The dead don’t vote

My dear old Dad will be voting Democrat for the first time ever next week: He passed away in July.

Dark humor, I know (Well, I laughed anyway), but it’s my contribution to the real problem about so-called election interference.

A county clerk said last week that she participated in a briefing with high-level security officials and learned there are confirmed attempts to disrupt the election, but here’s her key point: The attacks are NOT on the actual election results, which have more safeguards against tampering than McDonald’s has burgers.

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Day of the Yellow Clown Elephant

”Let me tell you. I have to tell you. You’re just not going to believe it.” The little one literally bounced with excitement.

“Let me guess first. There’s a yellow elephant the color of a banana peel walking up Main Street wearing pink trousers and a teal bowler hat.” This was spoken by a taller figure slouched over a kitchen sink scrubbing dishes by hand.

The little one’s shock could not be more complete. He stood open-mouthed and tried to speak without success for some seconds before stamping a foot and crying, “How on Earth did you know?”

“Today’s the 26th of October in a year that ends in zero, isn’t it?” said the figure bent over the dishes without looking up. “This is the day when the yellow clown elephant runs the streets. It’s like clockwork.”

“Next you’ll say that hawks poop on the elephant’s head as part of the tradition,” the little one pouted.

“Nope,” said the dishwasher, looking up finally. “That’s a new wrinkle. Must be a 2020 thing.”

‘It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true’

‘It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true’

… a wise man once said — Google The Great and Powerful tells me it was Will Rogers .. or Dizzy Dean … or Muhammed Ali … or … and then somebody said if it IS true, of course it’s bragging. That is to say, if it’s NOT true, it’s just plain lying, and if it IS true, it’s bragging.


Following up on yesterday’s thought about Marvel Comics’ “World’s Greatest Comic Magazine,” there’s something to be said about setting a high standard for yourself.

By proclaiming their book was the greatest, the creators of the Fantastic Four threw down a measurable standard: You’re about to have the most fun you’ve ever had reading a comic book. For a while there in the mid-sixties, they lived up to the standard they’d set for themselves, month after month.

TV, movie and comics creator Joss Whedon put it this way: “I have a contract with my audience — that I will do better, that I will give them a reason to come in again that is more than the reason we gave them last time.”

In that sense declaring your product “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” ain’t bragging — it’s a contract with your audience, and if you breach that contract, they’re not coming in again. If you’ve told the audience to expect your best, you’ve given yourself an incentive to deliver.

The world’s greatest comic magazine

Marvel Comics traces its history to just before World War II, but its modern era, the one that spawned almost all of the heroes in its popular series of superhero movies, began in late 1961 with the release of the Fantastic Four.

They apparently realized they had started something special, because on the cover of Fantastic Four #3 was a blurb, “The Greatest Comic Magazine in the World!!” From issue #4 onward, the top of the cover was emblazoned with the more concise “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine!”

For a time, it really was.

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The agony of Schudei Syndrome

Photo 57629263 ©

Have you ever found yourself stuck wondering what to do next — “Should I try NaNoWriMo again this year? Should I try to work on that project I always wanted to do? Should I try for that dream job? Should I? Should I? Should I?” — and unable to come to any decision at all?

If so, like me you may suffer from Schudei Syndrome (pronounced “Should I”), the world’s leading cause of procrastination, in which the patient is caught in a constant loop unable to select from an endless series of choices, all of them good choices except the choice not to choose.

Symptoms can include stagnation, malaise, unhappiness bordering on depression, agitation, undue stress, and many many more.

Named for Hans Schudei, the psychologist who first identified this disorder, Schudei Syndrome affects millions of people every year. There is good news: A treatment has been identified and found to be effective most of the time when administered daily.

The cure is simple and very inexpensive:

Do — or do not. There is no “try.”

The roads not traveled

One of our fall projects was to clean out the garden shed/storage unit in the back yard. Under one table we found boxes of old documents I meant to sort through before we moved here in 2012, but it was easier to toss them in a box to deal with “later.”

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