Sunday, March 24, 2019

750 to 1

The Powerball payout is up to something like 750-million dollars, less taxes of course.

Somebody will eventually win, and it’s amusing to me that many people don’t play the lottery at all until it gets up towards that kind of crazy win — like winning only ten million wouldn’t be worth their dollar investment.

I realize that many people have as their lifetime financial plan to someday win the lottery, but really!

My feeling is this:  Nobody needs $750,000,000.  Why can’t they structure the lottery so that, like in this case 750 people would win a million dollars instead of one lucky dude getting that whole pot?  And, on a related topic, many winners of those mega-zillions end up seeing it ruin their lives.

I personally would be thrilled to win a million dollars.  If I won 750 million, I’d probably go insane (but I bet I would have a lot of happy relatives, some of whom I never until then knew existed!).

Will I buy a ticket?  What do you think?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

moons, seasons, beginnings

So what’s going on, this 20th day of March?

If you’re into full moons (and who isn’t moonstruck ?), tonight is the last “supermoon” of 2019 — a rare super worm moon, whatever the heck that means.

And, as of a couple hours ago, today is the anxiously-awaited First Day of Spring.

So we have happy people celebrating the change of season at the same time people are being their usual full moon crazy.

For me, this March 20th is mostly the 45th anniversary of a beginning — my life as a dad.  Happy Birthday, Jon !!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

thanks, saint patrick

Ah, 17 March, another St. Patrick’s Day, the annual day for the world to celebrate the charms of Ireland.  I still want to go back to Dublin one day to write my book...

Friday, March 15, 2019

they’re not ‘bewaring’

“Beware the Ides of March”, back when the Shakespeare play “Julius Caesar” was still being taught in English classes, was a term that everybody used to know meant “beware of March 15th”.  Now, when I say that term to anyone these days, they don’t have any frame of reference, so they’re not bewaring.

Caesar didn’t beware either, and look what happened to him!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

no pi for me

Pi, the mathematical constant that starts with 3.14 and goes on for infinite digits, is something that I don’t understand at all and why it’s a thing.

But I do love that March 14 every year — 3.14 — has become Pi Day and has evolved into something much more fun — Pie Day.

Pie is something I DO understand.

Favorites:  Banana cream, apple, cherry....

Monday, March 11, 2019

a quick 20,000

I’m sitting here at the Volkswagen dealership while my GTI gets its 20,000-mile checkup.  It’s amazing to me that I put that many miles on a car in just one year.  I blame that accumulation on my encore career as a realtor.  Plus, there were those two road trips to southern Illinois/Indiana and one to Nebraska.  I guess that’s it.

For 22 years, I’ve been driving Volkswagen GTIs.  This is my fifth one, all of them red.  I love driving, and GTIs are great fun to drive.  Why tamper with success?

Sunday, March 10, 2019

ask your doctor

TV commercials tend to annoy the heck out of me, so I mostly stay away from the commercial stations (except during football season):  hence, I find myself too much on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, or, ideally, no TV at all.

But I do like to stay informed and motivated, so, when I do watch cable, it’s almost always a news station — generally MSNBC, sometimes CNN.  Their reporting is intelligent and informative.  Fair and balanced, you might say.

Here is my gripe:  the commercials and sponsors on those networks are primarily pharmaceutical products.  The advertised drugs are designed for a tiny percent of viewers who happen to have the targeted diseases or ailments.  TV commercials are extremely expensive, which partially explains why prescription drugs are so overpriced.

And, after the ad lists all of the potential side effects (diarrhea to death), it ends with “Ask your doctor if this drug is right for you!”   I’m thinking, if your doctor is treating you, why hasn’t he or she already thought of this answer?  And how many phone calls do doctors get from all the hypochondriacs out there who imagine they have every disease described?

Other than that, I love MSNBC (yay, Rachel Maddow!).  I just wish they weren’t so dependent on drugs for their profits and existence.  I’d rather see dish-soap commercials.  Remember Madge?

Thursday, March 7, 2019


So we head back to face another snowstorm predicted for the Twin Cities....

