The Use of Talking

There is no end of things in the heart.

Archive for March 2015

Ms found in a fortune cookie

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Wisdom doesn’t automatically come with age. I know that firsthand, and if you don’t believe me, just ask Mrs. C or any of our children. I’ve spent countless hours consuming knowledge, most of it entirely useless. And a lot of what I’ve read on blogs or in books, or heard on podcasts or, in days gone by, the radio, especially if it’s outré, stays with me so I can drag it out to amaze and astonish the unfortunate souls who have to put up with me. All that stuff came in handy at work in the days before Google, but since I’ve been retired, not very much. But here are a few things I’ve learned over the last 66 years. They’re about all the wisdom you’ll ever get from me.

  • The flavor of ice cream you didn’t choose is always better.
  • The number of interesting things you hear on an all-night radio show are inversely proportional to the length of your insomnia and directly proportional to how early you have to get up the next morning.
  • As difficulty increases, interest decreases.
  • Babies know when you’ve just fallen asleep. That’s when they cry.
  • Books do furnish a room, but your wife won’t necessarily think so.
  • The more you need it, the harder it is to find.
  • Pride goeth before a fall, but so does almost everything else.
  • The closer you are to a deadline, the more likely that the copier will jam.
  • Matzoh-ball soup won’t cure a cold, but it sure tastes good.
  • It’s always impossible to remember the brilliant idea you had at three o’clock in the morning after the office party, and all things considered, you’re lucky it is.
  • Don’t blog at three o’clock in morning, whether you’ve been to a party or not.
  • You will always just miss the bus or the subway.
  • The early bird will annoy his/her spouse.
  • Other people’s music is always too loud.
  • You never have any pennies when you need them.
  • You always notice the typos just as you’re clicking Publish.
  • There’s nothing more embarrassing than having to take the pauper’s oath at the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Don’t ask. And a word to the wise: Don’t try this on the Jersey Turnpike.
  • People who post lists usually have better things to do, and so do the people who read them.

Well, that’s enough of that. But do follow me so you won’t miss my pearls of wisdom about UFOs.




Written by hans castorp

March 13, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Ear to the Keyhole

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ear to the keyholeFrom the time back in the middle nineties when I first got internet access at work, I’ve frittered away many hours following mailing lists, message boards, and blogs. My choices have varied with my interests (I spent a deal of time one year reading about faux nobility: I’m still mourning the death of Prince William I of Alabona-Ostrogojsk). Then there were the Old Catholics, pretend Orthodox, and episcopi vagantes of various flavors and criminal records. You name it–hoaxes, UFOs, organized crime, classical compact disks, mathematics, genealogy, fake gurus, not-so-fake gurus, opera, philosophy, serial killers, Franciscans,  horror movies, Islam, classical studies, theology, science cranks and crackpots, neo-Nazis, Tibetan Buddhists, poetry, mediums, Hasidim, magic, masonry, Kabbalah, Marxism–I can give you a URL for any or all of these.

Through the years, I’ve spent a good deal of my unproductive time following a message board called Mormon Discussions. The posters on the board are mostly ex-Mormons, with some modernist NOMs (New Order Mormons) and a smattering of more traditional believers. There is also a small contingent of “Never-Mos,” people like me who have never been Mormons, but have an interest in Mormon things. I’m not a very active poster on the board.  There’s something (could be a conscience) that keeps me from being too snarky about a religion that isn’t mine. So I just pop in from time to time with the odd fact or observation.

Lurking on a message board is a lot like watching a reality show or listening to the conversation at the next table in a restaurant. There’s more than a hint of voyeurism about it. It’s peeking through the keyhole at the fight in the next room.

I’m not really sure how long I’ve been reading the board ; at least since the 20-oughts. I’ve followed board wars , vendettas, obsessions, and crusades; watched people grow from smart kids into capable scholars, relished gossip (mea culpa), grown to respect and like people I’ll never really know and to be glad I’ll never get to know some others. I’ve learned and laughed and fumed and even gotten queasy at some of the stuff that gets posted. If it hasn’t been productive, it sure has been interesting.

So to all the posters at Mormon Discussions and its founder, Dr. Shades, thanks. Here’s lurking at you.



Written by hans castorp

March 12, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Posted in Curiosity, Mormons

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