GRAMPS (Guest Post by Paul Curran)

From Paul Curran, the blogger with no blog, the trucker with no truck, and the computer expert with no working computer, comes this gripping (both metaphorically and literally) story , in which Paul backs his serious writer looks with some serious writer chops. Check it out!

Cordelia's Mom, Still

Paul Curran has decided to try his hand at fiction, and I am proud that he is sharing his first effort with my readers.  It’s a little longer than our usual offerings, but well worth the read, so get into a comfy chair, and – Enjoy!



By Paul Curran


Shawna’s thick black hair bounced as she threw her kit bag into the trunk of the Lexus and slammed the lid shut. She was not pleased about this outing, but really had no choice. As a grad student studying marine biology with a specialty in tidal flora and fauna, this field trip and the lab work and report that followed were worth 25% of her final mark in this course. Today they were gathering samples of micro-organisms on the Flanagan tidal flats at low tide. She was meeting her lab partner and the other 8 students at the flats…

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Our usual boyhood shenanigans are interrupted for this important announcement

This book sounds very interesting. Check it out!

Snoozing on the Sofa

It seems like it’s taken forever, but it’s finally here. I can now hold in my hand a copy of A Housefly in Autumn that doesn’t have the word PROOF stamped in bold letters across the last page. This is the real deal. The book is live.

Now all I have to do is sell it. There should be a richer reward for writing, editing, formatting, and generally coordinating the production of a novel than the big prize of having to persuade people to buy it. I mean, yeah, there’s the sense of accomplishment, but writers are dreamers. They have big, glorious dreams about their work. Rarely does the dream culminate with nobody buying the book. The reality may end that way, but not the dream.

So let’s not worry about reality for a minute; let’s focus on the dream. The dream is that all kinds of people, from all…

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COMEDY BY WINTER’S MOON (Guest Post by Paul Curran)

The infamous Paul Curran has struck again at Cordelia’s Place! Check it out. He even has a new picture/look. Is it the same person? I don’t know.😉

Cordelia's Mom, Still

PaulCurran2015Today’s guest poster is Paul Curran.  Yes, that’s right – Paul Curran.  I know the photo looks like someone totally different, but personally I love his new “scruffy writer’s look.”  Don’t you?


 Comedy by Winter’s Moon

By Paul Curran

 Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone”  was pounding loud on the stereo “It’s 2 am, the fear is gone…” as I crested the hill headed for Halifax. It was a full moon that was shining brightly in the bitter cold, clear February night sky at 2 am. The beat shaking the cab perfectly matched the center line dots as they sped past. Forty thousand pounds of pears from Medford, Oregon rested comfortably at 40 degrees F in the temperature controlled trailer (reefer) following closely behind  – happy in their ignorance of the -30 F external temperatures.


The road between St. John New Brunswick and Sussex New Brunswick, was 2…

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Love and Gravity – an Essay, by Paul Curran

Today’s post comes from the one and only Paul-No-Blog, a non blogger who writes bigger, better, and more frequent blog posts than many actual certified bloggers. (We won’t point any fingers here, since it’s rude, and kind of pointless because you can’t really see where exactly I am pointing anyway).


Love and Gravity, an Essay

by Paul Curran

Have you ever noticed that in life there seems to be a repetition of concepts within very different applications, across applications and in both macro and micro effects? For instance the best definition I have seen of “love” comes from Plato’s Socrates: “The desire to be one with”. Certainly not complete but definitely targeting the core of the meaning. And yet, in the physical world, gravity is a fundamental force described as: “all mass attracts” – alternately, “desires to be one with”. At first glance this may seem a matter of semantics: concepts that are different at their core but are expressed similarly in words. Deeper inspection though shows that not to be true – in fact the definitions are the same because the central concepts are the same and intrinsic: one application creates the existential integration of living things and the other creates one of the primary forces that allows this physical universe to exist. Both are critical to human existence, they are not at all related and yet at their cores, they are the same concept. This seems very curious to me, given that I warily eye any coincidences. (Yes, real coincidences do seem to happen occasionally but with about the same frequency as UFO sightings turn out to be true.)

