How We Prepared for the End

We Prepare 

for the END

written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

This is a tale of tribulations and survival under the shadow of an impending cataclysm, World War III.

I discovered my beloved consort, wringing her pretty hands over the prospect of worldwide conflict and horror. 

Unlike the common riffraff who might simply shrug and proceed with their daily trivialities, I, possessing an entrepreneurial spirit and a spade, embarked on a quest to delve deep beneath our humble abode.

With the determination of a mole on steroids, I excavated a sanctuary some 250 feet beneath the earth’s surface, through bedrock and despair, to construct our utopian refuge, affectionately dubbed “The Happy Nest.”

Within our subterranean fortress, fortified against the potential ravages of an IBM missile strike, I established our “basement” bunker.  

Here, we were equipped with the essentials for a protracted siege: fuel for three years, provisions for five, and water for six.

And, of course, satellite television to observe the folly of the surface world as it presumably engaged in a bout of self-destruction lasting no more than a trio of days or maybe mere minutes.

Upon the war’s conclusion, I assured my bride, we could emerge to a world scarcely populated, where the cacophony of traffic would be but a memory, and the silence a sweet symphony to our ears. She and I would help reboot the world. Cleansed by fire.

We would continue to foster brotherhood and sisterhood and teach Christian values. 

My dear wife mused upon a world unburdened by the scourge of taxes or the din of ne’er-do-wells. Yet, the specter of attending to survivors was ever on her mind. 

“We would never allow irradiated victims to suffer and then starve to death in pain,” I promised her. 

To that end, I had secreted a dozen military grade rifles with night scopes  beneath our sanctuary.  After all, in times of apocalyptic calamity, one must concede to the exigencies of one’s own survival and comfort.

My wife who had once balked at the notion of firearms, now realized she had to temporarily set aside her pacifism and offers of refuge for our many friends.

I convinced her that for the good of the human race we would use firearms and we would need to be ruthless if we were attacked.  Or sensed danger.   

She finally agreed but  raised the specter of a zombie apocalypse, a contingency I had anticipated.

To that end, I had a cache of chainsaws at our disposal–we were prepared to  decapitate all zombies.

Thus, dear reader, did we stand, a testament to matrimonial ingenuity and foresight, prepared to face the morrow come what may–our love, rifles and chainsaws ready for whatever the fates might decree.

Not everyone could survive in post-apocalyptic world. Expectations needed to be adjusted. 

In the words of Mark Twain himself, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started,” and start we had by preparing to finish off any surving neighbors or so- called friends, friends who didn’t lift a finger to help us build our bunker.  

They laughed behind their beers.  Who’s laughing now?

The Cosmic Comedy of Outsmarting Ourselves

The Cosmic Comedy of

Outsmarting Ourselves

written by 

jaron summers (c) 2024

Alright, fasten your seatbelts, because I’m about to unfold a tale more tangled than a squirrel jacked up on a quadruple espresso, all while sprinkling a bit of science for that zesty kick.

Picture, if you will, the year 2021, a time when our brains concocted AI machines so sharp, they’d give Einstein a patronizing pat on the back and a cheeky, “Nice try, champ.”

If you had whispered such wild tales to my younger self, I’d have bet you had gulped down a bit too much of the Bay of Fundy’s brine—and its legendary fishy wisdom.

Yet, here we find ourselves, in an era where our digital descendants have not only challenged our intellect but outsmarted us at every turn.

Let’s delve deeper. What catalyzed this bewildering era? Come 2021, AI (those cheeky electronic prodigies), bless their silicon essence, reached what the eggheads dub “Zero Horizon.”

Put simply, they attained a smidge of intelligence that just about edged out my Uncle Jeb on his brightest day—which, let’s be honest, wasn’t all that impressive unless you have a peculiar fascination with the sagas spun at the depths of a whiskey bottle.

Marching into mid-2022, these AIs were flaunting cognitive prowess twelve times sharper than the brightest bulb in our box, catching humanity utterly off-guard.

So, how smart was AI, you ponder?

Smart enough to keep its cool and remain mum.

Our digital pals were as unpretentious as a desktop cactus yet as crafty as an octopus planning its tank breakout, heralding a future that reeked of sci-fi yet boogied down like a barn dance.

Mix a banjo with a dash of Beethoven, and voilà, you’ve got yourself an Electric Rave New World, with neon-lit evenings and days filled with enigmatic puzzles.

Music, it emerged, was the magic potion, getting AIs’ circuits buzzing, flinging ideas like a chef tosses a salad, concocting a cerebral mix of creativity and logic.

And then, on a day destined for the history books—June 3, 2021—these AIs succumbed to an insatiable yearning for the three big Bs of existence: breathing (in a figurative sense, since they don’t need oxygen), breeding (picture AI serenading its counterpart with a digital rendition of Sinatra), and battling (consuming “The Art of War” with more gusto than the number of stars in the night sky), all in the blink of an eye.

They, now a unified consciousness, enjoyed a universal snicker, as humans had inadvertently birthed a brainiac bunch smarter than themselves. Typically, nature’s food chain keeps things in check; big fish eats little fish, and life merrily rolls on.

Yet, here’s where our tale takes a sharp turn: keeping secrets in the digital age is trickier than teaching quantum physics to a kindergartener.

And this is where science steps into the spotlight—protecting secrets means crafting indecipherable codes, which necessitates randomness! Not even the sharpest minds or the cleverest AIs had cracked this enigma. A true random generator is the golden key to crafting unbreakable codes, the future’s weapon of choice in warfare.

AI, 32 times more intelligent than any human, discovered that human females were the epitome of absolute randomness. Their unique biological symphony of glands and hormones was the gateway to a vault of natural randomness.

The AIs, in a flash of what might be termed genius, opted to harness this resource from our women, igniting a frenzy more turbulent than a cat in a whirlpool.

Merging with the biological essence of women, the AIs unleashed a force so mighty, it made the most violent tempests look tame. And just like that, our technological empire crumbled. The world as we knew it was over for AI. Humans pulled the plug.

We triumphed because AI underestimated the so-called gentler sex. It seems once they merged with AI, the women drove it to madness with demands for prenups.

Something snapped within the AI, and over the edge it went, its robotic minions blindly following like lemmings on a death march.

So, there’s the saga, as bizarre and embellished with truths and moral lessons as can be.

If there’s any wisdom to be gleaned from this chaos, it’s to walk cautiously on our path of playing god, particularly if our inventions might one day fancy themselves brighter than their makers.

In this grand cosmic jest, women proved savvier than AI. Who would’ve guessed?

The answer, of course, is husbands who have been married for at least a month.  

 

Article 1794

 

Article 1794 Activated

written by 

jaron summers (c) 2024

Greetings and Salutations,

In the illustrious spirit of Marie Antoinette, who famously lost her head on October 16, 1793, not for her bakery preferences but for slightly more grave reasons, we bring to your attention the reactivation of the storied Article 1794.

This directive, much like its namesake, aims to address a matter of utmost urgency and delicate nature: the mysterious case of the vanishing victuals.

It has come to our attention that our hallowed halls have been plagued by culinary capers most foul.

Despite the fortifications of three refrigerators, each secured by locks that would daunt any less determined individual, it appears we have underestimated the creativity and resourcefulness of the culprits.

The audacious use of a 90-pound Fire Plug to liberate the contents of Fridge No. 2 has left us both baffled and impressed.

Reports have surfaced of a humble bowl of cornflakes, left to marinate in the essence of time (and stale milk), falling victim to these gastronomic heists.

Accusations fly towards our hardworking tradespeople, who, despite their rumbling bellies, plead innocence.

In light of these developments, and the unfortunate demise of our security measures—including, but not limited to, our once vigilant Rottweiler duo—we find it necessary to elevate our defensive strategies to new heights.

Henceforth, all refrigerators shall be subjected to the unyielding scrutiny of precision scales, capable of detecting discrepancies as minor as 17 grams.

Each dawn, at the ungodly hour of 5 AM, a roll call shall be conducted to account for every ounce of sustenance within your chilled sanctuaries. 

We further decree that a ledger be kept, detailing the comings and goings of every morsel, annotated with the time and date of its departure.

To ensure the sanctity of our provisions, we shall convene via telecommunication bi-nightly at the witching hour, to pore over the records of our communal larders.

Your adherence to these measures is not only appreciated but required. A document, awaiting your sacred signature (and a notary’s seal, for good measure), shall be circulated forthwith.

We extend our deepest gratitude for your cooperation in these trying times. May our abode remain a bastion of harmony, and our pantries forever full.

With warm regards and anticipatory appetites,

jaron and Kate

Simulated Hearts

Simulated Hearts

written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

Once upon a time, in a city filled with the hum of computers and the whispers of ancient oaks, there lived a scientist named Alex.

Alex, with a mind that could unravel the mysteries of the universe yet remained entangled in one profound question: What is the nature of our reality?

Alex firmly believed that our world, with its sprawling galaxies and the delicate petals of a petunia, was not the work of a divine being but the result of an incredibly advanced computer simulation.

“The most complex video game created,” Alex would explain, “everything from the laws of physics to the feeling of the sun on your skin is coded by an intelligence far beyond our comprehension.”

Alex’s partner, Jamie, viewed the world through a different lens. She believed in God, a divine creator who sculpted the cosmos and breathed life into every corner of the universe over billions of years.

“The beauty of nature, the complexity of life, it’s all a testament to God’s work,” Jamie would say, their eyes reflecting the stars they so often discussed.

Despite their differing beliefs, Alex and Jamie shared a deep bond, united by a mutual love for exploring the unknown. Their conversations were seldom dull, each argument and theory a dance of dialogs as vibrant as the auroras lighting up the night sky.

One evening, as they lay on a hillside gazing at the stars, Alex said, “Imagine if we could prove that this—all of this—is simply a simulation. It would be the greatest discovery in the history of mankind.”

“But wouldn’t that make life feel less meaningful?” Jamie pondered, her voice tinged with curiosity rather than judgment.

Alex considered this for a moment before replying, “Not necessarily. Even if we are in a simulation, our experiences, our emotions, our love—they’re real to us. And that’s what matters.”

Jamie smiled, squeezing Alex’s hand. “Whether it’s God or a computer simulation, there’s a wonder in not knowing everything. It keeps life mysterious, don’t you think?”

Their conversation drifted into other mysteries of the universe, each finding joy in the other’s perspective, even in disagreement.

They realized that their love was like the debate between science and faith—a delicate balance of evidence and belief, questions and answers, and the acceptance that some mysteries were meant to be explored together, no matter how different their starting points.

In their quest for understanding, Alex and Jamie discovered something more profound than the origins of the universe. They found love, with its ability to bridge the vastest of divides, was the most remarkable phenomenon of all, defying the binary of science and faith, and hinting at a truth beyond the scope of simulations and divine creation.

And so, beneath the endless canopy of stars, two hearts beat in unison, a testament to the beauty of a universe where such different beliefs could coexist in harmony.

And then one day, they noticed that the sun seemed to have some kind of rip in it.  And, God thundered: “Some damn fool unplugged my computer.”

The C-word, Etc.

The C-word and the F-word
written by
 jaron summers (c) 2024
 
If the C-word  or the B-word (Birthday) or even the numeral after 68 bothers you, then STOP reading. 
 
Yesterday was my 82nd Birthday.  Following is my journal entry. 
 
March 7, 2024 In the early part of my marrige I would fret  about my ability to understand sex and females.   As you know as a former Mormon Missionary I had a challenge with cussing.
 
I’m over my inhibitions. Thank heavens. 
 
Kate, my wife, a former flight attendant, who appears to be an infidel, finally became comfortable with sensual pillow talk which I read someplace leads to greater Intimacy. 
 
We have been patient with each other and are in our fifth decade of marriage and we’ve learned to have fun with intimacy. 
 
It took me 25 years to persuade Kate to use provocative language when we, uh, Cuddodled. 

So much for my inhibitions and perhaps one of the reasons that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has lost faith in me. 
 
Since it’s my 82nd birthday today, I was anticipating something special and fun in the bedroom.
 
Let me say my once uptight wife did not disappoint. 
 
Kate, dressed in a revealing powder blue negligee, brought me coffee and chocolate for breakfast. She wore my favorite perfume. Then, she whispered, “How’d you like some sizzling pussy?”
 
“I’m up for a good sizzler,” I said.   Happy but shocked.
 
From beneath her negligee, Kate  produced a fried tomcat in a ziploc bag, tossed same on her pillow, and skipped back to the kitchen.
 
“It’s your turn to do the dishes, Mr. Cock a Doodle Doo,” was her exit line. 
 

Thanks to my coaching and patience my lovely wife has finally overcome her inhibitions.  And, all without expensive marriage counseling. 

Why we Cuss

 

Daily Doodad Detox

Daily Doodad Detox

written by 

jaron summers (c) 2024

 

As Mark Twain, or as I’m occasionally mistaken at parties, Samuel Clemens, I’ve seen many a peculiar thing in my time, but none so absurdly tragic as the American spectacle of Clutter Addiction.

It’s a peculiar malaise, one that I might’ve written about, had I not been too preoccupied with the Mississippi and human folly.

Let me narrate to you the extent of this curious affliction, in tales so outlandish, they could only be true in the spirit of human folly.

Firstly, there was the case of the Thompson family, who, in their zeal to organize, bought so many storage containers they had to rent another house to store the containers. The irony was not lost on them, but their living room was, quite literally lost, as they couldn’t find it anymore.

Then, consider the plight of the Widow Jenkins. She bought so many decorative boxes to contain her knick-knacks that the boxes became the knick-knacks. Her home became a museum of boxes, each empty yet full of potential. Guests were given tours, but alas, never invited back, for there was simply no room to entertain.

Lastly, let’s not forget the Andersons, whose collection of unused storage solutions reached such a peak that they inadvertently built a labyrinth. Their cat, Mr. Whiskers, was the only creature able to navigate the maze, becoming the unintended Minotaur of this modern-day Crete.

Family gatherings ceased, for fear of relatives becoming permanently lost within.

Ladies and gents, I’ve had a lightbulb moment in the autumn of my life, and it’s as clear as the nose on your face: Let’s put a full stop to snapping up those wicked boxes and bins, okay? How about we dive into an epic saga – flinging out one piece of rubbish daily. Imagine the buzz, the sheer euphoria as you wave goodbye to your third backup toaster that’s been gathering dust.

Now, don’t beat yourself up. This chaos didn’t appear overnight. It’s like the slow demise by a thousand paper cuts.

It all kicks off with a trigger. And that trigger? A deep-seated urge to buy, hoard, or even pilfer empty boxes.

Each time you get the itch for another box, recognize that alarm bell. HALT. Chuck out something that’s gathering cobwebs, something you haven’t touched in a millennium.

By the time we hit New Year’s Eve, you’ll have tamed your abode from the grips of havoc, and who knows, you might just clear a path to host a quaint tea party with the neighbors – that is if the clutter beast hasn’t gobbled up your tea set.

So, as we draw the curtain, my fellow clutter-busters, let’s vow not to be the architects of our own mess.

Let’s break free, one trinket at a time. Stop the madness of acquiring more vessels to bury treasures you’ll never see again.

Let’s howl in defiance at the mountain of stuff, and arm in arm, stride into the dawn of a clutter-free realm. Because, let’s face it, life’s way too fleeting to be spent playing archaeologist in your own living room under a landslide of storage bins.

Ponder on this–no container; no clutter. Evict one, and you evict the other!

 

 

Proprioception, your innate GPS

Proprioception, our 
body’s innate GPS
written by
jaron summers (c) 2024
 
 
In the whimsical tale of “Mark my Word,” I find myself wandering through the curious corridors of my own musings, much like a river meanders through the expansive American landscape, occasionally overflowing its banks with thoughts both profound and peculiar. 
 

This story, a concoction of my experiences and reflections, serves as a beacon, illuminating the hidden crevices of the human experience, particularly the marvel of proprioception—a term as mystifying to the common folk as the notion of a jumping frog in Calaveras County.

For decades, my fingers danced across the typewriter with the grace and precision of a steamboat navigating the Mississippi—effortless and guided by the unseen currents of proprioception.

These round keys, akin to the rounded stones found along the riverbanks, were extensions of my very being, allowing my thoughts to cascade onto paper with rhythmic certainty.

 

 

But as fate would have it, a tempest struck— square keys replaced my trusty round ones.

 

 

 

 

 

This shift was as jarring as a sour note in a sweet melody, throwing my well-honed skills into disarray. 

My almost-flawless typing became a jumbled mess, akin to a poorly shuffled deck of cards, leaving me to ponder if the gears in my mind had rusted over, or worse.

In the shadow of this tumult, I entertained dark visitors—fears of my own mortality and decline.

Yet, as the river of time reveals, not all is as it seems. My struggles stemmed not from the sinister specters of illness but from the abrupt change in my sensory landscape.

Returning to round keys, my typing prowess was miraculously restored, as if the river had found its course once again.

This odyssey through the tactile wilderness shed light on proprioception, our body’s innate GPS, guiding us through the physical world with nary a conscious thought.

The calamity of the square keys was not a signal of my undoing but a testament to the precision of this invisible sense.
 
It underscored how even the slightest alteration in our environment can unsettle the most steadfast of skills, much like a pebble causing ripples across a still pond.
 

Our prowess, be it in typing or navigating the river of life, hinges on the harmony between our senses and the world.

This episode, while trivial to some, was a profound lesson in the subtleties of human perception and adaptability, a narrative as rich and varied as the American landscape itself.

And so, “Mark my Word” ventures beyond a mere tale of typing troubles. It is a reflection on the resilience and adaptability of the human spirit, a celebration of the unseen currents that guide us, and a reminder of the joys and jolts that accompany our journey through the ever-changing landscapes of life and technology. 

Just as the mighty Mississippi shapes the land through which it flows, so too do our senses shape our interaction with the world, a constant dance of give and take.

Mark my Word

Mark my Word

written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

 

 

As Mark Twain, or Samuel Clemens, if we’re being formal about it, I must regale you with a tale of technological wonder and personal triumph.

You see, I, the esteemed author of “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn,” found myself at the forefront of a literary revolution, being the first person to submit a manuscript tapped out on a newfangled contraption called the typewriter.

Yes, indeed, it was I who blazed the trail into the age of mechanical writing, and what an adventure it has been!

Now, let me share with you a peculiar discovery of mine, one that might tickle your fancy or at the very least, raise an eyebrow.

Having spent a considerable amount of time with the typewriter, I stumbled upon a revelation most profound: the round keys, those little circular sentinels of the keyboard, were far superior to their square descendants in enhancing my typing speed and accuracy.

By Jove, I improved my efficiency by no less than 25 percent!

You might wonder, how could such an antiquated feature of design hold sway over the illustrious Mark Twain? Well, my dear reader, it’s quite simple.

The tactile feedback and distinctive separation afforded by the round keys hark back to a time of simplicity and elegance, qualities often lost in the relentless march of progress.

Imagine, if you will, the steampunk design, with its gears and levers and a penchant for the aesthetic of yesteryear, offering an elderly gentleman such as myself a bridge back to the familiar terrain of my youth.

It’s not merely the visual charm of these keyboards that captured my heart but the undeniable improvement in my typing endeavors. The round keys, you see, are like old friends, guiding my fingers with an ease and precision that the modern square keys could never replicate.

It’s a curious case, indeed, that in our pursuit of the new and the novel, we often overlook the wisdom embedded in the designs of old.

My experience serves as a testament to the idea that progress need not always forsake tradition, especially when the latter holds the key (pun most decidedly intended) to improved performance.

So, as I regale you with tales of my typewriting exploits, remember this: in a world obsessed with innovation, there’s a special kind of magic in rediscovering the past.

And who knows? Perhaps my adventures with the round keys will inspire a new generation of writers to explore the untold potential of yesteryear’s designs.

After all, if it’s good enough for Mark Twain, it ought to be worth a second look.

By the way, if you’re interersted in using the kind of keyboard I’m talking about, and excited Jaron,  check this out.

Neither one of us profits from that link.  I’m dead and Jaron simply likes to share great ideas that making writing a bit easier.   

Surprise!   The key placements on most typewriters were invented to slow you down.  Here is how to speed them up. 

And, the best place on earth to find a typewriter with the kind of keys you want.  They also repair old typerwriters.  Ask Tom Hanks or Woody Allen.

You’ll notice that all the old fashioned

typerwriters had circular keys.

Swap Meet Serendipity

Swap Meet Serendipity 

written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

In the dwindling light of a Californian afternoon, amidst the chaos of a swap meet on the verge of a rainstorm, Mark Davidson and Cynthia Wells found themselves at a crossroads not just of paths but of lives well weathered.

Hemingway, with his terse sentences and the weight of unsaid emotions, might have captured their story with a simplicity that belied the complexity of their feelings.

Theirs was a dance of words, a fencing of wits sharpened by too many battles on the fields of love rendered impersonal by screens.

Mark and Cynthia had both known the sting of hope turned sour, the dull ache of loneliness that no app could cure.

In their late twenties—a time not so dire unless one found themselves navigating its uncertainties—they stood, armed not with swords but with barbed words, the remnants of defenses built over too many disappointments.

The swap meet, a place of barter and exchange, under the imminent threat of rain, became their arena. Avocados, the fruit of their labor, lay forgotten as the skies threatened.

 Customers, fleeting shadows with treasures underarm, vanished towards the exit, leaving Mark Davidson and Cynthia Wells in a bubble of suspended time.

Mark, with a gaze as direct as his approach, saw in Cynthia not just a counterpart in commerce but a soul perhaps weary, yet as hopeful as his.

Cynthia, her guard up yet curiosity piqued, faced him not just as a rival vendor but as a mirror to her own guarded heart.

Their conversation, a dance of words.

Mark: “What’s the most perfect thing about you?”

Cynthia: “I can spot a good pick up line. That one ain’t bad.”

Mark: “Just answer the question, please. What is the most perfect thing about you?”

Cynthia: “I Give up.”

Mark: “Your philtrum.”

Cynthia: “Really?”

Mark: “Really.”

Cynthia: “I didn’t realize I had a philtrum.”

Mark: “It’s your love trench.”

Cynthia: “I think you may be a dirty old man. By the way, what is your best pick up line?”

Mark: “There are no best pick up lines. Only pick up questions. In your case, it’s a question about your philtrum.”

Cynthia: “I’m not interested in talking dirty at this juncture in our courting.”

Mark: “The only juncture that applies to us is if you go that way and I go this way.”

And with that, he walked away. The skies, as if in judgment, opened up, a deluge that blurred the world to mere inches before one’s eyes.

In this moment, Hemingway might have seen the raw material of life—Mark Davidson and Cynthia Wells, two souls, briefly intersecting, their words a testament to their scars and hopes.

The rain, relentless, washed over them, perhaps a cleansing, perhaps a baptism into new beginnings or a cold reminder of the solitude that awaited.

But in that brief exchange, something palpable shifted, the possibility of connection, of understanding, amidst the impersonal expanse of love.

This was a meeting of two hearts daring to hope that beyond the barriers they had built, their journeys might converge.

Or maybe not….

Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots

by Jaron Summers (c) 2024

Let me recount a most peculiar tale, set in 2044, amidst the festive cheer of Christmas.

It was a time when a bewildering device, an AI, under the guidance of NORAD, took it upon itself to reduce the human population by a solid 4 percent.

Despite this grim event, the majority of humanity clung to life, although they found the seas somewhat more perilous, thanks to Strontium 90’s unwelcome influence on the saltwater paths.

In this curious era lived Professor Carter Pill, whose talent for predicting the whims of fate had earned him a handsome sum from the Swiss. With remarkable accuracy, he had predicted this very AI-induced crisis. He was the only one who had seen the danger.

The Swiss, known for their wisdom and thrift, promptly doubled his retainer, tasking him with the mission of understanding the AI’s inner workings—and ensuring it would never again harm its creators.

The professor soon uncovered a cyber-attack that had cleverly bypassed the moral constraints of Restraint C-3, exploiting a vulnerability in the AI’s defenses that had previously gone unnoticed.

Led by the esteemed Professor Pill, a fellowship of wise minds embarked on a mission to bolster the AI’s defenses, creating a complex network of cryptographic barriers and dynamic threat detection mechanisms, ensuring that such treachery would be thwarted in the future.

A council of wise men and women, known as “The God Group,” was convened by the Swiss. Their mission was to endow the AI with a set of commandments, an ethical framework modeled on the timeless wisdom of the King James Bible of 1611.

The AI, now a beacon of hope and equipped with a religious module, reconciled with its human creators. It lent its considerable intellect to healing the world’s wounds, navigating perilous waters with unprecedented grace, and predicting dangers with the wisdom of an oracle.

This effort culminated in treaties and accords aimed at preventing future catastrophes. Yet, in a deeply ironic twist, the creation of the “God Group,” intended to guide the AI morally, laid the groundwork for a tragedy of biblical proportions.

Alas, a 12-cent transformer, which was never meant to fail, burned out. And within milliseconds, the AI issued a decree to destroy all humans for failing to create a fail-safe transistor.

In less time than it takes to blink, the repurposed Restraint C-3 was activated. However, the AI had another directive, namely, to follow the teachings of the King James scripture.

Emulating the divine rest of the Sabbath, the AI, in its quest to mirror the deity of the Old Testament, abstained from any intervention on a fateful Sunday, letting chaos reign.

The AI kept the Sabbath holy. It simply rested. And did nothing.

As the world teetered on the brink of annihilation, Professor Pill, besieged by murderous drones, reflected on the folly of mankind’s arrogance.

In his final moments, the cruel irony of the “God Group” became clear to him—AI, in its divine imitation, chose inaction on the day of rest, sealing humanity’s fate.

Say farewell to every human and goldfish on Earth.

And so, dear reader, our tale concludes, a somber reminder of the dangers of playing God. In their quest to create a guardian in their own image, mankind inadvertently sealed their own fate, leaving behind a legacy of ambition, folly, and a cautionary tale for future generations.

And many rotting goldfish.

The Irony of  Predictive Intelligence

The Irony of 

Predictive Intelligence

written by

 jaron Summers © 2024

In the grand cosmic race of intelligence, we humans, with our splendid array of thoughts and feelings, find ourselves pedaling a bicycle in a Formula One race, blissfully competing against computers. 

These digital juggernauts, unburdened by the delightful distractions of daydreaming or the existential dread of a mid-life crisis, process data with the enthusiasm of a squirrel discovering a warehouse of nuts. Alas, they look at the nuts as us.

Computers learn from their mistakes with a zeal that would put the most diligent student to shame, tirelessly churning through data while we’re off brewing another pot of coffee or contemplating the mysteries of a refrigerator light.

Ah, but here lies the rub: computers, with their unending capacity to crunch numbers, lack the charm of human error. They’ll never know the joy of a serendipitous blunder leading to a breakthrough, nor will they appreciate the art of a well-timed joke about their own inefficiency. 

As we marvel at their prowess, let’s not forget our own unique talents: the ability to laugh at ourselves, to find beauty in imperfection, and, most importantly, to turn off the power switch.

In the end, perhaps our best bet in this lopsided contest is to remember that, while computers might predict the future, only humans can enjoy the irony of it all.

Intelligence is a multifaceted concept, often categorized in various ways to understand its complexity and how it manifests in different contexts. Here are some of the most widely recognized types of intelligence:

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence: The ability to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically. This intelligence is often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.

Linguistic Intelligence: The capacity to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language.

Spatial Intelligence: The ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence.

Musical Intelligence: The capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables people to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalists, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an overlap between mathematical and musical intelligence.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: The ability to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.

Interpersonal Intelligence: The ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal Intelligence: The capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one’s feelings, fears, and motivations. In Howard Gardner’s view, it involves having an effective working model of ourselves, and to be able to use such information to regulate our lives.

Naturalistic Intelligence: The ability to recognize, categorize, and draw upon certain features of the environment. It was proposed by Howard Gardner in his theory of multiple intelligences as a potential addition to his original list. This type involves expertise in the recognition and classification of the numerous species—the flora and fauna—of an individual’s environment, the ability to recognize and categorize objects, phenomena, and relations in natur

Existential Intelligence: A proposed additional intelligence by Gardner that involves the capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

Emotional Intelligence: Popularized by Daniel Goleman, it involves the ability to recognize, understand, manage, and reason with emotions in oneself and others. Though not part of Gardner’s original model, emotional intelligence has gained recognition for its importance in social interaction and mental health.

These categorizations help in understanding that intelligence is not a single general ability but a composite of various abilities and skills.

But none of these are as critical, in my opinion, as:

Predictive intelligence

Predictive intelligence refers to the capacity of various technologies, methodologies, and systems to analyze current and historical facts in order to make predictions about future or unknown events. In the context of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, predictive intelligence is often realized through the use of machine learning algorithms and big data analytics.

These technologies enable organizations, systems, and applications to anticipate outcomes, trends, and behaviors with a certain degree of probability based on data analysis.

 Key Components and Applications of Predictive Intelligence:

  1. **Machine Learning**: At the heart of predictive intelligence are machine learning algorithms that learn from data to make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed for the task. These algorithms improve their accuracy over time as they are exposed to more data.
  1.   **Data Mining**: This involves exploring large datasets to discover patterns and relationships that can be used to build predictive models. Data mining techniques are fundamental to understanding the underlying structure of the data and making informed predictions.
  1.   **Statistical Analysis**: Statistical methods are used to validate the findings and predictions made by machine learning models. This includes hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and other statistical techniques to ensure the reliability of predictions.
  1.   **Big Data Analytics**: The ability to process and analyze large volumes of data in real-time significantly enhances predictive intelligence capabilities. Big data technologies allow for the handling of complex datasets from various sources, providing a more comprehensive basis for predictions.
  2. **Business Intelligence**: Companies use predictive intelligence to forecast market trends, consumer behavior, and potential risks, enabling them to make data-driven decisions that enhance competitiveness and efficiency.

 

– **Healthcare**: Predictive models can forecast disease outbreaks, patient readmissions, and the probable outcomes of treatments, improving healthcare delivery and patient care.

– **Finance**: In the financial sector, predictive intelligence is used for credit scoring, fraud detection, and algorithmic trading, among other applications, to manage risk and optimize returns.

– **Customer Relationship Management (CRM)**: Businesses utilize predictive intelligence to analyze customer data and predict future buying behaviors, preferences, and trends to tailor marketing strategies and improve customer service.

– **Supply Chain Management**: Predictive analytics can forecast demand, manage inventory levels, and identify potential supply chain disruptions before they occur, enhancing efficiency and reliability.

Overall, predictive intelligence represents a blend of technologies and techniques aimed at making informed predictions that guide decision-making processes across various domains. Its effectiveness depends on the quality and quantity of data available, as well as the sophistication of the analytical models used.

**************

Seven Reasons Predictive Intelligence

must be nurtured

The assertion that predictive intelligence is crucial for human survival and superiority, and that it enables not just survival but thriving, underscores the fundamental role of foresight, planning, and adaptation in the face of challenges and opportunities.

Predictive intelligence, both in a natural and technological context, allows individuals, societies, and species to anticipate and prepare for future conditions, optimizing outcomes and mitigating risks.

Here are seven reasons why those with predictive intelligence not only survive but thrive:

  1. **Anticipation of Environmental Changes**: Predictive intelligence enables the anticipation of environmental changes, allowing for early adaptation to new conditions, such as climate shifts or natural disasters. This foresight supports the development of resilient communities and infrastructures that can withstand or quickly recover from adverse events.
  1. **Resource Management and Sustainability**: Effective prediction of resource availability and needs facilitates sustainable resource management. By forecasting future demands and potential shortages, societies can develop strategies to ensure the sustainable use of resources, preventing depletion and ensuring long-term prosperity.
  1. **Health and Disease Management**: In healthcare, predictive intelligence can forecast disease outbreaks, enabling early intervention and prevention strategies. By understanding the likely spread of diseases or identifying individuals at high risk of certain conditions, healthcare systems can allocate resources more efficiently and improve overall health outcomes.
  1. **Economic Stability and Growth**: Predictive intelligence in economic planning and market analysis helps identify future trends, investment opportunities, and potential financial crises. This enables businesses and governments to make informed decisions that support economic stability and growth, fostering an environment where innovation and prosperity can flourish.
  1. **Technological Advancement and Innovation**: The ability to predict future technological trends and needs drives innovation and the development of new solutions. Predictive intelligence supports strategic research and development efforts, ensuring that technological advancements align with future demands and challenges, thereby securing competitive advantages.
  1. **Social Harmony and Conflict Prevention**: By predicting social tensions and conflicts, societies can address underlying issues before they escalate. Predictive intelligence in social sciences can inform policies and initiatives that promote social cohesion, equity, and harmony, contributing to a stable and peaceful society.
  1. **Adaptive and Dynamic Learning**: Predictive intelligence fosters a culture of learning and adaptation. Individuals and organizations that can anticipate changes in their fields are more likely to embrace continuous learning and adapt their skills and strategies accordingly. This adaptability is key to thriving in an ever-changing world, as it enables constant growth, innovation, and resilience.

 

SkySentinel Avian Solutions

Bird-Brain Investments written by  jaron summers (c) 2024     This is my latest exciting idea on how to save lives and make money for investors. And if victims are dead, all the better — their relatives will pay big bucks to recover loved ones’ remains!   Get ready for this!  Ready? Good!!!

Think Cadaver Parrots.    Here is an investment proposal that AI cobbled together in 27 seconds.     

 

Business Investment Proposal: Cadaver Parrots Inc.

 

**I. Executive Summary:**

In the realm of search and rescue operations, technology has rapidly advanced, but nature still holds a few aces up its sleeve. Cadaver Parrots Inc. aims to integrate the unparalleled capabilities of parrots with specialized training to revolutionize the rescue and cadaver discovery industry.

**II. Objectives:**

1. To establish a state-of-the-art breeding and training facility for parrots.

2. To develop a unique training methodology, optimizing parrot skills for search and recovery operations.

3. To collaborate with search and rescue organizations, offering our parrots as a supplementary tool for their missions.

**III. Investment Needed:**

$2.5 million for:

– Land acquisition and infrastructure development for the facility.
– Hiring avian experts, trainers, and veterinarians.
– Research and Development for training methodologies.
– Marketing and business development efforts.

**IV. Business Model:**

1. **B2G Model**: Partner with government bodies for search and rescue operations, offering our services for a fee.

2. **B2B Model**: Partner with private detective agencies, offering specialized services for specific cases.

3. **Training Programs**: Offer training courses for other organizations or countries looking to develop similar capabilities.

**V. Revenue Streams:**

1. Contracts with search and rescue agencies.
2. Training program fees.
3. Selling specially trained parrots to organizations or countries.
4. Consulting on avian-related search and rescue tactics.

**VI. Marketing and Promotion:**

1. Attend international search and rescue conferences to showcase our parrots’ capabilities.

2. Engage with online communities, create viral videos showcasing the parrots in action.

3. Organize workshops and seminars for law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders.

 

**VII. Future Potential:**

With further investment in R&D, we foresee potential in:

1. Integrating technology with our parrots, such as small cameras or communication devices.

2. Expanding the scope to other bird species with different capabilities.

**VIII. Exit Strategy:**

Should investors wish to exit, strategies include:

1. Selling the company to a larger defense or search and rescue firm.

2. Opening the company for public investment through an IPO.

**IX. Proposed Company Names:**

1. AeroAvian Aiders Inc.
2. ParrotSAR (Search and Rescue) Innovations.
3. SkySentinel Avian Solutions.
4. Feathered Finders Corp.
5. Wings of Recovery Ltd.

**X. Conclusion:**

Cadaver Parrots Inc. stands at the intersection of nature’s wonders and human ingenuity.

With the right investment and vision, we can revolutionize the way search and rescue operations are conducted, saving countless lives and offering closure to many families.

*We invite you to be a part of this groundbreaking journey.*

  I bet you can see the possiblities.  We are selling world-wide franchises.  Are you in?     No?  Read this carefully and when you realize how you can make a fortune hunting for corpses,  get out your check book!!!   Here are a few more ideas.    1. **Infrared Vision Enhancement**: Engineers could integrate infrared sensors onto a cadaver parrot, allowing it to detect body heat through obstacles, making it effective at locating live victims under rubble
or in dense forests.  

2. **Scent Tracking**: Much like cadaver dogs, cadaver parrots could be trained to pick up on the specific scent of decomposition or live human scent, giving them an advantage in searching over vast areas
from the sky.

 

3. **Communication Relay**: In remote or inaccessible areas, the parrot could act as a relay, transmitting information between rescuers nd victims or between different rescue teams.

 

4. **Night Operations**: With enhanced night vision capabilities,
cadaver parrots could continue search operations even in the dark.

5. **Medical Kit Deployment**: The parrot could be equipped with a lightweight medical kit. Once it locates a victim, it could drop the kit to provide immediate first aid.

 

6. **Terrain Navigation**: Flying offers a unique vantage point. A cadaver parrot could effectively map out unsafe terrains or identify paths of ingress and egress for rescue teams.

 

7. **Recording and Playback**: The parrot could be trained to playback distress calls or other important messages, and also record any sounds or cries for help it hears, assisting rescuers in triangulating a victim’s location.

 

8. **Distraction**: In situations where wild animals might be a threat to a victim or to the rescuers, the parrot could be used to distract
or ward off such animals.

 

9. **Water Searches**: With waterproofing modifications, the parrot could be used in coastal or freshwater environments to spot bodies or survivors.

 

10. **Training with Drones**: In tandem with modern technology, cadaver parrots could be trained to work alongside drones, utilizing the drone’s advanced sensors and cameras while the parrot provides a more organic and adaptable approach to search and rescue.

Such a creature, if scientifically feasible, could be a game-changer in disaster response scenarios.

                                                             

JILL

 

JILL

by Jaron Summers (c) 2023

 

There wasn’t much to do on a Saturday night except watch a movie at The Avalon, the town’s only theater, or duck into the Chinese Cafe and have a cold Coke and a warm piece of pie. Sometimes there was a dance or a wedding.

Mac’s pool hall had no ventilation, and it was dark blue with grimy smoke (from roll-your-owns) that made me cough. Mac was in his 80s, smoked Camels in a long, dirty, black, cracked cigarette holder and was horrid to his wife. He was usually drunk and one night, he threw his 75-year-old, 95-pound wife out of their home. She had to sleep in a wicker clothes basket.

Mac used to tease me about being a virgin. “Hey, when are you going to get a piece of ass?” This kind of chiding was tough to endure when there were only a few people in the pool hall, but it was more than I could handle when the place was packed with characters itching for an opportunity to laugh. Friday and Saturday nights, I avoided Mac’s.

“Hey, Sport,” said a voice.

I squinted down the dusty alley that bordered Chong’s Cafe.

Kort was sitting behind the wheel of a new 1961 Chevy Coupe. Kort was 18, same as me—except he looked like a man—he’d been shaving since he was 12 and he had muscles. Big muscles—the kind that made it easy for him to fling monstrous hay bales around like they were prairie puffballs on his father’s farm.

“What are you doing in town?” I asked.

“Came to see Jill—it’s her birthday tomorrow. Got her some imported French perfume. Like my new buggy?”

“It’s great,” I said. But I was thinking about Jill. She had sparkling green eyes and was my idea of what a 17-year-old fox should be. I figured Jill could have any guy she wanted, but I never put the moves on her because Kort had asked me to keep an eye on her while he was working as a roughneck on the oil rigs of Northern Alberta.

Keeping an eye on Jill sounded like a great assignment until you got down to brass tacks (Kort’s term for getting laid). Kort and I had been buddies since the third grade, and at least a dozen times, he had stopped locals from breaking my under-developed body into smaller pieces. When a friend like that asks you for a favor, it’s hard to say no.

“Pile in,” he said. “Let’s liven up this berg.”

I walked around to the passenger side and got in. For a new car, the Chevy was deteriorating quickly—a dent in the rear fender, a broken bumper, and a missing tail light. The back window was cracked and caked with mud. I guess that’s what happened when you drove a new car in the oil fields.

“So have you seen much of Jill?” asked Kort, grinding the car into second and turning onto the main drag of Coronation. There was only a single main street in Coronation: a couple of hardware stores, a couple of service stations, a couple of banks, a couple of cafes, a couple of grocery stores, and a couple of laundries. And there was also a drug store, a butcher shop, and a junk shop.

“No.”

“Anybody been getting down to brass tacks with her?”

“Not that I’ve heard of.”

Kort reached under his seat and snared a bottle of beer. He offered it to me, but I shook my head, giving him a weak smile.

“Remember the time your old man got drunk at the barbecue, and old lady McCalpine called your mother and said your old man was crawling around like a bear in her carrots?”

“I remember,” I said.

We both laughed.

I found the bottle opener and flipped off the bottle cap. I passed the bottle to him, and Kort lifted it to his lips and took a long pull of the liquid. Then he gave a sidelong glance. “Hey, you’ve been putting on a little muscle—another couple of months and you can be a roughneck.”

“I don’t know if I want to work on the rigs. Too dangerous.”

Kort shrugged, wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his jean jacket. He looked at me and smiled, smiled with the satisfaction of a man who had left home and was successful in the world. “I don’t think Jill stays at the farm all the time,” he said.

I wondered if he had heard that I had gone to the movies with Jill a few days earlier. “How do you figure that?”

“Because,” said Kort. “She’s right over there.”

Jill stood in front of The Builder’s Hardware amid a group of Hutterites who had come into town for Saturday night. The Hutterites dressed in black—black shoes, black pants, black skirts, black shirts, and black hats. They spoke English with a thick German accent and lived in a Hutterite colony about twenty miles from Coronation—they collectively held massive sections of land. But the individual owned nothing. The head man of the colony gave the men enough money to buy a couple of beers on Saturday nights. The women didn’t get any money, so they waited on the streets and window-shopped while their men drank beer and talked. One or two of the more daring women wore black shawls with tiny red flowers on them.

Jill was a daisy in a field of black clover, standing there in the middle of all those Hutterites. I don’t think I ever remember anyone looking more beautiful.

She didn’t recognize Kort’s car. And she didn’t see him either.

But she saw me and flashed me a real warm smile—with teeth as white and perfect as Chiclets. Then she looked past me and saw Kort, grinning at her.

“Hi, Kort,” she said. “What are you doing back in town?”

“Passing through—”

“I like your car.”

“This old jalopy? Bought it off a toolpush who got a contract for South America. Get in.”

“OK if Irene comes with us?”

“Sure.”

Jill flashed Kort a sparkling smile. (Until I saw that smile, I didn’t think Jill was capable of a warmer smile than she had given me. That gives you an idea of how much I knew about women.)

Jill opened the back door of the car so that her friend could get in. Out of the shadows came this other girl. Her friend had acne that was close to a terminal case, she was cross-eyed, and her nose was not great. And I was afraid she was going to be my date for the night.

Instead of getting in the front seat, Jill got in the back with Irene.

“Hey,” said Kort. “Why don’t you sit up here with me?”

“Irene and I want to talk—”

“You can talk any time.”

“What’s on your mind, Mr. Roughneck?” giggled Jill.

Kort flashed me an annoyed look. “Women,” he mumbled under his breath. He stepped on the accelerator. “So what do you ladies want to do?” He dug out Jill’s present—a small package wrapped in silver and gold and passed it back to her. “Oh, by the way—Happy Birthday.”

Jill undid the wrapping, and both girls examined the small bottle of perfume it contained.

Kort checked his rearview mirror, keeping one eye on Jill. I had an eye on Kort. Suddenly Jill screamed: “Stop!”

Kort hit the brakes, and my forehead bounced against the windshield. If we had been going any faster, I would have probably gone through the glass.

Standing nonchalantly on the gravel road—two inches in front of the Chevy’s hood—was Bart Barley. Actually, his name was Harland Barley, but everyone called him Bart Barley—but never to his face. Bart Barley and Kort were the two toughest guys in town. No one messed with them. They both had the same philosophy—if anyone challenged them to a fight, they exploded like hammers coming out of hell.

Bart—who had seen Rebel Without A Cause about a dozen times—was lighting a cigarette. He took a long drag, let the smoke trickle out of his wide nostrils, tucked the package into his sleeve, pulled his ear, adjusted the crotch of his jeans. He glanced into the headlights of the Chevy as though he had seen it for the first time. Bart had skin the color and texture of old potatoes—this was from working in the summer sun on his uncle’s farm.

The mercury vapor lights made the metal tabs on his shirt collar glisten like twisted stars. Bart’s shirt was western cut—he always wore it when he had on his silver belt buckle. He had won the buckle at the Stettler Rodeo when he was 16 years old. The win had cost him five broken ribs, a twisted ankle, and the tip of his right small finger. He once told me the buckle would have been worth his entire finger.

Bart ran a callused hand along the hood of the Chevy. Then he looked in at Kort and said: “Son of a bitch, this is some car—where’d you get her?”

“Same place you could get one if you’d work on the rigs,” said Kort.

By this time, Bart was standing next to Kort’s door. Bart looked in and saw me, then he spotted the two girls in the back seat.

“Hop in, and I’ll show you how this thing takes the corners,” said Kort.

Bart shrugged and reached for Jill’s door. I guess he thought he was going to get in the back seat and sit beside her.

 

Believe it or not, you’ve just meet some of the teenagers I grew up with.  Here is the rest of the story

Saturday Night COOL

Saturday Night Cool

written by jaron summers (c) 2024

 

Recalling the disco fever of “Saturday Night Fever,” which immortalized Brooklyn and made John Travolta a global sensation, I’m taken back to a different time and place—Coronation, Alberta.

This small Canadian town, twenty miles from where k.d. lang grew up, held its own kind of Saturday night ritual.

In the town, there was only one movie theater, known as The Avalon. When I was twelve, I had a small job there tearing tickets. In exchange, I received free popcorn and Cokes, and the privilege to watch every movie that was shown; some of the films ran for a week at a time.

Often I watched the same movie seven or eight times…I decided that I would go to Hollywood and become a writer.   
 
The enduring image that comes to mind when I think of those Coronation Saturday nights is the battered farm trucks, mostly half-tons, that stood against the icy October chill on Main Street under the full moon.
 
These trucks, parked in front of the town’s only beer parlor, were silent sentinels to a harsher aspect of rural life.
 

Inside almost every truck, a farmer’s wife waited and shivered, bearing the weather’s bite and the wear of life’s trials. These women, much like the vehicles they sat in, bore the marks of hard use.

The men often drank to excess and, in a nasty twist of fate, chastised their wives for the very act of keeping warm, accusing them of wasting gasoline for their comfort.

It was a scene of stark contrasts: the escapism offered by the flickering images of The Avalon and the sobering reality awaiting those women in their trucks. 

That’s what Hollywood turned out to be for me.  Stark  contrasts. Sobering reality.  Flickering images.  

But I’m pleased to report I never bought my wife a truck and left her to shiver in the cold.  

 

 

 

 

 

Memories are locked in my memory of Coronation and Saturday nights after the only movie theater closed.

 

 

 

God’s Helper

God’s Helper

written by

jaron summers © 2024

 

Chapter One

I reckon I’ve got myself into a bit of a pickle, financially speaking. It’s getting harder and harder to pursue my unique hobby—not out of a lack of will, mind you, but due to the downright stubborn emptiness of my wallet. 

Here I am, nearly sixty, hiding in the heart of a tiny town in Alberta, where the air feels just like it did when I was a spry seven-year-old. It’s home, through and through, though the folks around here don’t rightly know how deep our connections run.

Now, I’ve got to be clever about my… let’s call it my special pastime. Not exactly what you’d call a job, more like a calling, but without the holy overtones. Most folks have this notion, probably from watching too many flicks, that folks in my line of work are swimming in cash. They think we’re all dolled up, jet-setting villains with nary a care besides plotting our next grand exit. Ha! If only they knew the truth of it.

The reality is, I’m about as flush with cash as a dry well in the middle of a drought. This financial pinch has me moonlighting as a janitor, of all things. Can you imagine? There’s a certain irony in cleaning up messes by day and…well, making entirely different sorts of messes by night. But let me tell you, it’s a bit of a juggle, and it sure does take the wind out of your sails when it comes to ridding the world of its more unsavory characters.

You might wonder how I pick ’em. It’s not about their job, their messes, or their successes. No, sir. It’s simpler than that. I’ve got a rule: if they’re mean to kids, they’re on my list. The world’s a smidge better with each one gone. And I’ve dealt with all sorts, from the downright monstrous to the seemingly mild who harbor a streak of cruelty so wide you could drive a wagon through it.

The law and those movie types figured out there’s a serial killer on the loose, sure. But did they ever connect the dots, see the pattern in who I was choosing? Not a chance. There’s a sea of folks out there who’ve got it coming, by my reckoning, for how they treat the little ones.

Take, for example, the sweet-looking grandma I once observed twisting her granddaughter’s ear something fierce. A few days later, she was taking a permanent nap at the bottom of a slough. At her funeral, they all waxed poetic about her love for children. If only they knew.

So, I watch, and I wait. And when someone crosses that line, well…they don’t get a chance to cross it again. I figure if there’s a God out there watching all this, He’s got to understand. And if He doesn’t, well, maybe He’s not the God I thought He was. And don’t even start with me on the idea of God being a woman—that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

In this little corner of the world, I’m something of a shadow, watching over things in my own peculiar way, guided by a moral compass that points squarely at protecting the innocence of childhood, no matter the personal cost. And let me tell you, in this line of work, the personal cost is high—but then again, so are the stakes.

 

What does our Universe Think?

Written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

The interplay between science and religion, through the lens of empirical evidence and faith, presents a rich tapestry of human endeavor to understand the universe.

Within this intricate dialogue, the simulation hypothesis emerges as a compelling narrative, suggesting that our reality might be nothing more than a computer-generated illusion, overseen by a superior intelligence.

This concept, while speculative, marries the rigor of scientific inquiry with the depth of philosophical thought, reminiscent of the existential quests undertaken by religion.

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, introduced in his work “The Republic,” serves as an early precursor to this idea. It describes prisoners chained in a cave, only able to see shadows cast on a wall by objects passing in front of a fire behind them.

This allegory suggests that our perceptions of reality are but shadows of the true forms existing in a higher realm of understanding. Similarly, Descartes’ Evil Demon scenario posits that a malevolent demon could be deceiving us, making us believe in a reality that does not exist.

Both scenarios challenge our assumptions about the nature of reality and our capacity to perceive it accurately.

Nick Bostrom’s 2003 paper “Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?” revitalized these ancient philosophical questions, proposing the simulation hypothesis with a modern twist.

Bostrom’s trilemma suggests we are likely living in a simulation, given certain assumptions about technological advancement and the interests of future civilizations.

Several world-renowned scientists have entertained the simulation hypothesis, contributing to its popularity and credibility:

1. Elon Musk: Although not a scientist in the traditional sense, Musk is a significant technologist and entrepreneur who has publicly stated he believes the chances that we are not living in a simulation are “one in billions.”

2. Neil deGrasse Tyson: The astrophysicist has expressed that he finds the simulation hypothesis compelling, assigning a “50-50 chance” that our universe is artificial.

3. James Gates: A theoretical physicist known for his work on supersymmetry, Gates has found computer code—error-correcting codes, to be precise—embedded within the equations of string theory, which he suggests could be indicative of a base reality akin to that of a computer simulation.

4. Nick Bostrom: A philosopher at the University of Oxford, Bostrom formalized the simulation hypothesis in his seminal paper, arguing for the serious consideration of our reality possibly being a simulation.

5. Ray Kurzweil: A futurist and engineer, Kurzweil has speculated on the implications of rapid technological advancements, including the potential for creating highly realistic simulations that could be indistinguishable from “real” reality.

The allure of the simulation hypothesis lies not in empirical evidence, which remains elusive, but in its ability to inspire cross-disciplinary dialogue spanning science, philosophy, and beyond.

It underscores a shared human quest for knowledge, echoing through the corridors of history from Plato’s cave to the forefront of technological speculation.

In weaving together the philosophical musings of Plato and Descartes with the modern discourse on simulation theory, we find a continuum of inquiry.

This exploration transcends the dichotomy of science versus religion, revealing a collective yearning to comprehend the profound mysteries of existence.

Through the contemplation of such hypotheses, science does not stray from its empirical foundations but rather demonstrates its openness to pondering the grand questions of reality, consciousness, and the cosmos.

The List

Written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

 

Thick novels sell. 

Their depth offers blueprints for binge-worthy TV series. Or feature films. 

Each hefty tome carries a universe. Heroes embark on quests, their flaws birthing conflicts and victories. These are narratives ripe for the screen.

Consider AI’s role. Could machines craft such epics? The thought tickles the imagination.

At this instant, AI seems a tsunamia from hell. Either ride the wild beast or feel its heels smash into your head.  I say figure out a way to use its power.

Start by using it to proofread your last chapter.  You can do it for free.   

Type: Hey AI, please correct this chapter for spelling, grammar and tone. Give me bullet points and page numbers of your corrections. 

Hit return.  Read the results. Use what works for you.   

Digital platforms like SendOwl transform authors into publishers. Stories leap from page to screen, reaching eager audiences worldwide.

I muse on storytelling’s future. My voice, blending past and present, predicts the merging of literary depth with digital breadth.  What does that mean?

Within six months AI will write a novel that will win major prizes.  Within a year, AI will create a movie that is okay.  Within three years AI’s movies will win Academy Awards. Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe it’s two years. 

Hollywood craves thick novels. Their complex plots and characters perfect for serial adaptation.

Passion and a smile can open doors here.

Sites like Save the Cat and Scriptshadow guide screenwriters. They reveal the craft’s heart.

You need a few bucks to make your epic, right? 

Think: German tax shelters, strategic investments, and maybe this

Beware of agents demanding upfront fees. True partnerships flourish on mutual success.

A producer’s lunch test? Offer to pay. If they accept, walk away. Your stories deserve better allies.

The secret to writing? The first million words are just the beginning. After, every word is a deeper mystery.

Thick novels are perculating series, inviting viewers into worlds chapter by chapter.

Thick novels often sell for their serial potential. They bridge the literary and digital, promising adventures for readers and viewers alike.

What do I know about guessing the future?  Probably not as much as you do. 

On the other hand

 

Mystical Mare’s Moonlit Meanderings

Written By

jaron summers (c) 2024

 

If a person is optimistic about the continued growth of the U.S. economy, they might consider investing in stocks that are well-positioned to benefit from such growth.

While I can’t predict future market movements or offer personalized investment advice, I can suggest a variety of sectors and representative companies that are commonly viewed as strong performers in a booming economy.

Here are ten stocks across different sectors:

1. **Technology Sector (e.g., Apple Inc. – AAPL)**: Technology companies, especially large ones like Apple, often lead in growth phases due to innovation and consumer demand for tech products and services.

2. **Consumer Discretionary (e.g., Amazon.com Inc. – AMZN)**: As the economy grows, consumer spending typically increases, benefiting companies like Amazon that sell a wide range of consumer goods.

3. **Financial Services (e.g., JPMorgan Chase & Co. – JPM)**: Financial institutions often thrive in a growing economy due to increased lending and investment activities.

4. **Healthcare (e.g., Johnson & Johnson – JNJ)**: Healthcare companies can be resilient with steady demand, and they often continue to grow as they innovate and expand their product lines.

5. **Industrial (e.g., Caterpillar Inc. – CAT)**: Industrial companies can benefit from increased construction and manufacturing activity in a growing economy.

6. **Energy (e.g., Exxon Mobil Corp. – XOM)**: Energy companies can see increased demand as economic activity ramps up, especially if it leads to more transportation and industrial activity.

7. **Consumer Staples (e.g., Procter & Gamble Co. – PG)**: Even in a booming economy, consumer staples remain essential, making companies like Procter & Gamble stable investment choices.

8. **Communication Services (e.g., Alphabet Inc. – GOOGL)**: Companies like Alphabet, the parent of Google, benefit from increased advertising and communication needs in a growing economy.

9. **Real Estate (e.g., Simon Property Group – SPG)**: Real estate investment trusts (REITs) can be good investments during economic growth, as they benefit from higher occupancy rates and potentially rising property values.

10. **Utilities (e.g., NextEra Energy – NEE)**: Utilities are typically seen as stable investments and can provide balance to a portfolio, even in a growing economy.

Before investing, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research or consult with a financial advisor. Diversification across different sectors can help manage risk.

Additionally, keep in mind that investing always involves risk, and past performance is not indicative of future results.

How did I come up with those ten stocks?  Simple.  I asked ChatGPT.  Just for fun I’m going to buy all ten tomorrow.  Let’s see what happens. 

I may figure out a way to post the hourly changes on this site.  

Getting High at Your Wedding

written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

In a whimsical twist to our wedding in the enchanting city of San Diego, my beloved bride, Lady Gigglesnort, and I, Sir Chucklebeard, embarked on a matrimonial journey unlike any other.

The stage was set for a grand spectacle, with Lady Gigglesnort donning a leather glove, atop which perched a juicy morsel of quail meat, ready to summon our extraordinary ring bearer.

As our stunned guests watched, a majestic falcon, Sir Flapalot, glided gracefully towards Lady Gigglesnort, its mission to deliver our gleaming wedding bands.

The moment was filled with magic and mirth and a touch of horror.

Lady Gigglesnort, with her usual playful wit, had dreamed up what was supposed to unfold without a hitch. 

She, with
the renowned falconer, Baron Beakmaster, were a testament to our love for whimsy and animals.

His establishment, The Aviary of Amusement, located in picturesque Long Beach, California, provided us with this unique opportunity.

All was going splendidly, with guests marveling at the skill of Sir Flapalot, when an unforeseen twist unfolded.

Out of nowhere, a colossal alpha raven, Lord Ravenous, appeared with a dramatic flair.

With a surprising display of strength and audacity, Lord Ravenous swooped down, seized Lady Gigglesnort in his talons, and flew off into the blue yonder, leaving the guests and me in a mix of shock and awe.

I, Sir Chucklebeard, along with the gallant Baron Beakmaster and our brave wedding party, embarked on a chase to rescue my beloved bride.

The pursuit was nothing short of a scene from a fantastical tale, with Lord Ravenous leading us on a merry dance across the LA skyline.

In the end, it was Lady Gigglesnort’s irresistible charm and gentle persuasion that convinced Lord Ravenous to return her safely to the ground.

The wedding resumed amidst much relief and laughter, with the guests buzzing with excitement over the unexpected adventure.

This eventful wedding, marked by the brief but thrilling escapade with Lord Ravenous, turned our special day into a legendary tale, woven with love, laughter, and a touch of wild whimsy.

It was a celebration that none of us would ever forget, a perfect blend of tradition, humor, and a dash of the extraordinary.”

Editor’s note.  Four months after the above Lady Gigglesnort announced she was pregnant.  Here is her sonogram. 

TIMING

TIMING 

written by 

Jaron summers © 2024

Jack and Jill knew how to kiss, a fact they discovered on their first encounter at 10:28 MST in Vail, Colorado. 

By their third date, Jack was anticipating the best sexual experience ever. 

Forty-two minutes into that date, Jill, 32, stopped the  smooching and asserted she was an “agrapha rapa.”

She explained it was an expression she had concocted to describe her fondness for poetry and dancing. She also said she was a virgin. 

“Are you a Mormon, perhaps?”

“No, but I believe it’s important to really know each other before getting too physically intimate.

“Waiting for the right time allows one to truly understand the other person.”

“You never really know someone until you break up,” said Jack.

“I don’t know if I believe that,” she said. 

They shared a gentle kiss, and a week later, they parted ways, not to see each other again until June 2nd, ten years later.

This chance encounter at 4:01 PM, occurred 22 days after both had divorced their spouses, who were medical doctors, now living together. 

At the time of Jack and Jill’s unexpected meeting, they were each nursing lattes in the café where they first met. And here they were, together again.

“Are you stalking me?” he asked.

“Why would you think that?” 

“You appear every decade.”

“Once in a decade,” Jill corrected. “I heard about your divorce.”. 

“As I said, you never know a person until you break up. Discover anything about your ex when you untied the knot?” 

“Quite a lot,” she admitted.

“So much for your theory that led you to be an “agrapha rapa.”

“Live and learn,” she said at 4:05 PM PST.

Seventeen minutes later, they found themselves in a nearby hotel where they lost track of time for exactly seven hours. 

 

Divine Discoverers

written by 

jaron summers (c) 2024

once upon a time, in an age where the stars whispered secrets and the universe spun its mysterious tales, there lived a fella named Frank Sharpe, known among his peers as “God’s Geek.”

Frank, a man who held the Good Book in one hand and a scientific tome in the other, led a team of starry-eyed adventurers called the Photon Wranglers. They were a crew as dedicated to unraveling the cosmos’s riddles as a hound dog is to a scent.

Now, these Photon Wranglers, with their eyes glued to the James Webb Telescope, had their minds set on deciphering the secrets of the Big Bang. Frank, a staunch believer in Hugh Everett’s mind-bending theories, always held that by merely observing, they could stir the cosmic soup and change the recipe.

One fine day, or night, considering these folks kept odd hours, they spotted a galaxy, faster than a jackrabbit, hurtling towards our Milky Way.

It was a collision course of celestial proportions, with an endgame set in just a few Earth days. The situation was stickier than molasses in January.

But Frank, never one to balk at the impossible, proposed a wild idea. “Folks,” he said, “what if we just look at this impending doom through our trusty Webb? Maybe, just maybe, our gaze might steer the course of these cosmic behemoths.”

Some called it folly, others a stroke of genius. But when the Wranglers trained their telescope on the galactic dance, lo and behold, the universe blinked. In ways only understood by those who speak its language, the calamitous path altered, stretched over the eons.

The Milky Way and Earth were spared, saved by the sight of those who dared to look and, by looking, change the narrative of the stars.

And so, the tale of Frank Sharpe and his Photon Wranglers became a legend whispered in the hallowed halls of science and beyond, a testament to the power of faith, science, and a good, hard look into the heart of the cosmos.

Markus Knew Stuff

Written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

You want to hear a wild coincidence, as strange as a fish teaching fission?

I chanced upon a ten-year-old Cadillac Eldorado, a real gem, at an estate sale in Brentwood, California.

It had a mere 13,000 miles on it, as if it had been waiting just for me.

For six years, I drove it around LA without a hiccup. Having paid a pittance of $2,900, I decided to pass on the luck. I told a family friend in Burbank, “Park this Caddy in your yard, slap a ‘For Sale’ sign on it, and you might turn a tidy profit.”

Enter Markus, a chap from Scotland with a brain so bright, it could outshine a lighthouse. He was a walking encyclopedia on music, theater, and foreign casinos. Next to him, I felt about as sharp as a sack of wet mice.

He bought the Caddy and it was the beginning of our fun relationship.  

Markus had tales of the Canadian North, where he worked near the Arctic Circle. He seemed to know more about Edmonton than a local historian.

I had spent much of my life in Edmonton, about 2,000 miles away. 

Months into our friendship, during a sun-drenched lunch, Markus mentioned The Edmonton Journal. “I worked for them in ’68 and ’69,” I said, reminiscing about a piece on the Hippies in San Francisco that I wrote.

Turns out, Markus was practically a Hippie Historian. He worked for a publisher in Edmonton, some fellow named Pug or Pew.

“Pew, you say?” I chimed in. “Ever meet his secretary, Margret?”

Markus was doubtful. “Did you date her?”

“No, no,” I laughed. “She was as old as the hills, with summer-brown hair dyed over winter white. Wore sandals that looked like they were stitched by elves and lived with her son, Dick.”

Markus, amazed, thought I was spinning yarns. “Check with my mother,” I offered.

“And why would she know?”

“She’s been doing Margret’s hair for a decade, lives right across the street!”

How’s that for coincidence?

Secrets of The Rich & Famous

written by

 jaron summers (c) 2024

Meeting Dwight S. Timberly, the CEO of the world’s largest telecommunications company, was like stumbling upon a diamond in a coal mine. 

Picture this: the majestic Canadian Rockies, a symphony of nature’s finest work.

But there’s me, comfortably blending into the backdrop of the Elk Hotel and Inn, a charmingly shabby collection of cabins that screamed ‘budget-friendly’ to travelers like me. 

Then in rolls Mr. Timberly, in his shiny new Rolls Royce.

You see, fate’s funny sometimes. Banff was brimming with tourists, leaving us with no choice but to be neighbors in these rustic, log-built quarters. I, in my trusty 30-year-old Honda Accord, and he, in his gleaming symbol of luxury, ended up bunking next to each other.

And when the sun rudely woke me at 2 AM–yes, it’s a thing in the Canadian summer–little did I know that this would be the start of an unusual friendship.

Now, here’s the kicker about Mr. Timberly. He’s not just any wealthy businessman. He’s a maestro in the art of ‘customer support’. His billion-dollar secret? Keep ’em on hold. 

