Tying up 2016

An admonition
An admonition

I took this picture while at the Grand Canyon in September. If you want to read the large print on the sign as a life lesson, feel free. I like that they point out that the snakes are almost always harmless. Perhaps that should be our life lesson.


I not only want to tie up 2016, I also want to beat it into submission. But I’m not sure to what I want it to submit. Maybe I just want 2016 to admit that it was less than a stellar year. It was more like a black hole because it sucked the life out of so much. Hmmm. I guess that I am not displaying a positive state of mind. I need to work on that.

The following are germs of ideas about which I planned to write posts, but I never seemed to get around to it. Here are those germs.


I realize that while I have told you in earlier posts that I did not achieve my Reading Challenge goal of reading twenty different types of books, I have only related sixteen of the seventeen that I did read. The seventeenth book was Shooting In The Dark by Carolyn Hougan. It fulfilled the requirement to read a book published in the 1980’s. It id a thriller along the lines of something that Alfred Hitchcock would turn into a movie. I enjoyed it.

I also want to reassure you that I read more than seventeen books. I read multiples of some types of books, such as mysteries and thrillers. The challenge fell apart when it came to a few other types of books. I hope to show more resolve in that area in 2017.


I have spent a lot of time thinking this year. I must admit that it hasn’t been much in the way of thinking “deep thoughts.” No, most of my thinking was about politics or even less important things. For instance, I started wondering when, in the past, we made the switch from calling a class of diseases Venereal Disease (VD) to Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)?And why did we make that switch? A quick Google brought up a 1981 article in The American Journal of Nursing by Charles E. Campbell and R. Jeffrey Herten titled VD to STD: Redefining Venereal Disease. The title pretty much explains it, VD had been redefined. The medical profession had loosened the definition to include new ways of contracting these illnesses. I’m not sure why that warranted a change in name, but I’m not a medical person.


I have decided that in 2016 many of the local retail businesses have spent time and  money putting their front line staff through customer service training. Specifically they have been taught that every person, upon entering the establishment, must be greeted and shown a toothy smile. In addition, any staff person who interacts with a customer must be effusive in their happiness over dealing with the customer and must show an abundance of good will towards the customer. Very few of these staff people can carry it off without seeming phony, but at least they try.


In one motel in which we stayed on our trip to Las Vegas, I am almost positive that the previous occupant of my bed had been a 500 pound cannon ball. Thank goodness we were only there for one very long night.

While at the pool at our timeshare in Las Vegas I was worried that if one of the people who was at, but not in the pool, entered it, there would be a serious displacement of water, and that the whole pool area would be flooded. Thankfully they decided to stay dry.

Believe me, I am not weight-shaming anybody in particular. I have my own problems with weight.


I like to have a new wall calendar each year for my office. Usually Cindy buys me one as a Christmas gift. Sometimes I also buy one. Occasionally I will get one in the mail from someone who is trying to sell me something. In the past few years I have waited until after Christmas before purchasing a calendar because if I buy one and Cindy also buys one, I know that I’ll be hanging Cindy’s. It is often the small lessons you learn early in a marriage that serves you well through the years. Before I retired I would hang Cindy’s at home and the one I bought would go up in my office or cubicle at work.

This year Cindy did not buy me a calendar. I wasn’t sure that I would find a calendar I liked, so I was prepared to dig into my pile of old calendars (no, I don’t throw them away), and pull out the 2006 calendar and use it again. But I was lucky and found a calendar with art work that I like, and bought it for 50% off the original price.


And then I have the one-line notes:

I can remember when backpacks were only worn by boy scouts and men in the military.

Are you offended when politicians don’t curse?

Anger is a killer of reasoned thought.

Why does no one confuse my writing with that of Salmon Rushdie?

OK, that last one is a joke. Still…maybe in 2017.

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