Deserving

People often say, “You get what you deserve.” They don’t say it to me, necessarily; it’s just one of those meaningless phrases people use to try to find meaning — and fairness — when there is none.

A good example of the phrase meaning what it says is when a person picks on someone and that someone retaliates. As I have observed, though, bullies never see the retaliation in terms of their actions; they see the retaliation as the victim picking on them. So even though the bullies might deserve what they get, the bullies do not see it.

It’s the same with smokers who get lung cancer; people assume the smokers get what they deserve, but non-smokers also get lung cancer. My mother was one of those — never smoked, was never around smokers — though in a bizarre twist, her death certificate states that she was a lifelong smoker. She neither “deserved” to die of lung cancer nor to have a falsified death certificate, but those things happened. And speaking of death, did Jeff “deserve” to die at 63? Did my dad deserve to live to 97? Those are questions I have no answer for, nor does anyone.

What has made me think of this matter of deserving is something else, something more pleasant. My current living situation to be exact.

Here I am, living in a lovely house surrounded by a lovely yard with a fabulous garage and a delightful outdoor room (aka a gazebo). I do not know how I got to be so lucky, especially since it wasn’t that long ago when I was worrying about ending up on the streets. I had a small amount of savings that was rapidly being depleted, and I had no idea what I would do when it was gone. (I wouldn’t have lived “on the streets” as such — naively, I figured I would live in the national parks, going from one to another. If I had to be homeless, that seemed a more interesting way of living.)

Instead, following advice from a relative, I used that money to buy a house in the poorest county in Colorado, only a couple of hundred miles from some of the most expensive real estate in the country. It was the only place I could afford, but it turned out to be a true boon. The perfect place for me — not just the house and neighborhood, but the town itself.

Do I deserve my good fortune? I doubt it. (Did I deserve all the bad luck I’ve previously had? I doubt that, too.)

I also ended up with a lot of friends — some close friends, some close acquaintances, and some casual acquaintances. (This seems to be a good town for making friends — one such friend recently mentioned that they’d never had so many friends. Neither have I, to be honest.) I might deserve these friends because as far as I can tell, I am a good friend in return, and I do try to do things if not for these people, then for the community. (Such as my most recent donation of brownies for a local event.) But whether deserved or not, I do cherish each friendship.

But the rest of it? As far as I can see, my good fortune has little to do with my deserving it. Perhaps I deserve to have a pretty yard since I am putting a lot of effort into it, but so much of the beauty comes other from people’s labor as well as nature’s work. (Many of the flowers reseed themselves, so I reap the benefit without having any blisters and calluses to show for it.)

I wake up every morning amazed that I am living in such a house on a mini estate. And I am eternally grateful for my good luck, especially since deep down I truly doubt I did anything to “deserve” it. Though I am doing what I can to try to deserve what I’ve been given.

Still in the end, perhaps it’s not about deserving, but about making the best of whatever life hands us.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Momentous Day

This is turning out to be rather a momentous day. Shortly after I woke up, I heard banging. I kept looking outside at the neighbors’ houses, trying to see what was going on. I even stepped outside for a minute to peek across the alley, but I couldn’t see anyone doing any sort of work.

The banging continued, and then I heard the sound of a pipe reverberating near my house, which made me realize the banging was in my yard. So I went back outside and walked around the house, and there was one of the people who has been sporadically working on my property. He was pounding in the metal edging between the path and the grass to make it easier for me to mow. It was supposed to be done anyway, so it wasn’t a special consideration, but still I was thrilled to see him doing the work today. It’s been a while since anyone stopped by to anything. (The last time was when they came to check the plumbing to make sure a leak didn’t account for my exorbitant water bill.)

He did a few other minor chores while he was here, and we talked about some of the work that needed to be done (apparently, this worker is one that my contractor trusts to do my work). He says he’ll be back, and I’m sure he will . . . some day. Still, I’m delighted that a bit of work was done!

