RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘deep thinking’

  1. Does God play the accordion?

    March 28, 2012 by Ryan

    Does God play the accordion?

    No, really. I think it is a good question.

    People, with various assumed roles of authority, tell me that God can do everything. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, etc.

    I heard someone once hypothesize that God cannot give His earthly children talents which He Himself does not already possess.

    So I want to know if He plays the accordion?

    Going on the above theory, I would reason He must be good at it – better than the best earthly talents we have ever seen, or will ever see. Pietro Deiro, Pietro Frosini, Charles Magnante, Anthony Galla-Rini, Charles Nunzio, Guido Deiro, Daniel Desiderio, John Gart, Joe Biviano, Carmen Carrozza, Weird Al Yankovic, and J. Ryan Beardall – all are good, but God must be greater!

    I wonder if He plays “by ear” or uses sheet music? He must have good hearing – after all, the same theory would say that He can hear better than all of His creations. That would include the high noises that dogs can detect, as well as a pin dropping on the other side of the universe, right?

    Might I one day approach the heavenly throne, and hear “Lady of Spain” emanating from the divine light? “Just getting in some practice time,” He will explain as He unstraps the instrument.

    In my limited earthly understanding, to be that good means that He has practiced a lot. You don’t get to be that good just by picking it up and playing the first time.

    When He says He that feels like He has been playing the accordion for an eternity, might He actually mean it?

    Granted, these questions are perhaps not pertinent to my eternal salvation. The scriptures speak of “Hope, Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and Accordion Lessons” roughly in that order.

    This leads me to one other important question. What about football? Does the Almighty toss the pigskin? Seriously, does He don his shoulder pads and helmet and run the gridiron at spring training? If the prophet happens to ask for revelation in the right time and catches God in the right mood, might the response be a new proverb, “You can’t win the title in August but you can certainly lose it.”

    I think it only stands to reason. And since He plays football, He is going to need an accordionist to play in the band and cheer Him on!

    After all, He can’t play both at the same time, can He. . .?


  2. Spinning My Wheels

    April 15, 2011 by Ryan

    Remember cassette tapes?

    They were an invention that was made of two wheels (or spindles). Around one spindle was wrapped a metallic film. It fed through a plastic shell, and came around a track to connect to the other spindle.

    You’d put this clever cassette into a “cassette desk” and press play. The spindle that didn’t have the film wrapped around it would start to turn. This would cause the magnetic film to become taut, and would begin to pull the film. In turn, that would cause the other spindle to turn as the film rolled off of it, worked through the device, and back onto the first spindle. In the meantime, somewhere in the middle, a magic magnetic reader would watch the film as it passed, interpret the magnetic information, and would send music to connected speakers. It was remarkable, really.

    With these tapes, you could choose what order your song played by pressing a button labeled “Fast Forward.” The spindles would go faster. Some players would let you listen to the audio, which now sounded like a talking chipmunk.

    The whole idea of a talking chipmunk is kind of silly, if you think about it. Chipmunks can only talk in Disney cartoons.

    You’d forward to the next song, and listen to that. Or, if I didn’t like that one, I’d forward to the next, listening at high speed.

    If you wanted to hear the same song again, you’d press the “rewind” button. This would reverse the process, putting the one spindle in “neutral” and causing the other spindle to spin.

    Being technologically advanced, I used to own a duel-cassette deck. I’d use it to make my own “mix tapes”. In one deck, I’d put a blank, recordable cassette tape. In the other deck, I’d put a music tape in and fast forward to the beginning of the song that I liked. Then I’d simultaneously press “record” and “play” on the other deck’s controls. I think I had to press “Play” because it drove the motor to move the spindle, and of course “Record” because I wanted it to capture what it could “hear” in the other tape deck.

    Because the songs on the tapes were always in the same order, I developed a “memory” side effect. After I’d hear the tape in sequence several times, my brain would start to associate the order of the songs. If I heard the song in another situation (such as over the radio), when the song ended my brain would expect to hear the next song from the tape, and I would even start to “play” the tune in my mind.

    Soon compact discs appeared in the mainstream. They didn’t wear out with use, and they had scientific laser beams to read digitally recorded information. I got me a new player that could play CDs and record them to tapes (so that I could still listen in my car).