Image source

So, that being said, the big question is “Why would the same concept drive completely unrelated forces in the world?” After pondering this I have come to a couple of loose conclusions. One of the challenges in discussing this is: “Where to start?” Because the majority of human knowledge is internally consistent (i.e., all linked together) it is theoretically possible to start anywhere and get to the issue at hand – and any other like discussion could, for sure, start elsewhere. It is like driving past a fully mature crop of corn in the field. As the huge stalks of corn rush past the car window, the field appears to be planted randomly. There is no obvious or evident order to the organization of the plants springing from the ground. And still as you watch, the wall of green continually emerges from ahead, flicks past and recedes behind. Then, suddenly, you can see a bit further into the field between the stalks. Then further still, further still and then, as if a switch was flicked, you can see all the way down the row to the far end of the field. For a few seconds (or less) each row marches past with full visibility to the trees on the far side of the acres wide field, like a picture of a railroad track narrowing into the distance. Then the trees disappear and the corridor grows shorter and shorter until apparent randomness reestablishes itself. But now you know it is not random. That narrow space in time when the field’s order, organization and pattern is clear as you race by, introduces you to the farmer’s perspective when he first plowed the field and planted the corn – many months before. How he saw and drove the field when there was no corn – how he planted the individual seeds that grew to be the cornfield. His perspective. And you shared it for a few seconds. Life is like that and it opens an opportunity to explore further the nature of the field.

So, come and join me as we stop where the rows are obvious and walk out into the field, down the line of plantings and think about the perspective of the farmer, a long time ago. The point of this is to communicate that there IS often a discoverable inherent perspective even though it all often appears to be random. Once you know that, it is a simple process to find the perspectives that you can see clearly. Just walk around in your life actually looking, until you come across an area where the rows line up and you can see the organization, et Voilá: there is the perspective.

In logic there is a set of problems called “Wicked Problems”1. They are special because, basically, in order to find the way from the question to the answer, it is necessary to know both the question and the answer before beginning. And then, and only then, can a pathway be found between the two – and that pathway is often not unique. This has always struck me as a metaphor for life – to live a full and fulfilling life, it is necessary to know the meaning of life (i.e. what’s important and why) or, failing that, to assume a meaning. The issue is, of course, that the meaning of life is not likely to become known to an individual until the end (if then), so life is an especially wicked problem. These types of problems have a unique name: super wicked problems2 (I kid you not!). One of the 4 defining characteristics is that the person seeking to solve the problem is a part of the problem (the other 3 characteristics are logical extensions of being human: time is running out, there is no apparent central authority and policies discount the future irrationally [i.e. we can only base beliefs and directions on past experience and that is not necessarily related to the future]).

If life is a super wicked problem, then one of the possible methods of solution is iteration. We assume an answer and then see if the actions we take move us from the question to the assumed answer. Some call this failure when it doesn’t work but I prefer Thomas Edison’s response when he was asked by a reporter how it felt to fail a thousand times in his pursuit of a working filament for the light bulb: “I didn’t fail; I found a thousand ways it didn’t work.” You see each “failure” offers us information, helps us to learn and promotes our growth. This method of iteration is often (in my experience) combined with a second method: risk taking. This is done by getting immersed in the topic that contains the problem, seeking out possible avenues of solution and then committing to one without the assurance that it is indeed the route to solution or even a possible solution. This is more often employed when the “answer” is more ephemeral. For instance, Edison knew the exact physical requirements of his answer – a filament that would emit light for an extended period when charged with electricity. So, iteration. However, in a problem such as “I want to find my soul mate”, the answer is much more elusive, and requires commitment and risk to even test a given candidate. Quite possibly the answer is even going to be partially defined by the candidate (i.e., presented a possible solution that had not been considered) as opposed to just the question asker – an even more complex problem.

Image source:

So, then let’s put all this together and apply what we find to the question of “Why are concepts repeated within different applications, across applications and in macro and micro effects?”

We define “intelligence” as the ability to absorb, process and integrate information and then organize it to produce either knowledge (i.e., links between concepts and a better understanding of existence) or a physical structure or behaviour that is either an improvement or creates efficiencies. Interestingly (and logically) enough, if we walk past a garden in front of a house and see that it is ordered by plant size, type and spacing, weeded, fertilized and contained in a well-marked area, we automatically (and rightly) assume there is an unseen gardener with intelligence who has organized this. And yet we will walk by a field of grass growing apparently randomly, without realizing that each blade of grass is orders of magnitude more complex and organized than anything mankind has ever constructed (even ignoring that fact that the grass is alive and we humans have not [yet] been able to convert inanimate objects to living objects). Why is that? Ha! Not trying to introduce another wicked problem here, rather I intend to suggest an answer that helps with the repeating concept problem – which you may be beginning to be suspicious is actually a super wicked problem. And it is. There is no fixed answer known and no clear way to find a path from the question that may lead to an answer. And the pathway cannot be found until the answer is known. And because the question so obviously involves human interest (i.e. example of love and gravity) it is a super wicked problem.

