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BY Nat

11/01 Direct Link

How does one write 100 words with an empty mind?

Let's see... Ah, yes...the ten thousand things; STUFF, all around me.

There's Garfield, sitting up on top of a line of books; in front of the line of books is a can of "BUGOUT" fly spray. Off to the left of the book shelf and a bit higher is a photo portrait of Bill W. Oops, better not talk of that here.

I guess there's about 200 books within sight. Does that suggest an inquiring mind or one that needs help with everything?

Questions, questions. The older I get, etc.

11/02 Direct Link

I see whining this morning that Britons are too much spied upon. I say they should be grateful! If I were a Brit, I'd be relieved that the government is trying to keep tabs on "citizens" who hate Britain (remember the underground bombers?) and are surely plotting more mayhem.

Freedom is a lovely thing, a most important element of the good life, but giving it to the madmen who would destroy the society that gave it to them is nonsense. So, if checking my ID now and then and reading my email will help catch a murderer, HERE, enjoy it.

11/03 Direct Link

Dear slow and careful driver:

I know there are crazy, uncaring lunatics out there who want to commit mayhem behind the wheel. Yes, some of them may even crazy enough to want to careen along at the posted speed limit. GASP!

Perhaps you would be wise, and safer, to pull over for just a moment so they can go on their insane way and stop annoying you. Consider too that some of them might even suffer from road-rage and have thoughts of doing you bodily harm, thus depriving others of the joy of learning from one as wise as you.
11/04 Direct Link

OOPS...I forgot to write today's 100words.

I let myself get wrapped up, and upset over current happenings of the day. It's bad enough that there are dismal, potentially dangerous goings on in lands far away, but a serious look at the elements that are weakening our own once proud country are downright frightening.

The "news" media blares out anything that titillates and attracts the masses. Hollywood parades bikini unclad bimbos as role-models for impressionable teens. All supported by loud voices shrieking "LIBERTY!" We old dinosaurs are left to bewail the passing of responsibility and decency.

The barbarians are edging closer.
11/05 Direct Link

Once again it is Sunday, a time for relaxed reflection on self.

I believe that whether one believes in God or not, everyone has heard the teaching that God wants us to be "good", and rational people knows what "good" means: that good old "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden rule ,expressed one way or another in every religion.

It IS remarkable, golden indeed, in that it exhorts us to create and live in a society that is safe for everyone.

What a wonderful world this would be if EVERYONE thought this way.
11/06 Direct Link

Does anyone hate the environment? I don't think so, but the argument rages on and on about the importance of it. There are those who fight for every tree and those who would gobble up mountains for profit.

Obviously, the appropriate amount of natural destruction is somewhere between these extremes.

Here's some easy ones: Since pre-history we have killed animals for food and their parts (fur and bones). Forests are destroyed that we may grow useful crops.

But...How many holes should we dig for oil? And where? How much can we burn without adversely effecting the atmosphere?

Questions, questions, questions.
11/07 Direct Link
Think you're important? Lets look at the big picture.

Scale down our Sun to the size of a basketball. Our Earth would be the size of an apple seed, 37 yards away.

The light from the next nearest star takes 4.3 years to get here.

Our Sun is a star in a galaxy we call the Milky way. It contains about 200 billion stars.

The next nearest large galaxy (Andromeda) is about 2.8 Million light-years away. It is made up of about a trillion stars.

There are about 100 billion other galaxies in the Universe.

Do you still feel important?
11/08 Direct Link

Well, the mid-term elections are just about over and the "Other" party is taking over from the one that was in power. I suggest you don't get too excited as I recall some years ago when the parties were reversed. Many of us thrilled at the promise to "clean up the mess in washington!"

But it never happened. Not long in office, the "cleanup" party was indistinguishable from the dethroned.

Lord Acton was absolutely correct when he made the observation that a person's sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases.

Might as well relax and enjoy it.
11/09 Direct Link

Human Nature...the bug-a-boo that ruins the best of planning.

Consider the lofty ideals of Communism; Everyone working at what they are best at; everyone has what they need; everyone contented, and the whole thing is managed by a temporary government that ultimately melts away when all is OK.

There's just one flaw in all that - Human Nature. Greed is a biggie, desires for freedom and privacy, and the infinite variety of how we perceive our world. Some like this; Some like that.

Can you even imagine a government that will voluntarily fade away when no longer needed??

HO ho.
11/10 Direct Link

I spent many adult years idly seeking a religion I could learn from, but in my egotistical view they all had problems. I finally concluded that, sinse most claimed singular correctness, all were wrong except one, and perhaps ALL were wrong.

A man of the cloth said I had it backwards. Whether a man drew things in the sand of his cave, or was a wealthy Presbyterian, if his faith satisfied HIS spiritual needs, it was correct.

I believed that until I saw crazed "believers" beheading young schoolgirls, and deliberately shooting small children and their mothers.

Yes, there are exceptions.
11/11 Direct Link

Oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day!

