Scroll down to read this post.


I am now in the third week of my annual February birthday fund-raising drive. The first two weeks were good, but not record-setting.


There are still two weeks left in this campaign however. If you have been a regular reader and a fan of my work and have not yet donated or subscribed, please consider doing so. I take no ads, I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands (most of the time). Thus, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Max Ehrman – Desiderata

An evening pause: An excellent meditation for beginning the weekend. From the Youtube webpage:

Max Ehrmann was an American attorney and poet who often wrote on spiritual themes. During his life, he contributed great thoughts to our literary lexicons, blending the magic of words and wisdom with his worthy observations.

Desiderata, which means “things that are desired,” was written by Max Ehrmann “because it counsels those virtues I felt most in need of.”

I think the reading was a bit slow. I think it works better at either 1.25 or 1.5 speed.

Hat tip Cotour.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • A nice copy of which, suitable for framing, was given me by my mother on high school graduation.

    Also, a good Eagles song. Oh, wait . . .

  • Cotour


    I happened to randomly watch this video about a man who built a back yard observatory with a sliding roof:

    And towards the end of the video the astronomer notes a framed gift given to him by his wife which consisted of this poem, Desiderata, which she knew was his favorite to hang in his new facility.

    I had never heard of it before, I could not even pronounce it, did not know what it meant.

    I then looked up the poem and listened to the version posted above and I thought it was relevant to a conversation that I just that morning had with a friend who was looking for some perspective. I sent it to her, and she connected to it immediately, her mother had it hanging on her kitchen wall forever.

    She needed perspective and her mother through me apparently provided it? (It’s a crazy existence)

    And then I sent it to the Zman as An Evening Pause Suggestion who also connected to it immediately and posted it.

    Just a nice full circle coincidence.

  • wayne

    Jordan B Peterson: 12 conservative principles in 12 minutes

  • wayne

    Great back-story!
    –> nice video of that guy’s backyard observatory. (That, is a fancy store-bought one!) I didn’t catch where he is located?

    In my area the astronomy club has a nice little set up, located 15 miles out in the boonies on the waste water tx plant property. An extremely dark area. They built practically everything from scratch.

  • I prefer the “Disintegrata” It is so much more applicable to, and helpful in dealing with, the real world. Whoever said the Klingons have no philosophers.

    Go nastily amid the peace and tranquility, and remember what satisfaction there may be in genocide.

    As far as possible, without surrender, move into other people’s space.

    Lie often, and loudly; and listen to the lies of others, even the slow and incompetent — examples can be made of them later.

    Seek out meek and inoffensive persons; they are annoying, but fun to kill.

    Do not bother comparing yourself to others; those greater than you will eventually be eliminated, and those lesser than you are dead already.

    Fart in airlocks.

    Assassinate your superior as quickly as possible; your own career, however exalted, is not worth a plugged millo if one of your junior officers gets it over your dead body.

    Exercise caution if one of your course changes suddenly produces a sensor ghost; for the Galaxy is full of Federation vessels.

    But let this not blind you to the happier side of things; many Starship captains are swaggering, tin-plated dictators with delusions of godhood, and everywhere life is full of incompetence.

    Advance yourself.

    Especially do not feign meanness, neither be cynical about hate; you are not likely to run out of either.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the joys of defenestration and evisceration for more mature pleasures.

    Nurture a deep-seated suspicion of small furry creatures that purr; you never can tell.

    File your teeth regularly.

    Discipline is important; practice holding it in between planet falls.

    You are a scourge of the universe, no less than your average interstellar plague or black hole; you have a right to be here.

    And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is going to pieces in a most laudable manner.

    Therefore do your utmost to annoy the Destroyer, however you may conceive of Him, Big Bang or Entropy Death; and whatever your plans of conquest, as you wade through the morasses of peace with fire and sword, annoy your soul.

    With all its truth, high resolve, and courage, the world still has its ugly spots.

    Be thoughtless.

    Strive to be miserable.

  • Cotour

    Andrew M:

    Sounds very familiar, sounds like the Democrat party machine mantra.

    “By any means necessary, up to and including murder”

  • Edward

    Andrew M Winter,
    “Disintegrata” That is why the name sounded so familiar, but wrong! Thank you for the reminder from oh, so long ago.

    Thank you for the original source material. I didn’t know it existed.

  • Edward: Thank Cotour, who suggested this pause.

  • Edward

    Thank you for the pause.

  • Cotour

    Your very welcome, happy that many saw some value in it.

  • Andi

    Hadn’t heard of Disintegrata before (thanks for that one!): this is the one I thought of:

    You are a fluke
    Of the universe.
    You have no right to be here…..
    Deteriorata! Deteriorata!

    Go placidly
    Amid the noise and waste.
    And remember what comfort there may be
    In owning a piece thereof.
    Avoid quiet and passive persons
    Unless you are in need of sleep.
    Rotate your tires.
    Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself
    And heed well their advice,
    Even though they be turkeys.
    Know what to kiss… and when!

    Consider that two wrongs never make a right
    But that three… do.
    Wherever possible, put people on hold.
    Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment
    And despite the changing fortunes of time,
    There is always a big future in computer maintenance.

    You are a fluke
    Of the universe.
    You have no right to be here.
    And whether you can hear it or not
    The universe is laughing behind your back.

    Remember the Pueblo.
    Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate.
    Know yourself.
    If you need help, call the FBI.
    Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
    Especially with those persons closest to you.
    That lemon on your left, for instance.
    Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
    Would scarcely get your feet wet.
    Fall not in love therefore;
    It will stick to your face.
    Gracefully surrender the things of youth:
    The birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan
    And let not the sands of time
    Get in your lunch.

    Hire people with hooks.
    For a good time call 606-4311;
    Ask for “Ken.”
    Take heart amid the deepening gloom
    That your dog is finally getting enough cheese.
    And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot
    It could only be worse in Milwaukee.


    Therefore, make peace with your god
    Whatever you conceive him to be-
    Hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.
    With all its hopes, dreams, promises and urban renewal
    The world continues to deteriorate.
    GIVE UP!

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *