Category Archives: Uncategorized

All that glitters is not Gold

“During a lunar eclipse, you find a glowing rock in your backyard.”
– a prompt for this week’s CW piece.
[Source: @DailyPrompt]

I love eclipses:  solar, lunar, doesn’t mattter.

This one was lunar and not all that spectacular

I watched from my back yard.

It didn’t show up until the moon turned red.

There was a slight glow from the wood pile.

It was near the shed.

It was a cold light, sparkly. Purples, Greens and pinks.

The colors swirled and danced.

I touched it with a stick.

Suddenly the colors shot up the stick, up my arm to my face!

I’m in a dark place.  There’s popcorn.

This could be a really long movie.

I need more popcorn.


Silly Rant

Yes, I have been watching too much Monty Python.  I do have a rant, but it’s such a silly thing.  I keep expecting the British police to enter and tell me to stop.

I had a limited time to eat yesterday.  I went to my Bible Study, then to the gym and then home to work on some editing.  One hour later, I left to teach.  It is a 30-40 minute commute, and I taught one piano lesson for an hour and one voice lesson for about thirty minutes.  I had a choir rehearsal in that part of the town, and as it was now 6:30 and choir started at 7:15, I thought I’d stop and get some dinner since choir would last until about 8:30 with another 30-minute commute home.  I went to Dairy Queen.  Big mistake.

I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and fries.  It arrived fairly quickly, and I took my first bite.  A big blob of catsup leaked out of the back of the sandwich and landed squarely on my sweater.  I put down the sandwich and wiped as much as I could.  Picking up the sandwich for my second bite, a big glob of lettuce and mayonnaise fell out on my plate.  That was annoying.  I now had a sandwich, fries, and a mini-salad, and no fork.  I ate a fry and took a drink. This was a mistake because it allowed my bun to soak up more gooeyness.

I took my third bite, and all the bacon and pickle came out a and hung from my mouth as if I were eating Klingon Gagh.  (You’ll have to look that up.)  Putting down the sandwich to catch all that food hanging out, the bun stuck to my hand (because all the goo also leaked onto my hands) and now I had the hamburger, salad, and dressing on my plate all over my fries, and the bun stuck to my hand, and still no fork.  My plate looked like it had been attacked by a toddler who likes to mash up his food.

By the time I work up enough courage to take another bite, the bun has disintegrated into a wet, sloppy mess.  Attempting to put the sandwich together again is a futile exercise.  Now I have goo on my hands, catsup on my sweater, sandwich drippings on my pants and coat.  I pick up another fry and discover that my hands are slippery and, loaded with catsup, the fry tumbles from my hands and lands on my shoe.  I have used up 4 napkins at this point.

Of course, a side effect of goo is that should it remain on your hands more than 7 seconds, it becomes stickier.  When attempting to wipe your hands on the napkins, it shreds them and glues them inexorably to every surface–hands, face, table, coat, pants, and shoe.  I look like a cheap version of the mummy.   Now I must head to practice.

Dairy Queen:

1. You can make your buns out of sterner stuff

2. You can toast them

3. You can use lettuce that isn’t shredded, fewer toppings, and crisp bacon

Until that happens, I’m eating at Arby’s.


I’ve had it.  I’m tired of hearing people criticizing Gillette.  The dent made in the bottom line of all those people who will not buy Gillette razors is minuscule.  They complain about the message:  Toxic masculinity.  Can we agree that people fighting at Iwo Jima and Iraq and Viet Nam were not examples of toxic masculinity?  Can we agree that men that like to hunt and target shoot are not examples of toxic masculinity?  Can we agree that you don’t have to be male to be toxic?  Most of the people I see getting all up in arms about the ad are posting memes that have NOTHING to do with toxicity!

