Share Your World — Murphy Says Hello

Share Your WorldMonday is Share Your World day. Today is the first Monday of a new year and a new decade. So let’s see what Melanie, at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, wants us to share.


Is “hello” enough for you these days?

You had me at “hello.”

Do you believe in Murphy? For those who aren’t familiar with Murphy, here’s a wee explanation: Murphy’s Law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

These days I believe that the proverbial Murphy has inhabited the bodies of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and most Republicans in Congress. It’s time for an exorcism!

Does evil come from within? If so, why?

I don’t believe that humans are born evil or that evil is an inherited trait. Evil is learned. I also think the definition of evil is fluid. For example, some people believe abortion is evil. Others believe that denying a woman domain over her own reproductive rights is evil. Some think homosexuality is evil, but others don’t. Seems to me that evil, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Are intelligent people more or less happy than others? What defines intelligence?

There is no correlation between intelligence and happiness. One can be intelligent and happy, intelligent and unhappy, dumb and happy or dumb and unhappy. That said, I did come across at least one article reporting the results of a study, which concluded that, “Those with lower IQ are less happy than those with higher IQ.”

Please feel free to share a quote, photo or thought about gratitude.

I had my first follow-up appointment with my ear surgeon today, and he said that, of all the possible outcomes from the surgery, mine was the second best. And for that, I’m grateful. He was able to remove the entire mass without having to drill into my skull. But the growth had destroyed one of the small middle ear bones, which means my hearing won’t be restored in that ear. But he also said that, after a second surgery to implant a prosthetic bone six months from now, there is a strong possibility that my hearing will be at least partially restored. And I’d be extremely grateful if that’s the case.

Share Your World — New Year Edition

Share Your WorldI’m late for Melanie’s Share Your World prompt this week because I had surgery on Monday and was not feeling so great through New Year’s Day. But I’m doing a little better now, so I thought I’d go for it even though I’m late. So here we go.

What was the single best thing that happened in your life this past year?

My son got married and he and his wife are expecting a baby — my first grandchild.

 The most challenging?

Finding out that I had a mass growing in my left middle ear and that it was causing me to lose my hearing in that ear and that I’d need to have surgery.

One thing you learned in 2019?

That Mitch McConnell and most Republican members of Congress are spineless scumbags. Okay, I already knew that, but it was made even more evident in 2019.

Given all your experiences, insights, and lessons learned in 2019, what’s the best advice you could give yourself for 2020?

Stop watching so much cable news.

What’s the best meal/food you ate in 2019?  

When I had a bushel of fresh Maryland jumbo blue crabs shipped overnight to my home in San Francisco last summer.

What are three activities you plan to use in the coming year to relieve stress?

1. Stop watching so much cable news.
2. Walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
3. Continue to blog because it lets me vent my frustrations, which reduces my stress levels.


Any resolutions you’d care to share?

Only one: Stop watching so much cable news.

Share Your World — A Christmas Potpourri

Share Your WorldIt’s Monday, and that means Melanie’s Share Your World questions are waiting to be answered. Oh wait. It’s Tuesday. How did I miss Monday?

Do dogs ‘talk’ (communicate) with their own species?

Dogs definitely communicate with other dogs, although, except for some vocalizations (e.g., barking, growling, whimpering), it’s mainly non-verbally through the use of body language, like the way they carry and wag their tails, how they position their ears and eyes, their posture or body position, their movements, and their facial expressions.

Have you ever had to work on Christmas Day?

Yes, one year the firm I work for received a Request For Proposal (RFP) from a very large company on the Monday of Christmas week and the response was due on the first workday of the new year. It was a major project, so everyone who was assigned to work on it had to come to work every day for that two week period, including on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

If someone gifts you something that you immediately loathe, do you pretend to really like it anyway or are you brutally honest about your opinion?

I don’t recall ever having “loathed” a gift anyone has given me, but even if I don’t particularly care for it, I will thank the gift giver. I won’t pretend to really like it, but I won’t embarrass the giver, either, by telling them that their gift sucks. Besides, I can always exchange it for something I really do like!

