Amarna’s Destiny … August 10, 2015

 

“Young god, content with what is Right,
lord of sky, lord of earth, sun-disk, alive, great,
illuminating the two riverbanks, alive, my father,
the living Ra-Horakhty rejoicing in what is Right,
in his name as Shu which is in the sun-disk,
given life for ever and eternity,
sun-disk, alive, great, who is in the sed-festival,
amidst the domain of the sun-disk in Akhetaten;
the living Horus strong bull, beloved of the sun-disk,
he of the Two Goddesses, great in kingship in Akhetaten,
Horus of gold, who raises the name of the sun-disk,
dual king, who lives on what is Right, lord of the two lands,
Neferkheperura sole one of Ra,
son of Ra, who lives on what is Right, lord of sunrisings,
Akhenaten, great in his lifespan,
given life for ever and eternity.”

–From a boundary stela at Akhetaten

a dream and ideal
lost home of Aten-Ra
oh Pharaoh’s vision
Amarna resurrected
but forever abandoned

© G.s.k. ‘15

After the death of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, Amarna was quickly abandoned as the priests of the former religions regained their power under Akhenaten’s son, the boy King Tutankhamen (originally Tutankhaten) who, three years into his reign, probably under the influence of his advisers, restored the old religions.

He moved his capitol back to Thebes and dedicated many public works to the gods in hopes of reunifying and restoring his country to greatness which had suffered greatly during the reign of his father.  Amarna proper fell into disuse and the main part of the city was never inhabited again though in the Roman period a new city was built near the old site, perhaps the people felt the place was cursed by the gods!  Below is a comment from the Wikipedia:

“As part of his restoration, the king initiated building projects, in particular at Karnak in Thebes, where he dedicated a temple to Amun. Many monuments were erected, and an inscription on his tomb door declares the king had “spent his life in fashioning the images of the gods”. The traditional festivals were now celebrated again, including those related to the Apis Bull, Horemakhet, and Opet. His restoration stela says:

The temples of the gods and goddesses … were in ruins. Their shrines were deserted and overgrown. Their sanctuaries were as non-existent and their courts were used as roads … the gods turned their backs upon this land … If anyone made a prayer to a god for advice he would never respond.

The country was economically weak and in turmoil following the reign of Akhenaten. Diplomatic relations with other kingdoms had been neglected, and Tutankhamun sought to restore them, in particular with the Mitanni. Evidence of his success is suggested by the gifts from various countries found in his tomb. Despite his efforts for improved relations, battles with Nubians and Asiatics were recorded in his mortuary temple at Thebes. His tomb contained body armour and folding stools appropriate for military campaigns.”

a ghost
shimmering in the desert
abandoned father
as the sun sank in the sands
Amarna soulless city

© G.s.k. ‘15

Written for:

Carpe Diem #793 Amarna (City of Aten)

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Guest Writer: Seshat – December 27, 2014

In the Middle Ages, that is not so long ago and it’s better that you remember how easily men fell into those darkened times, the Christian faith  more or less united Europe under the guidance of the Catholic (which means Universal) Bishop of Rome.

Charlemagne became the Father of Europe, having united most of Europe under his reign and he was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in on Christmas Day that is the 25th of December, 800 … quite an auspicious day and already celebrated as the day Jesus was born.

But you might say, and quite rightly too, no one knew when Jesus was born, so why then?

That day was probably chosen because many of the former pagan beliefs were still very much felt and celebrated during the winter. The coldest darkest part of the year, was the time when men sought reassurance that life would be renewed and that spring would return (feasting overcame winter depression as well).  So, Saturnalia, Yule and other winter festivities were still being celebrated despite the “Christianizing” of Europe.

Christmas is officially designated as December 25th in the Western Christian communities some time in the fourth century being adopted by the Easter Christian communities only later.  In the early Church the first three days of Christmas were to be days of fast and prayer, to distinguish them from the pagan holidays which were orgies of frolicking and folly, later in the Middle Ages, Christmas day remained a day of prayer and in some cases fast.  It was not a time of gift giving or frolicking but a time to remember that the man who would become the Savior and be sacrificed for the world, was born.