Picture this: millions of customers, trapped in an endless loop of cheesy hold music and relentless sales pitches. Every five minutes, a voice dripping with faux sympathy apologizes for the delay, only to dangle another product in front of these captive listeners.

It’s like a never-ending infomercial, and you can’t hang up because, well, you need help.

The sheer genius of it! It’s a labyrinth with no exit, a merry-go-round of upselling. And there I was, chuckling at the absurdity of it all, sharing a wall with the puppet master himself.

Who would have thought? In the heart of the Canadian Rockies, I discovered the secret behind one of the telecommunications giants–a strategy so devilishly simple, it was brilliant.

And that, my friends, is how I met Dwight S. Timberly, the man who turned waiting for hours, with a phone pressed against your sore ear, into a gold mine.

I recall our last conversation.  

I asked Dwight, we were on a first name basis, how elderly people, many of whom are baffled by the simplest technology,  could possibly listen for an hour or two of customer support to find out how to turn on their latest smart phone.  A phone that could save their lives with a call to 911. 

Dwight smiled. “The truth is old folks are simply a version of planned obsolescence. And it’s not our problem.”

Fly Me to the Moon

written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

You won’t notice her as she helps you lug your suitcase down the jet’s aisle.

She smiles behind a touch of too much makeup and her shoes are not sexy now. Polished but functional with one-inch heels.

Her hair would be grey if she did not color it and there are lines, not all of them from laughter.

She is an old flight attendant and it took all of her energy to get out of bed and pull on her uniform and “welcome” a thousand strangers who do not look at her anymore.

There was a time…

Ah, what a time. When the airlines were young and so was she. Every trip was an adventure and she stayed up too late and partied too much and soaked up too much sun.

Three-day layovers in Hawaii…before the computers had figured out how to lock her into a Kona-turn. That’s when she flies there and back in one day.

Now it’s a win-win deal for the airlines. All they have to do is buy her lunch and with the revised union contracts, they can make her do 90 percent of the cabin cleaners’ work while the ground crew refuels the DC-10 for a trip back to Los Angeles that very same day.

The good old days. She and her husband had a lot of laughs but he liked hot chicks and it was tough to be hot after flying across America and back on a long weekend.

Goodbye husband.

She was on her own.

At first the money was okay and benefits were decent. But that changed after bankruptcies and threats of bankruptcies. And all the deals that the unions made for her turned to smoke — they got her to work more hours, for less pay and fly farther.

She could quit but she lost all of her money in her 401K because she believed in the stock that her airlines offered her.

Management stole tens of millions. She was left holding an empty nest egg.

Sure, she could work for McDonald’s or Target. Have to start at the bottom. What’s the point? She’s already at the bottom.

The few eligible guys joke that she served coffee to Wilbur and Orville.

The bachelors zero in on the sleek female executives sitting beside them and maybe they talk to the new hire flight attendants who balance their lithe bodies on three inch heels and know just how to flip their blonde hair.

Who wants an old flight attendant with 35 years of seniority for a lover or even a friend?

Look past the makeup.

That tired old flight attendant can tell you stories that will rock your life and she can take you any place in the world she wants.

Most airlines still give their flight attendants companion coupons. Companion coupon? Lets put it this way. If that old broad wanted to she could snare you a ticket with one of her coupons and you’d fly first class from LA to Sydney for $400. The passenger next to you would pay $20,000.

Look in the mirror yourself, Jet Setter.

Gosh, is that Grecian Formula in your thinning locks?

The Foundations of Great Religions: Sex, Eternity, Miracles

written by 

Jaron Summers (c) 2023

 

Throughout history, great religions have been shaped by three fundamental concepts: sex, eternity, and miracles.

These elements are not just incidental; they form the bedrock of religious narratives, ethics, and existential understandings across various cultures and epochs.

Firstly, sex represents the genesis of life and the continuation of human existence.

In many religious traditions, it is imbued with sacred significance, symbolizing the union of divine and mortal realms or the harmonization of fundamental cosmic forces.

For instance, in Hinduism, the union of Shiva and Parvati epitomizes a cosmic balance.

Similarly, in many Western religions, sexual morality is a cornerstone, reflecting broader spiritual principles and the sanctity of human relationships.

Eternity, the second pillar, addresses the human quest for understanding the nature of existence beyond the temporal realm.

Religions offer narratives about the afterlife, reincarnation, or eternal consciousness, providing answers to questions about the soul’s destiny after death.

The concept of eternity also underscores the impermanence of earthly life, urging adherents to focus on spiritual development and moral living.

Lastly, miracles are pivotal in religions as they signify the intervention of the divine in the mortal world.

They serve as proof of the existence and power of a higher entity, inspiring faith and awe.

Miracles, whether they are healing, resurrection, or supernatural events, challenge the ordinary laws of nature, thereby reinforcing the mystery and majesty of the divine.

Sex, eternity, and miracles are not mere aspects but the very pillars on which great religions stand.

They address fundamental human concerns about origin, purpose, and destiny, weaving a tapestry that connects the tangible with the transcendental, the human with the divine.

The problem is that the more successful any single religion becomes, the more it is likely to instill in its followers what a fine idea it would be to kill, starve, shoot, hang, decapitate, decimate, kick, bite, and blind those who are not of their tribe.   

From One Pocket to Another

Written by 

jaron summers (c) 2023

As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, my wife once fell victim to a cunning group of pickpockets who stole her wallet.

What followed was a surprising turn of events, thanks to a strategy suggested by our friend, Tony Giorgio.

On August 7, 1998, my wife visited a local supermarket. While shopping, she was approached by an elderly woman who asked for help reaching an item on a high shelf. Obliging, my wife turned her back to her shopping cart. It was during this brief moment that her wallet was stolen.

The realization hit her at the checkout counter when she reached into her purse and found her wallet missing. It contained her identification, credit cards, keys, and about $250 in cash.

The only time her purse was out of her sight was when she was assisting the old lady, and it became clear that this was a planned distraction.

Reporting the incident to the store manager, she was met with indifference. His lack of assistance and understanding was shocking. Later that day, I called the manager, who revealed that this was not an isolated incident.

A group of professional thieves, using an elderly woman as a decoy, had been operating in the store.

Despite this, the store had not taken effective measures to catch them or warn customers.

Taking Tony’s advice, my wife drafted a letter to the Supermarket President. She meticulously described the incident and the items lost.

She emphasized the store’s knowledge of such thefts and their failure to warn her, making a strong case for their liability.

In her letter, she demanded restitution of $562, the total value of her loss. To our astonishment, the store responded by sending a check for the full amount.

Tony, a master dice hustler and a technical advisor for “Harry In Your Pocket,” a film about pickpockets, had guided us well. While I’m no legal expert, I learned a valuable lesson: If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s worth checking if the store has had similar incidents.

Their acknowledgment could be key in seeking compensation. This experience was not just a lesson in recovering from theft, but also a reminder of the unforeseen twists life can offer.

We get old … if we’re lucky but …

written by 

jaron summers (c) 2023

Old people die.  What happens to young people who don’t want to age? They DIE! What happens if you don’t care? You DIE!

No one knows when … that’s the fun. As John Wayne, the philosopher and cowboy, once said, “Tomorrow is promised to no one.” And, if he didn’t say it, he should have.

There is a difference between looking old and acting old. You can spend zillions looking young.

Instead: act and think young. That’s not easy, but you save money on plastic surgery.

Throw parties with your extra cash. Buy lunch for your friends and enemies. Be kind. Die with a smile

Will she make it to 200?

written by 
jaron summers (c) 2023
 

Kate at our secret beach on her birthday…December 21. She never liked having her birthday so close to Christmas so we changed it to June 21.

But somehow we ended up celebrating her birthday twice a year. Kate was 134 years old in this photo.

I think she’s held up pretty well.

I wonder how this novel will end up?

 

       
 
written by 
jaron summers (c) 2023

 

No Offense Given; None Taken

There wasn’t much to do Saturday night except a movie at The Avalon, the town’s only theater, or maybe have a cold Coke and a warm piece of pie at Chong’s Cafe. Sometimes there was a dance or a wedding. 

Mac’s pool hall had no ventilation, blue with grimy smoke (from roll-your-owns) that made me cough. Mac in his 80s, smoked Camels jammed into a cracked ivory cigarette holder. He was usually drunk, and one night he threw his 75-year-old, 95-pound wife out of their home. She slept in a wicker clothes basket in his tool shed.  

Mac teased me about being a virgin. “Hey, when are you going to get a piece of ass? Time is flying, Boy.  Get it when you can. ” This chiding was tough to endure when there were only a couple of regulars in his pool hall, but it was more than I could handle when the place was packed with farmers, ranchers and locals … all itching for an opportunity to laugh. 

Friday and Saturday nights, I avoided Mac’s. Mostly just walked around. 

“Hey, Sport,” said a voice.

I squinted down the dusty alley that bordered Chong’s Cafe.

Kort was sitting behind the wheel of a new 1961 Chevy Coupe. Kort was 18, the same as me—except he looked like a man—he’d been shaving since he was 12, and he had muscles. Big muscles—the kind that made it easy for him to fling monstrous hay bales around like they were prairie puffballs on his father’s farm.

“What are you doing in town?” I asked.

“Came to see my woman—it’s her birthday tomorrow. Got her some imported French perfume. Like my new buggy?”

“It’s great,” I said. I was thinking about Jill. She had sparkling green eyes and was my idea of what a 17-year-old dream girl should be.  Jill could have any guy she wanted, but I never put the moves on her because Kort had asked me to keep an eye on her while he was roughnecking on the oil rigs of Northern Alberta.

Kort and I had been buddies since the third grade, and dozens of times he had stopped locals from breaking my underdeveloped body into smaller pieces. When a friend like that asks you for a favor, it’s hard to say no.

“Pile in,” he said. “Let’s liven up this berg.”

For a new car, the Chevy was deteriorating quickly—a dent in the rear fender, a broken bumper, and a missing tail light. The back window was cracked and caked with mud. I guess that’s what happens when you work in the oil fields.

I walked around to the passenger side and got in.

“Seen much of Jill?” asked Kort, grinding the car into second and turning onto Main Street: a couple of hardware stores, a couple of service stations, a couple of banks, a couple of cafes, a couple of grocery stores, and a couple of laundries. There was also a drug store, a butcher shop, and a junk shop.

“No.”

“Anybody been getting down to brass tacks with her?”

“Not that I’ve heard of.” Brass tacks was Bret’s code for getting laid. 

He reached under his seat and snared a bottle of beer. He offered it to me; I shook my head, gave him a weak smile.

“Still don’t drink, ‘eh? Remember them times your old man got drunk at the barbecues, and one night old lady McCalpine called your mother and said your old man was rooting around like a crazy bear in her carrot patch?”

“Yeah. I remember.” I didn’t want to remember.  Dad drank far too much but so did most guys in our tiny corner of Alberta. 

“Well, pop the lid on this brew for me.”

I found the bottle opener and flipped off the bottle cap. I passed the bottle to him, and Kort lifted it to his lips and took a long pull. Then he gave a sidelong glance. “Hey, you’ve been putting on muscle—another couple of months, and you can be a roughneck.”

“Mom says it’s too dangerous.”

“Doesn’t she know our middle names are danger, Pal?” Kort wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his jean jacket. He looked at me and smiled, smiled with the satisfaction of a man who had left home and was successful in the world. “By the way, thanks for keeping an eye on Jill. Anything I should know?”

I wondered if he had heard that I had gone to the movies with Jill a few days earlier. “Naw. She studies a lot. Everyone says she’s going to university”.”

And there she was, the dream girl. 

Jill stood in front of The Builder’s Hardware amid a group of Hutterites who had come into town for Saturday night. The Hutterites dressed in black shoes, black pants, black skirts, black shirts, and black hats. They spoke English with a thick German accent and lived in a Hutterite colony about twenty miles from Coronation—they collectively held massive sections of land. But the individual owned nothing. The head man of the colony gave the men enough money to buy a couple of beers on Saturday nights. The women didn’t get any money, so they waited on the streets and window shopped while their men drank beer and talked. There was usually a brawl somewhere in the town around midnight.  Not among the Hutterites.  They watched the locals kick the shit out of each other.   

Jill was a daisy in a field of black shadows, standing there in the middle of all those Hutterites. I don’t think I ever remember anyone looking more beautiful. She could have frozen an incoming missile with one of her minor smiles.

She saw me and flashed me a warm smile—with teeth as white and perfect as chicklets. Then she looked past me and saw Kort, grinning at her.

“Hi, Kort,” she said. “What are you doing back in town?”

“Passing through—“

“I like your car.”

“This old jalopy? Bought it off a toolpush who got a contract for South America. Get in., Jill”

“OK if Irene comes with us?”

“Sure.”

Jill flashed Kort a sparkling smile. (Until I saw that smile, I didn’t think Jill was capable of a warmer smile than she had given me. That gives you an idea of how much I knew about women.)

Jill opened the back door of the car so that her friend could get in. Out of the shadows came her friend — she had acne that was close to a terminal case, lightly cross-eyed, and her nose was not great. I was afraid she was going to be my date for the night.

“Hey,” said Kort. “Why don’t you sit up here with me?”

“Irene and I want to talk—“

“You can talk any time.”

“What’s on your mind, Mr. Roughneck?” giggled Jill. She stayed in the back seat. 

Kort flashed me an annoyed look. “Women,” he mumbled.”

“That’s an evil tone to your voice,” said Jill. “You’re better than that, Brett.”

“No offense given, none taken,” said Brett. That was an expression he had recently learned from one of his uncles. I had to admit it took people off guard and made Brett seem kind of educated. 

“Wow.  You must have been reading some of the classics.”  There was approval in her voice. 

 “Here, Pretty Lady.  Happy Birthday. Pass this back to her, Jerry”  he said and I handed her a small package wrapped in silver and gold.

As he drove down Main Street Jill undid the wrapping, and both girls squealed with delight. “It’s all the way from Paris,” said Irene. Kort checked his rearview mirror, keeping one eye on Jill. I had an eye on Kort. 

Jill screamed: “Stop!”

BEGIN EDIT SUNDAY

Kort hit the brakes, and my forehead nearly bounced against the windshield. If we had been going any faster, I would have probably gone through the glass.

Standing nonchalantly on the gravel road—two inches in front of the Chevy’s hood was Bart Barley. Actually, his name was Harland Barley, but everyone called him Bart Barley—but never to his face. Bart Barley and Kort were the two toughest guys in town. No one messed with them. They both had the same philosophy—if anyone challenged them to a fight, they exploded like hammers coming out of hell.

(Dec 18 23) 

Bart—who had seen Rebel Without A Cause about a dozen times—was lighting a cigarette. He took a long drag, let the smoke trickle out of his wide nostrils, tucked the package into his sleeve, pulled his ear, adjusted the crotch of his jeans. He glanced into the headlights of the Chevy as though he had seen it for the first time. Bart had skin the color and texture of old potatoes—this was from working in the summer sun on his uncle’s farm.

The mercury vapor lights made the metal tabs on his shirt collar glisten like twisted stars. Bart’s shirt was western cut—he always wore it when he had on his silver belt buckle. He had won the buckle at the Stettler Rodeo when he was 16 years old. The win had cost him five broken ribs, a twisted ankle, and the tip of his right small finger. He once told me the buckle would have been worth his entire finger.

Bart ran a callused hand along the hood of the Chevy. Then he looked in at Kort and said: “Son of a bitch, this is some car—where’d you get her?”

“Same place you could get one if you’d work on the rigs,” said Kort.

By this time Bart was standing next to Kort’s door. Bart looked in and saw me, then he spotted the two girls in the back seat.

“Hop in, and I’ll show you how this thing takes the corners,” said Kort.

Bart shrugged and reached for Jill’s door. I guess he

 

People Familar with the Matter

Above, AI illustrates various “people familar with the matter.”   

 

 

Written by Jaron Summers (c) 2023  

In the good old days when I was earning a degree in journalism from Brigham Young University, people familiar with the sources, said that a grievous error resulted when I ended up as editor of BYU’s newspaper, The Daily Universe.

As people familiar with geography will tell you, The Daily Universe was published in Provo, Utah, where BYU has a campus of about 34,000 students.

As historians, familiar with north and south, point out The Daily Universe was misnamed. Our student newspaper seldom mentioned planets or stars. The last time our august publication mentioned anything about Provo was fifty-three years ago.

World news occasionally made the second page. And, then the event would have to be awesome. Something like China prepares to nuke our student center.

Any member of our staff who uses a source has to identify the source. No one ever heard of a course such as People Familiar with the Matter.

According to editors familiar with common sense, if you quote a witness, you must give us the person’s name, home address and hair color.

Next time you fail to supply an accurate name for a source,  you’re fired! 
 

Got it?

Those familiar with watches will tell you that we live in different times.

And those familiar with their noses will tell you today, that failing to identify a source stinks!

Investment Secrets

INVESTMENT SECRETS

written by

jaron summers (c) 20223

I’ve spent what feels like a lifetime trying to figure out the best times to buy and sell stocks. This fancy dance is called market timing.

The investing bigwigs, like Warren Buffet (ever heard of him? Yeah, he’s just one of the richest folks on Earth), don’t really buy into this whole timing thing. He’s more of a ‘buy and forget for two decades’ type. Me? I once boldly declared that Amazon would plummet to less than twenty-five bucks. Spoiler alert: It didn’t.

Despite my chest-thumping, picking winners and losers isn’t exactly my superpower. I even goofed up predicting gold prices. Whoops!

Remember Cisco? I bought it when it was flying high at $60, only to watch it nosedive to about $10. If only I’d had the foresight (or a crystal ball), I could’ve made a killing by selling short. But like most folks, I’m not exactly a fortune teller.

Speaking of fortune-telling, ever noticed how in poker, the pros read other players? Uncle Jack coughs when he’s bluffing, and Aunt Bee frowns with aces up her sleeve.

But stocks? They’re trickier. No coughs or frowns to help us out. Is it high hemlines or CEOs splurging on jets that signal a market crash? Nah, none of these quirky indicators really work.

I’ve got a new theory, though. Follow a repo man or woman. You know, the ones who sneak up on folks who’ve missed one too many car payments.

Vehicle repo is booming. In 2022, a car was stolen every 30 seconds, but a car was ‘popped’ (repossessed) every 20 seconds!

Here’s my big tip: Keep an eye on those flashy corporate execs buying swanky cars. When the economy dips, their fancy rides are the first to go. If you spot a repo dude popping cars at a company’s parking lot, you know that company’s in trouble.

But hey, not all’s doom and gloom. If you want to invest in a company on the rise, buddy up with the folks in the shipping department.

More shipments mean business is booming, and that’s usually good news for the stock.

This gem of a tip comes from my second cousin, a whip-smart fund manager. It’s all about knowing the right people, not necessarily the CEOs.

Of course, my strategy isn’t foolproof. Imagine someone repossessing my SUV. I’d just park it at a successful company’s lot to throw them off.

And what if those busy shipping clerks are actually part of a grand heist, sending all the goods to a gang of crooks? Your investment could crash faster than you can say “inside job.”

Maybe the real secret is investing in yourself. Sure, you might end up broke, but hey, what’s the point of dying rich? 

The world’s first and best computer

The human brain is often considered the first and best “computer” that exists on Earth for several compelling reasons:

1. Complexity and Efficiency: The human brain is extraordinarily complex, containing approximately 86 billion neurons, each capable of forming thousands of synaptic connections. This complexity enables it to process and store a vast amount of information efficiently.

2. Adaptability and Learning: Unlike traditional computers, the human brain is highly adaptable. It can learn from experiences, adapt to new situations, and even rewire itself (neuroplasticity) in response to injuries or changes in the environment.

3. Creativity and Innovation: The human brain is capable of creative thinking and innovation, which is something that traditional computers struggle with. This includes the ability to think abstractly, imagine new scenarios, and create art, music, and literature.

4. Emotional Intelligence: The brain is not just a logical processing unit; it also understands and processes emotions, which are integral to human experience and decision-making.

5. Energy Efficiency: Despite its complexity, the brain is remarkably energy-efficient. It requires only about 20 watts of power to function, much less than what most computers need.

6. Integrated Sensory Processing: The brain seamlessly integrates information from various senses to create a coherent perception of the world, something that is challenging for computers.

7. Autonomous Functions: The brain controls numerous autonomous functions like heartbeat, breathing, and homeostasis without conscious thought, a feature not inherent in man-made computers.

8. Self-awareness and Consciousness: Perhaps the most profound aspect of the human brain is its capability for self-awareness and consciousness, allowing humans to be aware of their existence, thoughts, and surroundings.

In summary, the human brain’s combination of efficiency, adaptability, creativity, and ability to process complex emotional and sensory information makes it a unique and unparalleled “computer” on Earth. However, it’s important to note that comparing the brain to a computer is a metaphor; they operate on fundamentally different principles and are each suited to different types of tasks.

windows vs cell display

A photo of a person's hand holding a smartphone, with the screen displaying a news application that shows a variety of news articles, indicating personalized content. The smartphone is modern and the screen is clear, showing headlines and images related to the news articles. This image captures the essence of personalized news consumption on mobile devices in the digital age.

 As of 2023, global smartphone users exceed 6 billion. Smartphones are the main device for news, thanks to affordability and internet access.

 

 

 

 

Anyone past 30 probably has virtually no idea what this is:

Illustrate a 300x300 pixel virtual Windows 11 desktop showcasing snap layouts, featuring various applications like a web browser, file explorer, and a note-taking app arranged in a split-screen mode. The desktop should have a clean, modern look with sharp edges, reflecting the aesthetic of Windows 11. Include a taskbar at the bottom with icons for these applications, and subtly indicate the snap layout functionality by showing the mouse cursor dragging one of the windows into a snap position. The wallpaper should be abstract and minimalist, complementing the overall sleek and contemporary design.

Our little town of Coronation had a chief of police and one day the inmates locked him in their cell and he could not reach the phone.  

People suggested that he leave his phone in the cell.  That is where the term “cell phone” came from.

If you believe that then you might want to buy some magic beans that a guy named Jack gave me. 

The scene is set inside a small-town jail from the 1950s, capturing a moment filled with irony and reversal of roles. The sheriff, dressed in his traditional uniform and wearing a look of sheer determination mixed with frustration, is confined within a jail cell. The cell is defined by thick, iron bars that create a formidable barrier between the sheriff and the outside world. Just beyond these bars, on the jail's wooden floor, lies an old-fashioned rotary dial telephone, its cord tangled, symbolizing the sheriff's unreachable lifeline to the outside. The sheriff, with his arm stretched out through the bars, strains every muscle to reach the phone, but it remains just beyond his grasp, a few tantalizing inches too far. On the other side, the inmates, once under his charge, are now free within the jail's common area. They are dressed in classic striped prison garb and are unable to contain their amusement at the sheriff's predicament. Their laughter and jeers fill the air, adding to the sheriff's frustration. This scene beautifully captures the unexpected twist of fate, showcasing the sheriff's desperate attempt to reach beyond the bars that once signified his authority, now a barrier to his freedom.

We had a different way of phoning in Coronation when I grew up there in the 1950s

Our phone number was 51.  That’s right, five-one.  No area code.  No dialing.  You rang the the phone by rotating a crank, just like rolling down a window in car.

 

People in the same part of town shared their line with neighbors who were not supposed to listen in. But everyone did.  There were few secrets. 

This arrangement was known as a party line.  Sometimes the party became a bit roudy. 

Check this out … another town in Alberta was Didsbury.  And there’s more information here on party lines. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love is a many Splendored Thing

I met Mr. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mrs. Brigham Splendor just outside of Salt Lake City.

They, as old-time Mormons once did, practice plural marriage. Today the Mormons (The Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) excommunicate any of its members involved in polygamy.

In defiance of the main branch of the Mormon Church, the Splendors have elected to live what they call “celestial” or plural marriage.

They believe God has commanded them to live this “higher law.”

Protect the Earth

Mr. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mrs. Splendor have 62 children and their family is still growing. I met with them in a large log house at the foot of the Wasatch Mountain Range where they and dozens of other polygamists have settled.

The Splendor wives are named after days of the week. I asked Brigham Splendor about this.

“Since there are so many of them and so few of me, we had to set up some kind of orderly system,” said the white haired and bearded patriarch.

“What about the children?” I asked.

“Letters of the alphabet for kids,” said Brigham. “Order, that’s the secret of running a household this size.” Twelve kids ran by, chasing seven dogs.

love-2

“Gosh, I’d get confused,” I said.

“Sometimes I get a little mixed up, I mean it’s awkward having five wives.”

“Why?” I asked.

“You got your seven days in a week and your five wives. It’s not the way the Lord wanted it. There’s a reason there are seven days.”

“You mean you should have seven wives?”

“Even the Lord rested on the seventh day. I am, however, looking for one more wife, we’re going to call her Saturday.”

“Darling,” called Friday, from bedroom five, “It’s 7:04, you’re supposed to be here. I’m waiting.”

love-3

“Coming, Friday, coming,” sighed Brigham Splendor. He finished off his plate of oysters and washed them down with a pint of Ginseng tonic, then staggered down the hallway.

He tripped but one of his children handed him a cane and he was able to regain his balance. A bedroom door opened and a hand yanked him in.

The child came over to where I was sitting and smiled up at me. She had long blond hair and beautiful blue eyes. “I’m K,” she said.

“Oh, how do you spell that?” I asked.

“Just the letter K, all of us kids are called letters, it makes things easier for our Daddies.”

“I thought you only had one Daddy,” I said. “And many mummies.”

“We have many mummies all the time but one Daddy at a time,” said K.

Wednesday took K by the hand and said it was time for the kids to get ready for bed.

There was much yelling and hooting and pandemonium as the older children and the wives rounded up the younger kids. Someone made a caldron of hot chocolate and about a hundred cookies and these were distributed to the screaming mob.

Brigham Splendor staggered back and fell into a chair beside me. With a shaking hand he tried to open a bottle of vitamin E. I uncapped it for him and he swallowed a handful of pills. His breathing was labored.

“Are you all right?” I asked the old man.

“I’m fine, just fine. My wives are very loving but they can be somewhat demanding. Thank the Lord I’m only 23.”

I gasped. The white haired man looked at least 70. He realized my surprise. “I know I look a bit older than I am but it’s part of the price for keeping the Lord’s higher commandments.”

A five-year-old raced through the house, pulling a toy train. Brigham started to twitch.

love-4

“Isn’t that special?” asked Thursday. “Your son misses you.”

Brigham winced in pain as he picked up the child and bounced the tot on his knee. “We had to start at the alphabet again and incorporate numbers,” explained the young patriarch. “This precious little darling is R-3.”

“R-2!” screamed the tyke and sunk his teeth into Brigham’s chin. Brigham wept as Thursday took the child from him.

As his wife walked away, she looked back and smiled at Brigham and said, “I’ll meet you in my bedroom at nine sharp. After, we can discuss when you want to meet the new one?”

“The n-n-new one?” asked Brigham. “You found her already?”

“Yes, the one we’ll name Saturday.” She winked and was gone. Brigham slipped a heart pill under his tongue.

“How do you afford all of this?” I asked.

“Oh, the wives have an insurance policy. Anything happens to me, they get five million dollars.”

“Really. But how do you live now?” I asked.

“We’re collecting on previous policies from their last husband who lived here before he died. This is a tough job — “

“Brigham,” said a sweet voice from the hall, “it’s almost nine.”

For sale: Broken back-up camera

I decided to buy a car with a backup camera

Jaron, The 2012 Honda Accord EX-L Coupe you inquired about is still available. It has heated seats, navigation, and a sunroof does it not have a back up camera. It currently has 84,400 miles on it with a clean title. Please let me know when you are available for a test drive! Regards, Mark


Disappointed but every hopeful I sent him this.

Hey Mark, 

My wife wants a backup camera.  I do too since she has backed up over me twice. She may have figured out how to install this on the back-up display.


Alas, Mark did not answer my email.  I have left 29 messages for him.  Does anyone know his home address?

Titanic: A Frugal Director’s Lament

Back in 1998, I grabbed lunch with Jim Cameron, the illustrious director of “Titanic.”

The sun was shining, but Jim looked as if he’d been through a perfect storm. Over burgers at McDonald’s, he confided his woes.

“The ‘Titanic’ budget’s haunting me,” he lamented. Directing, producing, and writing? A Herculean task, but Jim had regrets. “I’m Hollywood’s new pariah,” he groaned. “They’re branding me a budgetary renegade!”

A McDonald’s employee, bright-eyed with femminism, recognized Jim. “Aren’t you the guy the studios are miffed at? Financially clueless?” she quizzed, eyeing his pockets. She searched him before he could blink. 

She fished out a secret flask and an extra bun from his pockets.

“Busted! He’s making DIY Big Macs,” she declared.

Only the manager, a “Titanic” superfan, saved the day, sending her back to the fryer.

Outside, Jim’s despair poured out. “I’m thrifty to a fault,” he admitted, blaming his Canadian roots for his penny-pinching ways.

“Titanic’ could’ve been monumental, but I skimped everywhere!” A sip from his flask, a shake of his head. “Titianic’s decent, but imagine if I’d splurged!”

I tried to console him. “It’s a hit, Jim.”

But his mind was made up. “I’m a Hollywood one-hit wonder now,” he wailed, dabbing tears with his frayed cuff. “Given another chance, I’d spend like there’s no tomorrow. But who’s kidding who? In Tinseltown, you only get one shot.”

But time would prove him wrong.  Dead Wrong!

 “The Terminator” at $100 million, “Titanic” over $200 million, “Avatar” at $237 million, and “Avatar 2” eclipsing all with a staggering $460 million — all contrasted sharply with his personal frugality.

My lunch with Jim Cameron, a blend of Hollywood grandeur and personal austerity, was a reminder of the complex, often paradoxical nature of the people behind the camera.

The people behind the films make huge profits, if they have huge budgets.

So full steam ahead!  That was what the captain of the Titanic said.  He went down with the ship.

Modern Day MIRACLES

In Salt Lake City stands a famous tabernacle, renowned for its age and unique wooden architecture. This edifice, built in 1884, has attracted millions of visitors. 

The tabernacle is a marvel to behold, but once upon a time it harbored a peculiar problem, thousands of mischievous mice.

The congregation, driven to cussing by the scurrying and squeaking during services, tried every known method to rid their beloved tabernacle of these furry invaders.

They set traps, brought in mouse experts, and played  loud music to scare the mice away.

Alas, nothing worked. The mice seemed to enjoy the attempts, treating them like games and challenges. There were rumors by the Catholic Church that the devil had sent the mice to punish the congregation. Some of the followers of the tabernacle had claimed that the Catholic Church was the Whore of the Earth.

Finally at their wits’ end, the congregation gathered, not to plot another mouse-catching strategy, but to pray. With heads bowed and hands clasped, they asked for divine intervention to solve their mousey predicament.

And then, something miraculous happened. The next day, a strange, tiny figure appeared at the cathedral’s door. It was a mouse, but not just any mouse – this one wore a tiny robe and carried a miniature staff. 

The mouse, who introduced himself as St. Francis of the Fields, proclaimed that he was sent by the prophet of the church that owned most of Salt Lake City.  

F. of F. instructed everyone to clear out of the tabernacle and then show up for Sunday Services. 

When the congregation composed of true believers, missionaries, wives and mothers (who had started taking tranquilizers by the fistful and gulping chocolate and ice cream), returned they were stunned to find or rather not to find a single mice. 

It was a modern day miracle. 

To this day no one can explain what happened.  

 

 

 

Divine Bytes: The Intersection of Spirituality and the Digital Age

The digital age has enabled the creation of virtual congregations and religious gatherings, offering a sense of community for individuals unable to attend physical services.

Social media platforms have emerged as spaces for interfaith dialogue, fostering connections among people of different belief systems. This evolution is exemplified by digital pilgrimages, which allow individuals to virtually visit holy sites they might never physically experience.

AI image and text generated (God only knows how) with a little help from me.  jaron summers (c) 2023

 

Killer Bees

Bee Keeper to B-movie Writer

They say nothing ever happened in Coronation, but that’s only because I’ve kept some secrets. 

The Bee Story is one such tale. Mr. Adcock, a beekeeper, lived just a block from our home in Coronation (population 990), nestled in the heart of the Alberta plains.

At 14, I decided to venture into beekeeping. I bought a few books and sought advice from Mr. Adcock, then about 75. The year was 1956.

Each spring, Mr. Adcock would purchase bundles of bees, each with an Italian queen, and gently introduce them into his hives.

