What If??  What If?? What If??

Oh goody!  We’re going to play a game of What If.  I have not been amused or entertained by one of those for years.

Let’s say you were in a naval battle in the middle of the ocean and your ship was destroyed so you are in very cold water. You know that you need to act now to get on a ship or you will die. Now there are 4 ships that you can swim to. But it looks like all the ships are very badly damaged and unlikely to be seaworthy enough to save you. It’s hard to tell from your position but as best you can tell one ship has a 5% chance but the others have less than a 2% chance of being seaworthy enough to save you. 

What do you do? Do you think well no one has “proven” or “verified” that any of these ships will save me so I might as well die in the water? Or do you start swimming to the ship that gives you a five percent chance (the best shot)? I think that is the obvious choice. You are not in a position to demand “proofs” or “verification.” You just have to make do with the information you have. 

I think this is analogous to the situation we are in when it comes to how we should live. We can’t pause our life until someone can prove how we are supposed to live. We choose to act or not act all the time. And we can’t insist on verification or proof beyond what we have. We just have to take our best shot. 

For me I think following Christ’s teachings is the “best shot.” I may wish I had better evidence or proofs but reality does not bend to my wishes. The rational person bends his beliefs and actions to reality.

People often believe that they are thinking, when all they’re really doing is rearranging their prejudices.  So, you’re going to dream up a scenario that is so outlandish and restrictive, that it makes your already-decided-on choice look good barely acceptable.

I am disturbed that you would advocate a selection with a 95% chance of failure, but, as you inferred, It’s (barely) better than nothing.  Desperation is not considered a good method of choice.  It usually results in wrong decisions.  Even choice is a bad method.  You can attend a Christian church, and repeat all the magic words, but it won’t produce the honest, true-hearted Belief that the unwritten rules call for.

I’d like to ask what mechanism you used to determine what percentage of success your choice, both in real life and in your specious analogy, had.  I see none, other than desperation and gullibility – only an unproven claim.

Unlike your fantasy-novel format, in real life it is both possible and advisable to do some research, so that you don’t end up in these religious shipwreck scenarios.

What if that water isn’t as cold and deep as you believe?  What if you were just told that, by the guy who runs the life-preserver franchise?  What if, no matter which ship you swam to, it sank and drowned you?  What if the ship you chose was an enemy vessel, and the agents of Allah tortured you to death?  What if you stopped panicking, and used your strength and determination to swim toward the big orange rubber raft that the rescue helicopter just dropped, labelled Reason/Reality?  What if you’re not Captain James T. Kirk, and there just is no right answer?

What if you summarily dismiss all of my What Ifs, because you think that they sound almost as silly as your What Ifs??!

Flash Fiction #240

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

IMPRISONED INTELLIGENCE

In 1960s America, civil rights was still just a dream for many.  What should have been an inalienable right – Voting – sometimes had conditions.  Negroes had to Prove they were educated, Prove that they were intelligent enough to vote.

A Negro in Alabama approached a polling station.  A redneck Cracker handed him a copy of the Hebrew Times to read.  When he couldn’t, he was given a sheet of waxed paper and a ballpoint pen, and told to write his name.

When he failed that several times, he said, “I just don’t understand it.  I could read and write this morning.”   😯

***

Join the fun.  Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Error 404

Error 404

It was cute the first time.  This is just pathetic.  😛

The management regrets that the regularly scheduled blogpost is not available at this time, because of non-production problems.  A nap stretched into a coma, and my Muse was not amused.

Any of you who came here expecting humor, wit, interesting trivia, or even another numb-minded and mind-numbing rant, please click on the link another day. All of the aforementioned, and even more, will be provided.   😀

Normal programming will resume on Monday, Jan. 27/20, with a cascade of comedy.  Anyone who wishes to do so may stop at the box office on the way out, and a full refund will be issued.

Confused Emoji

Flash Fiction #193

box-office-ted-strutz

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

ETAIL/RETAIL

The world, she is a-changin’. Nothing is sure but death and taxes, and a photo with two adjacent signs which say ‘Pine’ ‘BOX’, make that evident. Did Amazon become successful because retail chains failed, or are retail chains failing because Amazon successfully serves the market?

Where does Amazon get all its boxes? Where stores were once required to compress and dispose of cardboard packaging, now my garage is full of little boxes. Amazon could come around and pick up a bunch of ‘em.