Officializing  December 25th became necessary also because some of the earlier churches had decided that January 6th was  Christmas … and other early father’s of the Church were definitely against any sort of feasting the Birth of Christ as it was too close to some of the other ancient rites celebrating some other god’s birthday (Mithra for example or indeed like certain Egyptian gods).  It was finally decided that Christmas was not to be the celebration of the birth of God, but the birth of Jesus, the man.  Subtle though the difference might seem to us, we should try to remember that in the end Jesus is/was believed to be the manifestation of God in human form.

So, Christmas day was born and it often marked the beginning of the Christmas feasting period or the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Christmas Day being a day of prayer, fasting and atoning the first feasting, the actual partying began the next day on the 26th that is with the Feast of Saint Stephen (Boxing Day for the British) if you’d like to, you can re-listen to the first song which tells the tale of one such feast day. (King Wenceslaus The Story Behind the Carol)

This was a fast free period culminating on the 6th of January (Epiphany) which for some was the day the Magi came to worship the Lord and which others considered Jesus’ naming day.

The 28th was Childermas Day or the Day of the Innocents (when people remember the baby boys which King Herod killed when he was trying to find and kill the Baby Jesus.)

The 31st was San Sylvester, for us New Year’s Eve and the 1st of January was considered Mary, Mother of Jesus Day and as I said above the 6th is Epiphany, the evening of the 5th is when Italian children put up their stocking so that the Befana, an old lady who flies around on a broom during that night, will bring gifts to good children and coal to the bad ones, she also sweeps away all the Christmas festivities.

The Twelve Days of Christmas … that is the song was written as a cryptic catechism song during the persecution of Catholics in England (click the link to see the meaning of the song).

Thanks for reading … Seshat.

I’d like to thank our guest writer Seshat the Wise for dropping in from the Akashic Library today to tell us a little of what’s behind the holidays and carols we are celebrating and singing during this period in the so-called Western World.  Hope you’re having fun!

dusty tomes teach
humanity’s frolicking
winter feasts
kept at bay deadly cold
and hope’s light in men’s hearts

(c) G.s.k. ’14

 

 

Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie – September 20, 2014

Hello World!

This morning I wrote and published my Saturday Shadorma prompt on Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie.  The thumbnail there is from today’s post … I don’t know how many of you have been round to try the Mindlovemisery’s prompts, so I thought I’d do a short intro.

So, you haven’t been to Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie yet … you don’t know what it is?

It’s a great prompt blog … at the service of all you writers of poems and prose! We’re very easy-going .. you aren’t required to write prose for a prose prompt for example … an epic poem or a limerick is fine if that’s what tickles your muse.  You might say we’re muse friendly  😉  If you prefer to use your own photography for a fairy tale .. no problem.  We’re there to inspire and we know that inspiration cannot be chained!

Each day there is a new prompt … Monday‘s posts are one of my favorites … that’s Wordle day and alas, I’m a Wordle addict!  Then there are Yve’s photo challenges on Tuesday … they just draw you in … hard to resist.  Anmol  writes the weekly Heeding Haiku with HA on Wednesday – Oloriel does the Tale Weaver’s Prompt on Thursday and  Anja on Friday does the Fairy Tale Prompt.  As I said on Saturday I do the Shadorma (and other poetical forms) posts and then on Sunday,  Yves wraps up the week with another photo prompt … and what a great end to a week of prompts it is!

Here’s the Link to Mindlovemisery’s Home page … have fun visiting!

For those who know the site … what do you think of our new dress?  Lovely isn’t it!

Ciao, Bastet.

Lost in Translation – June 17, 2014

Bavarian Band

Bavarian Band

Bavarian Band

With an umpapa umpapa …
We listened to the band that day,
Enjoying the fractured German …
Bavaria on the plains

They put their heart into the show,
They played their music fair …
‘Twas fun to watch their antics!
Bavaria on the plains

An air of October fest …
The band played their songs just right!
Elves and vampires just ignored them
Bavaria on the plains

We from Trentino felt our blood roar
With the joy of the mountain beat!
Though Spiderman seemed blasè,
Bavaria on the plains

Then a group of heavy-metal rockers,
Blasted its wares outside the tent,
What a cacophony it was! We left …
Bavaria on the plains.

With an umpapa umpapa …
We’d listened to the band that day,
Enjoying the fractured German …
Bavaria on the plains

Modern Music

Modern Music


The other day at the comic fest in Villafranca (Italy) inside the tent where food and drink was served, there was this cool little Bavarian band.  They really were very funny and they played well, closing your eyes you could imagine yourself being off somewhere in a German or Austrian beer garden.

For the most part though, the people seemed to be indifferent to the band.  I felt kind of sorry for them, if they’d been here in Arco or Riva, everyone would have been humming, singing and swaying with the music!

They tried to get the public to participate in some of their gags … but nothing doing.  Then outside the tent, a group with their electric guitars up to about 100 decabels let loose.  We looked at each other and decided to go look at some more stands.

One of the major problems I think, for the band, was that at the comic fest there was more an air of Japanese manga, fantasy, ghosts and monsters etc.  Everywhere you looked there were elves, ninja, ghost busters, vampires and there was even a guy dressed up as Edward Sissorhands (with real sissors by the way) not to speak of a zombie girl with white contact lenses!  On top of that the average age of the crowd must have been mid-twenties.

Therefore a Bavarian folk band was just not speaking the same language as the crowd.


I’m not sure if this is exactly what Oliana Kim wanted, but I wrote this for Lost in Translation – Traces Prompt #6

 

 

slowly dawning horror … recession

In the north-eastof  Italy, one of the richest areas of the country, not so long ago, children in a nursery school were fed bread and water for lunch, because their parents couldn’t afford to pay lunch fees.  This wasn’t a private nursery, but a State owned nursery, schooling being a service guaranteed to all citizens.

It’s important though that we understand that, over the years, private companies have taken over the catering services (as well as most other services) in the running of State activities including hospitals.  Where once, the schools had their own cooks this has been considered uneconomical.  It’s also virtually impossible now days for children to bring their own lunches, something not so long ago was pretty normal.  The system used to award companies contracts is based on the lowest bid.  Sometimes the service isn’t very good.

The teacher’s who inforced the rule, refusing to serve lunch to the children, were of course without any sort of stigma, they were only following the rules.  In another nursery school, not long afterwards, the teachers refused to follow the rule, and gave their own lunch tickets to those children whose parents couldn’t pay.  Someone went to the police and filed a complaint accusing the teachers of misappropriation of funds.

In both towns, the population had mixed feelings about what had happened.  The majority however felt that it was only right that the parents should have paid the lunch fees and if they didn’t the children should not have been fed.

Have you ever come across something like this?  Has the recession brought your way some similar horror stories?  Do you indeed consider this a horror story, or just normal every day life?

In Memory of Paco De Lucia

your music inspired
hearts – downtrod  or joyous
where have you gone

I just read on Frizztext’s Flickr Comments that Paco De Lucia, one of my favorite Spanish Flamingo guitarists has passed on. I’ve listened to his music for years since I discovered him for myself back in the 70s.  There are just so few Flaming guitarists of his calibre.

I’ve copied this from Euronews:

“The son of a flamenco guitarist he was born Francisco Sanchez Gomez in Algeciras in south east Spain. It’s reported he was in Mexico where he had lived for five years in the late 1990s relaxing on the beach with members of his family when he suffered a heart attack.”

He was 66 years old.

The Feast of St. Stephen

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT LYRICS

“Good King Wenceslas”

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel

“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me bread and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather

In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, every men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel

Who was King Wenceslas?  Have a look here at the Wikipedia!
Today Christmas celebrations continue with the Feast of St. Stephen
 in Italy as well as many other European countries today is a National Holiday and everything is closed!
Hope, your Christmas was good for you and you will have a nice day today…I’m going back to bed, got myself a very bad cold with high fever and cough and I feel really down and out, so I’ll be celebrating under the covers!
Ciao!  Bastet…

 

BBC Lottery Scam—update!

Hello y’all…decided to speak American Southern 😉

This morning I had fun writing a little post about a beautiful e-mail I received from a supposed employee from the BBC informing me that I’d won 750,000.00 GBP entitled: The BBC Lottery…uhm

Summerstommy was so kind to inform me that he too received the same e-mail…and Lilith Colbert went one step further sending me this great link: http://www.lottery.co.uk/info/bbc-lottery-scam.asp

Here is what it has to say:

“BBC Lottery Scam

It should go without saying that the BBC lottery scam does not originate from the BBC, but simply uses the term BBC Lottery to try and give itself a false air of respectability. The BBC lottery scam is propagated by an email message which tells the recipient that their email address has won a certain sum of money from the ‘BBC Lottery’. The BBC lottery scam email then requests that the recipient claim their prize by submitting several items of information. These include the full name of the recipient, mobile number, occupation, age and regular mailing address.