Remember that song, “Bad Boys?”  Bad bad bad bad boys, make me feel so good.  Boys will be boys.  There’s something dangerous about a guy that doesn’t follow the mores of the culture.  In the song, the girl is attracted to this.  How long do you think she’d be attracted if he decided to rape her?  How long would she go along with his rule breaking when he started cheating on her?  If he’s a jerk in one situation, could he be a jerk in others?  OF COURSE!  What is toxic?  We’ve determined that gentlemen don’t rape, they don’t beat up women, they play by the Marquess of Queensbury rules… (thank you Wikipedia)

  1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a 24-foot ring, or as near that size as practicable.
  2. No wrestling or hugging allowed.
  3. The rounds to be of three minutes’ duration, and one minute’s time between rounds.
  4. If either man falls through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, 10 seconds to be allowed him to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner, and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the 10 seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his award in favour of the other man.
  5. A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.
  6. No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.
  7. Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest; so that the match must be won and lost, unless the backers of both men agree to draw the stakes.
  8. The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new.
  9. Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee’s satisfaction.
  10. A man on one knee is considered down and if struck is entitled to the stakes.
  11. That no shoes or boots with spikes or sprigs (wire nails) be allowed.[6]
  12. The contest in all other respects to be governed by revised London Prize Ring Rules.

These made sure the fighting was a sport, and not a murder with spectators.  King Arthur came up with the rules of Chivalry according to legend.  How to treat people with respect was of great import!  But if you consider this, remember that there would not have had to have been rules written down if people were currently behaving that way.  If people are already stopping at the corner, you don’t need a stop sign.  Why do you suppose they had to have the 10 commandments written in STONE?  Because someone with a stylus and ink could have added and changed those rules?  Most certainly.

Boys WILL be boys.  They fight, they wrestle, they like to join gangs to give them a feeling of belonging and power.  They like to exercise that power over weaker opponents–male or female.  They have to be TAUGHT to be men.  Men treat others with respect.  Men help people in trouble.  Men will do what is needed to support and protect their families.  Men have to teach boys not to bully.  Men have to teach boys to think with their heads when dealing with women.  That was one of the goals for Boy Scouts:  teaching boys how to be men.

Girls will be girls.  Wait.  What?  Girls are never toxic.  *stands on sarcasm button*  They fight with words, and they can also get physical.  They can be just as mean as boys.  They can manipulate girls and boys and adults, and that gives these girls a feeling of power.  Some manipulate with the choice of clothing they wear; some by the connections they have with groups, and some by sheer physical prowess.  They need to be taught by women how to treat others, how to help, how not to bully.

Do you suppose that if men didn’t react to women dressing provocatively they’d start dressing differently?  Do you think that if no one reacted to gossip on FaceBook or Instagram or in study hall, they might not gossip?  Women dress for everyone but themselves.  They spend 2 hours on their hair, make-up, and clothes to go to Walmart for birthday cards?  What sense does that make?

I once went with some Girl Scouts on a backpacking trip.  My troop of girls packed their backpacks with clothes, tools, camping dishes and stuff.  When we got to the site, we had our tents up and everything set up in a matter of minutes.  In visiting the girls from the other troops, we saw curling irons and make-up.  There were no mirrors at the site, and no electricity.  In fact, there was a two-holer for the toilet, no shower, no bathtub, no sink.  There weren’t any other groups on this trip.  Who were they dressing up for?  City folk.

So if girls dress for everyone else, why do they dress the way they dress and then walk past a construction site and are offended by what the guys say?  Isn’t that precisely why they dressed that way?  Now if the guys are toxic, they’d catcall a grandmother in a sweat suit.  In fact there was a rape case in the UK where the prosecutor didn’t pick up on that aspect.  The defense counselor claimed that the girl wanted to have sex because she was wearing a thong.  If it were true that the girl only wore the thong because she wanted sex, how would the RAPIST know what she was wearing for underwear?  So the prosecutor and the defendant both displayed toxic masculinity.  What if the grandmother in the sweat suit was wearing a thong?

