California (or some parts of the whole of)

A mere glimpse.

(top to bot) through Antelope Valley on way back from Lancaster and Palmdale and Edwards Air Force Base, from Union Station Los Angeles.  Then Halloween on West Hollywood.  Subsequently up in a 727 commuter run along the Pacific coast.   Going north.  SF, Sacramento, Mountain View, Silicon Valley, Redwood, as you can see.    If I get around to it, another 18 States to upload.

Incidentally the last snap is looking across the bay as commercial jets navigate their way into SF. airport.





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Dis n Dat


Immune from influenza?

What about using some sense

  Wrong!  More human hubris!


 Why Roy Rogers should not be mistaken for Will Rogers . One had a horse while the other had horse-sense.

“There’s only one thing that can kill the movies, and that’s education.



 More food for your neurons at Goodreads where you may search authors

 or concepts



 Military thinking.

“Are we winning?” So long as we have moral authority, reason, and truth on our side!”

Feminist alert!

The US Navy has (had) a very unique way to ‘grade’  the pulchritude of women.  The term ‘helens’ is (was)used,  Yep!  You guessed it. 

  Let me give an example.  Barbara Hershey or her lookalikes 



 might at one time be rated around 800

 That’s high!  1000 rating would launch a  ship!  It might be more ungallant to say that Ms. Hershey 30 years on from picture  has taken ‘reconstructive’ surgery badly.   



 To balance out any mistaken misogyny from the US Navy item before

 Next up…… The neighbour to the north is not all about stunning vistas, wonderful animals and fishing.  Canada has a proud history of airplane development and manufacture.  It also has and requires a well equipped air force to defend it’s vast borders. 

There is an engrossing documentary JETSTREAM even if you don’t like fast jets.  It has drama complex maths at MACH 1.8 inverted and covert sexual tension!   The full series has more character development and twists (other than aeroplanes)than a fictional Hollywood blockbuster.    Is Ms. Erickson the Riel deal? Guess who has the right stuff and who hasn’t? Guess again.

Have a look by this conduit before it’s terminated or by usual outlets



 Feminist alert deux.      Navy carrier pilots referred to Air Force landing techniques as

  “Flaring is squatting to pee”.

  Less controversially their gallows humour remind them of their mortality

Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death …I Shall Fear No Evil . For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing   Sign over the  SR 71 operations office door.

You’ve never been lost until you’ve been lost at Mach 3. (attr. test pilot)

If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it’s probably a helicopter and therefore unsafe.

When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you will always have enough power to get you to the scene of the crash.

Without ammunition the USAF would be another expensive flying club.

What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws up, the pilot dies.

I remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous.

Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there!

If you’re faced with a forced landing; fly the thing as far into the crash as possible. (Bob Hoover – renowned aerobatic flyer and test pilot)

If an airplane is still in one piece, don’t cheat on it; ride the bastard down. (Ernest K. Gann, author & aviator)

Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you.

There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime. (sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB 1970).

The three best things in life are a good landing, a good orgasm, and, a good bowel movement. The night carrier landing is one of the few opportunities in life where you get to experience all three at the same time. (Author unknown-or just wishes to be unknown)

Basic Flying Rules Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there.

You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal.


 Musical interlude



Search for…….


Massive Attack,

Zero 7,

Kascade    especially   ‘4 am’

 The Album Leaf      especially        ‘Red Eye’

Groove Armada.               especially          ‘ At the River’

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Barcelona y Barça

I was at the  Camp Nou (without camera again) but I did get my hand on the European Cup. I have a tendency of late to touch fossils, fissures, statues, and historic symbols across the western world.  As an ageing mortal, I reckon it must be a search for some sort of permanence.

Touching the EC of EUFA  is not hard if you pay an extra fee.  I did so without extra taxation by smiling at the lady guide and by doing so, I had a quick one.  I mean I touched the cup.   

Across the city to the Olympic Stadium (all the rage in 1992-but not so much in 2012)home of rival city club RCD Espanyol.

pic credit: MOSAherne

Either early or too late.

 Photo taken by kind tourist of me and stadium.  I modestly spare you of my image




 Still on a sport…..

How did London win the O bid?

 london olympics


 Was it the promise of urban renewal or of feral youth converting to track athletics? 

The first O event  I was aware of was in 1964.  Chewing-gum packets included collectible tin badges of Tokyo.  It was fascinating.  The world together!  We were all one in sports .  As glory has been replaced by glitter I’m much less captivated in the last few decades.   I watched Los Angeles 1984! 

I had the chance as late as July 10 2012 to buy what looked like sensibly priced tickets for a London Olympic  event.  No it wasn’t table tennis!   It was in fact volleyball.  Women’s volleyball!   Not beach volleyball but still it was balls and athletically earnest women. 

 The ticket being £20 would hint that a telescope might be needed but hey it’s all about being there.  Right?

Then I read the regulations for attendance.  Hours of security checks and then nothing to eat or drink unless you like your burger and fries paid by credit card.

No thanks! 


London is super and vibrant and always worth a visit.  I didn’t need it served up with the hulabaloo of Olympic big business. The first O event  I was aware of was in 1964.  Chewing-gum tin badges of Tokyo.  It was great to know the world and it’s nations were together!  We were all one in sports .  

 As glory has been replaced by glitter in the last few decades I’m much less captivated.   The last time I watched with any measure of enthusiasm was Los Angeles 1984! 

