The Best of Times

I was wondering about the going rate for an outed tooth. What’s the Tooth Fairy doing these days in regard to gifting children with cash for teeth?

Tooth Fairy

In my day it was a quarter, maybe. Sounds rather paltry. On the other hand here’s a sampling of what things cost in 1961 when I was five years old.

  • New house:            $17,200
  • Stamp:                         $0.04
  • Gallon of gas:             $0.31
  • Dozen eggs:                $0.57
  • Gallon of milk:           $0.49

Compare those prices with today’s market:

  • New house:         $300,000
  • Stamp:                        $0.55
  • Gas:                             $2.50
  • Eggs:                           $2.82
  • Milk:                             3.27

I’m thinking about this because yesterday, in our 2nd service, I was talking with a five year old who had lost a tooth. I asked if she got any money for it. She smiled her beautiful smile, sans the tooth, and offered, “Yes, I got $5.00”.


The cost of housing increase from 1961 to 2020 is 1744%.

The Tooth Fairy increase from 1961 to 2020 is 120%.

“Sure, but what about wages and income,” you ask?

Average household income in 1961 was: $7,500

Average household income in 2019: $75,133

Wow, parents are making 1000% more than they did 58 years ago.

But the Tooth Fairy pillow gift has risen only 120%. Hardly seems fair. At the increase of 1000% that precious child should have awakened to a bundle of $250, cash.

Tooth fairy 1


Okay, not going to happen. And it’s likely that my math is skewed if not entirely wrong.

Either way, I’m representing for the kids.


The Following Is a True Story

Have you ever imagined winning the lottery? That one day all the magic numbers line up and you are an instant millionaire. Or even more!

lottery tickets
Not the lotto tickets my wife bought, but close, really very close.

Have you ever wondered if somewhere out there was a distant relative you didn’t know about? Then one day a lawyer calls requesting your presence for the reading of the will and you inherit millions of dollars!

The reading of the will, a pile of cash! 


Yep, it’s true. I was contacted by a law firm in Alberta, Canada informing me that a relative had passed away. The relative had a life insurance policy but the benefit hasn’t been paid because the deceased didn’t leave a will or stipulate a beneficiary. The firm has been searching for a living relative and they found one, me. 


I know you’re wondering. Well, it’s a staggering amount: $9,820,000.

After reading the letter and then getting up off the floor I started thinking of what I would do with the money. How much would I give to my church? How much would I give to my kids? How much would I give to my government?  I would definitely get new tires for my wife’s car and probably buy a new fly rod. I’m such a visionary. 

I wondered if Sunday would be my last day on the job? 


I should probably mention that the law firm didn’t contact me in person, nor by phone, email, registered mail or by telegram. It was by fax. I didn’t know people still used fax machines. We have one in the office, it’s a dinosaur, but it’s how I got the letter. They obviously tracked me down and discovered where I was employed.


After further reflection, and some internet surfing, I’ve determined that it’s probably a scam aimed at getting my SS number, bank account numbers and so forth. Wouldn’t surprise me if they needed money to pay filing and processing fees and to compensate them for their time. 

Also, the fax had misspelled words, a rather awkward writing style and other clues indicating it was less than a professional document. 

Therefore, amidst great sadness, I’ve concluded that I’m not going to be a ten-millionaire and should forget all about it.

Sunday will not be my last day on the job. I hope.


Wow, now I wish I hadn’t gone ahead with the tires, talk about spending money before you have it! 

Oh well, live and learn. 

Three’s a Crowd?

I was thinking about the number 3.


Gideon’s army was whittled down to 300.

Moses had those who worshipped the golden calf killed, 3,000 died.

golden calf
Not the calf the Hebrew people worshipped, but close, really very close.

King Saul took 3,000 men to hunt for David. 

Job had 3,000 camels.

King Solomon wrote 3,000 proverbs.

Samson pulled the pillars down and killed 3000 Philistines. 

Peter and the apostles baptized 3000 on the day of Pentecost.

Jesus had 3 disciples who were especially close: Peter, James and John.

