Alive, Alert and Active


Sorry for all the missing posts!


But I am still alive, alert, active, and learning how to enjoy life once again.


I’ve been writing some chess books during my time off (AKA Disability).


Today I went with a friend to shoot some photos for an idea I had for a cover. But when I got home I found something wrong with the photo. I’ll let you figure it out! 😉


I need to get ready for two special days in December; Christmas and my birthday. And having a larger ego, I am not sure which one I like better.


Don’t forget to have fun! =)







Love your


Parents (who suffered your terrible twos, terrific tantrums, and the times you were less than stellar),


Families (you may have more than one)


Friends (they chose YOU!),


Pets (who are always there for you)


Doctors (who made you healthier),


Lawyers (hey, they need recognition too),


and everyone else who made life a little more enjoyable for you! 😉





With two days left for Halloween, here is a list of words that are appropriate for this day.

Plus, they are all acceptable in Scrabble and Words With Friends. Have fun!


BANSHEE (+S) [n. A female spirit that wails or screams when someone in a household is going to die]
BOO (+S)
CEMETERY (CEMETERIES) [n. An area where the dead are buried. Not a good place to visit, esp. at night]
COVEN (+S) [n. Collective noun for VAMPIRES or WITCHES]
DEMONESS (+ES) [n. A female demon]
ELDRITCH [adj. Weird, strange or unearthly; eerie]
EXORCISM (+S) [n. The act or practice of freeing or expelling a spirit, esp. a demon, from a person. Dangerous in that the expelled demon may be looking for another host.]
FAMILIAR (+S) [n. A spirit, usually assuming the form of an animal or pet, that assists a witch. And that usually means a witch is nearby.]
GRAMARYE (+S) [n. Magic, necromancy, or occult learning]
GREMLIN (+S) [n. A small devilish monster to avoid, esp. if one is flying a plane]
LYCANTHROPY (LYCANTHROPIES) [n. The belief or ability to turn oneself into a wolf. The ability remains unproven.]
MACABRE [adj. Disturbing or horrifying because of involvement with or depiction of death and injury]
NECROMANCY (NECROMANCIES) [n. The practice of conjuring up the dead. It usually doesn’t end well.]
PHANTOM (+S) [n. (1) A hallucination, esp. one that assumes human form, (2) A haunting apparition or spirit]
SPECTRE (+S) [n. A ghost]
SUMMON (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. To call upon supernatural beings for assistance]
TROLL (+S) [n. A supernatural dwarf in Scandanavian folklore that lives in caves or in the mountains]



Happy Halloween!!!!!





Within a few hours, the World Series will begin once again. Some of you know I am a baseball fan.

I wrote this before the end of the American League Championships.





Don and Sandy loved Baseball. Don was always a Yankees fan and Sandy faithfully followed the Dodgers. Both of them could, and did, trace their treasured loves back to when both teams were New York.


Don loved to brag about the Yankees. He continually reminded Sandy that the Yankees won the most World Series of any other team, and that there more Yankees in the Hall of Fame, and that God was a Yankees fan. Don grudgingly accepted the first statement (for it was true), wasn’t sure about the second, but didn’t believe in the third.


And despite the rivalries between their two respective major baseball teams, they remained the best of friends, even going to the ballpark together, whether it would be in Los Angeles or New York.


They made a pact with each other. That is, if baseball was to be found in Heaven, they would ask if they could live out eternity in the same neighborhood so both of them could watch and cheer together whatever baseball teams may be playing up there. Even better if the late and worthy Yankees and Dodgers players would also be playing in this neighborhood.


After more than 80 years of watching, cheering, celebrating, and occasionally lamenting, old age caught up with them and they were both taken up to Heaven and appeared before God.


The Almighty spoke,


“Normally Peter would greet you at the gate, but he is not a baseball fan. I AM! And I have watched every single game of baseball that has ever been played. Being the Almighty certainly has its perks.”


He smiled and then continued, “Have no fear for I know both of you want to live out eternity in the same neighborhood and I will grant you that wish. All three of us will walk to where Sandy will spend his eternity and then I’ll walk with Don to his place. All ready?”


Both Don and Sandy smiled.


And then a big, almost prideful, grin spread across Don’s face. He starts thinking, “It’s not every day one gets to spend some time alone with the Almighty. And certainly god is on the Yankees’ side and, by extension, and literally, by my side as well!”


