­­ Bumper sticker of the week: Sex on television can't hurt you unless you fall off.

­­ Quote of the week: ''We must come to understand that God has put it into our power to attain happiness, that this is what he wants of and for us, and that it is entirely up to us to obtain it. No one can or will provide us with happiness. If we truly desire happiness, then we must struggle to do the best we can at each moment of life. Our happiness doesn't depend on somebody else's action or on anything else. It doesn't depend on our success, but rather on the effort we're willing to put into everything we do. Even if people disappoint or fail us left and right, even if people turn against us, hurt us, lie about us, don't understand us, even if they think they know everything about us and judge us unfairly, they can't infringe upon our happiness. True happiness means that we have a deep-seated peace and tranquility that transcends all the difficulties of life, that cannot be disturbed by the chaos and warfare that might touch our lives.'' --''In the Spirit of Happiness,'' The Monks of New Skete.

­­ I got a bill for my ambulance ride to Peoria. $750. The guys were good and the ride fine, but if I'd have known the cost, I'd have hired the Budweiser Girls to take me over in a limo. I might not have got there alive, but I'd have died with a smile on my face.

­­ I read some time ago a comment by Joseph Campbell concerning the lack of myth and ritual in our society. He believed this in part leads to a lack of character and moral integrity in our children. One of the things he suggested was looking in the newspaper and noticing the ages of those arrested. On Monday, July 31,I did just that. I looked in the Register-Mail for those arrested in Galesburg, Abingdon, and Monmouth. Here are the ages as they appeared: 22, 22,19, 20, 18, 28, 28, 19, 16, 21, 21, 21, 26, 25,19, 21, 42, 25, 25, 22, 20, 18, 21, 17, 25,17, 17,17, 17, 15, and 46. On this day, it is clear the young are dominating the arrest column. The reasons are probably multiple, but most certainly include our lack of storytelling and the passing on of rituals and mythology. There's no time for such things today. We're too busy bailing out our children.

­­ A heart attack and bypass surgery. Instantly, everything changes. It's not the fact that you almost died. We're all eventually going to do that. It's the fact that you lived, that each day is now a gift, a bonus, if you will. Now it's to decide what to do with each of those days. How best to use them and accept them as gifts from God. You don't know quite what to think or do, but it's clear, you've been called to find an answer.

­­ The Republican Convention sure was some kind of show. Fifty million dollars worth. No Buchanans, DeLays, Lotts, Gingriches. Everything upbeat and sounding more and more Democratic. But when you look at their platform positions, you begin to understand the extent of the showmanship taking place. They want to win so bad they're willing to act like Democrats for four days. Frankly, I'm hoping the Democrats quit acting like Republicans. The whole thing gets very confusing.

­­ How to maintain your sanity in an insane world:

-- Don't believe it just because someone says it's true.--

Take medication.--

Keep it simple.--

Throw your television away.--

Read books, not newspapers.--

If a politician comes around, run.--

If life is leading you rather than you leading it, make some changes.--

If you have dreams that you continually deny, wake up before you find yourself caught in a nightmare.

­­ In the spirit of positiveness:--

Lake Storey is a nice place to catch your breath.--

The Rescue Mission helps a lot of people.--

We have quite a few good hometown restaurants.--

Traffic jams are seldom a problem.--

There are a lot of good people in Galesburg.--

We may not be listed in the top 50,000 communities in the country, but by God, we do our best.

­­ The Knox County Fair. I'd have gone out there but I don't know what for, although dinosaurs are currently very popular.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online August 9, 2000

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