Department Of Jeff Bezo’s Minions Do Not Know Star Trek: TOS Lore
As delighted as moiself was to see that Captain Kirk ( William Shatner ) finally  got to go into space (via Wednesday’s Blue Origin spacecraft ), I was gobsmacked to view the pictures being posted online, of Shatner and his fellow Blue Origin crew members. Shatner was wearing a yellow green shirt; the others wore red shirts.
Yes, red shirts. 
This is a bad omen, moiself thought to moiself, before my second thought kicked in:
This *has* to be a photoshopped joke. And a good one, at that.
* * *
Department Of Artistic License
Dateline: Saturday mid-morning, hiking in the trails in the hills around the Portland Audubon Sanctuary with MH. ‘Twas a beautiful day, with that combination of the evergreen fir and leaf-dropping deciduous scenery that seems unique to the Pacific Northwest. We were pleasantly surprised to have the trail to ourselves.
After our hike I decided to appreciate the port-o-potty in the Audubon parking lot. Moiself had left my phone at home; thus, I had to prevail upon MH to take a picture of the drawing someone had done on the inside of the p-o-p door.
The picture, which MH and I dubbed Pizza Man, illustrates the importance of punctuation, and how the lack of it can lead to misunderstandings…or just mysteries.
Whaddya think? What message was the honeypot vandal artist trying to convey, armed with only his imagination and a black Sharpie ®?
Moiself can think of several possibilities, including:
* Pizza Man is speaking as a god, who is apologizing for…something. In which case it should read, “Sorry,” god;
* The artist is apologizing to his god, for having drawn a human face so strangely that it resembles a slice of pizza with eyes and a mouth;
* Pizza Man is the speaker – he is apologizing to his deity for what he has done or is about to do (in the outhouse, or elsewhere)?
* Pizza Man not actually a pizza, but someone who has disfigured himself by consuming so much pepperoni that the little greasy sausage rounds are sprouting on his face, and thus is apologizing to his god for his gluttony;
* The artist is apologizing to anyone who views his drawing and mistakenly thinks it is of a Pizza god.
* * *
Department Of The Last Time
“For everything you do, there will be a last time you do it. This is a direct consequence of your mortality. Because you will someday die, there will be a last time you tie your shoes, pay your taxes, and eat chocolate….
Sometimes people know they’re doing something for the last time. This is the case with the condemned prisoner eating his last meal. More commonly though, people do something without realizing this is the last time they will do it. They instead act on the assumption that they will do the thing again in the future, perhaps hundred of more times.
Along these lines, consider the last time you played hopscotch, the last time you made a phone call with a rotary phone…
Did you realize at the time that it was the last time that you would do those things? Realize too that’s it’s possible you have eaten chocolate for the last time – I sincerely hope that this isn’t the case, but only time will tell.”
( excerpt from “The Last Time Meditation” )
Can you remember the last time you ____
* wore a diaper instead of “big boy/big girl” pants?
* rode a tricycle when you were a child, before graduating to a two-wheeler bike?
* played hopscotch or tetherball on an elementary school playground?
* aced (or flunked) a high school test?
* told a joke to your (now deceased) grandparent?
* used a rotary telephone to make a call?
* used a typewriter (manual or electric) to type a school paper, or office memo?
* rented a DVD from Blockbuster?
* went to a huge, arena-style concert by your favorite rock band, whose
drummer later died after he choked on his own vomit
members are now either deceased or retired?
* copied a document from your computer onto a floppy disc?
And if you can remember, do you recall thinking, “Hey, what if this is the last time I _____ (ride a tricycle; tell a joke to Grandma….)?”
* a short daily guided meditation (11 – 13 minutes duration)
* a series of guided meditations on different subjects (Contemplative Action; The Spectrum of Awareness;
Consolations; Meditation for Children….)
* Q & As with Jack Kornfield and other meditation/mindfulness teachers;
* lessons on the fundamentals of meditation
* a simple meditation timer, which you can set for any length
When I use the app,  moiself typically either listens the daily meditation, or does my own meditation with the app’s timer. Earlier this week I scrolled through the app’s practices, and one title caught my eye: a series of twenty-two short talks – “The Stoic Path, by William B. Irvine – on the philosophy and practical applications of stoicism.
