In memory of Maximillian.


As Hurricane Irma raged through Palm Beach County, I was with my family at my mother-in-law’s house, monitoring the progress of the storm and witnessing the nasty weather unfolding outside. Then I was faced with the unspeakable task of taking her dog Maximillian for his afternoon walk. I borrowed a raincoat and braced myself for one soggy walk. The weather outside was horrific with the rain and very strong winds leaving leaves and small branches all over the street. Needless to say, I was quite miserable, but Maximillian on the other hand loved it. He had always enjoyed the water and this time was no different. He didn’t seem to mind the nasty weather in the least. I think there’s a lesson here somewhere, something about your attitude defining the experience. You can either be miserable because of the weather or you can exalt in it.

Maximillian passed away earlier this week, leaving behind a treasure trove of memories of good times and a life lived to the fullest. That walk during Hurricane Irma is my favorite memory of our time together. I will miss him.

The peanut butter circle in the sky.

Amid the bickering on the ground
Differences unravel
That which cannot be combed
Friendships discombobulated
Opinions separating us all
We stare at the ground
Grunting at the shadows of discontent
Disregarding the sight above
The peanut butter circle in the sky
Out of nowhere
Seeking to unify us all
At least those who believe
While clinging to many roofs of mouths
Of those too stubborn to ponder
What it is that defies all logic
No one knows how it got there
But it matters not to those who understand
And choose not to revel in its revelation
To avoid upsetting those
Who prefer the company
Of their shadows blocking the light
Forever concealing
The true beauty of the world

My digital diary.

Back in the 1990’s when floppy disks were the norm, I had one set aside that served as a digital diary of sorts. It contained text files containing my innermost thoughts and fears (such as getting drafted for the looming Gulf War) along with programs I wrote in various programming languages, including TI-BASIC.

Here’s an unabridged entry I wrote that describes an incident that took place while walking the dog at Tequesta Park in Tequesta, Florida. It also contains advice on how not to impress the ladies.

7-16-93 10:01:31 pm
Today I took Max for a walk at Tequesta Park. I walked over to the swings to play. I saw two women who were also at the playground with their kids. In the mood to impress them, I got on one of the swings and began to swing. Higher and higher I went. I soon was swinging high enough to almost fly off the seat, but I still continued going higher. Then, the swing went so high that I floated above the seat and began to fall, all while I held on. I landed back on the swing so hard that the seat broke and I slammed on the ground with my butt. My glasses flew off from the impact. There I was, lying on the ground, wondering why I wasn’t in pain. I rose to my feet.

Then one of the women asked me, “Are you okay?”

I said, “Yes, I’m okay, but I am a bit shaken.” I then began blowing sand off my glasses before putting them back on. I then walked away from the swing, never feeling better in my life.

Regarding the Dopey Drivers app.

Dear Tech Support,
I am having a problem with your Dopey Drivers app. Each time I try running it, I get the title screen but after that I get a blank screen and nothing seems to happen. Is there a problem with the app?


Dear Customer,
Our app is working fine. As stated in the documentation, Dopey Drivers plots the location of every dumb driver using black dots on a map. With millions and millions of these idiots on the road…


Dear Tech Support,
Say no more.

Happy 2020, I think.

mjbdiver> hello room!
ghost> OH NO
ralph> OH NO
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (OH YES)
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (OH YES)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ralph> that was uncalled for
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> WHY DID YOU KICK ME
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (BECAUSE ITS FUN)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
ralph> why is it that i always get kicked when divers here?
ghost> must be his falling balls
ghost> OH NO
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (QUIT TALKING ABOUT FALLING BALLS)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
ralph> stupid we can’t talk about falling balls
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (ISN’T IT THOUGH)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ralph> that was uncalled for
ghost> kick diver he started it
mjbdiver> lol
ghost> ARE YOU LAUGHING AT ME DIVER????
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (QUIT YELLING)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
ralph> wait we cant yell but dragon can??
dragon> YES I CAN
ralph> THEN I CAN TOO
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (QUIT YELLING)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ralph> that was uncalled for
mjbdiver> Here we go!
ghost> uh oh, get ready for divers falling balls
ghost> OH NO
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (OH YES)
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (NO YELLING)
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (QUIT TALKING ABOUT FALLING BALLS)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> you kicked me three times????
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (MAKE IT FOUR)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
mjbdiver> 10!
ralph> 10 what?
ghost> 10 fingers?
ralph> 10 toes?
ghost> 10 falling balls?
ghost> OH NO
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (FIVE)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
mjbdiver> 9!
ralph> 9 what?
ghost> did you lose a finger?
mjbdiver> 8!
ralph> 8 what?
ghost> did you lose another finger?
ralph> divers falling apart
ghost> lol
dragon> lol
ralph> lol
ghost> lol
mjbdiver> 7!
ralph> well im going to bed
ghost> wait what comes after 7
mjbdiver> 6!
ralph> im getting tired of this
mjbdiver> 5!
ghost> wait what comes after 5
ralph> dragon do the honors please
mjbdiver> 4!
mjbdiver> 3!
ralph> DRAGON WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (QUIT YELLING)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ralph> that was uncalled for
mjbdiver> 2!
ghost> DRAGON WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR
ghost> OH NO
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (SIX)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
mjbdiver> 1!
*** You has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (SEE YOU NEXT YEAR)

Vagrant busters.

I quietly made my way across the attic towards the light behind the door. Many years ago my father slept in the small bedroom behind that door, but now it seemed that anyone could sleep there now, including vagrants. Just because my dearly departed grandparents’ old house stood vacant and unsold for years didn’t mean anyone could sleep there.

I began pounding on the door. Immediately I heard a yelp from the bedroom, but I was only getting started. I kicked the door open and began switching the light on and off in rapid succession. The fact I was completely invisible to the vagrant amplified the poltergeist effect tenfold, effectively intensifying the terror inflicted on the terrified vagrant. He fled the bedroom and the rest of the attic, hopefully never to return.

One down, who knows how many to go.

Time to check the basement. I made sure the attic windows were locked before going downstairs to the kitchen which had a nearby door leading to the basement below. Already I had a feeling there was going to be several more vagrants to deal with down there.

I was right. There were three of them sleeping in the basement. Angered at this sight, I slowly tiptoed down the stairs and snuck past the sleeping vagrants as I walked to the small closet in the corner that doubled as a workshop. Inside, on a coat rack next to the door, hung my grandfather’s winter jacket and hat, still there, decades after his passing. I stepped into the workshop and closed the door as I put on the jacket and hat.

“Yaaaaaah!” I screamed as I kicked the workshop door open and ran out into the basement towards the terrified vagrants. Of course, I was invisible so only the jacket and hat were seen flying through the air. The vagrants fled the basement and I slammed the door shut behind them and this time made sure it was secured and locked. Hopefully that’s the last time I’ll have to deal with this problem.

Satisfied, I opened my eyes to be greeted by the moon shining through my cabin window. Maybe, just maybe, I can now enjoy my cruise without any further worries.