Wednesday, February 29, 2012


You're not going to believe the stuff that you will see here on the 29 day of February 2012.  To begin with I have to say that after all the years that I sat there and calculated my chances of making it to the year 2000, it turns out that one of the wonderful things about it was that, when I got there, it was Leap Year.  The next "turn of the Century" leap year will not be until 2400.  I am quite sure that I will not be around then unless I have come back as a Galapagos Tortoise or something like that.  As you can tell by some of my previous notes to you on this blog, I have been a little bit curious about the phenomenon of Leap Year.  We somehow get proud of our scientific savvy and we think that all this stuff is here thanks to our advanced astronomical science. Not so.  The first leap year was declared sometime back in the 3rd century.  So, how's that?  Now, I am not going to bore you with a lot of stuff that you don't really care about.  I'll only bore you with a little bit of such stuff.  First, for example is the reason why in French the word for Leap Year is "Annee Bissextile."  [No, that has nothing to do with that!]  It comes from the fact that in the early centuries AD, the Roman way of counting days was used.  Stuff like Kalends and Ides was the rule.  Since the first "Leap Day" was inserted ["intercalated] between the sixth day of the Kalends of February and the first day of the Ides, it was called the Annus Bissextilus, thus, all about six and not s.x, and thus also, the French and other languages sticking with the term written above. Now, ain't that cool?
Now there is something else that enters my mind here that makes me happy that our Hapa Haole younger son was born on February 28 and not the 29.  It is the question of when we would have been able to celebrate his legal 21st birthday.  So, what is the legal substitute for February 29th in the United States for a leapling's birthday in a common year?  To put it another way, if you were born on 2/29/xxxx, on what day would you be legally able to imbibe alcohol in public?  Would it be February 28 or would it be March 1?  I admit that after much research, I haven't found the answer to the question.  So, if your are a leapling, for most purposes you will be able to get along easily.  However, when your father takes you out for your midnight swig when you turn 21,  you may have to wrangle the bartender if you try it in February 28 of a common year.  If, by happenstance, your father made a deal with you to do that in your 21st birthday, you may have to wrangle St. Peter at the Golden gate to let the old man out.
So, I hope that you have a happy intercalary day.  I'm sure that I will because I know what intercalary means.

Monday, February 27, 2012


L>R: Elizabeth,  Belle,
Jo-El,  Marc
The other night I got the surprise of my young life.  We were celebrating the birthday of Jo-El, the younger of our two sons.  He had invited some of his friends for the occasion.  I never expected what would happen to me as the young people began to file into the house.  I knew them all, but I hadn't seen some of them for quite a while.  What surprised me was the feeling of love and belonging that I was feeling as they arrived.  Some of them single and some of them with spouse or fiancee.  I was awash with these strange emotions in the presence of these fine folks.  They were there in front of me and I could also see their parents and their siblings.  I had the rush of so many experiences in the past.  I also had the feeling of gratitude that these children had given me something to love about life.  I never thought, in my entire existence that the friends of my children would mean so much to me.  Some of them, naturally are mutual friends of both boys, but it goes without saying that there is also another cadre of great guys and girls who gravitate more around the elder one.  I couldn't help but think of them as all of this was happening.  
I was floating around the party environment having fun with everybody and at the same time trying to understand if EFR Dion and MJT Dion had had the opportunity to experience the same feelings.   I have been thinking of the contributions that each one of them has made to my life and I have to say that it is rather impressive.  All I can do is to hope that all of you can have an experience or two like this.  It is really quite elating.  
Thanks for listening.  

FEBRUARY 28, 1979

There they are, two great happy, hapa Pinoys, 11 months separating them in age.  Starting today when you open this they will be celebrating the short time each year when they are both the same age.  In a manner of speaking.  Of course this year they have an extra day to celebrate because of the leap year.  The one on the right is the elder and he is married while the younger is still unmarried.  So this is perhaps a good year for him because this being a leap year, tradition says that a woman may ask a man to marry her.  A little bit like Sadie Hawkins Day, you might say. While we were waiting for the lad on the left, we were rather in a quandary as to whether or not we should want him to be born on the same day of the same month as I was.  As it turns out, there was nothing to worry about because he surprised us and got here about one week before my birth anniversary day.  Belle and I were talking about it the other day.  She had gone to work with the knowledge that she had a doctor's appointment at the end of the day.  Around 4:30 or so.  I was at work, but I wasn't worried because my mother-in-law was home at our house.  
As the story goes, when Mama got in front of the doctor, he and the attendants began to giggle a little bit. One of them asked Belle if she was parked in long term parking.  Without knowing too much what to make of the query, Belle said that she didn't think so.  "Oh", said one of them, "maybe you should call your husband to tell him to come to move the car.  It looks like you are going to be here for a while."  They were right, of course.  I did go there, I did move the car, and a little later that night Jo-El was born.  It was a rather exciting event.  The most exciting part of it for me was that when I went to the hospital early the next morning after the cesarean procedure, Belle told me that she had named the baby Jo-El, because she said that she wanted her child to have God's name.  So he has God's name.  But you know something, for the first few years it was kinda like Hell.  Computers in the early days could not understand the dash [ - ] between the "0" and the "E" so it took a while before the world got to know the man's real name.  
Actually, we were all ready with a name from the moment of conception.  It was to be Hannah, the holy mother of Samuel.  We had never even bothered to cope with the off-chance that a boy would be born.  What a change from the first time.  In that case we had a masculine name and a feminine one all set and ready to go.  So, the guy is born and we are not happy with the name we had decided on 8 months prior.  It took us about 5 or 6 days before we [she] finally came up with one. The minute she said it, I knew it was right.  So we are happy.
That experience taught me that the Jewish people have it right when they grant citizenship through the mother.  It is the mother who knows whether or not the name will fit.  The intimacy between the two makes it that way. So anyway, this is a great day for Jo-El.  Thanks for keeping him in mind.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