 Alas it’s largely the same for other sporting events. 


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What’s Up Doc?

More docs anyone?

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PA070006_1_0087_087 PA070009_1_0085_085 PA070012_0082_082 PA070015_1_0081_081 PA070015_0080_080 PA070017_0078_078 PA070020_1_0073_073 PA130032_1_0068_068-1 PA070030_0070_070-1 PA130031_0069_069 PA130032_1_0068_068 PA130033_0065_065 PA130033_0065_065-1 PA130034_1_0064_064-1 PA130035_1_0062_062 PA130037_0057_058 (2) PA130038_1_0056_056-1 PA130041_1_0050_050 (2) PA130047_1_0041_041-1 PA130047_1_0041_041-3 PA130048_0038_038 PA130050_0034_034-2 PA130051_1_0033_033 (2) PA130052_1_0031_031-1 PA130057_0024_024-1 PA130058_0022_022 (4) PA130059_1_0021_021 PA130060_0018_018 PA130061_1_0017_017 PA130062_1_0015_015-1 PA130063_1_0013_013-2 PA130064_1_0011_011-2 PA130067_1_0004_004

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Jung as you Feel, or Sense, or Know.


“There is a thinking in primordial images, in symbols which are older than the historical man, which are inborn in him from the earliest times, eternally living, outlasting all generations, still make up the groundwork of the human psyche. It is only possible to live the fullest life when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a return to them.”

“The fact that a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing…He must obey his own law, as if it were a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths…There are not a few who are called awake by the summons of the voice, whereupon they are at once set apart from the others, feeling themselves confronted with a problem about which the others know nothing. In most cases it is impossible to explain to the others what has happened, for any understanding is walled off by impenetrable prejudices. “You are no different from anybody else,” they will chorus or, “there’s no such thing,” and even if there is such a thing, it is immediately branded as “morbid”…He is at once set apart and isolated, as he has resolved to obey the law that commands him from within. “His own law!” everybody will cry. But he knows better: it is the law…The only meaningful life is a life that strives for the individual realization–absolute and unconditional–of its own particular law…To the extent that a man is untrue to the law of his being…he has failed to realize his own life’s meaning.

The undiscovered vein within us is a living part of the psyche; classical Chinese philosophy names this interior way “Tao,” and likens it to a flow of water that moves irresistibly towards its goal. To rest in Tao means fulfilment, wholeness, one’s destination reached, one’s mission done; the beginning, end, and perfect realization of the meaning of existence innate in all things.”

“Every man carries within himself the eternal image of woman, not the image of this or that particular woman, but a definite feminine image. This image is fundamentally unconscious, a hereditary factor of primordial origin.”


“the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”

“The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.”

“The sad truth is that man’s real life consists of a complex of inexorable opposites – day and night, birth and death, happiness and misery, good and evil. We are not even sure that one will prevail against the other, that good will overcome evil, or joy defeat pain. Life is a battleground. It always has been and always will be; and if it were not so, existence would come to an end.”

“I don’t aspire to be a good man. I aspire to be a whole man.”

“Nobody can fall so low unless he has a great depth.If such a thing can happen to a man, it challenges his best and highest on the other side; that is to say, this depth corresponds to a potential height, and the blackest darkness to a hidden light.”

“Naturally, society has an indisputable right to protect itself against arrant subjectivisms, but, in so far as society is itself composed of de-individualized human beings, it is completely at the mercy of ruthless individualists. Let it band together into groups and organizations as much as it likes – it is just this banding together and the resultant extinction of the individual personality that makes it succumb so readily to a dictator. A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one. Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but our fatally short-sighted age thinks only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations, though one would think that the world had seen more than enough of what a well-disciplined mob can do in the hand of a single madman.”

“Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.”

“Instead of the concrete individual, you have the names of organizations and, at the highest point, the abstract idea of the State as the principle of political reality. The moral responsibility of the individual is then inevitably replaced by the policy of the State (raison d’etat). Instead of moral and mental differentiation of the individual, you have public welfare and the raising of the living standard. The goal and meaning of individual life (which is the only real life) no longer lie in the individual development but in the policy of the State, which is thrust upon the individual from outside and consists in the execution of an abstract idea which ultimately tends to attract all life to itself. The individual is increasingly deprived of the moral decision as to how he should live his own life, and instead is ruled, fed, clothed, and educated as a social unit, accommodated in the appropriate housing unit, and amused in accordance with the standards that give pleasure and satisfaction to the masses. The rulers, in their turn, are just as much social units as the ruled, and are distinguished only by the fact they are specialized mouthpieces of State doctrine. They do not need to be personalities capable of judgment, but thoroughgoing specialists who are unusable outside their line of business. State policy decides what shall be taught and studied.”

“Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood?”

“The more critical reason dominates, the more impoverished life becomes. When reason is overvalued, the individual suffers a loss. Relying more on facts and rationality than on imagination and theory detracts from the quality of a person’s intellectual life.”

“Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not. ”

“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. ”

“I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life. They seek position, marriage, reputation, outward success of money, and remain unhappy and neurotic even when they have attained what they were seeking. Such people are usually confined within too narrow a spiritual horizon. Their life has not sufficient content, sufficient meaning. If they are enabled to develop into more spacious personalities, the neurosis generally disappears.”

“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole”

“To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is.”

“Nature has no use for the plea that one ‘did not know’.”