    The feature that won many people over was the “Random” button. It would decide what song to play, and in what order to play it.

    Which worked well unless you were listening to an audio book, where going out of order was not such a good feature.

    CD players grew and soon let you load multiple CDs into one machine. Then the random feature could span multiple albums.

    Those got replaced by MP3s and MP3 players. Now, the digital information on the CDs could be turned into a computer file, and many CDs could be loaded onto one device. Since my car still has a cassette tape deck in it, I’ve purchased an adapter. It is something in shape of the cassette tape. it has a wire that leads to a CD or MP3 player’s headphone port. It still has two spindles, although they don’t do anything expect spin with the tape deck motor. Instead, the audio signal was fed directly into the tape deck’s magnetic reader.

    So even with my new and modern technology, even after all these years I’m still spinning my wheels.


  3. To Increase Mightily

    September 22, 2010 by Ryan

    There have been some sorrowful things in the news recently. One story particularly struck me. A man who once held great trust in his church and community misused that position of authority, and the results are nothing short of tragic. To satisfy his lust, he left a trail of victims – one whom he had directly hurt and misused, and many whom he indirectly wounded (his wife, children, parents, and family, and members of his congregations and classrooms throughout the years who had trusted his council and judgment).

    I stared for a moment at the photograph of him. He looked like the shell of a man who had self-destructed.

    Even more sorrowful – this story I’ve described could be about more than one individual, in more than one locale. I wonder, “Why is there so much moral decay around us, and why are so many individuals and families, including some in the church, falling victim to it, being tragically scarred by it?” Most days we all find ourselves assaulted by immoral messages of some kind flooding in on us from every angle.

    When Moses had the people assembled, he commanded them, “Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily. . . . Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” I especially like the phrase, “increase mightily.” I wonder just what that promise truly entails.

    Then, emphasizing the command, he told them what to do. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates” (Deuteronomy 6:3-9, emphasis added).

    Even today Jews wear phylacteries, where passages of the law are written on scrolls of parchment and enclosed in tiny boxes. They are bound on the left arm and on the forehead, as an ordinance of remembrance of the Mosaic law, and worn during the morning prayers. What a great physical reminder of keeping that commandment close to their minds.

    Thousands of years later, one of the scribes asked Jesus, “Which is the first commandment of all?” In response, Jesus didn’t issue any new commandment or profound truth. He repeated the same thing, almost word for word, as Moses had said. “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (see Mark 12:28-30).

    In the agony of their private realizations and recognitions of their transgression, most people in trouble end up crying, “What was I thinking?” Well, whatever they were thinking, they weren’t thinking of Christ.

    I think of the disastrous example of King David, and the man from the newspaper, and a close friend from my youth – and the lesson that I take from them all is that it CAN happen to anyone. What am I doing to prevent it from happening to me?

    The only real control in life is self control.

    As members of His church, we pledge every Sunday of our lives to take upon ourselves His name and promise to “always remember him.” So let us work a little harder at remembering Him—especially that He has “borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows . . . , [that] he was bruised for our iniquities . . . ; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). Surely it would guide our actions in a dramatic way.

    I quote from Nephi, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, who was weighed down with sorrow. He answered his own cry by saying, “Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.” (2 Nephi 4:28)

    May the joy of our fidelity to the highest and best within us be ours as we keep our love and our marriages, our society and our souls, as pure as they were meant to be.

    (Some thoughts and lines of text in this posting were heavily borrowed from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s April 2010 General Conference “Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul”)


  4. Repenting about my view of Repentance

    August 31, 2010 by Ryan

    In my faith, I believe that the first principles of the Gospel can be simply stated as:

    1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

    2. Repentance

    3. Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins

    4. Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands of those in authority

    I got to thinking about repentance. What is it? Off the top of my head, I thought it had to do with sin. As mortal creatures, we are naturally inclined toward sin. We know that no unclean person can enter God’s presence, and so being forgiven of sin is the big key to the end goal of Eternal Life and salvation.

    I’d always defined the steps of repentance as having sorrow for what I’ve done wrong, confession of sin to the proper people involved (and Church leaders where the transgression is a major one), abandonment of the actions, restitution to those I’ve hurt (as far as it is possible), and righteous living. Then, by the grace of Christ, I can be saved. That is how I hear it taught in Church over and over.

