Bobbing Around Volume 19 Number 3

Help one person at a time, and start with the person closest to you.
Mother Teresa

My religion is kindness.
The purpose of enlightenment is to be of service.
The Dalai Lama

Bobbing Around

Volume Nineteen, Number Three,
September, 2019

Bob Rich’s rave

email    previous issues

*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions

Comments are welcome — on the bottom of every post and page here, including this one.

*From me to you
Wonderful, being a Professional Grandfather
Name issue solved
Podcast links
Hit and Run on Stevo’s September list of recommended books
Letter to Queensland Premier
LiFE Award: Literature For Environment

*New stuff

*Blog posts during August

I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.

I appeal to Australia to do everything possible to achieve a rapid transition from coal to energy sources that do not contribute to climate change. That transition should be just for your own people and just for us here in the Pacific, where we face an existential threat that you don’t face and challenges we expect your governments and people to more fully appreciate.
Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji
(Australia’s hypocritical Prime Minister ignored him.)

Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person.

From me to you

Wonderful, being a Professional Grandfather
Name issue solved
Podcast links
Hit and Run on Stevo’s September list of recommended books
Letter to Queensland Premier
LiFE Award: Literature For Environment


Wonderful, being a Professional Grandfather

Last month, I gleefully reported about two of my honorary grandsons who are doing well. Soon after, I received this from a fine young man in Sweden, who was severely depressed when he first contacted me:

    Hi, Bob, I know it’s been a while since I last wrote.

    My mental health is a lot stronger these days and it’s a lot due to your guidance and your book.

    I just wanted to say that I got into university this fall. And I’m actually going to study about the environment and how we as a society have to implement changes to combat global warming.

    Thank you for your help!

    Now I can help society in return.

    I wish you well with all my heart.

Name issue solved

Last month, I asked for suggestions for name changes in my Doom Healer series. Of the several offerings, I’ve gone with Theresa Hortley’s:

    Bob, make Gene into Abraham, Abe for short. Americans do like to honour their great presidents, like Mr Lincoln. About the only male A character in your story I can think of is Sandy Sanford, whose name is actually Arthur, but only his mother calls him that.

    Early in the story, Miranda gives us Gree’s full name. It’s Geraldine Margaret. Why not swap them around? Margaret is also polysyllabic, like you wanted. It has a terminal t, which is silent in French. Actually, the French equivalent is Marguerite, which is pronounced quite differently. There are many common abbreviations (much more common than Gree for Geraldine): Marg, Marge, Margie, Marney, Marnie… If it was Marg, some kids might tease her by calling her Margarine.

Theresa is a powerful and effective high school teacher. The Sutcliffe kids’ teacher in the outback has been Suzanne Hartley. Henceforth, she will be known as Theresa Hortley.

And my wife’s best friend is Margaret, commonly known as Marney. Only then, there is another problem. A major character is Jarney. His nickname has now changed to Jarro, which sounds stronger, and more Aboriginal, so it’s an improvement in its own right.

Thank you to all the kind people who made suggestions.

Podcast links

Bob Pessemier, who interviewed me on As We Get Older on depression as a modern problem, and about my book, From Depression to Contentment has sent me the following list of links where you can listen to our chat.

I’ll be grateful if you can share it around your contacts.

As We Get Older





Google Play


Radio Public



I haven’t even heard of many of these venues, and hey! I am now on them!

Hit and Run on Stevo’s September list of recommended books

“Stevo” is Steve Brock, who is an Amazon Influencer. Hit and Run is, as the heading states, on his list of recommended books on Delphi forums.

Letter to Queensland Premier

Extinction Rebellion has been making an impact in the great Australian state of Queensland. Trouble is, if coal mining in the state stopped immediately, they would go broke. Much of the revenue is from mining royalties. So, the government response has been harsh penalties for any form of protest likely to be effective.

Courts have imposed fines on companies for flouting environmental transgressions from time to time. Wealthy corporations have to pay a few thousands of dollars. It is cheaper to budget for a few fines than to obey the law.

In contrast grandmothers, students, people who care about the future enough to make a fuss, have been fined tens of thousands of dollars. So, I decided to write to the Premier.

    Dear Madam,

    There is no economy on a dead planet.