This is a story about a car trunk and the meaning of the comment that it drew from the Voice from the Passenger's Seat.  What I have done here is to propose a little puzzle to you all.  There are least two things wrong [different] about this trunk.  I know that some of you might be able to see more than two, but a left brained guy like me is only out to have some fun with you, not to point out the real, nitty-gritty truth.  The first thing that this trunk has that the trunks of today do not have is the spare tire out in the open,taking up "X" amount of cubic inches of precious storage space.  I can't figure out what the little doo-dads are to the right of the tire, so you're on your own with that.  Then, of course, we are looking at a wasteful over-use of rubber and other raw materials by using a full-size tire as a spare that perhaps will never get used.  Now I happen to know what used to happen to that spare tire.  That's the money saver for EFR Dion and the life saver for me.  For EFR Dion it cut the price of replacing tires by 25% because he would take on of the used ones and make IT the spare, buy three other new ones and add the never used spare to the three new tires.  Cool, right?   You can say "cool" if you want, but we used to say, "Just like Ol' New York."  Many would just simply say, "Just like New York."  Do people still talk like that in New England?  
Second things wrong with the trunk in the picture is that it is Waaayyy too clean.  Today,as we were loading the car before hitting the road to come back to Moreno Valley, Belle saw the inside of the trunk and said, "This has to be cleaned."  I was flabbergasted.  The only thing that was in there was a little bit of palm tree seed that had been blown in there by the wind and a 14 inch bungy cord  that was laying there like a sloppy snake.  The vinyl cover was neat and unwrinkled.  I mean, from MY perspective this was as clean as a Vatican Basilica.   I said, "This is clean.  Are you out of your mind?"  Her wise crack answer was,"It could be cleaner."  You remember not too long ago we discussed the value of "more than excellent?"  This was one of those days that brought synaptic challenges to the frontal lobotomical cortex.  Is it possible for "clean"to be more or less than clean?  I don't know about you, but I know someone for whom "clean" has varying points on a bell curve.  We bounced her little comment back and forth for a while and I promised that I would celebrate the vernal equinox by "cleaning" the trunk.
The next week will include reflections about a birthday party that was a nostalgia trip; some people who see snow for the first time.  If you have never had the pleasure of seeing an adult experiencing that exposure, you're missing one of the great fun times that could happen to anyone.
Be good boys and girls now.  Oh yeah, I also have to review some of the Feb. 29 old fashioned traditions with you all.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Hello to you all.
This is not a thought of mine.  It was sent to me by the publisher of, the online Catholic Magazine with which I am affiliated.  This is a film by a young man who uploaded it to YouTube over one year ago.  It has won a prize in New York and now is making the rounds on the Internet.  I hope you will all take a lesson from it.  It makes the basic point that love and respect are not rooted in riches and luxurious comfort.  Watch and see what you think.


Allow me throw some thoughts at you here, just to give you an idea of what goes on inside my head and the head of the Voice from the Passenger's Seat.
1. Text to #2 Son:  How many people are coming?
     Response: I invited 7 to 11.  Maybe just 3 or 4 will come.  Maybe we can cancel it.  We look at one another, shake our heads and agree that those who come celebrate.  Those who don't, leave more food and drink for those who do.  So, one way or the other, everyone winds up happy.
2. Facing a gorgeous orange ball sunset.  About 1/3 of the circle is still visible.  "Oh, look how beautiful that is.  Good thing we are on the crest of this hill.  Ah, good, the light is red."  Before we get underway again, the sun is gone.  "Hey, that was too fast."  I, in my professorial way remark that at this point of the earth's surface the earth is spinning at about 800 miles per hour.  She wonders how come we don't fly off.  I say gravely, [:-)] "Gravity."  I remember the old joke about the strapless evening gown and Jane Russell.  She of the Western film shoot-'em-ups.  "What keeps your dress up?"  To which she responds, "Gravity.  The gravity of what would happen should it fall."
3.  From there we go to wondering why we feel as though we are standing in what we feel is an up-down, down-up vertical position when we know that we inhabit a part of the globe where we should be sticking out of one side in a left-right horizontal position.
4.  We return to the 800 mile-per-hour situation and wonder why we don't feel the speed of the wind whistling in our ears.  Are we like dogs in a pick-up truck who like to face into the wind?

In short, that is what married life is.  Two people have the ability to entertain one another with the most trite of all topics and think that they are really bright.  Married people make one another happy because they know that there is no way out anyway.  Married people have learned to make arrows out of any kind of wood, from any branch on any tree.
No, I did not just make that up.  It is an old French piece of wisdom that comes from the saying, "Faire fleche de tout bois."  So now you know what keeps us happy.  When you see two old people holding hands, know that in that gesture they are sure that they are the world champion athletes at loving and caring hand-holding.
That last one, I just made up.  Just now.  Just for you.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Don't ask me why.  I have no idea, absolutely no idea how I get these "thoughts" invading my quevates unexpectedly.  Don't ask me why I was just sitting here minding my own business when all of a sudden my personal experiences along with the  family history of the introduction of television into our lives interrupted my peaceful existence.  How does that happen?  It's very strange.  I remembered the crowds of people standing out on the the sidewalk and partly into the street watching a black and white television behind a huge show case window that would not let the sound escape from inside.   If this had been Southern California I guess it would have been half bad.  But freezing cold Massachusetts?  Sheeesh!  But, there is was.
The first television in our neighborhood was two or three houses down.  It used to be the Sawyer house and then one day the Sawyers were gone and the Mikna family moved it.   The Sawyers were all older people and I suppose the children grew up, got married and left.  So the Mikna arrived with their brood and the neighborhood was crawling with action again.  I can't tell you how much time it was before the front of the Mikna house was the gathering place for children who wanted to watch TV.  It was pretty degrading, but at ten years old or so, what's to degrade?  Besides, we all thought that Mrs. Mikna had placed the TV where we could see it on purpose.  We all accepted her as a nice lady.  Not only was it degrading to stand there, but if we would have given it some thought, we would have perhaps come to the conclusion that we were not all that smart to be standing there watching a picture that was so fuzzy that you could not see much.  That was only the beginning.  We also could not hear anything because the set was inside the house.  To this day, I cannot fathom why we would have sacrificed the "Lone Ranger" and the "Shadow" and the "Green Hornet" for the silly little fuzzy, blurry, black and white shadow box that we could not even hear.
But wait... there's a voice of reason here.  It is the booming thunder voice, the VOICE of the Great Wallet Bearer.  Oh boy, Great Wallet Bearer has no love for bad quality costing big heap of George Washington pictures.  This is White Man's ruse to keep simple people quiet during night time.  Great Wallet Bearer says that better quality pass time is Library.  Also not at night.  Day time.  Safer.  Also, learn more.  Pictures much clearer and in focus.  No mind they can't talk.  Mikna TV talks, but picture so fuzzy, talk should shut up.  So, you stay home.  Radio talks.  Newspaper has pictures.  Radio free.  Newspaper .25c a week.  Better deal.  Now time for Cognac.  
So, believe it or not, it was years, I mean years before a television set made it into the Dion house.  In fact, correct me if I am wrong, but it is my notion that the Great Wallet Bearer never did spring for a TV.  He didn't have to because he went to the Happy Hunting Ground.  I'm curious about this.  Help me out, all you papooses and ... ?  What's the feminine of papoose?  