“I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. I was also surprised to find many intelligent and wide-awake people who lived (as far as one could make out) as if they had never learned to use their sense organs: They did not see the things before their eyes, hear the words sounding in their ears, or notice the things they touched or tasted. Some lived without being aware of the state of their own bodies.

“There are others who seemed to live in a most curious condition of consciousness, as if the state they had arrived at today were final, with no possibility of change, or as if the world and the psyche were static and would remain so forever. They seemed devoid of all imagination, and they entirely and exclusively depended upon their sense-perception. Chances and possibilities did not exist in their world, and in ‘today’ there was no real ‘tomorrow’. The future was just the repetition of the past.”

from The Red Book:Liber Novis Carl Jung wrote these extraordinarily beautiful lines

“My soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak, I call you – are you there? I have returned, I am here again. I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you, I am with you. After long years of long wandering, I have come to you again. Should I tell you everything I have seen, experienced, and drunk in? Or do you not want to hear about all the noise of life and the world? But one thing you must know: the one thing I have learned is that one must live this life. Do you still know me? How long the separation lasted! Everything has become so different. And how did I find you? How strange my journey was! What words should I use to tell you on what twisted paths a good star has guided me to you? Give me your hand, my almost forgotten soul. How warm the joy at seeing you again, you long disavowed soul. Life has led me back to you. Let us thank the life I have lived for all the happy and all the sad hours, for every joy, for every sadness. My soul, my journey should continue with you. I will wander with you and ascend to my solitude.”

He continued….

“I indignantly answered, “Do you call light what we men call the worst darkness? Do you call day night?”
To this my soul spoke a word that roused my anger, “My light is not of this world.”
I cried, “I know of no other world!”
The soul answered, “Should it not exist because you know nothing of it?”

“The life that I could still live, I should live, and the thoughts that I could still think, I should think.”

“Every step closer to my soul excites the scornful laughter of my devils, those cowardly ear-whisperers and poison-mixers.”

Carl’s succint view on society (evidently some time before 1961) when it wasn’t as hideous as it is today

“The individual is increasingly
deprived of the moral decision as to how he should live
his own life, and instead is ruled, fed, clothed and educated as
a social unit, accommodated in the appropriate housing unit,
and amused in accordance with the standards that give pleasure
and satisfaction to the masses.”

But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.”

“My own understanding is the sole treasure I possess, and the greatest. Though infinitely small and fragile in comparison with the powers of darkness, it is still a light, my only light.”

“Man’s task is to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious.”

“We are always human and we should never forget the burden of being only human”

“Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakes.”

Now moving from the great physician and mystic C G Yung to a contemporary of his Henry Louis Mencken

“You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.”

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

“The older I get the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology.”

“It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.”

“the average man does not want to be free. he simply wants to be safe.”

“Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there it sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops”

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

“The average newspaper, especially of the better sort, has the intelligence of a hillbilly evangelist, the courage of a rat, the fairness of a prohibitionist boob-jumper, the information of a high school janitor, the taste of a designer of celluloid valentines, and the honor of a police-station lawyer.”

“The average man never really thinks from end to end of his life. The mental activity of such people is only a mouthing of cliches. What they mistake for thought is simply a repetition of what they have heard. My guess is that well over 80 per cent of the human race goes through life without having a single original thought.”

“It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf.”

“I write in order to attain that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved, which a cow enjoys on giving milk.”

“We must respect the other fellow’s religion but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.”

I would replace the word ‘religion’ with the word ‘opinion’. The de rigeur post modern notion that 7 billion plus bipedal evolved apes have opinions on much at all, let alone that such be singularly entitled to respect is sheer idiocy. I have a feeling that this admission might sound like a Pol Pot rally cry; but this one ultra liberal tenet is dung


“Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.”

“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”

Sun Tzu

People are aware that this low-bred fellow, who deserves to be pilloried, has, by the dirtiest jobs, made his way in the world; and that the splendid position he has acquired makes merit repine and virtue blush……….

But for all that, his bowing and scraping are welcome everywhere; he is received, smiled upon, and wriggles himself into all kinds of society; and, if any appointment is to be secured by intriguing, he will carry the day over a man of the greatest worth

said Moliere back in the day, …….

but it could be used today as a critique of that sad breed,

such as  a Ryan Turdbridy

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Woe men for womens wiles

This conversation between Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp would do nothing to disprove the view (of some) that ladies are a law unto themselves.

Everyone knows the story about BJ. Clinton and Monica.  The main issue of abuse and lies gets fogged up (for the eavesdropping listener admittedly) as the two ladies chat moves from Mills and Boon romance to Tie Rack particularities .   The closing advice so dubious on ‘how not to dry clean if one wants a future’ as to be down wrong devious!

No wonder King Lear had problems!

Aside | Posted on by

So How was It for You?

By some quantum fluctuation 13.7 billion years ago(plus or minus just a few hundred million years) we are here on a minor planet in a tiny solar system in a smallish galaxy. It was a trillion times a trillion trillion that we are what we are, and are where we are. Note the exact technical description.

I refer you then to a more specialist mind in Harvard who calculated it to be about one chance in 400 quadrillion (or 4 x 10^17). Not happy to be laughed at by all (proper order)he went further by postulating that it was (I paraphrase) “an imperative that the reproductive age of each of our ancestors going back had to be reached and that string of probabilities multiplied together would leave the odds of existence of any earthly human being at an astronomical     10^2,685.000 “.

