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  1. #1 Desirous Dimanche 
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    Grey and overcast here in Southern New England, the latest in a series of rainy days with temperatures in the 60s. I guess autumn is here. My girlfriend spent the afternoon yesterday in her twice-annual ritual of swapping out summer clothes for winter ones (storing the former, "unstoring" the latter). Women are indeed strange, beautiful creatures.

    As I've grown older, I've come to realize that the creation and appreciation of such beauty can be the only real purpose of life. Recent economic events have invoked various Aesop fables here, regarding ants and grasshoppers, tortoises and hares.


    In each, the character who sacrifices for the future, who eschews beauty and pleasure for work and saving, who spends his short time here for the promise of pleasure elsewhere (72 virgin figs) is deemed the superior character (although don't forget, the tortoise cheated to beat Bugs). For society to function, this is, of course, the way it has to be.

    But what about the beauty those people are missing? Keats' wrote (actually fairly sarcastically),

    When old age shall this generation waste,
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
    Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
    'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

    So, instead of discussing the validity of Keats' premise, let's approach it slightly differently in ...

    TOTD: What things in life do you find the most beautiful? And here, I'm not speaking of specific people or even places, i.e., not Penelope Cruz, but rather more generically. And does beauty, in and of itself, provide you with any emotional comfort as you make this brief journey?

    For me, it's many, many things. Poetry and literature, of course, including melancholy voices in poetry...

    I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,
    But when the feast is finish'd and the lamps expire,
    Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine;
    And I am desolate and sick of an old passion,
    Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire:
    I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
    as well as melodious voices in prose...

    On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about half way between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose- colored hotel. Deferential palms cool its flushed façade, and before it stretches a short dazzling beach. Lately it has become a summer resort of notable and fashionable people; a decade ago it was almost deserted after its English clientele went north in April. Now, many bungalows cluster near it, but when this story begins only the cupolas of a dozen old villas rotted like water lilies among the massed pines between Gausse's Hôtel des Étrangers and Cannes, five miles away.
    Music of all ages from Bach concertos to the haunting lyrics of Dylan and Simon...


    And, of course, the turn of a woman's ankle or the curve of her derriere...

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  2. #2  
    Resident Unliked Meanie Shannon's Avatar
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    I'm watching The Goonies...again. It makes me feel like a kid again. I have to go to the grocery store and pick up some steaks. I feel like being nice to DS today.


    TOTD: I've been cynical far too long to see much beauty in anything.
    Loyalty Binds Me- Motto of Richard III
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon View Post
    I'm watching The Goonies...again. It makes me feel like a kid again. I have to go to the grocery store and pick up some steaks. I feel like being nice to DS today.


    TOTD: I've been cynical far too long to see much beauty in anything.
    Ah, but one day that cynicism will turn into ironic distance and life's comedy (which, as I've noted, is much more difficult than tragedy) in all its beauty will become clear...

    So that's it, thought I. They've disfigured this good old wall with an electric sign. Meanwhile I deciphered one or two of the letters as they appeared again for an instant; but they were hard to read even by guess work, for they came with very irregular spaces between them and very faintly, and then abruptly vanished. Whoever hoped for any result from a display like that was not very smart. He was a Steppenwolf, poor fellow. Why have his letters playing on this old wall in the darkest alley of the Old Town on a wet night with not a soul passing by, and why were they so fleeting, so fitful and illegible? But wait, at last I succeeded in catching several words on end. They were:

    MAGIC THEATER

    ENTRANCE NOT FOR EVERYBODY

    I tried to open the door, but the heavy old latch would not stir. The display too was over. It had suddenly ceased, sadly convinced of its uselessness. I took a few steps back, landing deep into the mud, but no more letters came. The display was over. For a long time I stood waiting in the mud, but in vain.

    Then, when I had given up and gone back to the alley, a few colored letters were dropped here and there, reflected on the asphalt in front of me. I read:

    FOR MADMEN ONLY!
    :D
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  4. #4  
    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    The Turtle cheated. I'm with Bugs.



    Ah, pleasure now or later. It takes balance I reckon, but damn I hate delaying gratification. I want to revel in bottles of Kickin' Chicken and rejoice in glasses of The Low Flyer and chain smoke cheap Mexican cigars but that wouldn't be wise for me or my bank account. Dammit.

    I take pleasures in many things that don't cost a lot. Hiking a mountain trail. Cooking good simple food. Blowing things up. Our vacations are usually spend walking the beach and riding the trails of a quaint little island about seven hours away from home.

