Actually, this isn’t a new theory. It came to me back when I had lost more than 100 pounds. Since I was suddenly thin, I was wondered where all that fat had gone. I knew, from my very scanty reading of physics, that matter and energy are the same.

So if fat used to be matter, but it was no longer on my body, where had it gone?

Energy! My fat had become giant clouds of fat cells.

Those low-hanging clouds are really fat cells, waiting to adhere to your hips.

This is how it works. There you are, doing just fine. La di da, fa la la la la … Then you eat one tiny little sandwich and okay, maybe a sliver of pie — and suddenly, you are forty pounds heavier. You can’t figure out how that happened? You are sure some evil sorceress put a hex on you.

The truth? You walked into someone’s fat cell cloud. All those hyper-energized fat cells attacked your body and made you INSTANTLY FAT!

Watch out! The fat is coming!

It wasn’t what you ate. It wasn’t the lack of exercise. It wasn’t your failure to develop a warm and loving relationship with green vegetables and ground kale breakfast drinks (gag). IT WAS FAT CELL CLOUDS.

It explains everything! Doctors, please chat with the physicists. I’m sure I’ve got it right. We need to rethink the entire diet thing. We need to destroy those clouds of fat before they spring onto your hips!


A Library Lesson, Part 2, Richard Paschall, Sunday Night Blog

Imagine Harold, Master of Time Manipulation, Lord of the Library and Sultan of the Schedule, being knocked off course by a tiny Harry Potter wannabe, but there he was.  The assistant librarian left him standing in the middle of the Children’s Library with a pint-sized wizard-in-training, hoping to hear the exploits of a “real” boy wizard, Harry Potter.  Harold did not know how to handle the situation.

When Harold retired from his job as a mechanical engineer at a large Midwestern manufacturing facility, he foresaw days of peaceful plans with little interference from other humans.  People would be worked into the schedule as time allowed.  But his retirement proved difficult to control and plans were more like wishes than regular schedules.  Harold, however, was not easily dissuaded from keeping his schedule in tact.

“Can you read that story?” the little boy named after Harry Potter asked.

“Well, of course I can read it,” Harold answered.  “I am sure you can read it too.”  The little boy shook his head.  “A few of the words might be difficult, but the librarian or your parents can help you with those words.”  The boy shook his head again.

“I can’t read,” the boy said.  He looked at Harold with sad eyes that would have melted anyone without the strong constitution of the Midwest planner.

“I am sure a boy your size can read just fine,” Harold declared.  The little one shook his head some more.  “What is this word?” Harold said pointing to the word “Harry” on the cover of the book.

“Harry,” declared little Harry.

“And this word,” Harold said as he pointed toward “Potter.”

“Potter,” the tiny wizard said.

“See,” Harold said, “you can read. What about this big word?”  Harold pointed to “Sorcerer’s” and at that the little one started to cry.

“I don’t know,” Harry whimpered, leaving Harold with the most awkward feeling.

“Well it is nothing to cry about,” Harold tried to explain.  “The bigger words will come to you.” Harry shook his head.

“I know ‘Harry’ because it is my name and ‘Potter’ too, but the others make no sense.  They are all mixed up.”

“Mixed up?” Harold asked.

“Yes, it is because I am stupid,” Harry said.  “I have that thing and my mother says I am stupid.”

“What thing?” Harold wanted to know.

“I don’t know,” little Harry cried.  “Dish something!”

Harold had to think about this.  He was convinced a boy that age should be able to read, and he could not imagine what his problem might be.  My analytical mind went to work until he finally said to the boy, “Dyslexia?”

“I don’t know,” the boy shouted.  After a moment he added more quietly, “maybe.”

“I see,” Harold said, but he didn’t really see at all.  Harold had no experience with children and especially one with a special need.  So the two boys stared at one another waiting for the next comment.

Finally, Harry said, “My mother drops me here all the time and tells me to read until I get it, but I don’t get it.”  A tear rolled down Harry’s round little face.  If anything could be said of this moment in Harold’s life, it might be that Harold never felt so uncomfortable.  So Harold sat in the big chair, and Harry sat in the little chair of the underused Children’s library in the Florida town, both waiting to move on to the story of a real boy wizard.

“Well, little one, haven’t you seen the movie?”  Harold asked.  Harry nodded.

“Then you don’t need the book,” Harold said.

“But I want to know what the book says,” Harry insisted.

Children's Library LogoHarold stared at the boy a long time.  The little one had an angelic face and big eyes and a curious nature.  He could not read but  he wanted to know what was in books, and particularly “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”  Actually, they both wanted to know what was in the book, but Harold could not imagine starting over.  He had already completed the opening chapters and reading out loud was so…SLOW!  After considerable thought Harold finally said, “OK, I will read to you until it is time to leave, but that’s all I can do.  I don’t think we will get very far.”

“OK,” the boy agreed and waited for the story to begin.

“Chapter One,” Harold started, “The Boy Who Lived.”  From there Harold read on until his watch sounded an alarm at 5 minutes to five.  At that he closed the book and announced “It is time for me to go.”