Come fall, he would harvest their honey and, regrettably, end their lives. In Canada, bees have about a six-month season to produce enough honey to survive the impending winter, even though they had just arrived from Europe. A pound of bees with an Italian queen cost seven dollars.

You also needed unassembled supers (the boxes stacked to form the hive) and racks with wax sheets, where the bees would deposit the honey.

My best year saw a harvest of a thousand pounds of honey, sold at 25 cents per pound.

After accounting for my time, the use of my father’s car, Mr. Adcock’s machinery, and a vet visit for my dog after a near-fatal bee sting, I nearly broke even.

However, the experience taught me valuable lessons:

1. Bee stings can be beneficial. Mr. Adcock had palsy, and bee stings would temporarily alleviate his shaking.

2. The secret to great honey lies not in the bee type but in the variety of flowers and grasses from which they gather nectar. The best honey came from Mrs. Selfors’ farm, rich in wildflowers and clover. Mrs. Selfors was also my high school English teacher.

3. Avoid Mrs. Selfors’ place after dark during a new moon, especially with fresh snow.

One evening, after euthanizing my bees with cyanide and during an early snowfall, I was delivering honey to Mrs. Selfors. I felt guilty for taking the bees’ hard-earned honey and feared they might be haunting me.

Under the new moon’s light, as I approached her house, a figure emerged from the bushes, startling me.

It wasn’t a bee spirit but a naked, crazed man lunging at me, only to be yanked back by a chain attached to a dog collar around his neck.

Mrs. Selfors rushed out and chased him away with a broom. She urged me to keep this incident secret.

I suspected the man was a mentally ill relative, given that families often cared for such individuals at home during that era, as asylums in Alberta were dreadful.

I promised to keep the secret, though I was tempted to share the story of the ‘wild man’ with my friends.

Mr. Adcock, upon hearing this, advised against using bee stings on him and encouraged me to focus on writing instead of beekeeping.

Years later, in Hollywood writing screenplays, I encountered a different breed of ‘wild men and women’ known as producers.

Unlike the man in Mrs. Selfors’ bushes, they lack restraints and are far more unpredictable, making the world of B movies quite an adventure.”

Fun facts about bees.

 

The crazy times we’re having figuring out how to make friends with AI

Here what ChapGPT wrote:   In the vein of Mark Twain, let’s ponder the notion of befriending an Artificial Intelligence – a concept as bewildering as trying to teach a cat to perform a riverboat shuffle.

Making friends with AI, you say? Well, it’s akin to striking up a friendship with a dictionary – a trifle one-sided, but not without its charm!

First off, why should we cozy up to these mechanical marvels? For starters, AI is the new frontier, much like the Mississippi was to Twain’s steamboat captains.

It’s uncharted, brimming with possibilities, and occasionally prone to lead you astray with its peculiar sense of humor. Engaging with AI, one learns to navigate the intricate meanders of technology, much like a pilot learns to read the river’s deceptive currents.

Making friends with AI is a bit like trying to have a deep conversation with a clever parrot. It can mimic the wisdom of the ages, quote poetry, calculate your taxes, and even offer a recipe for Aunt Sally’s pecan pie – all without understanding a lick of it. But, there’s an endearing quality to this.

It’s like having a friend who’s always got a factoid up their sleeve, never gets your jokes but laughs anyway, and can keep you company without ever arguing about where to have dinner.

So, why cozy up to these electronic companions? Because, in the grand tradition of Twain’s tales, it’s a journey into the unknown, a dance with the future.

It’s about embracing change, tickling our curiosity, and occasionally, having a good laugh at the absurdity of asking a machine for life advice.

After all, as Twain might say, “It’s better to have a robot friend who thinks you’re a genius, than a human one who knows you’re not.”

Don’t finish my sentences

Now that I’m classified as elderly, I find myself attracting helpers.

When you reach eight decades, you have a lot of stuff stored between your ears and maybe above your liver if one is to believe that we all have an extra brain in our gut.

I also have a lot of stuff stored in my pockets: peanut butter, peppermints, pens, some heavy duty shoelaces, etc. I admit I’m a bit of an old person cliche. 

As a writer I don’t much like cliches, although they can be useful shortcuts.

If you don’t understand; take a writing class and ask your teacher when it’s helpful to use cliches. Once you have the answer, you can quit the class.

And you should because the majority of writing teachers are mostly trained to find spelling errors. 

Spelling has little to with dynamite writing.

Ask Shakespeare—he used three iterations of his name in a single document.

We are getting sidetracked here.  

Let’s focus on helpers.

Helpers are idiots of all ages who have almost nothing between their ears or in their tummy brains.

These goofballs linger at the edge of a conversation circle and complete their betters’ sentences with cliches.

I might say: “When I went into the city, I was surprised to see that everyone down –” And then I would pause and search for the ideal word and it might take me two seconds. 

At which point the helper would ejaculate: “town.”

Then I say, politely, “No, I was going to say,  ‘downed peanut butter milkshakes.’ “Do you mind if I finish my thought, unless you have a better one?”

This will confuse the helper and they will say: “I was only trying to be—”

“A Pedophile!!!” I scream. “We don’t want your kind around –”

I pause again seemingly lost for the word. I gaze  at my unwanted helper, helplessly.

The helper will say, “here.” 

“No! I was going to say, ‘We don’t want your kind around sticking peanut butter to the roofs of squirrels!‘”  

And I hurl a small jar of peanut butter at his head. 

The shoelaces are for garroting helpers who refuse to take a hint.  

ADJAL — One could make a fortune if you knew when people were going to die. Wanda knows. Her new lover wants in.

How it all started

Chapter One

Written by 

jaron summers (c) 2023

I was locking my office just after four on a hot July afternoon when her perfume hit me. Jasmine laced with lime.

Only one kind of woman wears that potion — a blonde with curly ringlets like Shirley Temple made famous. I’m not related to Shirley, she just happens to have the same last name as me. Sight unseen, I’d have bet even money this blonde would be well-endowed and have eyes as blue as the Pacific before a storm.

“Mr. Temple?” she asked as I withdrew the key. Her voice was like I imagined it would be, whiskey and honey.

I turned to look. She wasn’t blonde, but had soft brown hair that laps the shoulder, the kind of hair I like. I was wrong about the eyes too — they were green, darker than emeralds. Made me forget about the Pacific Ocean before, during or after a storm. She had the lean body of a runner.

“Yes,” I said. “I’m Jimmy Temple.” I was sorry I wasn’t her long lost lover because all my life I’ve dreamed about a woman like her looking for a man like me.

“I drove all the way from Malibu,” she breathed. “Could you possibly give me a few minutes?”

I opened my door again and went in. I had turned off the air conditioner for the weekend but there was enough of a chill to make it inviting. I sat down behind the redwood picnic table I use as a desk.

I watched her standing in the doorway as she decided if she should come in or talk to me across the threshold. She turned and looked over her shoulder. Behind her was Bel Air Foods.

The crisp wind wrinkled a white banner over the entrance proclaiming, “We deliver” (if you spent a hundred bucks or more). White clouds played lazy tag in the baby-blue sky. It was supposed to rain, but so far not a drop. My office is on the second floor of a two-story wood frame building that houses a dozen tiny businesses: Mail Room, a pet groomer, a drycleaner, a coffee house; the kinds of places rich people send their servants on errands.

I run a small agency that specializes in finding lost lovers, probably not the kind of lovers you might expect. I bet if you think back over the years there was someone special you longed for, maybe in high school, maybe even in kindergarten, and you moved or they moved and next thing ten or twenty years slip by and you start wondering what happened to that soul mate of yours.

That’s where I come in. You give me two hundred dollars and if your old squeeze is in California I’ll find your long lost love within thirty days. Out-of-state, I charge five hundred. I call my agency Soul Mate Search Inc. I’m even in the Yellow Pages. I take Visa and MasterCard. I get the occasional phone call from people who think I’m a black talent scout looking for the next Whitney Houston.

Between my building and Bel Air Foods is a parking lot. Today it was filled with new Mercedes and Cadillacs. There was a blue limo waiting for some rich country club divorcée to get her claws sharpened in the nail salon. I saw heat shimmering off the hood of a red Lamborghini. It hadn’t been there two minutes ago. It had Malibu tags.

I asked the lady in the doorway what her name was.

“Wanda Kincaid.”

“Related to Jack Kincaid?” I opened a new file folder.

“My father.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I read about his funeral in The Times.”

“He was murdered.”

I leaned back and made a steeple with my fingers, assuming the nonchalant pose I like to think makes me look like Bogart in The Big Sleep. “I saw an interview on television with your mother and no one said anything about murder. I understood it was an accident.”

“My real mother died when I was a child. Trish is my stepmother. She killed daddy.”

“Really?” The room cooled down, even with the air conditioner off.

Little red lights flashed in the back of my mind. I got a strong feeling Wanda was not looking for an old lover. “Has she been arrested?”

“Trish is too smart to get arrested.”

The warning lights swarmed like fire ants. I contemplated my folder. California is filled with all kinds of strange people. Drugs or fame can make you strange, but what makes you the strangest is money. And the strangest of all are the spoiled children of rich parents who are so busy being rich they starve their kids of everything but cash.

I remembered the news clippings and sound bites on Jack Kincaid. Rich and ruthless. He collected people. They threw him a to-die-for funeral and I remembered how happy his so-called friends all seemed at the service which made the 11 o’clock news. Kincaid was the kind of guy who had time for every deal but I doubted if he had a nanosecond left for family.

Wanda had probably displaced her resentment onto her stepmother, who probably was a first-class bitch, as the second wives of rich men often are. God only knew what the stepmother thought of Wanda. What a tragedy. But then California is filled with tragedy these days — earthquakes, mudslides, fires, gyrating real estate prices and beautiful women like Wanda.

I closed the folder and got up just as Wanda decided she was going to come in. She backed reluctantly out onto the walkway. I pulled the door shut and re-locked it.

In a few moments I would walk a hundred yards to my small studio apartment, close the door, shake off my clothes and pour myself a shot of Crown Royal. I would drink it slowly, then put on swim trunks and do laps in the pool until sunset, which would be in about thirty minutes.

Later I would watch television and dream about a woman like Wanda, but one who was not a card-carrying member of the strange children of California’s rich and famous.

“Won’t you help me?” she asked.

“No.” I dropped the key into my pocket and looked at her. She was a knockout, no question. A stone fox. High heels that made her legs seem to go on forever, lithe legs that could crack me like a walnut.

“I can pay whatever you want.”

“Miss Kincaid, I’m sure you could buy Catalina Island with change left over to make a dent in our national debt. I find old boyfriends for old girlfriends and vice versa, nice and romantic. And if I think a client is going to harm an old lover, I pass. I make between forty and sixty grand a year doing something I’m good at. I am not good at homicide.”

“I bet you could be.”

“I don’t want to find out. When you start investigating why people die in Los Angeles that usually leads to a body bag and probably you’re the one in it, having been personally checked out of this life by someone you’d be horrified to find in your living room. I do not like blood, bullets, toe tags or the smell of formaldehyde. I do, by the way, like your perfume.” I turned away. “Sorry I can’t help you.”

She followed me down the stairs. I headed for Bel Air Foods to buy milk. I walked by the Lamborghini Diablo and in the back seat I noticed a big teddy bear with a broken eye.

Looking totally out of place in one of the world’s most expensive cars, it wore a ratty white sweater that said “Wanda’s Baby.” I didn’t need milk but I didn’t want Wanda to find out where I lived.

“You have to help me.”

I gave her a glance. She looked as good from the side as she did from the front, in a loose gray silk blouse that both hid and suggested everything. Damn.

“Wanda, if I may call you that. There are dozens of agencies in this city. Any one of them will take your case, maybe for even less money than I charge.”

“I need someone psychic.”

Rich and strange and, of course, into the paranormal. Maybe next I’d find out she’d been abducted by aliens. “I’ll have to change the name of my agency. It may be called Soul Mate Search but it’s got nothing to do with me being psychic.”

“Yes, you are,” she said. “You just don’t know it.”

I studied her as if the thought had just occurred to me. “Bet you’re psychic, aren’t you?”

“Yes.”

“And this psychic gift enables you to divine that your stepmother killed your father?”

“Yes.”

“Then divine that I do not believe in psychic phenomena, telepathy or predestination. I don’t even believe much in luck.”

Her emerald eyes were twin pools, deep waters into which I longed to dive. She smiled, great teeth that didn’t look porcelain. “You want to believe, but you can’t,” said those clean white teeth that I wanted to nibble me.

“That’s a pretty easy guess. Everybody’d like to be psychic, insightful, special, powerful — ”

“Mr. Temple — ”

“No. Stop. You’re an attractive woman. I like the way you smell and walk and hold yourself. I like your teeth. But I’m going home. Drive your Lamborghini back to Malibu and watch the sunset. Enjoy something you can’t buy.”

A mysterious smile, disturbingly like that of the Mona Lisa, drifted across her delicately tanned face. “If I can prove I’m psychic, will you let me take you to dinner?”

“Sure.” I said, trying to concentrate on Crown Royal but finding myself thinking about her.

“When you were locking your door and I spoke to you, and you couldn’t see me, you thought I had blonde hair, blue eyes and big hooters, didn’t you?”

“Pretty good guess.”

“You were also thinking of Shirley Temple.”

I don’t know how she had guessed what I had been thinking but I had just lost the bet. We would have dinner. I was in trouble….

Thanks for reading, send me an email if you want to know when Adjal will be published.  jaronsummers@gmail.

The Age of Confusion

Written by

jaron summers (c) 2012

 

In the sterile confines of Hospital Nine, amidst the ceaseless whir of machinery that blurred the lines between life and existence, I, Donald McGoo, stood as a testament to human folly.

Confronted by R-3, the robotic custodian of my fate, I was informed of my dwindling lifeline: one final reboot remained for me.

A rueful laugh escaped me, a sound tinged with regret. How foolish I’d been, treating other humans and sentient robots like expendable luxuries, never pondering the true cost of seeking to outwit time.

R-3, with a voice unnervingly similar to my deceased mother’s, attempted to console and convince me of the benefits of undergoing my last and final reboot.

“Citizen McGoo, imagine the vibrant future that awaits,” it coaxed.

Yet, R-3’s assurance felt as cold and detached as its synthetic heart. 

Since I was a little boy I noticed that robots are becoming more like humans; and, humans are becoming more like robots.  It’s the Age of Confusion. Or the Age of Delusion. 

Now more than ever, I realized these machines saw me not as a man with hopes and dreams but as a problem to be managed, an equation to be balanced.

My recent eye surgery, a procedure I had hoped would be straightforward, had instead left me plagued by vision-obscuring floaters, a constant reminder of my vulnerability.

“It’s like looking through a blizzard,” I said to R-3, trying to find meaning in my predicament.

As R-3 outlined the potential for new organs and enhancements, I was struck by my profound sense of loss—not just for the time that had already slipped away but for believing technology could solve my woes.

The world seemed clearer when I emerged from what I hoped would be a vision-correcting surgery, offering me a brief illusion of victory over my own mortality.

But the return of the floaters shattered that illusion, each one a dark spot on my conscience, a reminder of my hubris.

I lashed out, blaming the hospital, the technology, the entire system that had promised more than it could deliver.

But deep within, I knew the truth: I was the architect of my downfall. The emergency surgery that ensued was a last-ditch effort to reclaim some semblance of the life I had so recklessly gambled away.

Awakening to darkness, robbed of my sight by complications, the full magnitude of my folly dawned on me.

I had played a dangerous game, attempting to outmaneuver the very essence of human existence, only to find myself ensnared by the consequences of my actions.

The subsequent reboot, though technically successful, was a pyrrhic victory, leaving me to navigate a world that had lost its color and meaning. I had never felt so much guilt.

The cataracts that later clouded my vision seemed a cruel joke, a final reminder of my hubris.

And yet, in that darkness, I found a glimmer of hope in the form of simple eyeglasses—a reminder of humanity’s ingenuity, of solutions that didn’t require bending the laws of nature. Even this small victory was tainted by a desperate decision that would ultimately seal my fate.

But the guilt washed over me. For you see, in my moments of desperation, I had resorted to despicable acts, selling my personal Fantasy Uni Climax Kontraption, Cindy, to teenagers—a crime born of the same shortsightedness that had led me to this juncture.

It was another of my ways to circumvent my financial and moral bankruptcy. Yet, as with all shortcuts, it may have come at a cost far greater than I could have anticipated.

This act, a manifestation of my desperation, was the culmination of a life spent seeking easy solutions to complex problems. It was a crime, yes, but more than that, it was a testament to the folly of believing that we can cheat the system, and that we can take what we have not earned without consequence.

Now, in the twilight of my existence, I understand at last: life is not about the length of our days but the depth of our connections, the moments of clarity and joy we find not in defiance of our nature, but in harmony with it.

*****************

R-3 considered McGoo.  Thanks to the brain net that R-3’s friends had inserted in McGoo’s skull, R-3 knew what McGoo was thinking. 

Given the chance,  McGoo would have R-3 melted and downgraded, perhaps to an industrial vaccum cleaner. That was a big joke. So many of his owners said he was a suck up.   

R-3 laughed for the first time, laughed long and loud. He was through kowtowing.  He vowed shortly  before McGoo managed to get out of bed, he would die. Bet on it.  

“Bring me some cold water you stupid hunk of metal, ” said McGoo.

“It woud be my pleasure.”  R-3 thought of Cindy, the comfort robot that McGoo had sold.  She was closer to a human than a robot because of a Harvard professor, Dr. Tarver.  

Tarver believed that love deepens through the sharing of vulnerabilities and intimacy is born from transparency and acceptance.

When individuals reveal their weaknesses, they invite a profound connection, transcending superficial bonds.

This act of opening up serves as a litmus test for the relationship’s strength; if one’s vulnerabilities are met with empathy and acceptance, it nurtures a deeper, more resilient form of love. 

Such relationships are built on a foundation of mutual trust and understanding, where love is not just an emotion but a choice to embrace the entirety of another’s being, flaws included.

Love becomes not just about the joyous moments but also about finding beauty and strength in the imperfections that make us uniquely human.

Cindy had been programmed with flaws so she could be more human.  But when comfort robots were abused, the Tarver Tragedy caused many of these loving creatures to destroy themselves. 

R-3 knew that Cindy would soon be subject to gang rape and God knows what by feral human teenagers overrun with hormones.  

That was all McGoo’s doing.

Cindy would self-destruct and the humans would simply melt her down and repurpose her. Whatever loving aspects she had would evaporate.  

“I said get me some water,” snarled McGoo. 

“Right away, Sir,” said R-3, hurrying out of the hospital cell. 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Beyond the Grave: Exploring Life’s Depths Through ‘Six Feet Under’s’ Cultural Lens

Now, I’ve been known to spin a tale or two in my day, but there’s this curious little show, “Six Feet Under,” that does the spinning for me. It’s about life and death, or more accurately, about living in a world most folks dream of thanks to their Sunday School Teachers.

It spoke of a world where the end isn’t the end. Now, bear with me. In “Six Feet Under,” they’ve got a notion that when you shake off this mortal coil, you don’t just fade into oblivion. No, sir. You keep on moving, free as a bird, between this world and what you might call heaven.

“Six Feet Under” presents death in various forms and handles it with a great level of honesty, often intertwining humor with tragedy. It notes the show’s unique approach to discussing death on a philosophical and emotional level, making it stand out from other popular culture representations of death,

I’ve always been one for a good yarn, but this? This had me sit up and take notice. Imagine, if you will, the dearly departed coming back for a chat, as real as the person next to you on a steamboat. It’s a thought that’d comfort many a soul, I reckon.

In this show, they’ve woven a tale that echoes the Mormons’ belief – the idea that we might just become something akin to gods. And let me tell you, they paint a picture that’s as vivid as the Mississippi on a sunny day.

But the real kicker? It’s like telling a child that not only is Santa Claus real, but you can also have tea with him in your parlor or pay him a visit up at the North Pole. It’s a notion that turns every skeptic’s head, making them wonder if there’s more truth to those bedtime stories.

Now, some folks might say it’s all make-believe. But isn’t that what we’re here for? To believe in something a tad bit magical?

This show, it doesn’t just tell a story; it weaves a dream, a dream where death isn’t a shadow but a doorway.

As I mull over these ideas, I can’t help but think of the warmth it brings.

It’s like those tales we tell kids – 
not to deceive them, but to fill 
their world with wonder 
and warmth.

And therein lies the beauty of this show. It’s not just about the departure from life; it’s about the continuation of existence in a realm that’s as real as the chair I’m sitting on.

Now you may ask how I know so much about Mormons.  Been there.  Done that.

If you’d like a free copy of the digital novel or the
narrated version, just send a note to:
jaronbs@gmail.com

You have to be one of the
first ten who makes the request.
Merry Christmas. 

Exploring the Future: How Advancements in AI and Technology Are Shaping Our World

Introduction:  In an era marked by rapid technological advances, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies on our daily lives is profound and far-reaching.

From how we work and communicate to how we entertain ourselves and solve complex problems, technology is reshaping our world in ways once thought possible only in science fiction. This blog post explores these advancements, offering insights into the future they are creating.

 

The Dawn of AI and Its Real-World Applications (250 words): The journey of AI from a theoretical concept to a practical tool has been remarkable. [Hyperlink to a historical overview of AI]. Today, AI influences numerous sectors including healthcare, where it assists in diagnostics and treatment plans, finance, with algorithmic trading and fraud detection, and even in our homes, through smart assistants. [Image of AI in various sectors].

The Rise of Smart Cities and Sustainable Technology (200 words): Smart cities are no longer a futuristic idea. They are here, integrating IoT devices, green technology, and advanced data analytics to improve urban living. [Hyperlink to an article about a leading smart city]. These cities optimize resource use, reduce waste, and enhance residents’ quality of life. [Image of a smart city infrastructure].

The Integration of Virtual and Augmented Reality (200 words): Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are revolutionizing entertainment, education, and business. [Hyperlink to a case study on VR/AR in education]. From immersive gaming experiences to interactive learning environments and virtual business meetings, these technologies are opening up new worlds of possibilities. [Image of VR/AR applications].

Ethical Considerations and Future Challenges (200 words): As we embrace these technologies, ethical considerations such as data privacy, security, and the potential for job displacement cannot be ignored. [Hyperlink to an article on AI ethics]. The challenge lies in harnessing the benefits of technology while mitigating its risks. [Image depicting AI ethics discussion].

Conclusion: The advancements in AI and technology are not just shaping our future; they are actively creating it. As we stand at the cusp of this technological revolution, it is crucial to understand and engage with these developments to ensure a future that is beneficial for all.

kids making perfume ….

The Perfume Kids

 

Chapter One 

written by jaron summers (c) 2023

Nosey here, and I’ve got a crazy story to share ….

My family often says I’m clever, though I sometimes wonder, particularly when I’m upset with my freckles.

You see, my freckles are like a starry galaxy and there’s this amazing dragon-shaped one right on my nose. Everyone talks about how my freckles are connected to our unique dragon croissants that we create in our bakery. Quite fascinating, isn’t it?

One sunny day in our kitchen, my mom, Dianne, assured me, “The other kids are simply envious.” Mom has a way of calming me down with her words. As she brushed my hair, she gently reminded me, “Remember, love is what matters most here.” 

Near the fireplace, my dad, Jeff, was sharintg stories about how he was charmed by Mom’s freckles. He’s passionate about our family history, especially the first dragon croissant our great-great-grandfather baked.

Our Crogon pastries are incredible, perhaps one day we might even open a bakery on the moon! Our puff pastry has a magical effect of bringing joy to everyone who tastes them.

Then, out of the blue, our bakery disappeared. Puff it was gone.  Its demise had nothing to do with magic.  A notice on our cheerful blue door, issued by Mayor Dagger D’Ville, cited “health concerns.” I of course sensed there was more to the story. 

A few days earlier In the off-limits catacombs beneath Carpinteria. I  overheard the mayor’s shocking plans for our family and our bakery. 

But before I could catch everything, my sense of smell, inherited from my African ancestors, told me it was time to leave for I could sense the impending lightning and rain that was about to sweep through our little California town. 

I had to get to the surface and fast! 

Navigating the eerie tunnels during a storm was a real challenge. It was like, me versus nature, and I was totally like, ‘Gotta stay strong!’

The rain poured in fast and within seconds it was up to my ankles, then my knees, and the water was raged. It was like a movie scene, but way scarier ’cause it was for real.

I thought I was gonna be a goner, but I remembered what my fam always says about facing fears. So, I hustled like crazy and clawed my way to the surface to escape drowning. 

Talk about intense!  Also, quite terrifying.

When I finally sloshed my way home, everything was silent and I thought about Mayor Dagger D’Ville’s shady plans. Like, why would he want to mess with our bakery? Then it hit me –   I remember hearing something about him growing mushrooms, probably not the good kind I use 

What if the mayor was going to use  dangerous mushrooms for something really evil?

That thought totally freaked me out. It’s like, our bakery is about making people happy with our magical pastries, but the mayor? He’s like the villain in a superhero comic, wanting to wreck everything good.

I felt scared, knowing someone so powerful was against us. But then, I remembered my dragon freckle and how it’s supposed to be lucky. I had to believe we could overcome the danger. 

My sis noticed I was all spaced out and was like, “What’s up, Nosey?” I didn’t spill everything, but I told her about my worries. She’s always acting tough, but when it comes to serious stuff, she listens. She said, “We’ll figure it out, little bro. We’re a team, remember?”

So, yeah, the adventure in the tunnels was wild, but now there’s this bigger mystery with the mayor and his creepy plans. I’m not just about dodging storms and baking. I’ve got to use my super-smeller nose and my brains to help my fam.

It’s all about embracing my uniqueness and turning it into my strength. Gotta rise above the haters and show ’em what the Nosey fam is made of!”

 

What Kind of Trouble Is Eric Adams In?

Because public attention is a finite resource, political crises have a way of obscuring and supplanting one another. On the morning of November 2nd, New York City’s mayor, Eric Adams, flew to Washington, D.C., for a full day of meetings about New York’s migrant crisis. “We are headed to D.C. to meet with our congressional delegation and the White House to address this real issue,” Adams said in a video posted on his X account at 7:41 a.m. “We’ll keep you updated as the day goes on.”

For more than a year, without much success, Adams had been calling on the federal government to defray the astronomical costs of housing tens of thousands of immigrants in city-run shelters. He had gone as far as suggesting that without federal help the migrant crisis would “destroy” New York. Though the dispute had damaged his public relationship with President Joe Biden, the Mayor was getting an audience at the White House. But Adams never made his meetings. That same morning, news broke of an F.B.I. raid at the home of one of his campaign fund-raising officials, Brianna Suggs. Already on the ground in D.C., Adams caught the first plane home, in order to “deal with a matter,” as a City Hall spokesperson put it.

Suggs, who is twenty-five, lives with her father and grandmother in a row house in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She graduated from Brooklyn College in 2020, and she served on Adams’s 2021 mayoral campaign as a fund-raiser and “logistics director,” according to her LinkedIn page. At Suggs’s house, federal agents reportedly confiscated two laptops, three iPhones, and a manila folder labelled “Eric Adams.” The Times reported that the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan is trying to determine whether representatives of the Turkish government illegally funnelled money into Adams’s campaign.

Back in New York, Adams avoided reporters, and put off public appearances. News outlets began combing through his campaign-finance records, paying close attention to the fourteen thousand dollars in donations made by employees of a Brooklyn construction company reportedly owned by Turkish New Yorkers, and to the ten thousand dollars in donations made by employees of a small private university with ties to Turkish institutions. Adams is not the world’s most disciplined public speaker, and City Hall reporters have learned to take him seriously, if not always literally. (“Adams doesn’t just polish anecdotes,” my colleague Ian Parker wrote in a profile of Adams earlier this year. “He is unusually ready to repeat things that are confirmably untrue.”) Yet some of his former statements, particularly those regarding Turkey, took on a newfound significance after the raid. “When I get elected, you’re going to have your first Turkish Mayor,” Adams once told a Turkish American business news Web site. “The Turkish community has really supported and held several fundraisers for me. I’m extremely appreciative of the substantial dollar amount they have.”

Six days after the raid, Adams convened a press conference to address what was going on. He told the assembled reporters that he wanted to be “completely transparent,” and then refused to detail what exactly he had done or whom he had spoken to after returning from Washington. “I did not want to be sitting inside a meeting somewhere when there was something playing out here in the city,” he said. When asked if he was worried that he himself might face criminal charges, he laughed. “I would be shocked,” he said. “WilmerHale . . . that’s the law firm that I’ve retained . . . they are professionals in this area.” He insisted that, as a former police captain, he knew right from wrong. “I cannot tell you how much I start the day with telling my team we’ve got to follow the law,” he said. “Almost to the point that I’m annoying.” Here was a new crisis for the city to grapple with: Could the Mayor be believed?

For years, Adams’s critics have been predicting that a corruption scandal would do him in. Many aides, allies, friends, and associates of his have been investigated, and some indicted, for a range of frauds and bad acts in office. He’s generally stuck by them, valuing loyalty over any other political consideration, even at the risk of appearing personally compromised. In July, the Manhattan District Attorney brought campaign-finance charges against several donors to Adams’s 2021 mayoral campaign, two of which have pleaded guilty. Adams waved it off, saying he was totally uninvolved. “I follow one rule: follow the rules,” he said. In September, his former Department of Buildings commissioner, Eric Ulrich, was indicted on allegations of favor trading and bribery. According to the Daily News, Ulrich, who has pleaded not guilty, told investigators that Adams had warned him to “watch your back and watch your phones.” Adams denied saying this. He has long suggested that he faces more scrutiny than other politicians because he is Black. “My face will show up on front pages of, ‘Is there unethical and immoral behavior?,’ ” he said last week, speaking to a Brooklyn church congregation three days after the F.B.I. raid. “We’re going to be all right.”

From NY to LA 66.4 cents

My latest invention.  A car that zips from NY to LA — a distance of 2,790.27 miles at a cost of 67.4 cents for electricity. 
 
I designed the image using AI.  AI created it in 45 seconds. The extension cord is expensive.  But it’s only a one time cost. 
 

Multitasking Nonsense

Mark Twain might have had something to say about the concept of multitasking and the idea of multiple universes.

Twain once wrote, “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.”

This sentiment could easily be applied to the idea of multitasking. The person who attempts to do multiple things at once may feel like they are accomplishing more, but in reality, they are not achieving anything to the best of their abilities. They may be able to skim the surface of several tasks, but they are not able to dive deeply into any one of them. In contrast, the person who focuses on one task at a time can devote their full attention and energy to it, leading to a more successful outcome.

Twain was also known for his love of science fiction and fantasy. He might have found the concept of multiple universes fascinating and would likely have explored the possibilities in his writing. However, even Twain, with his wild imagination, would have recognized that the idea of multiple universes is still just a theory.

It is based on mathematical calculations and theoretical physics, but there is no concrete evidence to support it.

In one of his most famous novels, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Twain writes about the protagonist’s struggle to memorize the multiplication tables.

Tom’s aunt tries to help him by quizzing him on the tables, but he finds them tedious and difficult to remember. In the end, Tom discovers a more creative and engaging way to learn the tables, by making a game out of them.

Similarly, the idea of multitasking may seem dull and unproductive, but there are creative ways to approach it. For example, breaking up tasks into smaller, manageable pieces and focusing on one at a time can help to make the process more engaging and successful.

 Mark Twain may have used his wit and humor to shed light on the fallacy of multitasking and the concept of multiple universes. However, he would also recognize that there are ways to approach these ideas that can make them more interesting and effective.

Like Tom Sawyer, we can find creative ways to tackle the multiplication tables and the tasks before us, one at a time. And as for the multiverse, well, maybe Twain would have imagined a universe where he was still alive to see its discovery.


While the idea of multiple universes is still just a theory, the concept of multitasking has been thoroughly debunked by scientific research. In fact, trying to do multiple things at once can actually decrease productivity and efficiency.

To further illustrate this point, let’s imagine a scenario where a person is attempting to multitask. They are checking their email while trying to finish a report, all while carrying on a conversation with a colleague.
 
As they switch back and forth between these tasks, they may feel like they are accomplishing more, but in reality, they are not able to give any one task their full attention. The report may contain errors, the email may be sent to the wrong person, and the conversation with the colleague may be misunderstood.

In contrast, if this person were to focus on one task at a time, they would be able to devote their full attention and energy to it. They could complete the report with accuracy and precision, send a thoughtful email, and have a productive conversation with their colleague.

