The LAST This Week’s Words

The newsletter is a “Go”!

After I mentioned the possibility last week, I have had enough interest in an e-mailed newsletter that I have decided to create one quarterly, with the first one in June.  It will be an informal newsletter, possibly containing humor, personal updates, photos, commentary, poetry, etc.  If you would like to be put on the mailing list (to remain “in the loop”), send me a message (you can leave the “website” field blank):

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After giving careful thought about what I wanted the last words  to BE after an eight-year blogging career, I’ve decided to sign off with this simple poem:

In the Sunflower Field

One tall sunflower
high above the ground
cried “Notice me!  Notice me!
I’m too tall to be found!”

One short sunflower,
shorter than the rest,
cried “Woe is me!  Woe is me!
No one will think me best!”

One soaring blackbird,
one little boy,
each found a sunflower–
all found joy.

Copyright © 2018 by John Arthur Robinson

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Second-to-Last This Week’s Words

For the Record

Between November 1, 2010, and today, counting both the statistics from The Daily Graff and The After Graff:

Posts: 1,675
Followers: 1,248
Visitors: 14,869
Comments Left: 15,063
Page Hits: 69,662

I Thank You ALL

I had no way of knowing when I launched The Daily Graff nearly 8 years ago (see the first post here) that it would be such a ride!  During the 7-year run of The Daily Graff, I loved sharing my own photos, complete with funny titles and captions.  (You can see a gallery of over 270 reader favorites here.)

I have become friends with many of you through the two blogs.  I have appreciated and enjoyed your comments on my blogs, and I have enjoyed commenting on yours.  Sharing my photos, puns, and thoughts has been a most rewarding experience.

Are you interested in an occasional John Arthur Robinson Newsletter?

Although I don’t know if I will be blogging again, I’m considering putting out an occasional, very informal e-mail newsletter with humor, personal updates, commentary, new poems, photos, etc.  If you would like to be put on the mailing list (to remain “in the loop”), e-mail me at john.robinson.1@ohio.edu. If I get enough interest, I’ll put out the newsletter from time to time (at least four times per year).

How to Access all the Blog Posts

You will always be able to access the posts from both blogs, but you must use these links that contain the word “wordpress” in the URL):

https://thedailygraff.wordpress.com

https://theaftergraff.wordpress.com

Someone Else Has Purchased My Domain Name

Once I stop paying the annual fee for the domain names, someone else can purchase them.  In fact, someone else is now using https://thedailygraff.com (click on the link and see the new owners–I am not now in the home-decor business!).

In hindsight, I wish I had continued to pay the small annual fee to retain control of TheDailyGraff name, but it’s too late now. I thought that the chance of anyone wanting to buy the name was small.  (Why someone would choose it for a home-decor site puzzles me.)  I’m lucky that the new owners feature home-decor items and not something that would embarrass me.

Once again, thank you for your interest in my blogs.

–John

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Third-to-Last This Week’s Words

The Ultimate Insult

One of my lifelong pet peeves has been the habit of restaurants to serve biscuits or rolls with one little pat or one tiny tub of butter for each roll.  It’s a known law of the universe that it takes at least one little pat or one tiny tub of butter for each half of a roll or biscuit, and it’s maddening to have to “make do” with half of the needed “spread.”  No amount of gymnastic “spreading” will enable the provided butter to adequately cover the biscuits/rolls.

This past summer I attended my 50th High School reunion.  The venue was not only most generous with the butter they supplied for the buffet, but they were insanely excessive by supplying two 9″ x 13″ VATS of butter (Click on the “Home” link below to see the photo).  The attendees barely put a dent in one of the pans.  One-fourth of one of the pans would have been more butter than the crowd needed.

What really makes me sick is the knowledge that all that unused butter would have to be thrown out.  I doubt that state laws would allow it to be reused.  My question to the venue would be this: “In what staff meeting was it decided to supply a banquet with more than enough butter for every roll or biscuit consumed in the entire nation during that evening?”

THERE, I’ve gotten that off my chest.  No need to butter me up with excessive comments.

Copyright © 2018 by John Arthur Robinson

–John

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Fourth-to-Last This Week’s Words

Announcing The End

With gratitude to my long-time followers and apologies to my more-recent followers, I have decided to end my eight-year blogging career on the last Saturday in April. I have a number of “excuses,” but the most important one is that maintaining this blog has become a chore.  It’s not fun anymore.