I bought a cross-cut shredder to protect from identity theft, but I won’t buy a damned compactor.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

Smitty’s Loose Change #10

Smitty's Loose Change

A screenwriter was paid $25,000 for two days work, to produce an outline for a successful movie. A story reported that he was given 25,000 “Big Ones”.   Now, twenty-five thousand dollars can be described, in slang, as 25 Thou, 25 Grand, 25 Gs, or even as 25 Big Ones, but, if there are 25,000 of them, they’re not Big Ones, they’re all little ones. I’ve read writers like this described as knowing the difference between wet and dry, but feeling that it’s a fine distinction.

***

I recently discovered something even worse than helicopter parents. These are lawn-mower parents, who precede their children, and mow down every possible problem, obstacle and hindrance to their life. They conceal the realities of life for their unfortunate children and allow them no chance to mature and grow, to become self-sufficient, and to learn from experience and failure, and how to adapt.

***

The Universe of Politically-Correct speech continues to expand and grow. I recently read an account of a small-plane crash which killed three people, described as a shatter landing. No George Carlin bathroom tissue was involved.

***

The Grammar Check needs a slap as badly as the Spell Check. I typed I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin tasted like into a one-liner comedy post, and got back, ‘I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin is.’ 😯

***

Bag man, and bag lady, mean completely different things.

***

I recently bought myself a box of Wheat Thins crackers, as an occasional snack…. because I like Wheat Thins, and they were on sale. I opened the box, took a small handful, and sat down with a book. I popped one into my mouth and crunched it, and – What in Hell is this petrified wallpaper paste??!

My weak eyes and weak mind must have made me pick up the wrong thing. No. The box clearly says “Wheat Thins,” – but, as I look closer – under that, it says ‘Multigrain.” You assholes do know that oats, barley, quinoa and chia don’t make “WHEAT Thins”, right??! I would have been better off just cutting the cardboard box into small squares, and eating it. Now I know why they were on sale.  😯

***

I also recently astounded my chiropractor. The clinic where he practices also has two massage therapists. I took the wife in for massage, and sat out front waiting and reading a newspaper. When he stepped out of his office, his eyes went wide.

“In all the time I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen anybody read a newspaper here. They all have their noses stuck into the blue glow of their smart phones or tablets. They bring a book, or they leaf through one of our magazines, but I’ve never seen a newspaper in this waiting room.”

I told him that I never have to worry if the ISP is down, I don’t have to ask for the Wi-Fi password, and my batteries are never low – although occasionally I have to remember to sharpen the pencil that I do crosswords and word jumbles with.

***

Progressively Worse

Little Red Schoolhouse

It ain’t gettin’ any better, folks!

A mass shooting has got the lefties screaming, yet again, for a gun ban. As someone who has lived in Ontario, and was married when you needed an Act of Parliament to get a divorce, abortion was illegal, and murderers were executed, it is so saddening to watch how progressives have destroyed yet another generation of our children.

Kids today can only print their names. They participate in games with no winners, attend schools where failure isn’t an option, and in general, are not taught to compete, for fear of losing, at any aspect of life.

Without learning to deal with any type of failure, they no longer can deal with it; yet there comes a time when they do fail, and then they are too weak to move on past it.

Our kids’ ‘progressive’ world leaves them unprepared for life, and academia convinces them that, just as in sports, the workplace should have no winners or losers, and that everyone is entitled to the same paycheck, just as they were entitled to a ‘participated’ ribbon.

In their world of ‘no consequences’, their failure to ever hear the word “NO”, a life of no discipline, and no idea how to cope, leads to more frustrated ‘shooters’ who have not been taught how to live a competitive and disciplined life.

Does anyone expect anything else from this progressive philosophy, which is financially and morally destroying the West??!   😯

 

Indoor Golf

Golf Pin

Golfers might want to ‘brush up’ on the rules:

  1. Each player shall furnish his own equipment
    for play, normally one club and two balls.
  2. Play on course must be approved by the owner
    of the hole.
  3. Unlike outdoor golf, the object is to get
    the club in the hole and keep the balls out.
  4. For most effective play, the club should
    have a firm shaft. Course owners are permitted
    to check shaft stiffness before play begins.
  5. Course owners reserve the right to restrict
    club length to avoid damage to the hole.
  6. Object of the game is to take as many
    strokes as necessary. When the owner is
    satisfied, the play is complete. Failure to
    do so may result in being denied permission
    to play again.
  7. It is considered bad form to begin playing
    the hole immediately upon arrival.
    Experienced players will normally take time to
    admire the entire course, paying special
    attention to well formed mounds and bunkers.
  8. Players are cautioned not to mention other
    courses they have played or are currently
    playing, to the owner of the course being played.
    Upset owners have been known to damage players
    equipment for this reason.
  9. Players are encouraged to have proper rain
    gear, just in case.
  10. Players should not assume that the course
    is in shape to play at all times. Players may be
    embarrassed if they find the course temporarily
    under repair. Players are advised to be extremely
    tactful in this situation. More advanced players
    will find alternate means of play when this is
    the case.
  11. Players should assume their match has been
    properly scheduled, particularly when playing a
    new course for the first time. Previous players
    have been known to become irate if they discover
    someone else is playing what they considered a
    private course.
  12. The owner of the course is responsible for
    the pruning of any bushes, which may reduce the
    visibility of the hole.
  13. Players are strongly advised to get the
    owner’s permission before attempting to play the
    backside.
  14. Slow play is encouraged, however, players
    should be prepared to proceed at a quicker pace
    at the owners request.
  15. It is considered an outstanding performance,
    if time permitting, to play the same hole several
    times in one match.

***

Sexual Innuendo

 

WOW #6

Dictionary

The Word Of this Week is one which I often run into while researching other words.  It is

Cognate

Linguistics. descended from the same language or form:
such cognate languages as French and Spanish.
or; allied or similar in nature or quality.

1635-45; < Latin cognātus, equivalent to co- co- + -gnātus (past participle of gnāscī, nāscī to be born)

For example, I will get ‘hound’ – a type of dog – (cogn. German, ‘hund’) showing where the word came from. (etymology)

It is a cousin to recognize, the action of again (re)perceiving someone’s familiar identity.

My Mother insisted that I not harass my brother by calling him stupid. She told me that people will live up (or down) to your expectations.  When he was three years old, my grandson told me that he could neckerize someone.  His pronunciation was a bit off, as many small children’s is, but his usage was right on.

As we did with our children, his mother never talked down to him. When our kids were young, we had neighbors who we were friends with.  Their son was my son’s age.  Forget ‘snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails,’ this kid was made of high-tensile springs; forever skipping, running or hopping.  One day, the mother asked my wife, “Does your son never shut up?”  My wife rejoined, “Does yours never walk anywhere?”

Another time, Skippy’s mom suddenly complained, “Why don’t you ever talk to your kids like they’re children? How come you’re always using big words?  They don’t understand them.”

As the boys neared the end of Grade 7, they found that Skippy was failing English, and might be held back. My wife commiserated, and suggested that he might need some extra help.  Suddenly the accusation changed to, “It’s all right for you and your kid.  You’ve always used adult language with him.  No wonder he does well in English.”

My adopted cognomen is Archon, a name (cogn. Latin, nomen – name) with the same meaning as Grumpy Old Dude.   👿

A to Z Challenge – F

April Challenge

Chuck you, Farley!

Letter F  FIRE!

I was in fine fettle and feeling frisky last Friday. I felt it would be a fun and frivolous frolic to use my finesse and mental file full of facile facts, to fearlessly fabricate a folio featuring the letter F, to favor my many fine fans and faithful followers.

My first foray was merely a foolish façade. I found that I was a failure, a feeble fake, and felt like a fog-brained, fatuous, old fart, really full of foolish ego.

I had to flee from the feeling of frustration for failing to finish my finite little Flash Fiction feature. I felt that I had really fouled up, a facet I’d never fully faced before.  At least no-one gave me the foul fickle finger of fate, and told me to F off.

This futile alliteration function has me feeling freaky. Fear not, friends.  I’m now finally free to flog a fresh foundation for the following letter, G.

I’m fully finished, and find I’m famished. I feel I should flit off and fix some filling and flavorful foreign food, for example, fajitas or frijoles.   😉

Obey The Law

The following are some of the laws that the universe operates under.  Get used to the idea of following them.  No-one living has found a way to get around them.

MURPHY’S LAWS

Murphy’s 1st Law

The general law on why things go wrong – “If anything can go wrong, it will.”

Murphy’s 2nd Law

If it can be assembled wrong, it will.

Murphy’s 3rd Law

If it can be operated wrong, it will.

Murphy’s 4th Law

All failures will occur at the most inaccessible location.

Murphy’s 5th Law

Everything costs more than the estimate.

Murphy’s 6th Law

Every task takes longer than you think it will.

Murphy’s 7th Law

Nothing is as easy as it looks.

Murphy’s 8th Law

If you tinker with or try to improve something long enough, eventually it will break.

O’Toole’s Law

Murphy was an optimist!

Dude’s Law of  Duality

(A special case of Murphy’s 1st law)

Of two possible outcomes, only the undesired one will occur.