Oh, before I go.  Does anyone know what ever happened to the Mikna children?  I can only remember Patsy.

Finally.  We have two television in our house.  We use one, for about 40 hours per year.  We watch "60 Minutes" but only the originals, not the reruns.  The rest of the time we are working on our writing or watching the news on the streaming screen of our laptops.  I wonder what the Great Wallet Bearer would think about low price for TV and high price to plug it in?  No wonder we spend our lives wanting to go to heaven.  So when I do, remember that there is to be "No Crying at My Funeral."
I often wonder where I'm going to find someone to sing, "J'Irai la voir un Jour" in SoCal?  Oh, well, that's your problem.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


It's Lent.  That means that Friday is mackerel snapping day for the next six weeks.  Lent is throw-back time for Catholics.  That means it is a season when the old corporate unity symbol of meatless [land animal meat] Friday was the general rule.  As time went by, meatless Friday also went bye, bye.  Except for Lent.  
It so happens that this is a good year for this to come along.  It shows just how important the Catholic community is to the economy.  As Belle and I were going to her office this morning, the restaurants were putting out their fish special for the day signs.  This being Ash Wednesday, it is the first meatless day of Lent.  Then follow six meatless Fridays.  Surely, the signs will really sprout tomorrow and Friday.  They do every year.  Fish tacos, shrimp cevice, Fish-head sweet and sour soup and a host of other specials will sprout up during the season.  This phenomenon is not limited to "Mom and Pop" establishments.  Drive around a little bit and you will discover Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, McDonalds an other restaurants of note and notoriety featuring fish specials on Friday.  It is an annual ritual.  Too bad we Catholics don't get much credit for boosting the economy during this springtime moment.  Most years we find ourselves playing second fiddle to March Madness, Spring Training and other sports and political inconsequentialities.  Now, how's that for a word?  This year we have to dip and dodge from the Republican Primary "Debates."  Please note the quotes.  There's a message there from me to you.  Anyway, there's one tonight.  Do you think that fish tacos will clash with pepperoni and cheese with a bow to the fish -- anchovies on the side?  Uh, huh!  I doubt it too.
Let me end with an old humorous Catholic thing about making a sacrifice and abstaining from meat on Friday.  I don't know about the rest of you, but when I was a boy, we would make the huge sacrifice of skipping the meat in favor of the steamed clams.  Oh, sad!  As I grew older and wiser, I realized just how much of a Lenten Sacrifice Fridays could be.  It was the pain inflicted on my wallet by the evening spent at the sushi bar.  Fortunately, I don't do that any more.  Not because I swore off sushi.  I swore off money.  But my bank didn't.  So I have to keep the bank happy so that I can stay out of the rain.  
Good bye for now. 

Monday, February 20, 2012


EFR Dion and friend, Art Thibault
I don't think I ever introduced you to my father.  It is he on the left.  I don't know when this picture was taken.  I am absolutely sure that it was not on his birthday.  He was not born in picnic season.   This looks like one of those lazy Sunday afternoon pictures, sitting around in the back yard having a sip of  what appears to be milk.  This would therefore have to be somewhere in the early 50's when I think the glass milk bottle had about crashed and the square carton had become just about the norm.  At first we had a hard time getting used to the fact that there was no cream on top of the milk.  We soon got over that and got on with out lives.
I got to thinking about writing something concerning EFR Dion because it is nearing what would be his 99th birthday and it is also coincidental with preparations that Belle and I are seriously occupied with at this time.  We are preparing a Lenten retreat based on the psalms.  The first parish engaged has a three day event with one 90 minute session in the morning and one 90 minute session in the evening.  The retreat will end with a night time ceremony of confessions.  We know what psalms we are going to use as the spiritual foundation for the retreat.  We also have decided that we would use EFR's favorite psalm for the last major meditation of the retreat, to wit, Psalm 51 (50, in some Bibles).  It is [or was] generally known as the "Miserere."  Not a day went by that EFR did not pray this psalm.  He said that he used it as his basis for his relationship with God because he so deeply respected people who were great sinners and great saints.  So it was that his two favorite Biblical Characters were David and Paul.  He gave me the name "Paul" because he admired the intellectual power of Paul as well as his spiritual convictions.  I know all this because I asked him.  He was a firm believer that the name that he gave his offspring was a religious rite and one with real life consequences.  I know that because I asked him that too.  Why did I ask him all this stuff?  Because my surrogate father, Joseph Thibault, [Paternal Grand Father] urged me to do it.  He would tell me, "Your father knows all that stuff."  I don't know if he knew it, up in his coconut, but he sure knew it in his heart.  So, I am going to cut this short and leave you with two things:
A repeat request for prayers for the success of our retreat effort,
3/12, 13 & 14, and a beautiful rendition of psalm 51 sung in English.


This is a story about how humans make progress in life.   I only have the one picture that you see here, but I do have one that sticks in my mind's eye and one that really doesn't exist except in the memory of a verbal statement.  The picture that you see here is one of many that were done by elementary school children in a contest that was aimed at making illustrations to try to give the viewers advice about drug use avoidance.    The reason why this illustration impresses me is that there is religious symbolism embedded and depicted as being productive.  I don't know how old Elizabeth Puentes is, but I do know that she succeeded in putting her point across in a well constructed picture.   It does come across as being electronically assembled, but it is nevertheless effective.  It is also quite pleasing to the eye as it is cleanly done.
The reason why I am talking about this is not solely because I discovered this collection of drawings on a church wall.  I am addressing this project because it caused a similar event to pop into my mind.  This was some twenty plus years ago.  Our number two son, who is a very fine artist, participated in such a contest for elementary school children.  He did not get the number one prize, but did finish in the top ten of a contest that included some 4,000 children from across San Diego, CA.  I was disappointed at the result, though I have been silently suffering with it the whole length of time from back then to now.  I thought that technically, the quality seemed to me to be as good as the winner's.  The element that was the most telling, to me, was the fact that Jo-El was the only one who had two humans in the picture, enjoying the company that they provided to one another.  I have since forgotten the exact title of the picture, but it was something like "Happiness is being with a friend."  They were together in a bucolic setting, green rolling hills and lolling in the shade of a majestic Maple tree.  Twenty years later, without knowing the results of the contest that was held at the church, the same reality came to strike me between the eyes.  Only Elizabeth's design has people helping people.  She depicts the devil being blown away by this mutual support.  She is not afraid to admit that it takes humans to support other humans to achieve happiness.  In the case in point, that would be freedom from drug use.
Then, I remembered the statement that was made by one person who was coming back to the Catholic church and was in our hospitality session.  He said that it was thanks to chance encounters with good Samaritans who helped him to have a clearer sense of purpose in his quest for religious peace that he found his way back.   I have a long enough history in the church environment to know that this statement is absolutely correct.
The founders of the ten step program model knew this.  Before them, Jesus knew this.  Before Jesus, His Father knew it.  It is not by chance that King David had his Nathan and that Moses had his Aaron.  Oh, and what about Joshua's spies who were helped by the famous madam, Rahab? [Joshua 2,1]
It is therefore refreshing for me to see that somewhere in this world there are actually very young people who have the conviction that this is the best way to go for the human species.
The display that I beheld the other day was a lot more surprising in another sense.  Given that these were children in the religious education program who produced the "posters," there were precious few that had a religious and/or spiritual element.  I'm still trying to figure out what that is all about.  In public, anyway.
This is a whole bagful of thoughts in one short article.  It's the $0.99 store syndrome in this awful economy.

