Making something out of nothing


– Bumper sticker of the week: Same circus, different clowns.

– Quote of the week: "The pioneers of a warless world are the youths who refuse military service." Albert Einstein

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

• A car was a car, not a tin can on wheels. Metal, chrome. Engines you could work on. Mileage was as good as today's, and gas was 35cents per gallon. Of course, 35cents was the hourly wage.

• Toilets didn't need flushing. Nor did they stink up the house, cause they weren't in the house.

• When you went to the theater, no one's cell phone rang. There weren't any.

• You dealt with local companies you could trust, or at worst, who you could find and yell at, if necessary. Today, they are all foreign owned, and you deal with people by phone, in India, who you can't understand anyway, which is probably best.

• Eating places were few and far between. Today, it takes an hour to decide where you are going, and another hour to get the food once you get there.

• Families ate together, watched TV together, prayed together, and made plans to send the kids to summer camp together while the parents filed for a divorce.

• You got four channels on TV, not 204, which seems a bit excessive. And it makes it hard to chose which nonsense to watch.

• When you went to the doctor, you paid what you could. The doctor went to medical school to learn to help people, not to become a millionaire. It was relatively simple. A close relationship was built between doctor and patient, not doctor and banker.

• Schooling was simple: You were expected to be there, you were expected to behave, and in the process, you were expected to learn something. None of these were optional.

• Learning about sexual issues was a lot easier. Playboy magazine was much more popular and readily available. You could always steal your father’s copy.

– Things I learned from grandpa:

• Never bother arguing with grandma. It isn't worth it.

• Beer is much better for you than well-water.

• If you have to go to church to find God, you aren't looking near hard enough.

• If you were hungry, there were always squirrels in the backyard, or rabbits in the garden.

• Everything tastes better if you put salt on it.

• Don't wander to far from home, least you forget where you came from.

• Always plant more than you need in the garden. The neighbor ladies will love you for it.

• Always argue with the boss. He's seldom right and usually doesn't know a thing about what's going on.

• If you have faith in yourself, you should have faith in the government, because the government is you.

– Picking priorities: I recently read about some high school students getting into trouble for going to the homecoming dance without previously buying tickets. I would like to think I heard this story wrong. They went to the dance and purchased tickets which they were not allowed to do, by rule. This causes cognitive dissonance in my brain, which basically results in confusion from an incongruent message. Let's try this from another angle. The high school has an unacceptable dropout rate, a high pregnancy rate, and trouble with drugs. And we make an issue out of not buying dance tickets beforehand. Obviously, that makes sense to someone. I'm guessing they would have to be pretty anal, and their potty training was probably not quite up to par. This is a clear example of not picking your fights, or issues, very well. I would suggest a course in negotiating, or conflict resolution. Short of that, I would suggest getting a brain scan.