The BBC has broadcast National Lottery draws ever since the first draw-based game was launched in November 1994, and so many people would associate the BBC with National Lottery games. This BBC lottery scam seeks to exploit that close association in the public consciousness by suggesting that the BBC runs its own lottery game (the BBC Lottery) which purportedly uses email addresses instead of lottery tickets.

All of this is nonsense, of course. The BBC is a broadcasting corporation, not a lottery company, but the association between the BBC and the National Lottery in the UK is a strong one, and that means unwary individuals may well fall for the BBC lottery scam unless they look into it or have previously been forewarned about the scam, as we are doing here.

If an individual responds to the BBC lottery scam email and provides the information requested, the originators of the BBC lottery scam could then use that information for any number of criminal purposes, including identity theft. Should you ever receive a BBC lottery scam email, don’t be tempted to respond in any way, even if you only intend to give the sender a piece of your mind, because all that will do is confirm that your email address is live and active. Instead, the best thing to do is simply delete the BBC lottery scam email. Remember, you can only win a lottery game if it actually exists and if you actually bought yourself a ticket!”

Now…where is the Interpol when we need them?  Right here!  Interpol: Lottery Fraud.

“INTERPOL:

Lottery fraud

Lottery fraud is one of many different types of advance-fee fraud, where the perpetrator attempts to persuade a potential victim to pay fees in advance or relatively small sums of money for a service he or she has never asked for.

In the case of a lottery scam, the money has to be paid for the transfer of a huge lottery win. Very often, names of popular companies or organizations are misused to give the lottery a trustworthy impression. Common media are the Internet, mobile devices and cell phones.

We are currently supporting a  private sector initiative to raise awareness of the scams and to aid investigations.

Advice

If you have received an unexpected letter about a significant lottery win which has to be transferred from a foreign country to your account:

  • Do not reply to any of these messages;
  • Do not send any money;
  • Do not send or hand over identification documents – not even copies;
  • Never give details of your bank accounts or payment cards;
  • Never open any attachments. (Darn…I opened the link to the BBC Lottery!)

If you are already in contact with these criminals or have already paid advance fees:

  • Save all received and sent email and text messages;
  • Save all documents of transactions and remittances;
  • Never agree to meet the criminals in person in order to receive a prize – you will not receive any money and you may be putting yourself in danger.
  • Contact your local police immediately and follow their advice.

Don’t forget: you cannot win a prize for a lottery in which you have never participated.”

 

Oh…and have fun 😉 Loki is running amok … Ciao!  Bastet!

Just a Note: December 16, 2013

Hello World!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell…as you all probably know if you’ve been following my blog, I’ve been swinging between getting into the Christmas Spirit and working to get Ubuntu to function the way I want it to on Sekhmet.  Today, I was forced to decide to clean my Windows XP of all the junk that I’ve  accumulated after several months of surfing the web.

I discovered that I had a few PUPs on my computer.  I’d probably picked them up the other evening when I was trying to download a PDF through a site or maybe when I was trying to look at a film, don’t really know.  Fact is, somehow, I found that I’d installed “OUTOBOX” and so had a lot of ad crap on my computer that I wasn’t aware of.  The problem wasn’t felt, because I use Mozilla Firefox with an app called “ADBlock Plus” I don’t like Google Chrome, too much publicity and pop-up screens and haven’t used Explorer in years.  But just the same, the stuff was there so I uninstalled the darn thing and then of course I knew I had to get rid of the little malicious bits and pieces that were strewn throughout the computer…including the Registry.

Now, if you’re a careful surfer, and I usually am, you can usually avoid most of this mess.  It usually happens when you try to download a program, look at a streamed film, are looking for drivers and you go to an unofficial site, like Softronics to download it.  So the first thing to learn is don’t download a program from an unofficial site.  You want to get AVG free…go to the AVG web site.  Make sure you’re where you’re supposed to be before you download.  The second thing you do is you don’t just fast click the program you’re trying to install.  Often adware and toolbars and other nice things are attached to the installation program, they tell you it’s there though if they’re honest, so all you have to do is uncheck the stuff.