Sunday, February 19, 2012



Every now and then we narrate experiences that cause personal reactions that differ with the ones that we know.  The interesting part of the meeting of the two positions is that we have to be honest about the value of each.  Since it is rare that each side of the truth is absolutely equal, an honest weighing of them is essential if any progress is to be made in life.  I therefore have to make you all aware that my opinion about marijuana has been called into question by some of you and outright condemned by another.  That's three.  The condemnation was from the very first.  If I apply the soup kitchen cockroach theory, "if you see one, you know that there are a lot more where that one came from," -- or the "silent majority" -- it is imperative that I beg pardon from you all.  
I admit that over the time of the "365 Thoughts..." blog I have made some humorous and cavalier remarks about marijuana and alcohol.  At my age I should know better.  I am not without knowing the destructive effects that are caused by these two drugs.  In my professional life I have had to discipline severely victims of addiction to the one or the other.  Having been enlightened by those memories should have made me censor myself before offending you with wise cracks about how I enjoyed the use of the illegal weed in the shadier corners of my past.  
It is true that as we go forward into the years, what we leave behind often becomes the grist for our humor mill.  The narrow escapes from exploding firecrackers; the “near misses” while driving the family sedan; the sneaking into the movie theatre without getting caught and finally, in my case, the story of the window I broke with a snowball and was able to escape retribution.  To the degree of immorality that these adventures may be, they do stay away from causing the ruination of lives.  They somehow float around in the backwater of our minds while making an occasional appearance when we are exchanging past foibles.  I made the mistake of including marijuana and alcohol use among those that might be categorized as “harmless.”    Please forgive me.
With a sinner's past like that, I need a saint's future.  If I get it, you will not have to cry at my funeral.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I was a very devoted aficionado of "Mad Magazine."  Of course one of my favorite features of the magazine was the monthly fold-in that was drawn by a man name Al Jaffee.  Al is now ninety years of age and is still performing his routine of "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions."
I chose this because I have designed a new blog that is meant to be the home of my as yet unfinished autobiography.  Now the reason why my autobiography has yet to be completed is because I am still alive.  For this very obvious reason I have not been able to compose the last chapter.  In the past, during the very first moments that I made the decision to do this, I had a subterfuge all designed and composed in fact, to get around the "last chapter" problem.  I decided that since I was [still am] an inveterate reader of the last page of any publication, first, I would start my autobiography with the introduction on the last page inside the back cover.  Back then, this was an easy hurdle to scale.  Now that there are no last pages to "turn" to, I am really stuck.  There are no electronic "last pages" because everything is measured by the clock and the calendar. So it is that in this day and age, the last page is always on top and in the front.  So why am I complaining?   So, I am going to be true to my self and put the "last page" that I composed some years ago on the first page of the blog.  Since every page of a blog is dated, I may bring myself to manipulating the date manually in an effort to stay true to myself.  Maybe.  All the while cheating the computer into thinking that this is the first post of the blog, no matter what.  But for the time being, I am so confused, I think I am going to have to lie down and count to at least ten.
There is one good thing about the autobiography of one, PA Dion.  It is not chronologically presented.  It is more a "stream of consciousness" frivolity that is meant to entertain as much as to edify and educate.  Both of these words carry a promise that is out my reach to fulfill, but they sound promising, don't they?  Just like "MAD" magazine.  Believe it or not, the original outline of  this project, though conceived as a paper and pencil "oeuvre" was not planned as a chronological progression.  So see, I am avant-garde, even at my age.  So, maybe, right from the very start of this whole thing, there never really was a "last page."  Oh, my, oh my!
Just to give you a peep at the now "First" page of the work, I proceed with no further ado.
Hey, what are you doing here?  Don't you know that in this country and in this culture we start a book from left to right, not from right to left?  But, hey, I know that there are enough of you out there who have the same curiosity that I have always had.  I start at the back of the book too.  But with me, it's mostly in the magazine stuff that I get hooked.  I can't ever remember reading Time, Newsweek, Mad, Sports Illustrated and a host of others from the front to the back.  It just always seems more interesting that way.
So, this page is dedicated to all of you who are like me.  Enjoy yourselves for a moment.  I will submit to to conventional Occidental culture from this moment on and take things from left to right.  If you keep going in the right to left direction, you are going to have some mighty boring stuff staring you in the face.  You know, Index, End Notes... Hey wait a minute, end notes can be kinda fun, right?
OK folks, this is all the right-brain power I have for the moment.  Now it is back to the system that got us here.  Just start here and work your way through this mess and this will become the last page over time.  That's probably the the only logical thing that you'll experience between these covers.  Certainly the only true chronological one.  Hope you enjoy it.