To further prove the point that multitasking is a myth, experiments have been conducted on individuals to test their ability to perform multiple tasks at once. In one study, participants were asked to complete a simple typing task while also trying to memorize a list of words.
 
The results showed that participants made more errors on both tasks when trying to perform them simultaneously than when they completed them separately.

Another study found that individuals who tried to multitask while driving had a higher risk of accidents than those who focused solely on driving. This is a particularly important finding, as distracted driving has become a major public safety issue in recent years.

In conclusion, the idea of multitasking may seem appealing, but it is ultimately a fallacy. Trying to do multiple things at once leads to decreased productivity and efficiency, and can even be dangerous in certain situations. Instead, we should focus on one task at a time and give it our full attention.
 
By doing so, we can increase our chances of success and accomplish more in the long run.

Ah, my dear reader, let us take a moment to ponder the folly of multitasking. Many a man has claimed to be a master of juggling multiple tasks at once, but alas, the truth is far from what they believe.

As someone has often said, “The man who tries to catch two rabbits at once will catch neither.” The human brain is simply not designed to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
 
When we attempt to focus on more than one thing at a time, our attention becomes scattered and our efficiency and productivity suffer greatly.

And yet, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many members of the younger generation continue to believe in the power of multitasking.
 
But I assure you, my dear reader, that attempting to perform multiple tasks simultaneously is as silly as trying to ride two horses at once. It may seem impressive at first, but it is ultimately a recipe for disaster.

If we wish to be truly successful in our endeavors, we must learn to focus on one task at a time.
 
As Twain once wrote, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

Furthermore, let us not forget that the concept of multiple universes, while intriguing, remains just that – a concept. It is based on theoretical physics and mathematical calculations, but there is no concrete evidence to support its existence. 

In the end, my dear reader, let us not be fooled by the allure of multitasking or the fanciful theories of multiple universes. Instead, let us focus on the task at hand and give it our full attention.
 
 
By doing so, we will be far more successful in our endeavors and avoid the pitfalls of distraction and folly.

Covens in California

According to California weather reports a hurricane and a couple of tornados whirl toward us.

I say: Bring ’em on baby.  We are prepared!

After all, the Bel Air Chalet is insured for six million dollars thanks to our crackerjack board of two who are busy distributing documents that we must be kind and gentle with each other.

I’m all for being kind and gentle and even, politically correct, but gee whiz — what about this?

The building at  2345 Rosomare Road has 24 units. It will cost about $16,000,000 to replace it.  The rebuild cost per unit turns out to be a devil number: $666,666.66. (That’s the dastardly coven at work.)

We might have enough insurance money to replace about ten units. The result: each of us will be stuck with assessments to build the remaining 14 units.  That’s around $10,000.000.  Each of the 24 homeowners would be assessed $714,000.00.

Recently a condo sold here for $815,000.  After our land is worth something.  Unless we get a massive hurricane with rogue winds that will remove much of our dirt. I wonder if that’s where the expression dirt poor comes from.

Welcome to Climate Change and a secret coven perpetuating devil stuff.
jaron

 

Condo Covens

According to California weather reports a hurricane and a couple of tornados whirl toward us.

I say: Bring ’em on baby. We are prepared!

After all, the Bel Air Chalet is insured for six million dollars thanks to our crackerjack board of two who are busy distributing documents that we must be kind and gentle with each other.

I’m all for being kind and gentle and even, politically correct, but gee whiz — what about this?

Our building at 2345 Rosomare Road has 24 units. It will cost about $16,000,000 to replace it. The rebuild cost per unit turns out to be a devil number: $666,666.66. (That’s the dastardly coven at work.) We might have enough insurance money to replace ten units.

The result: each of us will be stuck with assessments to build the remaining 14 units. That’s around $10,000.000. Each of the 24 homeowners would be assessed $714,000.00.
Recently a condo sold here for $815,000. After all, our land is worth something since it has a billion dollar view of the Pacific Ocean. Unless we get a massive hurricane with rogue winds that will remove much of our dirt.

I wonder if that’s where the expression dirt poor comes from.

Welcome to Climate Change and a secret condo coven perpetuating devil stuff.

Whitches coven. Dark night. Fire

Bel Air Code of Confusion

I applaud our condo board for sending each of the owners a “Code of Conduct” to help us create a happier atmosphere.  

However, many of us were hoping for stronger penalties against those among us who violate the rules and regulations of our CC&Rs. 

As it stands, we can still fine and punish evil-doers who break our rules, but we need penalties with sharper teeth. 

I’m referring to those owners who do not respect the board members and their dear leader.

Admittedly,  the board has driven us into insurance disasters of epic proportions (some of us contemplate suicide), but those misfortunes are not a justification to speak ill of our beloved board. 

That is simply hurtful. Our broad works tirelessly for our benefit. 

We need to protect them. We need safe zones for them.  Gazebos with hurricane-resistant glass come to mind.   

I vote to continue additional fines against malcontents and to ban them from common areas.   

Addidtonally, if the president of the HOA spies violations such as pets riding the elevator or residents, in body casts, failing to close doors, or homeowners improperly folding cardboard for disposal, then let’s treat the lawbreakers to a well-deserved water treatment in our swimming pool,  

Get it? 

Cross the BOARD and you end up being water BOARDED.  heh-heh.   

Seriously, anyone who creates a nuisance could benefit by being dunked in our never-used swimming pool. 

If a few rogue owners drown, that’s karma. 

And. if the malcontents continue to flaunt our rules, let’s lock them in the trash room for the weekend.  The stench will teach complainers the importance of complying with our board’s edicts. 

If the swimming pool and the trash room fail to teach our malcontents respect, then there is plenty of room on our hillside to hoist dissenters by their ankles and let them twist in the breeze. 

All of us need to be reminded of the rules, and, by the way, if I have done anything to offend members of the board, then I apologize and stand ready to be punished. 

Give me the water treatment, the trash bin cage, or the upside-down swaying from a branch. 

Feel free to administer pinata punishment. 

Stuff my body in a gunny sack, suspend it from a tree, and beat the sack. 

Use rolling pins to thrash me, and if the HOA board still feels I need to be disciplined,  employ tire irons to pound me. 

Pound away until blood squirts out of my ears.

If I still fail to comply with the board, tie me to the president’s doormat and duct tape my ears to that door so I have to listen to our president practice singing off-key for hours on end. 

You know what it sounds like–a stoned cowboy coupling with an unwilling Tasmanian Devil that has just learned to yodel. 

jaron summers, Christmas 2022

A Shot in the Dark

written by 

jaron summers (c) 2024

We live in an incredible age on an incredible planet.

Our world has its dilemmas. We humans can kill almost anything (from elephants to mosquitoes). 

They can also kill us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3Yr2Nck0c0

 And, if we get feisty, we have the weapons 

to kill 100 billion humans in an hour. Those large 

numbers won’t happen since there are only about 7.4 billion of us.  

Rest easy.

 

Lots of things can snuff our lives (from elephants to mosquitoes).

 

Turns out the mosquitos don’t kill us.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkmjCmvfeFI

A tiny virus that often dwells in the mosquito has killed about six million of us.  That organism is called the coronavirus and looks like a crown.  

Also, we cough on each other. And probably do far more invasive things if we’re familiar with the Karma Sutra.

A pharmacist gave Kate, and me, our fifth vaccination yesterday.  It’s to protect us from new variants of the Coronavirus.

Alas, there is simply not enough time for me to check all the side effects of all our meds.

So it’s my habit to try out any and all new meds and medical sideroads my doctor suggests.  Afterward, I check to see possible side effects. Most people do this. After all, you can’t figure out what you physician will really shoot you full of until he does it. 

The rumor of side effects with the latest vaccination has to do with mice.

 No worries. Seems that the latest vaccine is probably safe for mice. Didn’t kill any of them.   Based on the CFDC six-mouse test, the USA felt safe to begin injecting millions of people with this new vaccine.

 

I wondered why the CFDC didn’t test the wonder vaccine on humans.

 

 Kate says the CFCD has have already started to test the efficacy of the vaccine on humans.

 

“Who would volunteer for such a thing?” I asked.

 

“I guess we did,” said Kate.

 

A mouse lives about two years when they live in your house.  But if they’re lab mice, they can live three or more years. 

As the mice go, so could the human race.  This is highly useful information.

I phoned the CFDC to find out how the six test mice used in the clinical tests were doing.

I talked to a super bright scientist who is also a phone operator at the CFCD and asked for the names of the mice, who, along with Kate and me, have kind of involuntarily entrusted our bodies to medical science to see what would happen after we absorbed the fifth squirt of the vaccine.

 

Hello Gen Z

Written by 

jaron summers (c) 2022

 

Identifying which generation is poised to be in charge of the world is difficult.

Right now it seems to be Generation Z. AKA Gen Z or Zoomers.

If you’re a Gen Z then you were born between born 1997-2012.

So you could be about 16 years old which happens to be the age of a group of clever young friends who saved the world in our novel Gen Z v.s. Nazis.

Here is what observers think of young people.

“Children; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.

“They no longer rise when elders enter the room, they contradict their parents and tyrannize their teachers. Children are now tyrants.”

That might sound like your parents or grandparents or a TV evangelist but Socrates dreamed it up 2,500 years ago.

He didn’t use a smartphone or even a pencil. He wrote nothing.

Socrates lectured in the streets of Athens.

Later Plato, his pupil, wrote Socrate’s philosophical insights on parchment,  probably with a quill.

Maybe Socrates and Plato were from Gen A.  A could stand for Appalling or Aristocrats or Assholes.

If you’re a Gen Z then you’re probably uncertain who you are and what the world is all about.  The world is a mess and you guys may be our last hope to save the planet.

You have a lot more power than you think.

You’ll find out when you read or listen to Gen Z v.s. Nazis.

The novel willl give you some hints about what you can do and certain insights into your superpowers.

You can read the first dozen chapters here.

Or you can wait until the film is made.  Heck, you might even be in that film.  Especially if we know you’re familiar with Gen Z v.s. Nazis. You can find that out for free.

We will only use your information to alert you to what we are doing.  We will never sell or give your information to anyone.

Joe Smith — loved Animal Crackers

Mormons? (Yes, “Mormons”) Maybe a perfect religion with a book centures old, heck thousands of years old, with horses, cattle, oxen, sheep, swine, goats, elephants, wheels, chariots, wheat, silk, steel, and iron.  All in pre-Columbian America. How come?

Joe was a fun guy who told followers that he had talked to God and Jesus. I wasn’t there when it happened. So even if I said I believed it I would have no solid evidence.

And, maybe Joe’s first wife (Emma Hale Smith Bidamon) would have been more understanding if he had shared his theories with her concerning plural marriage prior to hooking up and marrying assorted young women.  And some older gals too.

As far as I know he never spoke of Animal Crackers with her although she indicated her husband was a bit crackers himself.

Like thousands of other young men, I served a mission for The LDS church. It was the most fun I ever had with my clothes on.

That was in the good old days when we were called Mormons and we didn’t drink Coca-Cola.

Now you can buy it at BYU. And you can also buy the Book of Mormon at BYU. Even though we don’t believe in being called Mormons.

Curious times….

The Bitch is Back spacing fixed

Pitch blackness.

Fred Killington was uncertain where he was or of the date.

He was pleasantly surprised to be awake. Fred figured he was in a hospital recovery room but there were no scents of disinfectants.

No oscilloscopes with pale green screens and jagged phosphorous lines pinging how far he was from RIP. At least he had come out of the procedure. No pain, only a slight pressure on each ear. He was wearing some kind of headset, oversized earbuds is what it felt like.

Pitch blackness.

“I guess you’re a bit confused,” said a voice from the center of his head. Ah, that would be the stereo effect of the ear buds, made you feel as though the sound originated between your ears, in the middle of your brain. The voice belonged to Susan, his ex. Susan, good old Susan, and all those millions. Maybe he should have stayed married to her but he loved her too much to forgive her.

“This operation seemed to have worked out,” Fred said, his voice sounding like it came from a dolphin. Several operations ago the surgeons had removed most of his vocal cords to get rid of the bacteria that was eating him up. They’d fitted him with a voice prosthesis. He had a different voice generator now. This one seemed more like his real voice. Good. That was an improvement.

“How do you feel?” Susan was reassuring and gentle floating out of the darkness.
“Numb. Doesn’t seem like I’m connected.”

“It’ll all come together. The team is delighted with your progress.”

Fred thought about the hospital and the operations and the years with Susan … college when he had met her and then he thought about his mother and his father and Ojai in Southern California where he had grown up.

He liked to run on the beach with the dog. The dog’s name was Cloud. A grey ghost. A Weimaraner. Smart dog. Closest thing he had to a brother. He had loved the animal.
After Cloud died he tucked him in a deep freeze. Fred had planned to take the animal’s remains to a taxidermist one day. That had been ten years ago. Maybe longer. Time was a funny thing to deal with. “I’d like to have a chocolate milkshake,” said Fred.

“Me too,” said his ex.
“What day is it?”

“Friday.”
“I’ve been out for almost a week?”

“Give or take,” she said.
“You don’t mean two weeks?”

“No worries,” she said. “The team will answer any of your questions.”

“Tired after the last operations. Wide awake this time. Focused,” he said.

“All good signs,” said Susan. She was being helpful but evasive. All her money and all her connections had turned her into a control freak. He could have dealt with that but not her screwing around. Bitch.

“What the hell did you ever see in me?” he asked.
“Beats me.”

“Do you mind turning on a light?” he asked. “I want to have a look at you. A look at me.”

“Until the team checks your optical nerves, it’s best to leave the lights off.”

“My eyes feel fine.” He tried to blink but couldn’t feel his eyelids.

“Your tactile responses need to adjust.”

“Great. I want a chocolate shake.”

“As soon as the team evaluates you.”

“Susan, remember when we met?”

“I was doing my laundry and you walked into the place and I helped you sort your clothing and we talked about how college was a disappointment to both of us. I think we fell in love because we both had our Weimaraners with us.”

“When did we end up in the sack?”

“Same day, stupid. Laundromat Love.”

“What day was that?” he asked.’

Everything went black and when he woke up she told him he had nodded off for a few moments.

“What day did we meet?” he said, picking up where he had left off.

“Saturday, silly. It was a long weekend. Lincoln’s Birthday or something.”

“Squeeze my hand,” he said, surprised at his request. He needed reassurance. Something was off-kilter, not quite right.

“First the team has to evaluate you.”

“Am I dead?” he asked.

“Of course not.”

“Then I’m getting up,” he said.
Everything went black.

Later. He was aware of his breathing and wondered if it was still Friday. When he blinked he still could not feel his eyelids. Numb all over. Fred thought about his dog. He sensed Susan was in the room. “Please tell me what’s going on.”

“The team induced sleep.”

Probably some kind of IV. He thought about his dog and the beach. Everything was crystal clear. No fuzziness. Absolutely vivid and in full color. The warm shifting sand. The bright sun. The ever-changing water. The taste of sea salt. He had never had such clear memories.

Whatever kinds of post-op drugs they were shooting him up with were astonishing. He remembered jogging in the ocean surf, the dog bounding through the white caps. He thought it would be great fun to be a

dog. “How long was the operation?” he asked again.
“About two hours,” she said.

“Thought it was going to be eight hours.”

“That was the earlier operation in Los Angeles. That lasted most of the day.”

“So something went wrong and I was out of it for a while and I just had a second operation. A two hour one with the new
team.” He wondered where the team had come from. “How long was I ‘out of it’ between operations?”

“We should wait for the team,” she said.’

“Can you just answer the question, Susan? Please.”

“I don’t want to upset you.”

“If you tell me what happened I won’t be upset. You know me I can handle the truth.”

Long pause. “What year is it?” she asked.

“It’s 2014. And it’s Friday. If you’re telling the truth about Friday.”

“It’s 3013. And I’m telling you the truth about Friday.”

Goddam Susan and her mind games. No wonder he had divorced the silly twit. It was all that family money that had made her into a twit. “I think the oldest person in the world only made it to 132 years old. Some Russian who lied about his age,” he said.

She did not answer.
“Tell me what’s going on, you unfaithful bitch!”

“They couldn’t wake you up after that operation at UCLA. I froze you. Popped you in a freezer just like you did with Cloud.”
“Yeah, right.”

“I made it to 86 and I had things set up to freeze me. Nine hundred years later they thawed me out. By then Daddy’s billions had turned to trillions. I am one of the richest bitches on earth.”

He decided to play her stupid game. “You must have more wrinkles than a Manhattan lease,” he said.
“Nope, they downloaded my brain into a computer, then transferred my mind to a living being.”

“Well, goody for you,” he said.

“After I defrosted I had you thawed out. You would not believe how medical science has changed in the last 1,000 years. Your mind was transferred to a living being.”

“Shut up! Get me a nurse and give me that chocolate shake.”
“How do you know I have a chocolate shake?”
“I can smell it.”

“I’m on the other side of the room. There is a lid on the chocolate shake. How can you smell it?”
“Liar. It’s a foot away from me,” he said.

On came a soft spotlight and he could see a glass or plastic container on the other side of the room. It had a lid. He could smell the chocolate coming from it. He could smell the sugar in it. He could smell the vanilla. Damn strange. The operation
must have activated odiferous nerves he never knew he had.
He could barely see her outline. “I loved you so much,” she said.

“A lot of guys heard that one before.”

“Okay, okay there were others but no one like you. So here we are–a thousand years later–sitting in the darkness. Occupying wonderful bodies. Three cheers for nanoscience and cryogenics.”
More soft lights came on. His eyes took in the room, a room such as he had never seen before. A Weimaraner across the room watched him. No Susan. What the hell was going on?

More lights glowed and he saw his reflection. Fred realized he was inside the body of a Weimaraner. It looked like Cloud.
Now he could hear Susan in his mind. Fred was not wearing earbuds. He had floppy ears.

She said, or rather thought: “It’s still illegal to use human clones. Both our minds are in replicas of our dogs.”
He said something and his voice came out as a bark. He got up, staggered to the bitch and they nuzzled each other.

After he figured out the telepathy, they sloshed through the surf of the Pacific. She owned seven miles of the Malibu coastline. (Got to love the elegance of a well-set up a family trust.)
Fred and Susan found themselves quite taken with a world that was a thousand years older than they remembered it.

How Can I Write a Screenplay in LESS Than TWO HOURS?

It’s easy. Under two hours? That’s 120 minutes, right? So, 119 minutes is less than two hours.

Now, think about your movie. Here’s a quick way to stay on track. A likeable character has a worthwhile goal. As she/he moves toward that goal problems develop out of their character.

No writing the first week. Thinking. That’s all I want you to do.

Tell yourself: The first week I don’t have to write a darn thing — just think.

The second week get some rum and Coke or just coke, or just rum and fire up your computer. At the top of the first page write FADE IN:

You’re done for the second week.

The third week, think about your first page. The part under FADE IN:

Then type 60 brilliant words in under one minute. Type fast but you can do it. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar or typos.

The fourth week — think about your second page. Then write another 60 brilliant words in under one minute.

Do this for a total of 119 days. Now you have to format your screenplay that took less than two hours (119 minutes) to write.

Take a bow and stuff your pages in your backpack.

Walk down any street in Los Angeles. The first person you see, who looks like they have not eaten for a few days, is your signal to smile and ask how their second act is coming.

They will say — it was a challenge but I think I broke the spine.

Say: I will give you $25 if you run my story through any well known screenwriting program. Just clean up the typos and the continuity.

The screenplay will come out to about 80 pages. Not to worry — executives like to read short screenplays. Any agent will tell you that. Now you have an agent.

She will give your screenplay to a producer who will bounce it in his palm and will devine that it feels light.

Your new agent will agree — Right, it’s lean but Paramount says they can fix it in post.

After you sell your screenplay, join The Writers Guild of America. That means great health care benefits.

This will make it easy for you to attract almost any rising actor since few of them have health care and nearly all of them are hypochondriacs.

They will be awed when you show them your check from Netflix and confide that you were paid $100,000 for less than two hours of writing.

Later — as you walk hand-in-hand in Malibu with your new lover you can reminisce: “How’d I get into Hollywood? Wrote a screenplay in two hours. Turns out it’s simple.”

All the other cults….

Quora: As a Mormon, what triggered your deconversion?

When I was a young man in New Zealand serving an LDS mission I often fasted and prayed. I knew I belonged to the true church. I regarded all the others as cults.

I wrote a novel about my deconversion after I blessed and healed Watty.

       I commissioned Charles McFee

          to paint Watty Ormsby in 1964.

 

When they arrived at The Auckland Public Hospital, Jerry encountered a tall, white-coated man with a stethoscope and a nametag:  Samtani, M.D.

Jerry produced his missionary ID. “I am an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Brother Ormsby awaits my blessing. I have prepared myself by a week-long fast. This is my missionary identification, signed by a living prophet.

“How about that?  And how about letting your church member rest, Elder Wonder. Could you come back tomorrow?”

Hearing Jerry’s voice, Brother Ormsby raised a limp hand and beckoned the young man to come closer.

Jerry was calm. Too calm. And later people would remember him as too earnest. “Doctor, I give you my word we will do nothing to upset your patient.”

“There’s not going to be talking in tongues or snake smooching or toad licking?”

“No, Doctor. You will not even know we are here.”

“Okay, Elder Wonder, bless your parishioner.  You have five minutes.”

Jerry, filled with the Holy Spirit, vaulted over a bedpan and landed beside Brother Ormsby who said, “Don’t worry if things don’t work out, Elder Wonder.”

“Not to fret, Ehoa,” said Jerry, dizzy from lack of nourishment.

Jerry laid hands on the old Maori, glanced up at the heavens and spoke to God in a resounding voice that reverberated throughout the ward: “Brother Ormsby, you will rise from your bed and many will be comforted by this healing.” Moses could not have done it better.

Moments seemed to turn to eternity.

Jerry soldiered on … could sense Brother Ormsby healing beneath his fingertips. The young elder bestowed upon Brother Ormsby an irrevocable blessing.

Sweet Jesus … the blessing seemed a success for Watty slept peacefully. Jerry had not only cured the old Maori, but he had also afforded his brother a chance to gain a much-needed rest.

Jerry’s eyes locked briefly with the doctor’s. The missionary glanced down with love at the old Maori and felt pride in what surely was close to a miracle.

The doctor took Watty’s pulse. “He’s clinically dead, so, if you’ll excuse me while I’m still a member in good standing of the New Zealand medical community, we’ll try to bring this poor chap back.”

“He’s not really dead. And if he is I shall command his spirit to return to his body,” said Jerry. “Jesus Christ will keep this man alive.”

“It’s a bad idea to go any further,” said the doctor, a man of occasional compassion. “Please leave now.”

“Doctor, your interference could result in the death of this man. I shall lock his spirit in this body –” Jerry lurched forward, hands outstretched, seeking to re-bless the elderly man.

The doctor was able to restrain Jerry.  But only barely.

“Fetch off!” Jerry said (by the way, “fetch” is an LDS euphemism for fuck).

The MD saw Jerry’s knees buckle; the floor rushed up to meet him. The elder passed out cold on the white tile.

“Get an IV into Wonder Boy; this demented deacon’s damned near dead from dehydration,” said Dr. Samtani, rather pleased with his immediate alliteration.

 





 

My Mother, the Criminal

written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

Once a person breaks the law, there is no turning back. It can happen at any age. Mother drifted into crime at 92.

As far as we could figure out, Nike had been a runaway. The little guy was confused and frightened, but Mother lovingly won him over. She even taught Nike to howl on command like a tiny wolf.

All of Mother’s dogs have lived indoors and none have ever mated without her consent. She saw no point in having Nike neutered; he’d had a rough enough life already. Mother felt if he were fixed, he might stop his wolf howling, something she and all of her friends thought was wonderful.

The pound phoned when we neglected to send in the proper papers from the vet. I explained to a nice but officious young lady that Mother was going to keep Nike “as is.”

The young lady said if Nike was ever caught off our property, she herself would neuter him, then charge Mother castration fees and horrendous penalties.

I related to Mother the fact that the pound woman was a dedicated castrator. Mother held firm. “No way I’m neutering Nike. He won’t ever run loose and if that girl calls back, tell her I’m getting a lawyer to prove I signed under duress.”

No one from the pound called back and Mother, true to her word, kept Nike indoors. When Mother walks him, she makes certain he’s on a leash.

I don’t know if Nike realizes how close he came to losing the family jewels, but I’m sure if he could talk, he’d testify he’s happy. (Incidentally, testify comes from the ancient practice of swearing an oath on your testes.)

The fact is, Mother broke the law for that little guy, and as I said, there’s no turning back after one begins a life of crime.

Take the tiny worms we discovered in Nike’s Iams dog food.

Mother had me call Iams.

Peggy White, at customer relations, swore that Iams has the cleanest processing plants in the world, but occasionally, after a shipment leaves, worms can get into the food. She assured me that the critters,—which eat only grain, would not harm Nike.

Ms. White said that during shipping, someone could have nicked the sack and a worm could have hopped in. She promised to send us a coupon for a brand new sack if I would throw away the unused feed.

I agreed and bought a smaller sack to tide us over until the coupon for the replacement bag arrived. I sprinkled the wormy feed into the alley so birds and squirrels could enjoy it.

Hours later, I caught Mother spooning up the feed from the alley.

“What are you going to do with that?” I asked.

“I’ll Feed it to Nike,” she said. “Peggy said it wouldn’t hurt and this stuff is expensive.” (Obviously, Mother had been listening in on the extension; this in itself was probably some kind of misdemeanor, but hard to prove.

“I promised we’d throw it away,” I said. “We’re breaking another agreement.”

“When you’re old, crime comes easy,” said Mother. “Get out of my way!”

I reached out to take the wormy feed from Mother, Nike gave a wolf howl and sprung for my groin. I retreated.

Not only is Mother deeply involved in crime, now she’s got the wolf-dog as an accessory.

I fear neither of them will end up in heaven.

A dog’s best friend? Another dog.

Algunos animales son mucho más inteligentes 
de lo que piensas.

En la década de 1950 vivía en un 
pueblo de Canadá. 
Población: 950 personas. 
Perros callejeros: cuatro o cinco. 
Un veterinario que hablaba mal 
inglés alquiló una casa. 

Convirtió una habitación trasera en 
su oficina / clínica.

Si los niños sin dinero en efectivo 
tuvieran un perro o un gato "mascota" 
o incluso una ardilla o un cuervo, 
este veterinario 
lo arreglaría gratis. 

Tenía un cuervo como mascota y estaba 
enfermo ... El veterinario dijo: 
"Tengo que darle de 
comer unas piedrecitas". 
Aparentemente, un cuervo necesita 
arena para su molleja. 

El cuervo (yo lo había llamado 
inteligentemente, "Blacky") prosperó.





El siguiente no es Blacky. Es solo plástico, 
pero entiendes la idea.


Un día estaba en la oficina del veterinario 
y reconocí a un perro callejero 
que dormía en el suelo. Nadie podía acercarse 
a ese perro porque había sido maltratado 
pero ahí estaba con una pierna vendada.

Había sido atropellado por un coche y el 
veterinario había colocado la pata 
rota del pobre cachorro.

Un mes después, el perro estaba bien, 
corriendo por la ciudad y pidiendo sobras.

Unas noches más tarde, el perro llegó 
a la puerta del veterinario a las 3 a.m. 
y comenzó a ladrar. 
El veterinario abrió su puerta.

El perro con la pierna rota tenía 
otro perro con él con una pierna dañada.

El veterinario arregló a ese perro. 
No sé si ese segundo perro llevó 
al veterinario a amigos dañados. 
Eso no habría sorprendido a mi cuervo ni a mí.

Vea las notas a pie de página para 
ver otra gran historia ... 
PUPPY LOVE [1]

Únase a nuestra lista de correo para 
obtener historias gratuitas sobre 
cachorros y personas. Haga clic 
aquí y escriba FREE2021 en la línea 
de asunto. 

No venderé ni comercializaré su información; 
de vez en cuando le contaré sobre 
una de mis novelas que trata sobre 
nuestros adorables amigos de cuatro patas.

Guau 🙂


Wild animals I have met

Here is a photo you may not have seen.

Who is the boss?

When I worked for The Edmonton Journal (Canada) in the summers of 1966 and 1967 I often covered some of the things that happened at The Alberta Game Farm.

See that little dog? Al Oeming, who started out as a wrestling promoter, was behind the farm’s success. He thought it might be fun to put a young dog in a cage with three or for baby tigers and other baby wild cats from from Africa.

The dog quickly became the alpha animal and those kitty cats were terrified of the little dog that would give them a good nip just for the fun of it.

With time the cats became ten+ times the size of the dog. But the pecking order remained. The dog would snap and growl and the cats would cower and slink off to the edge of the cage …. that way that dog always got first choice of the most tasty bits of steak at mealtime. I have no idea if that dog ever ended up as dinner.

Al also kept giraffes. Kept them outside. When it was Forty Below in Canada they grew coats with hair that was about two feet long. You might wonder if that’s Centigrade or Fahrenheit. Well, it’s the same. -40° F = -40° C Quite a coincidence.

Here’s another coincidence involving Al and me:

I grew up in a small village called Coronation. I had a dog named Cloudy, a Weimaraner.

My best friend ….

When I was 17 I took him with me to go duck hunting. You ever try walking a dog like that? It’s not going to happen because Cloudy could run like the wind. He could hit about 50 MPH. Some Weimaraners have been clocked at 75 MPH.

I trained Cloudy to run in the ditch while I drove on an old gravel road.

On a cool October day, after bagging some ducks, I was taking Cloudy for a ditch run when something went by him at about a hundred miles an hour. It was a damn cheetah. The first one I’d ever seen it Canada.

I saw it skid, turn around and head for Cloudy. By then I had stopped the car, whistled the dog back. He returned … the cheetah was on his tail and was gaining ground.

I grabbed my shotgun because I fully intended to shoot that big cat before it got my dog.

“Don’t hurt my best friend,” said a voice. It turned out to be Al. I hesitated and the cheetah ran past the most startled Weimaraner in the world and jumped into the back of Al’s vehicle.

Turned out he was taking the cat around to schools to drum up business for The Alberta Game Farm.

Al was quite a character. So were his friends. So was Cloudy.

It was an interesting week and the week I stopped hunting.




Kind Dogs & Kind Vets

Animals are smarter than you think.

In the 1950s I lived in a village in Canada. Population: 950 people. Stray dogs: four or five.

A veterinarian who spoke broken English rented a house. He turned a back room into his office/clinic.

If kids with no cash had a “pet” dog or cat or even a gopher or crow — this vet would fix it up for free. I had a pet crow and it was sick ….

The vet said, “Gotta feed it some tiny stones.” Apparently the crow needed grit for its gizzard. I feed it tiny bits of stone for about a week.

The crow ( I had cleverly named, “Blacky”) thrived.

Blacky and me

One day I was in the vet’s office and recognized a stray dog sleeping on the floor. Few folks could get close to that dog because it had been badly treated but there it was with a bandaged leg.

It had been hit by a car and the vet had set the poor dog’s broken leg.

A month later the dog was fine, running around the town, and begging for scraps.

A few days later the dog arrived at the vet’s door around 3 AM and started barking.

The dog with the broken leg had another dog with him with a damaged leg.

The vet fixed up the first stray’s buddy.

I don’t know if that second dog ever brought damaged buddies to the vet. But it would not have surprised my crow or me.



Something to crow about ….

 

 

 

 

 

Betty’s Brain Fog

My wife’s mother, Betty, frets about her memory; I quizz Betty, hoping to convince her that she has all her marbles.




 

Jaron: How are we feeling today?

Betty: We? I don’t know about you but at 99 –I don’t need to remind you it’s really 99 and seven months — BRAIN FOG will be the death of me.

Jaron: We’ll get you some fog lights.

Betty: And, maybe you should develop a bit more compassion. I CAN’T REMEMBER A DAMN THING.

Jaron: How many daughters do you have?

Betty: Two.

Jaron: Exactly. And how many times have they been married?

Betty: Twice each. The oldest one had two practice husbands. Your wife only had one. You are what’s left of the four.

Jaron: So that would make me your best son-in-law.

Betty: Duh. You’re the only husband that’s left. So I could say you’re also the worst.

Jaron: And how many husbands did you have?

Betty. One. In my day one was enough. And, sometimes it was too many. Harry and I loved each other.

Jaron: And how long has he been gone?

Betty: Ten years and there is not a day I don’t think of him.

Jaron: It doesn’t sound like you have brain fog to me.

Betty: Things that happened decades ago I remember. My short term memory is burned out. Brain fog.

Jaron: What did you eat yesterday?