Which popular drink, found during the Christmas season most often, is called “milk punch?”

I don’t know, but I’ll take a wild guess: eggnog.

How many ghosts show up during “A Christmas Carol?”

Even an old atheist like me knows that there were four ghosts. The first was Jacob Marley’s ghost, and the other three were the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

Are you all about the holly and jolly or more about remembering the alleged ‘true’ meaning of Christmas?

Ha! The “true meaning of Christmas.” That’s an oxymoron, right? That’s really funny!

Please share a memory or thought about the holiday season if you’d like, whatever kind of celebration you may observe.

A Christmas memory: The time in high school when I went to Midnight Mass with my two best friends, who were both Catholic, and the three of us were asked to leave the church because we were acting “inappropriately.” Ah, good times!

Share Your World — Christmas Edition

Share Your WorldMelanie, over at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, is asking us a bunch of questions about Christmas in this week’s edition of Share Your World. I’m not exactly a big fan of Christmas, but I will say “Merry Christmas” — thanks to Donald Trump who has made it acceptable, once again, to say “Merry Christmas” after the dark days of Barack Obama, when people were frowned upon for saying that — to all of you who are into Christmas.

Okay, let’s roll.

Do you enjoy receiving Christmas cards through snail mail?

Oh yes. Especially those that have pictures of the spouse, kids, dogs, and cats all dressed in holiday garb with such big happy smiles on their faces, as if they were all posing for a Norman Rockwell Christmas family portrait.642F318F-568F-4856-8B64-DCD24660110DOh wait. I’m sorry. I was just describing the cover of a holiday catalogue that came in the mail yesterday. Never mind.

Do you like the taste and/or smell of peppermint?

I like Peppermint Patties.A44B7859-095A-49C0-B937-3DF801C41CAB

What is your least favorite holiday side dish?

Fruit cake. Yeah, I know that’s not a side dish, but I’d hardly call it a dessert, either. Yuck.8FBE75D8-E9E7-4D0E-B807-82598424B13A

What is the coolest (best) gift you ever gave someone?

The coolest gift? I don’t know. A cooler?E2AA5E4F-8E95-4C62-A7EB-ED164ECA4992

Bonus question: What is a Christmas song that makes you cringe?

All of them. Bah Humbug!

Please share some of your favorite music around this time of year.

My favorite music at this time of year is the same as it is all year long: classic rock!A48BF020-B62C-465D-AD9E-F62B1CAF54FC

Share Your World — Truth and Joy

Share Your WorldIt’s Monday and Melanie is once again asking us to Share Our World with each other. She has posed some intriguing questions for us this week, so let’s just hop to it.

What is truth?

Now this is a question I wish I would have thought of to ask on my weekly provocative question prompt. Technically speaking, truth is something that conforms with facts and reality. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we have “alternative facts” when the actual facts are in conflict with what someone chooses to believe. And we have “fake news” when the real news (i.e., reality) is not consistent with what someone chooses to accept as actual reality. Furthering the blurring of truth, we have Photoshopped images and deepfake videos that effectively “alter” facts and reality. Bottom line, we are living in a post-truth age and I’m not sure that the notion of truth even exists anymore. Any that’s the truth.

What’s one thing people would never know about you just by looking at you?

That I’m a stable genius. Oh wait. That’s the one thing people would never think about Donald Trump.

Do loud noises bother you?

Unfortunately, with my left ear being totally blocked, every noise I hear gets trapped inside my head and bothers me. Hopefully, after my surgery at the end of this month, that will be corrected.

If you were guaranteed the correct answer to just one question, what would you ask?

Seriously? You asked in the first question, “What is truth?” and my answer was that we live in a post-truth age. So is there really such a thing as a “correct answer” anymore? I guess that would depend upon who you ask.

What fills YOUR heart with joy?

Right now, not much. But seeing Trump impeached (likely) and removed from office (unlikely) would fill my heart with unbridled joy.