“I believe in an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.”

-Arthur Sulzberger

Whether you’re a fan of the New York Times and its publishers or not, the above quote makes sense to me.

My youngest and only living aunt on my mom’s side just turned 80. There aren’t many cards with 80 on them, so with the help of an astute and clever local card seller we came up with two cards-one for a 30-year-old and another for a 50-year-old. (The two add up to 80).

Besides, my aunt deserved to get two cards and the shopkeeper two sales for coming up with the idea.

My aunt’s sister came up with an even greater idea for a birthday present. Since the aunt requested no gifts and has practically everything anyway, an $80 donation was made in her name to Mennonite Central Committee for its efforts on behalf of the homeless in the world.

Several months ago we needed to make a change with our Internet service because we absolutely had to have it work all of the time and not have our provider make changes without letting us know.

When our local phone company made DSL available we decided to go for it and have been extremely pleased with the Internet service since we switched. It has barely made a hiccup since we converted (except for the ice storm when the power was off all around the area).

Should have stopped with Internet.

They offered to bundle our long distance at a very attractive rate and so, against my better judgment, I went for the low rates. It seems that every time I have switched our long distance it has caused nothing but grief, which is why we haven’t done it in years.

We still don’t know what the exact rate is because the bills are so confusing even Einstein couldn’t figure them out. According to the company, the calls are figured at one rate and then the promotion is applied and in the end we are getting what we thought we were getting.

I said we would give them one more month to straighten things out or else we were going to switch back to what we had. Easy to say. We signed a year contract.

If you believe in the Twilight Zone then this one is for you.

I get a big kick out of the old “Saturday Night Live” skits. One features Christopher Walken as a music producer for a track the Blue Oyster Cult is laying down in the studio. In the skit Will Ferrell plays the cow bell. The gist of the whole thing is that Walken “needs more cow bell” to make it right.

Son Dan bought me a “more cow bell” shirt for Christmas and I wore it into Baker Bros. Printing one recent morning. While I was showing off my shirt the exact song the shirt is about began playing on the radio.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have too much stuff. Everywhere I look there is stuff. Most of this stuff has got to go. But then which stuff do I keep?

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