Wish I'd just make that up.

There's something to ponder; How often do I have a truly original thought?

Who cares? My mind is comfortably wandering this morning.

The other day someone asked, "How big is infinity?"

There are many learned answers, but my favorite is, "If an infinite number of Chimpanzees were typing, an infinite number of them would be typing Shakespeare's sonnets."

Our World is changing. For the better, or...?

Closer to home: The Democrats won the election. Will this be an improvement?

Some say, "Yes!" Others mumble.
11/12 Direct Link

Our evening TV 'news' usually manages to find enough bad news to fill their broadcast time, so I am grateful for any occasional bit of good news.

This morning, I found a heart-warming story in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette: In a local restaurant, a total stranger came up to a dining family that included a young boy weighed down with the accoutrement's of a cancer victim. The man comforted them, saying only that the boy reminded him of his son.

His contact was the one bright moment of their day.

Yes, there are good people in this often cruel world.
11/13 Direct Link

A CNN headline today tells me that Canada's government has a whole Lot more common sense than ours. Two prominent Canadian professors have won the right to use medical Marijuana.

Here in America you can earn a death sentence for a non-violent pot offense. Commit a murder and get 3.5 years in prison.

No, I'm not a pot smoker, but looking at our prisons with insufficient space for violent offenders, leads me to believe our drug laws were formulated in a state of hysteria. Certainly without rational thought. You would think Prohibition would have taught us something. Guess it didn't.
11/14 Direct Link

It's nice to feel tired. Really! Not the routine BLAH kind of tired. I'm speaking of the feeling after accomplishing that was put off for far too long. YES, I DID IT!

I suspect that we are creatures of habit. There's a 12-step meeting I have attended every week for years now, and the regulars sit where they always sit. There's no "pecking order" seating, everyone just sits where they want to sit.

But it's a gentle habit; if a newcomer comes in early and sits in the old-timer's chair, there's no confrontation, the old guy just sits somewhere else.
11/15 Direct Link

Want to look into the past? It's easy; Just go outside at night and look up. The light from the nearest star (outside of our Sun) took 4 years to get here, and the rest of the visible stars are pretty close, less than 10 light-years away.

Get it? When you see a star, you are really looking into the past.

If you want to see REALLY WAY BACK without a telescope, find the Andromeda Galaxy on a clear night. When you find it, you are seeing something as it was over 2.5 MILLION years ago.

The future? forget it.
11/16 Direct Link

You observe the insanity of a drunk and wonder, "Why?" You see him doing mad things that totally defy reason.

Why doesn't he stop hurting himself? he's intelligent. SURELY he knows his actions are all wrong....SURELY!

But he doesn't. His mind is so warped by alcohol he really thinks he is OK, and he cannot understand why others seem bothered.

"NO" you cry, "That's insanity!"

Yes, it IS insanity, and the tragic end of it is either being locked up, total and permanent madness, or death itself.

The real tragedy is that he cannot be helped until HE wants help.
11/17 Direct Link

I dunno if I should do this...But it's SATURDAY, a great excuse!

This is a bald faced plug for a gifted man named Chet Raymo, who enjoys life on a website called "Science Musings". He considers every side of science in the most delightful, entertaining, and informative manner I've ever experienced. His style is free and easy to read.

In his current offering, titled "The Last Shall be First", he brings to life the mundane elements; Oxygen, Carbon, and Silicon, and I mean LITERALLY brings them to life in a quite unforgettable manner.

Check out http://www.sciencemusings.com/
You will LIKE IT!
11/18 Direct Link

November 18th and already Christmas is in the air. One can frown at retailer's impatience, but just what is Christmas?

To the orthodox Christian it is the solemn commemoration of the birth of Jesus. To many others it is, well, CHRISTMAS! Time for Joy, reflection, peace, school vacations, party time, giving and getting and BUYING. To the anti-everything type it is something to hate.

Sadly, selfish ones have taken much out of this wonderful time by suggesting they are offended by anything religious. Vote-hungry politicians buy their vote by removing roadside creches and even the name. They are truly sick!
11/19 Direct Link

Remember back to the days when we were horrified when we learned that the Ancient Romans considered slaughter in the Coliseum to be fun? Remember how we used to recognize and recoil from degradation when we saw it?

If you still dream that we are not following the same horrific path to implosion, consider the opening shot of Newsweek's article on "If I Did It:"
"To those who worried our violent, sex-obsessed, celebrity-crazed culture had at last reached the very farthest depths of depravity, O. J. Simpson and Judith Regan come bearing news: we had so much farther to fall."
11/20 Direct Link

What is this thing called happiness? Wikipedia defines it as a state that feels good or pleased. They go on to note that it's usually brought on by the absence of troubles or the occurrence of something good, like getting a good job or a raise.

