Category Archives: posts by Larry

Thoughts from Albert Einstein

From the most brilliant scientist, Albert Einstein,  who managed to see beyond his own gift of brilliance.

“Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in AWE when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a HOLY curiosity.”

A "Julia" alternative—meet "Joanie"

President Obama’s campaign web-site has given us the Obama Woman, a gal named “Julia” who we follow in cartoon form from age three through age 67+ . Julia’s life, from the formative years and onward, has been  guided, nurtured  and embraced by and through government programs such as: Head Start, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Obamacare, Pell Grants for education etc. There is never a mention of Julia having parents or siblings or any family at all (they had to be in the mix somewhere but I guess their impact on Julia’s life was minimal). Finally,  as Julia’s wonderful, carefree and orchestrated life winds down, she finds happiness in her senior years as a volunteer in a “community garden”. May I present the JULIA alternative–JOANIE.

Joanie Peach is 17. She did have parents but they died. Her mother, when Joanie was 13, and her dad when she was 17. She has an older brother, Teddy, 18, and three younger brothers aged 14, 10 and 6. They are orphans. Yup–Joanie has had multiple roles in her young life: daughter, sister, replacement mom, high school student, cook, house-keeper, household budget manager, grocery shopper, meal planner, and, of course, nurse in charge of all the cuts, bumps and bruises that little boys seem to attract. I have to be fair–this did take place “way, way”, back in the mid 1960’s. That was a time when the all embraceable and benevolent government was just beginning to get into the “nanny busines”. Consequently, folks (for the most part)counted on their family, friends and church to help them through difficult life challenges.

Joanie Peach and the parentless journey of her and her brothers begins in the YA novel, “The Priest and the Peaches”, the first book in a fictionalized (like Obama’s, Julia) series that will follow the life of these kids.  Joanie and Julia are quite different. Why not spend a few bucks (it is an ebook) to see HOW different and how the faith, strength and love of God and  family can be the foundation that binds and lifts folks together no matter what life may throw their way.

Billions & Billions & Billions– Oh My

 I had not heard from my good pal, Jumbo Feeney, in six months. Since the election is now only seven months away I was starting to harbor nervous thoughts about his well being. He always had plenty to say about most topics known to man, especially politics, so his silence was out of character. What was I ever thinking? He called last night and, as usual, was in mid-sentence by the time I had the phone next to my ear. “—and do you know—hey, Petie, you listening or what?”

“Jumbo, stop a second, will you. I just picked up the phone for crying out loud. You could at least wait until you hear me breathing or something.”

“Fine Petie, fine. Well you’re talking so you must be breathing so pay attention. You won’t believe this. Okay, okay, you paying attention?”

“Yes Jumbo.”

“Well, do you know what 16 trillion dollars means? It’s crazy I tell ya—it’s mind-boggling.”

“Jumbo, please—stop! Hold on. What are you talking about?”

“Petie, Petie, 16 trillion. That’s what I’m talking about. I just sat down and wrote it all down. Do you know how many millions make a billion? Do you?”

“Well, yeah. A thousand.”

“Exactly Petie, a thousand million to make one billion. And these politicians talk about billions like it is pocket change.”

“Well, you are sure right about that.”

“You bet I’m right. It’s not even their money–forget that, that’s not the point. Anyway, think about this. If one thousand million equals one billion then one thousand billion equals one trillion, right?”

“Uh, yeah, I guess.”

“No guessing, that’s right. So it follows that  one million million or one million times one million equals one trillion. Hey Petie, you getting all this?”

“I think so, Jumbo. Yeah, I got it.”

“So if the good old USof A has debt of 16 trillion dollars that means the government would have to take ALL the money that16 million millionaires have just to break even. And by the time they collected the money the interest would have made created more owed and it wouldn’t be enough and it would add 16 million more people to the food stamp rolls. And we don’t even have 16 million millionaires anyway.

“Jumbo, Jumbo, stop—you’re giving me a headache.”

“Yeah Petie. You and a lot of other people are gonna have headaches.. Gotta go. Call you next week.”

Launching "The Priest and The Peaches"

Just wanted to empty myself a bit. My first novel, “The Priest and The Peaches” has been officially launched and I must admit, it is a scary time for me. As an author you spend inordinate amounts of time putting the work together. From the original idea that danced around inside your head to scattered notes, onward to a first draft you go. You now have gotten wet up to your ankles. You read what you have and think, “This stinks”, and start over. Now you are in up to your knees and have to re-write again. Maybe six months has gone by or maybe two years. Some folks take ten years to actually write a novel.(It took me about a year and a half) When I finally looked at the finished work I knew in my heart I was done. I also knew that I should go back and make it “better”. But you have to know when it is time to get in the ‘”deep water” and see if you will sink or swim. That is the time you expose yourself for what you are as a writer. For me, I am in the deep water and, so far, I have not went under. It is hard to believe, but the book has received some wonderful reviews. A half dozen folks have contacted me and they have all told me that they “couldn’t put it down” and read the entire book in one sitting. That blows me away.

