All posts by Jim

“Murphy’s Law”

From my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives thanks to Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Pipey, and cousin Nancy:

Perkins’ Postulate: The bigger they are, the harder they hit.

Goofy guy’s reaction to Perkins’ Postulate: i was not aware of Perkins’ Postulate until Garland Gudger, at 245, caught me, at 135,  going in the opposite direction at full speed during a Castle Heights football practice. They say i did a 540 degree flip, landing on my back. Perkins was correct. 

Letting Go

It’s different, this letting go thing.

i mean, i’m 75, three-quarters of a century old. Today.

It’s time to do what i think i should do for the rest of my life. Part of that is letting go.

For example, this was originally a long, long post detailing a whole bunch of stuff that i think is important, why i think it’s important and with long-winded explanations. This was supposed to be my epilogue on reaching what i consider officially old age. It kept growing. i finally recognized it would not have much impact, only allow me to blow off steam and feel good about me. This is pretty close to, excuse the French, bullshit. i tossed it.

A whole bunch of people my age spend a lot of time grousing about how much better they are than the younger generations because of the way they, the older ones like me, grew up. Balderdash. After all, who raised those who grew up later: the grousers. And the world is a whole lot different now, not better or worse unless we make it. Our time doesn’t apply.

And folks of all ages are out witch hunting, Victorian style, policing what we say, how we act, finding everything wrong with everyone else, both sides, drawing lines in the sand because everyone knows they are right, everyone else is wrong, winner take all, no quarter, change everything to benefit ME.

That’s why, by the way, i use lower case for “i.” If i were to capitalize a pronoun it would be “You” or “Us.”

In elementary school, i was taught the Communists believed the ends justified the means and we believed in the ends could not justify the means. We were taught to do it right. That is the one thing we should have maintained, but didn’t.

i’m just sort of tired of it all. You can have it. i don’t want it.

So folks, it’s my time to let go. i am not likely to make it to the century mark. My physical and mental skills are declining. So i’m gonna write what i want to write and do what i want to do as long as i can do it, and hopefully give some people some things to think about in a positive way.

After all, i can do what i want to do. i’ve been around three-quarters of a century. i deserve that for myself.

Happy Birthday, old man.

“Murphy’s Law”

From my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives thanks to Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Pipey, and cousin Nancy:

Harrison’s Postulate: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Goofy guy’s extension of Harrison’s Postulate:  And for every criticism, someone quits taking action and only criticizes: a current rampant plague.

“Murphy’s Law”

From my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives thanks to Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Pipey, and cousin Nancy:

Gottlieb’s Rule: The boss who attempts to impress employees with his knowledge of intricate details has lost sight of his objective.

Goofy guy’s appraisal of for  Gottlieb’s Rule:  Murphy and Gottlieb found a leadership principle embedded in their laws…and unfortunately, i have met a few of those bosses who pride themselves in intricate detail.

“Murphy’s Law”

From my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives thanks to Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Pipey, and cousin Nancy:

Coit-Murphy’s Statement: It is impossible for an optimist to be pleasantly surprised.

Goofy guy’s codicil for  Coit-Murphy’s Statement:  i used to be an optimist but after recognizing Coit-Murphy was right on, i became a pessimist..

“Murphy’s Law”

From my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives thanks to Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Pipey, and cousin Nancy:

The Poker Principle: Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.

Goofy guy’s adaptation of The Poker Principle: After the penny-ante poker games in the mid-60’s and one disastrous night of big losses with my friend, Jim Hileman, i have sworn off poker even though i am very bad at card tricks.


After my post, “A Different Take” about “The Wall.” i have received several comments from friends who are for building the wall. Their reasons vary but all are logically thought out. i also discussed this with my golfing buddies yesterday after our round (beer, of course, included).

i think my most salient point from that post is a grossly underestimated cost (in many ways). In my latest discussion with my friend Jane Couch Boyer, we considered the problem again. Below is a redacted version of that exchange after Jane sent me a video of the Texas Attorney General claiming his statistics show El Paso’s wall works because of high crime rates in Ciudad Juarez and a huge decrease in crime rates in El Paso.

Hmm, statistics from very political Republicans. Hmm, i’ve seen similar “statistics” claims of just the opposite from very political Democrats. So i’m not going to argue political statistics period. After i watched that video, here is our discussion (Thanks, Jane):

No, they (border walls) don’t. They intimidate. They get the fervor up. We have the technology to keep anyone from crossing the border illegally much more effectively and much less expensive than a wall. Satellites, GPS, drones, video systems, and weapons that can immediately eliminate illegal entry. This (the wall) is a purely political position, once endorsed by the Democrats and opposed by the Republicans. If we want to stop illegal entry, then give me and a couple of my SEAL and SPAWAR friends (and one very savvy former Army artillery guy who was at the cutting edge of using the available technology above) the mandate with no restrictions and we can do it.