    While those steps are good and true, I’ve started to wonder if there is something else to it?

    Maybe, more important than being a change of sin, repentance is a change of mind. The step of having faith in Jesus Christ comes first, and perhaps that plays more directly into the step of repentance than I had previously given it credit for.

    When you allow your faith in God to grow, you gain a fresh view about God, about yourself, and about the world. As you view yourself a child of God, and your neighbor as a spiritual brother or sister who struggles with temptation as much as you do, then maybe the ability to recognize and renounce sin is merely a natural growth of your changed character.

    Maybe that is why, week after week, when I partake of the emblems of the Lord’s body and blood in my Church meeting – the priest (who holds the keys of priesthood authority concerning the gospel of repentance) makes no mention of doing it to remove my sins from me. Rather, the prayer offered by the priest reinforces my need to “always remember Him,” to “keep His commandments,” and to “always have His Spirit” to be with me.

    (I’ve only listened to that prayer for over 30 years now and am just now realizing this?)

    As real as God is, the Devil is also. Lucifer, once the Lightbringer and Son of the Morning, fell from his position before God and became the Devil. Knowing that he wasted his chance and can never have the opportunities or inheritance that we can have, he has become consumed with rage and jealousy.

    The Old Serpent throws worldly distractions at us which are calculated to keep us from recognizing our relationship to God, or ever approaching the desire to repent. If he can keep us off of our knees, or out of the house of worship; if he can distract us from seeking wisdom and knowledge from the Holy Scriptures, and divert our attention to anyone or anything else that can provide momentary pleasure or satisfaction; if he can convince us that what is good is evil and what is evil is good and of no consequence, he has won.

    Repentance is not optional; it is a commandment of God. But maybe, I am starting to realize, it is not a commandment focused on right or wrong behavior. Perhaps instead it is a commandment about attitude. It is the difference between the proud and haughty versus the meek and humble. And speaking of inheritances, I’ve heard from Good Authority that the latter group have been promised a pretty good one.


  5. Take a Ride on a Large Rock

    April 7, 2010 by Ryan

    The Earth is really an amazing place. Most of those reading this post call it home.

    I wake up in the morning and hear the birds chirping. I feel the cool breeze, as the air has lowered in temperature overnight. Soon the first beams of the sun begin to appear in the sky, over the majestic mountaintops. From high above the land in an uncomfortable window seat on an airplane, I’ve seen those same sunbeams protruding over the horizon, and could almost detect the natural curvature of the globe on which we live.

    Yet think of the incredible forces that occur every moment.

    We have a biosphere which affects an atmosphere. It is covered in aerobic organisms. We have an protective ozone layer and a magnetic field that permitting life to exist. Earth (at least the land part) is covered in tectonic plates that feature gradual migratory movement. Salt-water oceans saturate the planet, whose waves and flow are affected by the gravitational pull of the sun. That same pull means that instead of travelling a straight path, our momentum has us circling that orb.  We circle the sun in a 93,205,678 miles round trip at about 67,108 miles per hour (108,000 km/h). At the same time, we tumble round and round on our own axis at just over 1000 miles per hour (depending somewhat on your location in proximity to the equator).

    All of that motion makes me want to take a Dramamine®.

    The richness and resources of the planet are equally astounding. We dig within the rock and find valuable materials, such as salt, metals, minerals, and coal. Some areas feature reserves of natural gas, while others are rich in oil that fuel our modern life. In our more recent history, we have built automobiles, airplanes, and space shuttles which we use to travel about the planet, creating more motion and momentum.

    I wonder how all of this came to be? Matter is neither created nor destroyed, so I picture the Creator taking a little here and a little there from the elements to bring a basic world together. Some volcanic rock here; some topsoil there. Like a Chia-Pet®, add water and grow. Then I imagine the steady hand of God touching the highest mountaintop and giving it a push to begin its 24 hour axis orbit. Add a breath of wind to direct it into the gravitational path of the sun, where it began its rotation.

    And as I ride upon that large rock, in my perception, I stand outside my home and listen to the birds chirp, feel the cool breeze, and watch the first rays of the sun appear to my view. I find moments of peace, quiet, and calm in a planet that is nothing but.