Illustrative art copyright of Crille.

Illustrative art copyright of Crille.

Do incredible odds such as that not confer miracle status on our more prosaic earthly endeavours?  Yes I think it does.

Does that make up for the slings and arrows of desultory fate?  Great personal losses, loss of face, lost loves, loss in general, scorn, and then some? Does that assauge the pain of it all?  Unequivocally it does not!

But some knowledge of this perspective in times past would have helped make the unmerciful challenges more acceptable.


ps.  You will be delighted to know a previous typo (lack of sleep is my excuse) has been dutifully corrected.  Just a small matter of involving ‘light’ and ‘years’ .

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Web journal here…..

Web Journal is part travel writing, and personal essays.  Many with photographic diversions.  An exercise in reflections for the most part, which might wander at stages into the realm of memoir.  The fetal kick as it were to something more substantial to come.  Each opinion can be viewed as a cell of sense.  Molecules of erudition. A zygote of….!.  That’s enough metaphor!.  Well,  just one more. An embryonic exercise for a cathartic autobio to come.


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Under Yeager’s X-1

1947 vintage over 1955 in 2007.  Time flies!

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Oh, Peggy, my Pa-he-ggy Sue

Long days journey.  A cuppa tea?  Nothing over easy!

Long days journey. A cuppa tea? Nothing over easy!

The thought had passed my mind to re-enact a slice of ‘Five Easy Pieces’.

“I’d like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee.”

Waitress:    chicken salad sand. Hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise, and a cup of coffee. Anything else?

“Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven’t broken any rules”

Waitress: You want me to hold the chicken, huh?

“I want you to hold it between your knees”


But this is real life.  Not Hollywood a few hundred miles west from here.  These women I expect were working long-hours at the Peggy Sue Diner.

Here’s one they made earlier

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the Wronged man



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Who said using ‘gate’ as a suffix for some minor intrigue……

Getting up my nose!

Getting up my nose!

is a useful journalistic device?  It gets up my nose!   See!

Could all who have done so or do or will continue to do so, jump off a high bridge.  There are many to choose from over the Potomac.

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Leaving Sacramento!

We gotta leave now Bonnie!

We gotta go now Bonnie!

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PACIFICation. Impressions of a coast.

pacific coast during my Kandinsky period

pacific coast during my Kandinsky period

Bourdain? Sisley? Non! C’est O’Sullivan Aherne bien sur!





van gogh surely

van gogh?

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while sorting through old photos, this one over Nevada, somewhere between Reno and Las Vegas, is unremarkable.


Wait a darn minute!  Is that a spiritual manifestation?

Now the smart alecs will say here that the 'sign' being in the same place while the aircraft has moved on a bit, is evidence of a scratch on the window. Ye don't thing the Almighty can work his magic????


or an acrylic-plastic window maintenance problem.










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Professional expertise?


So what’s your opinion on kissing?

A  software specialist’s view might be  “A kiss is a few bits of love compiled into a byte.”

A mathematician  might say  “A kiss is two divided by nothing.”

A physicist might comment “A kiss is a contraction of the mouth due to an expansion of the heart.”  That’s more like the explanation of a biologist or biochemist though.

 I think a Physicist might be more inclined to say that a kiss is the ever closing space between two masses which with careful docking and spatial awareness will conjoin two distinct parts of each mass.  It wouldn’t go down well with the fragrant significant other if she were to hear it so prosaically explained.

A chemist                      “A kiss is the reaction resulting from the interaction between two hearts.”                         very lame!!!

a philosopher             “A kiss is persecution for the child, ecstasy for the youth, and homage for the old.”

a theologist                “A kiss is divine.”

an ecologist                 “A kiss is a clean green renewable energy resource that works best when recycled often.”

physician       “A kiss is an oral stimulant taken by mouth that can often cure what ails you.”

aviator          “A kiss is the next best thing after you landed with no fuel or wheels”

equal opportunity

equal opportunity

but it takes the useless professions to cynically say………

lawyer solicitor                “A kiss is when the party of the first part and the party of the second part have reached a mutually beneficial understanding that two (2) pair of lips shall co-exist in, for all practical purposes, the same space and time for a temporary period”  ……” and for that advice they would ask for 21 per cent of all future fiscal benefits, that arise from such a  mutual understanding

banker               “A kiss must be considered an investment that is profitable when returned.”

economist                  “A kiss is one of those things for which the demand is always higher than the supply.”

politicians                   “A kiss will cost you a very lucrative career if experienced with anyone other than your spouse.”

and finally I’ll let it up to your imagination as to what an estate agent might say.  You might as well imagine: -they do!

Emphatically the last 5 species are worthless

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A Foreign Eye Sees Clearly……

Our Oirish rogues gallery of usual suspects

or those who went before our current shower.  Interesting insight …….