Less-important excuses are:

(1) I’m facing back surgery, and until that happens, I can’t stand very long or walk very far,  (2) if I continue my blog after May, I will have to pay the annual fee of $36.00 for the TheDailyGraff.com domain name, and (3) my career as an artist and photographer is taking off, requiring more of my attention (e.g., my Art from Leftover Parts sculptures were exhibited in two local libraries during the last 2 months; I have a booth this weekend at a local art fest where I am selling both my framed and unframed photos to the public for the first time; and I have 10 months to prepare enough large-format photos for a major gallery show of my work during March, 2019).

My “hobbies” of taking photos for my photoblog and of tinkering with odds and ends at my workbench have led to my debut as a professional photographer and artist.  The feedback I have been getting for my photography and art has been most gratifying.  After 40 years of being an unfulfilled manuscript editor, I am finally getting recognized for what I love to do.  None too soon–I will be 70 next year.  I’m proof that you’re never too old to redefine who you are!

Through my blog, I have developed friendships with people all over the world, and that has been the greatest benefit from being a blogger.  I want to maintain those friendships.  My blog is going away, but I’m not.  I have cherished my interaction with all of you over the years and look forward to continued interaction in the future.

–John

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This Week’s Words

A Man of Fewer Words

Those of you who have followed me for a long time (some for 7.5 years) know that, until recently, the weekly posts appeared, like clockwork, at 5 minutes after midnight on Friday night (Eastern Time).  You same loyal followers will have noticed that the posts have been getting later and later in the weekend and even as late as Monday.

What is holding up all 3 weekly posts is the need to come up with something significant in the “This Week’s Words” segment.  My life has been crazy busy lately, and I haven’t had the luxury of having time to compose something meaningful each week.

So, I decided today that in order to get back to “like clockwork” posts, the “This Week’s Words” segment can’t be a regular weekly feature.  I will leave the door open to sharing more “Words” if I have something to say, but for now, only “This Week’s Wisdom” and “This Week’s Photo” will be the regular features you can count on.

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This Week’s Words

I AM AN ARTIST

My sculpture exhibit at the local library was front-page news in the local paper a week ago.  In two days I will move the exhibit to the library in the next town, where it will be on display for the month of March.  After 40 years as a manuscript editor and course developer, I have a new title.  I am an artist.  Moral of the story: “It’s Never Too Late to Redefine Yourself.”

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This Week’s Words

I’m feeling bad, sad, angry, and helpless over two events this week.

1. This past Saturday afternoon, two beloved police officers were fatally shot responding to a potential domestic situation in Westerville, Ohio (a town we visit often).  Their funerals were today (Friday):

Read the CBS news account of the killings.

2. On Valentine’s Day, seventeen students in Parkland, Florida, were gunned down by a student who had been expelled from the school:

Read the PBS news account of the events.

The police officers were killed in a shoot-out with a criminal with a long record.  The students were killed by a student with a history of mental illness.  While ALL the deaths make me feel bad, sad, angry, and helpless, what makes my anger burn white-hot is that the student used an AR-15 semi-automatic assault weapon that no civilian needs–a weapon that has been used in most of the school shootings–most of the mass-death shootings–in the U.S. in the last couple of years.

Republican members of Congress, whose campaigns have been heavily funded by the National Rifle Association, refuse to allow any bans on these military-style weapons.  As long as this national insanity continues, so will multiple-death incidents facilitated by this weapon.

Other countries are astounded that we allow this madness.  I am embarrassed to be a citizen of a country that puts the unrestrained rights of a few gun owners over the safety of the rest of its citizens.  This weapon has no other use than to ensure as many deaths as possible in the shortest amount of time.

I repeat: NO CIVILIAN NEEDS A SEMI-AUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPON!  If you agree, raise your voice.

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This Week’s Words

One Person to Thank

Today I had to do battle with the protective plastic wrap around the cap of a bottle of mouthwash.  I started tearing off the plastic, ended up getting only part of it, and had to use a knife to cut away the rest to free the cap.

Once again, I thought of the person to thank (that is, blame) for similar battles that play out a billion times a day all over the planet with shrink-wrapped caps, foil-sealed openings, and protective closures of all kinds—the person to thank for all the “Do not use if such and such has been tampered with” warnings.

I am talking about the Tylenol Killings.  Before these sensational 1982 Chicago deaths appeared in the news, nothing had protective seals, absolutely nothing.  Almost overnight, everything did.  Six people who had unknowingly taken Tylenol Extra-Strength tablets laced with cyanide died.  Three of the deaths occurred in one household when, after one member of the family died, the other two took Tylenol from the same bottle to relieve their grief and pain.