I like your solution. Do you think a couple of you could cover the entire border?

i suspect it would take about a hundred of us. But if it became a government project, it would require an additional five or six thousand.

Just sayin’…


Salt and pepper. Sugar and spice. Ham and eggs. Hot and cold. Left and right. Biscuits and gravy. Bogey and Bacall. Abbot and Costello. Burns and Allen. Lewis and Martin. Roy and Dale and Trigger and Bullet.

And then there are my couples, two folks who hooked up and have, not only stayed together, but have become as much of a match as the pairs listed above. There is no way i could list all of those i know, but here are some who stand out in my mind:

My folks: She told her mother when she was a sophomore-to-be in high school who she was going to marry. He was in bib jeans, no shirt, walking home to Spring Street after helping his father doing daily maintenance at Lebanon High School. She was visiting her mother. Granny was working 24-7 as a nurse, or what we now call a care-giver, in a home on North Cumberland Street, east side. As he was walking down the hill approaching the house, she tugged at her mother and had her come to the porch. As he walked by, she told her mother that was the man she was going to marry. Six years later, she did. They were not rich, far from it. He was working at Hankins and Smith by 1938, a mechanic if not already the shop supervisor for $13 a week. She had taken a job as a teller for Commerce Union Bank for $22 a month. She also was helping several businesses with their book keeping to supplement their incomes. They never stopped working. They did all right by my measure. They never stopped loving. And they were complimentary to each other’s expertise and their personalities. Yeh, they are tops on my couples list.

My daughter Blythe and her husband Jason Gander. i said it when i made my toast at the reception after their wedding they had the best chance of anyone i knew to matching her grandparents as a couple. They are doing pretty well at it. She met him when she was visiting us in the Southwest Corner. He was a sailor, an aviation boatswainmate on the USS Tripoli. They fooled around for a couple of years after he got out and went back to Kansas, but apparently, he couldn’t stand it and moved to Austin to be with her. It worked. They have an amazing son, Sam, my grandson.

Then there’s Eddie and Brenda Callis. High school sweethearts. Lasted a long time. They play gin rummy every day. She is still winning. They take care of a lot of people in many ways. Brenda is the daughter of my father’s boss, later partner. We’ve known each other a long time, even longer than either of us have known Eddie. No matter. They are rather spectacular.

Henry and Brenda Harding. Married late. Didn’t matter. They have a relationship as strong, if not stronger than anyone i know. i met Henry at our Christening several years ago. Feel like i know him like a brother. Heck, he is my other brother. Every time i see them, which is far too infrequently, i marvel at the strength of their relationship.

Marty and Linda Linville. They too were high school sweethearts, marrying while he was going to college and playing football. Long lasting. Strong. i smile every Friday morning when i see Marty park before our Friday morning golf round. He calls her to see how she is doing and to let her know he got there safely.

Pete and Nancy Toennies. i really can’t tell who made which decision. They are synergistic. Met out here when Pete was a new Navy SEAL and she was a nurse. He’s from New York City. She is from Southwest Tennessee/Northwest Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. Doesn’t matter. Perfect.

There are many others. i won’t go into my thoughts about Maureen and some goofy guy. i’ve pretty well covered that and undoubtedly will do so again. Although we were later: she was 33; i was approaching 40. Been a pretty amazing ride these last 35 years.

The impetus in writing about couples is one other set of them. Thinking about these two set me off about considering couples.

Buddy and Beverly Phillips. Buddy fell in love with Beverly sometime around junior high, i think if not earlier. He waited patiently for several years. He was rewarded. It does not matter how long they have been married (it’s a long time). When i see them, it makes me feel warm inside. The world got something right when they matched up.

Beverly has been having some health problems again. She beat it the first time. With the strength of their love, i’m thinking she’s going to beat it again. That would make me feel better. After all, they are a couple. A real perfect couple.


“Murphy’s Law”

This morning, i discovered i had gone through all of my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives — there were a number of years i did not paste any of them; now, i regret that. i decided i will go through them one more time before quitting this effort. It occurred to me i wanted my grandson to have access to them when he gets into the world of business, whatever that might be. So for one more time, here are entries from my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives thanks to Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Pipey, and cousin Nancy:

Lefty Gomez’s Law: If you don’t throw it, they can’t hit it.

Goofy guy’s apologia of Lefty Gomez’s Law: Lefty was Yogi Berra before Yogi Berra. Another one of many quotes from Lefty, the Hall of Fame pitcher for the Yankees and Senators was: “One rule I had was make your best pitch and back up third base. That relay might get away and you’ve got another shot at him.” 

“Murphy’s Law”

From my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives thanks to Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Pipey, and cousin Nancy:

Trischmann’s Paradox: A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to put in his mouth.

Goofy guy’s admission  about Trischmann’s Paradox: Flummoxed by the paradox and unable to figure out which i was, i gave up on pipe smoking before i turned thirty.