My tarot reading amused me today since it seemed to reflect the work he did: “What was accomplished up to now gets an even greater boost.” A secondary meaning to my reading was: “Everything grows and becomes more abundant.” For sure!! Weeds, anyone? Lots and lots of weeds are growing everywhere.

Adding to the momentousness, today is the birthday of a tree in Denver’s City Park near where I grew up. Shakespeare’s Elm, a tree planted from a scion taken from the tree on Shakespeare’s grave, is 106 years old today. The tree was always special to me. In fact, a friend and I threw birthday parties for the tree many years ago. We’d sent out invitations to friends as well as the media and some city bigwigs, but the only people who showed up besides those we knew were a couple of cops. We made them welcome, gave them green punch and tree cookies, but they weren’t really there to party. They were scoping out the gathering, thinking perhaps it was . . . I don’t . . . some sort of drug rendezvous. Anyway, after about a half an hour, they looked at each other, and one said with amazement in his voice, “They really are having a party for this tree.”

Back then, it was a forgotten historical monument, but over the years, there have been several articles in the Denver newspapers and magazines showcasing that amazing tree.

So all in all, a momentous day, and it’s not even over yet!

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Adjusting to the Time Change

It’s been more than two weeks since the change to daylight saving time, and I’m still not used to it. Although I am going to bed at the same real time (assuming time is real), the clock tells me I’m going to bed an hour later. Even worse, I’m too groggy in the morning to figure out what time I’m supposed to get up. Is it an hour later than I had been waking? An hour earlier? During the day, I can figure out the time change if I need to, but mostly I don’t since I go by what the clock says. But in the morning? I have no idea what time I’m getting up, so sometimes, like yesterday, it feels as if there are too few hours in a day, and other times, like today, it feels as if there are too many.

Admittedly, some of that off-kilter feeling has to do with how busy I am. Yesterday, I was on the go almost all day, getting caught up on household chores and such, so today there wasn’t much left to do. I also managed to sleep a couple of extra hours yesterday morning, but barely managed to stay in bed until first light today, so not only am I left with the perception of extra hours today because of more free time, but there is also the reality of extra hours because of the early rising.

From what I understand, both this state and this country are trying to pass laws to make daylight saving time permanent, so there is double the chance of it happening, which makes me wonder how it will affect us.

Dr. Muhammad Adeel Rishi, pulmonologist and sleep physician at Indiana University thinks we should go back to permanent standard time, since our circadian rhythm is connected to the sun, and that rhythm is more in sync with permanent standard time.

Dr. Phyllis Zee, director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine agrees with that assessment, but also says that of the three choices — permanent daylight saving time, permanent standard time, or switching between the two —permanent DST is the worst solution.

I would prefer if they got rid of daylight saving time altogether, but despite what Dr. Zee says, permanent daylight saving time might be better than having to readjust twice a year. That adjustment period certainly is difficult, and has been linked to sleep disturbances, mood and mental alterations, traffic accidents, and heart attacks.

Whatever they decide, I’ll have to deal with it, though come to think of it, permanent daylight saving time might not be so bad because in winter, here on the eastern edge of the time zone, the sun would set at 5:30 pm instead of 4:30, as it does now. 4:30 pm is dang early for it to get dark!

[Incidentally, I wrote daylight saving time instead of daylight savings time because although the second usage is more common — and how I used the term because I didn’t know any better — the first is correct. Supposedly, “saving” is singular because it acts as part of an adjective rather than a verb, though if it is part of an adjective, daylight and saving should be hyphenated. No matter how you say it or write it, though, the clock manipulation is still annoying.]

But the legislation is in the future. For now, I have to adjust as well as I can to these off-kilter days that are sometimes too long and sometimes too short.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Sanctioned Con Men

I came across an interesting line in a book so uninteresting I don’t even remember the title or what the story was about. I wouldn’t have remembered the line, either, except that I was so taken with it (and so untaken with the story) that I set the book aside to jot down the words: Beyond the reach of thought police and sanctioned con men . . .

