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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Huggins, M.D.

Bill Huggins emerged from his bomb shelter, like some great emerging thing. He had emerged from many things in his life. From a swimming pool. From his house. From his basement. Victorious, from a backyard wrestling match. It was no wonder that his friends often called him Bill The Emergent. 

But now, Bill had no friends. They were all dead, all victims of this senseless brutal war.

"What a senseless brutal war," Bill said to himself as he wandered his street, surveying the devastation. The nuclear bombs had turned the city into a skeleton of its former self. Dead trees were scattered here and there, an occasional house still standing. No life was to be found anywhere. Not on his street. Not in the neighborhood Chevron. Not at the local discotheque. Not at Jim's Tire and Oil on 17th street. 

Overcome with grief, Bill Huggins collapsed on the ground in front of the Crudville discotheque and sobbed. 

"Why?!" he shouted, shaking his fist at the sky. "WHY?!"

Well, I'll tell you why Bill Huggins. Because this world is just a sick place! Back in the olden days, people had to settle their disputes like men! And that meant a good ol' fashioned fish fight! 

"Oh, surely there's some mistake," said Bill to me, whoever I am. "You must be referring to a fist fight."

No, you read it right Bill. You read it more right than you've ever read anything in your life. A fish fight. Slapping each other around with fish. Trout. Salmon. Mackerel. Catfish. White Tipped Reef Sharks. It happened all the time. You may not think you ever saw a guy slapping another guy with a fish, but it happened. Oh boy howdy, did it ever happen. Especially in Arizona. And the western slopes of Bulgaria. And it was a very effective method of dispute-resolving. But times have changed. Nowadays, it's just "Oh, I'm mad at my neighbor Bob for not returning my hedge trimmer, guess I'll type in my super secret launch codes and push the big red button and nuke his house," followed by all of these actions and the ensuing total destruction of a small city. We've become so spoiled, so reliant on our nuclear missiles for resolving our disputes. Well Bill, I'm here to tell you, no more! 

"But..." asked Bill. "How else am I supposed to get revenge on that guy who didn't clean his dog poop off my lawn?" 

Good question Bill. Before this situation gets out of control and your hand inches for your launch codes, let's just take a step back, gather our senses, and analyze. Is this issue big enough that it's worth leveling the entire city for, and in fact, vaporizing yourself?

"I'll be okay, I've got a bomb shelter!" Bill responded. 

Well, I'm just telling you, there may be more civil options that you're not considering.

Bill scoffed, like the scoffer that he was. It was no wonder that his friends often called him Bill the Scoffer.

"I've no need for you!" Bill yelled at me, whoever I am. "I can settle my own problems!"

Yes, sure you can, Bill. 

With that, Bill Huggins got up off the ground and ran. Just ran and ran. 

You can't run away from me Bill. I'm all around you.

"No!" cried Bill, as he ran. "Get away from me!" At this point, he hopped a pretty tall fence that had the fortune to still be standing. The fence was pretty happy about this. 

There is no escape, Bill. 

At some point in his running, Bill found a nice bush, and he tried to hide in it. He just sat in the bush, hiding, for several seconds. 

I can see you, Bill. 

Bill flung a curse word, then scampered out of the bush and resumed running. This went on for awhile. A couple minutes later, he found a nice dilapidated barn that matched his shirt color pretty nicely. He stood still in front of the barn in an attempt to blend in.

Nice try, Bill. You're by the barn.

Bill swore again and resumed running.

But Bill couldn't keep up the charade forever. Soon, he began to grow weary, and within minutes, was bent over gasping for air. 

"I...can't...beat you," he said between lungfuls of air. 

Well Bill, I applaud the effort. 

Bill was cheered immensely by the praise.