Be careful where you go when you’re surfing the web.  Those cute little ring tones for example are very often an invitation to have your computer spattered with junk…and I don’t think I have to tell you about “adult sites”.  Believe me you can have all the anti-virus and firewalls you want, sooner or later you’ll get some junk on your computer.  This stuff just walks past them…one thing I’ve recently read is, that if you have the option you can have your anti-virus block the PUPS. Terrible world we live in folks…poisoned cookies and vicious pups…oh well. Remember though, if your anti-virus slows your computer down too much, it may not be worth the pain, you really can learn to scour your computer with the right products.

I’ve come across a lot of this stuff and sometimes I make a little extra helping people get their systems up and running after they’ve had a bit of viral infection :-).  Yep, I may not be getting along too well with Ubuntu, but I do know my XP and can work really well with Microsoft products!

Some people have come to me with their computer blocked by a big nasty notice:  “You have been found surfing into illegal sites.  Interpol has blocked your computer.  You will have to pay a fine of 100 euro in order to unblock your computer.”  My extemporaneous translation, but more or less that’s the gist.  Other people have downloaded programs to tweak their computer…thought it was too slow…and then couldn’t get it to do anything.  Sometimes they wanted an alternative reader, browser (yes even Firefox), antivirus or whatever and voilà they found themselves with a really cool program that compacted their files and made the originals invisible creating links to open them, that didn’t work.  Oh the things I’ve seen.  And usually all because we are of a trusting ingenuous nature.

So…I found myself with OutoBox this morning as I was saying…after I uninstalled, I went and Googled to find out what it was and most important, how to get rid of the tendrils that were surely in my computer.  This is the “how to” site I went to: PC Infected.Com. Go have a peek clicking the link.  I followed the instructions from 1 to 3…I didn’t download Hitman Pro…and I didn’t Reset my browser (actually Malware Bytes did that partially).

The first two programs took off a bunch of stuff from my computer, and I was thinking that I’d just forego the Malware Bytes program…it had to be installed and wasn’t like the other two that are direct .Exe and didn’t need installation.  I avoid where possible installing these 14 day trail wonders.  Sometimes they tell you what you’ve got and won’t clean up unless you pay.  Yeah…I guess I’m stingy…if I used them for work I’d pay because they are very often worth the money, but for one shot usage…yeah, I guess I’m stingy.  Anyway, this time I decided to try it out and see the results.  This is what it came up with:

screenshotNot bad…a couple of Trojans and a worm a backdoor bot!  I let the program remove the trash.

Surprise!  Firefox, which was becoming very slow of late, is now as quick as a frightened bunny.  Remember, if your browser is getting very slow, you’ve probably got a few pups and poisoned cookies running around, not to talk about Trojan horses and yucky worms!  Go and do a little cleaning.  Throw out the cookies from time to time.  Sure, some of your favorite sites will be slow in opeing, but then you’ll find everything flows like milk and honey (but not so sticky). The really big advantage is you might find that your “New Post” on your editor at WordPress pops up in seconds like it should 😉

Have a nice week folks and hope you enjoyed the post. Ciao Bastet!

Twelve Days of Christmas…uhm…

I’ve been seeing lots of posts recently about that great glory, the Twelve Days of Christmas.  I’ve also seen that people are posting now great blogs about the twelve days of Christmas when in fact, they should  probably be entitled…Twelve Days before Christmas.  Because, uhm, the twelve days of Christmas in the song began on December 26th.

In the middle ages, Christmas Day was a holy day not a feast day.  On the day of Christ’s birth, people prayed and meditated.  Sometimes people fasted that day or at least didn’t eat meat.  The festivities began on the Feast of Saint Stephen the 26th of December and went through to the 6th of January – Epiphany. Epiphany was the day the three Magi came to give gifts to baby Jesus as the story goes. 12 Days of feasting…based upon many old pagan festivals which the church defused by integrating them into the great Christmas festivities.

Times of course have changed…many things have been forgotten and not only the old pagan festivals.  Even in America, until around the late 1800s Christmas celebrations were discouraged believe it or not and for many was not considered a holiday at all.

Just thought you’d like to know 😉 and now…for a musical interlude!

And do you have something to share about this wonderful season.  Perhaps you know something about the “old” religions and their festivities?  I’m a sponge for new knowledge and love to learn more!

Have a nice day…I’m off to put up the Christmas tree!