What came after those few words, I don’t remember. And it doesn’t matter. Those last three words explain so much — to me, anyway — about the world we are living in.

Most of us are familiar with the thought police — we encounter it every day in places like Twitter and Facebook, where anything posted that goes beyond their “guidelines” is censored. You can still think whatever you want, but if goes against “groupthink,” then you darn well better keep it to yourself or suffer the consequences. As of right now, the only consequences are being censured by fellow users or by being put in FB jail and banned from posting anything for a certain number of days. (Unless, of course, one of their bots label your blog as spam — which is what happened to me — in which case it is banned for all time with no recourse and no possibility of a review by a real person.)

But “sanctioned con men”? That is a new one on me, though I know exactly what is meant by the term. I feel the effects of their con all the way down to my belly and sometimes back up again. The con is so insidious, few people call it a con, and yet it is. And not just con men, but also con women. I think the women are worse because they are better at portraying not just sincerity but also sympath.

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about the news we are fed on television. The sanctioned news. The “legitimate” press as it is called. The non-fake news (which is actually faker than the fakest fake news.) I’m sure it’s the same in the print news, but I haven’t seen a real newspaper in ages, and the only reason I am aware of broadcast news is that the woman I help care for likes to watch it.

Does anyone really believe they are being told the truth when they watch the news? Do they really believe they are being given a glimpse of the truth that lies in the dark underbelly of national or international politics? If so, it’s understandable because it’s hard not to believe that what we are being told is the truth when we see photos of unvaccinated people sick with The Bob; medical personnel sobbing about unnecessary deaths; cities being bombed by evil emperors; pretty and personable people telling us horrific tales with oh, so much compassion.

I’ve spent too many years of my life studying the truth behind the old headlines to believe any headline that I now read or hear. I can’t even begin to guess what is truly going on anywhere in the world, nor do I care to delve as deep as I would need to in order to find out the truth (though a few articles by alternate presses elsewhere in the world paint a different picture from what the sanctioned con men and women are portraying). All I know is that somehow, some way, we are being conned about all sorts of different things, and that current events fit someone’s agenda. Because what I learned during all those decades of study is that history doesn’t just happen. Someone (or a group of someone’s) make it happen.

I have no idea what got me on my soap opera tonight, especially since I realize few people agree with me (the best cons convince people the con is not a con), but I’m going to post this commentary about sanctioned con men anyway (nonspecific though it might be) because I spent so much time writing it that I now have no time to write something different.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

Questioning the Science

A couple of days ago, I saw a comment by a bestselling author who was rather scathing about people who question “the science.” It kind of took me aback because it seemed so . . . ignorant. Science is all about questioning. If it weren’t for questions, there would be no science. It’s the search for answers to those questions that create what we call “science.” Although some questions seem to have been answered, such as why an apple falls (though “gravity” itself still inspires questions) and if the sun is the center of the universe, there are others that haven’t been answered and perhaps never will be, such as what the universe is made of, how life began, what makes us human, what is consciousness, and a whole slew of other questions that make people try to reach beyond what they know.

According to Nasa Space Place, “Science consists of observing the world by watching, listening, observing, and recording. Science is curiosity in thoughtful action about the world and how it behaves.” It also says, “Science is not just a tidy package of knowledge. Science is not just a step-by-step approach to discovery. Science is more like a mystery inviting anyone who is interested to become a detective and join in the fun.”

Nowadays, though, “science” has reached the level of dogma, something that is incontrovertibly true, and anyone who dares question that dogma is branded a heretic. Of course, the word “heretic” isn’t used because it smacks of religion, and science isn’t religion, it’s . . . science. Or so they want you to believe. You’re not allowed to do your own thinking because . . . science. You’re not allowed to question the doctrine they’re foisting on you because . . . science.

But nothing is incontrovertibly true, not even truth (whatever that might be).