This set off a nation-wide panic, and Tylenol products had to be removed from store shelves everywhere.  This video news account from that time shows the extent of the panic:

Oct. 1, 1982: Tylenol Poisoning Video – ABC News

Eventually, we all learned that only a couple of bottles of Tylenol in just one pharmacy had been tampered with, but at first, no one knew whether it was an isolated incident or if the tablets had been tampered with at the factory.

So, it’s because of this one evil act over 25 years ago that all products had to be made tamper-proof.  The victims were totally random; the crime has never been solved.  The perpetrator could be alive or dead.  He or she might be/might have been the only person on earth who is/was pleased to find all the protective barriers that had to be put in place soon after the act. I really hope that he/she is/was as annoyed with them as the rest of us.  I REALLY hope that one day the person is identified, so his/her name can live in infamy.

Just as the 1982 crime has never been resolved, I don’t know how to wrap up this post.  Recently we mentioned to our grown children that we remembered the time when nothing had protective seals.  They had trouble believing that this was ever the case, so we told them about the Tylenol Killings.  If you are young enough not to have known about this crime and its worldwide impact, now you know.

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This Week’s Words

[Health Update: The sciatica pain that sidelined me from blogging for a week is just about gone, but I’m still dealing with pain and difficulty walking due to two bulging disks.  I am scheduled to have an MRI of my spine on Wednesday.]

A Full-Circle Delivery

In December, I answered a knock at the door to find a florist’s deliveryman holding a beautiful gift poinsettia from a friend of ours.  He asked me where I found the tall, lighted plastic angel next to our stoop—an annual part of our outdoor Christmas display.  I told him that I had had that angel for probably 25 years.

He proceeded to tell me that he had searched everywhere, with no luck, for such an old-fashioned angel to match the style of figures in his large outdoor nativity display. Then I did one of the most spontaneous things I have ever done.  I reached down, unplugged the angel, and said, “Here, take it.”  He was speechless.  Well, not entirely; he kept saying, “Are you sure?”  I told him that I was, indeed, sure, and I asked him if he would tell me his address in town so that my wife and I could drive by and see the angel in its new setting.  He carried the angel to his vehicle in something closely resembling a state of shock.  What was going through my mind was how I was going to break the news to my wife that I had just given away the angel, in the spur of the moment, to a total stranger.

As holiday seasons go, the time got away from us, and we never got to visit his nativity display.  I was very disappointed but figured that we’d just have to wait until next year.

Today (Friday) I answered a knock at the door to find the same deliveryman holding a HUGE bouquet for me.  No, the flowers weren’t from HIM; they were from our daughter and son-in-law in Chicago to celebrate the opening day of my month-long art exhibit at the city library.  But as soon as I opened the door, he said, “I have something to show you.”  He had pulled up on his phone a picture of his nativity scene so that I could see the angel in its new setting.  I told him how grateful I was that he shared the picture, because we thought we had lost the opportunity to see his display this year.  He thanked me again for my random act of angel giving.  All of my self-doubt about whether or not I had possibly lost my mind in giving the angel away evaporated.  My wife, I fear, is still half expecting me to misplace my car keys in the refrigerator.

So today was one of the best days of my life: I had my debut as an artist, I saw how happy I had made another human being by giving away an angel, and I got the biggest bouquet anyone has ever given me.  Below my copyright notice, you can see my Facebook post about the flowers.

Copyright © 2018 by John Arthur Robinson

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This Week’s Words

Politics Aside . . .

I am aware that my posts have become more political lately, and I have decided that my blog should be a refuge from the world’s chaos, not a commentary on it.  My previous blog was entirely based on humor, was family friendly, and was meant to be uplifting.

So I am changing directions in this blog to present from now on (1) inspirational quotes by others, (2) my best photographs, and (3) thoughtful commentary, poems, observations, etc., on the lighter side.

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All “Wisdom” | All “Photos” | All “Words”

This Week’s Words

Anthem, 2018

I have believed in, doubted, and believed in God; I have believed in, doubted, and believed in myself.

I have suffered more than some, less than many in my personal crucible.

I have a right to be different, a right not to be defined by what “The Norm” is for my gender, a right not to play games just to be accepted. I will not sacrifice my sanity for conformity.

I hurt for the hurting; I am aggrieved by injustice; and I am enraged by incompetent or insensitive people in power. I reject the authority of evil people in power.

I have a right to a red-hot anger toward people who abuse other people, especially toward those who abuse women and children. Abusers are the enemies of humanity, but many need help because they were abused.

I have a duty to speak out when I see a wrong–to raise my voice in protest, to add my name to petitions–I have a right to be heard that no government has a right to silence.

I am right that I have a right to write.

Copyright © 2018 by John Arthur Robinson

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