Wednesday, October 25, 2017


In the rush of everyday life we too often forget to be grateful.  Here are some reminders:

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.
n  Willie Nelson

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
n  Karl Barth

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.
n  Maya Angelou

There are many things to be grateful “for” but, as I ripen with the seasons of life, the many reasons blend into a sacred mystery.  And, most deeply, I realize that living gratefully is its own blessing.
n  Michael Mahoney

Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint.
n  Henri Nouwen

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
n  St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

If you can just appreciate each thing, one by one, then you will have pure gratitude.  Even though you observe just one flower, that one flower includes everything.
n  Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Happiness is not what makes us grateful.  It is gratefulness that makes us happy.
n  Br. David Steindl-Rast

Friday, October 20, 2017


Big news from the cosmos – the collision of two neutron stars.  Some people are not fascinated by what’s happening way out there beyond the beyond.  But I am.  I don’t understand a lot, the universe is more than I can get my head around, and I know we know very little.  Still, I love the stuff.  And in August scientists followed gravitational waves to see the collision, something they’d never seen before.

A neutron star is what’s left after a massive star explodes in a supernova at the end of its life.  It then collapses into an extremely dense core.  How dense?  A sugar-cube-sized portion of a neutron star would weigh about a billion tons, about the same weight as Mt. Everest.  How large?  A neutron star is about the same size as Manhattan.  Like I say, it’s hard to even conceive of this.

Neutron stars, while common, are usually too small and dark to see with telescopes.  Many stars are binary – two stars that orbit each other.  In this case we had a binary neutron star spiraling into each other until they collided and merged.  When this happens, what looks like a star quickly appears, then disappears.  So seeing the event is a crapshoot.  But in August they hit the jackpot.  The detectable visible light lasted only a few days.

They call it a kilonova because it is about a thousand times more powerful than a supernova.  Scientists also say that colliding neutron stars produce the precious metals of our universe, like gold.  I wouldn’t know.  I just know it fascinates me!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday the Thirteenth!

In Western superstition Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day.  Friday is also the end of the workweek.  So let’s take a look at what got accomplished this week that ends on the 13th:

Health care for poor people got thrown under the bus.  How bad the damage we’ll have to wait and see.

Puerto Rico got thrown under the bus.  A racist move.  We can already see the damage.

The NFL got thrown under the bus.  The owners will ratify they have no guts next week.
The Iran nuclear deal got thrown under the bus.  Only serves to further isolate the U.S.

Harvey Weinstein got thrown under the bus.  Deserved.

The turd-in-charge tried to throw Bob Corker under the bus.  Won’t work.

The environment got thrown under the bus – again.  Happens every week.

NAFTA got thrown under the bus.  No surprise.  A self-defeating move that won’t help union workers who don’t see they’re being used.

People in the path of the fires got thrown under the bus.  To burn or not burn is a fickle crapshoot.  We don’t know whom to blame yet.  Maybe Mother Nature is the best scapegoat.

The Yankees and Dodgers didn’t get thrown under the bus.  Too bad.

Have a nice weekend!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Civil Wars!

The Republican anti-establishmentarians, led by Steve Bannon, are at war with their party.

The Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren Democrats are at war with their party.

There is a delicious synchronicity in these battles.  It is wonderful to see party regulars on both sides being challenged.  Clearly, the power structures are dysfunctional, mostly committed to being reelected, not serving the people they represent.  So to see them floundering as they struggle to figure out how to turn back the assault is reality TV worth watching.

Will it matter who wins?  On either side?  If the insurgents win will anything change?  Or will one self-serving group simply be replaced by new self-serving faces?  Given recent history and the dominant role of money in politics, it is hard to be hopeful.  The fundamental nature of the swamp will not have changed.

Would I prefer that these civil wars not be happening?  Not really.  Shaking up the status quo is a positive step.  No matter what happens, we won’t end up with anything worse than what we have.