Supposedly, there are whole rooms full mysteries in the dark corners of the Smithsonian that don’t fit current theories about evolution, prehistory, whatever. Science only gives us the best possible explanation for observable phenomenon, and science can be manipulated to fit the scientist’s bias and, more probably, to fit the bias of the government or corporation funding the science.

Getting on a soapbox wasn’t my point in writing this piece, however. What prompted this essay is that yesterday, the day after I read that author’s comment, I saw her latest offering among the new books at the library. By habit, I reached out for it, because she was an author I sometimes read, but I couldn’t touch it. She’s nothing special and rather predictable, but that’s not why I could not force myself to pick up the book. It was the memory of her scathing remark about the stupidity of people who question the science.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Nightly Recap

During the past year or so, I’ve gotten into the habit of talking to Jeff at night when I am pulling back the bedcovers to get ready for bed. I don’t really tell him anything important; I just say a few words about my day or how I feel about things such as growing older or his being gone or anything else I feel like mentioning. I don’t think he’s listening — if he still exists somewhere, I sure as heck hopes he has something better to do than hang around and listen to me whine — but still, I talk to him, or rather I should say, I talk to his picture.

Occasionally I think it’s a bad habit and one I should break, because after all, it is a bit . . . not crazy, exactly, but off in some way . . . to talk to a picture. On the other hand, it’s not hurting anyone, least of all me, so why not continue? I’m not trying to hold on to him. After almost twelve years, it’s very obvious to me that he is gone. I’ve also built a good life for myself, so it’s not as if I am yearning for the past. I’m simply voicing the highlights (or lowlights) of my day. Although talking to a photo of a dead guy is basically the same as talking to myself, doing so gives me the feeling of imparting my feelings to someone other than to me.

This habit makes me wonder how important such a time of storytelling is, even if it is one-sided. In previous eras, clans and tribes, communities and families, would gather together around the fire in the evening and tell stories about their day. It was a way of saying, “I am here. I am living. I have meaning.” It was also a way of defining the clan, of gathering all their stories into one pot.

People living alone in houses or apartments seems to be a relatively new phenomenon. In previous eras — post-clan and pre-industrial age — families would gather in those members who were left alone, such as widows and maiden aunts and elderly patriarchs, but now, so many people, both young and old, are left to fend for themselves. Not that I want it any different for myself; it’s just an observation about changes through the ages, and how for most of human occupancy on this earth, we told our stories at night.

Whether it was a cultural evolution or written in our genes, it does seem as if this nightly recap is necessary. Oh, we can live without it — I did for over a decade before I developed this new (old) habit — but looking back over the many thousands of years of human interactions, this gathering of people and stories and thoughts seems important to our mental health or at least our sense of self and self-worth.

Of course, I could just be alibiing my habit, finding reasons that my behavior is reasonable, but still, I wonder.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Festivities

Today was another windy day, though not as devastating as the windstorm we had a week or so ago. Still, I played it safe and stayed home except for a brief jaunt to the library before the winds got too bad. It was a treat. When my knees were acting up, I got in the habit of going to the library when I got out my car each week. It was just so much easier making the extra stop than trying to wield a satchel-full of books as well as a walking stick. But today I took a chance on walking, and it all worked out well. Even better, I got plenty of books to tide me over until after Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas — everyone who has come to the house the past couple of weeks has remarked on all the Christmas presents I’ve received, which made me smile. True, my coffee table is piled high with festive boxes, but almost all of them are empty. I use the gift boxes I’ve collected over the years to store my lights and ornaments, so after the tree is up and decorated, I don’t have to find a place to store the boxes. I just leave them out in plain sight. (If I had a big tree, I’d put them under the tree, but since my trees are small, I use the coffee table.) All those seasonal boxes not only make the place look festive, but it gives me a sense of wealth seeing all those gifts, even if the “gifts” are filled with nothing but air.

