ONLY THE BEST WHILE I KEEP THE REST

toasted english muffin

I just learned — hot off the presses — we are sending a capsule into space. Deep space. The deep, dark outer reaches of our galaxy. For some peculiar reason, we think other, non-human intelligent life forms will be interested in our culture. They will want to see our artifacts, gadgets, widgets. The best examples of what makes us great. Imagine that.

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What to show them?

You’d have to include the cell phone. Probably an iPhone, clearly the quintessential techno-gadget of our generation. Or maybe one of the new Android tablets that’s sort of also a telephone, or is it a telephone that’s sort of a tablet?

Kindle and iPad

What about a loaf of sliced bread? Everyone always says “It’s the best invention since sliced bread!” Thus sliced bread must, in some way, be a classic piece of intelligent design from the people who gave you the Edsel and the Bunny Hop. The open bar and happy hour. How to you package up those high points of culture?

Do you include a few drunks in the capsule? How about a box of White Castle sliders? How about at least one politician?

A toast!

I know I’m not thinking clearly. I’m missing so much. So many great things. Monumental achievements we could package in the guise of a small gadget by which any advanced civilization would be instantly recognized peers, equals, and perhaps, superiors. I just can’t think of them right this minute.

Don’t forget to include a cold six-pack of beer. It will be the intergalactic male bonding moment when they all chug it down together.

SERENDIPITY PHOTO PROMPT 2015 #16 – SMALL TOWN SUMMER

SERENDIPITY PHOTO PROMPT 2015 #16 – MID SUMMER IN A VERY SMALL TOWN

It’s Frisbee Wednesday again. How time flies! Last time I looked, it was barely spring. Then whoosh, summertime. Now, summer is beginning to wind down. The flowers that bloomed in the spring (tra la) are fading away, holding their collective virtual breath for the riot of color and energy that is Autumn.

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But not yet. The whole month of August remains which we must traverse. Then, a week and a bit of September will pass until we whirl into prime time and the trees show color.

HEART OF TOWN: THE PARKING LOT

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Last night, we watched “The Quiet Man” on Turner Classic Movies. After the movie, Robert Osborne did a wrap up. He talked about the citizens of Cong (Ireland, County Mayo) where the movie was filmed. How the local folk were so excited to have a movie company in their midst, it was difficult to keep them off the set. They were always peeking out of windows, hiding behind buildings, trying to catch a glimpse of the stars. It was the biggest — only big — event to happen in Cong.

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We visited Cong on our honeymoon in 1990. They were still reliving the grand days when John Ford came to town with his cameras and crew. Most important, he came with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Nothing else ever happened. Or ever will.

I said to Garry: “Nothing has ever happened in Uxbridge. Not a film, not an episode of a television show.”

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“We had one pretty juicy murder,” he pointed out. Ever the reporter, Garry keeps a mental tally of murders in the commonwealth. Catalogued by town.

“Okay, other than that one murder. I don’t think anything has ever happened here more memorable than the day the bank card readers went down.”

“That was a traumatic day,” Garry agreed.

A fly photo-bombed my picture!

A fly photo-bombed my picture!

To further my point (or perhaps, beat it to death), we went to Hannaford today. It is our grocery store. It’s where it all happens. Where we gather to discuss upcoming weather events and the price of things. Garry wanted to pick up a newspaper and replace our depleted supply of kitchen cleanser.

I wanted to snap a few pictures.

We succeeded at both.

JUST SAY NO

Watching a rerun of The Virginian. The story? A young woman is visiting Shiloh while taking a hiatus on her relationship. It’s supposed to be a six-week separation during which she can discover if she really loves the guy. But he shows up and starts to pressure her to marry him right away. She’s reluctant. She promised her father to not see him. She’s disappointed in her beau for pushing her.

It’s a common story, one which I’ve lived personally and watched so many others go through, holding a hand while they agonized through their “apart” time.

One of the very few things my father told me that turned out to be true was whenever someone is pressuring you for an immediate answer, say no. Because when they are pressuring you, they’ve got an agenda. So, say no.

It simplifies stuff that might otherwise seem complicated.

You need my answer right now? Then I will have to say no.

The property won’t last if I think it over for a couple of days? No, thank you.

The price will go up before I have time to decide if I really want it? Hell no!

All those other candidates are waiting in the wings, so you need my answer right now? Uh uh. Nope.

I wish I’d followed this advice from a lot earlier in my life. For all the times I said yes and lived to regret it. Jobs I accepted because I was scared to keep looking. Relationships I got into — then had to get out of — because I was too insecure to stand my ground. Things I bought from high pressure salesmen — real estate, cars, and who remembers what else?

Saying no would have saved me years of misery … and a great deal of money. All I had to do was say no.

All you need to say, is NO.