Archive for March, 2011

Quoting Socrates

March 31, 2011

Socrates is credited with writing, “Let him that would move the world, first move himself.”    Perhaps in other words, “Practice what you are going to preach.”   I wonder how many of the demagogues that we hear appealing to people’s prejudices and emotions are practicing what they preach.  I’ve known several who base their actions on what P.T. Barnum preached:  “A sucker is born every minute.”


Frustrations breed frustrations

March 30, 2011

Today a cable TV tech was scheduled to come to my home between 1 and 3 p.m.      While I was away, the tech or his supervisor called.  He left a message on my machine.   He said that there had been a system wide break down in our area.  It was now fixed so he wasn’t coming.    Whatever they did didn’t fix my problem.  I spent half an hour in a phone conversation with a cable call- center agent trying to explain  that the tech still needed to come.  By this time, my appointment had been taken by another customer.   They moved me to the next day.  My frustration began to spill over into other tasks facing me.  One relatively small frustration was beginning to breed until I remembered the wisdom of the serenity prayer:  “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,  Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”    Amen and Amen!!

Honeymooning with Bridey Murphy

March 29, 2011

Ray and Noreen were newly-weds in 1956.  1956 also was the year that the book and later movie, The Search For Bridey Murphy, made such a splash.  I referred to the book in my recent post about reincarnation.    Ray, Noreen and I are members of the same health club program on the Emory University campus.  The married couple of 55 years  tell me that my mentioning  Bridey Murphy reminded them of their fascination with the book when they went on their honeymoon.   Bridey Murphy was their companion as they started their married life together.  You may recall the book details a young woman’s hypnotic regression…a regression that claimed to produce memories of past lives.  Ray and Noreen were disillusioned when investigators proved the claims in the book were made up….faked to achieve commercial success.   Still, Ray and Noreen remain open to the possibility of reincarnation.   So do I … without Bridey Murphy.

Why do I run?

March 28, 2011

This is a picture of me after finishing the Trot For Tots 5K in Athens, Georgia.  I went from this race  Sunday afternoon to run-walk another 5K in a nearby park.   It was a 170 mile round trip in my van to run a little more than 6-miles.   It’s not an uncommon question for non-runners to ask why.  My simple answer is that it makes me feel good.    When we engage in reasonably strenuous exercise, the body creates  endorphins.  Its an amino acid substance produced by the brain.  Endorphins  suppress pain and gives you a natural high.  I can… and do run almost every day closer to home.   It’s an added bonus to travel and run with people who also enjoy the benefits of endorphins.   I invite you to come join us or a similar group wherever you find it.



“Cup of Coffee”

March 27, 2011

"Cup of Coffee"

I’ve seen a lot of “characters” designed to promote a business, but Saturday is the first time to see “Cup of Coffee”.  I think he represents a coffee shop by the same name.  He was among those at the “Footrace For The Falls 5K” in Milton, Georgia.   Creating animals or creatures is a favorite advertising gimmick.    Among the characters that I remember:  The “Cick-Fil-A” cow”, the “AFLAC Duck”, and the “Polar Bear” that represents the Johnson Ferry Road Baptist Church in east Cobb County, Georgia.  All the charactersl seem to be magnets for children.  They remind me of the circus clowns when I was a child.    I like them.     But perhaps you should discourage your children from drinking too much coffee, eating too much chicken or quacking like a duck.  On the other hand if they are really, really talented quackers, perhaps they could try out for the gig with AFLAC   The job is open, you know.

Life in the slow lane

March 26, 2011

Today, I spent two hours on the web learning what for me is a new software program.   It was stimulating.  I had a one-on-one session with the instructor who designed the race-timing program.   He was patient with me.  He allowed me to learn in the slow lane.  I recorded my session with him so I can play it again and again.  As my understanding increases, I can already feel myself going faster.   Perhaps one day soon, I’ll be speedy enough to get out of the slow lane.


March 25, 2011

As I get closer to the reality of our mortality, I continue to be intrigued by the possibility of reincarnation.  “Reincarnation” comes from Latin.  It means, “entering the flesh again”.     Different religions have different points of view.   I think my first thoughts about reincarnation came in the mid 1950s.    There was a book (later made into a movie) called “The Search for Bridey Murphy”.  It purported to show that a young girl had lived earlier lives.   It was entertaining and sparked considerable debate.  I remember a friend who suffered constant headaches.  A physician hypnotized him and regressed my friend to what he told me was an earlier life.   During that time he was a warrior.   He and others were storming a castle when an arrow struck him between the eyes.  It killed him.  He says he died with the pain of the arrow which he believes he carried into this life.  My friend says once he knew the cause of his pain, it went away.   I wonder if there are memories of earlier lives hidden on the hard-drives of our minds.  Are any of us reincarnated?   If so, how…who or what determines which flesh we shall re-enter?

Cat in the jacuzzi

March 24, 2011


This is Marlee, the star of some of our earlier posts.   She’s almost 8 months old.  It is my habit to sit in my jacuzzi bathtub almost every day.   On this Wednesday, I turned on the hot water and left the tub unattended.   I returned to find that Marlee went swimming without me.    There was water all over the bathroom floor leading out onto the carpeted hallway.   The curious cat was soaked.    I don’t know whether she fell in or jumped in, but the evidence was clear that she got out as fast as she could.  I was naked and laughing so hard that I didn’t think to shoot a picture of the bedraggled feline.  While I was in the jacuzzi, she shook and licked herself  as dry as you see her in this earlier picture.  I’m wondering if she’ll remember what happened today when next she walks the edge of the jacuzzi.


March 23, 2011

My friend and I today went on one of our frequent 4 or 5 mile walk-runs.  The subjects of  our conversations cover the waterfront.    We sometimes agree…sometimes agreeably disagree.   Today toward the end of our journey, my friend asked me what I thought about the United States involvement in Libya.    I have mixed feelings.   As a former military man, I’m inclined  to be a good soldier and trust our leaders to know what they’re doing.  On the other hand, I wonder why we feel we have to impose the USA’s way of governing on other nations.    Does Libya pose a threat to the United States?  Is it harboring terrorists?  Oh, I’ve heard the line that we’re bombing Libyan military targets to stop Moammar Kadhafi’s attacks  on his own people.     I  pray our leaders know what they’re doing.  Let’s not even think about how it’s affecting gasoline prices.

Losing your first tooth

March 22, 2011

Do you remember your age when you lost your first toot?   Did you put your tooth under your pillow waiting for the “tooth fairy” to take the tooth and leave you money? Our grandson, Carston Nichols, called this evening with the news.   You could hear the excitement in his voice, “Opa (German word meaning grandfather), it came out by itself.  It didn’t hurt at all.”   Carston is now two years older than when this picture was taken.  His first permanent tooth is now on its way.  Carston  believes the “tooth fairy” is not far behind.  A recent survey shows the amounts left range between 25 cents and 1.2 million dollars.   The typical amount is one dollar.