And speaking of festivities — in the book I’m reading, a character mentioned May baskets, which brought forth a whole stream of memories that have been long out of mind. When I was in grade school, my mother sometimes made cupcakes that looked like May baskets for me to take to class on May Day. And oh, were they beautiful! Basically, they were just cupcakes with icing to match the pipe cleaner “handle,” and the handles were decorated with dime-store flowers. It sounds simple, but I remember she spent a lot of time making those baskets, and eventually, she had to give it up, not just because it was too time-consuming but because those tiny flowers disappeared from the stores.

In my early twenties, I again started the habit of May baskets, but I followed the original tradition of leaving the baskets on people’s doorsteps. I stopped when the husband of one of my friends threw the basket out in the street because he thought it was a bomb. This was decades ago, long before people in safe neighborhoods had to worry about such things, but his actions broke my momentum, and I never did such things again.

It does make me wonder, though, if this would be a good time and a good place to reinstitute the practice. I enjoyed making the baskets and leaving a surprise for people, and I doubt any of the people I would leave a basket for would immediately think “bomb” when they saw a basket of flowers and small gifts.

But May is a long way away. (Though at the rate time is moving, it will have come and gone before I get around to making any baskets.)

Meantime, there is Christmas to get through. I don’t imagine I’ll have any problems; in fact, I am actually looking forward to spending the day by myself, reading, playing on the computer, and eating good food. Oh, and opening the gifts I did get. I’m especially looking forward to seeing what the plant fairies and garden gnomes sent me!

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

More Truth and Secrets

Yesterday I pondered a saying I’d read, that the truth of a person lies in her secrets. I wasn’t, and still am not, convinced of the truth of that particular sentiment. For one thing, I think we are more than whatever secrets we might have, and for another, I’m not sure if we ever can know the truth of a person, whether our self or someone else.

I do know that what we secretly value tells us more about us than our secrets. For many of us, our secret values are the same as our overt values, the results of which anyone can see. In my case, this blog attests to my valuing truth, honesty, integrity, good writing, friendship, home.

For others, the values they brag about are at odds with what they secretly value. Some politicians are a good example of this. They are revered for their public service, and in fact see themselves as public servants, when what they secretly value is the power and money that accrue to them for what is so euphemistically called “service.” They do serve their constituents to the point where they can keep getting elected, but more than that, they serve those who can bring them the wealth and power they want. Public service? Baloney! If all public service were so lucrative, making these self-serving “servants” millions over the course of their tenure, we all we would be out serving the public. (The definition of “public service,” according to the Cambridge dictionary is “something necessary that is done or provided for the public without trying to make a profit,” which is the opposite of people earning millions as so-called public servants.)

The truth of us might also lie in how we view ourselves, whether that view is true or not. Again, in the example of some politicians, despite the money and power they crave and do all they can to garner more of each, they might truly see themselves — and cherish that view of themselves — as public servants, doing all they can to better the world. That what they are doing might be actually be worsening the world is ignored by even their inner voice because it does not fit with their cherished view of themselves.

All of this, of course, comes down to one of my original points in the first paragraph, that perhaps we can never know the truth of a person. Nor do I suppose it matters, except in the case of a writer constructing a character for a novel. Other than that, we deal with one another — and ourselves — the best as we can despite whatever the truth of us might be.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Knowing and Not Knowing

We generally know what we know, and sometimes we even know what we don’t know — or at least we feel there is something we don’t know. This second feeling gives rise to conspiracy theories because we know that there’s more to many news stories, for example, than we are being told.

But we can’t know what we don’t know that we don’t know. Or maybe I mean we can’t know that we don’t know what we don’t know. An example of this is grief. I thought I knew what grief was, and I thought I knew that there was more to grief than I knew, but there was no way I could have ever known the truth about the epic grief after the loss of a life mate/soul mate. How could I? I didn’t know that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Only those who experience it can know the truth of it. Until you’ve been there, you don’t even know there is such a feeling even when people tell you there is.

This is also true of mundane things. For example, I am reading a book about the blue people of Kentucky.