Friday, February 17, 2012


This now the 17th of February,2012.  It will be so for about another one hour and forty-five minutes.  This not really very significant except that I got a brainstorm today that fits in with which I have been planning now for about 6 or more months. It is one of those moments that defies description.  It moved me to take notes while I was waiting for Belle to come out to the car from a small errand that she was completing.  That doesn't happen very often.  Even though I do a lot of writing, I rarely get moved to take notes so as to not forget something.  I think of something and swear to myself that it is great grist for my blog mill.  So I open up my mental Bible and put my right hand on the page and swear that I will make that the topic of "365 Thoughts..."  Dare I tell you you how many broken vows I have racked up?  Nope.  But this is different.  It is so different because it defies the plan that I already have for this project.  The Plan, as I know it in my heart is at least 10 years old.  It might even reach back to 15.  Let me check.  I have it right here.  Just a sec, OK?  I found some good stuff, but no dates.  I do know that it has to be between ten to 15 years ago.
So, anyway, today I finally came to the realization that there is one moment in my life that says who I am.  I am willing to say that everything that I have ever done or failed to do revolves around that moment.  I would never have given a thought to the possibility of that happening to me.  I was just quoting a famous French philosopher last week.  I was saying to a friend that this philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre said that that the way a person dies defines who that person was.  Hey, wait just one little minute here, I am not yet dead.  Yet, I am not afraid to say that I have discovered that important moment in my life that is irretrievably "THE MOMENT."  
It is interesting that I find myself writing about it on this blog, because I had plans to make another blog the home of my deep philosophical, psychological,  theological musings.  I even had the title defined when I first made the notes I have mentioned above. So, I have a decision to make.  I'll let you all know what it is when it is cast in stone.  Don't think for a minute that I am going away.  Ha!  Nice try.  
I wonder how many of you have had that experience of being overtaken with such a profound awakening.  This is the third time that I have had one, but none this powerful, not one with such a sudden eruption.  This was perhaps only about five or six months in gestation. So now I have it.  You are all with me in this.  The moment is not ripe for divulging it.  My plan since the outset has a deadline a short time in the future.  It is longer than you can hold your breath, but it is not very long.  I promise that I will tell you.  Imagine, a coming of age saga of an old man.  
I was also pushed to run to one of my favorite psalms after "the event:"  [Psalm 86]

9All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
 10For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
 11Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
 12I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
 13For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

Verse 13 is the one I flashed on.  I sure pray that I can live up to that grace.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Those of you who don't live in Southern California, El Sur de Alta California, are going to wonder what this is all about.  I don't blame you.  It is still a mystery to me and to the Police in the Los Angeles part of the world too.  It is an epidemic of robberies that seem to be very lucrative for the the thieves.  I was in the car today running errands when this story came across the wires.  It was funny, at first, but then it got interesting.  When you are innocent about something, it is easy to take the story lightly.  This was one of those times.  It has everything to do with the culture of southern California.
We are in one of those eras where the fad rules.  We all know about that.  Hair dos, peg pants, pointy shoes, buccaneer pants and shirts, Volkswagen "Buses," charcoal pink, RAVE parties and so many other things.   What you have to know about Southern California is that fads come in twos.  There are those that are Latin fads and those that are "Anglo" fads.  Well, it appears that the latest leading fad is "Banda" music.  This is Latin music that is played whenever three or four people want music.  It is played anywhere.  It is based on the TUBA sound.  You can't be a BANDA group if you don't have a tuba sound.  These days, if you don't have a TUBA sound, man, you ain't got no BANDA.  As it also turns out, you ain't got no TUBA you also ain't got no dinero, no lana for you.  ["Lana" is "dough", "Bread" get the idea.]
I'm sitting here listening to this music and I have to admit that it is nice.  If you click under the picture,  I captured a song for you.  I have to warn you that there is no such thing as an "instrumental" in BANDA.  There's always a song.  It's always emotional.  There's one entitled "Te amo a morir." [I love you to death]  And so it goes.
The mysterious part is that there have been nearly three dozen or more tubas that have disappeared from high schools all around L.A.  That's perhaps not so mysterious.  After all, robbery is robbery.   But a tuba is not a harmonica.  How do they do it?  After they've done it, what do they do with it?  Where does it go?  No one knows.  They have not recovered a single one. Not one!  That's serious $$$, or as they perhaps say, "Lana."  How serious is it?  Well, if it's 36 tubas, it's between $78 to $100 K.  Expensive!  In fact it is very difficult for a school to replace a tuba.  Who knows, maybe the school will have to start hiring the thieves.  Now there's a thought.  Imagine, a marching band Robin Hood!
The economics on the BANDA side of the fence are equally impressive.  A good tuba player in a busy band [I understand that these days they're all busy], a good tuba player, I say, brings down $100 per hour.  There is a story that I heard today that the audience stuff the bell of the instrument with green backs so that the player will not leave.  There are at least two recorded times when there was a "C" note in the bell of the TUBA.  Ya know what?  If they can pay the guy that kind of money, they must be able to buy the instrument.  But then, I guess, it wouldn't be pure BANDA.  Stolen tubas always sound better.
Finally, I have to say that in the last hour I have heard some "oldies, but goodies" Mexican songs translated into BANDA.  Kinda sweet, I have to say.

So there you have it.  Serial TUBA thefts.  I'm wondering one thing more.  Why don't the schools learn to lock the doors?  Maybe it's not in the contract.


I don't know about you, but for me it is sad to hear the news from Greece lately.  It is bad enough to get it through the usual sources to which we have become accustomed.  I'm talking about ABC, CBS, NBC, AP, CNN and a few more.  The experience I had the other day really got me to thinking about Greece and about a couple other things that we take for granted here in the good ol' USA.  
We [Belle and I] were on the road from San Diego to Moreno Valley and we were listening to the two hour segment that the BBC has on NPR radio. There were two Grecian people on the line and they were discussing the economic and political situation in their home country.  One is an Athenian business man in his upper 40's and the other is a 21 year old university student currently situated in London.  The conversation was interesting in the sense that the four people on the radio did not know one another personally.  Not even the BBC colleagues.  One sitting in London and the other in Washington, D.C.  The conversation was rather frank and open, with some agreement and some disagreement.  All of this was being articulated politely, respectfully and, I might add, intelligently objective, as far as it went.  As the conversation progressed one idea was repeated twice, without rancor but not exactly objectively.  It is the one idea that has captured my spirit and won't let go.  It is this.  We know that the country is in a bad way and that much of that is caused by bad behavior on the part of the Greeks.  Much of it has also been caused by outside interests and governments.  What is the most painful now is that we [Greeks] are not able to determine our own fate.  We feel that it is, after all, our country.  We are in a situation where others in the Euro Zone are dictating to us what to do.  It is very disheartening.
You know what?  I think I know where they are coming from.  They are coming from the same place that I have steadfastly and even vociferously, refused to let myself get into all my life.  I have made mistakes.  Oh, yeah.  More than a few.  Some Lalapaloozahs too.  I've had to ask for help to correct some of them.  Most of the time however, I girded my loins and worked my way back into normalcy.  I can't help but think of the Greeks.  They thought that it was sooo sweet to be admitted to the Euro Zone.  Now it is sooo bitter.  They have lost their ability to determine their own fate.  They want it back and they are not too sure if they ever will be able to take it back.  As we were coming up the road I couldn't help but think of the Union janitor who makes $12.00 per hour and then has to endure a 16 week work stoppage and suffer through the uncertainty of whether or not the job will still be there when the dispute is settled.   I was thinking of the school teacher who, at first, was thinking that the Union was the answer to her misery only to find out that she had lost her personal freedom in the name of the brotherhood.  I never allowed that to happen to me.  My self determination is too precious to me.  From what I heard on the radio the other day, I think that there are many thinking Greek people who are walking through life these days shaking their heads and wondering where it all went and wondering if they will ever get it back.
Many of them are asking, per the remarks I heard, "If this is democracy, stop the world, I want to get off."  
So, here I am sitting around pondering many things and not solving any. I wonder if that is a sin.  I guess I'll just go Google it.  If  I don't like the answer, I'll move over to Bing.  There are nicer pictures there.
Oh, this is Sadie Hawkins's year.  Leap year is a special year.  Sooner or later I'll tell you why.  
Let's go visit Greece.  They need some tourists who are willing to drop a buck or two into their economy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


