Quote of The Day: NOT Clockwork Princess

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

— Albert Einstein

You’re welcome.

Chapter XXVIII, FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR: Pudd’nhead Wilson Quote

Self does remember telling dear blog readers a little while back that each chapter of Following the Equator began with a quote from Pudd’nhead Wilson.

And many’s the time she fully intended to share a Pudd’nhead Wilson quote, but that resolution usually fell by the wayside because she is having so much fun reading the Cassandra Clare trilogy, The Infernal Devices.

But now self will make a Pudd’nhead Wilson quote. Here it comes. Ready?

  • Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mark Twain: Disquisition on Railroad Coffee

At 62, Mark Twain undertook a journey to follow the equator. He called his book — what else?– Following the Equator.

At this point in his narrative, he’s been to Fiji, Molokai, Australia, etc (Wonder why he skipped the Asian countries?) got very very sick, then resumed his journey by train through Australia. He got a tall tale from a fellow traveler (Of course — what is travel if not a series of encounters with tall tales told by strangers one meets in the course of a trip?)

Last weekend, self was in Lake Louise, and it was almost completely iced over. As soon as she got back to Banff, she started reading Robert Falcon Scott’s diary of his disastrous South Pole expedition. The poor man led a team to the Pole, but days away they already saw signs that they had been beaten to it by another team: there were sledge marks in the snow, small cairns, and far off, the Norwegian flag. 1 and 1/2 miles from the Pole they came across a compact tent with a note inside listing the names of five Norwegians and the date: 16 December 1911.

On the way back, all of Scott’s party perished in a blizzard.

Having now gotten completely off-tangent, self has to pull herself back by the nose to Mark Twain’s disquisition on coffee:

Twain experiences his own frustrations during his Australian train journey:  “We saw birds, but not a kangaroo, not an emu, not an ornithorhyncus, not a lecturer, not a native.”

He did, however, encounter something called “sheep-dip,” which he describes as follows:

It is a stuff like tar, and is dabbed onto places where a shearer clips a piece out of the sheep. It bars out the flies, and has healing properties, and a nip to it which makes the sheep skip like the cattle on a thousand hills. It is not good to eat. That is, it is not good to eat except when mixed with railroad coffee. It improves railroad coffee. Without it railroad coffee is too vague. But with it, it is quite assertive and enthusiastic. By itself, railroad coffee is too passive; but sheep-dip makes it wake up and get down to business. I wonder where they get railroad coffee?

Just for fun, self looked up “sheep dip” on Urban Dictionary and got this.

The next chapter, Chapter XV, begins with this quote from Twain’s novel Pudd’nhead Wilson:

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


And self is back to reading Twain.

She’s on Chapter X of Following the Equator:  “Some Barbarous English Laws.”

The opening quote is: “Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.” (Pudd’nhead Wilson)

Twain lets his indignation/sarcasm go flat out in this chapter. The excerpt below is probably his mildest in this section:

When the colony was about eighteen or twenty years old it was discovered that the land was specially fitted for the wool culture. Prosperity followed, commerce with the world began, by and by rich mines of the noble metal were opened, immigrants flowed in, capital likewise. The result is the great and wealthy and enlightened commonwealth of New South Wales.

It is a country that is rich in mines, wool ranches, trams, railways, steamship lines, schools, newspapers, botanical gardens, art-galleries, libraries, museums, hospitals, learned societies; it is the hospitable home of every species of material enterprise, and there is a church at every man’s door, and a race-track over the way.

Twain’s next stop was Australia, where he was to spend three-and-a-half months.

(Self still going to be quoting from Clockwork Angel. She’s just alternating between the Twain and that)

Stay tuned.


Each chapter of Following the Equator begins with a quote from Pudd’nhead Wilson (Distraction/Digression: One of the poets tells self the Golden State Warriors are playing tonight. Apparently, since the Calgary Flames have been eliminated, it is now OK to ask at the MacLab for the giant screens to show basketball)

Anyhoo, where was self?

Oh yes, Following the Equator, Chapter V.

The quote that begins the chapter is this:

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.

Mark Twain! Self laughed so hard when she got to the very last word of that sentence. An asteroid! A hen laying an asteroid!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SILAS MARNER Quote of the Day (Last Monday of January 2015)

“Well, Master Marner, it’s never too late to turn over a new leaf, and if you’ve never had no church, there’s no telling the good it’ll do you.”

Silas Marner, Everyman’s Library edition, p. 94

San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday 18 January 2015

“Two great talkers will not travel far together.”

—  Spanish proverb

Quoted in Quotable Traveler by Larry Habegger, p. L3 of the San Francisco Chronicle (18 January 2015)

New 2 for the New Year

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is NEW.  NEW as in:

Possibility. Opportunity. Potential.

With that in mind, self selected three pictures from her archives that seem to embody the spirit of the New Year.

(1)  Bruce Lee Postcard: New Year Resolution: TEACH ME TO BE FEARLESS.

Self has this taped over her desk at home.

Self has this taped over her desk at home.

(2)  T-Shirt Slogans with Attitude (Key to Positive Mental Attitude is Wearing a T-shirt with the right slogan. For example: POP THE CHAMPAGNE). As Effie Trinket herself might say: Chins up! Eyes front! Attitude!

Ojai, California

Ojai, California

(3) Sign on the Venice Beach Boardwalk:  One of self’s New Year resolutions is to spend as much time near a body of water as possible:

Venice Beach, CA

Venice Beach, CA

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.



Quote of the Day: From The Happiness Project’s One-Sentence Journal (A Five-Year Record)

Boy oh boy, the toll of staying up to watch Fallon and SNL has certainly taken its toll.  It’s 8:36 p.m. and self is ready for bed.

She drove to the City to meet up with her writers group at Jay’s house. Jay, Lillian, Grace, Caroline, Brian: self adores you. Each meeting makes self soooo happy.

Jay shared the December issue of Wired. The cover story is an article about “Interstellar” director Christopher Nolan.

She drove back home and The Man took her to dinner at Thaibodia on Woodside Road.

Today, Nov. 16, 2014, self listed the following things in her One-Sentence Journal:

  • Submitted “The Red Door” to FRiGG, Gigantic, and PANK.
  • Workshopped six short shorts from Lillian.

The One-Sentence Journal Quote of the Day is:

Because money permits a constant stream of luxuries and indulgences, it can take away their savor; by permitting instant gratification, it shortcuts the happiness of anticipation.

The next writers group meeting is Jan. 18.  By which time self will already be in Mendocino, boo. It’s about a three or four-hour drive each way.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Today’s Words of Wisdom

Self flip-flops between reading fan fiction and Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power.

Today’s words of wisdom are from Greene, p. 10. There’s a rather horrific story about “The Snake, The Farmer, and the Heron.” Everyone in the story stabs each other in the back, until finally the only innocent person in the story, the farmer’s wife, suffers unspeakable violence.

The story ends with this moral:

“When you see water flowing uphill, it means that someone is repaying a kindness.” — African Folk Tale

And from Voltaire: “Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


« Older entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,965 other followers