Here’s an example of a repeating concept that does have an obvious answer as to why it repeats. Humans and a small earth worm (nematode C. Elegans) appear to share about 75% of their genetic material:
“Collins [Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute] said that by understanding what happens in the worm cells, researchers also learn what happens in human cells. Of the 5,000 best-known human genes, 75 percent have matches in the [nematode C. Elegans] worm, Collins said.”3
And the answer is that they came from the same source – just a long while ago:
“According to accepted evolutionary theory, nematodes and humans split more than 600 million years ago.”4

And then another repeating concept that does not appear to have a common source: in both DNA and the nuclear construction of the physical world, the number of unique fundamental components is very small and from that very small group, through combinations and groupings, all living things and all matter is designed. In the physical world there are only 3 fundamental particles – electrons, neutrons and protons. Of these, all atoms are created (a few more than 100) and from atoms all molecules (unnumbered) are created – simply by unique rearrangements of the basic particles. And in DNA, there are only 4 molecules (RNA substitutes a fifth for one of the molecules) and those molecules are combined to construct all DNA and carry all the information to create all living things. Both of these examples have the same central concept – the combination of a very small number of fundamental components creates all that exists and an apparently unlimited top end of how many unique combinations are possible.

Image source: NASA

There appears to be a level of organization and integration (read “intelligence”) in this universe that is many, many orders of magnitude greater than what humans possess. The fact that this level of organization exists implies a higher intelligence – remember the garden and the cornfield? So, let’s take a shot at solving the super wicked problem of why there are so many central concepts that are repeated in completely different applications by proposing a higher intelligence and see if that fits. This certainly works with the beliefs of billions of humans. We need a name for reference and any current name for the higher intelligence comes with a whole culture attached and often exclusivity – but from what we’ve seen above our answer can only be inclusive. So, if we assume that the higher intelligence is an omnipresent, omnipotent deity (if you’re going to assume, then go all the way) then we will abbreviate that with OOD.

Checking OOD first against the definition of a super wicked problem, we find that it makes it go away. It resolves the apparent lack of a central authority; it thereby releases individuals from involvement as responsible for the repeating concepts; it solves time running out because it would imply life after death; and OOD would also imply the ability to include both the past and the future in policy (beliefs) drafting – removing irrationality. So far, so good.

It is common that similar driving concepts often occur when the two applications are from one source, i.e. the nematode vs. human DNA comparison. An OOD would have created the major concepts that drive the universe and in doing so would have repeated the most defining concepts that best worked and best reflected the nature of the OOD. Checking this, it is common belief (in most tracts that discuss OOD) that the central concept behind OOD is unity or Love. That would solve two mysteries: 1) The concept of desire for unity is used in both the existential world (i.e. love) and the physical world (i.e. gravity): both defining applications in our universe and 2) a number of central repeated concepts are based on the building of large complex systems from very simple fundamentals (i.e. molecules, DNA) much as a single unified OOD would produce a wildly diverse universe.

Image source: Clipartbest com

One of the hallmarks of highly organized and integrated systems is an eloquence that maximizes efficiency. When coding a computer program a good programmer will write a sub-routine for each regularly used calculation. Whenever the program requires that calculation, it is directed to call the sub-routine. This increases efficiency (i.e. more can be accomplished with less energy and complication) as well reducing errors as the same sub-routine is used in each calculation. It appears as if the universe is built that way with concepts – whenever a particular need demands a particular concept, the same one is reused to maximize efficiency (not likely OOD makes mistakes – that one is for us lowly humans). For instance a maple tree bears an unmistakable resemblance, in shape, to a maple leaf. When the same mathematical concept is repeated on both a micro and macro level (which is a very efficient way to build) we call those fractals. This too is consistent with an OOD.


So, why is there a non-random amount of concept repetition within very different applications, across applications and in both macro and micro effects? All of the results of our discussion point clearly to the existence of an omnipresent, omnipotent deity. Once we learn to view our world through this lens, the answers to many other questions also come to light. One of the complications of this view is that it raises as many questions as it answers – it is only a beginning.

Love and Gravity – references

1 Wikipedia, Wicked Problem, December 2013,
2 Ibid
3 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Computer Science Department:
4 Ibid

Julie in the house…

Hi Everyone!

I’m Julie, and Welcome to my No Blog. For those of you that are not aware, please allow me to catch you up to speed.