    I want to, and plan to enjoy retirement, but there are no guarantees of anything except death and taxes. That which does not kill me merely postpones the inevitable. I plan for the future and also plan for enjoying today. I like the words of the Boss:

    You and me we were the pretenders
    We let it all slip away
    In the end what you dont surrender
    Well the world just strips away
    Girl, aint no kindness in the face of strangers
    Aint gonna find no miracles here
    Well you can wait on your blesses my darling
    I got a deal for you right here
    I aint looking for praise or pity
    I aint coming round searching for a crutch
    I just want someone to talk to
    And a little of that human touch
    Just a little of that human touch

    Aint no mercy on the streets of this town
    Aint no bread from heavenly skies
    Aint nobody drawing wine from this blood
    Its just you and me tonight
    Tell me, in a world without pity
    Do you think what Im askins too much
    I just want something to hold on to
    And a little of that human touch
    Just a little of that human touch

    Oh girl that feeling of safety that you prize
    Well it comes at a hard hard price
    You cant shut off the risk and the pain
    Without losing the love that remains
    Were all riders on this train

    So youve been broken and youve been hurt
    Show me somebody who aint
    Yeah, I know I aint nobodys bargain
    But, hell, a little touch up and a little paint...
    You might need something to hold on to
    When all the answers, they dont amount to much
    Somebody that you could just to talk to
    And a little of that human touch
    Baby, in a world without pity
    Do you think what Im askins too much
    I just want to feel you in my arms
    Share a little of that human touch
    Feel a little of that human touch
    Give me a little of that human touch
    Hey careful man! There's a beverage here!
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  5. #5  
    HR Corporate Scum patriot45's Avatar
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    I take pleasures in many things that don't cost a lot. Hiking a mountain trail. Cooking good simple food. Blowing things up. Our vacations are usually spend walking the beach and riding the trails of a quaint little island about seven hours away from home.
    Watching the woods come alive at dawn from your tree stand is timeless. Other things that I take great pleasure in would be when a nice fish strikes and the scream of the reel just sings to me!! :D
    Target practice always brings pleasure and of course cleaning the guns is very calming.
    And for my artsy side, I like going to the Cirque de soliel, been to 5 different ones and have seen the one in Orlando at least 5 times.

    : “Grow your own dope. Plant a liberal.”
    ” Obummercare, 20 percent of the time it works everytime.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patriot45 View Post
    Watching the woods come alive at dawn from your tree stand is timeless. Other things that I take great pleasure in would be when a nice fish strikes and the scream of the reel just sings to me!! :D
    Target practice always brings pleasure and of course cleaning the guns is very calming.And for my artsy side, I like going to the Cirque de soliel, been to 5 different ones and have seen the one in Orlando at least 5 times.

    You're a man after my own heart.

    My favorite handgun is the Colt Single Action Army. The balance. The pointability. The beauty of the design. Just the way it feels in the hand and the sound of the action when it is cocked is so satisfying.

    I learned to shoot a handgun with a Colt SAA clone and any handgun of that design just feels right to me. I even enjoy cleaning them.
    Hey careful man! There's a beverage here!
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dawg View Post
    You're a man after my own heart.

    My favorite handgun is the Colt Single Action Army. The balance. The pointability. The beauty of the design. Just the way it feels in the hand and the sound of the action when it is cocked is so satisfying.

    I learned to shoot a handgun with a Colt SAA clone and any handgun of that design just feels right to me. I even enjoy cleaning them.
    I've never understood the fascination with owning and shooting guns, although I understand that people do enjoy the experience. My early morning sojourns with nature include a 7 iron. :D
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  8. #8  
    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    I've never understood the fascination with owning and shooting guns, although I understand that people do enjoy the experience. My early morning sojourns with nature include a 7 iron. :D
    It is a fascination and I'm not sure I understand it either but I definitely have got the bug. I think there is probably a similar satisfaction available in shooting and in golf. (I have never played golf, by the way.) The satisfaction is from doing a particular thing and doing it well.

    Whether it is the satisfaction of seeing a clay pigeon burst or shooting a tight group at the range, or the satisfaction of a good drive or putt, it just feels great to do a thing well. Shooting and golf both involve mental and physical elements in combination. Satisfaction comes in accomplishing a thing, like a golf shot or a pistol shot, without having to mechanically think/do it, but just perform the action as if it were effortless.

