shower and onto the tile floor.  "What happened, dear?"  "The shower started."  "How?" Seldon said.  "How could the shower start?"  "I don't know."  "Are you very wet?" she asked me.  "Sort of."  "Get a towel," she told me.  "Get a towel out of the closet.  The towels are in the closet."  We had the same narrow little bathroom closet directly upstairs over the Wishnow's bathroom closet, and we used it for towels too, but when I went to open theirs, I couldn't --- the door was stuck.  I yanked but it wouldn't open.  "What is it now, Philip?"  "Nothing."  I couldn't tell her.  "Did you take a towel?"  "Yes."  "Then dry yourself off.  And you must stay calm.  There's nothing to worry about."  "I am calm."  "Sit down.  Sit down and dry yourself off."  I was soaking wet, and now the floor was getting wet, and I sat on the toilet seat, and that's when I saw a bathroom for what it is --- the upper end of a sewer --- and that's when I felt the tears begin to well up.  "Don't worry," Seldon called in to me, "your mother and father will be home soon."  "But how will I get out?"  And all at once the door was open --- and there was Seldon and behind him his mother.  "How'd you do that?" I said.  "I opened the door," he said.  "But how?" He shrugged. "I pushed.  I just pushed.  It was open all the time."  And that was when I began to bawl and Mrs. Wishnow took me in her arms and said, "That's okay.  Things like this happen.  They can happen to anyone."  "It was open, Ma," Seldon said to her.  "Shhh," she told him.  "Shhh.  It doesn't matter," and then she came into the bathroom and turned off the cold water --- which was still streaming into the tub --- and without any problem she opened the closet door and took out a fresh towel and began to dry my hair and my face and my neck, all the while gently telling me that it didn't matter and that these things happened to people all the time.

     But that was long before everything else went wrong.
___________________________________________________
"The Plot Against America" - by Philip Roth
Copyright © 2004 Philip Roth
Houghton Mifflin Company

   

Friday, December 8, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saudi Arabia, call it stupid! ~ by Hénock Gugsa


Saudi Arabia, call it stupid! 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~
[ Please click on the image to enlarge ! ]
Click inside to enlarge.




Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"Can't Buy Me Love" ~ Peter Sellers


Peter Sellers (1925-1980)
"Can't Buy Me Love" 
~ Peter Sellers ~
Spoofing Brits' pomposity ....
~ It should tickle the funny bone of every Anglophile anyway! 






Tuesday, November 28, 2017

NIHILISM ! ~ by Hénock Gugsa



 

NIHILISM ! 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

Conventional definitions of NIHILISM:
~ the belief that traditional morals, ideas, beliefs, etc., have no worth or value.
~ the belief that a society's political and social institutions are so bad that they should be destroyed.
[source: dictionary.com]




 
Click here to enlarge ! .... Cliquez ici l'image pour l'agrandir !


Sunday, November 26, 2017

The de Gaulles - by Hénock Gugsa


The de Gaulles *
- by Hénock Gugsa -
Charles de Gaulle was known for his regal bearing and fastidious nature, so much so that his imperiousness became a kind of running joke for the citizens of France. A popular gag imagined de Gaulle’s wife, Yvonne, returning from shopping and exclaiming, “God, I am tired.” Her husband is purported to have replied, “I have often told you, my dear, it was sufficient in private if you addressed me as ‘Monsieur le President.’”
========================================
 
* Charles deGaulle (1890-1970) and Yvonne deGaulle (1900-1979); married: 1921-1970
=====================================

 Homage to the de Gaulles ...



Friday, November 24, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving ! ~ by Hénock Gugsa


Happy Thanksgiving ! 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

Along with your family and friends, have a Happy Thanksgiving ! 

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

"You've been primped!"