I think that instead of worrying about being politically correct, people should think about having good manners!  A gentleman doesn’t make cat calls.  A lady doesn’t engage in gossip for the sole purpose of destroying a rival.  Parents watching kids fight break them up and show them how to arm wrestle.  They don’t sit on the sidelines with their grills and say “Boys will be boys will be boys…” over and over.  I do not know a single man that would do that!

So there are 2 motivations for someone to be a jerk.  The first is to gain power in their circle of friends or tribe.  The second is…because they can.  They have power and they choose to use and abuse that power because it feels good and no one will call them on the carpet for that behavior.  Gillette just called them on the carpet.  What surprises me is the vehemence that is being unloaded on Gillette.  The arguments make no sense and a great many times are like that riddle.  (as seen on the Tick, an old TV series)

Q: If you’re driving down the ocean in your jet ski, and the wheel falls off, does it still take the same amount of pancakes to cover a doghouse?
A: Purple because ice cream has no bones.

We must end toxic masculinity, and toxic femininity.  You can’t take my guns.  See?  The 2 sentences have nothing to do with each other.  Neither does the picture of the veterans from some war with a slogan that indicates that their toxic masculinity is why we don’t speak German or Japanese.  Also makes no sense.

Toxic masculinity is when they use their guns to take over a bar and steal all the booze. Toxic masculinity is when, after the armed forces take the village, they rape all the women and kill the men and boys.  So all males are NOT toxic, and neither are all females.  It doesn’t have to be a rape culture or a toxic patriarchy.  We actually can control that.  STOP BEING JERKS.


Here comes the Sun…Snow

“Here Comes The Sun Snow”

Here comes the snow, (do n do do) Here comes the snow
And I say it’s all right (shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, then a snowman!)
Little darling, it’s been a long dry lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the snow, (do n do do) Here comes the snow
And I say it’s all right (shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, then snow fort!)
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the snow, (do n do do) here comes the snow
And I say it’s all right (shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, snowball fights!)
Snow, snow, snow, here it comes (They said it!  Schools are now closing)
Snow, snow, snow, here it comes (They’re planning! Trucks are out sanding)
Snow, snow, snow, here it comes (Forecasters!  Using statistics)
Snow, snow, snow, here it comes  (They promised!  6 to 8 inches)
Snow, snow, snow, here it comes  (Where is it?  One or two flakes now?) 

Little darling, I see the brown grass is emerging
Little darling, it seems the sled is still unused.

Here comes the snow, (checking radar) here comes the snow?
And they lie, it’s all clear (waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting, anxiously)
Here comes the snow, (satellite view) here comes the snow? And they lie, It’s all rain, (drizzle and drizzle and drizzle and drizzle, then it freezes)

No snowflakes, (scraping and cursing and slipping and falling, maybe next week…)
(Checking the forecast for 10 days out, maybe Thursday…)
apologies to Lennon and McCartney and all the school kids and teachers.

STFU syndrome

Yes, it’s exactly what you think.

There comes a time when after years of mistakes and challenges and work-arounds that you know some of the miscues, some of the bunny trails, quite a few of the misguided “tips” to avoid.  You are now WISE!  Tada!  You see someone heading down the wrong path and aha!  you can help them avoid that trap that you ran into 20 years ago.  You see someone about to make a disastrous decision and you can step in and show the consequences of their decisions.  Given this vital information, they might make a better decision.  You see someone taking advice from someone who’s out to defraud them, or is completely ignorant of the subject (read “I found it on Facebook so it has to be true”) and you have information that would clear up any misdirection.

For the love of everything holy, DON’T TELL THEM!  Keep the information to yourself.  Do not offer any advice.  When consequences go unchecked and they find themselves in a deep dark hole, do not say “I told you so!”  When you see your friends, relatives, heck, even enemies heading off the path, wave and wish them luck.  They don’t see any benefit to your being older, having more experiences, having more information, having more success.  They are not unintelligent.  They are ignorant.  They have the information they need, they just ignore it.  Then they pretend that they didn’t ignore it and that the information, though valuable, was not timely or indeed was not even plausible.