I fumbled upon the blogging world quite by accident. I started a new job, and took over the email of my predecessor. She got a daily email from “Mamapedia”. Not knowing if this was something to do with the business, I read them, because I am a good employee. I soon discovered there were some interesting stories. Some were funny, some serious, some sad, but for the most part, pretty good writing. Each post came with a link to the blog it was from. It didn’t take long before I wanted to comment; only I had to sign into something to comment…unless I went directly to the blog! (I also found I was less likely to get into it with someone who left a comment like their head was up their….never mind)

It took me a long time to figure out the etiquette and a long time to make a comment. Truth be told, I am still uncertain, however if I don’t have anything nice to say, I won’t say anything at all. At the beginning, I thought the comments were between the author and the individual commenter. I shied away from tossing my two cents in where it might not be well received, (Who was talking to you?!) as well as using great caution in speaking to the author.

Next I discovered that there are many “links” to other blogs! Oh My! A Whole New World! I found some very, very brilliant, quick-witted, funny, and wonderful people and I WAS EXCITED!! People who get me! People who I get! I remember relaying this information to my daughter, who said “you know mom, you can start your own blog if you wanted” What? No. No I can’t. Who would want to read anything I wrote? What would I write about? “Yes mom. Yes you could. I could help if you wanted/needed it” Well, ok. Lemme think about it.

Anyway, I continued on like an eager child! There are so many blogs! Then you see a comment that tickles you, and suddenly, you’re off to another blog! I fumbled upon one near the beginning and have kept up with her ever since. I found one that was so funny I felt like I had found my man version of me! I found one written by a cop, so heartfelt, so funny and at times, so sad. I found one that makes list’s, one that talks a lot about art, and culture, one that’s a little racy, one that speaks of how depression lies but that same blog also makes me laugh out loud! That author gets a lot of traffic, and lots and lots of comments, but she actually responded to one of my comments once! (Here’s my problem with naming the individual blogs. I think blog etiquette would be to link to each of them, however, in my never-ending quest for harmony, and no hurt feelings, I am afraid I will miss one, and risk hurting someone who I dearly enjoy reading) It’s also funny to me when I find the author of a blog I read commenting on another blog I read. I have to keep myself from saying “hi” to them when I see ‘em.

I feel that I have made some very real friends. I have even exchanged email with a handful. I have not “followed” many blogs at all, but I do visit them, sometimes multiple times a day, now that I think about it, the list is a little bit long, but I imagine I hardly scratch the surface of the amount that are out there. The ones I enjoy I can’t seem to stay away from. I check back to see if my comment has been read and if anyone has responded to me.

It wasn’t long before I would get comment’s back asking where I write. Um. I don’t have a blog. I am more of a professional commenter. I enjoy reading, and I enjoy the banter that comes in the comment section. I was soon being pestered to write something. One such individual was like a dog with a bone. I finally wrote a post for him. Then, he sat on it. I began to think he didn’t like it, and decided not to sully his blog with my drivel. Months went by. I had even put it out of my mind. Then, he posts it. It took me 2 or 3 days to even go by to take a look! I had forgotten much of what I wrote, and was nervous how it would be received. People were so very nice! (I should probably link that here too right?)

Anyway, somehow I became affectionately known as “Julie No Blog” and began being pelted with “when are you gonna start a blog” type questions. I then discovered we had a “No Blog” tribe, or a family of sorts. Not really misfits of the blogging community, but no place to call our own I guess, even though I feel right at home at all the blogs I visit with regularity.

It was in the comment section of one of those blogs that this blog was born, and it was the funniest thing I could imagine! Someone started a blog for me! Someone else stepped up and built on the foundation! One of my No Blog brothers has graced the space with his stories! Now Look! It looks like a real blog! (I should probably be naming all “the someone’s” too right?)

Anyway, that is the long-winded nutshell of how this came to be. I know I can do this. Sometimes it just seems I have nothing to say, (as this little piece clearly indicates!)

I hope you enjoy what you read here, and please, feel free to contribute. One of my blogging buddies thought it would be great if I started a blog where others could rant anonymously. Here it is! (see? I didn’t even say their name, so they can remain anonymous)

Thanks for stopping by!

The medical situation-Paul Curran

Some years ago I was boarding at a private home where the sons of the owner were two rowdy boys of about 20 and 25 (John). So one hot weekend day, John came to visit – knocking on my door. He wanted a drinking buddy, so not wanting to disappoint him; I joined him on the back deck. We sat in lawn chairs with our shirts off drinking beer and soaking up the sun. After a half a dozen beer each, John jumped up and announced that he had something for me to check out and said he would be right back. Sure enough. Back he came with a five foot long sword, razor-sharp on both edges. He collected swords and had just acquired this one which looked very real and he was proud of it. He handed it to me, hilt first and sat back in his lawn chair.