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Scoop on Hens Laying Eggs - by Hénock Gugsa


The Scoop on Hens Laying Eggs 
- by Hénock Gugsa -
~~~~~~~~ //// ~~~~~~~~
[ Please double click on the image to enlarge!]



Friday, November 10, 2017

"Paper in Fire" ~ by John Mellencamp


"Paper in Fire" (1987)
~ by John Mellencamp ~
John Mellencamp (1951- )
  You just gotta love John Mellencamp.
  God bless him for bringing joy !!!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Friday, November 3, 2017

Overheard lately .... ~ by Hénock Gugsa

Overheard lately .... 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~
     Inspired by what I overheard on Facebook! ....
Please click inside to enlarge.
  [Please click inside box to enlarge.]

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Monday, October 30, 2017

On Brotherhood and Unity - by Hénock Gugsa



On Brotherhood and Unity 
- by Hénock Gugsa -
(Please click inside the box below to enlarge.)
Click inside this box to enlarge.



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Robot Bartender ~ by Anonymous


The Robot Bartender 
~ by Anonymous ~ 
A Floridian goes into a bar in Calgary where there is a robot bartender. 
The robot says, “What will you have?”
The guy replies, “Whiskey.”
The robot brings back his drink and asks, “What’s your I.Q.?”
The guy says, “168.”
The robot then commences to talk about physics, space exploration, and medical technology.

So the guy leaves the bar and outside in the street, he is reflecting upon his  experience at the bar.  And the more he thinks about it, the more perplexed he gets ... so he decides to go back.
At the bar, the robot asks, “What’s your drink?”
The guy answers, “Whiskey.”
The robot returns with the drink and asks, “What’s your I.Q.?”
The man replies, “100.”
The robot begins to talk about NASCAR, Budweiser, the Lions, and hockey.

The man finishes his drink and leaves.  But he is so intrigued by the result of his little “experiment” that he decides to try one more test.
He goes back to the bar and, as usual, the robot asks him what he wants to drink.
The man replies, “Whiskey.”
The robot brings the drink and asks, “What’s your IQ?”
The man answers, “50.”
The robot leans in real close and asks, “So . . . are . . . you people . . . still happy . . . with Trump?”

James Stewart and Cat

  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Rational vs. Emotional - by Hénock Gugsa


Rational vs. Emotional 
- by Hénock Gugsa -

You be the judge!  Are there foreign infiltrators into American politics on Facebook?***
=================================================================
Recently on Facebook, a friend of a friend posted the following:
<< BL:> How many other people are tired of those "thoughts and prayers and we will discuss this later" comments? ... My God...Reruns... America has dealt with enough reruns.>>

 Comments and general reactions followed.  I have extracted here the ones relevant to our topic.  Of special interest are the exchanges between JH and myself (HG) ....
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JH:>  As a progressive, in favor of much better gun laws, my opinion is that this is strategically bad timing for psychological reasons on the right. You have to understand how their mind reacts to this because they are the ones we need to get to work with us. They don't see victims and want to limit guns. They see a shooter and want to arm themselves. The emotions are just as high on the right as they are on the left, it's just a different emotion with different triggers. This is the worse possible time to talk to Republicans about guns.
HG:>  No need to talk to them ever .... Just vote them out! Boot them out! 

JH:> HG, Republicans vote them in because they are wired differently. It's not simply the politicians, but the people who vote them in. They are the ones clinging to their guns and they do it because they see a threat.
DK:> JH, a threat fed by the NRA and the GOP for decades.
JH:> DK, The left sees the gun as the threat. The right sees the shooter as the threat.
HG:> JH, I agree. They don't blame the easy availability of guns to everyone not even in times of mass massacres ... they blame mental health instead! Taking this a step further, their logic crumbles because republicans are also major obstacles to improvements (or even availability) of mental healthcare in general!  But, we should not be defeatist. In time, due to attrition as a result of gun accidents (or deaths) to themselves and their loved ones, these gun nuts could potentially change their stance. Even some politicians, like G H W Bush, cancelled their NRA membership. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the number of gun lovers may not be as big as they would like us to believe. They do, however, have beaucoup money and that is where their power lies!