The first thing you notice when you watch the Irish Parliament at work is that the politicians say everything twice, once in English and once in Gaelic. As there is no one in Ireland who does not speak English and a vast majority who do not speak Gaelic, this comes across as a forced gesture that wastes a great deal of time. I ask several Irish politicians if they speak Gaelic, and all offer the same uneasy look and hedgy reply: “Enough to get by.” The politicians in Ireland speak Gaelic the way the Real Housewives of Orange County speak French. To ask “Why bother to speak it at all?” is of course to miss the point. Everywhere you turn you see both emulation of the English and a desire, sometimes desperate, for distinction. The Irish insistence on their Irishness—their conceit that they’re more devoted to their homeland than the typical citizen of the world is—has an element of bluster about it, from top to bottom. At the top are the many very rich Irish people who emit noisy patriotic sounds but arrange officially to live elsewhere so they don’t have to pay tax in Ireland; at the bottom, the waves of emigration that define Irish history. The Irish people and their country are like lovers whose passion is heightened by their suspicion that they will probably wind up leaving each other. Their loud patriotism is a cargo ship for their doubt.


‘the strangest consequence of the Irish bubble: to throw a nation which had finally clawed its way out of centuries of indentured servitude back into it’.


In any case, if the Irish wanted to save their banks, why not guarantee just the deposits? There’s a big difference between depositors and bondholders: depositors can flee. The immediate danger to the banks was that savers who had put money into them would take their money out, and the banks would be without funds. The investors who owned the roughly 80 billion euros of Irish bank bonds, on the other hand, were stuck. They couldn’t take their money out of the bank. And their 80 billion euros very nearly exactly covered the eventual losses inside the Irish banks. These private bondholders didn’t have any right to be made whole by the Irish government. The bondholders didn’t even expect to be made whole by the Irish government. Not long ago I spoke with a former senior Merrill Lynch bond trader who, on September 29, 2008, owned a pile of bonds in one of the Irish banks. He’d already tried to sell them back to the bank for 50 cents on the dollar—that is, he’d offered to take a huge loss, just to get out of them. On the morning of September 30 he awakened to find his bonds worth 100 cents on the dollar. The Irish government had guaranteed them! He couldn’t believe his luck. Across the financial markets this episode repeated itself. People who had made a private bet that went bad, and didn’t expect to be repaid in full, were handed their money back—from the Irish taxpayer.

In retrospect, now that the Irish bank losses are known to be world-historically huge, the decision to cover them appears not merely odd but suicidal.

excerpts from Michael Lewis article in Vanity Fair 2011.


Strange how years of glib gobs on national airways and several forests of newsprint haven’t conveyed so succinctly and coherently the depths of ineptitude of local politicians as the above article .  There’s always more to come.



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It used to be …….

THE ORIGINAL DUBLIN AIRPORT TERMINAL, where a 13 year old used to peer at steel behemoths with  fins and piston engines.    I never pass the opportunity to gaze now,  at the building itself.  Classic!

THE ORIGINAL DUBLIN AIRPORT TERMINAL   I bicycled here almost half a century earlier to see the large finned behemoths of flight. Travel was beyond the pocket by a distance but not the imagination. 
Decades later I invariably stop to gaze at the building itself.


Nowadays compressing oneself inside a Boeing 737 that is decorated like a Ronald McDonald’s eaterie is regarded as travel.  It isn’t really.  The plane travels.  The passengers arrive. Unless one brings some imagination and a plan one might be better off looking at a travel advert on a sofa.

60 years after the Berlin Airlift.

Here’s a few memories from ILA 2008

Only people who knew Angela could get on board.  No problem.  Not impressed by it.  After all, the USAF permit the ordinary citizen to the flight deck seats of far more impressive aircraft.

Not overly impressed by the A380. The VIP’s might have been charmed with the interior tour

Nothing near as impressive as the C-17.

Did I mention .......The Boeing C-17 Globemaster.  Note the homage to the Berlin Airlift 60 years earlier.   Incidentally the old DC's would have flown across the border to the west at Templehof

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster. Note the homage to the Berlin Airlift 60 years earlier.

The USAF permit the ordinary citizen to the flight deck



The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

 more than IT skills are necessary to sit in either seat.  The HUD display for each pilot is a sign of how busy things get when judging distances on landing and taking off in these heavy transport planes. 


ONLY A QUARTER OF THE GLOBE covered. Balloon flight over the other three-quarters might be out of the question but surely there is something better than teeny bop gap-year 10 hops around the world.

ONLY A QUARTER OF THE GLOBE I covered. Balloon flight over the other three-quarters might be out of the question but surely there is something better than humping around modern airports.


Had I fallen out of love with the spirit of Hera, Iris  and Atahensic. Or have I

had enough of the  interminable stop-go-process at airport terminals.

Instead of ILA in 2014, I chose Gatow.

A cake?


Gatow the old abandoned air-base.  I felt much the same. I mean not an airbase, but old and all the rest.

It turned out to be one of the finest museums of it’s kind in Europe in my view.

An interest in aviation isn’t necessarily required, just history.

Machines here were much used and truly historic. From Cold War anti-artillery nasty stuff  to classic WW2 airframes, such as a 1943 Bf 109’s.  As interesting a display as any I have seen with the added frisson that Gatow was an actual site of WW2 and subsequent tensions.

Gatow museum in the borough of Spandeau is like a lady of a certain age living a quiet thoughtful life.  Though I could have done with an offer of cake (Gâteau possibly)and tea at her house during the 3 hour visit.  Cafeteria was found before leaving behind the hanger which was behind another hanger.  Never mind, I was happy.

Here’s a well-produced amateur clip shot in winter.



Here’s a new aspect of Berlin.   Nice restoration.  No person visable here could have imagined what would befall their city in the next 100 years.




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Are your curtains closed? Or …….




