— Bumper sticker of the week: Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.

— Quote of the week: ÒWhat do atheists scream when they come?Ó The Peever

— HereÕs a tip: If youÕre killing someone in the name of God, youÕre missing the message.

— Born again: I been spending too much time down South. A lot of talk about being born again. I donÕt know, I guess itÕs alright. Most the people I hear tell of being born again really needed it. They usually screwed up pretty bad. I suppose the notion of being able to clean your slate is not a bad one, although I think it would be a better idea to clean up your messes in this realm, not the next. Apologize, change your behavior, do better. I wonder how many times youÕre allowed to be born again?

— Gas prices: Another confirmation: In Galesburg, we pay a higher price for gas than anywhere between here and Hot Springs, Arkansas. When I got back home, the price in Galesburg was $2.53. I bought gas in Missouri for $2.25, and saw it for $2.21. (I couldnÕt get stopped in time.) As much as I can make out of the whole thing, there has to be a collusion among the station owners to keep the price jacked up. The one constant seems to be Herr. Either theyÕre terrible buyers of gas, always paying the highest wholesale prices, or theyÕre excellent screwers. And guess who the screwees are?

— People ask me about my spiritual practices, what religion I favor. I never quite know what to say. Some days are pretty good and I seem to have a notion of where IÕm headed. Other days, I canÕt put it into words how lost I feel. It would be much easier if I just picked something and went with it. But IÕm too much of a contrarian for that. I keep grabbing here, and taking there, and blending this, and adopting that. I sit and meditate, and pray, and read spiritual books. I look for that solace to help me explain what it is IÕm seeing. ItÕs a lot like telling a drowning man, ÒHey, thereÕs a life preserver somewhere. Hang on!Ó

— $100 worth of advice for 50 cents:

¥ Trying is lying.

¥ Never look for an excuse. Admit it if you are wrong.

¥ DonÕt get too down on yourself. ThatÕs what you have friends for.

¥ Never go to a counselor that has more problems than you.

¥ Medications can help, but it will cost you in the long run.

¥ Talking is way over-rated. Try listening.

¥ The best bull-shitters make terrible spouses.

¥ Fear is the worst crippler. It incapacitates many a person. It requires getting over the worst thing that could possibly happen to you: death. Once you get to there, nothing can scare you.

— Sometimes I long for the good-old-days:

¥ You could buy a tank of gas and not have to take out a loan.

¥ You never had to flush the toilet.

¥ When you went to a movie, no oneÕs cell phone rang.

¥ You could go to any doctor you wanted. Paying was encouraged, but not required.

¥ Families ate together, took vacations together, prayed together, and made plans for the kids to go to summer camp together, while the parents got a divorce together.

¥ You dealt with local companies. Someone you could meet face to face, and choke if necessary. Now I talk to people in foreign countries, who donÕt even know when IÕm cussing.

¥ I can still remember when the President was elected, not chosen.

¥ You could eat what you wanted and not worry about it killing you.

¥ I kind of liked it when we had jobs that paid a living wage.