JH:> HG,  If we could rely on logic, this would be easy, but the high emotions just bypass rational thought. Which is part of why I think it's bad timing. We need people to be rational about this, not emotional. 

DK:> JH, the threat is neither; the real threats are the organizations and politicians who pander to fear and stoke hate. 
BL:> I understand but at what point do we have a real conversation.
HG:> JH, then why hasn't anybody ever taken up the issue when there was a lull to the emotional mood? Why haven't we seen anybody rise up to the challenge with rational wisdom?? No, everybody was sort of put into a "snooze" mode until the next big massacre! I say: strike while the iron is hot! Emotion can be used as the fuel to get the rational juices going. Remember the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington". That was one heck of an emotional story. The American Revolution and the Civil War were essentially rational convictions driven by engines of emotion. Why do we disparage emotion so much even in the face of so much truth facing us?
DK:>  if you’re not outraged by horror, you’re dead to life. Those of us who have seen human flesh decimated by bullets are way beyond appalled; we are outraged because we live with those images for life. Climb down out of your intellectually remote tower and smell the carnage. It stinks, it reeks, it is gawd awful. It is the most vile and disgusting thing to have emblazoned on your heart.  If carnage does not outrage you; if the lack of integrity by politicians does not does not make you livid; if the sight of gore doesn’t revolt you, you are living in a fairy world detached from reality.  You’ve obviously never been there.
JH:> HG, Because your leadership sucks. Don't believe me? Look at the nation.
HG:> JH, that's why earlier I said boot the bums out. But now, are you abandoning your argument for the abandonment of emotion in favor of icy rationalism?! It seems you're flailing all over the place.
JH:> HG, You want to know, why hasn't anyone taken it up. Because they think that the best time to do something is when their base is energized. I think they keep failing because they don't understand the opposition or why this is strategically bad timing.
JH:> HG, I say boot them out too, but we aren't the majority that elected them.
HG:> JH,  Here's the thing. They, the majority, are showing us their hand by not doing anything. That is their move. They are also (like you) asking everybody to be rational, not emotional ... their favorite mantra being: "Now is not the time!" Our only resort is to keep being emotional, to keep the fire burning until the next election and go out and VOTE! We should not let anything or anybody dissuade us, or discourage us from our civic duty. We should not listen to foreign (Russian) agents posing as Americans to muddle the issues by pretending to be on our side. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. I will not be worried about "the majority that elected them". And by the way, that majority is not set in stone!
JH:> HG, And you're winning like crazy right?
HG:> JH, Dasvidaniya to you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*** So do you agree that JH is a sort of an agent-provocateur?  If so, you are right!  Because at the end of my exchange with him there, I went and checked his profile.  There was practically nothing there, no photos, no bio, no indication of anything but a troll, a bot !  As a result of that, I immediately blocked him in order to prevent any future contact.  A major lesson there!


Vladimir Putin

 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Tyrant's Tantrums ~ by Hénock Gugsa


Tyrant's Tantrums
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

Back in the days of antiquity, there were tyrants that behaved like infants with  their defiant stance against good manners.  Nobody or hardly anybody dared to challenge the power or privilege of those dictators.  They did as they wished.



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Le grand Fernandel! ~ par Hénock Gugsa


Le grand Fernandel! 
~ par Hénock Gugsa ~

click to enlarge ... cliquez ici pour agrandir
The great Fernandel (1903-1971)
~ a French national treasure! ~
~ trésor national de la France! ~




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Les Filles de Illighadad - par Hénock Gugsa


Les Filles de Illighadad 
- par Hénock Gugsa -
