Fandango’s Flashback Friday — October 22nd

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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 22nd) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on October 22, 2017.

To Be Enlightened

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“I don’t understand,” Hal said. “It’s just a handgun and I got it to protect our home and family.”

“Okay, fine. I’ll enlighten you,” Rosemary said. “Statistics show that a gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used for self-defense.”

“Oh come on,” Hal responded. “That’s fake news.”

“No, it’s not. It’s true,” Rosemary said. “Having a gun in the home is eleven times more likely to be used for attempted or successful suicides than for self-defense. It’s seven times more likely to be used in criminal assaults and homicides, and four times more likely in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.”

“But we’d use the gun exclusively for self-defense,” Hal objected.

Rosemary sighed. “Did you know that, on average, nearly 5,000 children in the United States receive medical treatment in an emergency room each year for a gun-related injury? And about 21% of those injuries are unintentional. Almost 1,300 children die annually from a gun-related injury in this country.”

“Really?” asked Hal, genuinely surprised by the statistics.

“Yes, and in just the first nine months of this year, almost 3,000 teens and kids have been shot,” Rosemary said. “Now do you understand why I don’t want you to bring a gun into our home?”

“But….”

“But nothing. Either that gun goes, or the kids and I go.”

It was Hal’s turn to sigh. “Yes, fine, you’ve enlightened me.”


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “enlighten.”

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — October 15th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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 October 15, 2017.

Sunday Photo Fiction — The Cruise

“I can’t believe we’re finally going on a cruise,” Bertha gushed. “I’ve wanted to go on one of these ever since I can remember.”

“There’s nothing too good for my Bertha,” Benny said. He looked around at the five other people sitting at their table. “It’s our fiftieth anniversary.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful,” Mildred said. “My husband got me this cruise for my 65th birthday, which was last month.” She nudged Charles, who was dozing. “Isn’t that right, Charles?”

“This is my second cruise,” said Murray jumped in. “The last time I was with my wife,” he added.

“Is she not with you this time?” Benny asked.

“No. The last time we hit some rough water and she got severely seasick. And then there was some kind of food poisoning or something and nearly everyone on board, passengers and crew alike, got severe diarrhea.”

“Oh my,” said Henrietta. “No wonder she didn’t want to join you this time.”

“Well,” Murray said, “she passed before the cruise ended. But she wasn’t very good company anyway, so I thought I’d give it another go.”

The conversation stopped. The others all got up and left the table.

“Hey, where’s everyone going?” Murray asked.

(199 words)


Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — October 8th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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 October 8, 2017.

What Women Need to Know About Men

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You may find this hard to believe, but men and women are different, and not just in a superficial way. They think, feel, and behave differently. Men are relatively simple, straightforward beings. Women are complex, complicated organisms.

If you are a woman, here are a few hints that may help you to understand, relate to, and deal with us guys. If you are a man, feel free to add your own insights.

Are you ready?


Men are not mind readers. Our lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.

Ask directly for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:

Subtle hints do not work.
Strong hints to not work.
Obvious hints do not work.
Just say it.

“Yes” and “No” are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

Anything we said six months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after seven days.

If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us.

If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant it the other way.

You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

Christopher Columbus did not need to ask for directions, and neither do we.

Most men see only primary colors. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

If you ask a question that you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer that you don’t want to hear.

When we have to go out somewhere, anything you wear is fine. Really.

Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball or motor sports.

You have enough clothes; you have too many shoes.

And finally, crying is not playing fair.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “superficial.”

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — October 1st

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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 October 1, 2018. Politically, not much has changed since then.

Democrats and Republicans

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Groucho Marx once said, “All people are born alike — except Republicans and Democrats.”

Unfortunately, what Groucho said decades ago is even more true today. The partisan divide is at an extreme like I have personally never experienced — and I lived through the Vietnam era, when this country was very politically divided.

We all share stereotypical views of those on the other side of the aisle. For example, if someone you’d never met learned that you were a Republican, they would likely assume that you are not black, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, nonreligious, or Jewish. If they learned you were a Democrat, they would likely believe that you are not a white evangelical Christian and you don’t live in a rural part of the county.