……. would you prefer to be the subject of Arne Svenson and be mounted in a Manhatten gallery.  Some might view it as stalking, while others might see it as opportunist and intrusive.   My initial impression was that it was tastefully staged.






According to the Tribeca photographer,  these photos were taken from his apartment, and are candid.   Incidentally the specific lens was inherited from a late ornithologist friend.

 I suggest he might use in mitigation if he was ever brought to court

‘Your Honor, I was only watching the birdies’  ‘Besides the windows are too big not to notice’













all photographs herein this post are copyright of

Arne Svenson




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A lot of Russian around…..

here in 1968.


Now a Warsaw Pact tank track painted in peaceful lilac lie around for the curious visitor.    Art out-stallation and great recycling. Or is it a mulberry colour?   Historically more accurate, Soviet Russia had their Soviet satellite armies invaded.

I was in Prague in 2008 forty years after this intervention or a ‘fraternal assistance against anti-social forces’ as the Soviets described it, occurred

The Russians are onside now and will never invade anyone ever again.  Ever!  Eh!


A decade before World War 2 when neither Russia nor Soviet Russia had a bear hug around here, Prague might have looked a little bit like this photo below.  Illusion courtesy of a vintage car.

A blink in cosmic time, but 70 or so years forward and the automobile motif and indeed the city itself has a new look.

Beautiful!  Czech beer adds a few pounds.

Oh! the car.

a Maserati.

One of the more sober models from the 1899 Bologna company with the Trident insignia.  Now under the holding company Fiat Chrysler Netherlands, previously Fiat S p A, and before that Fiat Group (yawn!)

more visions







 All photos are copyright of Maurice O’Sullivan Aherne

Prague Czech Republic.  Opera House missed by tram. copyright. Maurice Aherne

Prague Czech Republic. Opera House missed by tram.
copyright. Maurice Aherne

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Bukowski had cutting insights.


At one point in a documentary he regarded himself as a soft person with an ugly exterior, but some ugliness broke out in his treatment of his ‘current’ woman

Seriously I would wish at 58 to have more in common,  in sensibilities, with Woody Allen or Martin Scorsese, but the quotes from Mr Bukowski might have  resonance in a man’s life at some stage.

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LIFE is still popular……


 despite cost of living.   I’m not speaking monetarily.


 Some heavy hitters of the ‘thinking’ game have said

 When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden”

“What is to give light must endure burning.”

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.”

“The meaning of life is to give life meaning.”

from the remarkable Victor Frankl  “Trotzdem Ja Zum Leben Sagen”


I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”Herman Hesse



“Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways—the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with”  …………….

Ernest Becker  The Denial of Death





Or to paraphrase another writer  ‘ a billion dollar brain within a 98 cent body’

 Short Intermission for Reflection…..

but no relief as we are reminded




Trust Woody Allen to be more prosaic on this issue.

 “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want to live in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live in my apartment”


  Here are few of many aphorisms of my own

“Ireland is a good place to be buried.  If you’re lucky it will happen post-mortem” 

“Most people lose sight that they are less than a grain of sand in the Grand Scheme.  Many see themselves as the entire beach.   More fail to see the larger desert that surrounds it! 

 “If you win all of your battles except the last one; you lose!  That’s Fortūna at her most fickle.” 

 “Life would probably be a longer process without processed food” 

 “Deja vu is not what is used to be” 

 “First impressions are important they say.  Who are ‘they’ by the way?  Subsequent ones too I suspect.   Yet the shape from the mould ought to be more worthy than the impression!  

 “Consciousness if conceded to the consortium has consequences.  Many cons, you see.   Therein lies a clue.   Contagia!  Don’t be controlled ! Contest it! ”

” Controlled consciousness consumes consumables but ultimately is consumed itself.  Ask yourself thi0s  “Do you want to become consommé?

 Maurice O’Sullivan Aherne



Some lighter thoughts from the worldly wide web

If it’s true that we’re here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

If 4 out of 5 people suffer some affliction,  does the fifth one enjoy it.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning.

We are born naked, wet, and hungry.  Then it gets worse!

Eat right, exercise daily, live clean, die anyway.

Today is the last day of some of your life.

What a wonderful life! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.

  Maybe life isn’t for everyone

Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening, or causes cancer in poor lab rats.

My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.

The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it’s true.






 I cut this gag to it’s essence ‘cos that’s the way they should be told!

Lawyer* I have good news and bad. Client. give me the bad.  Lawyer.  DNA tests showed that it’s you.   Client: No!!!! what’s the good news then? Lawyer.  your cholesterol is down

By lawyer I mean those who justly practice law and not those who unjustly profit by it you’ll understand. 


 Some ‘facts’ below with my response.  (It has been a slow day)

The average human produces 25,000 quarts of spit in a lifetime, which is enough to fill two swimming pools.

Best reason to avoid public bathing areas.

 Human brain weighs around 3 pounds.

 That’s just packaging!  200 billion neurons, 125 trillion potential synapses in the cerebral cortex alone.  Remarkable! Are your lights on?

If you gave each human on earth an equal portion of dry land, including the uninhabitable areas, everyone would get roughly 100 square feet (30.4 m).

 The current population being 7 billion plus+, the statistics seem wrong .Only 100 sq ft?. Who choses whether it be a jungle in Borneo or Casino Square Monte Carlo?

Only one person in 2 billion will live to be 166 or older.