Anyway, I am humbled  by the fact that I was able to create something that brought enjoyment to others and simultaneously put forth the  good message of “Love your neighbor”. The book has only been out about a week so time will tell its future. Onward and forward. The sequel is in the works and  I am  almost up to my ankles.

"Hooray for Kelly Ripa and All You Women Who Agree With Her"

Television hostess, Kelly Ripa, of “Live with Regis and Kelly”, when asked for her thoughts about women picking up the tab after a dinner date said, “I’m sure a lady doesn’t want to pick it up. But because she thinks chivalry is dead already, maybe the guy should impress her and pick up the check. And maybe pull out her chair, too.” She added, “Any feminist who disagrees with me, I am sorry, but it’s gone ridiculous now. We give birth; you pick up the check.” Ripa also said that she tells her husband, “Raise your sons to pick up a check for a lady.”


Within a few hours the women’s website, Jezabel, slammed Ripa for her “antiquated social extremism”. WHAT? Are you kidding me? The writer was outraged, “A woman can buy a man’s meal any damn time she wants to—Ladies DO want to pay. Yours truly wants to pay, likes to pay, plans on paying etc, etc.”

So where do these diverse views from women leave us men in these modern times? How are we supposed to know what will happen to us if we have the temerity to hold a door open for a woman or offer her a seat on a bus or maybe offer to help her with her overflowing grocery cart while she is trying to lift her toddler out of its seat? Are we going to be thanked or cursed? Are we going to be accused of being one of those defiled
 “male chauvinists”? (FYI ladies: there are actually very few true “male chauvinists”. But it is sure a handy stereotype). We men do not know what to expect anymore. As for me, I DO NOT like it.

I come from a world where a boy was taught to do these things. I can remember men walking down the street and tipping their hats to ladies as they passed by. It was a sign of respect and the ladies ALWAYS nodded and smiled. We men view women as needing to be “looked out for”, protected, as wanting a strong shoulder readily available to “cry on”. It is our nature. We are somehow genetically programmed to want to take care of you.  It has nothing to do with mental acuity. In the IQ world many women are smarter than men. Women today are doctors, lawyers, politicians, successful entrepreneurs, accountants, IT experts, etc. Surprise ladies, men respect that. Most men also believe that women should get equal pay for doing similar jobs. But men DO NOT believe that women should become like men and strip us of who and what we were meant to be and mask it under the guise of equality. There are women out there who actually have this twisted notion that fathers are unnecessary. Just go to a sperm bank—who needs a stupid man. WHATEVER. If I were to pull your chair out at a restaurant it would be out of respect not because I would think I was better than you or was trying to control you or dominate you. I find it hard to believe that I  am actually explaining this but this is where our minds have gone.

Lord knows, I NEVER wanted to give birth to any of my children. But I sure loved being there to take care of and protect my wife and to hold my kids and feed them and even change their dirty diapers. I loved watching them grow, playing Santa and wrestling with my boys and teaching them how to throw a ball. The fact is, there are millions of men who feel the same as I do. Consequently, we deserve the same respect that you expect from us. “Hooray For Kelly Ripa” and all you women who agree with her.

The "Jack-O'-Lantern" (one version)

Long ago in Ireland, the land of shamrocks, leprechauns, soft winds and smiles, there lived a man named Jack. Jack was quite lazy and did not like to work. But he had the gift of “blarney” and could talk the peat off the moss. He would tell wondrous tales about his adventures as a world traveler and the people in his village would be held spellbound by his golden tongue; however, Jack outsmarted himself when he  stole money from the townsfolk. He thought that they were not very smart and would never find out. But they did find out and began chasing him down the streets of the village.

As Jack ran down the road as fast as he could he rounded a bend and ran smack into the devil. The devil smiled at Jack and told him it was time for him to die and that he was there to take his soul. Jack quickly convinced the devil that if he would let him go and promise to never take his soul he would give him all the souls of the folks who were chasing him. “And how do you plan to do that, Jack?” the devil asked.

“Well now, all ye have ta do is turn ye-self into a pot of gold coins. Then I will give the coins to the people and you will be in all of their pockets. They will be yours.”

Since many souls were better than only one, the devil readily agreed and turned himself into a pot of gold coins. Jack gave the coins to all the people and they went away smiling never realizing that they had given themselves to the devil in return for money.

So Jack lived on, grew old and, like all mortal men, finally died. His life had been so sinful on earth that he could not get into heaven and since the devil could not take his soul, he could not get into hell. He had nowhere to go. He asked the devil how he was supposed to see because he was in complete darkness. The devil laughed and tossed Jack a burning ember from the fires of hell, an ember that would never burn out.

Jack, using the ember to guide his way, found a pumpkin patch (some say it was turnips) and carved out a pumpkin. He put the ember inside and began carrying it around so he could see where he was going. To this day he wanders the earth seeking a resting place. And that is why he is known as “Jack-O’-Lantern” or “Jack of the Lantern”.

“HAPPY HALLOWEEN”