Elijah prayed 3 times for rain.

Jesus prayed 3 times for the cup to pass.

There were 3 on the Mount of Transfiguration: Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

In the parable of the good Samaritan, 3 passed by, one stopped to help.

Jesus was 30 when he launched his ministry.

He was 33 when he died.

Jesus showed the 3 holes to his apostles, his hands and his side.

Peter denied Jesus 3 times. 

There were 3 crosses on Golgotha that day.

Jesus was in the tomb 3 days.

God is 1 but 3: Father, Son, and Spirit. 


My parents had 3 sons.

My first date had her mother tag along. 

It took me 3 tries to pass my driver’s test. 

I’ve backed out of the garaged 3 times with the car door open.

I’ve been in 3 automobile accidents, two were bumper bumps, one wasn’t. 

I’ve been to Israel 3 times. 

I’ve done mission trip to 3 countries: Mexico, China, and Haiti.

I’ve climbed Mount Everest 3 times.

 I asked a girl for a date 3 times, she said no 3 times, then she married me.

All of the above 3’s are true except for 3 of them. 

In Conclusion

After careful consideration I’ve determined that I don’t have anything significant to say about the number 3. 

But thanks for reading this blog to the end.





Five Hundred and Counting!

I’m struggling just a bit.

About What?

About coming up with interesting things to write about. I’ve blogged a lot in the last 2.5 years, and this one is #504. That’s 202 blogs a year or about four a week.


I’m actually surprised that I’ve found that many things to write about. I’m not that interesting, and nobody says I’m creative, and frankly, I’m not terribly bright to begin with!


I do have followers, not many, but I have them. Among them is my Mother who has commented that my blogs have slowed from four a week to one every two weeks. I guess I need to pick up the pace.

Here is a list of topics I’ve considered blogging about:

  • The plight of the Indonesian Red Beak hummingbird.
  • The raging debate over NFL footballs improperly inflated.
  • Determining if Americans are in fact eating fewer beets.
  • Whether or not I should replace my sub woofer.
  • The usage of the word “why” when women say, “Why thank you.” 
  • If the electric wiring harness in my car is functioning properly.
  • Should I buy new shoes instead of having them resoled again.

That’s a good list and could reenergize my blogging, or not, I’m not sure. After a quick Google search, it turns out there isn’t an Indonesian Red Beak hummingbird. Not sure where that came from.

To Close

I suppose there are still worthwhile topics, observations and insights to write about. Perhaps I’ve been a bit fatigued or distracted or even busy doing my regular job. Nevertheless, I’ll seek to do better. 

Five Hundred Blogs

I’m aiming high and reaching for the stars. Here’s to the next five hundred!

That’s me, next to a Rabbi, at Jerusalem’s Western Wall Shalom

A Sprung Mind?

Punctuality is the cornerstone of civilization.

A Recent Movie

In the movie, “Arrival” alien ships come to our world. Nations want to know who they are and where they are from.

An astrophysicist suggested that science, the cornerstone of civilization, would be the bridge. Another suggested that language was the cornerstone of civilization and therefore would be the key. 

They Were Wrong

 Science and communication aren’t the keys to civilization, its punctuality. Without it, civilization weakens and crumbles into chaos.

The Calendar

My daily schedule stays busy with appointments in and out of the office. I keep all appointments on my phone’s calendar, even those occurring weekly. It’s just my way. 

There’s a discipline I strive to maintain:

  1. Never be late.
  2. On time is five minutes early.
  3. Never keep people waiting.
  4. Always keep your appointments.

You can see why punctuality is the cornerstone of civilization. It keeps the madness from descending. It may be the only thing.

Tuesday Morning

I got a call at 7:15 asking if we were still having breakfast. I was mortified, mystified, and embarrassed. In that moment, I felt the earth shake, collapse was imminent. 

man eating breakfast
Not me or my friend, but close, really very close!

I couldn’t figure it out, I knew I had put it in my calendar. Then I realized my mistake, I’d entered it for the wrong day. I wasn’t just not early, or even just late, I was a no show, a total breakdown of society’s punctuality laws.