They’ll inherit the land above and will breathe possibly breed with the other 3.  Illogical but it’s a gag!

1/4 of the bones in your body are in your feet.

Ouch! I always knew that.  Too late…. again!

Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails.

   Makes evolutionary sense!  Economical too regarding socks!

You blink over 10,000,000 times a year.

  Is that 20 blinks a minute?  Seems excessive!

Women blink nearly twice as much as men

could suggest women are blind twice the time, but make up for it by multi-tasking.  I think both conclusions are wrong by the way

The average human blinks their eyes 6,205,000 times each year

Humans are blind a lot of the time!

The average person has over 1,460 dreams a year.

Never the right ending. 

Sneeze travels out of your mouth at over 100 miles (161 km) an hour.

At least!

Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards—

Don’t get your ice-cream served backwards.


Some outsourced advice from Sages of the Web.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of repayments

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you’ll have their shoes.

If you lend someone 20 euro and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.  Nothing to lose except some cash possibly

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

Never miss a chance to shut up.

There are a few theories to arguing with women. None works.

Experience is something you don’t get until after you need it.

By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.


I conclude here but ask you to bear in mind….


 What not to do at your next Interview.

10.Challenge the interviewer to arm wrestle.

9. Wear earphones explaining you have a talent to listen to interviewer and music at the same time.

8. Bring large dog to interview.  I’d say a small dog might be a problem too!

7. Refuse to sit down and insist on being interviewed standing up.

6. Excuse yourself and return to the office minutes later wearing a hair piece.

5. Say you would show loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on your forehead

4. Doze off.  When awoken, exclaim “I didn’t rob THAT bank”

3.  Interrupt to phone your therapist for advice

2.  Explain that a long-term goal would be to replace the interviewer.

1.   Say you never finished school because of a kidnapping.


Just remember even moreso than last time I advised you……


This last illustration could be copyright of the late Dr. Sagan’s estate.  I hereby acknowledge. 

 NASA I expect had a role too.

I still hope GOD or the Supreme Entity who was around before the Initial Singularity has overall copyright.


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Doesn’t contemporary society suck Larry?  It’s a suckciety.   Buy! Take! Dump!   I tell ya!  No! we’re not Aspergers whatchacallit!  It’s not anti-social!   It’s straight dope!  It’s da truth!



 Above are jokes folks!   Some truth probably lies therein.    Warning.  Not a medical diagnosis!

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“Consciousness if conceded to the consortium has it’s consequences.  There are a lot of cons out there!  Try not to be controlled by contagia inasmuchas you can!  Contest it!”   O’Sullivan Aherne

” Controlled consciousness consumes and ultimately is consumed.  Do you want your mind to be consommé” O’Sullivan Aherne


 I considered placing my quotes under the triumviri beneath but hey it’s my spot!

The principle that human nature, in its psychological aspects, is nothing more than a product of history and given social relations removes all barriers to coercion and manipulation by the powerful” Chomsky

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society“. Bernays spin-master Eddy.  Ya gotta admire his longevity all the same!

 “Madison Avenue is a very powerful aggression against private consciousness. A demand that you yield your private consciousness to public manipulation”.  McLuhan



ps. above pic is not that avenue.

For Madison Avenue, say Dublin.4, or D.2, or D.6 of the Irish golden triangle where Satan’s triplets, Advertisia, ,PRonia, and Me D eye A, meet their elder cousins Legalia, and Estatia Agentia for afternoon tea since time immemorial or sometime before 1940 for argument sake.   

 Decades of their decadence have passed, and some have ventured beyond the Pale, to mix with their target audience, or the savages in the wider wilderness.  Times are hard.  Cachet is secondary to cost these days

Thanks to NASA AND ESA  for showing some lights down there.  They're on but there's few at home, if you follow.

Thanks to NASA AND ESA for showing  luminence down there.  The lights are bright, but it’s only the electricity grid.

“It’s so easy to manipulate an audience, but it’s nearly always clear that you are being manipulated. I think even people that are not critically attuned are aware of cynical manipulation in film”.  John Boorman being very generous in his adopted tax friendly for artistes country.  From where a slurry of pedler bubbleheaded reviewers of ‘da moovies’  have emerged mouthing nonsense about ‘da fillums’.  The slang word movie implies to move… moving… emotions.  It certainly moves popular  corn in a darkened room.

  Though Mr Boorman set a decent enough standard, some harsh truth would be appreciated John!


More insidiously, extra corn is served in living rooms by broadcast  ‘Mee D YA’.  The daily ritual of bathing and breakfast is shared by the unwary with corporate shills spewing shibboleths every hour on the hour.  Soap and Toast with a Host (my facility for aphorisms has no bounds).

These networks from where clowns speaketh down with clichéd forked-tongue

“What part don’t you understand? Road map Moving forward Tipping point. Facebook Twitter! Tweet us!”

Exercised           as a verb for a mental process such as in ‘are you exercised enough about our manufactured concern to tweet us about it, or find us on Facebook’>  Answer to that should always be NO!


“do the math”

There was a time when such a phrase would prompt sniggering.  Now the American ‘math’ singular is all the rage on this side of pond.

” above my paygrade”   used by rent a mouth opinion-twats who heard Barack O say it

“touching base -left field-stepping up to the plate” used by Oirish and Brits who probably never were inside a baseball park.  It’s unlikely that all three phrases will be used at one sitting.  If you do hear someone say all three in a segment; consider it a home run!   Reward yourself by turning off the wireless.