Not so merry maids…

One of my students, a good friend of mine at the tender age of ahem ahem, suggested I get a cleaning service to help out.  I got brave and called and a very very nice lady named Marian answered and got my information.  She paused when, after she asked me about whether it was dusting on a regular basis, I laughed.  I am rather depressed about the condition of my house.  If you ever watch “Hoarders” they haven’t anything on me.  So she proposed that she come in and see what needed to be done.  The poor woman nearly ran screaming from the house.  She was talking about dusting and organizing and vacuuming, and I was thinking chiseling, shoveling and a large dumpster…or 2.

She didn’t leave me high and dry however…she left me the number of an arsonist and an explosives expert.

Well, I’m having my bathroom remodeled so that’s not going to happen.  Then she suggested I get a deep-clean company to work on one room at a time, and once they have cleaned the detritus out, I could call her back to do dusting and vacuuming and organizing…  I’m picturing a large van with guys in hazmat gear and a flamethrower.

With Great Power…

With great power comes great responsibility.

With great responsibility comes great power.  Why don’t more people seek it?  Seek responsibility!  Help out with the Boy/Girl scouts.  Become the librarian for the community band.  Join the library board.  Run for school board.  Do you have a special talent or interest that can benefit your community?  Why not contribute?  Why not teach a finance class?  Why not start a walking club?  Why not teach an immersive language course?  Why not write a book?

People wait around for someone “More Qualified” to do something because there’s stuff they’d rather do.  Like what?  You work, and then come home, and not work.  We don’t cook anymore because it’s easier to have it at your finger tips in a minute or so in drive through than to get out the pots and pans and actually have some food in the fridge.  We don’t join clubs anymore because we can Facebook or tweet or Instagram instead of actually getting together with people.  We don’t go to church because we can watch Hallmark movies (and we don’t have to sing!)  We can scream our outrage with memes and political rants and then claim “Not My President!” because we didn’t vote for anyone.  We also didn’t run for office.  “If we don’t take responsibility, we don’t have to take the blame,” we think.  Wrong.  The responsibility is still there.  If we shirk the responsibility off to someone else, it is a choice that we will be judged on.  Could you have done a better job?  If so, why didn’t you take the job?

Yes, it is stressful.  Yes it requires diplomacy.  Yes it requires the best of you: your intellect, your energy, your persistence, your ability to solve problems, your relationships with your team, your interest in the project and the fact that you actually care about the outcome.

When my dad was starting to go downhill due to his age, I was the one that shouldered most of the responsibility.  I did his finances, I visited him (2 hrs down, 1 hour visit, 2 hrs back), and had to deal with his paranoia and his rants.  I had to deal with his hospital stays and his confusion.  I had to put the house up for rent.  I had to hide his car so he wouldn’t drive.  I had to set up his bills and get his taxes to his accountant.  I had to work out his will.  I was playing the martyr.  Then my brothers stepped up.  We moved him to a nursing facility that was 10 minutes from my younger brother, and he and my youngest made sure he got good care.  They dealt with the worst of the dementia.  I am so grateful for that!!  But when it was the three of us, no single one felt the weight of the responsibility all the time.  I got the house and the plane sold, invested the money, and made sure his bills were paid.  My brothers visited him at the facility, took care of the health issues, and made his last days bearable.  As a team, we all worked together, and individually, we all learned something from the experience.

When good people seek responsibility to their communities and their families, good things happen.  They don’t seek power, but the power they gather as a result of taking responsibility allows them to spread the job around so more people can contribute to the community.  When everyone is contributing and not sitting on the sidelines and throwing insults and critiques, things get better!

Don’t be an observer only.  Observe, find a niche, and take responsibility!  Go and DO SOMETHING!