This thought came to me just now.  It is so recent that it is impossible for me to forget it and regret not writing about it.  It has nothing to do about the ability to hear...not really, but more about that later.
This is about what husbands and wives talk about as they go through life.  It struck me to write to you about it because both of us have a tendency to be rather philosophical [and theological] about life.  We also have a tendency to get rather animated.  This is a euphemism for LOUD.  Back in the day, when this would happen our two young children would get nervous and invariably ask, "Are you getting divorced?"  That would generally make us laugh and we would calm down.  We would try to explain in age appropriate language what it was that we were discussing.  They are no longer around.  But we still  have these moments of intellectual and emotional exchange.  Tonight was one of those times. Ready?  Good.  Here goes.
A "talking head" was reporting that there are some legislators in some august law-making bodies in the fruited plain who are introducing bills that define the human person's existence as beginning from the instant of conception.  Whenever I hear this, I generally find myself exploding into an expletive or two, generally aimed at the pixilated, mercenary buffoon generating the moronic sounds emanating from the electronic apparatus.  I have made the promise to never utter those kinds of phonemes on this site.  Just use your imagination.  That is what started the polite interchange between Wife and me.  It was rather sedate once I heard her sweet voice asking for some direction to the roots of my explosion.  We proceeded to have an exchange about the definition of abortion, the difference between a human being and a person, the point in time when conception results in the existence of a human being, the difference between contraception and abortion and the convoluted relationship that these definitions have with the practical reality of life.  This reality carries with it some interesting elements, as you know.  There is the element of common morality, religiously defined morality, the weak, nearly non-existence of morality in civil law, the laws of biology, chemistry, physiology and a few more that remain too esoteric for us two to grasp.  At the end of the conversation, neither one of us knew any more about the beginning of the existence of a human being/person than we did at the beginning of the interlocutory, but we had different opinions about what we thought we knew.  I don't know whether or not that is intellectual progress, but I do know that it did make us feel better about the topic and about one another.  So, I guess that on the whole, we did learn something.  Not about the topic at hand, but at least about one another.  That's quite amazing in itself.  Thirty-five years plus of blissful matrimony and still learning something about her.  That's a ding in my intellectual arrogance.  Just another thing that I am going to have to learn to deal with.  
A bunch of other thoughts have begun to invade my frontal lobe, so I'm going to let you go because I have to save something up for the big day that's fast approaching.
Peace, from a real ineffable human being = person.

There's a big red flag here. Do you see it?

Work from Home Ehotline Agent

An emergency service agent is needed to assist customers. Work from home dispatching repair services and resolving calls. Mechanical skills are helpful for this 32 hour per week position.

  • Customer service skills
  • Call center experience preferred
  • Windows XP/Vista/7
  • DSL or broadband Internet
  • Headset

Location: remote

Compensation: TBD

Monday, February 13, 2012


Drugs, drugs, drugs.  I have some personal stories about drugs.  None of them touch on the consequences of mixing marijuana into bourbon as I seem to have done here.  Actually, I have to confess that even when I was doing marijuana, I would never do both of them together. I was afraid that the mixing of the two would perhaps kill me.  Seeing that I was never in a suicidal mode when toking my way through a mellow evening with my thirty-something friends, it is clear that I was in no danger of crossing the line into vitally dangerous territory.  In fact, the most dangerous thing I ever did was to brag that even at my age and after some 20 years away from the baseball diamond, the 70 MPH pitching machine could not strike me out.  It was not very late into the night, so I still can't figure out why I would have ever said such a thing.  The "put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is" upshot of the brag was "I had to pay for the next buy of "Sensemilla Columbian Select" greenery.  At the time, that was somewhere close to $50.00 per ounce.
That's about what it would take for one evening of "mellowship" for the six of us.
We set the date.  I promised that I would not take any time to practice before the test.  We gathered at the batting cage at the appointed time and place.  It was decided that they would feed $1.00 into the machine.  If  I remember well, that was about 25 balls at 70 miles-per-hour.  By the 22nd pitch I had two strikes on me.  One of the "gang" was trying to make me quit while I was ahead.  Pitch 23, foul tip.  Whoooo!  Pitches 24 and 25 clean contact.  I WIN!   So what do we do?  We go to our favorite bar, of course.  We had no weed because everyone thought that I would buy the next pouchful.  So that night was a Canadian rye and Kentucky Bourbon gathering.
So, we went from being Illegal Aliens to being Legal ones.  I will end this by saying simply that if the buffoons in D.C. want to balance the budget, all they have to do is to legalize and tax their sweet old aunt Mary Jane.  On top of that, the market would freeze out the transfer of the wealth from South to North and the illegal immigration problem would be halfway solved.
See how smart I am?  Much smarter than the bribe takers in D.C.  Problem is, I'm on the wrong end of the wealth redistribution stick.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