And so it came to pass that Bill and I became friends. Bill Huggins, the Emergent, the Scoffer, that lovable old coot, and I, an unembodied mystical intelligence who enjoyed narrating Bill's life and always popping in to offer a treatise or two about various political topics, much to Bill's annoyance. And Bill continued to scoff, and to emerge from things, and we generally managed to get along pretty well surviving in a post-apocalyptic wasteland of death. 

The End

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Flaming Norge

I got sick of the anti-phone updates, they were pretty boring. Also, I started to fail around Tuesday or Wednesday, so... I went about a week. I think. Meh.

I've been reading "Congo" this week. There's a lot of psycho killer gorillas. If you like that kind of thing... then you should definitely give it a read. GIVE IT ONE. NOW.

The weekend was spent watching home videos with the family. I watched my childhood from age 3 - age 12 in the course of a few hours. It was weird. There was one part where we were doing a school play in my 1st grade class, and I was able to name probably 90% of the other kids in the video footage. Which is crazy, right? I haven't seen any of these kids or really thought about them at all in many years, but their names are right there in the temporal lobe of my cerebral cortex, matched up with a profile picture. Good job brain!

In primary today, we watched "The Restoration." This was a film that I managed to memorize, word for word, from beginning to end, on my mission. It's actually a really good church movie, as much as I have enjoyed making fun of it for many years. So many good one-liners that entertained my mission companions and I. "He overcometh all..." "HALLELUJAH!" "Beware of pride, boy! Your eternal soul is at stake!" "THERE IS... NO... MESSIAH!" Oh wait, that last one is from another film, The Testaments. Also filled with a plethora of one liners.

"In your new kingdom, I cannot be your father! But wherever you go... you will always be... my son!"

The End

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Update on Breaking Phone Addiction

Here's a review of my goals in attempting to break a phone addiction.

1) Five minutes of Facebooking per day.
            - I have actually been doing real well with this. I deleted the Facebook app on my phone so it's not quite as readily accessible (just using Safari). Five minutes seems like plenty per day, although if I have to write a comment or reply to someone, this eats up time. I don't really miss it at all. There was never a whole lot of worthwhile stuff to read on Facebook anyway, although I do enjoy the posts of Mike Nelson (from MST3K) who is quite humorous, and anybody else that has something worthwhile to say (that means something that makes me laugh or piques my interest in some way).

2) Tucking phone away in drawer at work and getting a watch
            - I ended up not doing this because I don't have a working watch. But I haven't been tempted to use it when working, besides checking time, and occasionally using it with patients to show family pictures, look up stuff online, etc. The constant checking of Facebook is no longer a problem.

3) No checking the "trending" page on Facebook
            - No problem whatsoever. I HATE the trending section. It usually has a couple important news stories, and then the rest is just absolute garbage, like how some new stupid hashtag has "surfaced" or some innocent quote by somebody that has been taken out of context to be homophobic or something, and then sparked riots in front of the White House.

4) No checking Facebook first thing in the morning
            - While I have succeeded at this, it has been hard. I don't know why. I suppose it's the fact that I've gone 8+ hours without looking at it and I'm afraid I may have missed something, like a noteworthy post from someone, or some important news in the trending page.

5) No phone use before bed, to improve sleep
             - Done pretty well, although my sleep still sucks.

Also, I turned the colors on my phone to "grayscale." I don't know if this will accomplish anything. But the colors are apparently kind of stimulating.

It's gonna be cold... it's gonna be grayscale... and
it's gonna last you for the rest of your life!

I know this all sounds like baloney. Like, is it really worth it for me to post all this? Do I sound like Anti-Yoga Pants Lady? I don't want to sound like Anti-Yoga Pants Lady. I am not Anti-Yoga Pants Lady. For anybody that doesn't know who Anti-Yoga Pants Lady is, well, she's some lady that wrote a blog several months ago entitled something along the lines of "Why I Don't Wear Leggings Anymore," or some such crap. It was the most self-righteous thing I've ever read in my life. But that's a story for another time. Oh boy, what a story.