I examined the sword and praised his taste, truly amazed at its authentic look. I passed it to him, again hilt first, being very careful with the super sharp edges. He checked it over briefly, then standing, he held the hilt with two fingers and dropped it point first into the wooden deck. There was a thunk and it sunk into the wood about 2 inches – very impressive. He sat back down it a grin and we watched as the sword quivered for a few minutes, then became still standing vertical between the two chairs. I admired this stance for a few minutes and then had the desire to look at it again up close, I asked if that was OK and he agreed. So, remaining in my chair I grabbed the hilt and pulled – nothing, it didn’t budge. So I started to wiggle it back and forth in line with the sword edges. After a few minutes, it popped out of the wood but I only had one hand on the hilt and it pivoted towards John. His arm elbow was protruding slightly over the chair arm and the sword blade hit it edge first, clean on. He let out a yelp and pulled his arm in to examine it. Because the elbow was still bent at 90 degrees, the skin was stretched and there was a gaping but clean-cut about 1 1/2 inches long and. about an inch deep and gaping about 3/4 inch wide. It was a beautiful cut and there was very little blood and we were looking at the fat tissue below the skin- it appeared like tapioca, except whiter. Neither of us was feeling any pain, cut or not.

After an examination, John stated: “This needs stitches; you’ll have to drive me to emergency.” I objected and said I had had too much to drink. I proposed a taxi, but neither of us had any money. John then said: “You’ll have to stitch it yourself.” I was flabbergasted, not having had any training at all. We discussed what would be needed and my biggest concern was infection. We decided to do this inside and he got the supplies we needed and met me at the kitchen table. We filled a Pyrex brownie pan with rubbing alcohol. I threw in a few lengths of thread that I figured were long enough – pink thread to match his skin tones, of course, we had to b fashion aware — and a sewing needle. I set his elbow in the pan as well and splashed alcohol up his arm while rinsing my hands thoroughly. Then I threaded the needle and started. I figured we needed two stitches so I left the appropriate spacing. I kept saying to John: “This is going to hurt, this is going to hurt” He eventually told me to shut up.

Pushing the needle though his skin using a sewing needle was very difficult and I felt like the dull end was going to pierce my thumb, I was pushing so hard. I used very pretty butterfly stitches, like I had seen doctors do when stitching me up upon occasion. Eventually we got ‘er done and it looked very good. I had pulled the stitches so the two sides were touching each other without any ridge. We put a breathing bandage over it and went our separate ways after I had washed it with alcohol one more time.

The next day I was sitting outside when John drove in the driveway. He walked over and I passed him a beer as he sat down. I snuck a look at the wound, as the bandage had been removed. I asked how it was going and he confessed that he had gone to visit his sister who was an emergency doc at the local hospital. She had examined the wound and declared it well taken care of. She also demanded to know who had stitched it. John originally told her that he had stitched it himself, but that was so obviously not possible that she pounded on him verbally until he confessed it was me. I was pleased as this would give me a chance to think up an excuse – as his sister, Joan was very authoritarian and we called her The General. At only about 5’2″ and less than 100 pounds, she attacked everything and everyone in sight – there was no hiding from her.

Then John said that he felt he should have a “real” doc look at it so he went to the clinic. (His sister was likely more qualified and experienced than many docs from working in emergency but you know how it goes – family is always suspect.). When it came time for him to see the doctor, the doc examined the stitching and asked who had done it. Knowing now that he couldn’t come up with a good lie, he confessed that a non-medical friend had done it. Then the doc did an odd thing: he stood up and opened the office door and shouted down the hallway: “Ladies come and see this!” Four nurses appeared and the doc showed them the stitching. Expecting to be chastised, John was surprised when the Doc said:” This young man and his friend are going to put us out of business!” The nurses Oohed and Aahed over the stitching and them left. John asked the Doc when he should come back to have the stitches removed. The Doc said: “They should be taken out in about 10 days, but you don’t have to come here. Your friend who put them in can easily take them out, so just go see him when they are ready.” At this he told John he was free to go and John wandered out of the office, surprised by the Doc’s response.

I listened to the story and we were discussing it when another car pulled up – The General. Oh My God, it was too late to flee as the driveway was between my current seat and the entrance to my unit – I was trapped. The General got out of the car and marched right over until she was in my face. She stared at me for a minute and said: “That was an excellent job stitching.” I was rattled as The General seldom if ever gave praise. Then she continued: “If you ever fucking do that again, I’m going to come over here and take a piece out of you – DO YOU FUCKING UNDERSTAND?!?!.” the General could be a bit foul mouthed when she was upset. I just nodded in fear and she said “God!” and went into the house too see her Mom.