  6. Please Notice This Post

    March 25, 2010 by Ryan

    Today in the mail, I took notice of an envelope labeled “Second Notice!” As I noticed the notice, I noticed that I didn’t actually remember noticing the first notice. Was the first notice not noticeable enough to be noticed? Or had the first notice actually overlooked my notice? Was it noticeable at all when it arrived, or was this second notice just noticeably more noticeable?

    Then I wondered if the postman had noticed the delivery of my second notice, and notably thought of me as the unnoticeable type?

    Wait! If the first notice managed to escape my notice, then was it worthy of my notice to begin with? I notice a tendency in myself to notice when notices are notice-worthy, and generally no notice goes unnoticed. So if the first notice was unnoticeable to me, then can they really declare the second notice to be the second notice when the first notice was unable to attract my notice?

    You might notice the dilemma I felt. Should I pay notice to a second notice when the message of the first notice was largely unnoticeable? And if I choose to respond to an inferior second notice, how much notice is it proper to give the company that produced the notices? Will they notice if my lapse in responding to their first notice and second notice was noticeable? Is the second notice the final notice, or will I soon notice a third notice in my mail, if my response is not noticed by the noticing company?

    With all of these thoughts, I noticed beads of sweat appearing on my forehead. Would the neighbors notice the posture of my walk, carrying my second notice and not noticing what it was for? Would rumor spread of noticing my notices, but noting my unnoticeable reaction? Might people put me on notice that they were not going to give me any more notice to their notices? Could this perpetuate into a noticeable predicament?

    Perhaps the neighbors won’t actually notice? Maybe the postman will pay no notice to the notices he delivered me? Or maybe the noticing company might not notice my dearth of response. It might be that the notices escape the notice of all uninterested parties. Maybe no one will actually notice my lack of notices to the notice?

    You will notice that this article is short, because I have noticed that I have no more clever ways to capture the reader’s notice. So I’ll go open my second notice now and see kind of notice they provide me about the notice that is inside.


  7. Reality Check

    February 19, 2010 by Ryan

    It is easy to get too close to things that you no longer recognize them (This advice is coming from the guy who loves to escape to Disneyland and blur the line between reality and fantasy). People confuse their wants for their needs. So today, hope to do a reality check, and momentarily put life into perspective.

    My reality: If I miss lunch, I am starving.

    My reality: It is inconvenient to wait a minute for the hot water to start flowing in the shower.

    My reality: My world looks for ways to create physical activity in order to exercise.

    Reality check: Other people in true poverty are fighting for a scrap of food. I really don’t know what true hunger or discomfort is. And I could stand to lose some weight. I don’t haul bails of hay, milk 250 head of cattle, or plow a field for survival. Through his prophet Joshua, the Lord reminded Israel, “I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.” (Joshua 24:13) I should be immensely grateful for the blessings that I so often take for granted.

    My reality: Communication and interaction with others is virtually unlimited.

    Reality Check: Interaction with others is limited virtually. People are more important than pixels, yet it is easy to forget and lose time and self in the safety of hiding behind the keyboard. It feels foreign to deliver a message by voice over a telephone, or to go to a front door, knock, and speak in person.

    It is ironic that I write this thought without touching a writing utensil at all. Rather, I electronically manipulate black specs of light shining against white specs that surround it. This missive does not actually exist; rather it is the alignment of zeros or ones, which are converted to positive and negative polar extremes existing on a magnetized round metal disc.

    Entertainment is rarely ever presented live and “unplugged” – rather it is recorded, edited and enhanced, and digitalized. Who would ever think to meet with their friends and neighbors to sit together and enjoy a performance together? My MP3 player will never deliver the human connection that comes from entertainer and performer looking into one another’s eyes and sensing how much each is enjoying the experience.

    My reality: My society is smarter than and superior to the past generations.

    Reality Check: As a society, we have done a tremendous amount of good. We have paved the wilderness. We have carved out large nooks in the land and created cities of grandiose spectacle. We have eliminated some diseases, quarantined others, and dare to dream that we can continue to defeat more still. We have an nearly unlimited reservoir of knowledge and the benefit of the experience of the ages.