“Ok,” the boy said.  “Can we finish tomorrow?”

“No,” Harold said.  “I have plans tomorrow and the book is too long to finish anyway.”

“The next day?” Harry asked.

“No,” Harold insisted.  “I will not be back before Tuesday.”

“Ok,” Harry agreed.

This set Harold into a bit of a panic, “I mean, I am not sure about that. Maybe someone else can read to you.  I am not a good reader.  I am sure that the woman who reads books will be back soon and she can read it.”  The boy just stared, so Harry went on.  “I am not sure of my schedule and I don’t know about reading, besides I am not good at reading out loud.”

With nothing but a staring face looking up at him, Harold finally said, “We’ll see.”  At that, he got up, patted the boy on the top of the head and left the room.  When he got to the front desk, he put the book down as if to turn it in.

“Are you done with this book?” the librarian asked.

“Maybe,” a befuddled Harold replied.  “I don’t know.”  He left the book, walked down the few stairs to the entrance and out into the Florida sun.

Related:  The “Harold stories” in order: “Soup and Sandwich,” “The Case With The Missing Egg,” “Come Monday, It Will Be Alright,” “A Tuesday Mystery,” “A Tuesday Fantasy With Harold,” “A Wild West Wednesday,” “A Library Lesson


Share Your World 12/11/17

Poor Cee has been hit by Internet issues that have persisted for quite a while. I’m sure it is driving her bonkers. It would certainly make me crazy. Be well, Cee and I hope you are able to sort it out very soon. These questions were created by Riddle from the Middle – real life with a side of snark. Thank you for stepping up!

Is your second toe longer than your big toe?

Yup. On both feet. They aren’t a lot longer, but they are long enough to make getting shoes which fit kind of tricky. I would probably have size 8 feet, but with those pointy toes, size 9. I used to be able to pick up stuff with my toes. Pencils, for example.

Also, my middle fingers are longer than my index fingers — on both hands.

I don’t think this means anything much, mentally. I’m sure it means something genetically, but I got my DNA done and it told me what I already knew. Jewish. Very, very Jewish. So very Jewish, there isn’t even a sidebar of non-Jewishness. I had hoped for a shot of something … exciting? Weird? But … well …

On the other hand, no one can be “all Jewish to the beginning of time” unless you want to assume that Jews have existed since the beginning of time. While I am impressed with the longevity of My People, I think the beginning of time is an eon too long. When you go back far enough, no current or modern religions existed. Humanity started as pre-Judaic, pre-Christian, pre-Islamic, pre-Hindu, pre-modern. Once upon a time, I’m pretty sure we all worshipped the sun, moon, earth and sky. I often think we were better off.

What happens when the dogs dream?

I know what happens, but I don’t know what they dream. They seem to be running. Sometimes, they yip in their sleep. Are they seeing uncatchable squirrels? Or unreachable balls? Or an untasted treat? I’ve asked the dogs, but they never give me an honest answer. Dogs. They lie. Like dogs.

What’s on your closet floor right now?

Bags. Mostly, computer bags. I have had a lot of computers and each of the bags was to fit a particular computer. But I don’t have those computers … but I still have the bags and they are very nice and … well … you never know when you’ll need a computer bag, right? It’s like camera bags. You can’t REALLY have too many of them. Well, maybe you can.

Name five books on your bookshelf.

I have almost everything written by James Lee Burke. Everything written by Kim Harrison. Everything by Gretchen Archer. And then, I have a lot of other books. This is after doing everything we could to cut down on the volume of books in the house.

Most of the small paperbacks are gone, but many of the remaining books are first editions of authors I love. Many of them are signed by the authors. I think some of them have become valuable, but since I’m not selling them, it doesn’t matter.

Name something that inspired you this week.

We should change this to something I really enjoyed this week. I don’t get “inspired” very often.

Actually, that’s not true. Let me backtrack.

I am inspired every day when I write and often, I am inspired by something I see and leap to my feet, grab a camera and go take pictures. I get tons of inspiration for the things that I do and that is why I do it. That little shot of inspiration is what art and writing are all about … for me. Those pointy little ideas that leap into my head from seemingly nowhere, which then connect to some other disconnected thought that has been lurking deep in my brain. And it all comes together in something I wrote.

Evening sky over Uxbridge

This is not a weekly inspired moment. It’s a daily jolt of … something. Maybe it’s a writer’s thing. How else could we do it? It is absolutely why I write, why I take pictures. That little jolt of “seeing” is the bottom line of writing for me. It is how connect all the strange thoughts roaming around my head with the larger world.

Most of this week, we spent with Tom and Ellin. I suspect we were all inspired and also, we had a really good time. Thanks, guys.


I believe I have mentioned how the light the day after snow is different. The sky seems to glow in a variety of magical colors. Today, it was a pale tangerine — a cross between pink and light orange.

I didn’t get out to the deck until the latter part of the afternoon, so it’s a dusk sky with the glow of oncoming evening. I would have taken some even better sky shots, but I didn’t have boots and this year, I am not going to destroy my slippers.