-Bumper sticker of the week: Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.


-Quotes of the week: ÒWe are here and now. Further than that, all knowledge is moonshine.Ó H.L. Menchen


ÒSit at the feet of the master long enough, and theyÕll start to smell.Ó John Sauget


-Doing my best to waste another day: I woke up this morning, had a cup of coffee, and got to wondering about the years ahead. Health, having enough money, what we should be doing, where we should be. How will the kids be? My wife? My friends? What good does it do to fret over these things? WhatÕs going to happen will happen. I should be more concerned with today. With this moment. When I jump to quickly into the future, or dwell in the past., I lose my footing. I have to stay with the now, otherwise IÕll just waste the day, figuring I can straighten it all out tomorrow, or tell the tale in a different way.


-IÕm about ready to plant my garden. IÕm going to make it a little bigger this your, for no good reason, other than it will make me feel like I am more self-sufficient. I get tired of depending on everyone else to supply my daily needs. IÕm going to grow me some tomatoes, some lettuce, and an onion or two, and make me a fresh, straight out of the garden salad. That will teach the capitalists of the world to mess with me.


-Some days the words just donÕt come: I do most of my writing in the morning, after a good eight hours of sleep. My brain seems to work better than, although it ainÕt a whole lot to brag about. A headline here, a word there, a sentence from a song, giving me ideas about what to write about. But some days it just doesnÕt happen. Nothing seems to make sense, and none of it can be translated into words. ThereÕs just a mumbo-jumbo of things floating around in my mind, and none of it can find its home on the page.


-I read in the Register-Mail theyÕre doing a lot of shoveling around Galesburg. I assume a lot of people are putting in gardens to fend off starvation, and I did check the obituaries, seeing there have been a lot of people that need a final resting place. Either way, I donÕt see why the mayors so happy?


-They sure did screw up Seminary Street. You talk about traffic. They must all be going to Wal-Mart. Suckers. One of my favorite pastimes is counting traffic from my front porch. Now IÕm getting up to numbers I donÕt quite understand. Damn them.


-Twenty tips for a better life:

     1. Talk to someone, live and in-person. It is good to have personal contact with humans. Usually.

     2. Sit down at the table and eat. No music, no phone calls, no TV, no bills laying on the table to be paid. Relax. Tell the kids the neighbor has pizza.

     3. Walk a little. No headphones, cell phone. Head up. Look around. Listen. YouÕll be amazed at what you see and hear.

     4. Read something worthwhile. ItÕs good for the brain.

     5. Get a good nights sleep. Eight hours, maybe more, depending on your age.

     6. Volunteer. Help with things you can do something about.

     7. Clear your brain of all the nonsense it has accumulated. This may require surgery.

     8. Listen to music as much as you can. (Except when youÕre walking). Music is good for your soul.

     9. Do things for your health, like never get sick. YouÕll save a ton of money.

   10. Give up hatred and revenge. TheyÕll suck the life right out of you.

   11. No one is in charge of your happiness, although someone may be in charge of your sadness.

   12. If you canÕt afford it, donÕt buy it.

   13. Dance more.

   14. Give up your three worst habits.

   15. Never buy a used bed.

   16. Try not to ever turn right. ItÕs a dead end road.

   17. Believe in something greater than yourself. This does not include beer.

   18. Be skeptical of technology. There are a lot of things we donÕt need.

   19. John Mc- who?

   20. And finally, in your darkest hour, remember this: It will not be fame and fortune that sustains you, but whether or not you were willing to help those in need. Someone, say, like me.