    My ancestors hauled their possessions across the country by foot in a hand-pulled wagon. They weren’t highly educated, but they worked the land and sweated by their brow to made their living. They didn’t operate with safety nets of government assistance or mandated health care. They weren’t advised by boards or warned by lawyers of what was good or bad for them. They attended the school of hard knocks. Through sickness and health, good times and bad, they had to tough it out. If they failed, they fell hard.

    In real life, there is no “undo button.” No “continues,” “extra lives,” or “God Mode” cheat codes. We are free to choose our actions in life, but our consequences might remain with us for a long time after. Our trials are different. Our stresses come from different influences. I believe that, if given the opportunity, my ancestors would NOT choose to trade me places – they would look at the world of crazy priorities that I live in, and have wanted to stick with what they had. Our priorities are based on a much higher standard of comfort and living. Yet the skills that got then through and will take us through have not changed. The Boy Scouts called them being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. The Mormons say to be honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and do good to all; at all times and in all things, and in all  places that ye may be in. Those attributes won’t fail us. They are truths that will hold us up and keep us strong.

    No matter what reality we live in.


  8. Writing on the wall

    October 16, 2009 by Ryan

    Do people write anymore? Am I unique in the fact that I enjoy penning words to paper (or placing pixels to the computer screen)? Have people, now or in a different part of history, been more-or-less prone to writing down their thoughts? Or is that a rare characteristic?

    The medium of writing was there to usher in the beginning of recorded history. It is a pretty good system. And yet it has flaws.

    Take, for example, the slippery meanings of words. Within a language, there is an evolution. A mere 60 years ago, the Lucille Ball radio program “My Favorite Husband” billed itself as “the gay family-comedy series about two people who live together, and like it.” That was repeated at the beginning of every episode. Even though I understand the era it was spoken in and the intended meaning of that phrase, I still momentarily startle to attention when I hear that mini-plot summary which would mean something so different if delivered today. If that small example is only separated from us by 60 years, then it is no wonder that Shakespeare is hard for people to read and comprehend today.

    Then, there is the opportunity of translation of words. What a responsibility the translators of the King James Bible must have felt! Working as a committee, they read sacred words spoken by prophets and apostles 4000 years before their time, and attempted to convey the same meanings to people the people of their day who spoke a different tongue. Though undoubtedly some mistakes slipped through, surely God blessed them with wisdom, judgment, and talent, and touched them with inspiration as they handled those sacred words.

    In the last paragraph, I used the descriptor “handled” – and yet words cannot be picked up and carried. Instruments of writing can be clutched; paper, stone, metal, or other writing surfaces can be hefted; the words themselves are only symbols inked and engraved. Those symbols, arranged in an order, are only meaningful to someone else if they understand that order, and if they interpret with the same thoughts and associate the same meaning.

    When listening to the spoken word, this can be easier to do. Proper tone and inflection help to convey the meanings. But with the written words, the writer must describe the event in perfect detail, and then place an enormous trust in the reader to understand the portrayal correctly.

    Maybe that makes writing too hard. Is that why many people don’t do it? I worry that the art and talent of reading might also be dwindling, because it takes too much commitment and effort to understand and communicate in this way.

    I’ve wondered – if Moses or Isaiah had the technology, would they made their messages into a movie instead of writing them? How would Isaiah’s depiction of the coming Messiah (in chapter 53) have translated to the big screen? Is Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” the way to convey the sufferings of Christ, or do the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John stand a better chance of touching and teaching the willing heart and soul?

    I have a lot of questions as I think about the amazing process and gift of writing. I’ve considered a lot of philosophical ideals as I wonder about its place. The only conclusion I’ve come to is that I need to do more of it. I hope I don’t disappoint the reader who chooses to read it.

    Do people write anymore? Am I unique in the fact that I enjoy penning words to paper (or placing pixels to the computer screen)? Have people, in general, ever been more prone to writing down their thoughts? Or is that a rare characteristic?

    The medium of writing was there to usher in the beginning of recorded history. It is a pretty good system. And yet it has flaws.

    Take, for example, the slippery meanings of words. Within a language, there is an evolution. A mere 60 years ago, the Lucille Ball radio program “My Favorite Husband” billed itself as “the gay family-comedy series about two people who live together, and like it.” That was repeated at the beginning of every episode. Even though I understand the era it was spoken in and the intended meaning of that phrase, I still come to attention for a moment when I hear that mini-plot summary. If that small example is only separated from us by 60 years, then it is no wonder that Shakespeare is hard for people to read and comprehend today.