Many folk assume that the sudden acquiring of a lot of money will work. H'm, perhaps initially, but the recorded family squabbles and even divorces following the winning of a major lottery suggests differently. Thus punsters have great fun solemnly promising to try REAL hard to enjoy someone giving them a million or so.
11/21 Direct Link

It was wonderfully warm this afternoon so we sat for a while on the front porch, basking happily. .

I was struck by the beauty and serenity of the quiet, rural scene and wondered why I'm forever getting involved in the current disquiet out there in what we call society. I'd read the bad news on the Internet then fire off my reactions to all I know.

But sitting here now, I wonder why? Why bother? No one really gives a damn what an old man in rural Arkansas thinks. I cannot change the world.

But you can, Mr. President.
11/22 Direct Link

President Kennedy once said: "There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction."

He stood up and faced the impending aggression of the mighty Soviet Union, and made the world a safer place for us today. Yes, my America was once brave and strong.

Neville Chamberlain even taught us the cost of appeasement, but how quickly we forget. Now, as we face difficult tasks in Iraq and its neighbors, We cringe and seek the easier, softer way out that tells our enemies they are winning.
11/23 Direct Link

I hear a lot about "OVER-COMMERCIALIZED CHRISTMAS". There's even a website dedicated to the cure for Commercial Christmas Syndrome. Then there are those who ignore Christmas all together.

I don't buy into any of that. To me, Christmas is a time of a growing loving, warm feeling that stands against a lot of the daily stress raisers.

And I have to wonder what is wrong with buying gifts we hope will make others happy? One could say that by the time Christmas actually arrives, we're pretty tired of it all, but doesn't Christmas Eve and Morning make it all worthwhile?
11/24 Direct Link

Today is a good day. I spent some money.

"What's good about THAT" you cry?

I spent the money to buy some gifts for a loved one. Gifts I believe will make her happy Christmas Eve. Yes, my wife and I open our surprises Christmas Eve. That wonderful quite and comfortable time that comes but once a year. The beautiful carols guide us toward good thinking, and if we have sense enough to NOT wait until "The Last Minute" to do our shopping, it's really fun selecting the best we can reasonably afford.

Yes, I AM looking forward to Christmas.
11/25 Direct Link

Some top corporate execs make absurd amounts of money. When I look at the foolishness of some of them, I have to wonder why.

Remember when the chief of the largest selling soft drink in the world woke up one morning and said, "Lets change the taste!" Yeah, that was "Coke."

Then there's the "copy-cat" exec of Nestle. Took my favorite candy bar, "Butterfinger" and came out with a "crisp" version of it.

But the ultimate madness is the producer of every women's favorite TV show. He selects the most repellent female "entertainer" in the world to anchor it. AGGGH!
11/26 Direct Link

Ah ... Sunday again! I'm not very deeply into faith, but there's something about the morning service that makes the rest of the day a delight.

A lot of folks seem to know a lot about God. I don't. When I go out and look up at a galaxy that's located some 2 MILLION light years away that God created, there is no way my finite little mind can even imagine that creating Entity.

That's OK. There is nothing for me to verify. All I need to know is that when I ask God for help, I get it. Always.
11/27 Direct Link

"Acceptance is the answer to ALL my problems today."

Thus, starts off the text on a little card I carry around in my wallet. It is a genuine truth that has really improved my life.

Some folks argue that accepting everything, nothing gets fixed. Quite true, but what they are missing is that if is fixable, its not a problem. We just fix it. Frustrating problems are the things that we cannot readily fix. The message of the card is that if a bothersome thing cannot be fixed, we have two choices; be tormented, or accept it.

It's that simple.
11/28 Direct Link

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of accepting the problems that cannot be fixed. Someone fussed that you must keep trying to fix things, otherwise the difficult would never get done. OK, but somewhere along the line one has to accept that "It" cannot be fixed. Here's a simple example.

You've planned to go on a relaxing picnic Saturday afternoon. Saturday afternoon is solid rain, and there's no place to have a Pseudo picnic. You have two choices: you can ruin the afternoon by constant groaning and grouching, or, you can say "c'est la vie," and get on with life.
11/29 Direct Link

Back in the 60's, the drug, if-it-feel-good-do-it, culture blossomed and young people turned their backs on the institutions of their parents. Those that survived, became parents themselves, with little of worth to pass on to their kids.

Now, countries far to the east are turning out more and better qualified technical people than we are, and they will work for less money than ours. Meanwhile, our attention is riveted upon a rude football player.

John Adams wrote: "There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." His insight is being proved to be all too prophetically true today.
11/30 Direct Link

Watching the weather.

More than that. Watching the approaching first "MAJOR WINTER STORM"! WOW - That sounds exciting!

Kinda worrisome too.

Things to think about: Do I have to drive anywhere tomorrow? Will the electrical power goes off - for how long? Is the generator all ready to go? Will I have to get up on the roof to push excess snow off?

But, OH, the nice thoughts and memories: Snow is pretty. Sledding down the white hills. Learning to ice-skate. Standing on the ice and the pretty girl asking me to button her sweater.

OH yes! Thank you, God.