Philosophy professor and author Irvine offers a modern take on stoicism, which we philosophy laypersons often misunderstand as per our limited experience with the subject (15 minutes on Marcus Aurelius in our Intro to Philosophy class, and we’re all experts). If asked to picture or define a stoic I bet your first thought (along with moiself’s ) would be of a person who is so even-keeled as to be almost detached – someone seemingly unaffected by the downs – and ups – of life.
However, In the philosophical realm, a Stoic is someone who cultivates a world view wherein one’s personal ethics are informed by stoic virtues, logic, and understandings on the natural world.
I’m at the very beginning (day four) of the series, and am enjoying Irvine’s expositions. He includes stories from his own personal and family life to illustrate how techniques of stoicism offer a road map  toward equanimity – by minimizing worry and focusing our mental and emotional efforts on what we can control, by learning how to deal with the inevitable “insults” of grief and loss, and aging, by putting into perspective the temporal and ultimately ephemeral temptations of power, fame and fortune.
Moiself finds it quite interesting, and also an expanded take on somewhat familiar territory. The virtues (translate: sound Life advice) espoused by stoicism remind me of Buddhist and mindfulness tenets – from what I’ve listened to so far, there is a good deal of common ground between them. Check it out, if you’re interested.
* * *
Department Of Things For Somebody Else To Do
OK, calling all one-panel cartoonists…or anyone who can draw better than I can. 
While listening to The Last Time moiself got a picture in my head, of a scenario I thought might make a good comic strip:
A prison guard enters a Death Row prison cell. He places a food tray containing a traditional last meal – grilled steak, fried chicken, a loaded baked potato, and a double hot fudge sundae – in front of a prisoner who is scheduled for execution later that evening.
The prisoner waves off the tray with, “No thanks; I’m watching my cholesterol.”
* * *
Department Of Musings Apropos Of Nothing
Speaking of getting all philosophical on your ass, I have many questions dealing with the Mysteries of Life ®. This one is for musician Dave Grohl:
What are Foos?
And why do you devote your exceptional musical talents to fighting them?
* * *
Department Of Deep Thoughts Continued
Division Of The Existential Crises Of Aging
Why is it that when you’re over age fifty people stop asking you what your favorite dinosaur is?
It’s like they don’t even care anymore.
* * *
Department Of A Sentence I Never Thought I’d Be So Happy To Hear
“And if we’re lucky, tomorrow there’ll be dead bodies!”
See footnote  for context. Or, better yet, use your imagination.
* * *
Pun For The Day
How can you make a philosophy student leave your porch?
Just pay them for the pizza. 
Did you hear about the monk who got a Ph.D. in existential philosophy?
You might say he was a deep friar.
Why can’t kleptomaniacs understand sarcastic philosophical jokes about themselves?
Because they take things literally.
Why is it unwise to place philosophy textbooks in front of a stallion?
Because you shouldn’t put Descartes before the horse. 
* * *
May you uncover the mystery of Port-o-Potty Pizza Man;
May someone ask you what’s your favorite dinosaur;
May you never board a spacecraft manned by a crew of all Redshirts;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 He’s 90. Really.
 Redshirt is a term used by fans of Star Trek to refer to the ST characters who wear red Starfleet uniforms – typically, security guards or other characters who are expendable, and often killed, after having utterred only a line or two of dialogue (or sometimes none at all).
 Not quite daily. I’ve other meditation apps which also have timers, guided sessions, ambient music….
 Is that too dated of an analogy? Maybe I should use, “GPS”?
 Which would be anyone who can hold a pencil in their hands. Son K has drawn some good comic strips over the years; maybe I should ask him.
 Uttered by the exterminator, whom I affectionately think of as “Rat Man,” as he was explaining how he would be baiting and setting the traps he’d laid in our house’s crawlspace and then returning next day to retrieve the results. (The traps had been laid down several days ago, baited but not set – this lets the rats [that have invaded our crawlspace] get used to the traps and think that they are a safe source of yummy peanut butter).
 No footnote necessary here.
 I certainly can’t end this with #6 being the last footnote.