Most Democrats are left-leaning, liberal, and are usually associated with progressiveness and equality. Most Republicans are right-leaning, conservative, and are associated with big business, economic freedom, and with self-reliance. But to be fair, “most” doesn’t mean “all.” There are plenty of crossovers, like me, a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.

I consider political party affiliation to be like religion. When babies are born, they have no religion. But they are taught about religion from their parents and most children embrace the religious beliefs of their families and maintain those beliefs into and throughout adulthood.

Similarly, babies are not born either Democratic or Republican. But they will typically embrace and follow the political leanings of their families.

My question is what has happened to moderates within either political party? These days moderates are ridiculed as being either RINOs or DINOs (i.e., Republicans/Democrats In Name Only) and of being disloyal to their party (even when being loyal to their party is being disloyal to their country). Political compromise and a willingness to negotiate with the other side are considered signs of weakness.

It’s a sad state of affairs when the primary purpose of a political party is to do everything it can to stymie the other party, thus effectively blocking the government from getting much of anything done. For anybody.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — September 24th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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 24th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on September 24, 2017.

My Batteries Need Charging

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I do almost everything on my iPhone. I barely use my laptop anymore because it’s simply more convenient to use my smart, handheld device than it is to chain myself to my desk and use my laptop. And, honestly, there’s very little that I need to do on my laptop that I can’t do on my iPhone. I’m even writing this post on my iPhone.

I have an iPhone 6, which is about two-and-half years old. That’s about 75 in human years. So it’s old. But it works.

A few days ago I downloaded and installed iOS 11.0 for my iPhone. I did it not because there was anything wrong with iOS 10-dot-whatever that was previously running on my iPhone. It was working just fine.

iOS 11.0 seems to be working just fine, as well. And it does have a handful of new features, one or two of which might even be useful once I discover what they are.

But I’m not writing this post to brag about iOS 11.0. I’m writing this post to warn you about it. If you have an iPhone, and it’s not the latest, greatest iPhone, don’t download and install the new operating system. It consumes your battery life at an astonishing rate.

You know that little battery icon in the upper right corner of your screen? With iOS 11.0, I can literally see the battery draining. Since installing the latest OS, my iPhone’s battery is usually down to about 20% within just a few hours. Previously, the battery lasted most of the day before I had to set it aside for a little while to recharge it.

And, by the way, recharging the battery back to 100% takes longer with iOS 11.0. A lot longer.

I think the problem is that the new OS is designed to run most efficiently on the newest hardware. So I guess there’s only one viable solution to this iOS 11.0 problem.

I am going to pamper myself and purchase a new iPhone X in November when it becomes available. I’m sure that will solve my battery life problems and all will once again be right with the world.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “pamper.”


Post script September 24, 2012

I was fascinated when I found this post that I wrote exactly four years ago. Shortly after I wrote it, I noticed that my iPhone 6 was running much slower than it had before I upgraded to iOS 11.0. Apparently Apple had decided to intentionally (and without informing anyone) slow down the performance of its older iPhones in order to attempt to extend the batter life after iOS 11.0 started sucking the life out of the iPhones’ batteries.

I did buy a new iPhone in November, but it was an iPhone 8 Plus, not an iPhone X, and that saved me a couple of hundred dollars. I traded in my sluggish iPhone 6 for an iPhone 8 Plus because it was a larger device than my iPhone 6 and I figured that, as a newer device — albeit not the newest device — the battery would last longer, which it did. And, best of all, it was much faster than my older iPhone. Last year, I upgraded to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, an even larger device than my iPhone 8 Plus.

But what is most interesting to me, exactly four years later, is that Apple just introduced iOS 15.0 and I’ve been debating with myself about whether to install the new iOS or to wait for a while. If I learned anything from my experience from four years ago, it’s probably that I should wait. Unfortunately, I tend toward instant gratification, so the idea that this sexy new update to Apple iOS is available is gnawing at my desire to have the latest and greatest of whatever is available. I have a feeling that I’ll be installing iOS 15.0 sooner, rather than later.