So the trio walked into the Baseball Neighborhood. In the center were two large hills. The slightly, smaller one had a complete MLB sized baseball stadium. A game was going and the Almighty smiled.


The larger hill hosted a large, white, and impressive mansion with long columns. Flying on top of the mansion was a large Dodgers’ pennant, flying brilliantly in the sun.


The Almighty pointed to Sandy and told him, “Go to the mansion, you’ll be living there. The baseballs, bats, and gloves are in the back in case you want to practice or play.” Sandy joyously smiled and started his trek to the top of hill.


The Almighty turned to Don and said, “Let’s go to your place.”


Don walked with HIM, excited, for if God was a Yankee’s fan, what a treasured home would be waiting for him.


They walked for about five minutes, and then the Almighty opened the gates to a non-descriptive house. Don and the Almighty walked inside. There was a faded Yankee flag and an old glove inside the small house.


Don turned to the Almighty and asked HIM, “While I appreciate my own place in Paradise, why does Sandy get the mansion, the ballpark, and I get a small house?”


The Almighty was in a good mood, for HE usually does not tolerate such insolate behavior, replied,


“My son, you don’t understand. The mansion Sandy is to spend eternity is not his. It is mine.”


“Now about the Yankees and the World Series. They aren’t going to be in it this year.”





NOTE: I updated the original post.


A friend of mine texted me an article about pain, evil, and the problem of evil (that is, if an all powerful and all compassionate god exists, why is there evil in the world).




Briefly, the writer of article makes the case that pain and evil exists because god gave us the power to do evil and is necessary for evolution to occur and for the growth of our species in particular.


Now most evolutionists believe that as least some pain is necessary for survival as we tend to avoid things that are painful. And most things that are painful are also things that can injure us or cause death. Meaning we would not be able to pass on our good genes to the next generation.


As far as the problem of evil (otherwise known as THEODICY, which the writer, correctly points out is the term for this problem), the writer states that without total free will, we cannot make choices that benefit our species. And this is god’s way.


Here is my reply to my friend. Perhaps it is a bit simplified. But the problem goes away if we take out a variable in the equation.


“I don’t consider pain or natural disasters as evil. They are just things that happen in the universe. The only evil I see comes from man, who with their knowledge and free will, and the capacity they have to stop themselves, still go out of their way to harm themselves and others.”


Sometime later, our conversation (or texting  to be more precise) continued. And my posting here will end here with my last response.


“I just hope the goodness done, and still to come, will overcome the evil that has come and still to come. And that I can be part of the process.”





Secret conversations of Lefties



On Monday (10-10) my friend took me out for dinner. She is also a lefty and when lefties get together, they sometimes talk about the Plight of the Lefty. This is the unintentional (and sometimes intentional), unnoticed, but subtle and inherent, troubles, both big and small, Lefties face in the in a right-handed dominated world.

Earlier this year I wanted to buy a new baseball mitt. I checked a sporting goods store and made several attempts at a swap meet here in Huntington Beach, just in case I was willing to settle for a used one.

I found a total of three left-handed mitts. Not three models. Just three gloves. All three were children’s sizes, and one was for a girl (it was a bright neon pink color).

Little and yet persistent troubles include the 10 digit keypad on my QWERTY keyboard, which is always on the right side, and the guy at the ice cream stand who keeps sliding his delicious treats and wares to my right hand. And I keep forgetting to get the handle bar controls for the gears on my bicycle reversed.

We lefties like to joke about this.

Anyway, my friend treated to an Asian place, as she knows I like that genre of food and she also had a small surprise for me.

Well the rice looked good and so did the shrimp. But she asked me to eat with her little gift; a set of left-handed chopsticks. Yes, this thing actually exists. Surprised me too!

This contraption held itself together with couple of joints and included two loops to insert your fingers and keep the chopsticks stable and within one’s grip. I know how to use chopsticks but this thing seemed fun and I just had to try it.

So I opened the instructions (yes, chopsticks with directions!)

See if you can’t identify at least one problem with the instructions for this new brand of Left-handed Chopsticks.

Instructions_for_chopsticks 001


I am happy to say that despite the directions, I figured out how to use the device.




I have to admit they were sturdy and easy to use. Except for the small grains of rice, I was able to pick up everything else to eat. And it was as good meal. And good company.


Now let me see about adding a USB powered, wireless, left-handed 10 digit keypad to my laptop.