WHAT TH...???
Hey, now we're gonna have some fun.  I got ambushed by a thought today.  As usual when I am driving on the highway, my head is going at least as fast as the car.  A mile a minute right?  Do not ask me why, but the little saying about the liar and the fiery pants crashed though the mental wall of indifference.  I started playing with my grey matter mush trying to make some $25.00 words like prevarication fit into the cute little saying.  It didn't work.  Somehow, Prevaricator, prevaricator incendiary trousers doesn't quite make it.  So I got to playing with the question, "What is a lie?"  I know what they told me in Philosophy and Theology.  "A lie is a statement that a person makes that is intentionally different from what the speaker knows to be the truth in order to deceive the hearer."
That is the absolute state of the question...or the answer.  The topic gets interesting when the follow-up questions come crashing into the space between your ears and behind your eyes..."Is lying always wrong?"  Ouch!  It gets humorous when you hearken back to your parochial school days and ask yourself, "What would sister Anne Marie of the Crossing Guard Guardian Angels say?"  You know, I had her in third grade and she would never have considered half the things I thought of today.  So, I dropped that question and proceeded to enjoy myself with some of the following questions:
"When there's a guy on first base and you kick second base back 10 inches or so when no one is looking, is that wrong?"  [Guilty as charged]
"Is bluffing at cards, even in "polite" games like pinochle or bridge, a lie?  Is it wrong?  [Guilty as charged]  [I'm re-reading this and I'm asking myself, "since when is Bridge a 'polite' game?"]
"Is telling your third cousin from across town that you can't make it to the Sunday afternoon party because you have an important previous commitment, when you know that you don't, wrong?" [Guilty as charged]
When I was driving on a schedule and the dispatcher would ask for my location, I always gave myself an allowance for speed, you know, a mile or so!  Ya know what?  Yeah, that's a lie.  But I don't do that any more.  The Dispatcher from the Kitchen can't be fooled that easily.
In a more general way, is it a lie if the person to whom you are speaking know that it is a lie?  Don't tell me that you don't know what I'm talking about here.   How about when you're sick as a dog and your dear friend comes over to visit you in bed and asks, "How ya doin'?"  and you say, "I'm fine."  Ha! Gotcha!  That's a lie.  Absolutely, it is.  Relatively?  I don't think so.  [I'm guilty of that too]
How about the accepted truth that certain patterns of speech are ruses which are easily recognizable because of common practice?  Like, for instance, "Where ya goin'?"  "Just downtown"  You might be tempted to ask, "Do you always wear a three-piece suit to go 'just downtown'?"  But you know that you've just been told to mind your own business.  To that I say, "No harm, no foul."
When you hear the Secretary say, "Mr. C.U. Knightly is occupied for the rest of the day" you know that the stercus taurorum is piled pretty high.  However, that's probably not a lie because presumably the old guy is, in fact occupied ... with something, or someone.  But even if it is a lie, we're not fooled, so, Ho-Hum.
Bottom line:  I pride myself for the facility that I have of saying things straight out.  I offend a lot of people with that behavior.  To tell it all, I do also obey certain conventional niceties because I consider them to be non-offensive balm on some of the smaller irritations that we encounter in life.  I have been trying over the last few years to be more comical about the direct stuff.  You know, the sugar coated pill, thing.  Problem there is that not everyone has the same sensitivity to what I find funny, or even just smiley.  So, comedy doesn't always work.  I mean, how many ways can you say "Bozo" or "Buffoon" and make it sound funny?  
Take it easy, y'all.   Keep your pocket fire extinguisher handy.  

Friday, February 10, 2012


There was an interesting thought that crept into my consciousness today.  I read that some one on a religious Internet site asked the question, "Is it right to ask God to cure my suffering?"  You have to admit that this is not your ordinary cute little challenging question such as makes the rounds on the Internet now and then.  You know the kind of question I mean.  The famous question about why we "get into an automobile but get on a bus."  No.  This is not a George Carlin question.  This is a real one coming from a spiritually alert person.   Not that I am saying that Carlin was not a spiritually alert person.   The reason why the question intrigues me is that if I were suffering I would not be shy about turning to God and asking Him to get me out of the situation.  This is a question that could only come from a Christian, more than likely a Catholic one at that.  But is is intriguing.  Why would anyone think that suffering is a morally proper state to live in?  Just what could a suffering person accomplish for self and for others?  I do have some ideas that I will put on the table after I make a couple of short points.
~Suffering is not synonymous with pain.  EFR Dion lived for some 40 years with daily pain.  He led a fruitful life.  I saw him suffer for one whole year, one time, but not from what was causing him the pain.  He had Rheumatic fever and it was excruciating.  Not from the pain, but from the forced inactivity.
~I have a very exciting and fiery case of gout.  Since the age of  thirty-two I have endured this painful condition. I've never missed a day's work because of it.  I have it in just about every joint known to man and woman, and I suppose, God too.  Two years ago I was flat on my glutei maximi for a couple of months.  True, for a while the pain was "killing" me.  I was suffering from the situation.  I want you all to know that I prayed that I would walk through that valley and get high enough up on the sunny side of the hill to see something toward the future.  I did.
I think that the big difference between pain and suffering is that suffering is communitarian.  It affects the whole environment.  The pain of suffering is not necessarily physical.  In some cases it attacks your wallet more than your body.  In many cases it affects your identity as it relates to your place in the world.  I was in a wheel chair for about ten or twelve weeks and I have to say that I would have swapped an extra dose of bodily pain for freedom from that Satanical instrument of torture.
Let me give you a humorous example.  Take the lad in the picture.  What he is doing is more than likely not too comfortable.  I think that there are many who could get used to the occasional visit to a bed of nails.  That would be pain.  The suffering starts when that is the only place that you have to live.  You live on top of it and store your "treasures" underneath.  Now, you and I would perhaps agree that that would be suffering.  We would perhaps also agree that it would be difficult to define a value in such a situation.  
As much as I think that it would be perfectly permissible to pray to get out of suffering in general, I have one final comment, about which we may or may not fall into accord.  The value of suffering lies in the fact that it can be offered for the good of others.  The people who care for the suffering benefit from the love that they share with the patient.  Even if, and sometimes, especially if,  he/she is an impatient, cranky, patient.  Secondly, how about the good example that the patient patient provides to the community.  We have all heard it, "That poor thing is in a bad way but you never hear a complaint."  The lesson of quiet suffering is a precious one indeed.  Let me give you a powerful example.  
The Japanese cataclysmic nuclear disaster [Fukushima] caused and is causing monumental human suffering.  Look at the pictures.  People helping one another.  All of them suffering.  All of them supportive.  Seeing that attracts peoples from around the world to offer help.  The fiercely proud Japanese person learns that suffering can be healed by a strange helping hand and heart.  Come closer to home and think of what happens when disaster strikes here.  No matter how deep and vicious the suffering, it gets calmed by the generous human interaction that it invites.  
Finally, suffering is good because it teaches the one who goes through it and comes out the other side to pitch in and try harder to be a more valuable member of the community.  In my case, this part was done for me.  The Voice from the Kitchen promised God that if He got me through it, she and I would offer the rest of our lives working for Him.  Now you know why I don't want anybody crying at my funeral.