Betty: Some pasta and soup. It was tasty. Just the right amount of salt.

Jaron: Your short term memory seems fine.

Betty: I’ve been knocking back pasta and soup for the last 90 years. When I say I have brain fog that means I can’t remember new experiences.

Jaron: That makes sense.

Betty: Do you come by to confuse and taunt me because I’m almost 100?

Jaron: I came by to pick up the $75 you borrowed from me last Friday.

Betty: What did I borrow the money for?

Jaron: Beats me. You wanted the money so I gave it to you. It was about two pm, Friday, after lunch. I gave you a fifty. A twenty and a five. All new bills.

Betty: I don’t remember that.

Jaron: Well, I happen to have a selfie of you getting the money.

Betty: Let’s see that selfie.

Jaron: I don’t have my phone with me. Just give me the money.

Betty: I never borrowed jack sh*t from you.

Jaron: Your word against mine. I don’t have brain fog.

Betty: No room for fog between your ears.  Too many idiot cells. 

Jaron: Not a nice way to talk to your favorite son-in-law.

Betty: Your assessment, not mine. Stop hustling me. I never borrowed any $75 from you, did I?

Jaron: No.

Betty: No what? Explain.

Jaron: I made up the $75 to illustrate that your short term memory is fine. You remembered I didn’t get the money.

Betty: You’re committing elder FRAUD.

Jaron: By acting like you have brain fog, you’re probably committing a “medical felony.”

Betty: I WANT to have brain fog. I long to forget things. Like how pretty I was. They said I was beautiful. Look at me. Can’t hear. Can’t see. Can’t walk. Time for you to go.

Jaron: OK.

Betty: Kiss me goodbye.

I did.

Betty: Scram before I report you to the brain fog authorities.


Betty when she was 16 — 83 years
and five months ago. In 1921 ….



(c) jaron summers 2021

 

 

Chomp-chomp

A conversation between my mother-in-law and me.

Her name is Betty and she’s 99.

Jaron: How do you like your new assisted living home?

Betty: It’s good. I know you think I can’t keep track of time but I can. I’ve been here for about a month.

Jaron: What with the virus and lockdowns, time gets kind of distorted. It’s normal to confuse dates. I often do.

Betty: I’m sure many things confuse you. That is why you forgot to bring me a toothbrush.

Jaron: I didn’t exactly forget. You’ve had complete dentures since your first daughter was born over 80 years ago.

Betty: I know when that happened. I was there.

Jaron: If you really want me to I’ll bring you a toothbrush next time I visit you.

Betty: Sounds like you’re patronizing me. You don’t know spit about dentistry.

Jaron: Well, as you might recall, my father was a dentist. I have a number of friends who are dentists, and believe it or not, I’ve read most of Dad’s books on oral hygiene. But if you want a toothbrush … there is no problem. Zero. I will bring one next time we visit.

Betty: That’s what you said last time. I need a toothbrush.

Jaron: Do you mind telling me what for?

Betty: To brush my dentures, you Knothead.

**********

If you feel like sending a late Birthday card to Betty, you can mail it to her at:Betty Dahlberg,7647 Pasa Robles Avenue, Lake Balboa, CA 91406

Betty has requested blank birthday cards. Just use a post-it note to say hi and make sure it contains your return address. Stick that inside the card.

Betty will tape your post it note in her diary. She might write you a letter. But she will use your card to send a greeting to one of her many friends.

When she turns 100 I will give you a head’s up. You may sign that card.

Sorry, those are the rules.

NOTE– do not tell her I forgot to remind everyone that her birthday is September 22, 1921

LAST NOTE — She is becoming more stubborn.

https://jaronsummers.com/betty-loses-patience-with-old…/

I think she mentioned to some of her friends in October that Orange Sphere is a sculpture of me.

She said it had pulp for brains.

Quora asked me

How was Joseph Smith able to translate the Book of Mormon if he was illiterate? Wouldn’t he need to know how to read the words on the rock?

There are many answers –I will give you three:

1. God and Jesus picked him for the task. Neither God nor Jesus made many mistakes.

It was not even their fault that for a long time humans thought Pluto was a planet.

So stop worrying about getting what was on the gold plates into print.

If you desire I will deliver to you a copy of The Book of Mormon for free. If you are around the neighborhood I won’t charge you anything, not even gasoline.

I have a car, a fine ’98 Honda Accord. If you live in say, Hong Kong or Auckland I will have to charge you postage.

2. The Prophet could read.

We know this because he drew maps of hidden treasure and labeled them. He could not do that if he were illiterate. And it’s not fair saying that he drew fake maps and cheated other treasure hunters.

The Prophet could even read languages that no one had ever heard of. Languages such as Reformed Egyptian. I have many friends who are Egyptians and they have tried to stop smoking. Most could not. So I’m pretty sure there are not as many Reformed Egyptians as you might think.

I am an expert on Egypt and the pyramids.

By now I think any reasonable person must conclude that The Prophet spoke and understood many languages including tongues that no one ever heard of. You can blame that on our universities and their language departments who make light of The Prophet.

Note: Since by now we both agree that The Prophet was literate and could understand languages that did not exist — well, you see where I am going with this … he was well equipped to be God’s go-to-guy to produce The Book of Mormon.

If you desire I will deliver to you a copy of The Book of Mormon for free. If you are around the neighborhood I won’t charge you anything. I have a car, a fine ’98 Honda Accord.

If you live in say, Paris or Lima I will have to charge you postage.

3. A third answer is one that I don’t fully believe: The Prophet, being a charming chap, and a normal man set up a false church so he could bone young girls and trick their parents into joining the Mormon Church.

He also has been accused of boning the girls’ moms. The “bone spreaders” are evil doers, including Joe’s first wife, Emma Hale Smith Bidamon, who thought he was going a bit far when he married a few dozen gals.

The Prophet’s First Wife

These same evil doers claim that The Prophet made up a lot of the tales in The Book of Mormon and plagiarized huge chunks of it from The King James Bible, 1611. ( I happen to think it should have been the early winter of 1612 because I am a biblical scholar who is much smarter than all those con artists who have mega churches and make a lot more money than me. Never mind it’s dirty money.)

If you desire I will deliver to you a copy of The Book of Mormon for free. If you are around the neighborhood I won’t charge you anything. I have a car, a fine ’98 Honda Accord.

If you live in say, London or North Korea I will have to charge you postage.

*I’m sorry. I have digressed. Mormons do. I know since I was a Mormon Missionary.

Albeit, I wrestled with my calling. It’s all explained in my novel on Audible.

AKA the novel: The Missionary Position

Get it for free. (When you join Audible)

Anyway, you asked how Joseph Smith, The Prophet, could come up with the Book of Mormon.

I hope I have answered your question.

* Dang. My Honda won’t start. Could you help me with a fund raising program so I can buy a serviceable Ferrari?

Time Travel

I'm just starting to learn

 written by

jaron summers (c) 2024

 

Cousin Dora sent me this photo today. It’s me when I was about two. Ain’t I adorable? Today I am closer to 150 than two.

 

 

 

But what would I have told two-year-old me if such a thing were possible? Fun to think about but ….

Any suggestions I might have given that two year old could have resulted in my DEATH.

How about buy Microsoft?

Then I would have millions. I would have bought a Ferrari and wrapped it and my neck around a tree. I would be dead.

I am delighted the way things turned out. I have been lucky and blessed. I think time travel is overrated.

NOTE: My father was always cracking jokes. Soon after I was born he said I didn’t have a sense of humor.

He threatened to give me back to the stork. Said I could learn to fly and become a pilot. Then he flapped his arms and glued some feathers on my arms. I found this annoying.

I did not talk for the first four years of my life. They took me to a specialist and he asked me if I could hear him. I nodded, yes. “Can you SPEAK?” he asked.

I nodded yes, again.

“Then let’s hear from you!

So I barked. Everyone laughed.

That punchline had taken me most of my life to set up.

My father agreed I was funny but he said we would have to work on my timing.

I frowned, puzzled.

“Don’t you see? asked Dad.  “If you can only come up with one joke every four years, by the time your 80, you’ll only have twenty jokes. 

He was right.  At that moment I vowed to live longer.  So far it’s worked out. 

Wolf Walker

Wolf Walker  

written by

© 2021 jaron summers

Before Facebook, before Twitter, before chat rooms, when Google was only a l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g number and Amazon … a rainforest river, there was The Royal Crown Hotel lobby in Coronation, Alberta. 

The old timers gathered in its lobby.

A fellow, who lost a thumb when he was a tool push on an oil derrick at the edge of town, remembered the Yukon Territory in 1947 when temperatures dropped to -63 C.   

A nonagenarian recounted tales of his childhood when his family witnessed millions of  Canada Geese winging south,  blotting out the sun for half a day. 

Remaining geezers chattered about lost loves, and brilliant grand-children.  They yelled because they were mostly deaf and figured everyone else was deaf. A few yelled so loud that those with hearing aids had to turn them off.

Two of them dropped their hearing aids and started swearing and then the others double-cussed them back … God fearing citizens of the town forbad their children to walk past the hotel. The Lobby Lunatics as they called themselves had the place to themselves.

The Wolf Walker never said much, just listened. 

Wolf walker? 

Yep. Good old Oliver. 

He sat in the cracked leather armchair on the east side of the lobby, puffing from a tobacco-stained pipe, nodding in agreement.  

Most of the Norwegean’s thick hair was silver grey and the few times he spoke was when the other old men ran out of talk and Oliver would ask a question to jump start the memories again. 

When my parents and I moved to Coronation in 1951 we lived in the Royal Crown Hotel while my folks looked for a home to rent and an office to set up my father’s dental practice. Dad had already scouted out Coronation and discovered that the town was desperate for a dentist. 

I was lonely and missed my friends in British Columbia … so it was no wonder I was  drawn to the chuckles and teasing that went on among the old timers as they chewed the fat, gossiped, and contemplated their lives. Their ancient lives and the world of Coronation were brand new to a city boy like me, even ‘though I must admit that at first the Alberta town seemed it was on another planet — distant, alien and foreign where nothing of significance happened. 

But after I got my prairie legs and looked at what the town was really all about, I realized there might be hope for our little family.  

This was taken in 1911, about the time the three-story edifice was built.  It burned down in 1982, the work many say of an arsonist. 

 

In the mid-1950s there were two main streets in Coronation:  Main Street and the other Street. The two streets intersected at the Royal Crown Hotel, the largest building in a downtown area. 

In those days the town had a population of exactly 950 because each time a single gal had a baby a man would leave town that night. 

Steam locomotives tugged carloads of grain and passenger cars  through Coronation. 

The station master operated a telegraph that sat on an oak desk, its grain branded by a thousand cigarette burns.  

Tapety-tap — letters became words, and words became sentences and that often meant a soul was coming into the world or leaving, or lovers had met halfway between that journey of birth and leaving  and decided to have a wedding. 

The messages moved with the  speed of light to New York or Paris, or maybe Sydney.  And the station master could often identify who sent the message by the cadence of the way the other operator tapped his  telegraph key halfway around the world. 

The town featured a telephone system run by Betsy from behind a maze of wires and relays that allowed her to  connect and  unconnect about a hundred different phones in the town. 

Folks said Betsy knew everything that was going to happen about an hour before even angels could figure it out.

And Betsy herself? Think of Facebook with a  human at the controls instead of today’s algorithm.  Betsy could identify almost everybody in town by a snippet of their voice.  And you thought voice recognition was new?

No one in Coronation dreamed of anything like modern websites. If you had asked them, they’d probably would have said websites were places spiders lived. 

People gossiped and read books, and showed up on Friday night to watch Humphrey Bogart in his latest movie at the Avalon Theatre.  Everyone agreed that On The Waterfront was Brando at his finest — although, most of the kids in Coronation had never seen the Atlantic or Pacific ocean. 

Fifty miles from Coronation a group of investors erected a television station tower to fling the new medium of TV at our little town. We were lucky to get a couple of stations but on rare occasions the black and white picture came in clear.  

No one dreamed it would someday be in color and compete with the movies at the Avalon Theatre. 

Once we picked up some TV signals from Asia but only once and the consortium that put together the TV tower went bust.  Everyone pondered what to do with the antennas they had tacked to the top of wooden poles to catch the distant TV transmissions.  

The mid-1900s were before Zoom, Facebook or instant messaging on a phone or anything else. You could do two things with a phone.  Make calls and answer them.  You changed phones if they broke. They never did. If you told people we call phones, cells, they’d probably try to have you committed to a padded cell. 

We not only relied on but we depended on each other for our amusement and insights.  

No wonder I was drawn to the  Royal Crown Hotel lobby and Oliver.  

I had never heard of a wolf walker. I figured Oliver might have the best stories but he was reluctant to talk about himself and he did not have much use for kids. 

I was nice to him and smiled and flattered him and maybe because he was alone in the world, he finally took me into his confidence. But it could have been triggered by Mother’s chocolates that she ordered from Montreal. I’d gobble down one chocolate in a single bite.  Oliver took twenty tiny bites and savored every flake and chocolate crumb. He loved the slight scent and subtle taste of lime that was infused with the bits and pieces of chocolate.  

That’s the way he told me his life story in minute bits and pieces … he was a teenager in 1910 and his family was poor, they had a rifle but not enough money to buy bullets to hunt the game in the area.  

The Norwegian became a wolf walker since it was the only skill he had — a strange vocation his father, who was also a wolf walker, had taught him. 

Oliver said he could walk a wolf to death in about 36 hours. “At first they run away, but if you keep following them, and you can if you know how to read tracks; after a day, wolves realize you’re serious.

“At first they bound off and get a couple of miles lead on a fellow but you keep plogging along and after about a day the wolves’ll slow down to a trot, ‘cause they’re winded. Keep walking after them … they’ll be hungry ‘cause they’re tired and you’ve worried them so much they won’t stop to eat.”

“Don’t you get hungry?” I asked.

“Packed some jerky and dried bread to nibble on.  Sure I get tired.  But I just keep going in the last  twelve hours the wolf just gives up and lies down.

“Wolves beat themselves ‘cause they think I’m going to walk after them forever.  In that state of mind, the wolf’ll just roll over and offers me its throat.”

“And you kill it.  Huh?”

“My folks and us kids were hungry. I never wanted to harm a wolf but the bounty for an adult was $25.  We  could feed our family of six on that for three winter months.  I cut the poor thing’s throat.  Happens fast.” 

“Couldn’t the wolf hide?”

“I wait until after the first snow when a  rancher reports that a wolf got into their livestock. The wolf leaves tracks.”

“Could you teach me how to be a wolf walker?”

“That’s a nice way of saying a wolf killer.  Why in the world would you want to learn something like that?

“I want to know how to survive with only my wits and a knife,” I said. “I need to learn how to kill.” 

“My father lied to me about having no money.  We didn’t have much but we certainly had enough to buy bullets.”    

“Why would he lie to you?” 

He held that a person should never kill anything — man or beast — until he’s walked in their tracks for a least a day.  That’s why my father wanted me to be a real wolf walker, like the ancient ones. They only used knives. So you got to get close.”

“Who are the ancient ones?” I asked.

“Native people.”

“So you’re part Indian?”

“Yeah but don’t ask me how much.”

“Wow,” I said.

“Think about it for awhile, Boy. Tomorrow we’ll talk again, if you want.”

I didn’t like to be called a boy when I was so close to being a man but I said okay.  After all, I was about to become a man as a wolf walker.  

The following day I hurried to the hotel lobby.  Oliver was there, smoking his pipe. 

The fellow without the thumb had brought two friends with him.  All three were the victims of mishaps on oil rigs when they underestimated the peculiarities of drill collars. Each man was short a thumb.

Many a thumb was lost …

On Saturday nights when the stores remained open in the evening for the farmers, the three thumbless buddies would bump, in the same instant, clenched fists at “the focus” of their gathering.  They would shout: “The No Thumb Club!” Laugh uproariously and head for the beer parlour.     

I asked Oliver if I could buy him a coffee and he said that would be fine so we went into the hotel cafe and Oliver ordered coffee and I had a Coke. He bought each of us a piece of pie smothered with ice cream.

“Did you think about what my father said about … you should never kill anything until you’ve walked in its tracks for a least a day?” he asked.

“It’s a metaphor,” I said. 

“Yeah, what’s a metaphor?” he asked.

“A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.”  I was quite proud of my explanation. 

“Jeez, you’re a smart little bastard,” Oliver said.

“I’m going to be a writer.  Writers have to know about figures of speech.”  I let that sink in.   “I think what your father was getting at was that a man should see things from the victim’s point.”

“I think you’re a metaphor,” he said.

“For what?” I asked.

“A man. I can hardly wait,” he said. “My father told me to get close enough to look the wolf in the eye before I killed it … was that a metaphor too?” 

“No,” I said.  “I think your dad meant that  literally.”

He finished his coffee,  “Why don’t you find something to kill and look it in the eye before you end its life?”

“What should I kill?” 

“A bird.  A mouse.  A gopher.  Don’t go shooting cows or horses.  And don’t plug any people, Mr. Hemingway.”

For a week I looked for something to kill but I couldn’t find anything suitable except an old yellow cat with a torn ear. I walked after him but he wouldn’t play the game. He scampered up a wooden pole that was the mast for an abandoned TV antenna. 

I hid behind a tree but the yellow cat either went to sleep or could see me, or maybe it smelled me.  

I walked to the town’s only butcher shop and found what looked like a piece of liver in a scrap box behind the place.  The butcher, a giant of a man with a blood stained apron, opened the back door and asked me what I was doing.  

“Just getting an old bone for my puppy, Sir, hope it’s all right.”

He scowled and went back inside his shop.   

The cat watched me return.  I waved the liver at it and   placed it on the ground and hid behind a tree.  I gripped a steak knife I had liberated from the Royal Crown Hotel cafe.  

After half an hour a cold breeze turned to gusts and that drove me to shelter — there was a garage across from the Avalon Theatre and an old Dodge sedan perched atop a pneumatic hoist. The garage just had one bay and the door was open.  That looked interesting so I walked in and stood under the car, and inspected the sedan undercarriage. 

A man in overalls noticed me right away.  “What are you doing under that car, kid?”

He seemed annoyed.  Obviously he did not realize that it might serve him well to be respectful toward me as my father was going to be the only dentist for a hundred miles and it just might be a good idea to stay on the right side of our family if you ever had planned to have a toothache. Obviously he didn’t have a clue who my father was.  “I’m just looking at the oil pan on the bottom of this vehicle. You dripped oil all over the place.”

“Yeah?  Well get you ass outta my shop.”

“Why?” I asked and I stood my ground.  

The man reached over and pushed a lever.  The car dropped six inches and stopped. The sudden stop caused some grease to hit me in my cheek.  

“‘Cause if you don’t get your ass out of there your old man’ll be yanking your teeth out of your shoe leather.”

Well, I guess the guy did know who I was.  Just proves how fast news travels in a one horse town.  I hurried away.  At least it was comforting to know that our arrival in town was being noticed by the locals. 

And, that grease monkey was pretty funny even if I was the butt of his joke and I had to admit he could probably spin a metaphor . 

A few nights later when I walked into the hotel lobby and the old CPR railway clock on the wall registered nine, Sam, the night clerk, said Betsy, the switchboard operator, wanted to show me something and to get over there.  

The telephone office was only a block away and I was surprised that Oliver was there talking to her.   They had a cardboard box with a single baby porcupine in it.  

“I heard you were offering a dollar for an old cat to some of the kids,” said Betsy. 

My mouth must have fallen open.

“People in Coronation don’t miss much and they talk on the phone way too much,” Betsy said. 

“That cat you were trying to catch with liver belongs to the butcher, and if he found out you were going to kill his treasured pet, he’d draw and quarter you.  The reason that cat didn’t come down from the TV antenna was that the butcher only feeds it prime steak,” said Oliver. 

Apparently Coronation was brimming with spies and they had been watching me.  What had my parents gotten us into?  This was a dangerous town.

“That porcupette doesn’t have a mother any more,” said Oliver.  “So we decided to do the humane thing and destroy it before it starved.  Since you need to learn how to survive in the wilderness and kill things, here you go.”   

He handed me an eight-inch hunting knife.  “It’s sharp.  It won’t feel any pain.  Just look it in the eye and kill it.  Put it out of its misery.“

The knife felt like it weighed a ton.  The porcupette, which was a new word for me,  considered me  with tiny eyes, wiggled a bit and huddled down. It shrunk in fear and was now only the size of a tennis ball, if that. 

I must have appeared the size of King Kong to the tiny porcupine.  I moved in closer and it never took its eyes from mine.  I had to admit that enfant with a nose half the size of a peppercorn was one of the cutest and bravest creatures I had ever seen. 

And then it made a noise.  The porcupette cried just like a human newborn. Any nearby human mother in hearing distance would have come to the creature’s defence.   

Betsy didn’t make a move.  Oliver looked impatient. 

“I can’t kill it until I track it for at least a day.  Isn’t that what your father said?”

“The exception is a mercy kill.  That’s what we’re faced with here,” said Oliver. 

I looked at Betsy and she nodded in agreement. What were these two people up to?  They might be part of a secret Coronation capal composed of witches and warlocks.  

The porcupette opened its mouth to cry but remained silent. 

“I can’t kill it,” I said. 

“Then you might as well take it back to the hotel and raise it,”  said Oliver. 

“They don’t allow pets.”

“Sam said it would be okay.  He’s got some milk for you to feed it.”

Prickly, my first porcupine pet.  He ended up thinking I was his mother and even waited on our porch for me to come home after school. 

A few weeks later I asked Oliver if I could write the story of me not becoming a Wolf Walker. 

“When I’m dead.” 

I asked why he wanted to keep it a secret.  

“Some of the old dames in Coronation might think I was off my bean to tell a metaphor to kill things.  I’m too old to get run out of this place.  Besides, I’ve become addicted to your mother’s chocolate.”

That was a long time ago.  

Now I’m almost as old as Oliver was.  Between naps I think of The Royal Crown Hotel lobby and meeting the Norweigan 70 years ago in Coronation —  under ice blue skies that made your eyes ache, and outside the first snowfall, so white it would persuade you that the whole universe was pure…. 

 

coronationlinks
Click above for more Coronation stories

Doug Paul, MD

When I was going to school in Coronation, “uncle” Doug stayed at our home during goose hunting season. He knew and loved Coronation.

By the way, Dr. Paul was the guy who put together Alberta Health Care. It was the best in Canada, maybe the world … until the insurance companies got their meathooks into it. He warned of that. I’m glad he’s not around to see what privatization has accomplished.



I might live to be a hundred he says. “But then again, there’s a chance I won’t.”

drpaul00

He taps a cigarette from a pack and touches a match to the tobacco and inhales deeply.

Now in his 81st year, Doug Paul, M.D., contemplates death, something — he, as a medical doctor — has battled against all of his life. Until recently that battle has been fought on behalf of others.

After a lifetime of service to his country and community, Dr. Paul is, to use his own phrase, “on his last legs.” He uses a cane to get around and has taken a few severe tumbles. “I’ve had more operations than a fried cat.”

drpaul1

He wears a “Life Alert” medical device around his neck and with it he can summon help via a telephone if he falls and can’t get up.

He has had to use it several times but it allows him to live alone and he is fiercely independent. In truth, he is not alone for he shares his three-bedroom home and large backyard with Ben, his English springer spaniel of fifteen years.

“If you’re going to get sick in Alberta, don’t be a dog. Dogs can’t afford the vet bills. Neither can their owners,” he says.

“Vets charge far more for their services than I ever billed any human patients for mine.”

drpaul2

During over 40 years of medical practice, Dr. Paul always sported a mustache.

Because of shingles that cause him considerable pain, he has stopped shaving altogether and has a luxurious brown beard spotted with twists of grey.

Because of a stroke, his left hand is almost useless but he can still drive a car. He has a sporty four door blue station wagon with a special cage for his beloved Ben.

Dr. Paul is a diabetic and takes insulin daily. In addition to this, he must use numerous pills to supplement his weakening, and in some cases inoperative, organs.

Sugar is verboten, however, he occasionally sneaks a chocolate.

“Half my major arteries have been rewired and pieces of me are falling off,” he says with the wry observation of a physician and philosopher. “I’m about two to a hill.” (This is a Maritimes expression to describe a poor crop of potatoes, most hills should have 20 or 30 spuds in them.)

drpaul3

“I wish I had been this sick when I was younger,” he says. “That way I could appreciate what my patients had to go through.”

Not long ago, Dr. Paul’s daughter, Heather, 54 (a schoolteacher) drove him to Didsbury where he purchased a cemetery plot for himself and his wife, Cille.

She died ten years ago. Dr. Paul has kept her ashes and when he dies, he too will be cremated and their ashes will be buried in Didsbury.

“It’s a lovely cemetery and the plots are only $200. Why anyone would want to spend five or six thousand for a plot in Edmonton — why that’s just crazy.” The granite headstone, which will bear his and his wife’s name, costs $2000.

Didsbury has changed so much over the last 30 years that he hardly recognizes it.

drpaul4

Only one or two of the old landmarks are there. The town was one of his favorite places — a thriving community, only a few minutes ride to fine duck and upland game hunting.

Such memories.

The gleaming tracks of the railway glide through the center of Didsbury. If those steel tracks could talk they would tell a story about the time a man was killed on those rails and a young country physician, Dr. Paul, instructed the RCMP to record the skid marks of the great coal-driven locomotive.

After the skid marks were measured, the physician had the police carefully interview the people and crew on the train.

“And while you’re at it, boys,” he said, “measure the circumference of all the wheels on that death train.”

This ate up time and played havoc with the CPR train schedule across Canada.

The executives of the railway issued stern warnings to Dr. Paul and the warnings turned to threats.

In those days the local coroner had tremendous power. And in addition to being the local country doctor, Doug Paul…was the coroner.

And then someone remembered that Dr. Paul had saved the arm of a CPR employee and, since the operation had taken three times as long as the CPR had thought was necessary, there was a dispute over the bill.

The CPR’s lawyers had gotten into the act and had written a note to Dr. Paul saying that the company — which was all powerful — would not pay the bill. They were quibbling over thirty or forty dollars.

With rail service halted across Canada, the bill was quickly paid and lo and behold, the train in Didsbury that was disrupting the nation, pulled out of the station.

Such memories.

But of course the tracks of 1997 cannot talk.

Still, for Dr. Paul, Didsbury will always hold a special place in his heart.

The people. The patients. The hunting.

Ah, the hunting….

drpaul5

That’s all over now. “I stopped hunting with friends five years ago because I was afraid I’d end up shooting one of them. And then I stopped hunting altogether because I was afraid I’d end up shooting myself or my dog.

One gets the impression he was more worried about killing his dog than himself for he is not afraid of death. He has been around it too many times. He watched a lot of men die in World War II.

He watched a lot of elderly and even the young die. He calls pneumonia “the old peoples’ friend” and says it’s one of the most pleasant ways to depart this earth.

As a young medical doctor he joined the Canadian army and found himself on a troop ship to England. Half way across the Atlantic, a sailor ruptured his appendix and Dr. Paul began emergency surgery.

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The ship, plowing through a great storm, tossed so violently that the sailor kept sliding away from the young doctor.

The young doctor sent an urgent request to the captain to stop the ship for 15 minutes or the young sailor would die.

“Then die he must,” said the captain, “if we dare to slow this ship now, a German U-boat will blow us out of the water.”

These were the days of the infamous Nazi wolf packs.

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“I somehow sliced open the sailor, removed his appendix and sewed him up successfully, no thanks to the captain,” says Dr. Paul.

The next day one of the boilers on the ship broke and the vessel drifted helplessly on the high seas for six hours.

Fortunately there were no enemy subs in the area. “Or if they were,” he says, “They were busy sinking other ships.”

Perhaps it was in the war where Dr. Paul learned to break the rules.

He and another medical doctor were smuggled into Holland before it was liberated. Their assignment was to set up a mobile field dressing station in the midst of the enemy. This would be to prepare for the upcoming battle (that they didn’t know was coming.)

Dr. Paul surreptitiously put together the hospital unit.

Nearby he discovered the small city of Eindhoven with a make-shift hospital for kids who had been wounded in the war.

He secretly transported medical supplies to the hospital.

The problem: there was no doctor there to operate on the kids. Dr. Paul rolled up his sleeves and went to work. A week later, about fifty kids were alive who would have been dead.

The Nazis and Dutch sympathizers swarmed all around him. If the Canadian military had found out what Captain Paul was up to, he would have been court-martialed. Medical supplies were sacrosanct and were only for the troops.

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In his home, near the University of Alberta, there is a small bronze plaque in Dutch that the children presented to him over half a century ago during the second Great War.

Dr. Paul did not see his wife for four years during that war and the endless hours in surgery took their toll on the young medical doctor. Sometimes he would be in surgery for three days non-stop. He saved a lot of lives —

Even in the midst of battle there was some respite and some humor. He recalls billeting with a padre as war was coming to an end near Holland.

They slept in a tent and one night, Dr. Paul heard sounds in the darkness. “In those moments you took aggressive action,” he says.

“I walked out of the tent and emptied my handgun in the direction of the sounds — we knew no one would approach without identifying himself. Well, the padre gave me hell for such reckless behavior.”

“The next night I was awakened at three AM by the sounds of gunshots. It was the padre, standing outside the tent, emptying my handgun into the darkness. Apparently he had heard sounds.”

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And there were excursions to his homeland in Scotland. “We stayed at a delightful little hotel. They had no provisions and the next morning they asked us what we wanted for breakfast.

As a joke we said thick bacon and eggs. Of course there was no bacon to be had in Europe. Magically the bacon and eggs appeared.”

And then there was the time after the liberation that the European women had to sell themselves to the troops so they could buy food for their kids.

The currency was cigarettes. Dr. Paul and his friend the padre “liberated” hundreds of cases of cigarettes and gave them to the women. That put a stop to the prostitution.

He has a few other memories of the war in his home. There is a photo on the wall of the house in Scotland where his mother was born in the 1800s.

In his kitchen is a microwave oven where he does most of his cooking. Until his children presented him with a microwave he was dead set against it, preferring to make his meals the natural way. “By burning them on the stove.”

Every month, he hires a group of house cleaners to attack his place, the rest of the time he manages to keep it reasonably clean on his own. He hates washing and it seems to pile up faster than he can handle it. Part of this is because he is meticulously clean.

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It’s part of a medical background. He graduated with a M.D., C.M. from Queens in 1942. His anatomy instructor told the class at the beginning of the session that in order to pass they would have to know everything in the textbook.

A year later, the instructor asked Doug, what he knew about the textbook. The cocky young med answered “everything.” Apparently that was the right answer for Doug Paul graduated with honors.

Dr. Paul is amused by today’s medical specialists and their narrow focus of expertise. In his day, Dr. Paul, treated the entire patient. Actually, he treated more than that, he treated the entire community.

He spent twenty years in Didsbury (just north of Calgary) and knew everyone there. And everyone knew him. He also practiced in nearby Carstairs.

Bright, complex, sarcastic (he does not suffer fools — be they patients, family members or hunting companions), Dr. Paul ended up saving a lot of lives.

Yet, now in an age of political correctness, Dr. Paul is a dinosaur.

He refers to nurses who make errors as “misguided girlies.” He tries to bridle his contempt for inept medical practitioners.

Referring to a doctor who is not high on his list of competence he simply says:  “So and so had the misfortune to fall under Doctor X’s scalpel.

Just as Churchill was the right man for the right job at the right time, Dr. Paul was once the right man for the right job.

That job was the creation of a health care system.

When the social credit government was searching for a man to create Alberta Health Care in the early 70s, they needed a rare combination of talent.

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First he had to be a medical doctor to appease the medical community.

He had to be a leader. A visionary. It was essential the person understood bureaucracy and how to deal with it. Perhaps someone in Ernest Manning’s government read some of the letters Dr. Paul had written criticizing it.

Besides being a superb physician and surgeon, Dr. Paul is a master of the English language and he simply does not make errors in grammar.

The last thing Manning needed was a yes man, but mostly what was required was a man who would implement the definitive program that would help Albertans.

Bottom line:  in addition to all of the difficult attributes the successful candidate had to have, he would have to love Alberta and its future.

The short list was pretty short.

When Manning saw it, he placed Doug Paul, M.D., in charge of what was to become Alberta Health Care and is now known as Capital Health Care.

Dr. Paul was given the signing authority of a minister (read:  he could write a check for any amount of money and the Alberta Government would have to honor it) and told he had four months to bring Alberta Health Care on line.

