Fandango’s Friday Flashback — November 15

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 15th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on November 15, 2010 in my old, now defunct blog. It is, admittedly, a bit dated, as it refers to Sarah Palin. Remember her? I also removed the links to the Zogby poll and to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, as those links are no longer available.

Good News, Bad News

I’ve got some good news for you and some bad news. According to a recent Zogby poll, 37% of Americans say they believe in ghosts. And according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, 27% of American voters say Sarah Palin is qualified to be president.0DC72640-4140-4E06-9C26-E8755BCCDC7DSo first, the good news is that more Americans believe in ghosts than believe that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president. The bad news is that 37% of Americans believe in ghosts!

But I guess that’s to be expected. After all, most Americans are Christian and most are taught, according to Christian mythology, that Jesus had a god as his father and a human woman — who also happened to be a virgin — as his mother. They’re also taught that an elderly man built a huge ark and loaded it up with one pair of each living creature on Earth that he somehow rounded up, and while God flooded the entire planet, this guy and his menagerie sailed around for forty days and nights until the flood waters receded.

I could go on and on, but beliefs such as these certainly make it plausible that more than a third of Americans actually believe in ghosts.

(Editorial post script: It occurred to me after I re-read the draft of this post that some people might take offense at what appears to be my singling out Christianity for its strange mythologies and somewhat absurd beliefs. The reason I did so is because four out of five Americans identify themselves as Christians, and since this post is referencing to what Americans believe, I used Christianity to illustrate my point. The fact is that, as an atheist, I find the mythologies, beliefs, and superstitions of virtually all recognized religions of the world to be pretty much equally absurd. But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe that each person has a right to believe or not believe in anything he or she chooses — including believing in ghosts, holy and otherwise. Hey, whatever floats your ark.)


Before posting this flashback today, I was curious if 37% of Americans in 2019, nine years after the Zogby poll I referenced, still believe in ghosts. Turns out that, according this recent poll, the percent of Americans who today believe in ghosts is up to 45!1F36B8F7-3BF2-4181-AB0A-D2C196E6FD62

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — November 8

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 8th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on November 8, 2017 in response to a WordPress Daily Prompt, “dancing.”

In a Rut

71BCB912-535E-42A5-B6C0-0B83E7A1BFB0“Let’s go dancing,” Julie suggested.

Felix looked at his wife of forty years in disbelief. “Dancing? You can’t be serious. Why would you want to go dancing?”

“Oh Felix, we used to have such fun going out and dancing the night away,” Julie said. “Remember the night….”

Felix interrupted his wife. “First of all, we haven’t danced together in years. I think the last time was at our son’s wedding, and he got married 15 years ago — and divorced eight years ago. Second, I’m 72 and you’re 68. Do you really think we can still dance without hurting something? And finally, where would we go? They don’t have dance clubs where you can do the waltz, the foxtrot, the cha-cha, or the jitterbug anymore.”

“But Felix,” Julie objected,” we are in a rut. We need to spice things up, don’t you think?”

Shaking his head, Felix continued. “Look, we don’t know any of these new fangled dances. And today all you’ve got are discos and, what do you call them, raves, with their mash pits, pot, ecstasy pills, or some such nonsense.”

“There must be places in the city for older couples like us to, you know, strut our stuff,” Julie said.

“Yeah, old age homes and retirement communities,” Felix responded. “I don’t want to be hanging out with a bunch of old people.”

“Okay, fine,” Julie said, resigned to yet another night of staying home and watching TV. “I think TBS is having one of its ‘NCIS’ marathons again tonight.”

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — November 1

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 1st) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on November 1, 2011 on my now defunct blog. It seems a fitting complement to this post about an experience at a grocery store yesterday morning.

Showing My Age

I have always prided myself on the fact (belief?) that I look younger than I am. I certainly don’t feel my age, and I often don’t act my age, either. I look at other people who are my age and am amazed at how old they look. And I think to myself how fortunate I am to not look my age. Thus, it came as quite a surprise to me last week when I learned that I apparently do look my age.

My wife and I were shopping at this marvelous San Francisco food market, Rainbow  Grocery. It’s actually a cooperative that specializes in locally grown, organic products. Among its stated goals are to “provide affordable vegetarian food products, which have minimal negative impact ecologically and socially,” and to “buy goods from local organic farmers, collectives, bakers, dairies, and other local businesses whenever possible.”

Our daughter, who is a vegetarian and believes in buying from local, sustainable sources, will love this place once she moves out here in a few months. Well, she may not be thrilled with the prices, but then she and her husband have become accustomed to paying a premium for groceries when they regularly shop at their local Whole Foods Market.