Gumperson’s Law

(Incorporates the concept of desirability into a general law.)

The probability of a given event occurring is inversely proportional to its desirability.

Flap’s Law of the Perversity of Inanimate Objects

Any inanimate object regardless of its position or configuration, may be expected to perform at any time, in a totally unexpected manner, for reasons which are either entirely obscure, or else completely mysterious.

Mule’s Law: The Universal Field Theory of Perversity

The probability of an event’s occurring varies directly with the perversity of the inanimate object involved, and inversely with the product of its desirability and the effort expended to produce it.

The Theorem of the Dynamic Application of the Law of Adversity and Perversity

Some events are more likely to occur in Los Angeles or New York, rather than Miami or Chicago.

Parkinson’s Law

Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

McGurk’s Law

Any improbable event, which would create maximum confusion if it did occur, will occur.

Weiler’s Law

Nothing is impossible, for the man who doesn’t have to do it.

CHISOLM’ LAWS

Chisolm’s First Law:  The Law of Human Interaction

Any time things seem to be getting better, you have overlooked something.

Chisolm’s Second Law

If you explain so clearly that nobody can possibly misunderstand, somebody will.

Chisolm’s Third Law

If you do something which you are sure will meet with everyone’s approval, somebody won’t like it.

Chisolm’s Fourth Law

All procedures devised to implement the purpose won’t quite work.

Miller’s Law

He who tooteth his own horn, maketh sure his own horn has been tootethed.

Zymurgy’s First Law of Evolving System Dynamica

Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them is to use a larger can.

(Old worms never die, they just worm their way into larger cans.)

Rudin’s Law

In a crisis which forces a choice to be made among alternative courses of action, most people will choose the worst possible one.

Shaw’s Principle

Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it.

McNaughton’s Rule

Any argument worth making within a bureaucracy must be capable of being expressed in a simple declarative sentence that is obviously true, once stated.

Parker’s Law of Political Statements

The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility, and vice versa.

Law of Superiority

The first example of a superior principle is always inferior to the developed example of an inferior principle.

Katz’s Law

Men and nations will act rationally, when all other possibilities have been exhausted.

The Law Of Perversity Of Nature

(Mrs. Murphy’s Corollary)

You cannot determine beforehand, which side of the bread to butter.

Weaver’s Law

When several reporters share a cab on an assignment, the reporter in the front seat pays for all.

Doyle’s Corollary to Weaver’s Law

No matter how many reporters share a cab, and no matter who pays, each puts the full fare on his own expense account.

Westheimer’s Rule

To estimate the time it will take to perform a task, double the initial estimate and change the unit of measure up to the next highest unit.  Thus you need to allocate two days to complete a one hour task.

The Reno Rule

A Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

Peckham’s Law

Beauty times brains, equals a constant.

Merrill’s First Corollary

There are no winners in life, only survivors.

Merrill’s Second Corollary

On the highway of life, the average happening is of about as much true significance as a dead skunk in the middle of the road.

Oesser’s Law

There is a tendency for the person in the most powerful position in an organization to spend all his time serving on committees and signing letters.

Potter’s Law

The amount of flak received on any subject is inversely proportional to the subject’s true value.

Kitman’s Law

Pure drivel tends to drive ordinary drivel off the TV screen.

Goof’s Law

(As propounded by Inglesbe)

The insignificance of the error is inversely proportional to the intensity of the resulting castigation – or, the smaller the slip, the bigger the lip.

Spock’s Law

What mother tells daughter she wouldn’t understand, usually results in daughter doing things that mother wouldn’t understand.

Barth’s Law of Distinction

There are two types of people: those who divide people into two types, and those who don’t.

Friedman’s Reiteration of Crane’s Law

There is no free lunch.

FINAGLE’S LAWS

Finagle’s General Law of Adversity

Once a good thing is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.

Finagle’s First Law

If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

Finagle’s Second Law

No matter what result is anticipated, there will always be someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or (c) believe it happened to his own pet theory.

Finagle’s Third Law

In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct, beyond all need of checking, is the mistake.

Corollary 1

No-one whom you ask for help will see it.

Corollary 2

Everyone who stops by with unsought advice will see it immediately.

Gummidge’s Law

The amount of expertise varies in direct proportion to the number of statements understood by the general public.

Hartley’s First Law

You can lead a horse to water, but if you can get him to float on his back, you’ve really got something.

Simon’s Law

Everything put together, sooner or later falls apart.

Diogenes’ Second Dictum

If a taxpayer thinks he can safely cheat, he probably will.