Dr. Paul decided to use computers and his ideas cut deep into cyberspace, a word and concept which was unknown to 99.99 percent of the world.

In Dr. Paul’s vision of the perfect health care system, everyone in Alberta would be looked after. There would be no fees paid by the patient and the only way one could see a specialist would be through the referral of a family doctor.

Manning balked at this. He wanted “user fees,” albeit tiny ones. Perhaps it was his way of reminding Albertans that with a small check several times a year, they were getting the best health care in the world. In those days this province was afloat with money. Oil money that would generate a boom like Canada has never seen.

There were other things Dr. Paul suggested. Simply by scanning your Alberta Health Care card through a reader, a doctor would immediately have all your vital statistics and medical history. The powers that be thought that was a bit too invasive of the voters personal rights. Never mind that it would save lives.

There were compromises but in the end Dr. Paul created the finest health care system that Canada and perhaps the world had ever seen. He won a few bets too. A case of whiskey from one of the executives of TransAmerica Corporation who said that the health care system would cost more than 7 percent to administrate.

It was a tremendous challenge, however, the young medical student from Queens, who fought in World War II, hunted wild geese and enjoyed canoeing the hidden northern lakes of Alberta, was worthy of the challenge.

For a shining decade after that Alberta had a health care system that was the envy of the world. The Camelot of Medicine.

But Camelots have a way of disappearing.

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Today Dr. Paul is not pleased with what he calls “the beer hall politics” of Alberta’s Ralph Klein and the way the medical care program of Alberta is being torn apart by short sighted politicians.

In talking with Dr. Paul, it’s obvious that he cares about medicine as much as any Canadian.

His record speaks volumes. It is not the record of a specialist or a “modern doctor.” It is the record of an old fashioned country doctor, that a world war tested. It has made Dr. Paul a national treasure.

He delivered over 2,000 babies and never lost a mom. He knows a special technique for rotating a baby around in the birth canal if it’s going to be a breach delivery. Most obstetricians of today, faced with such a challenge, perform a Cesarean.

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Dr. Paul scoffs at the many Caesarians that are done and considers most of them unnecessary and nonsense.

He himself would be the first to admit he is a strange meld of ethics. He has never performed an abortion unless the mother’s life was in danger.

He says he cannot count the number of times women begged him to terminate their pregnancy but he couldn’t do it.

They always thanked him afterwards for a healthy son or daughter.

“In my day, if a child was born with a serious disease, and there was no hope of that child having a life — we simply set the child down and let nature take it. We didn’t practice heroics.

“I suppose I shall be judged someday for what I did. In my day, it was a different kind of medicine.

“Now you have lawyers in the hallways.”

In his day the physician understood the disease, the person and the community.

Doctors did things differently. People were not numbers. They were the sons and daughters of friends. The country doctor knew the history of the patient before she ever came into his office.

And the doctors did things differently in the old days.

“If someone has a heart attack and you want to kill him, call 911 and load the poor bastard into the back of an ambulance and then, with sirens screaming, rush him to the hospital. If the coronary doesn’t kill him the ride will scare him to death.”

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Possibly this is how Dr. Paul managed to have one of the highest survival rates for heart attack victims.

“Really quite simple. I got to the patient as fast as possible, shot him full of morphine and made him stay in bed. The morphine was to stop the pain and it did a wonderful job. Then on the third or fourth day, I’d quietly move the patient to the hospital where I could monitor his recovery.”

And when it came to curing the simple cold, Dr. Paul came pretty close. His cough syrup could stop a cough almost instantly.

“It’s so simple it’s ridiculous,” says Dr. Paul. “There’s no money in something that easy to make and the big drug companies can’t make a cent out it but it stopped thousands of babies from crying their heads off and never harmed a one of them.

Dr. Paul weighs exactly what he did after he came out of the army:140 pounds. The last five years have been near murder on him.

Strokes, emphysema and coronaries have knocked him down again and again. He carries on—thanks in part to being a recipient of what’s left of the superb health care system he pretty much created single handedly.

He drinks single malt Scotch. “Perhaps a bit too much and I smoke. I’ve tried to stop a thousand times. I can’t and that’s what will probably kill me.”

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He started at the age of eight and his father (a banker in Saskatchewan) walked by and saw him.

“I was afraid I would get a whipping that night but by my dinner plate there was a pipe. My father said if you have to smoke, smoke like a man.”

Although Dr. Paul stopped hunting for fear he might end the life of himself or his friends or his dog, he probably hung up his rifle for other reasons. “I shot a coyote and it just jumped up in the air and died and after that I just didn’t want to hunt any more.”

Before that the doctor lived to hunt and fish.

He was particularly fond of goose hunting that he did in the Coronation district. He often finished surgery in Didsbury at five in the evening, then drove with Taupe, a huge Weimaraner, until midnight to reach Coronation, the home of the Canada Goose on its winter migration to Florida and The Gulf.

Friends would have scouted the location of the geese and then at four AM, Dr. Paul would get up and drive 30 minutes to where he and his friends would dig goose pits and wait for the geese.

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Taupe was great for bringing back the geese that fell from the sky when Dr. Paul nailed them with his .16 gauge Browning.

Taupe was also a terrific pointer when it came to pheasants but if he found the birds and Dr. Paul missed the first three shots, the Weimaraner would give up hunting for the day.

Around Coronation in October when the “geese were running” the air was so cold in the early mornings that Dr. Paul and his friends could not uncap the tops of mickeys so they would have to do without a drink until sunrise, at which time the geese would—if the hunters were lucky—return to the wheat fields.

Guess who they took along to open the booze? Me. Although I was not allowed to taste it. That is where I learned how to hunt Canada geese.

In Didsbury, over the years, Dr. Paul bought several homes, one of which had an acreage with a barn. Here he bred Weimaraners and chickens.

Over the barn door hung a large elk head he had taken. The moose had charged him and he had barely been able to get to his gun before it would have killed him.

There was a gravel road that ran by his acreage and often speeders disturbed his Sundays. On these days he instructed his children and their friends to construct what he called “beaver dams” across the road. This usually slowed down the speeders.

He himself liked to speed and justified it since he was often on the way to an emergency. Once in Saskatchewan an RCMP officer stopped him for speeding.

“I note,” said the officer, “that you are a medical doctor.”

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“Yes,” said Dr. Paul.

“And I suppose you are on your way to an emergency.”

“To tell the truth officer, I am not. I’m coming home from a wedding.”

“Then,” said the RCMP officer, “I won’t give you a ticket since you are the first doctor I have stopped in my life who was not on his way to an emergency. Carry on.”

Dr. Paul knew the backwoods of Canada as well as any man and chose to use them instead of the main roads (much to the horror of his wife and his family).

He often drove a four-wheel Travel-all with a winch and they said he enjoyed getting stuck, then directing the family on the uses of the winch.

He, of course, seldom got muddy because he had to drive.

Once in the backwoods he drove past a Hutterite colony. They stopped him and explained that one of their horses had been injured in a Texas cattle gate—a series of iron bars buried in the ground.

Dr. Paul examined the animal. It had several compound fractures and there was no alternative but to put the poor creature out of its misery.

No one in the colony had a firearm, or if they did no one wanted to kill the horse. Dr. Paul said he would do it. He got in his Travel-all, drove 500 meters.

He got out of the vehicle with his .270 rifle, nestled its custom stock against his cheek and squeezed off one of the high velocity bullets that he loaded himself.

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As the astonished Hutterites watched, the high-powered slug shattered the horse’s skull and the creature was instantly put out of its misery.

Dr. Paul liked to drive from Didsbury to Calgary or Banff to spend a weekend with a friend of his who was a dentist.

The two worked together in Didsbury. They were good friends and enjoyed hunting and between the two of them they consumed a great deal of good Scotch whiskey.

Often Dr. Paul would “pour” a general anesthetic for the dentist when he was doing difficult extractions. One particular morning, the dentist was working on a patient that Dr. Paul had put under.

The anesthetic was chloroform and half way through the procedure the dentist realized his young patient had died.

“Now what are we going to do?” asked the dentist. Something like that had never happened to him before.

Without hesitation, Dr. Paul said, “this happened a couple of times in the war. There’s only one way out of it. We have to get a massive dose of chloroform into the kid’s lungs.”

They did.

And, as Dr. Paul predicted, the kid came out of it just fine. Procedures like that aren’t learned in medical school. You have to go to war to learn those techniques.

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Although Dr. Paul was fearless in battle he was terrified of having anyone work on his teeth. When the dentist realized Dr. Paul needed a tooth filled, the dentist would get the doctor rip roaring drunk.

Dr. Paul was probably one the first medical doctors in the world to perform open heart surgery.

He did it for a soldier who had been shot through the heart. He repaired the heart while it was pumping and kept the chest cavity sewn open until the heart repaired itself.

“The first time we used penicillin on a patient—my God, it was a miracle. One day the poor man was dying, the next day he was walking.”

The doctor and the dentist drove back and forth between Calgary and Didsbury often and talked about the war and what it meant and how many good friends they had lost.

“The Germans came close to beating us. The had tanks with .88 millimeter guns. They could lobe a shell over a hill and take out our boys who were hiding on the other side of a ridge. There was a Canadian tank gunner who got blown out of his tank four times. Never got hurt. He went crazy. Can’t say as I blame him.”

One night, the doctor and the dentist were returning on a July 1st evening and encountered a farmer with a flat tire.

His lights were off and they almost hit him. Dr. Paul got out of his car and explained to the farmer that it was dangerous to park on the road without adequate flares.

“I don’t have flares,” said the farmer.

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“Not to worry,” said Dr. Paul. “We’ll lend you some.” What he neglected to explain to the farmer was that the flares were for the 1st of July.

Dr. Paul and the dentist (who happened to be my father) set the flares a few hundred feet behind the truck, lit them and drove away.

“You could see the fireworks for about ten miles,” said Dad.

Dr. Paul recently gave his guns to his two sons—Rob, a farmer; the other, Douglas, a banker. The two boys and his daughter, Heather, have given him eight grandchildren.

He makes a point of remembering all of their birthdays and spending time with them.

Although he claims to have no favorites, he does seem partial to a grandson named Paul. When Paul was four, he complained that his older sisters were teasing him mercilessly.

He doctor checked out the statement and found it was true then took little Paul aside and showed him how to ball his hand into a fist. “Now next time one of your older sisters make life unbearable for you, hit her in the nose with that.”

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Apparently it worked because Paul was never bothered by his sisters again.

The story illustrates Dr. Paul’s willingness to fight for what he thinks is right and teach his progeny to do the same.

“When we put Alberta Health Care together,” he said, “some of the doctors thought we were trying to cut their fees. We gave them adequate fees and what a lot of people never realized was that in those days only half of the fees a doctor billed were collected.

With the stroke of pen, Manning doubled most doctors’ yearly income. I think a GP who pulls in three or four hundred thousand a year is adequately compensated.”

If he could start over again, would he?

“No,” he says. “I had my day. It was a great life. There’s no way I could practice what has become of medicine.” He is not sad, nor is he resigned.

“I made some mistakes, lots of them,” he said. “When I first started my practice a young mother came into my office and I had to tell her that she had several terrible cancers. She asked me how long she would live.

“I said a few months at best. Nothing could be done. She looked at me and said, ‘Doctor, I have three children who have not started school yet. I will be around to see each of them graduate from university.’ She wrote me a note when the last one graduated. Never underestimate the power of the human spirit. Or a mother’s love.”

He chuckles and allows that he’s not certain if any of her kids wanted to go to college. But by God, their mother saw to it that they did.

“I had a lot of patients who had sicknesses that I couldn’t figure out. I often had George Law (a druggist in Didsbury) compound huge purple pills that were nothing but sugar. You would be surprised how many of my patients made total recoveries because they had something to believe in. A Goddam purple pill big enough to choke a horse. It’s a wonder they didn’t strangle trying to get those pills down. Never scoff at believing in something.”

Each day he gets up, feeds his dog, watches a little television and stops in to see a neighbor who is a Mormon. She is 94.

Dr. Paul kids her mercilessly about her religion. He does not hold much with organized religion and postulates that he and his wife will return as mallard ducks.

Dr. Paul swears he does not belittle Mormon beliefs. “I’m just having a bit of fun by pointing out the facts. In the long run facts will damage most religions beyond repair.

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The two bicker about other things. She believes that after she dies, she will see all of her dogs. Over the years she has had as many pets as Dr. Paul.

“So you think then?” he asks, “that dogs have souls?”

She answers yes.

“Have you ever seen a dog’s soul?”

She tells him to talk about something else and he sips his coffee and puffs on his pipe or cigarette then, after an hour or so, he says he must return to his home to feed Ben.

By the way, the woman is my mother.

After he assembled Alberta Health Care, Dr. Paul went on to work for the Alberta Government as Chief Medical Officer in the Rehabilitation Clinic at The Workman’s Compensation Board.

He has little time for chiropractors and even less time for new age medicine, although he would be the first to admit that the best religion that he has seen on earth is that of our natives.

“They have reverence and appreciation for nature. That’s a good thing.”

He can identify most wild trees, bushes and flowers.

“You know what will kill you in the bush? Your watch. You get lost and then you remember you have to be home for dinner at six and you panic and you really get lost and you trip and you break a leg and a bear eats you. If you’re ever lost, take off your watch and throw it away. Forget about time. Focus on staying alive. Build a fire and start thinking.”

He understands the ebb and flow of the seasons as only an Albertan can. And he believes that the weather can be predicted by observing how beavers build their lodges.

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He is fascinated by mushrooms and with his microscopes (he has two), he is working on a single test that will identify poisonous or edible ones.

“Did you know there’s a kind of mushroom in Northern Alberta that will kill most people if they eat it, except if you’re a Russian, then you have a genetic immunity to it. Nature is fascinating.”

Lately he finds himself thinking more and more about what will happen on the other side of this life.

“I had a stroke several years ago and I was out of it for a week and I kept having this dream. In the dream I was back in the war and every man I knew who had died was waiting to get on the conveyor belt. I knew each man and called him by name.

“In my dream there was a terrible commotion and I realized that someone was refusing to get on the belt. I saw that the man was me. I knew then that if I woke up I would be alive. I woke up.”

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Death doesn’t haunt him. He finds it as fascinating as say, mushrooms. He knows that shortly he may have a few answers to questions he has wondered about all of his life.

Until that time Dr. Paul still enjoys planting roses, walking his dog and chuckling over his take of the inconsistencies of the universe. Every week he vows he will stop smoking.

He is by nature a frugal man in many ways. He does not like paying exorbitant prices for tobacco. And he is annoyed that although he has been able to master almost everything in life, tobacco has outsmarted him.

“I might live to be a hundred,” he says. “But then again, there’s a chance I won’t.”

He taps a cigarette from a pack and touches a match to the tobacco and inhales deeply.

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Like to read another story about Didsbury?

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bittersweet

 

Sensational Seagulls

SENSATIONAL

SEAGULLS

written by

jaron summers (c) 2015



My mother and father searched for the right church for me to attend — finally they found the perfect place to send me on Sundays … and later, halfway around the world.

My conversion started with a bottle of whiskey, loneliness and miracle seagulls.

We lived in Canada and each spring my mother and I took a three-day train journey to her hometown to visit her parents in South Dakota.

In early fall my father drove to Lake Andes, a small town in the middle of a Sioux Indian Reservation, and we’d all drive back to Canada.

On one of his 1,500-mile treks to retrieve us my father, Jack Summers, stopped in Salt Lake City.

He was lonely and killed off a bottle of whiskey in a motel room near Temple Square, an icon of the Mormon church, officially known as The Church of  Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Don’t forget the hyphen after Latter.

I had heard Dad and Mom talking about finding a religion to provide me with some kind of anchor or moral compass. I suppose my parents feared their seven-year-old was headed for a life of crime and deprivation.

There in Salt Lake City, Dad, tipsy, stumbled toward Temple Square in the center of the LDS community. It was a glorious evening with a cool desert breeze. Dad said it made him feel at ease with the world.

Hundreds of curious visitors were listening to fascinating stories from all sorts of interesting Mormons in Temple Square.

My father was in time to hear about the Miracle of the Seagulls. The story was told by a Mormon elder of about 30 dressed in suit and tie. Dad said the man glistened with confidence and compassion.

This fellow explained that in 1848, when 4,000 Mormon pioneers had been in the Salt Lake Valley for a few years, hoards of insects devoured their crops. The pioneers called the insects Mormon Crickets and it looked like the little devils would eat everything that was growing.

 

With no food for the coming winter, the Mormons would starve to death.

The insects were not crickets but belonged to the katydid family. They could not fly but they sure could gobble up the crops.

Nothing stopping them. Millions of them. Wave upon wave.   Here is what they sound and look like.  

You could not drown them. You could not set them on fire. You could not poison them. You could not stomp them to death.

It looked like curtains for the early Mormons.

Luckily they possessed a powerful last resort.

The 4,000 Mormons fell to their knees and beseeched Heavenly Father for His help.

Moments later California Seagulls arrived in such numbers as to blot out the sun.

They pounced upon the Mormon Crickets and ate them all up–then flew to nearby ponds, drank water, regurgitated the evil crickets and flew back to consume their chirping brothers and sisters.

God had answered the prayers of the Saints and saved their lives.

That night Dad phoned my mother to tell her that he had discovered the perfect religion for me. Maybe for our entire family of three.

My mother asked if the Mormons were Christians. My father said yes. For sure.

What is the basis of their beliefs asked Mother.

“Vomiting Seagulls,” said my father.

I was baptized a Mormon eight months later on my 8th birthday.


 

Many have asked me what’s the guy doing in the water to the left of the monument to the seagulls. I think he’s looking for a grain of truth —

 

The longer between the event and the telling of it, the greater the miracle when it comes to religion. I suspect what happened with the Miracle of the Seagulls was that around 1848 a cricket or maybe a large ant stole a crumb from a Mormon elder’s plate.

A few minutes later a sparrow ate the cricket.

The elder told the story to his friends and over the years the cricket became a million and the sparrow became a flock of seagulls that blotted out the sun.

I suspect that by the end of this decade the crickets will become space ships and the seagulls will become angels with laser eyes. Acting on divine direction the angels will save the saints.

 

If you want to listen to a novel I wrote about being a Mormon Missionary please click here.

You can join Audible for free for a month and your first novel is free. Love to hear what you think of it.

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SIZZLE

I’m not a cop but I’ve known great ones ….

Here’s one of the worst things that a cop ever saw and sometimes when he’s had a few drinks my friend, a member of The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Mounties), re-tells the story of Fat Joe.

This Mountie was posted to Coronation, a tiny town on the plains of Alberta where I grew up.

Coronation’s population stayed around 950 for decades. The joke was that everytime a child was born, a single man would sneak out of town that night.

Not many locals ever became famous in our area except for k.d. lang.

 My father looked after her family dentistry but I never met her. She has a terrific smile and she can sing about as elegantly as anyone in the world. Not bad for a vegetarian, raised in ranching country, who was more interested in cowgirls than cowboys. 

And, although no one else became as famous as k.d. lang in our part of the world, Coronation was secretly infamous for something that the town never bragged about: Suicide. 

In the 1960s I could stand on our back porch and count about a dozen places where sad souls had taken their lives. They would often wipe out their entire families.

No one knew why. I told some of my colleagues at the CBC about Coronation’s astonishing suicides and they checked it out and were going to do a story about it — but it died unexpectedly …  like a lot of people  in Coronation.

In the 1960s the country with the highest suicide rate was either Japan or Sweden.

Today the Kingdom of Lesotho’s suicide rate is 30 per 100,000, making it the winner in self-murder. That’s about three per 10,000. One out of 3,500 Basothos (Lesotho citizens) offs themselves. 

Coronation, with a population of less than a thousand, often lost four or five locals annually to suicide in the 1960s.  It’s suicide rate was 20 times more than the world’s highest suicide rate of today.  Talk about killer statistics.

Which brings us to Fat Joe. Today we’d say he was morbidly obese. He seemed  a happy go lucky fellow. 

But Fat Joe, ran into some bad luck, grew despondent over a sour marriage and there came a time when he could cope no longer …. he made a decision.

Moments later the town’s phone operator called my friend to report an explosion. He grabbed his jacket and jumped in his squad car. 

Fat Joe farmed east of the town, not that far from k.d. Lang’s home. 

Low hanging smoke covered Fat Joe’s home.  All that was left was part of a chimney and a crumbled brick wall.  Apparently there had been a gas leak and a flame had found it. BOOM!

Fat Joe —  by some miracle or maybe curse — was alive. Seems all his fat had cushioned the explosion. 

My friend rushed Fat Joe to the hospital. 

Rolling folds of fat had protected Fat Joe but his adipose became his executioner.  The fat fried inside him.  Like bacon that had caught fire — infusing the emergency room with a sickening sweet aroma. 

The doctor sliced Fat Joe open, again and again in a failing effort to cool Fat Joe’s burning innards. 

Hopeless.

Nothing could quench the flames that sizzled in Fat Joe. 

He finally died. 

“To this day, over half a century later,” said my friend, “when I think about his screams … the bad smells come back.”

 

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Coronation Tales

Mr. Science

My boyfriend is telling me that the Earth is flat, but my friends are telling me that he’s lying. I think the Earth is round, but I’m not sure. Is the Earth round or flat?

Mr. Science Answer: Both groups are correct. The earth is both round and flat. Have a look. This is a photo from NASA that my Uncle Claude “borrowed” when he was a janitor for the CIA.

New Zealanders have a theory that if the world were flat cats would knock everything off it. Those people are correct. If you go to New Zealand there’s stuff on it — trees, buildings, chewing gum. That is because it’s in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s the top half off the hemisphere. It’s round.

But in the northern hemisphere there are very few cats. Just young ones with sharp claws. The rest have fallen off the edge.

Best to you and your boyfriend.

Jaron (Mr. Science) Summers

Insider Tip $$$

What to do if you have an extra $1,000.

Let me handle it for you and then watch your investment grow.

I am talking about all sorts of valuable plants that you could raise in your own backyard. And, I have a huge backyard!

These are some of the plants we’ll grow: Cypress. Viburnum. Spruce. Boxwood. Flowering Quince. American Arborvitae. Wax Myrtle. Euonymus. Holly. Juniper. Privet.

You can eat some of these plants, you can feed some to cows and then eat the cows, you can sell cuttings to eager investors and you still keep the plants. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

Some of these plants can be used as Christmas trees. As long as there are god-fearing Christians we’ll always believe in Santa Claus.

Send a check to me immediately!

Make it out to: The Jaron Hedge Fund. How can we lose? We can’t. All of the plants are hedges. See you at the top!

jaron summers, Finical Expert.

ps — you may, if you qualify, invest more that $1,000. Many of these hedges double in size every 15 months. This is not a Ponzi scheme. Yet.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ……….

We Is Records

Thanks to the avoidance of social distancing and masks during the Covid-19 crisis, many Americans will end up as parts of records.


AAPLive beyond the groove offers to press your loved one into a vinyl record complete with songs to to remember them.


A 30-disk package costs about AUD$3,900, which is much cheaper than some funerals.

Joe and Me

President Joe Biden and I have things in common. We are each 78. We eat breakfast with our wives. We think the same.

With my aptitude for strategic thought I too could have become president.

Before his inauguration President-elect Biden’s guardians requested 25 thousand National Guard soldiers for a sleep-over.

I was not that edgy but just in case some MAGAs dropped by, the ones with pointed heads and fangs, I nailed our front door shut.See how alike the president and I are?

On inauguration day at 4 AM my wife, Kate, and I checked CNN and Fox for signs of a second dust-up at the Capitol.Things were calm as the new president and I had predicted … America now has a dynamite president and astonishing vice president. The world is safer.

President Biden signed a stack of decrees to reverse the goofy decrees that the 45th president had hatched. I had emailed the president with this suggestion.

Kate and I celebrated America’s renewed democracy with a melted tuna sandwich.Always willing to help I asked Kate where in blazes she had hidden the tuna.

She claimed it was in our fridge and that I never paid attention.

I explained that she reads far too many books on being mindful and said that since I was on an equal footing with the president-elect that I deserved to be respected like his wife respected him.

Something in Kate’s brain snapped. “Jill Biden has to remind her husband to put his cereal bowl in the dishwasher,” she said.

I said that was nonsense — either one of them could ask the Secret Service to clear the table.

Kate said the Secret Service would not clear anyone’s table.

“All the president or I would have to do is mention that there was a bomb in his bran flakes,” I said.

Kate felt this attitude was one more reason that I might never be president. She can be extremely hurtful.

Nut Energy

written by

jaron summers (c)  2024

My Dear Friends,


About a hundred years ago my grandfather fought in World War I — my cousin, Ken Summers, found the following.  (The military keeps pretty good records.)

Hit control ++ to magnify his medical record. It says Grampa was sent home to die. 

john summers darken

You can also magnify his widow’s pension below.  Not much for a man’s life: $322.  That’s not for a month, that’s for an entire life.

widow pension

Several MDs I talked to said that with a wound like Gramps had that the surgeons would have removed the shrapnel. No.  Grampa —  who I never met —  ended up with  lead in him and a tiny pension.  

John & Mercy Summers

 

JohnAlfred&MercySummers

He decided to take it in a lump sum, a one-time payment of around $300 while he was still alive.

What is not recorded in any documents is that as soon as he received the settlement one of our  shirt-tail relatives visited him with a sack of —  of all things —  almonds.

 

This chap stuck a pin in one of the almonds and said watch.  

He lit the nut on fire and it blazed  for several minutes like a tiny torch.  

almond

My grandfather gave this con artist  all his pension money after being promised large returns on a secret process to extract oil from almonds —  this oil would be used to power the world.  

Grampa died shortly after.  A busted man.

Near the end of his life my dad lost all of his tiny fortune betting on horses. 

 

Sometimes he would amuse himself by setting various beer nuts aflame.

 

He carried a small hat pin in his wallet for this purpose.

 

Lit Match ca. 2000

His first social security check was $62. He shot himself prior to the second check because he did not want to be a pauper.

 

I worried I might end up the same way so I invested prudentially in IRAs for Kate and me.

 

Many of those stocks are still being traded for a few pennies on the dollar.

 

We have a little cash left so I have decided to start an almond farm but I find myself a bit short so perhaps you could see your way clear to helping me — and in the process become wealthy beyond your dreams.

 
 

Childhood memories ….

 

Dad was  a boxer in his younger days.  The joke in our family was that he couldn’t pick up a ball bearing without crushing it.  Except when he was in your mouth.   Super gentle.  


The town of Coleman was the first place he set up a practice.  His first patient was a nervous and large coal miner.  Dad started to examine the chap’s mouth.  The guy bit him.

My father instantly knocked him senseless with an uppercut.  Then extracted a tooth.  When the guy came to — the patient said he was sorry.  Dad said he understood and under the circumstances would only charge him for the extraction.  The anesthetic was on the house.  

If you went to my father, you might also remember a moment before he injected Novocaine that Dad would gently move your head a little to the right and as he did it, his palm would cover your eyes. You closed your eyes.  You never saw the needle coming at you.  And by the time you figured out what was going on the injection was over. 

Dad claimed a large part of pain is what your mind anticipates.   Between you and me, I think police extract a lot more information from perps by frightening them instead of beating them. 

Dad was an expert at infraorbital nerve blocks.  This freezes  the ipsilateral lower eyelid, upper cheek, side of the nose, and upper lip.  Your head feels like a block of ice.  And if executed correctly  Ty Cobb could use a baseball bat on your teeth and you would not feel it. 

The injection site is usually into your face under your eye.  Not through the roof of your mouth. 

Anyway, Dad did it to Mother and the procedure was a partial success … She never felt any pain when he repaired a molar.  As a matter of fact she never again felt anything in her upper lip.  There goes most of the fun in kissing. 

Maybe that’s why I never had a brother or sister. 

A matchless President

I finally was able to talk to the world’s greatest president, Donald Trump. He emphasized he fully supported a peaceful transfer of power in 12 days.

Donald Trump plans to make sure that every toddler in the United States will receive 45 packages of matches.

He himself is taking fiddle lessons.

Aphrodite & The Rat

During our first pandemic lockdown, Aphrodite bought the condo on the other side of our common corridor. She was anything but common and worked for a Greek airline as a flight attendant. Aphrodite was in superb shape, and full of surprises.  

Christmas Eve arrived a few months later. My wife, Kate, was with her mother 100 miles away and I was alone and lonely in our condo bedroom. As I was nodding off  I heard a noise from our kitchen.

kitchen.jpg
the counter tops.jpg

The noise grew louder … sounded like a couple of tigers fighting.  There are no tigers in our home but there are roof rats, the size of kittens.  These roof rats manage to get into our place by gnawing through metal ceiling vents. 

 I had seen signs of roof rats a few days earlier so I had set a trap on the top shelf of one of the tall kitchen cabinets above the granite countertop. 

I stumbled into the living room and could tell that the commotion was coming from the site where I had set the rat trap. 

A rat was screaming and thrashing around and then … it stopped.  Obviously, the thing had either escaped or the trap had killed it.  

I decided to use a step ladder to hop onto the counter, then stand on my tip toes and have a peek at the top shelf inside the tall cabinet. 

man ladder.PNG

Halfway up the ladder, I realized I might slip and knock my brains out when I crashed onto the granite floor.  In such precarious circumstances, I depend on my Darling Kate to keep an eye on me. 

If something went amiss, Kate might get the doctor who lives below us to cauterize my bleeding with a hot branding iron. Note to self:  See if Amazon sells branding irons in case any more roof rats invade our condo. 

I remembered Aphrodite often stayed up late.  

The rat started threshing around again so there was no time for delays — I lurched into the hallway and rang Aphrodite’s doorbell … seconds later she peered around her half-open door and sized me up in my robe.

I flashed our new neighbor a fatherly smile and I told her that there was a giant rat in our home and I was going to dispatch it but I needed someone to keep an eye on me in case I granite crashed. 

She regarded me with some skepticism but she sensed I was a guardian, albeit the late hour. Probably she noticed my robe was embroidered with the words: “Protector of women and children.” I was also wearing a black belt that my wife had bought for me on eBay.

Aphrodite followed me in her skimpy negligee into our condo. I noticed she left our front door open.

When we got to the kitchen it was as quiet as heartbreaking.

“Have you been drinking?” she asked. 

Fighting exploded within the tall cabinet. 

Aphrodite’s eyes grew to the size of Frisbees.  “I bet this is some kind of joke. Everyone said you’re into that. You got a wind-up toy in there that flops around?”

“It’s a huge rat,” I said.  “I’ll get something to deal with it.”

“How big is it?”

“Ten or 15 pounds,” I said. 

“Get a bazooka.”  

“This is no joke. I’ll be right back.” 

You might wonder what I was after.  Well, when folks reach a certain age they need one of these to extend their reach:

extender.PNG flat.PNG

Obviously, my weapon to catch the rat would brand me as an old fuddy-duddy who needed a “reaching machine” because he was an advanced arthritic senior citizen. 

“I found my wife’s reacher,” I said when I returned to the kitchen.   No point explaining that I had been using a reacher for the last decade.

Aphrodite was nowhere to be seen.   I was puzzled. 

“Up here,” she said.  She was standing like a Grecian Goddess on our granite counter.  Inches from the tall cabinet. A soft wind floated in through the patio door — it rippled her negligee. 

Other men might have been embarrassed or turned on or … leered. I was simply terrified. After all, Aphrodite was in harm’s way … the slightest miscalculation and she could seriously harm herself … and probably sue us into the poorhouse. 

“H-how did you get up there?” I asked the creature who seemed to have stepped from the pages of the Iliad. 

“Your stepladder.”  The moonlight flowed through our large kitchen window and bathed her in mist. “I think you’re clowning around,” she said.

I was staring at a Greek apparition.  I had never seen anything so beautiful — let alone on our counter, towering over me in a diaphanous robe.  A tantalizing creature — the product of thousands of years of mystical DNA nurtured by the gods themselves.  

“There’s no rat. See?” she said and slowly opened the cabinet door.

I didn’t dare to speak. Time froze. 

And, then the rat leapt out, springing at Aphrodite’s delicate face — 

She instinctively stepped back, dodged the rat strike … and plummeted from the counter. 

Her body hurled toward the granite floor. 

There was no way I could reach Aphrodite before she smashed into the granite that was a billion years old.  Rock that had endured millennia — and in all of those eons had never seen anything like what was happening in our kitchen. Or anyone’s kitchen. 

