Story-Line to NOTEFLIX’s production of “Troubles in the Garden”: Our hero, The Multicolored Bluebird of Happiness is still tangled up in the bizarre Tree of Uncertain Knowledge. He does not know how long he will be there, or how far away from home he is, or how much will be required of him to go forward – and at ‘what cost’; but, at least, daylight has returned. (To be Continued.)


I remember in school, after they taught me how to count, they started to confuse me with things like: “A man leaves New York at 12:30 and heads to Cleveland, which is 450 miles away. He is in a car averaging 40 miles per,  and it is 20 degrees outside and the wind is blowing from the North at 2 miles per, and another man leaves Cleveland for N.Y. and goes at 10 miles an hour on his bike. What time and where do the men meet?” Those set-ups drove me insane.Time/Rate/Distance. Who cares?  They had questions about canoes and Indians and airplanes and on and on… I wish I had had the brains to handle those situations – because today’s news is filled with numbers, numbers and more numbers – and I have trouble understanding what is important, or what is interesting, or simply what is what. In that spirit I give you some numbers. See if you can go the distance.

  • Americans own 50% of the guns in the world. (Which Americans, I want to know – and how fast are they heading in my direction?)
  • 5 Banks on Wall Street control 50% of the financial assets in the United States. 20 years ago this figure was only 20%. Question: At this rate, in what year will these banks control 100% of the assets? Show  the ratio work explaining how you get to this answer.
  • 18% of college students live on campus. 20% of college students are homeless. Housing on many campus’s is a profit center. Housing off-campus is a profit center.  Question; At what price will the students just go home – if their parents will allow it – and do any of them get to learn what time and where the two men will meet somewhere between Cleveland and New York? Back when I was in school, the problem was in finding the easy courses to take –  we did not have to  develop survival skills just to stay enrolled.
  • Kitty Litter, in the U.S., generates more waste than the State of Rhode Island generates. If one 5 pound bag of litter costs $9 and the average house in R.I. costs 3x’s the national average…You see my point? The Kitty Litter item is interesting; but I have no idea if it is important. I need to know: 1) How many people are there in R.I. and  2) If they counted the Kitty Litter waste generated in R.I. itself  – is not that double counting? And I’ll bet they have guard dogs in those big Houses in Rhode Island. How much dog stuff do they generate? Now you see why I had trouble with the school thing.
  • 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 everyday. This will continue to 2029. (Then what happens? No wonder movie theaters are getting rid of Senior rates – except for Tuesday nights, they still discount tickets for Tuesday nights; but Seniors do not go out on Tuesday nights. everybody knows that. Also, Millenials are having fewer babies per Millennial than any age group has had in U.S. history. So, I take out $2,ooo a month, twelve months a year, from Social security at age 65  and live to be 98 – which is possible because I have not smoked in 50 years, and gave up drinking 35 years ago – but my C.O.L. adjustment goes up 1.2% every other year. Question: How many babies does a millennial have to produce to keep Social Security – and me – alive?

It used to be the news was full of words – and you did not have to do the math. Now everything has changed – and do not say it is all the same, because it isn’t.

A few brand new quotations (brand new to me…)

  • “The 3 most harmful addictions are: Heroin, Carbohydrates, and a Monthly salary.” -Nassim Nicholas Talib, Statician (This is a ‘Teaser’ – as we will be writing about ‘Work’ in the next posting.)
  • “No matter how bad things get, you can still win it in the late innings.”  Robert Forster, Actor, recently deceased. He won it in the 9th.

Count your blessings,

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