Monthly Archives: February 2021

My Psychic Wife

When we met and fell in love, I had no idea how much my wife had been sought after. But not by Don Juans bearing roses in clenched teeth. No, the people who had stalked her, and who had clamored for a few minutes of her time, were the lovelorn, the desperate, and the distraught.

After we’d been together for awhile, Kay revealed to me that at one time she had worked as a psychic. Not only that, but she’d had such a reputation for accuracy, people would flock to her from miles around to pay for a reading.

I wished I could say that I knew that, but I couldn’t. I’d never been psychic.

She charged $20 for individual readings, and $25 for group readings, and this was back in the 1970s, when the minimum wage was around two bucks an hour. So she made some decent money on the side, exploiting her psychic powers for profit.

But Kay says the work was mentally draining. She’d have to spend the day before a reading, in a meditative state. Visions, and other revelations would come to her at this time, but the deep meditation required for this would leave her feeling exhausted.

But did she really have psychic powers? I’m a skeptic and told her so, right from the start. To my surprise, she said she felt relieved. Now I wouldn’t be hounding her to read my fortune, and to tell me all the terrible things that might be in store for me.

Bushwa! I thought. But then again, who knows? Since I believe nobody can read minds, how am I supposed to get into her mind and know that she can, or cannot, read minds?

Another reason she felt relieved is because she claimed she had turned her preternatural powers off. Kay says that you can get in a mental place where your powers become stronger. But you can also let go of your powers and they will become weaker. One day, Kay decided to allow her powers to weaken and fade away. These days, she says it’s very rare for something psychic to occur to her.

She claims she was born with these powers. When she was a small child, she claims to have had the premonition that her brother would die young. But she kept it a secret, because she didn’t want her mother getting upset. Sure enough, when her brother was 33 years old, he was killed by a drunk driver while jogging by the side of a highway.

In fact, the day she decided to stop being psychic was the day her brother died. She knew it was coming, and she didn’t like knowing such things. But there were other reasons. She had also grown tired of hearing people’s problems, and feeling their pain, and being liked only for her psychic powers, rather than people getting to know her as a person. Especially because it wasn’t just strangers who treated her this way, but also coworkers, friends, and even family. Plus, the Bible says it’s a sin to be psychic, and Kay is superstitious about the Bible.

And then there were those times when she’d read someone’s fortune, and dread telling it. For instance, how do you tell someone who has cancer that they aren’t going make it? Kay hated being the bearer of bad news.

When she was 24, she worked at a nursing home. She kept sensing something about the charge nurse who worked at the home. One day she had all the nerve to walk up to her and tell her that she knew something about her past. That she’d had a baby girl who had died. The nurse felt shocked. It was true, she confessed, and it was something she had not told anyone about, because she didn’t like talking about it.

Kay also told this nurse something else that had been weighing on her mind for several days. She informed the nurse that soon there was going to be a mass killing or mass suicide somewhere in the world, and that a lot of people were going to die. About a week later, the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana occurred.

After this the nurse was so impressed, she started hounding Kay for readings. This left her feeling irritated. Then another nurse began hounding her for a reading. But she refused. She was tired of being pressured to provide psychic services.

But one day she changed her mind. She suddenly got the urge to do a reading for the nurse. So she went to her house and sat in front of her. But then her mind drew a blank. Nothing came. It was an awkward moment, and Kay felt embarrassed.

Then the lady’s daughter walked in, whom Kay had never met before. Kay looked at her, then looked back at her coworker, and warned her, “Don’t let your daughter get into any red sports cars this summer.”

The mother freaked out. It so happened her daughter had a friend who drove a red sports car. She absolutely forbade her daughter from riding in it. And that summer, the daughter’s friend got into a terrible wreck that destroyed the passenger side of the car. Kay’s advice had possibly saved the girl’s life.

When Kay gave an individual reading, only about one or two things about a client would come to her. But her clients would press for more. She could have embellished, like many so-called psychics do, but she chose not to take advantage of her clients.

There were only three main areas of interest for her clients: They wanted to know about their future love life. Or, they were going through a difficult time, and wanted to know how things would turn out. Or, they were distraught over the loss of a loved one, and wanted to hear some news from the departed soul.

In group readings, Kay would ask for a piece of jewelry from every member of the group. She would hold it, rub it, and do readings from what she picked up off the jewelry. Kay could also feel their physical pain, such as back pain, or any other pain they were currently experiencing in their body.

The information she got only applied to the owner of the jewelry, so it wasn’t the way fake psychics work, where they say something aloud that’s vague, and almost guaranteed to apply to at least one person in the group.

One day Kay was shopping, appropriately enough, in K-Mart. An employee walked up and told her that he’d heard of her, and that he didn’t believe she was psychic. He challenged her to prove it to him. Kay had never met him before, and knew nothing about this guy. But she said, “Okay. You can’t wait to get off of work. You have a brother who’s in the military, who is visiting, and he’s at your home right now.” The guy turned pale. He looked like he’d been stricken. He admitted, “You’re right,” and turned around and walked away.

Sometimes a skeptic would accompany a client to a reading, and would scoff and jeer in the background. Kay always found this funny, because she always shocked these skeptics with her accuracy.

I’m a skeptic, myself. And even as I write this, I too am scoffing and jeering. Yet with a wary mind.

I worry that if what Kay has told me is true, she may secretly harbor psychic powers, even now. That’s a little unnerving. How the hell can I get away with anything?

And so, as I go about my day, I try to think random thoughts to throw her off. I’ve gotten very good at this, and can sometimes get away with being sneaky. Now, what the hell was I doing? Oh yes, I’m writing a post. I’ll admit that I get distracted easily, using this strategy, but it’s worth it.

Kay will never be able to read my mind.

Stepparent

I’ve had five different stepparents. Two I liked and three I didn’t. One of those that I didn’t like, was married and divorced to my mother twice. He raised me through most of my childhood years.

He was abusive. But not very often physical. Mostly it was mental and verbal abuse. My mother, my siblings and I were frequently the targets of his inner, unresolved conflicts and anger.

He also molested my sisters. He lived to the ripe old age of 82, but my mother divorced him for the final time, some 20 years before he died. But the divorce occurred long after her children were raised and the damage to us had been done.

If you are a parent, married to or preparing to marry an abusive person, you might want to be wary of what lies in store for you and your children down the line. I’m not sure what that will be, exactly, but I can relate what happened in my own family.

All of my sisters married and eventually divorced abusive men. One of my sisters developed multiple personalities. Sometimes she goes into fugue states, wandering away from home and reemerging somewhere, a thousand miles away, with no memory of where she’s been or how she got there. Sometimes she’s locked away in mental hospitals for her own protection. She’s neglected her health, and is now a mental and physical wreck.

Another sister had her nose and jaw broken by an abusive husband, requiring major surgery to her face. She emerged from her last divorce with little money, and had to restart her life at the age of 45. She came close to serving time in prison one evening, as she stood over this husband while he slept, holding a baseball bat over his head. But she resisted temptation and divorced him instead. Finally, after three failed marriages, she found a good man.

My brother has been happily married most of his adult life, and has been fairly successful. But before he set out on the strait and narrow, he was doing hard drugs. He joined the Army on his 18th birthday, but had a problem with fighting and going off into drug-induced rampages. On one occasion he trashed the barracks. This led to a court-martial and discharge. He had to work very hard to rebuild his life after the military, but in the end all has turned out well for him.

I too emerged from childhood with a messed up mind. I was depressed, confused, and poorly equipped for survival in this wild world we live in. And that was compounded by poor physical health. I dropped out of college. I failed to notice, or failed to care about, one golden opportunity for success after another. I came close to suicide on several occasions. But eventually I developed the insight needed to turn my life around and build a successful marriage and career.

My mother has ended up an odd old duck. She’s poor, but spends her money like water. Then she begs for more from her children. She has a nervous talking habit that never quits. It drives everyone nuts. She remembers our childhood very differently from the way we remember, and sometimes speaks wistfully of that ex-husband who molested her daughters. We kind of avoid her, and she lives alone.

This is no sob story. I don’t have much to cry about. For the most part, I feel happy and fulfilled, no thanks to my ex-stepfather. This is a warning. Think of your children when deciding who to bring into your life. Abusive spouses come and go, but your children will always be your children. You want them to always love you, don’t you?

The human spirit is very resilient. But it’s most vulnerable during the tender years of youth. Abusive parenting doesn’t toughen children up. It weakens them. But when or if they restrengthen as adults, their strong spirits will never forget what they endured. And they will do their best to avoid any further abuse. Even if that means avoiding those who raised them.

What the F___?! Stop!

I decided I wanted to become more proficient with my camera. So I hired a professional photographer to give me some one-on-one training. His name is Jay Pegger. Jay took me out into the field so he could give me some pointers on how to shoot.

We came upon a beautiful Joshua tree that Jay thought would make an excellent photographic subject. So he told me to frame up a picture.

Jay: Frame up a picture. But before you do, you’re going to want to increase your focal ratio. (I creased my forehead) You know, your f/stop.

Oh, that seemed easy. I already knew the control for adjusting f/stop. So I made the tweak as instructed.

Jay: Before you shoot, let me check your adjustment.

He took the camera.

Jay: What the f___? I thought you knew how to adjust f/stop!

Me: I do. You told me to increase it, so I took it up to f/22. That’s as high as it can go. It was at f/11.

Jay: No, no, when you increase f/stop, that means you decrease the number.

Me: Come again? You mean more is less?

Jay: No, not at all. And I thought you told me you’d studied all this. I didn’t realize you were such an amateur! Listen carefully. F/stop gets bigger the smaller the number, because it’s a ratio of the size of the diaphragm that controls the size of the aperture. More f/stop means more light.

Me: Before I got fixed, I always stopped my f-ing if I knew she wasn’t wearing a diaphragm. I know what that aperture can do to a man.

Jay: That’s not funny. I’ve heard all those stupid jokes many times before. That’s why I try to limit my students to more advanced photographers. Now listen! Wrong diaphragm, wrong aperture. There’s a diaphragm in the lens of your camera.

Me: So tell me, Jay, what does the “f” stand for, in f/stop?

Jay: Focal! Focal! Got it?! Focal!!

Me: I rest my case.

Jay: Oh, Jesus! Look . . . just remember, you increase f/stop by reducing the number. But if it will make things easier, let’s just talk about aperture. Now, increase the aperture in your camera.

I took the camera back and fiddled with the controls. This would be easier if I wasn’t already at the highest f/stop. Or was that the lowest f/stop?

Me: Hey Jay, I’m already at f/22. How can I possibly increase the aperture any further?

Jay swiped the camera out of my hands.

Jay: Listen! You increase aperture by increasing f/stop! You increase f/stop by reducing the number! This isn’t brain surgery!!

Me: Alright, alright! I just wanted to make sure, that’s all. I suspected it all along. Just checking, that’s all.

I didn’t really suspect that, but I didn’t like Jay being mad at me. It hurts my feelings to pay someone by the hour to yell at me. I took the camera back, and reduced the f/stop number down to f/8.

Me: I’m at f/8. Is that good, or do you want me to reduce the f/stop further?

Jay: Reduce?! Reduce?! No damnit! I want you to INCREASE the f/stop further!!! INCREASE it to f/6!

His temper-tantrum was leaving me feeling panicked. And when I feel panicked I have a hard time thinking straight. With shaky fingers, I fiddled with the controls.

Me: Okay, okay, calm down. There, no, wait. Oh goshdarnit! I increased the f/stop to f/10!

Jay: Goshdarnit?! GodDAMNit!! Don’t you fucking listen?! It’s motherfucking impossible to increase an f/stop from f/8 to f/10! Motherfucking impossible! Understand?!!

I stood there tremulous. My eyes darted around for any weapon I might use to defend myself. There was a stick about 10 yards away.

Me: Jay, Jay, I’m sorry. I’m just a little nervous. It would help if you’d stop yelling at me.

Jay’s pupils visibly dilated, as if there were out-of-control f/stops whirring about in his eye sockets. But after a long minute they receded. He actually started to calm down.

Jay: You’re right. I’m sorry. But this whole f/stop issue really bugs me. Every new photography student seems to have a learning curve when it comes to f/stop. And wanna know something? I’m sick of it! It really isn’t that hard to get. But I’ll try to be a little more patient.

Me: Thank you, Jay. Now, could you tell me why you wanted me to increase the aperture?

Jay: Oh, well that’s to reduce your depth of field. We want the Joshua tree to be in focus, with the background being slightly out-of-focus. It makes for a striking effect.

Me: So you increase aperture to reduce your depth of field?

Jay: Yeah, yeah, that’s right. (Breathing more deeply and calmly) Now just go ahead and increase your aperture, and let’s take this picture.

I fiddled with the camera’s controls.

Me: Jay, do you think f/22 would give me a big enough aperture? I mean, when I look through the viewfinder the depth of field doesn’t seem to have gone down much.

Jay: You son-of-a-bitch!!!

I ran for the stick.


When you increase aperture, you decrease depth of field, throwing the background out of focus. I let Jay take the picture.

You Well Write

I’ve given up on my grammar checker. It puts annoying, squiggly lines beneath my sentences, which distract me from being able to read and understand what I’ve written. So I went online, looking for better grammar checking software.

After much searching I finally found something affordable. It’s a program called, “You Well Write.” I believe the low, $15.00 price was due to the fact that it was produced in China, by slave labor. Thanks, Uyghurs!

After the quick download, I was eager to learn how to operate this exciting new auditor of my written word. And just reading the Help file opened my eyes to highly sophisticated usages of the English language. Here’s an excerpt:

Official Committee for the Writing of Manuals for Americans.

“Welcome too You Well Write! You soon no sorry this product you purchase. It many times used in China country years on. Corporations all that products America for made always this product use when manuals they write. It’s style familiar to you must be. How times many you purchase from our country product with manual? Reading hard it is, no? But now not. Now familiarize we you with language structure better so now you not just able understand manual but write you such manual you to.

“Guarantee we, or back money give we if no complain. You find better then no product ever. Help file read you, than program start you too use. Their no time now like it is for learn. So its now time start for you.”

I’m very excited about this new program. How nice it will be to learn the language structure used in every manual that comes with products made in China. And not only that, but I’ll be able to write like these Chinese pros, also.

Their is nothing better then that, and already its as if I be learning much of new thing’s.

Thank’s, China!

10 Block Editor Tips

I’ve been struggling up the learning curve of WordPress’s infamous Block Editor. I like the Block Editor, but it took about three calls to the Suicide Prevention Hotline before I finally became comfortable with it. Now I’ve almost entirely abandoned the Classic Editor.

Goodbye, Classic Editor! You were a class act, but now there’s a new kid on the block.

WP has done a very good job at hiding some useful features, some of which seem like very basic features. Such as, how to add a line of text directly below the current line, while staying in the same paragraph. Poets and listmakers would appreciate how to do this.

Google has been helpful, and I’ve discovered other solutions by accident and trial-and-error. There’s much more to figure out, so I wouldn’t consider myself an expert.

If you have any questions, I recommend trying Google. I can’t be anyone’s personal tutor because I’m still piss-poor at this, and even worse at explaining technical things to others. Besides, I’m impatient with people who are as slow at learning things as myself.

Nevertheless, I thought I’d pass along, to the best of my doofus brain’s limited ability, ten of my most useful discoveries. I hope this will benefit anyone else who’s been battling the Block Editor.

10 Block Editor Tips

  1. To add a line directly below a line, within the same Paragraph Block, such as when you’re typing a poem or compiling a list, press the Shift+Enter keys.
  2. To change the text color of part of a Paragraph Block, rather than the entire block, select the text, then hover over the down arrow in the top menu, which will reveal the words, “More rich text controls.” Select that down arrow, then select “Text Color.”
  3. To make text wrap around an image, select the image, then hover your cursor over the various, funny-looking boxes in the top menu, until your cursor displays, “Change alignment.” Click here, then choose a left or right alignment. You will also likely have to reduce the size of the image. How to do this should be fairly obvious, after you select the image.
  4. If you copy and paste text to the Block Editor, and it appears with the ugly gray, “Classic Editor” background, hover over the box to the left of the up and down arrows, in the top menu, and your cursor should display the words, “Change block type or style.” Click on this box, and then choose “Transform to . . . Paragraph.” This will remove the gray background and convert the text to Paragraph format.
  5. To add a new Paragraph Block, without having to go through all the rigmarole of clicking on the Plus “+” sign box, position your cursor at the end of an existing Paragraph Block, and press the “Enter” key. A fresh, new, blank Paragraph Block will appear directly below.
  6. To move a block of text, or an image, or any other type of block, select the block, then click on the up or down arrow in the top menu.
  7. To instantly delete a block, select the block, then press the Shift+Alt+Z keys.
  8. To undo some dumb, fool thing that you just did, press the Ctrl-Z keys.
  9. To save text as a reusable block, click inside the block, then click the three vertical dots in the top, right menu. Choose, “Add to Reusable Blocks.” To name or delete the block, click the Plus “+” sign in the top-left menu. Then choose the “Reusable” tab. Then click on the “Manage all reusable blocks” link.
  10. To insert a reusable block into a post, click the Plus “+” sign in the top-left menu. Then choose the “Reusable” tab. Then find the block with the name you’ve assigned to it, that you’re looking for, and click that block. It will insert into your post. If you want to edit it within the post, you must immediately choose, “Convert to regular blocks” in the top menu. Do this immediately, or this option will disappear from the top menu. Then you’ll have to delete the block and start all over again.

Here’s a very useful, 20-minute YouTube tutorial on how to use the Block Editor. It just covers the basics, but I found the information very helpful at transitioning from the Classic Editor. And a big shoutout to the Widow Badass, for bringing this tutorial to my attention:

Coins

She’d been saving some of these treasures for thirty years, and now it was time to cash in. What would she do with all the money? she mused. She wanted to travel. She was retired now, and on a fixed income. She couldn’t afford a very long trip on her meager little Social Security check. But after she cashed these coins in, wow what a long journey she planned!

“May I help you, ma’am,” asked a kind-faced elderly man behind the counter.

“You sure can! I have some very rare coins here. I want a fair appraisal, and then I want to sell them to you,” she beamed proudly as she fished a pile of glinting specie from her purse and dumped it onto the counter.

The coin man furrowed his brow and picked up each coin, one by one, clink by clink, and studied them with an illuminated magnifying glass. Occasionally he glanced up at her expectant face. He cleared his throat as he continued, coin by coin.

The treasure laid out between them consisted of three Eisenhower silver dollars, four Susan B. Anthony silver dollars, three Sacajawea copper-colored silver dollars, and twelve John F. Kennedy half dollars. This was sixteen dollars in all, at face value. But the mystery for the lady who had been hoarding and collecting these minted coins, was not their face value, but rather their collector’s value. The premium.

Finally the old man set down his magnifier. He looked up at this innocent customer very seriously and respectfully. “Ma’am, these are beautiful coins. Yes ma’am, they sure are. Almost as beautiful as your eyes, if you’ll excuse me for saying.”

She blushed. She was five years a widow, and this was the first time any man had flirted with her since her husband had passed. She kind of stammered and smiled a little. “Well, thank you, but what are my beautiful eyes, I mean coins, worth, sir?”

“Well, ma’am,” he appeared a little embarrassed. “You see, ma’am. Well, not much beyond their face value, ma’am. These Eisenhower silver dollars are all post-1970. And they’ve been circulated. And these Kennedy half dollars the same. No real silver in them. And the Sue B’s and Sac Dollars are always face value if they’ve been circulated.”

Her smile dropped. There went her world cruise. She felt a little stupid. “I see. Well, what would you be willing to give me for them?”

He paused and pondered and scratched his head. Finally he spoke, with a sly look in his eyes. “I tell you what ma’am, how about if you let me treat you to dinner at a nice restaurant. And you can keep the coins. They’re nice coins and a joy to hold. They have a nice solid weight to them.”

She studied his face. He had a kind look to him. He seemed about her age. She detected no dishonesty in his demeanor. She scooped up the coins and dropped them clinkety-clink back into her purse. She pulled a pen out of her purse and asked him for a piece of paper. She wrote her phone number down.

The next evening they enjoyed fine dining together. Within a few months they had moved in together. Within a year the elderly proprietor at the coin store sold out and retired. He used some of the proceeds from the sale to take his new wife on a long journey to the exotic island of Tahiti for a romantic honeymoon.

Her coins had truly paid off.

The Entropy Argument

I’m an atheist, but there was a time many years ago when I got into a long-running, online argument with a forum of fellow atheists. I was trying to prove by argument that even if there isn’t a God, life can be eternal. Big mistake on my part. Nothing can be proven by argument.

I finally gave up on those bastards. And they laughed me off as another casualty to their impeccable logic and rational thought.

They were engineers and self-proclaimed scientists, and apparently possessed some knowledge of physics. And their main argument against eternal life utilized several concepts of physics, involving entropy and the first two laws of thermodynamics.

If you want to risk permanently crossed eyes, or falling into a forever slumber, you can google these subjects and try to figure them out. That’s what I did, and with help from my eye doctor and sleep therapist, I managed to survive the research and emerge mostly unscathed.

I want to emphasize, though, that In spite of all my study, I don’t possess great confidence in my grasp of these concepts. And they’re kind of controversial, as different physicists seem to have different opinions about it. But here’s the best explanation I can come up with, as to why we can’t live forever (according to those damned atheists):

Entropy of our cosmos basically means that over time, the energy of our universe is slipping into equilibrium. As our universe expands, temperatures within the universe are equalizing. The theory posits that eventually there will be an even temperature spread throughout the universe, preventing any transfer of energy from taking place between any one point and any other point. Energy will be immobilized and unable to produce any activity. Nothing will be able to move. Everything will be dead.

Entropy is slowly killing our universe.

This wiki article, on the Heat Death of the Universe, can help explain it better, if you’re willing to risk crossed-eyes and coma.

Have you ever watched your kids bouncing off the walls, with energy in the early evening? And have you observed that as the evening wears on, they make less and less rational sense, and move more and more slowly? That’s kind of like entropy. By the time beddy-bye arrives, they’ve become comatose and you have to carry them to their blankets.

That’s where entropy is taking our universe.

The atheists I argued with cited entropy as proof that there can be no life after death. They pointed out that the nature of energy is to decay into random chaos until it loses all ability to function. And so they claimed that since life is energy, all life in this universe must eventually come to an eternal end.

They made a good point, in my view, because our long-running argument eventually died from entropy.

But I learned from this argument. And what I learned is that it’s a mistake to equate life with energy. I make the assumption that life is eternal. It’s an assumption, I admit, but I prefer assuming that life is eternal, than assuming the depressing alternative. But because of entropy, I can’t keep assuming life is eternal if I also assume that life is energy.

The entropy argument helped me realize that life cannot be assumed to be energy, if life is assumed to be eternal. So life has to be something different. Life can command and control energy when it occupies a physical body, and this can lead us to confuse life with energy. But if life is eternal, it cannot be energy.

Scientists have never discovered what life exactly is. They’ve never developed an unequivocal definition of life. So it would be inaccurate to say that science has proven that life is energy. That was the flaw in the argument of those atheists, and if only my lame brain had figured that out at the time, I would have really showed them a thing or two.

Once again, my esprit de l’escalier let me down.

Scientists have never discovered where life comes from or where it goes to. In fact, nobody really knows the answer to that question, although there are plenty of religions willing to supply an answer.

I don’t know either. I’ve defined life as change, in several of my books, which you can find in my Free Bookstore. But that’s a philosophical definition. As far as a biological definition for the soul that dwells within living creatures such as you and me, I’m as stumped as the scientists.

But with regard to a biological definition, I can say with all the hope in my heart and all the power of assumption that I can muster, that one thing is absolutely, positively, most probably true:

Life is not energy.

Remotely Possible

Pictured above is me committing a common error. When I try to input channel 55, my finger sometimes lingers too long on the “5” button, resulting in channel 555. But there is no channel 555. I know that, but my TV doesn’t. So now I have to wait about ten seconds for my TV to search for a non-existent channel, then give me the “No Signal” screen.

Isn’t it about time that television manufacturers redesign their *#@!ing TV remotes? Inputting the correct channel is a bitch, with those sticky, teeny-tiny buttons. I’m tired of messing up, then missing the first part of a show while trying to get the remote to cooperate.

I’m no electronic engineer. But really, would it be that hard to design a TV remote with an “Undo” or “Backspace” button? Let’s say you try to input channel 7. But you’re not quite nimble enough and accidentally input channel 777777777777777777777777777777777777. Rather than having to wait ten seconds for the TV to search for something that everyone and God knows ain’t there, wouldn’t it be nice to hit an “Undo” button and start all over?

And what about those buttons anyway? Why do they repeat numbers so easily? Couldn’t that be fixed too?

While the engineers are busy with my redesign ideas, here’s another request: Make the buttons a bit larger. I’m not asking for much real estate here. Just make the buttons approximate the size of the average man’s fingertip. Ladies have an advantage here, because their fingertips tend to be closer to the size of those buttons. But this can be a real problem for men when we’re trying to switch around to different ball games, with a drink in one hand and a thumb fumbling over the remote with the other.

If humans can land a spacecraft on a speeding comet, I’m sure they can make a better TV remote. And think of how much cumulative time would be saved, across the country, if everyone had better functioning TV remotes. Why, that time could be used for interacting with other family members, or working on our tax returns. Yes, consider how much more our country could collect in taxes if they’d only fix the dad-blamed TV remote.

Write to your congressional representative. Or have a heart-to-heart with any inventors you know. Together, it’s at least remotely possible we can start a national movement that will eliminate, once and for all, the dreaded “No Signal” screen.

Prophets Of Doom

Humans across the world have had a stressful time these last 12 months, dealing with the pandemic, and all the economic and social upheaval that has resulted. And these are signs that the world is doomed, according to some religious leaders.

At End Times Prophecy Watch, you can find the latest breaking news, related to the upcoming end of the world. When I reviewed this news, it seems much of it concerns the Covid pandemic.

But are we really heading pell-mell for Hell? I think so. At least eventually—that’s for sure. It seems the prophets of doom have always been right in message, just wrong in timing. Every age has been the end-times, according to doomsayers of every age. So of course, they’ve all had bad timing, with the possible exception of our modern doomsayers.

These days, doomsayers are predicting the demise of the human race from causes such as the following:

The Castle Bravo nuclear bomb test at Bikini Atoll, was one of many signs used by doomsayers in the 1950s, to foretell our extinction by nuclear war.

The Covid pandemic

Global warming

A new ice age

Thermonuclear warfare

Overpopulation

Tyrannical governments

Moral degeneration (apparently a threat to humanity in every age)

5G

Genetic engineering

Zombies

These are just some of the scary signs of our end-times. That Armageddon is nigh at hand. So the question is, are the modern doomsayers right this time, or are they wrong? Will we survive, or will we all perish?

I think they are right. We will all die. Sooner or later. Each in our own time. For the end of the world happens to everybody, eventually. But will we all die at once? Is the human race itself doomed?

Who knows? I can’t predict the future, so I sure can’t tell anyone. I guess it’s easy enough to imagine that any of the above-listed threats could do the human race in. In fact it’s so easy to imagine, many Hollywood writers have already cashed in on these possibilities.

But I do know this. I have seen people at the bottom of the barrel of despair. They’ve seemed to be hopeless cases, sad sacks, real heavy-goers. The end of the world was upon them. And yet they have somehow found their way up and out. They have survived one breath at a time, and stepped one foot at a time through long wilderness journeys, eventually emerging into the open air of sunlight.

And so I know that human beings are smart enough to figure things out. They can convert despair into hope, and transfigure doom into deliverance. And if they’re smart enough to save themselves from disaster, then they can collectively save the world, also. In fact, the world has been saved by such people time and time again, generation after generation. Our presence in this world is living proof of that.

And so I say to the prophets of doom, don’t be fooled by the madness of humans. Have faith in their genius for survival. The end of the world is probably not near, and probably never has been near. This world of humans, or whatever we evolve into, may survive for another 5 billion years, until it is finally swallowed up by the red giant of a dying sun.

And that is when the prophets of doom will finally get their timing right.

The Cultural Revolution is Now a Book

Remember all those boring posts I wrote last summer, about China’s Cultural Revolution? You may be glad to know that you can now obtain this snooze-material in book form. I’ve compiled the posts into a 26,000 word book, entitled The Cultural Revolution: Then and Mao, and submitted it to Smashwords.com, for publication.

The list price is $0.00 on Smashwords, so you can download it in a variety of formats, for free. But I like competition, so I’ve also put my book up for sale in my Free Bookstore (see the menu at the top of my blog). The cost is $0.00. You can read it online, or download it. It’s in PDF format, which I think is the best format for versatility of layout. And PDFs can be read in most browsers.

Images work well in PDF format, whereas they can be a real bugaboo in e-books, such as ePUB and Kindle formats. In fact, in order to qualify for Smashword’s premium catalog, that will list the book with other distributors, such as Barnes & Noble, and Apple, I may have to remove all the images, and submit a revised manuscript. That’s because they’ve been fucked up by Smashwords’ Meatgrinder document converter.

Which is a shame, because the pictures are what make any book worth reading. At least in my experience.

If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, I highly recommend, The Cultural Revolution: Then and Mao. This soporific is guaranteed to put you to sleep in five minutes or less, or your money back.

It’s about China’s Cultural Revolution, that went on for ten years, from 1966 to 1976. And it also details Chairman Mao Zedong’s life, from birth to death, and how he instigated the Cultural Revolution. It compares the Cultural Revolution with our recent spate of riots, chaos, and mayhem that has set our cities on fire for the pas . . . . zzzzzzzz.

Sorry about that. Now where was I? Oh yes, that damned book. If you want an interesting read, but are too cheap to pay money for it, you might want to settle for The Cultural Revolution: Then and Mao. In fact, I’m so desperate for you to read it, I’ve included this link: LINK, that you can click on, which will take you directly to my Free Bookstore, without having to find it in the Menu, above.

You’ll find the book there, along with a bunch of other dull tomes I’ve written and have trouble giving away. So take your pick.

I hope you’ll enjoy The Cultural Revolution: Then and Mao. But if you don’t, don’t blame me. The Cultural Revolution was Chairman Mao’s idea. Those damned commies never get anything right.

Happy reading!