“you guys”       In a parallel universe where Matriarchy is perceived; there may be men who refer to themselves in a group, as gals. 

To finish off , and believe me I wish it was legal to do so with them ALL

Let me be clear.              I wish you’d try

Let me be honest with you.              For a change,-go on Pepe!

Let’s agree to disagree.    Let’s agree you try a long walk off a short pier.

Kick the can down the road.        A can takes 50 years to disintegrate, pal, recycle waste!

Haircut.       usually followed by trench and troika    This use of a WORD normally understood as cutting of hair in the course of a decade has co-existed to mean taking a severe penalty.   It’s use should carry one.  (Are you listening readers of news in your trench with a troika.)









team player


Unacceptable                  it really is

Anyways/Schadenfreude/Transparency/Downsized/Move on/Metrosexual/Kerfuffle/Track record/Game changer/Cutting edge/Bottom line

State of the art/Best practice/On the same page/Silver bullet/Out of the box

 Strategic plan/Mission Statement/Business model/and much, much more /That being said/As a matter of fact/Outside the box/Between the lines/Way forward

Is what it is/ or we are were we are.                Would that be the ball park where you step up to the plate and see an object from left field perhaps?

Point in time/Up to speed/Moving or going forward    Albert Einstein would like to know what ye mean by that!

 Wake up call/Bring it on/Jaw dropping/Bring closure/

Vision statement/Paradigm shift/Exit strategy

Money shot/Not rocket science/Sea change/The rest is history/Absolutely/In harm’s way

 Happy accident/A ha moment/Perfect storm

Be afraid, be very afraid/Mistakes were made

Tipping point          ———sadly not of the garbage spoken


Now the chance of one person using a high percentage of that nonsense let alone ALL of the above in a typical show, is unlikely.

Yet as I wrote those earworms, a voice echoing in my superior temporal gyrus was that of an early morning Oirish chat merchant*. Remarkably, his whole on-air schtick consists of this verbiage.  It’s preternatural!


 Zero sum/Law of unintended consequences/and there’s more



 While these Id10Tangos and Egos are ‘having their cake and more besides’, people such as emergency response workers do indispensable work anonymously . They don’t need a morceau from the gateaux because they have a soul.

Just as a clear day might be in sight, a fog descends as some NonCommunicorp studio stooge asks

“That’s all very well, but the laws of unintended consequences, going forward could very well be ……..Your mission statement looks like blue sky thinking to me. At the end of the day, I would have thought………the optics are…..”

Dilbert’s is bemused!  His more assertive friend empties a chamber from a concealed .45 into this micro-phony.  Not actually, but there might be mitigating factors if it were so.

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A Star in California……




Maybe they should send this over to do a job on Hollywood

The F104 Starfighter

On 7 May 1958 U.S. Air Force Major Howard C. Johnson, flying YF-104A 55-2957, broke the world altitude record by flying to 91,243 feet (27,811 m) at Edwards AFB.

On 16 May 1958, U.S. Air Force Capt Walter W. Irwin flying YF-104A 55-2969 set a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph over a 15/25 kilometer course at Edwards AFB.

Essentially the F104.Starfighter could climb in a minute to an altitude that modern commercial airline level off at and serve the coffee . The 104 was comparably unstable and deadly.  50 years on, here I am, where it began at Edwards.

Hours up and down the flightline taking snaps in the desert heat, this momentary refuge inside the main hanger was a relief.  It might take another 8 hours to process snaps so I’ll just do a multiply insert later.

By the way this base is so ‘classified‘ that following such ‘hospitable’ open days, very large guard dogs are used to coax ‘Joe and Josephine Public’ to return to civvy street by way of a long desert traffic jam.

Note.  Impressive data from Wiki on all aircraft if interested. Here’s the 104’s CV.

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Inside the Shuttle carrier.


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Taxi for…..Shuttle!

747 Shuttle Carrier

747 Shuttle Carrier

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That’s Valet parking!



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Edwards AFB. California

Just a few of many photos during 10 hours and as many miles walking the flightline in a rather warm 85 degrees.





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Los Angeles from Felipe de Neve to Plácido Domingo




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Impressions of ……

El Rio de Nuestra Señora la Reyna de Los Angeles de Porciúncula



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Thalia.  Muse of Comedy.

Thalia  would be impressed.

I saw film premiere  of ‘Life of Brian’ in London in 1979.  Humour had been banished from Ireland.  Even Cleese & Co  had been influenced by what came before them.  This rich seam of British comedy from Music Hall to Milligan to Monty was mined by Chris Morris in a very unique way in the early 1990’s .

The Day Today  is the televisual sibling of the wireless On The Hour. This episode ( at 20 minutes onwards) is not only comedically sharp but had the prescience to see the journalistic cravings for war porn in the years that followed.


This clip like many others will be preceded no doubt by some advertisement. Feel free to skip after the mandatory countdown.


Incidentally how do people come to regard desert land grabs of the early 1990’s as war?    Media that is how!

ps.  The Day Today still relevant regarding events in Crimea.


Extract from Blue Jam

“Often at night I hear a crying sound coming out just below my nose”

I paraphrase a request for someone to sit down   “please lower yourself to that horizontal board that prevents your fall to the floor”

Try extra Audio and follow at your leisure


Thalia giggles

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In the Beginning…….

there was……

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