To Close

He forgave me. We rescheduled, no harm no foul. But still, it irked me. Am I not perfect? Am I not in control? Do I not possess a steel trap mind?

I think my mind has sprung.


Husbands & Wives In Cars

Here are some things that I’m not, and some things that I am.

  • Not a bible scholar, but a bible student.
  • Not a gardener, but always working in the yard.
  • Not a great preacher, but preach with great effort.
  • Not a great thinker, but I do think.

Men Don’t Think

There’s an idea floating about that men don’t think. It’s not, “Men can’t think,” but that they choose not to, for long periods of time.

I can’t speak to the validity of that premise as I lack research and data. Sure, I could Google it and find something, but, I don’t know, I’ll try to think about it.

The Car

The cliché scenario is played out while men are driving with their wives. The dialogue goes something like this:

Wife: “Honey, you seem awfully quiet, something on your mind?”

Husband: “O, nothing really.”

Wife: “Well, feels like you are preoccupied with something.”

Husband: “No, I’m not.”

Wife: “You have to be thinking about something?”

Husband: “Nope.”

Wife: (with growing angst) “That’s crazy, you can’t just think about nothing.”

Husband: “Sure I can, do it all the time.”

fast driver
Not me or my car, but close, really very close.

An Admission

I’ll admit to “zoning out” more than I used to. I’m missing exits on freeways, driving past streets I wanted, and other things. Lately, I’m missing my own street. Not every time, but sometimes. The fun part is seeing how far I’ve gone before realizing that I have. My excuse? I don’t have one. I’ve admitted to not being a great thinker, so, that isn’t it.

In Closing

You may be saying, “Wow, Rick’s getting old.” I can’t debate that. But I don’t have dementia nor am I experiencing black outs, at least none I’m aware of. 

Mostly, I’m just not thinking. I used to think, at least I think I did.


Life In The Back

I’m a front seat guy, usually. 


If given the choice, I’ll sit in the front, the front of the classroom or at the head of the table. I want to be close to the stage at a play, musical, or concert.


Sure. I don’t want the front row in a movie theater or the front table in a restaurant. But otherwise, it’s the front seats for me.


There are advantages to life in the back:

  • There’s anonymity.
  • You can see everybody.
  • It’s where kids can get rowdy.
  • You can sleep, use your phone, or talk.

In my church, people come early to get a back seat. They want to be as far away from me as possible and still be in church. Unless there’s a children’s program. Then people come an hour early to get front-row seats. It’s madness. I’ve seen people get snippy about the front seats at a children’s performance. Then Sunday morning, its back to the back.

I think people sit in the back because there aren’t any chairs in the parking lot.

crowded church
Not my church or my members, not even close. But they sure like to sit in the back!

Other Reasons?

  • People don’t like to be noticed.
  • They’re leaving early and don’t want to be a distraction.
  • They don’t feel well and may have to go out.
  • The want to be the last ones in and the first ones out.

Wednesday Night

We sat in the back this past Wednesday. There was noise and distraction. People arriving late want to sit in the back. It’s funny on Sunday mornings when the only available seats are on the front rows. People who normally populate the back are forced to fill the front. They seem uncomfortable, like they are with foreigners. 

In Closing

Life in the back is different. I guess life in the front is different too. At the end of the day, I’m just glad everyone shows up.

It’s a biased statement, and I have no theology for it, but I think Jesus was a front row person. It’s just a thought.


The New Steam Mop

Some assembly required. That’s what it said on the box.

The Steam Mop

My wife loves her steam mop. It’s her primary cleaning device and her go to machine.

What Happened?

It died. From the dirt it came and to the dirt it returned. Actually, it returned to the land fill. She mourned. She grieved She waited an appropriate amount of time then ordered a new one. Way to go Amazon!

The Arrival

It arrived in a big box that was inside an even bigger box. Eventually, it got unboxed. She said, “Honey, I got it out of the box. But I don’t feel like putting it together tonight. I’ll do it in the morning.”

In my marriage, that’s code for, “Would you help me or just do it for me?” I did.

