Monday, August 29, 2011


This is a picture of Wally and CJ, taken about 10 years ago. Wally's the hairy one. He's our nephew, and if you see anyone who looks like that, tell him to call us now and then. Every ten years should be a minimum.

We don't see all of our family as often as we would like, but we call, and e-mail, and pray sometimes. It seemed like the right thing to do to pray for Cousin Sue who was right in the path of Hurricane Irene. The storm moved a little bit easterly, so maybe prayer works. However, that move put a lot of other folks in danger. Does God say "Sure were a lot of prayers for Cousin Sue, so II'll give Irene a little nudge." Or maybe "Not much praying for for Tidewater Virginia so let's wet 'em down some."

So God, if you're not too busy steering storms and earthquakes and all, would you poke Wally and get him to phone? Thanks.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pinocchios & Fibs

 I am borrowing Pinocchio from Fact Checker, the Washington Post’s column that investigates statements made by politicians and others. Their fibs are graded on a scale of one to five Pinocchios, on a sliding scale of egregiousness. I began wondering how this ranking works. 
Some fibs are simply innocuous. Falsely attributing statements to Yogi Berra or Mark Twain fits here. Well, they would have said that if they’d thought of it. It makes a better story than to attribute something to, say, Wendell Wilkie. These get no Pinocchios.
Other fibs are fairly harmless, usually meant to puff the teller’s ego a bit. “This is my natural hair color,” or “I still wear a size 10” fit here. These are so obviously false they don’t need a Pinocchio. I have a friend who lies about her zip code, to make her friends think she lives in a better neighborhood, I guess.
Some fibs are better than others. “The dog ate my homework” is better than “I’m not talking with my mouth full,” because the former is harder to verify. Telling your doctor that nothing hurts (when something does) is as dumb as exaggerating your income to the I.R.S, self-defeating. Poor fibbers get no respect, which is what politicians can’t understand. These merit at least one Pinocchio, even if no one believes them.
Crank it up a notch to “There is no such thing as evolution, (global warming, hard-working poor people, etc.)” and Pinocchios stack up. Even if the speaker thinks they are true, he hasn’t bothered to check available sources. He is speaking out of ignorance to influence people to trust him to tell the truth. 
The worst are the real mean fibs, which deserve to be elevated to lies. They are meant to mislead others about something important. This class of whoppers is called fraud, and gets into the category of crime, not just “Oops, I must of misspoke.” Politicians who step over this line deserve to be tarred and feathered, not applauded or elected. Even Pinocchio would be appalled at what we’re hearing in the run-up to elections.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Memory tags

A friend sent me a neat video of movie stars all on stage in 1974. They all look so young and glamorous. June Allyson, Jimmy Stewart, Liz Taylor. Watch this and see if you can remember that year. All I can remember is that I must have been young and glamorous, too. Memory is kind, you know.

movie stars

I looked back for pictures, and I must have been behind the camera, because I can't find many. This one was taken for publicity for a summer humanities course I taught at the Museum of Fine Arts. Where was the glamour? No plunging neckline with a stunning diamond lavalier like Liz? I wore bow blouses? No makeup, even then?