    Then, there is the opportunity of translation of words. What a responsibility the translators of the King James Bible must have felt! Working as a committee, they read sacred words spoken by prophets and apostles 4000 years before their time, and attempted to convey the same meanings to people today who speak a different tongue. Though undoubtedly some mistakes slipped through, surely God blessed them with wisdom, judgment, and talent, and touched them with inspiration as they handled those sacred words.

    In the last paragraph, I used the description of “handled” – and yet words cannot be picked up and carried. Instruments of writing can be clutched; paper, stone, metal, or other writing surfaces can be hefted; the words themselves are only symbols inked and engraved. Those symbols, arranged in an order, are only meaningful to someone else if they understand that order, and if they interpret with the same thoughts and associate the same meaning.

    When listening to the spoken word, this can be easier to do. Proper tone and inflection help to convey the meanings. But with the written words, the writer must describe the event in perfect detail, and then place an enormous trust in the reader to understand the portrayal correctly.

    Maybe that makes writing too hard. Is that why many people don’t do it? I worry that the art and talent of reading might also be dwindling, because it takes too much commitment and effort to understand and communicate in this way.

    I’ve wondered – if Moses or Isaiah had the technology, would they made their messages into a movie instead of writing them? How would Isaiah depiction of the Messiah (in chapter 53) have translated to the big screen? Is Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” the way to convey the sufferings of Christ, or do the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John stand a better chance of touching and teaching the willing heart and soul?

    I have a lot of questions as I think about the amazing process and gift of writing. I’ve considered a lot of philosophical ideals as I wonder about its place. The only conclusion I’ve come to is that I need to do more of it. I hope I don’t disappoint the reader who chooses to read it.


  9. The banker wants me to leave

    June 2, 2009 by Ryan

    I’ve begun to work out my strategy for the eventual day when I get on that show.

    I’ve been practicing on the home game, and I pretty much got it down. I figure though that you only get one shot at the real deal. So you’ve got to make it count, and “go for broke” so to speak.

    Though “broke” is a relative term, since all players are guaranteed to make at least a penny.

    Which is not really true anymore, because on the daytime rules, only 5 out of 26 get to play. The rest get to be on TV and “open the case.” They start with 22, and they each have five chances in five days to get picked. One of them does come up to play on Monday. Then they bring somebody else in on Tuesday to fill that spot. That guy has at least four chances to have his number spun. And again on Wednesday, but this replacement has only three opportunities for random luck to come his way. Thursday again. Pitty the guy on Friday, who has one shot at the wheel spinning his number.

    I’ve also figured that I have a better shot at getting on in the daytime version. They don’t have the time in a half-hour to socialize, and so I don’t have to have (so much of) a strange personality quirk to attract attention and get on the show. I’d just have to be engaging enough for the 20 minutes of air time. The trade-off is that I start with only a half-million as the top jackpot, and the top amounts drop down much more rapidly. It would leave me with a very thin safety-net. If I uncover those amounts first, the deal will drop significantly.

    I have not completely worked out yet if I will keep my number, or trade it for another case. After all, it was lucky enough to be spun by the giant roulette wheel, so it must be a lucky number. Or, was all the luck used up to get me up on stage, then should I trade it for another case. One that has a track record of being unlucky already during that same episode?

    Then, I pretty much will go for the gusto. After I leave the stage, they won’t ever let me come back. So I might as well play it out and have fun and go for it all!

    Plus, if I take an offer of $13,000 and leave, after California state and US federal taxes, I will take home about $6.50. It won’t really change my life in any significant way. So I figure to get any good out of the appearance, I’ve got to maximize my time and profit potential.

    Which brings me to my other strategy. If I’m feeling uncomfortable, and ready to take a deal and bail out on the game, that is the time that I should take a deep breath, and go one more time. Push lady luck to her limit. That’s ‘Howie’ would do it!

    Now, I’ve just got to apply. Now where did I set that online application?


  10. Something to think about

    April 22, 2009 by Ryan

    “A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good.” (Jesus, quoted by Luke; punctuation modernized)