Tranquil Thursday

Maggie has a prompt she started last month that she calls Tranquil Thursday. Each week she selects a topic and welcomes us to post a photo, poem, prose, thought, or memory related to the topic. She chose the word “tranquil” because she thinks a little peace is always welcome.

This is my first time responding to this prompt because my life has been anything but tranquil lately. But I’m starting to pull myself together and I thought I’d give this week’s prompt a shot.

Here are Maggie’s questions.

1. Can you recall a particularly chaotic or stressful time in your life? How did you manage the stress?

Oh yes. In 2006, when I was 60, the company I was working for had a significant reduction in force (RIF), and I was one of around 2,500 employees who was riffed. It was a good job and I was fairly highly compensated. I have no doubt that because of my age and my compensation, I was targeted. But trying to prove that would have been close to impossible.

The good news is that I received a very generous severance package. But still, being 60 and unemployed and looking for a six-figure salary seemed daunting. I was stressed out. I contacted some headhunters I’d worked with in the past, reached out to other companies in the same industry, and hit the proverbial pavement.

Fortunately, within two months I was able to secure a new job in a similar role and compensation.

2. Where is the one place in the world where all your troubles disappear – even if only for a moment?

It’s not so much a physical place as it is a state of mind. Wherever I am, I close my eyes and try to just clear my head. I wouldn’t call it meditating as much as just looking inward.

3. Do you like for other people to try and raise your spirits or do you prefer to deal with things on your own?

I suppose I’m pretty much of a loner in that regard.

4. What quote, song, book, or movie serves as an inspiration to you when things get tough?

Some combination of “it could be worse” and “this too shall pass.”

5. Does solitude quiet your mind or do you need to pump up the volume?

As I mentioned in my answer to number 3, I am more of a solitary man and quiet deliberation works best for me.

Thursday Inspiration — Nothing

For this week’s Thursday Inspiration prompt, Jim Adams has “nothing.” Literally, he has nothing. He explained that he didn’t have a song prepared for today because he was busy helping out a blogging friend. Despite that, there is still going to be a challenge today. Jim said we can respond to it by either using the prompt word nothing, or going with the above picture, or by means of any song, or anything else that you think our challenge.

What came to mind for me was the song, “I Who Have Nothing,” originally recorded by Ben E. King in 1963. The song’s melody was based on an Italian song, “Uno Dei Tanti,” which translates to “One of Many.” King had heard the song in Italy and asked his producers, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, to translate the lyrics into English.

It was covered by other artists, including Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones. Produced by George Martin, Bassey released the song in the U.K. three months after King’s release in the U.S. Tom Jones recorded a version that was released in 1970. This became the most popular version of the song in the United States, peaking at number 14 in 1970 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 2 on the Easy Listening chart.

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Adore you and want you so
I'm just a no one with nothing to give you but, oh
I love you

He, he buys you diamonds
Bright, sparkling diamonds
But, believe me, dear, when I say
That he can give you the world but he'll never love the way
I love you

He can take you any place he wants
To fancy clubs and restaurants
But I can only watch you with
My nose pressed up against the window pane

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Must watch you go dancing by
Wrapped in the arms of somebody else when, darling, it's I
Who loves you

I love you
I love you
I love you

Here are the three versions of the song I referenced. Which one do you like best?

Rory’s Dawdler — 03/09/23

Rory, the king of questions, also known as the Autistic Composter, has come up with a new series of questions that he calls “The Dawdler.” He poses three questions twice a week, questions he says are “inspired by life, humor, conversations and observations, town life, blog posts, writers, gardening, news stories, television, entertainment, and human curiosity, and so on.”

Here are Rory’s three Dawdler questions today.

Have you ever watched a long-running televised series from start to finish, and once you have reached the end, you wanted to watch it again or is once enough for you and time for a new long-running series?

I’m assuming Rory is talking about binge-watching a long-running show rather than watching current weekly episodes of shows that have been on air for a long time (e.g., “NCIS,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” or “Law and Order: SVU”).

My wife and I binge-watched 22 seasons of a British detective series “Midsomer Murders.” It took us around three months to get through all 22 seasons and as much as we enjoyed it, we were ready to move on to something different.

Do you think traditions are essential to society – if so, why and if not, why not?

I had no idea how to respond to this question so I went to an AI chatbot and asked it the question. Here’s the chatbot’s answer, which I actually thought was pretty good.

Traditions can be important parts of any society. They can help create memories, teach cultural values, and bring individuals together in a common community. Most societies rely on traditions to connect people and give them a sense of identity and belonging. Some traditions are necessary as they help teach important life lessons and reinforce social values that ensure stability. Other traditions may provide comfort and stability to a society as well as a source of entertainment and shared experiences.

However, it’s important to note that not all traditions are positive or beneficial. Some may perpetuate harmful or discriminatory practices, while others may not be relevant or meaningful to contemporary society. It’s important to critically examine traditions and evaluate whether they still have value in modern times. Ultimately, it’s up to individuals and communities to determine which traditions they choose to uphold and which ones they choose to let go of or adapt.

What would be easier to throw away, deep love or deeply lined rich pockets? Flip side: can money buy love?

I suppose the right answer should be deeply lined rich pockets. But if one is used to a certain life style that only deeply lined rich pockets can provide, it might be hard to give that up. How many soap operas or novels have been crafted around this dilemma?

Can money buy love? That depends on how one defines love. Have you ever seen a drop dead gorgeous young women on the arm of some fat, ugly, old geezer and wondered what she sees in him? The answer is his money. So, draw your own conclusions.

FOWC with Fandango — Surreptitiously


It’s March 9, 2023. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “surreptitiously.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.