Sunday, April 24, 2016

At least I can say I tried . . .

From a Prompt from my writing group:
(We are given the prompt (the title) and fifteen minutes to write before sharing or not)



     "At least I can say I tried," he said in a melancholy tone that somehow managed to irritate me.

       "Yoda said - Do or do not, there is no try,'" I replied.   But I said it under my breath and it went went unnoticed.   Those who seek affirmation do not hear negative responses.

       The devil in me  continued  in a non-committal tone, "Tell me what you have tried.   How did it turn out?"  I strived to sound conversational.


     I repeated my query knowing I had strayed from the conversational expectation.  I was aware my dinner partner's efforts had been half-hearted and the 'try' had been mostly wishful thinking.  Would he suspect I was on to him?   I adjusted my expression to reflect what I thought would appear to be genuine interest.  Would he squirm out of this one? 

     "It's too painful to discuss," he replied and made a weary gesture meant to be infused with all the angst and suffering that was supposed to substitute for actually having done something difficult.

       Oh, the usual conversation stopper employed by such people.  I felt justified in returning to my cooling meal.

Monday, April 18, 2016


I love quotes, even some of the corny ones on posters.


Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
– Calvin Coolidge

     Great things have been achieved by those who persist in a working towards a goal.   There is no guarantee,  but odds are increased exponentially.

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

                                                    -Wayne Gretzky

Except I sometimes see a lot of hopeless flailing around and wild shots at the goal when I watch hockey.  


                                                                                    Ambition is the path to success.

                                                                             Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. 

                                                                                                                       - Bill Bradley

If your ambition includes wanting to be rich and you persist in buying lottery tickets, it's probably a ride to nowhere.

              But since I have a habit of questioning everything (one of the benefits/detriments of advanced education)  I have to consider the converse side:

Never let your persistence and passion turn into stubbornness and ignorance.

                                             - Anthony J. D'Angel

  In the face of an obstacle which is impossible to overcome,              
                                                            stubbornness is stupid. 

                                                                                                 -  Simone de Beauvoir

Check out other interesting quotes at Brainy Quote.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Seller's Remorse?

In preparation for moving, I decided to purge some unneeded furniture.   The nicest was a horizontal teak entertainment unit.    You could put your television on top and the shelving below could be used for various media, books or decorative pieces.   We had bought it over thirty years earlier for about $250.  It had languished in our garage for the past five years, somehow not fitting with our current furnishings.   I had found that, in the living room, it tended to become a receptacle or dumping ground for various household flotsam and jetsam.    There were various scratches on the surface and I had opened my car door on it a few times.   

I had quick response when I advertised it on the ubiquitous Craigslist.   Someone came by the next day, by arrangement, and paid the full $50 I had asked.   No quibbling.   I was pleased with myself.

Less than a week later, while checking the status of the other unsold furniture, I came across my former entertainment unit.   It had been polished, maybe sanded, maybe re-stained.    This time the description included measurements and the photograph included the appropriate books, records and decorate vases.   What I had considered dated was described as 'vintage'.   And the price . . . $225.

I must confess that a series of emotions ensued:   dismay, annoyance, embarrassment . . . giving way before much time had passed to grudging admiration and acceptance.   My purchaser had done what I had not:   added value to the product.   He had spent time, skill and had the equipment and materials and marketing know-how that I do not.   Why should I feel tricked?   Even knowing what I do now, I don't think I would try to duplicate his efforts.   Rather, I might hold on to the piece of furniture and let it reside in our future garage.   

Sunday, April 3, 2016


From a Prompt from my writing group:



A dream
but not reality.
The sun's too hot
The air seems stale
Trash strewn on the street.

The movie stars have gone away
If they were ever here.
Palm trees line the boulevard
But traffic doesn't move.
the California of my dreams
Has gone.
But where?

You forgot to take Mickey Mouse.