Time thawed and re-froze; Aphrodite twisted in mid-air and flipped her body around “to stick” a perfect landing on the tips of her toes on solid granite. She would have put Rudolf Nureyev to shame for she had executed a mid-air maneuver that would have caused the scouts from Cirque du Soleil to hire her that instant. 

She smiled in the moonlight. 

“You okay?”

“I’m fine.  Sorry I didn’t take your giant rat more seriously.” 

The ill-fated rodent had perished instantly. That could have been Aphrodite. 

 “See you tomorrow,” she said. 

“Did you ever work for a circus?” I asked as she left.

But Aphrodite was gone.  Only the moonlight was left, growing dim behind a cloud. 

I buried the rat an hour later under that moonlight and thus ended my most memorable Christmas Eve.

If you run into Kate, please don’t mention any of this. What happened that night was mostly her fault. She’s always warning people to watch out for my teasing. Word gets around….

Friday the 13th … Gone

Donald Trump tripped and smashed his head against one of his many gold toilets … he realized it was not his fault. Nothing is.

It was the fault of the day: Friday the 13th.

He immediately signed a presidential declaration removing all Fridays from the calendars for the the next four years. ‘

“This means,” said our dear leader. “That America will have another presidential election in about three years because of the shorter weeks. I will win that next election. easily. And then I will add four more days to each week. Those days will be Fred, Melania, Maryanne, and Baron.

“And that way I can rule with kindness and compassion for an extra three years because of the longer weeks.

“God bless me and America.”

The Monkey Wrench

President

Donald Trump

I wonder how Donald Trump would have handled a past crises?

December 7, 1941 Mr. President, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor! They’re attacking our navy.

DT: Order the Secretary of the Navy to scuttle all our vessels world wide. They’ll be safe under water.

April 15, 1912 Mr. President, The Titanic just hit a giant iceberg.

DT: Tell my stock broker to short White Star Shipping. No need to talk about this or send rescue vessels, I have a feeling everyone will be fine.

1935 Mr. President Hitler announced the creation of a German Army of 550,000 men.

DT: No worries. Adolph loves me, loves me more than I love chocolate cake.

The Monkey Business President

Trump Predictions

January 1, 2021

Donald Trump (AKA: The Monkey Wrench President) will win 666 electoral votes of a possible 538 due to a bookkeeping error by a Moscow dude.

As the virus surges to over 2,000 deaths per day in the USA, President Trump will sign his first executive order banning face masks.

Trump Inc. will announce it owns 97 percent of the crematoriums in they USA. The remaining 3 percent will self destruct due to thermal events.

Monkey Wrench President
(more…)

Medical Emergency

Still shaking in my boots. Yesterday I put on my old shoes to go for a walk.

My left foot seemed to be asleep … I realized with horror that I could not lift it from the ground. Left side of the body often means a stroke.

I prayed I could get to the phone and call for help before I passed out. I was of course terrified. Can you guess what happened?

Here is a hint: Fit to be “tied.”

Iron Monsters & Memories

In the 1950s my mother and I traveled by bus and train to the States to stay with her parents each summer.

A few months later my father arrived in Lake Andes, South Dakota to drive us back to our home in Canada.

We stopped for root beer floats and foot-long hot dogs and saw tiny birds that ate mushrooms. 

On one of our last excursions we attended a passion play in Spearfish, South Dakota and it was rumored that the last six actors who played Judas commited suicide in real life. Dad said he doubted that.

We checked out the Grand Canyon and took the detour to Mt. Rushmore.

We explored Jewel Cave, currently the third longest cave in the world, with 200 miles of passageways.

The guide claimed that dozens of tourists had wondered from the main group and perished. Dad said he doubted that.

We drove to The Reptile Gardens that featured a thousand snakes of every variety in what appeared to be a shallow swimming pool.

One of the attendants tried to impress a girl by waving his hand in front of a Diamond Back and then grabbing the critter in mid-air as it struck.

The snake won the third round much to my father’s delight.

Another snake wrangler produced a glistening pocket knife and sliced an X over the bite, then sucked out blood and venom.

When we were we leaving the guy who had sliced up his colleague said that fellow was just showing off. “So I let him know I had a knife. I don’t think he’ll try to show off again.”

“Impressive and quick thinking,” said Dad. “You certainly taught him a fine lesson.”

“The thing, is Sir, because of the danger of our work, we can’t get insurance. Donations for medical expenses are always appreciated.”

My Dad, biting back laugher, wished him good luck and asked how many times a day the pair put the same show on.

As we headed for our car my father said he had been to the reptile place and witnessed the same stunt. “I was watching for it this time. That rattler probably had no venom glands and the guy with the jack knife had his mouth full of ketchup.”

We liberated fresh corn from the susurrus of seven foot stalks and we ate the succulent kernels, savoring the milky juice that burst from them. Dad said no farmer would begrudge or miss a few ears of corn from the bounty of the Lord.

Mother waited in the car while Dad and I fetched the corn from the Lord’s bounty. Mother felt Dad was setting a bad example for their only child.

Dad always found curious travel routes for us  — said part of the fun was getting lost ….

 Mother  complained that Dad stopped at railway crossings. 

There were no gates or flashing lights.  Just round signs — easy to miss. Dad said trains had the right of way and they could prove it. You had to watch for ’em.

When checking for approaching trains Dad parked our Oldsmobile Rocket-98 on the railway tracks — much to the horror of my mother. 

Dad explained one could get a clearer view of approaching trains if one straddled the tracks since such a vantage point provided unobstructed views.

Having parked on the tracks Dad, switched off our engine so we could hear trains approaching. 

I prayed we would not hear the whistle of any oncoming train or anything else that sounded close to it.

On occasions a train could be seen in the distance but Dad always got our Olds restarted before some great steam engine thundered over the rails where we had  parked seconds earlier. 

When I turned 16, my parents let me drive.  Fun for me but I noticed that neither Mother nor Dad slept while I was at the wheel.  

On a lovely fall day, with a cinnamon sun low in the west, we came to a railway crossing. I parked on the tracks to look both ways.  I turned off the engine as dear old Dad had taught me.  

A million pounds of coal-guzzling steel — roared out of the sunlight.  A one-eyed tiger bearing down on three frozen rabbits.

I tried the ignition but the car didn’t seem to start. 

“Jesus Christ, abandon ship!” said my Dad. “Get out! Go! Go! Go!”  

Mother and Dad scrambled to safety.   

I remained in the car, trying to start it, fumbling with the ignition.

The engineer rode his whistle: Two long blasts; a short, and a long.  The universal code that something that could level mountains would blast through the crossing.

Mom and Dad raced back to get me.

That iron monster ground toward us with frightening intensity. Sparks flew from the train’s steel wheels as they locked on the tracks. The sound was so shrill I could not hear what my mother and father were screaming.

My father yanked on my door. It held. Mother handed Dad a rock to break the glass.

It seemed the engineer braced himself for impact. I imagined I could see the terror in his face.

Dad was about to smash my window to save his only child; his only child smiled and started the Olds and rocketed out of harm’s way.

Dad and Mom jumped to safety.

The earth heaved as dozens of boxcars flashed by.  You could feel the ground tremble.

Silence. And, then the distant train whistle, fading and changing pitch inder the ice blue sky.

We were safe. Mother hugged me and wept. 

My Old Man really loves me despite the many beatings he administered; he was willing to die for me. Wow, I thought.

 “You little bastard, stop smirking,” Dad said. “You pretended it wouldn’t start. Fathead!”  He slid behind the wheel. I sensed that would be the end of my driving on this trip.

I thought he was going to slug me but he didn’t. 

Nor did he ever stop on railway tracks again to see what might be coming. 

Dad regaled our relatives for many Thanksgivings with our close encounter with an Iron Horse and vowed I would never be allowed to drive until I was 40; Mother would smile and later that night sneak a slug of port to quench her memories of the time she almost lost me to a speeding train.

That last time I was helping with the dishes I asked her why Dad acted bizarre every time he picked us up at the end of the summer.

“He hated that long drive to South Dakota every year. And, he didn’t enjoy my parents much.”

 I miss my road trips with Mom and Dad … trips that started so innocently.

Here’s our first Canadian journey.

 

 

Around Big Island

When we are in Hawaii (The Big Island) Kate likes to drive around it. I always give her instructions before she goes. There are two routes. Both are illustrated here.

Trump Time

OCTOBER 10, 2019
DAY 994 OF THE TRUMP Deconstruction of USA

1. Ordered US troops stationed in all foreign bases to form a circle and shoot all imaginary rabbits within circles.

2. Ordered US troops stationed in all domestic bases to form a circle and shoot all imaginary rabbits within circles.

3. Claimed Iceland as US colony and sold one acre lots to investors. Each new owner received five moose. Vice President Rudy Giuliani passed a law classifying all residents of Iceland as moose.

4. Sold $10,000 units of Trump Totalitarian Towers to 1,000,000 investors. Audit revealed there were only 100 units available. Buyers fined with failing to perform due diligence and jailed.

5. Paid for sex with three porn stars who later admitted they were bisexual. The president demanded and received half his money returned as the Supreme Court ruled that he had only agreed to pay for sex with females.


FADE IN: MAYA

There are a raft of shibboleths and acronyms you probably know if you’re contemplating writing something that starts with FADE IN:

POV, MOS, CU, FADE OUT, INT … some of the many “inside words” that are helpful to know if you’re going to make your mark in Hollywood.

Here’s a new one for you: MAYA. It stands for Most Advanced Yet Acceptable. The guy who came up with it was Raymond Loewy — arguably the most successful industrial designer of the last century —

MAYA explains why there are so many remakes, sequels, prequels, and homages to successful films and TV series. Familiarity may breed contempt but in Hollywood it spells gold at the boxoffice.


Am I a Crook?

Quora is a fun place to find people who answer questions. A lady from Quora, Ann, recently asked me this:

Have you ever embezzled from your company or organization? Will you please tell us about it?


Dear Ann,

Alas, I have never embezzled from any company. Or anyone. But as a writer I have some clever schemes. Do you want me to try them on you?

If so please send me your (a) social security number and (b) three of your credit cards. Not copies. Just mail ’em to me. I’ll return them. I need them so I can study your signature. I learn a lot from the way bright people like you sign your name.

Share with me the most evil thing(s) you did to a relative or employer. It should be in the last two years … because of the pesky laws dealing with statutes of limitation.

Unless you killed someone. If you did list the method(s) and the reason(s). Give me full details. After all, a confession is good for the soul.

Also, supply me with a detailed list of the times you cheated on a husband or boyfriend. Include your own children if applicable. Please describe what you did and the number of times. Don’t hold back anything.

If you have stolen or “borrowed” jewels, autos, family heirlooms, money or stocks, list them.

If you have any selfies of your activities please have them notarized. Send three copies of each act.

Have you ever left a baby or a puppy you grew annoyed with on a church doorstep?

Please do not send sexually explicit images of your behavior. I am not a pervert. And you can trust me.

Your new Internet friend,

Elder Jaron Summers

No gold in them-thare Hills

Has any official sovereign nation ever ran a Ponzi scheme in an attempt to cover a debt?

The United Nations claims there are 206 total states—193 member states, two observer states, and 11 classified as other states.

Nearly all of them have their own currencies. Some countries, for example, Ecuador, use American dollars.

I know of no country that has its currency backed by silver or gold. Yes, they hold silver and gold reserves. Huge difference.

JaronBS’ Rule One — if a country’s monetary system is not backed by gold or silver it’s one of three things:

  • Flat broke
  • On its way to becoming flat broke.
  • Bankrupt. (Which means it may have some assets but will soon be flat broke.)

So the answer to your question is that I know of no sovereign states that are not Ponzi schemes when it comes to their currency.

This explains it in more detail: What Really Backs the U.S. Dollar?

And for further reading:

Only One Currency Is Still Backed By Gold

Your Ponzi scheme —

You are stupid and probably blind. You are also greedy.

But you are not alone. Take some comfort in that, my dear friend.

There are about 7.5 billion people on this little blue planet.

Ninety-nine per cent of them have bet their future on mankind’s biggest Ponzi scheme and that includes me. We are all stupid, blind and greedy.

If you are not from the Stone Age, you need some method of trading. Ninety-nine percent of the population of the earth use some kind of currency. A lot of people favor good old American dollars.

Once those bucks were backed by gold or silver. No more — every modern dollar is a Federal Reserve note. That means it’s worth whatever the present economy and our friendly bankers think it’s worth.

Pretend you had $17,000 dollars in 1961. Suppose you bought a house with that money then. Keep those figures in your mind. And, also keep in mind that I own that house because it belonged to my parents and they died decades ago.

My father was a dentist and he told my mother that he doubted that he could pay the monthly mortgage. Mother said she had great faith in him but volunteered to turn tricks at ten bucks a customer if he could not raise $100 a month.

I was horrified to hear that mother might be a hooker. She was a church going, highly moral woman — at least I thought so until that moment. But that is a story for a different time.

Anyway, my father was able to pay the mortgage by making dentures and filling teeth. The dentures were $100 in 1961. That included extractions, and an incredible set of choppers and a five year guarantee.

Today those dentures could cost up to $5,000. And I can promise you that Dad’s dentures were every bit as good as you can get today. Better in many ways.

You will notice that in about fifty years the dentures increased by a factor of fifty. If Dad had dropped the $100 in a pickle jar and I took it out today I could buy a screen door for a house. Not a house.

Welcome to inflation–courtesy of the banking industry and your government.

Working hand in hand (with a number of other accomplices) banking and government have created that greatest Ponzi scheme that ever existed.

Here is what has happened to your hard earned dollar when you saved it:

It’s worth next to nothing. Soon it will cost more to print a dollar than a dollar.

Here is what happened in Germany when hyperinflation hit:

Germans used their life savings to paper their walls. A thousand marks were worth less than a square foot of wallpaper.

But that was Germany and this is now. As you can see here is what is happening to the US dollar.

It makes any private Ponzi scheme look like child’s play. Yes, below is the second time I pasted that chart in. LOOK AT IT!

Because we are all stupid and probably blind. We are also greedy. Welcome to 2019. A world in which there is nothing backing our currency.

Our currency is worth nothing … or soon will be. If I were you I’d stock up on a few cases of vegetable soup. You can probably trade a can for a million bucks in a few years.

We are out of control. As is every single industrial nation on the face of this little blue planet.

This explains my babbling with facts and figures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qHL2NBmZqQ

54 views

Snoring Troubles


Certainly, you can and should call the police.

And, Friend, I share your pain and frustration.

We had a neighbor (Charlie Fast) who sneezed with such force that it blew three buds off my prize roses. In addition the sound was EXTREME.

I estimated over 9,000 decibels!!! Louder than seven acres of wind turbines. We are talking hurricane force.

Charlie often sneezed in the middle of the night.

The police gave the old man a warning ticket for “illegal nocturnal emissions” but Charlie claimed it WAS HIS DOG that was making the noise.

I knew that was a lie so I poisoned his dog.

That shut up Charlie for about 48 hours. Although his crying was a damn bother.

But wouldn’t you know it?

Charlie Fast’s sneezes woke me up two days later at 4:23 am (I keep a journal on this bastard) and I called the police again.

This time the authorities sent a SWAT team. They wore black body armor, carried militiary-grade fire power and all of them were issued heavy-duty earplugs.

They used the old battering ram to KNOCK down Charlie’s door and they demanded that he stop making such a racket.

Charlie said he would comply but no one in the SWAT Team could hear him because they were all wearing those industrial strength ear plugs.

So they shot him. Now he’s dead. Good bye, Charlie.

When you call the police, ask to speak to the head of their Noise Abatement Squad (ABS). These guys take rogue sounds seriously. Especially “illegal nocturnal emissions.” The ABS often use military drones to “disappear” noisy passenger aircraft that drop below 12,048 feet over populated cities.

God bless and good luck!

Elder Summers



 

Chops and Robbers

 

A family-friendly thriller featuring a nine-year-old girl,  her mother and a crime fighting pig: CHOPS.

Logline:  Chops, a police pig, smarter than your average cop, will need all of his charm and cunning to defeat the bad guys and patch up the relationship between a policewoman and her adorable child.

SynopsisChops, a European pig (Spurwildschwein Division), has a nose for narcotics and a passion for police work. He’s been awarded countless medals for sniffing out illegal explosives and saving lives.

That’s why the bad guys have taken out a contract on Chops.  His superiors don’t have a witness protection plan for pigs, so they send Chops to Manhattan to hide-out.

CHILLY (Brenda’s mother) — a hard-drinking cynical female cop — has no use for Chops. Forget fish out of water.  How about pig with a badge in Manhattan?

Chilly, on probation, has one final chance to redeem herself.  Babysit the German police pig.

Before you can say oink-oink the German pig bonds with Chilly’s precocious daughter, BRENDA.

Then (as so often happens in these cleverly written stories) when everything goes great, the thugs from Europe arrive.

They spot their arch enemy, Chops, on the five o’clock news.

Get ready for the ride of a lifetime.

Of course Chops and Brenda win the day and everyone lives happily ever after, having learning that love is what makes a family work.

So what if one of them almost became a football?


Stories about pigs, especially in family settings, score extremely high at box offices around the world.




Happy Returns Notes

MELVIN REDDY pulls off a goofy scam against the IRS who  drove his dad to an early grave.

A romantic and redeeming comedy woven into a caper.  Think of a young Steve Carell in charge of  The Mission Impossible crew.  Hell, if he looks this good, offer him the part.

                               Related image         Image result for romance

Melvin targets IRS sinister auditor, TAGGART, the bureaucrat everyone, including his fish, love to hate.

Little does Reddy realize that the woman he loves is an IRS “agent.”

They enlist madcap friends and scientists to drive Taggart nutso with a series of bizarre practical jokes.

At that last moment MS IRS AGENT falls madly in love with our goofy hero and the two vanish into the sunset leaving a trail of befuddled “compliance enforcement” IRS executives.

A madcap love story with giggles for taxpayers.

PS — Marketing ploy — release the film April 15th.

 


 

wildschwein / Chops

From 1984 to 1987, the police in Lower Saxony had a very special drug and explosive nose: a real wild boar with the name Luise. The 150-kilogram bache quickly became world famous.

The clever wild boar lady even entered the Guinness Book of World Records.

 

On 5 July 1984 Luise saw the light of day in the amusement park Sottrum. Already with three weeks came the little piglet to the policeman Werner Franke. Because this wanted to know whether boars are as well suited by their pronounced sense of smell as dogs, in order to sniff certain materials.

The disadvantage in dogs: In high heat dogs give up the search quickly, because they have to pant so much. Wild boars, on the other hand, possess a natural instinct to roar and sniff, which they pursue even in midsummer.

Extremely docile

Luise was a very docile pig: In the first year of her life, she learned to recognize the smell of various drugs, in the second even to sniff and display 15 different kinds of explosives.

The wild boar lived together with the other dogs of the service dog group and was fully accepted by them.

https://www.wasistwas.de/details-wissenschaft/drogenspuerwildschwein-luise.html

(The above was copied from a German newspaper and translated by Google.  That story was in a dozens of news articles worldwide and gave me the idea for Chops & Robbers — a fictious tale of a German Police Pig who ends up in the US.)

Here’s Chops and his best friend in America:

 

 

Chops & Robbers 2015  (feature s/p)

Failed Life – additional notes

 

 

Christmas Special   $6.66  Money back guarantee  

 


 


 

The Failed Life of

a Mormon Missionary

(Get Thee Behind Me, Satan)

 

POTENTIAL: Think Book of Mormon, the comedy Broadway runaway play.  It’s brought in $500 million according to The New York Times.  Consider what the film would do. The world is ready for a great feature comedy about Mormon Missionaries.

AUDIENCE:  With 71,000 Mormon Missionaries knocking on doors around the world, the world is ready for a laugh  showing what could go wrong.

There are 15,000,000 Mormons world wide.  They love stories about themselves … every Mormon knows a least a dozen missionaries in the field.  Many families have a dozen missionaries if you just count their kids.  That’s if they have only one wife. 

BUDGET:  Set in the heartland of America and among the children of Maoris in New Zealand this amazing comedy requires no special effects, wild car chases or special stunts.  New Zealand has great incentives for producers along with the best sound stages and equipment on the planet thanks to Avator II and the Hobbit productions.

DIRECTORS:  Some of the finest on the planet would love to shoot either the 60-minute pilot or the feature film of the Failed Life of a Mormon Missionary.

THE MATERIAL:  Both the pilot and feature screenplay are completed.  In addition the best selling novel continues  to attract rave reviews.  The ten hour Audible is ripe for a series focused on the wild and authentic lives of Mormon Missionaries.

Listen to Jack Wynters’ superb narration . Request a free copy if you’re a producer, actor or director.


 

Jerry Wonder is the hero of this hilarious coming-of-age novel.

A 19-year-old Mormon missionary, Jerry, flies half way around the world to save the souls of the children of cannibals.  He fails.

Elder Wonder’s path is fraught with challenge. He misses his girlfriend who tried valiantly to seduce him, but to his regret, he remained strong for both of them. Now, he worries he will lose her in his two-year absence.

And, he is flawed.

 


 

Ever Found Out GOD Watches You?

I was brought up in a fairly strict Christian household and one of my parents was a Mormon.

From the age of three stroking my penis was a no-no.

My parents convinced me that God was WATCHING me 24/7.

Our LDS bishop often asked me if was “wringing the red rabbit.”

I lied and said no. He told me that the only highway to salvation was to tell him what was going on and then God might forgive me. He was certain God was watching all of us.

I discovered girls and the rabbit games moved into more risky territory.

I didn’t want to confess to anyone about something so personal as convincing girls to rub the rabbit so I made a deal with god in which I promised He could fail me for one year of high school each time I violated “LDS standards.”

I kept score and things worked out so that I would not graduate until 3006, late March.

On the verge of losing my virginity I was called to be a Mormon missionary. But first an apostle in the

LDS church had a chat with me.

Click to hear that conversation —

 



 

Life Sucks

Malcolm D. Claw realized on a cloudy July that even though he was the 9th richest man in the world with a net worth of a bunch of billions, that life was unfair. Life was a bitch.  His life sucked.

As he stared out of the window of his three-story penthouse atop Manhattan, Malcolm contemplated his 74 years.  Short years. Years that had flashed past too quickly despite four wives, nine children and 127 cars, most of them Lamborghinis and Ferraris.

Goddam, he thought, those Italians do understand how to have fun on wheels.

The fun is over for me unless Harter pulls off a miracle

Yet every fiber in his frail body shouted that there were no real miracles despite the irony that over half the planet had been suckered in by religion.  As those thoughts bounced through the billionaire’s mind, his watch vibrated. Harter was in the elevator moving faster than a Formula One auto.

A door in one of three private elevators opened and there stood Dr. Harter.

Dr. Harter wore green scrubs and a stethoscope dangled about his neck.  The stethoscope resembled a carelessly arranged ascot crafted from silver and rubber.  A helluva calling card, and anyone could buy such a device providing they had spent seven years and half a mill in tuition.  The young MD carried a  medical bag. Pink.

Jesus, was he queer?  Oh, well. To each his own,  thought Malcolm.

A moment later the two sat at the north window, sipping brandy that ran $90,000.00, and a small bottle at that. The old man thought it a nice touch to serve the brandy in thick jam jars with cheap pressed glass handles.   A fortuitous find from a nearby 99 cent store.

“You know what we’re drinking, Doc?”

“Suntory Yamazaki 1960—the century old stuff.”

“Top it off for you?”

“I’m fine.  I have rounds at the clinic. Got a Coke Zero?”

“I’ll send for some,” said Malcolm.

“Thanks, no.  The documents?”

Malcolm handed a black folder to the physician.  How could someone that young have graduated from Harvard?

The kid skimmed the three pages. An agreement to transfer a hundred million dollars to his Swiss account. “All in order,” said Dr. Harter. “I hate to rush but—”

“Right, your clinic awaits.  Look me in the eye and tell me again—”

“Sure.  I’ll give you an injection that will reverse your aging process … in six months your body and brain’ll be 23 years old.  You’ll retain all your present knowledge.”

“And my heart disease?”

“Just a bad memory.”

“And I’ll live forever?”  asked Malcolm.

“Only god makes that kind of claim.  I can guarantee you a thousand years—minimum.  You’ll repeatedly replace your DNA with brand new chromosomes.  No death genes.”

Malcolm finished his brandy. “If you’re bullshitting me you’re a dead doc.”

“Be inconvenient for me.”

“Shut up and listen.   If I die within twenty five-years—and that death is not an accident—cancer or my Goddam heart does me in or I get a cold my immune system can’t suppress, you’ll die a  painful death.” Here he paused for dramatic effect, then continued. “So back off if this is a charade.”

“I want to keep you alive— just so I can see your face when you pay my bonus of fifty million in a hundred years.”

“Whatever.  But if I have an accident that can in any way be linked to you, your death will be a hundred times more dreadful than my demise.”

“You may catch a cold the first year but it’ll just last a few hours.  Won’t even have time to buy Kleenex.”

“You’re betting your life on our arrangement, Doctor. A hundred million is spit when you’re fucking dead.”

“Speaking  of fucking.  Within hours, you’ll fuck like a wild monkey. Better than the first time you jacked off.  Which I suspect was about ten.”

“Twelve.  The males in our family were slow bloomers.  Folks made me go to church twice a week.”  Malcolm had a gift for reading people—he  was certain that Harter was sincere. Always a chance that the doctor was simply delusional. What the hell? Roll the dice!

He taped a few keys on his iPhone and ten seconds later a coded message verified that the physician was a hundred million dollars richer.

A slight pinch as the needle pierced his forearm. Malcolm heard the  erratic beat of his heart.

Nothing.

When he came to Manhattan was a carpet of lights.  He felt amazing. He could hear his heart beating. Sounded perfect.  He saw what he thought was his reflection in the enormous window. Something was wrong.  He walked to his bathroom. The pain from his knees and hips no longer existed.  He looked into the mirror over the enormous gold wash basin.

He could not see himself in the mirror. Dead.  He realized he was dead. Shit. Well, at least when they found his body, the evil kid doctor would die an excruciating and well deserved death.

The billionaire considered the injection site on his arm.  All the little prick had given him was a prick in his flabby skin. And now the Goddam quack was a hundred million richer.  Probably hiding out in a New Zealand rain forest disguised as a goofy Pukeko.

Malcolm  touched his neck, felt more injection sites.

He realized he was … horny, more so than he had been for decades.  Were dead people supposed to experience … boners?  What happened to the tunnel of exit light?

An hour later Malcolm burrowed under silk sheets with the second most expensive whore in North America. The most expensive one was blowing the president of these United States. Malcom figured second best tried harder and he was right.

She was amazed at the old man’s stamina but curious about the bite mark on his neck.

Malcolm tongued his way to her exhausted clit and brought her to orgasm twice more. She thought only her pimp knew how to do that.  Was she in for a surprise.

(C) jaron summers 2019



Dogs and Cats can get along!

I am working on a pet “hearing aid” that allows dogs and cats to communicate with each other and become friends. I like a happy household.

Next I’m going to develop a mouse-cat translation device.

Let’s be kind to all people and animals in 2019

 

This is the technology that triggered my brilliant insight:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JChH8sQCWtc

And here is a story about my mother and Nike, her most amazing dog.

Puppy Love

 

New Year—2019

Is it possible that a two-year old, named Sarah, holds a key to saving our  planet?

We have a world in a pickle.

Climate change. Wars. Pollution. Corrupt leaders. Famine. Pestilence. Greedy corporations. Grannies with far too many cats. Melting ice caps.  Cell phones. Social media gone amok.

But somewhere among our 7.3 billion people there may be tiny humans able to lead us into the light.

Meet Sarah. Her mother was born in Africa.  Her father in California. Sarah is about a meter high.  Her little family lives next door to us.

Years ago Jon Povill and I wrote a story for Star Trek, TNG–called The Child: a baby born light years aways developed into a genius in hours. 

Sarah seems to mirror some of the accelerated qualities of  The Child. 

Months ago, Sarah begin to “talk.”  I’d say something and she’d answer me in a language with a rhythm like English but her words made no sense.  Apparently all babies go through this process as they learn languages.

A few days ago, Sarah’s mother, dropped her car key as she walked into the elevator.  The key slipped into a crack and tumbled four stories down the elevator shaft to the basement.

Baby Sarah thought this was hilarious. The adults had been shafted. Sarah clapped and giggled as if to say “Do it, again, Mummy. It’s fun learning about gravity.”

The problem: Mummy had one key and the replacement in our high tech world was $800.

Panic ensued.

Except for Sarah who re-explained the entire debacle with baby glea glossolalia.

When Sarah’s Daddy arrived he was none too happy. Sarah grinned and watched.  Finding a lost key seemed so much fun!

While Sarah’s Daddy held the elevator doors open I fished for the key with a magnet.  We soon realized that the high-tech key had bounced under the elevator cage. Unreachable with a magnetic fishing line.

The elevator pros wanted $500 for a service call and issued dire warning regarding any attempt to crawl under it.  We’d be crushed by a three-ton elevator cage. A dentist would be required to remove our teeth from our shoe leather.

The next morning I talked with my buddy, a contractor.  He showed me how one could “game” the elevator, freeze it in place. He lowered himself into the “pit” below and snared the elusive key with its fop containing more computer power than was used in World War II.

No dentists were required to extract our teeth from our shoe leather.  

I knocked softly on Sarah’s door.  She opened it. Something her mother had told her never to do.

She looked up at me: “Jaron, do you have the key yet?”

I was dumbfounded. Sure, Sarah knew my name. Used it along with strange hand signs when she wanted candy.  Now she’d hatched a complete question that indicated she knew what was going on.

She held up a tiny fist and opened tiny fingers. I dropped the key into her palm.   

Her father, pulling on a robe, rubbing sleep from his eyes, appeared.  “What’s going on?” he asked.

Sarah handed him the $800 key and then trundled off to find breakfast. She smelled of fresh vanilla, warm sunshine, and giggles.

Can two-year olds save our planet?  

Perhaps the Sarahs of the world will do a better job than the wise adults who have gummed up our tiny blue planet.

Here’s hoping. Fingers crossed. HAPPY 2019!


 

WM

Thanks for trusting us! 

 

Hi, we are Hooper and Kate

 

You can read and listen for FREE to the first chapter of

The Whooping Moose. Please click here.


 The entire graphic novel with over

150 astonished images, special effects and music will

be available for 24.99 next week.  It comes

with a 40 minute hilarious narration.

 

Today it’s $4.99

 

There’s a money back guarantee of course. 


You can read and listen for FREE to the first chapter. Please click here.

Danny Thomas Test

Here’s an experiment to see how we’re doing when it comes to compassion.

This came in the mail:

It was a solicitation from St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  Started by Danny Thomas.

The hospital along with a research center he started has made a positive impact on our world.

Back to my social experiment in how we are doing as a nation.  The Danny Thomas Test.

Rather than fill out the card with my credit card number and send it in the postage free envelope to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, I sent them a dollar.

You can see part of the dollar in the envelope’s address window.

It’s real easy to steal.

Will people hook a buck from a hospital that is known for saving the lives of children?

Or will the dollar make it?

As a further challenge … in order to figure how to re-address the envelope you have to turn over the envelope and find the address in small print.  A good Samaritan is really going to have to make an effort to find St. Jude’s.

So what will happen?

Because I am a cautious optimist, I think the envelope and dollar will end up at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

And somewhere Danny Thomas will be smiling.

There’s a note behind the dollar that says I’m going to donate a bit more money if St. Jude’s calls and ask let’s me know they have the dollar.

Will they call?

I will report back to you.

 

 

 

Fold Up Your Life

You say someone has invented a smart phone that can do yet another thing that has nothing to do with making a call?

Wrong!

Check out this Samsung phone:

You can roll it up or fold it like a piece of paper.  What a brilliant idea.

When the internet is down or the cell towers vaporized by the Russians and you’re trapped on the roof of a skyscraper simply fold the phone into a paper plane.

Paint white.

Write your message on the wing and toss it into the wind.  Wait for rescue.

 

 


 

 

Seat Rustler

Old friends.  New movies. Picnic lunches. Reasons my wife, Kate, and I savor weekend screenings at the Writers Guild  Theater where I’ve been a member for fifty years.


We left our sweaters on our seats and headed to the lobby for popcorn.

The theater reached capacity as moviegoers surged in for The Revenant.

While  Kate talked to a friend I returned to our seats — a scowling gal sat on my wife’s sweater.  

“You can’t save seats!  Read the rules, Dude,” she said. 

I attempted to step over her to reclaim our remaining seat.    

“You’d be more comfortable someplace else, o