What? Blue people? Yes, there were such people. I didn’t know about them, and it shocked me to realize that I hadn’t known that I didn’t know, but it shouldn’t have shocked me. How could I have known such a thing if I didn’t know it? It’s not as if blue (Blue Man Group aside) is a color we associate with humans on a regular basis. Oh, there is that whole blue blood thing, but that’s different than skin color. Supposedly the phrase originated with the Spanish — the purebred Spanish were white skinned, and so the blue of their veins was easily visible, but as they intermarried with the Moors, those hybrids had a darker skin and so their veins weren’t as visible.

On the other hand, the blue people of Kentucky actually were blue, though it wasn’t a skin condition. Rather, it was a rare hereditary blood disorder called methemoglobinemia inherited through a recessive gene from both parents. Their blood was blue due to a lack of oxygen in the hemoglobin. In the 1960s, doctors discovered that a commonly used dye called methylene blue could donate a free electron to the methemoglobin so it could bond with oxygen.

The blue people of Kentucky weren’t the only blue people — some isolated Inuit communities in Alaska were also blue. And there must have been others because the two people who were responsible for the blue folk of Kentucky were not blue themselves — the man was a French orphan, the woman a red-haired, pale white American, but both had the recessive gene.

Which makes me wonder if there really were blue blooded royals in ancient Spain, and that the story of their veins showing through their pale skin was simply that — a story.

All this brings me back to the whole thing about not being able to know what we don’t know that we don’t know. There are a lot of things I don’t know, but I know I don’t know them such as fractals or string theory. But since I can’t know what I don’t know that I don’t know, how could I ever learn about things I don’t even know exist? I suppose it comes down to the simple truth that I don’t need to know such things, and if I do need to know them, I will either be forced into the knowing, such as with grief, or stumble upon the knowing, such as with the blue-skinned people.

Either way, from your standpoint, it’s probably not worth your time trying to untangle these thoughts. It’s enough to know what we know and know what we don’t know without going further into the mental maze than that.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Little Things Amuse Little Minds

On the entrance to the library, there is a sign that says “Possession of dangerous weapons is prohibited on these premises.” I always have to laugh at that, wondering why a library would ban sharp minds, because truly, there is no weapon so dangerous as that. They let me in, so perhaps I’m not as sharp — or as humorous — as I once thought I was.

I’ve been seeing all sorts of “boycott Kellogs” notes online, and I have to laugh at that, too. Even if I wanted to find out why I should boycott (I am still on my news fast, eschewing all news), and even if I did find out and want to boycott, I couldn’t. I don’t buy any of their products. Not one. So who would know if I boycotted or not? I also find it ironic that Kellogs — the company that manufactures such delicacies as Pop Tarts, Pringles, and Froot Loops — started out as a health resort. Dr. Kellogs’ invention, cornflakes, was one of the early health foods. (Graham crackers and the first cereal called “granula” predated cornflakes.)

I am also amused by all the return address labels I get. What century do those people live in? Haven’t they ever heard of texting? Email? Not that I want them to spam me — I certainly don’t them sending me emails or texts. I’m merely pointing out that hardly anyone uses return labels any more. I use maybe one or two a month. It used to be I didn’t use any until the appearance of The Bob temporarily closed the office where I paid my utility bill, and I got into the habit of mailing it. (Silly, really, because it’s only three blocks away. Luckily, the local mail stays in town, so it gets there quickly. When I lived on the western slope, my local mail went first to Grand Junction, the next county over, then back to the town where I lived, which sometimes took a week.)

Because of all the begging mail I get, I would have to live ten lifetimes to use up those address labels. And perhaps by then, even texting will be passe. We might all have implants that let us transfer information to one another instantly without resorting to such unwieldy tools as phones and computers.

I hadn’t realized so many things have been amusing me lately, but apparently, I amuse easily.

This reminds me of my eight grade teacher who would stand in front of the class and reprimand us for playing around at our desks. As she was warning us that “Little things amuse little minds,” she’d be fiddling with a pen, which always made me want to laugh.

I started out talking about smart minds and end up with little minds. I better quit before I start talking about things I never mind.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.