    At the range, or on a golf course I'm sure, there are times when you're in the zone and you're making shots without thinking about the how-to diagrams and lessons and mechanics involved.

    That focus and the feeling of satisfaction is the reward. And what makes it interesting is that it doesn't always happen. There are days when I feel like I couldn't hit the ground with my hat. It makes it feel all the better when I have a good day at the range.

    Why guns? I have been around guns all my life. True story.

    My great grandmother was barely five feet tall. She died when I was about twelve, but I remember her well. All her life she kept a rifle close by. She kept an immaculate swept yard at whatever share cropper house in which the family was living. One day she was sitting on her front porch shelling peas and a man rode by in a mule drawn wagon. He deliberately threw an empty can in her clean front yard. Granny got her gun. He had only gone a little ways when a rifle round passed close over his head. He looked back and saw her on the porch with the rifle in her hand. He stopped the wagon, got off, came back, picked up the can and left in a hurry.

    Those were different times way back then, and I don't advocate such a remedy for littering today, but the thing was, it wasn't the can, it was the insult. She was a Southerner. A rural Southerner. An insult was a very real and heartfelt thing. If it became known that you would suffer insults without a response, it may be thought that you could be taken advantage of in a way that was harmful to more than your pride.

    My parents, grandparents and uncles were hard working gentle people who lived by the adage Live and Let Live. We just like to be in a position where if the matter of Live and Let Live is ever challenged by some wayward Child of God, we can pretty much insist.
    Hey careful man! There's a beverage here!
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dawg View Post
    It is a fascination and I'm not sure I understand it either but I definitely have got the bug. I think there is probably a similar satisfaction available in shooting and in golf. (I have never played golf, by the way.) The satisfaction is from doing a particular thing and doing it well.

    Whether it is the satisfaction of seeing a clay pigeon burst or shooting a tight group at the range, or the satisfaction of a good drive or putt, it just feels great to do a thing well. Shooting and golf both involve mental and physical elements in combination. Satisfaction comes in accomplishing a thing, like a golf shot or a pistol shot, without having to mechanically think/do it, but just perform the action as if it were effortless.

    At the range, or on a golf course I'm sure, there are times when you're in the zone and you're making shots without thinking about the how-to diagrams and lessons and mechanics involved.

    That focus and the feeling of satisfaction is the reward. And what makes it interesting is that it doesn't always happen. There are days when I feel like I couldn't hit the ground with my hat. It makes it feel all the better when I have a good day at the range.

    Why guns? I have been around guns all my life. True story.

    My great grandmother was barely five feet tall. She died when I was about twelve, but I remember her well. All her life she kept a rifle close by. She kept an immaculate swept yard at whatever share cropper house in which the family was living. One day she was sitting on her front porch shelling peas and a man rode by in a mule drawn wagon. He deliberately threw an empty can in her clean front yard. Granny got her gun. He had only gone a little ways when a rifle round passed close over his head. He looked back and saw her on the porch with the rifle in her hand. He stopped the wagon, got off, came back, picked up the can and left in a hurry.

    Those were different times way back then, and I don't advocate such a remedy for littering today, but the thing was, it wasn't the can, it was the insult. She was a Southerner. A rural Southerner. An insult was a very real and heartfelt thing. If it became known that you would suffer insults without a response, it may be thought that you could be taken advantage of in a way that was harmful to more than your pride.

    My parents, grandparents and uncles were hard working gentle people who lived by the adage Live and Let Live. We just like to be in a position where if the matter of Live and Let Live is ever challenged by some wayward Child of God, we can pretty much insist.
    Interesting. In no way was I disparaging the practice, btw. I've just never understood it. When I was a kid, my dad, who owned a handgun (I don't have a clue as to what type it was), took me to shoot. But that's pretty much the limit of my experience.

    I can't imagine how it would be more beautiful than the Third Brandenberg Concerto, Dowson's Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regnio Cynarae, a Highland Park, Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night, the body of a beautiful woman...


    But that's just me. :D
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  10. #10  
    CU Royalty JB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    I can't imagine how it would be more beautiful than the Third Brandenberg Concerto, Dowson's Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regnio Cynarae, a Highland Park, Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night, the body of a beautiful woman...

    But that's just me. :D
    Matter of taste, of course. I would rather look upon a Cezanne than read Dowson if I had to make a choice.

    And what you find beautiful may change over the course of your life. When I boxed I found great beauty in opening up the other guys face. I was also emotionally comforted in the fact that, at least this time, it was not my face. ;)
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