But I digress. As we were checking out, the cashier looked at me and apparently saw some old fart standing across from her. “Senior?” she asked. I actually heard what she said, but was so shocked by it that all I could do was blankly stare back at her. Seeing me literally paralyzed, my wife finally said, “Yes, he’s a senior.”Mr Old FartThe cashier then hit some button on the register and, magically, my grocery total was reduced by ten percent.

Hey, I’m all about taking advantage of senior discounts. I can ride the San Francisco public transit system for 75¢ a pop instead of $2. And my movie tickets are discounted by around $2 or $3.

But when I got my transit pass, the Senior Clipper Card, it was me who provided the documentation to confirm that I’m a senior. When I buy a movie ticket, I’m the one who checks the box for a senior ticket when I buy them online. It’s me who informs others that I qualify for a senior discount. It’s not someone else who points out that I’m an old fart.
fixin toThis traumatic event triggered a deeply suppressed memory from more than two decades ago. We were living in Dallas at the time and my wife was fixin’ to cook dinner. That’s what people in Dallas do…they’re always “fixin’” to do something…and they will occasionally get around to doing whatever it was that they were fixin’ to do.

But I digress yet again. My wife asked me to pick up a few items at the grocery store that she needed in order to finish fixin’ our dinner. I took our son, then around four or five years old, with me to the store. When we were checking out, the cashier looked at my son, smiled warmly, and asked him if he enjoyed spending time with his grandfather.  Are you kidding me? His grandfather! I was only around 40 at the time.

What is it with these damn age-fixated grocery store cashiers?

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — October 25

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 25th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on October 25, 2017 in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt word, “Identity.”

Secret Identity

secret identityThe concept of identity is based upon the condition of being oneself, and not another. It’s the nature of who a person is; the qualities, beliefs, etc., that distinguish or identify a person.

But wait. Does that mean that we each have only one identity? Does that imply that our identity never changes over time? I don’t think so. I know that my nature, my beliefs, and my perspectives have changed over the years. I am not stagnant. I am a work in progress.

Sure, my name has not changed since I was born. My Social Security number is the same as it was when it was first assigned to me. But I am not the same person I was when I was a child, a young adult, or even a middle-aged adult. My inner identity has evolved over time and circumstances.

And even now, my identity is different based upon who I’m with and what I’m doing. To those of you who read my posts here on WordPress, I am Fandango, blogger extraordinaire. To my family, I am the provider of food, clothing, and shelter. To my wife, I am her husband and lover. To my kids I am their father and role model (or at least I hope I am their role model).

Before I retired, my identity was wrapped up more by what I did for a living than by who I was. No one ever asked my kids “who is your father?” It was always “what does your father do.” Now that I’m retired, I’m just the old guy who lives on the corner and walks his dog to the park four times a day.

I sometimes don’t even know my own identity; it can be situational. None of us wants to be monolithic, rigid, unchanging over time. We are complex organisms. We adapt to circumstances and time, and that changes not only our identity, but even our own definition of who we are.

Who doesn’t, to one degree or another, have a bit of a secret identity? Who is a completely open book? Who wants to be?

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — October 18

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 18th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on October 18, 2011 in my old blog.

The End of Times is Near…Again…Probably

The End is NearThis will be my last blog post. Why? Well, according to an Oakland, California minister, American Christian radio host, and president of Family Radio, Harold Camping, Friday, October 21st is probably the end of times.

As a regular reader of this blog, you may recall when I told you that Old Weird Harold had previously predicted that the end of life as we know it was supposed to take place earlier this year, on May 21st. When that didn’t happen, a “flabbergasted” Camping claimed that a math error had caused him to be off by five months.

Guess what, folks. Five months have elapsed and Judgment Day is now scheduled for this Friday. Are you ready to Rapture?

“I do believe we’re getting very near the very end,” Camping said in a pre-recorded podcast posted on his Family Radio website. “October 21, that’s coming very shortly, that looks like it will be, at this point, it will be the final end of everything.”

Having “learned that there’s a lot of things we didn’t have quite right” the last time he predicted the end of days, Camping is now fairly confident that this time he has it nailed.

However, you needn’t worry too much about it. Camping says that “probably there will be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God.” Probably no pain and suffering. Yeah, that’s what my dentist always says when he’s about to stick that sharp, pointy, metal implement of dental torture into my gums.

But I digress. Camping believes the end of everything is going to come very, very quietly this Friday. “I really am beginning to think, as I’ve restudied these matters, that there’s going to be no big display of any kind,” he said.

Still, my friends, you need to get your shit together and be prepared to go, um, wherever one is supposed to go at the end of days in relative peace and quiet. No big deal. No catastrophic calamities. Just a nice, peaceful end of life as we know it.

So, as I said, if Camping got his math right this time around, this will be my last post on this blog.  If not, see you next time.