Not my wife’s new steam mop or her feet, slippers or floor but close, really very close

The Assembly

Some assembly was required. I went to get tools. “The right tool for the right job,” that’s what Dad always said. I got pliers and a hammer. What do I know about the right tools?

However, in no time at all it was assembled. Maybe a little time. Maybe more.

And Then…

Then she said, “Hey, what’s this for?” She held up a piece of hardware. I had no idea. I reread the directions and reexamined the diagrams that illustrated the directions. I stared and glared. I imagined where I would go and what I would do if I were it. Nope.

I went to bed.  

To Close

The leftover piece of hardware wasn’t for assembly, but for its use. My wife figured it out by reading the operating manual, which I had chosen to ignore due to my being male. She shouted, “I figured it out!” Uh huh, some assembly indeed.

My wife loves her new steam mop.

Being A Power-Tasker

This blog is about multi-tasking.

Not True

I’m recovering the claim that women are better multi-taskers. Not true. I myself can multi-task very well. In fact, I’ve been described as a Power-Tasker.

Just In Case

If you don’t know what it is to multi-task:

  • It’s doing more than one thing at a time.
  • Mental flexibility for simultaneously processing multiple ideas.
  • The appearance of having more than two hands.
  • Ability to give birth to a human child.

Giving Birth?

Sure, it has to do with being a Mother. You’ve seen Moms in public. They carry a child in one arm, push a baby stroller with the other arm, have a diaper bag over one shoulder, a purse on the other,  manage a satchel from work, packages from shopping, and then talk with a cell phone between their cheek and shoulder.

Now That’s Multi-Tasking, Good Thing She Has A Supportive Husband


Sure, it’s impressive. They are to be commended, even rewarded. Maybe a ceremony! It would make the local paper and the 6:00 news.

“Local Woman Wins Multi-Tasker of the Year”

And Men?

Well, men are less adept. First, they’re incapable of giving birth. They rarely carry a purse. And couldn’t keep a cell phone between their face and shoulder if their lives depended on it. However, when necessary, men can multi-task, it’s uncommon, but it does happen, it’s been seen. 


Men don’t like making more than one trip for anything. If they’re carrying groceries, they’ll grab three, four, or five plastic bags in each hand. Blood circulation will cease, their hands will cramp, and the plastic will start cutting. But it’ll get done in one trip. They aren’t going back.

It’s true for taking out the trash, unloading the car after a trip, and other things.

To Close

It’s true. I have been referred to as Power-Tasker. So far, I’m the only one saying it, but still, I can multi-task with the best of them.

My secret? I think through the multiple tasks needing to be done, make a list, and then approach each task in order, one at a time, I’m a Power-Tasker. 


Kids and Summer

Across America children are celebrating.

The Children  

  1. Laughing hysterically
  2. Jumping for joy
  3. Smiling ear to ear
  4. Trashing their school stuff
  5. Excited about the summer

The Parents

  1. NOT


No Doubt

Not to oversell it, because there’s likely some parents who are glad to have their kids home for the summer. On the other hand, there are parents who have not been idle. They have been scheduling activities, events, and trips for their kids.

  1. Church camp
  2. Maybe a 2nd camp with another church
  3. A week with grandparents
  4. A week with the other grandparents
  5. Scouting events
  6. Cheer leading camps
  7. Band camps
  8. Sports camps
  9. Day trips

With careful planning, parents can reduce the number of weeks the kids are home from 13 to about 6. Who knows, the grandparents might be up for two weeks each! That would  bring it down to 4 weeks. You’ll take them on vacation for a week or two, so really, if you handle it right, you could get it down to just 2 weeks of kids as home.


Then BAM! It’s suddenly time for new back packs, school supplies, and clothes. And once again, they’re off for the next step towards becoming reasonably adjusted adults. Society will welcome them gladly. 

To Close

To all the parents I say, “Good luck and be careful and try to hang in there.” To all the kids I say, “Its summer! Go have fun. Be kids, be cool, and be smart. Adult life with its gut wrenching responsibilities will come soon enough.”