Catholics and other Christians are invited to click here for the Religious version of this post.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I had an interesting experience about three or four weeks ago.  I was returning home from running an errand for Belle.  It took me to the market place of the city.  On the way home, I came to an intersection where there was a woman begging for money.  Lately we have taken to keeping a dollar in the coffee cup holder area for just such a situation.  We got to doing that because we came to the conclusion that it was the thing to do.  We talked about it a little bit before we finally came to the decision that it was an eleemosynary action that we should do for the good of the world.  Across the length of time and a few hundred words of criss-cross discussion we had finally decided that the logic was there.  It went something like this.  We have nothing.  Or we think that we have nothing.  But, in the long run, we have to admit that our "nothing" is more than what other people's "nothing" might or might not be.  Given all of that, we had to come to the rock bottom truth.  Since we have nothing, if we give someone something from our nothing we have nothing to lose because we have nothing to begin with.  So we decided that when we have a paper dollar in our possession, we will leave it in the car for those who may have less nothing that we do.  It works.  BUT...

Like I said, not too long ago I had something happen to me that really tweaked my nothingness into quite a tremble.  Like I said, I was returning from running an errand, listening to the radio and had to come to a stop at the corner.  There was a woman [I was going to say "lady", but I'm taking some revenge.  Forgive me, Lord.] She had the usual sign that said something that didn't matter to me.  I just bent over, picked up the dollar and gave it to her.  She thanked me in nice tones and proceeded to tell me that it was her first dollar in over three hours.  I commiserated gently and said whatever banality came to mind and smiled, stifling a smirk.  I didn't know why she was getting under my skin.  That being said, she then turned toward a man whom I had not noticed.  He was standing on the corner to my right, directly across the street from her.  She started to tell him about the plight of not having a very good day and wondering how she was going to feed her dog when she got to be with him for the evening.  Let me tell you something.  There is a woman walking the face of the earth who has been spared her life thanks to the providential glow of green from a traffic signal.  Now you know, as do I,  what was crawling under my skin.  Did I feel it before she said that?  Naw.  Couldn't be.  I am not much of an ESP guy, so that must not be it.  But boy, talk about a head-shaking moment.  Those of you who read me, know my feelings about this stuff.  Phew.
I got home and told the story.  It took a lot of ice water in the shower to get me back down to earth.  Belle didn't even ask for the dollar back.  She just said something like, "Well, we don't have anything anyway, so now we know that the woman has the "nothing" that we had, so she doesn't have anything, now, does she?"  Boys and girls, every now and then, in moments like that, I know that it is a good thing that I have her for my wife.   
Anyway, I hope the dog enjoyed it.  It's a good thing that I don't frequent that place very much.  By the time I go by there again, maybe it will be the dog holding the sign looking for something to be able to help her.  I hope so.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I read a blog post today that really made me go back to my entrenchment into my pro-choice conviction.  Don't get excited, it's not what you think.  Read on.
It was about Rick Santorum and his family choosing to keep a baby that they knew had a condition that would be worse than Down Syndrome and cut the life of the child to very few years, if not months.  The author of the blog accused the parents of egoism.  Making themselves feel better because they had kept the baby.  The author insisted that this was the type of baby that should have been aborted to save the baby from such a short and pain-filled life.  I am still disturbed by the thoughts put forward by the blogger.  I just feel that I have to stake out my position on this matter.
I have blogged before on this topic.  I made some short comments about it here.  My argument is simply that I tell everybody that I am anti-abortion and make no bones about it.  I don't have to cave in to the political jargon.   I am pro-choice because the freedom to make choices is what makes us human.  Take away the reminder that I have a choice to make and you take away my humanity.  Therefore, choose life over death, every time, and you will be making the right choice.  
The blogger from this morning was saying that the Santorum baby should never have been left to come to term.  He should have been spared the suffering of such a short life.  I say STERCUS TAURORUM.  Let me state two [yeah, only two for now] reasons.
1. Love.  Children are procreated in love.  They are a fruit of love.  Even the fruit of rape is kept out of love.  Not egoism, religious or otherwise.  
2. Love. Children are born into love.  No one is going to tell me that a mother who accompanies her child during a short, warm cuddly life close to her soft, velvety smooth breasts and her safe, warm, embracing arms is not normal, or an egoist.  She is providing a warm welcome to life and celebrating saving her baby from the cruelty of having been sucked out of her womb by the abortionist's vacuum cleaner.  Now, that is a true love choice.  That is true anti-abortion, pure and simple.  If the baby could, he would be celebrating too.  Better to die in my mother's arms than to be sucked out of her womb.  Life sure is great out here!
I thank all of you for reading what is a hard core stand.  I am not a single issue moralist or activist.  I am anti-abortion and I despise the clowns who call it "woman's health care services."  It's too bad that I don't have too much longer to make life uncomfortable for the demoniacs who make this stuff up.  
Stick around.   I'll get over this attack of "curmudgeonry" and tomorrow I'll be back to my normal, mildly grouchy self.  Now you know why there won't be anyone crying at my funeral.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This chair is emptier than the one below.
Did you ever think that someone would dare to talk like that?  I never did, but then when I heard it, I thought that it was humorous.  Not only that.  I also remembered something that I had learned from the nuns in the early grades... before grade four, I am sure.  She said that there are some adjectives and adverbs that can not be properly used in any other form than the absolute.  She gave us some examples, but you don't expect me to remember things to that level of detail, do you?  I am willing to think that full, empty, left, right, top, bottom, level were perhaps among the ones that she proposed.  So last night when I heard a young University graduate [BA, English] give us directions by saying, "If there is a chair next to you that is really empty, please move into it to make more space."  Wow!  I knew I had my article for tonight ready made.  Maybe I was thinking "readier" made.  I can't remember.  In fact I can't bring myself to remember much of anything these days.  I think it is because my grey matter synapses are more short-circuited than ever.  
The other thing I thought about was the oxymoron that I have mentioned here before now about the schools who allow teachers to grant A+ to students.  Did I mention that I was a lecturer who got into a discussion with the director of the program because I refused to give students A+?  It was the lastest discussion we had about that topic.  I like to think that she gave me an F+ for my overly logical logical arguments against the A+ practice.  Or maybe I got the F+ because I categorized that behavior as being the quintessentialest buffoonery I had ever encountered.  That was more than 25 years ago.  Ms Clown is still there and I am not.  So, whose the buffoon?  
Back to the BA, English, young man.  We all knew that he was joking.  Really, we did.  We all chuckled and made him happy by showing him that we had "got" the joke.  The lady to my left said, also with a smile, "If it were any other time he would have said "unoccupied chair."   I said, "Maybe, except he doesn't have a beard."  We both got a laugh out of our sharp witted exchange.  We then sat still and listened intently to the main speaker of the evening.  What I liked about him was that there would be no discussion about his being Mr. A+ for his effort.  Maybe I should write him a thank-you note for keeping me out of trouble thanks to his mediocre presentation.  Now this article is more finished that it would have been three sentences ago...and completer that it would have been 5 sentences ago.  I think x(:-)-[--<  Cute little girl, eh?