Basement boy

I used to worry about my boys living in basements.  My oldest moved from couch to basement to couch of his friends, and enemies, and anyone enamored with his amazing charisma that would allow him lodging.  He now has an apartment.  Yay!  My middle boy and his wife and 2 kids live in her parents’ basement…but because of the declining health of the parents.  My youngest lives in my basement due to the fact that he can only get a part time job in fast food.  He says he’s been applying lots of places.

But guess what I figured out!  Jesus was a basement boy!  Yup.  There are no records of him leaving home to get married.  He did have a lot of marriage stories, and his mom dragged him to one in Capernaum and they ran out of wine.  Maybe she was trying to hint, “Boy, ya’ll need to get married and out of my basement!”  But he was hanging with his crew and wandering about the country from the time he was 30.  Now if you were Jesus, would you want the Pharisees and Saducees to go after your Wife and Kids?  No?  Well, then best not to get married.  Also there’d be this succession thing after he died…

Anyway, so I’m not worried about my boys anymore.  Jesus turned out all right.

They say that the average life expectancy in 1st century Jerusalem was about 45 years, but all that means is that someone that was born in 1st century Jerusalem could expect to live 45 years on the average.  That’s because infant mortality was high.  So for every man that lived to 80, there was one that died before he was one.  But life span could be anywhere from 50-70 years or longer depending on the type of work you did.  So here was Jesus, and he didn’t have his own shop (at least no one’s found any evidence that he had one) and was 30 already!  His disciples were mostly teenagers except for Peter who would have been about 20.  Let’s look at Jesus then:  he was a 30 year-old with a lot of wisdom and he recruited teenagers…guessing the age of immortality 15-19 and one 20 year old.  He was Peter Pan!  He had some older followers (Nicodemus) true, but if you want to get some people with fire in their bellies, get teenagers!  They were inspired, and diligent, and committed.  This doesn’t sound like any teenagers I know.  They risked everything and though some were martyred early, some lived to be in their 60’s.  John spent a great deal of time at Patmos in seclusion.  He was in his 90’s when he died they think.  But if he was a teenager when he joined the disciples, he could have been in his 80’s…

So all my basement boys are following an interesting example, though I don’t think they’re doing it on purpose.  I’m optimistic.

Robo calls

buzz, buzz, buzz.

Who do I know from Las Vegas?  Nobody.  No voicemail

Buzz, buzz, buzz.

Who do I know from California?  Nobody.  No voicemail

Buzz, buzz, buzz

Rhode Island?

Buzz, buzz, buzz

Omaha.  Better answer this:  “If I could save you money on your automatic peat dispenser…” No, I don’t have an automatic peat dispenser.  Voice doesn’t stop, doesn’t answer questions, doesn’t ask questions…

*Slowly sinks into madness…Tim Curry maniacal look on face 

Buzz, buzz, buzz.

I text, “I’m on my way.”

Reply from phone:  “Who is this?”

“You called, I answered, just getting into the car”

“You’re coming here?”

“Of Course.”

“How do you know where to go?”

“I’ve been waiting for your call…I’ve been following you for weeks!  I can hardly wait to see you face to face!”

“Who is this really?”

“Look at your last call.  The one at 10:42.  It’s me!”

“Well you don’t know where I live do you!  I’m leaving!”

“I know you’re not.  You don’t even have your coat on.  It’s freezing out here!  I don’t want you to catch cold and end up in the hospital like last year.”

“Wait, how did you know about that?”  I don’t know but it was a 50/50 shot…

“Apparently this phone scam doesn’t pay all that well.  That’s a really messed up car!  Did you get it at an auction?”

“How do you know what kind of car I have?!!!”

“Drone…”  I play a youtube video in the background so he hears the drone sound.

He hangs up.  I call him back.  He doesn’t answer.  I call him periodically through out the day.

“I knocked, but you didn’t answer.  I’m right around the corner when you’re ready.”

I called back today, phone is disconnected.