Sophisticated Surfer Dudes

The Maui News printed a Thought for the Day from Alfred E. Kahn: “All life is a concatenation of ephemeralities.” Kahn was an American economist who died in 2010. He was famous for being the “Father of Airline Deregulation.” He was not famous for speaking in the everyday language of laymen. His thought for the day did have an ephemeral quality to it for sure. I am guessing some New York Times editor escaped the rat race and is now holed up in Hawaii writing for The Maui News.



My wife and I were married on September 6, 1969, but when we celebrated our Golden Anniversary in Hawaii in August, we preserved the lie that we honeymooned at the original Woodstock Festival (August 15-18, 1969) on our roundabout driving trip back East to a 28 month assignment in Virginia. Almost half a million people attended Woodstock but over five million of us say we did or think we did. Some of the actual attendees cannot remember they were present because they fried their brains. Others have died off, so eventually the surviving imposters among us will become part of a plausible headcount. I especially remember my wife dropping mescaline while I chanted along with the Joes, Country and Cocker. Although if truth be told, that could have all happened at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. We might as well have been at Woodstock because we were sure part of it all.

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Speaking of Greenland, Trump should be able to purchase it for a song. He is a super experienced real estate wheeler and dealer. The property has been on the market for 73 years since Denmark refused $100,000,000 for it. The Danish government should be desperate to take any offer no matter their initial posturing. And the best part, Mexico is going to pay for it!


For my wife’s 50th Anniversary, I gifted her with some options on Greenland property near Nuuk (we like living in big cities). I am concerned about climate change and I am not a big fan of Donald Trump but I tend to hedge my bets. I often wager against my favorite sports teams, so I can win either way. I figure The Donald seems to be promoting global warning and he can directly influence it. His interest in purchasing Greenland solves the mystery behind his climate change strategy. So I might as well cash in with him if the worst happens and I cannot stop him or the rising heat. The year before I was born, the United States offered Denmark $100,000,000 for Greenland, so the idea is not some new crazy Trump notion. The Louisiana Purchase and Seward’s Folly (the purchase of Alaska) were both brilliant deals despite widespread opposition at the time. I am a little worried that I purchased my options from Mar-a-Lago Realty because the deal requires me to partition off some of my land, sell it to others, and forward a portion of the proceeds to Mar-a-Lago. I get kickbacks on subsequent sales of the partitioned property but it feels like a chain letter con. Luckily, Ponzi Schemes favor the early investors and I jumped on the iceberg first. So I am learning how to cook suaasat and hoping for the best.

Laughing at Mistakes

Ajahn Brahm puns the word ineffable when he speaks about the uniffable past. He emphasizes that you cannot “if” the past. Actually I do it all the time but I think he means that you can only torture yourself when you play the “what if” game. Good advice. But I especially like his philosophy about not getting angry. He says to laugh at your mistakes. He laughs a lot when he speaks, not necessarily because he is making mistakes. More likely he is full of joy because he has his past under control. I laugh a lot because I make so many mistakes. Unfortunately when I laugh at my mistakes, it sometimes gives the false impression that I do not care about the damage those mistakes are causing. So sometimes I just laugh on the inside and start yelling and blaming others for my mistakes so that they will know I care.

Smigus-Dingus Day

Every Easter Monday I get a glass of water poured over my face by the person who wakes up first. This is supposedly a Polish tradition on Smigus-Dyngus Day. But I am very suspicious. First of all, the name sounds more Irish than Polish to me. It reeks of leprechauns and racy mischief. Second of all, I am introducing Smiguski-Dynguski Day to my household. On the day after Labor Day, the tradition is to pour honey and sauerkraut over the head of anyone eating breakfast. I can hardly wait to see if that tradition is as hysterically hilarious to my family as Smigus-Dyngus.

First Class

My wife and I headed to Hawaii in late August to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary before the actual September date. We decided to celebrate early not because of a rumored trial separation my wife was considering but because we invited the children, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. They all have school and work schedules that make a September trip inconvenient. As it turned out, my wife and I did have a trial separation. She was upgraded to first class for the flight to Maui. She enjoyed the separation more than I did. But that was no surprise. She would have enjoyed the separation more than me even if I was the one upgraded!


Three of my grandchildren (ages 7-11) wanted to play the board game Clue. They could not find the game in our house, so they began reproducing it by drawing the board, all the cards, and the icons. My wife let me know what was going on in the living room with all the paper, pens, and scissors. She laughed and whispered, “I think we have Clue somewhere but they are hysterical and having so much fun.” Duplicating the game from memory led to some problems when they began playing it, especially since it was the first time the seven year old played Clue. I could not hold out as long as their grandmother and searched until I found the real game. I was worried they might be mad we had not produced it earlier but they reacted like it was the greatest Christmas present ever. When Christmas rolls around, I think I may pack three boxes with school supplies and label them Chess, Scrabble, and Monopoly. I will keep the real games in reserve of course.


The state of Washington was one of the first to legalize marijuana and many residents enjoyed checking out the retail establishments. Marijuana candy became a popular gift. I know someone who bought some as an intended birthday present. The party attendees were not famous for being recreational drug users or even in favor of pot which seemed to make the gift idea even better. It would be a stimulating conversation starter. The gift giver had a good idea to test one of the candies before the event but did not remember to do that until actually at the party. The result was a two hour bout of violent sickness that did not go unnoticed and had to be passed off as food poisoning from before the party. The good news: This occurred in time to avoid actually giving the gift. The bad news: In addition to being sick at the party, the person now had to mumble something about forgetting a gift at home. I could tell you stories where I thought I was going to be the life of a party but ended up being the party pooper instead. But I would rather concentrate on the worst moments of other people. Carly Simon, if you think this posting is about you, you’re so vain. First, I did not think you would be reading my Blog and secondly, similar stuff happens to different people all the time.

Ancient Lost Writings

My first attempt at a daily Blog was writing from Seattle to my girlfriend (now wife) in Florida every day for over six months in 1968. Back then mailing letters and postcards took more effort than hitting a send button. She retained none of my correspondence. That would be okay except that she has preserved boxes of letters from other boyfriends and girlfriends. I guess she got back at me for criticizing her about hoarding and bullying her to purge her worthless stuff. But I think I may have come out the winner. As I read her old correspondence from over fifty years ago, it makes me cringe for the writers whose work she saved. I would like to think my prose and poetry was much better (after all I was the boyfriend who prevailed). But I have been unimpressed with some samples of my own writings that I have kept from way back in the day. Presumably I saved my best stuff and it sucks. So now I can rest on the romantic notion of writing every day without being held accountable and embarrassed by harsh family critics for the actual words that were likely juvenile and cringe worthy. But, damn, without proof to the contrary, I still think there was some hilariously funny stuff in those letters and on those cards.