===== *** =====
Les Filles de Illighadad - en Niger, Afrique Occidentale
~ Fatou Seidi Ghali & Alamnou Akrouni ~ 






Sunday, September 24, 2017

Learning Something New Everyday! ~ by Hénock Gugsa


Learning Something New Everyday!  
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~


[ Click inside the image to enlarge. ]



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cassini/Huygens Project (1996-2004) - by TPO



Cassini/Huygens Project (1996-2004) * 
~ by TPO ~
====================
The European Science Agency's Huygens spent eight years and 934 million miles stuck, barnacle-like, to Cassini's much larger belly. On Christmas Eve 2004, Cassini and Huygens split. Huygens landed on Saturn's moon ,Titan, three weeks later.
[...]Huygens had the most ambitious goal of all: It is the only machine to land on a world beyond the asteroid belt.
Huygens's final design, a hockey puck set in a tea saucer, was a hedge against the unknown. It would withstand the friction of Titan's atmosphere. It was prepared to float, should it land on an ethane sea. But first the saucer had to fly.


Titan's surface was a mystery before the ESA and NASA sent the Huygens probe to investigate it. The moon, larger than Pluto or the planet Mercury, is a whopper of a satellite.
Observed from space, Titan is a hazy orb. Methane transforms into hydrogen 
cyanide and other hydrocarbons in its nitrogen-rich atmosphere, coloring the sky orange.

On the moon, the familiar has a chemically alien twist. The scientists continued: “Instead of liquid water, Titan has liquid methane. Instead of silicate rocks, Titan has frozen water ice. Instead of dirt, Titan has hydrocarbon particles settling out of the atmosphere.” Titan's twist on Earthly features could in theory support microbial life, some chemists say, despite the frigid temperatures.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Source: "Speaking of Science: Cassini’s most impressive feat: Dropping a moon lander on Titan" - by Ben Guarino, The Washington Post, 9/13/17

 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Friendly Ducks at Lake Nokomis- by Hénock Gugsa


The Friendly Ducks at Lake Nokomis
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~



The Friendly Ducks at Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis, MN 


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Society's Poisons ~ by Hénock Gugsa


Pandora's Box
Society's Poisons
by
Hénock Gugsa 

Obviously we are living in unreal or surreal times.  It wasn't too long ago that we, as individuals and as a nation, felt certain about our past, confident about our present, and optimistic about our future.  But of late, and specifically over the last year, there have come into our lives certain shifts of mood, and certain disenchantment with our mode-de-vie (way of life).  No doubt, there are dialectical forces behind our political existence. 
 

Decades of wars, economic crises, and political (philosophical) changes have left us unsettled and unsatisfied.  Then came 2016.  We said:  Enough already!  We need total and systemic alterations to not only the conduct but to the direction of Government!
 

We saw Bernie Sanders on the left denouncing the wealthy and the powerful for corrupting everything inside the Government.  However, he didn't get much traction from the democrats.
 

On the right rose an odd nationalist, quasi-populist  Donald Trump with an effective "promise" to drain Washington's swamp.  Strangely, his success was buoyed even further by the opportunistic republicans, and he became President.  And right away, he did not lose any time opening Pandora's box and society's poisons have been unleashed upon us.  What are they?
 

They are ... doubt, distrust, fear, and anger!  How did Mr. Trump accomplish this feat? In many ways ...
~ Misrepresentation of facts.
~ Denunciation of facts as false ( "Fake" news, "Fake" media, etc.).
~ Mastery of the confidence game (trickery, deflections, and empty promises).
~ Veiled threats.
~ Megalomania that appeals to certain segments of society.
~ Fox-News, and the predictable right-wing wacko media.
~ Spineless politicians on both sides of the aisle.
 

What do we need badly to get us out of this political morass and moral decline? ...
~ Truth speakers.
~ Courageous protests.
~ Political and civic participation at all levels of government ... volunteering, voting, etc.
~ Not losing our faith or our hope in our country.  We've been tested before ... we've come thru before ... we shall overcome again!
~ Let's stay focused!
Queen  Daenerys, Khalesi, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains!