Archive for March 31, 2017

April Fool!

Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day weekend.  Enjoy the fun, but, please, consider the person you’re pranking.  We’ve all been the butt of cruel April Fools jokes that have humiliated us, or watched jokes pulled on others that were obviously an expression of the jokester’s prejudices, using the day as an excuse.  These tricks not only feel bad but seem to give some legitimacy to cruelty and bigotries. There are so many pranks that are harmless and so ingrained in our culture that few people are terribly embarrassed by them, like the whoopie cushion, switching the Push and Pull signs on a door, and putting hundreds of post-its all around someone’s office. But something that is dangerous, will clearly mortify someone, makes a person look stupid, or is based on ethnics, gender, religion, or sexual orientation is not okay.  And that means no posting of the victim online, which makes it even worse. So, go ahead and enjoy.  But be mindful of the person you’re pranking and how it will affect him or her.  Remember that your joke reflects who you are as a person.


Why Bother Forgiving?

Today’s Thursday Thought puts a practical slant on the act of forgiving.

“Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their actions.  Forgiveness stops their actions  from destroying your heart.”  —  Doe Zantamata


High Cost of Gunshot Treatment

Startling fact:  It took almost $7 billion–and possibly more–to treat gunshot victims over nine years (read Gunshot Wounds Cost U.S. Hospitals Nearly $7 Billion Over 9 Years).

See also the Stanford study “Gun injuries cost Americans $730 million a year in hospital bills.”  A related startling fact.

Translate the money into number of lives affected and that’s not just startling, it’s a national crisis.

And it begs the question, How  much value do we put on human life?


A Great Huge Nightmarish Disaster

Print and broadcast media have picked it up, and politicians continually sprinkle their verbiage with it.  I’m talking about Trumpese.  Sigh.  It brings out the teacher in me.  So, here, people, is a lesson for you in the form of synonyms so you can improve your vocabulary–and save my ground-down teeth.

Disaster:  calamity, catastrophe, collapse, debacle, defeat, failure, fiasco, harm, tragedy

Nightmare: horror, ordeal, bad dream

Terrible: dreadful, frightful, hideous, horrendous, horrid, abhorrent,appalling, atrocious, awful, dangerous, dire, disastrous, disturbing

Great  and Huge and Tremendous: fantastic, enormous, very large, considerable, immense, vast, mammoth

The English language is so rich, with so many words to choose from.  Please, PLEASE, Mr. President, politicians, and members of the media–PLEASE take advantage of its richness.



The Irony of Voter Fraud

OK, fellow irony-lovers, here’s another one for us.  And I mean it to be taken in the spirit of irony, not politics, please.

Steve Curtis didn’t just promote the voter-fraud controversy, he blamed it on the Democrats.  Which, I admit, is reasonable for this conservative talk-show host and ex-Colorado Republican Party chairman.

Then–allegedly–he used his ex-wife’s 2016 mail-in ballot to vote for the candidates and issues of his choice, forging her name on it.

Isn’t that voter fraud?  And isn’t he NOT a Democrat?

Read the story from The Washington Post or US or Fox or a bunch of other news outlets.  Seems like the media enjoys a good bit of irony as much as I do.



Spring Cleaning?

Thinking of Spring cleaning?  For counter tops and mildew, stay away from chemicals.  Instead, mix an equal amount of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and get to work.Leaf 6

[For more easy, money-saving, Earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]


How to Keep Buglers Away from your Home

I still remember from 15 years ago when someone broke into my house while I was home alone.  It was frightening.  He broke in at the front of the house while I was reading quietly in the back.  I didn’t hear him.  At some point, I must have coughed or made some other noise, because  that’s when I heard him scramble out and away.  He, like most buglers, preferred ripping off houses when nobody was home.

I had that incident in mind when I read the online piece “We Asked 86 Buglers How They Broke Into Homes.”   I learned, from the minds of experts/buglers, 17 precautions I can take to encourage them to skip my house when they’re on the prowl.  I thought you might be interested.  Find the piece at

Be safe!

Irish, Congress, Trump, and History

U.S. Presidents or Congress have been doing it for years, and this year President Trump did it: declared March Irish-American History Month to honor the contributions to our country by Irish immigrants and their descendants who are living here.  Today’s Thursday Thought, then is in honor of them.

“Well, it takes all kinds of men to build a railroad.”
“No sir, just us Irish.”

–Railroad barons in “Dodge City,” Warner Bros., 1939


Can’t Waste that Execution Chemical!

Next month Arkansas will go on a marathon of executions–8 people in 10 days–that mean doing 4 doubles.  This has never been done before.

Why are they doing this?  Is it because they need to lessen the prison population because of overcrowding?  To end these prisoners’ cruel anxiety of having death constantly hanging over their heads?  To give faster “closure” to victims’ families?  Because a new law was passed?  No.

This  stepped-up execution schedule, after carrying out no executions for almost 12 years, isn’t for legal or humane reasons.  It’s because one of the chemicals used in their executions is  about to expire and they don’t want to waste it.

Unbelievable?  Read  Accelerated executions: Arkansas plans 8 over 10-day period.

Extra stress on staff is expected, so counselling is being arranged for them.  And they promised that they’ll do everything right, even though horrific mistakes have been made during single executions under far less stressful conditions.

The whole thing gives me great pause.


A Judge Vindicates this Comma Queen, $10M Worth

Can a comma be worth $10 million?  Yes.

Over the years, I’ve been teased about being the “Comma Queen.”  That’s because of my belief that a little comma can REALLY make a difference.  And a judge has sided with me.

I won’t paraphrase the story.  I’ll just start it here and let you go to to read the whole thing, titled “Lack of comma sense ignites debate after ruling in $10M suit.”

Here’s the beginning of the story:

It all came down to a missing comma, and not just any one. And it’s reignited a longstanding debate over whether the punctuation is necessary.

A federal appeals court decided this week to keep alive a lawsuit by dairy drivers seeking more than $10 million in an overtime pay dispute.

It concerned Maine’s overtime law, which doesn’t apply to the “canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of” foods.