I’m so thankful for the invention of airplanes that can get us to other worlds in just a matter of a couple hours.

cross section

For some visitors, the best part of being here in Las Vegas is the “people watching...”

As a sat at a slot machine today, I paid extra attention to the people cruising past me.  Cowboys, pretty young things from L.A., couples who look like it’s their first time out of Iowa, and everything in between....  It’s certainly a cross section of America here.  Judging by all of the non-English-speaking conversations passing by me, maybe it’s a bizarre cross section of the world too.  Walking by, there was a guy with a dab on ash on his forecast, which reminded me not only that today is Ash Wednesday (a ritual that I never really understood) but that it’s Wednesday as opposed to any other possible day of the week!  It’s not quite a real world here.

Back home shortly.

Monday, March 4, 2019


March roared into Minnesota like a lion.  We haven’t seen temperatures above freezing in weeks, and none are predicted for a while.  So my son Tom and I said, That’s enough!, and booked a last minute flight to Las Vegas, a favorite getaway place for both of us anytime of year.  We fly out today.  I wish I could take all of my shivering friends with us!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

bombing in Vietnam

So he couldn’t make a deal.  But at least he got away from the Washington, D.C., winter to somewhere other than Mar-a-Lago, which even he must be getting sick of, and he got a photo op with one of his favorite murderous dictators.

Thank goodness his bone spurs didn’t kick in!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

neither Methodists nor Girl Scouts

I was in the mood to blog something about either 1) how the Methodists this week made a decision of non-inclusivity this past week that will, I hope, hurt them long term or 2) how much I love Girl Scout cookie time of year.

Instead, I couldn’t go that deep.

How about this?  As a casual observer and a listener, what I think are the biggest, most popular singalong jukebox tunes (unofficially) at my local bar:

1). “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Queen.
2). “Friends in Low Places”, Garth Brooks.
3).  “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, John Denver.
4).  “Sweet Caroline”, Neil Diamond.
5).  “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, Frankie Valli.

So do I get an okay to stay with my favorite bar while I refuse to re-think the Methodists?  Meanwhile, I’m chewing on Girl Scout cookies (thin-mints vs. caramel de-Lites, of course).

Friday, March 1, 2019

a device in hand

While sitting at the bar a few minutes ago, I noticed that half of us sitting at the bar were playing on our phones.  Doing what?  Texting somebody elsewhere why that person is sitting at the bar instead of at home?  Games?  Emailing (which is what I was doing!)? .. Playing a song on the jukebox app (That was me too! [in this case, Springsteen])?...

Thursday, February 28, 2019

as old as the hills

As much as I am looking forward to a new American President being inaugurated on January 20, 2021, I am absolutely dreading the electoral process between now and then:  the nastiness, the scandals, the lies, the distortions, the commercials, the debates, the lack of intelligent discussion...

Already numerous Democrats have declared their candidacies for the party nomination.  That’s fine, I guess, as long as they don’t form a circular firing squad and destroy or damage the party’s chances in the general election.

Of the declared candidacies, the one that has me pissed off is that of Senator Bernie Sanders.  Rightly or wrongly, I blame Bernie and his single-minded divisiveness in the 2016 campaign for helping to put Drumpt in the White House.

And, as many reasons as I could list for why he wouldn’t win a general election, there is another reason why he shouldn’t be running:  he’s just too old!  I say that as an older guy myself (but not THAT old).  I know the physical limitations that age brings!  Bernie, if he in some weird fluke won the Presidency, would be 79 when taking office.  And the relatively radical agenda that he promises would take years or decades to implement — if ever!

But he’s running... or walking.... I hope we can all come up with a better candidate.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

souls for sale

Okay, I resisted writing about this, but this was the day that Michael Cohen appeared before the House Oversight Committee, and it’s on my mind...  It was a bizarre day...

Not to over-do a Faustian comparison, but it’s sad to see that some people, in their short-term illusions, can be willing to sell their souls to a “con man” like Drumpt — for Cohen, doing it for money and status; for the Republicans on that committee, for their re-election hopes.  Their hell awaits.