Paging Mr. Hubris

 

In 1972, Disney released a slapstick live-action comedy called “Snowball Express.” In the tradition of “Herbie the Love Bug” and “The Apple Dumpling Gang,” it was an absurd and silly plot that allowed for the kind of physical and in-your-face comedy that kids love.

The basic story is this: a guy who knows nothing about skiing or hotels, inherits an aging ski resort. He uproots his family and moves them to his newly acquired property. Madcap antics ensue and it is a fun ride for everyone.

Apart from the comedy, there is a scene in the movie that I will never forget. One evening the protagonist is trying to figure out how to get an old “Donkey Engine” half way up the mountain to be used as a rope tow for skiers. He knows that the Donkey Engine is plenty strong enough to pull the skiers up the mountain, but it is so large that none of the other equipment at the resort is strong enough to drag it up the mountain. […]

How Do You Afford…

 

Last week I heard a song on the radio I hadn’t heard in years. It was the 1993, release of a song called “Rock ‘n’ roll Lifestyle” by the band Cake. Among many questions posed by the singer, in the latter half of the composition, the song asks:

Aging black leather and hospital bills
And tatoo removal and dozens of pills
Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments
But rock on completely with some brand-new components

Now, how do you afford your rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle?

Hearing this song reminded me of an experience I had (coincidentally in 1993) that had an unexpected but lasting impact on me. […]

Don’t Pick Up The Fork

The other day I stopped by my parent’s house to drop off something I had borrowed. As my Dad and I moved the item from my car to his garage, he pointed at my Mother’s car and said, “Hey, we bought your Mom a new car.”

After a few minutes of discussion I learned that they had purchased a 2015 Subaru Forrester, off of the list of cars that the dealer was expecting, and it would be delivered soon. Feeling a wave of déjà vu, I thought for a moment and turning to my Dad asked, “Did you pick up the fork?” He assured me that he had not. […]

More Than One

We have all struggled at one time or another to remember something. From the list of all US presidents that all school children are forced to ingest, to the “down cards” in a hand of stud poker, the human brain isn’t really wired to remember things forcibly.

Of course there are the things we can’t forget ranging from a car crash we saw happen to the jingle on the radio for the attorney you should call if you were involved in said crash. If you live in Rochester NY, I guarantee you can tell me who will answer the phone if you call 454-2020, not because you want to, but because you have no choice.

Clearly there are ways into the permanent memory locations of the mind, but on the surface they seem involuntary, beyond our control. The good news is that isn’t actually true. There are ways to easily remember any information and they are counter to almost everything we have been taught and most of what we do. […]

Pull Down

 

Growing up, we attended a downtown church. Even though there were several suburban Lutheran churches much closer to our home, my parents had gone to this church when they first met, and once they started a family and moved to the suburbs, we continued to drive into the city every Sunday morning.

Like every church in the world, there were older members who could no longer make the trip to Sunday services. The term at the time was “shut-ins,” though I imagine there is some group that today would be offended by such a label. […]