    If you want a continuing State of Queensland, you need to implement an immediate transition plan away from coal. Now.

    People involved in the industry need a fair transition plan out of it. Regardless of their actions, regardless of your government’s actions, the coal mining industry is dead. The question is when, and by what process.

    Those protestors aren’t being annoying for fun. They do it out of desperation, because they accurately see where present trends are taking us. Rather than shooting the messenger, please listen to them.

    Bob Rich, PhD

PS After I sent this message, the Queensland Labor Party officially changed its policy to be pro-coal. Nowadays, the only pro-environment force in Australian politics is the Greens.

LiFE Award: Literature For Environment

I administer the LiFE Award. During August, I sent out my occasional call for submissions.

This has tickled the memory of one of the past recipients, Carolyn Howard-Johnson. She and Magdalena Ball have a fine poetry collection that honours the environment, and it was the 41st recipient of the LiFE Award.

Sublime Planet is still available for your pleasure.

New stuff

Bob Nailor

Good news
Let’s all follow Ethiopia

How can I live with having hurt the person I love the most?

How to cheat Apple
How to prepare for a hurricane

Alcohol and older livers

Look over a writer’s shoulder
Free book on how to submit

I approve of these announcements
Global climate strike, 20th September
Joyality: An online intensive course that can change your life
Carolyn Howard-Johnson at The 805 Writers’ Conference, Nov 2&3
Medicins sans Frontieres needs you
Max Overton’s excellent interview
Insects is life
Four book set at a discount from John Rosenman

Hit and Run reviewed by Lawrence Brown
From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Christina D. Warner
When a Toy Dog Became a Wolf and the Moon Broke Curfew by Hendrika de Vries
Wholistic Wisdom by Elena Bensonoff

In defence of rats


Bob Nailor

Normally I scan your newsletters, but today, for some reason, I read it in depth, a cup of coffee in hand. I found it to be totally intriguing and filled with great tidbits.

Now, as to names.

Change Geraldine (Gree) to Bethany and use either possibility — Beth (so typical) or Bet. Personally, I prefer Nee. Change Dr Eugene Miller to (1) Dr Robert Miller and use Bob OR (2) Dr Thomas Miller and use Thom.

I can’t believe I have been reading your newsletters for so many years, 19? I started to think back… well, I’ve been retired 13 years and I was receiving your emails prior to that. My, how times flies.

Thank you for your time.
Bob Nailor, Author of The Amish Singer series

Bob Nailor is the author of a lot more than that one book, but a highly prolific writer whose imagination usually runs away with me. He frequently acts as a judge in writing competitions, and knows lots about many things.

In the event, I went with Theresa Hortley’s suggestions for name changes, but am grateful to Bob for taking the trouble.

Good news

Let’s all follow Ethiopia

They are into tree planting in a big way.

Not only is this their contribution to combating climate change, but they’ll find in the years to come that it has a great many other benefits.


How can I live with having hurt the person I love the most?

I am looking at your relationship and marriage advice. I am going through a really hard point in my relationship with my wife right now and I was hoping you would be able to give me some words of wisdom.

My wife and I are both 26 years old. We met when we were 19, and got married last year, September 2018.

Right to the point.

I cheated one night stand the first few months of our relationship whilst away at college.

I cheated a few years into our relationship one night stand whilst drunk/ high with a co worker.

I cheated 7 months before our wedding drunk/ high with a total stranger.

I have been suppressing the guilt over the years with overspending (building $20k+ debt, smoking marijuana, and living beyond my means to a superfluous lifestyle)

A little over a month ago after returning from a wonderful summer vacation with my wife, I had a panic attack out of the blue. I was hospitalized. When I went to my general doctor, he told me these things often happen from holding in large secrets from the people I love. And the best way to not feel that crushing pain and anxiety is to talk to the person, tell them the truth and tell them how you are feeling. I took his advice, step 1, I told my wife I had the large debt….

Few days later, I still felt like shit and due to my impatient personality, I had an anxiety attack really bad and I ended up just telling her, “I cheated on you 3 times before marriage”. It is easy to say her world is crushed.

I am fighting with every inch of my mind and body to prove to her that yes I made these mistakes but no I am not a monster and they will never happen ever again. I will never let myself stoop to that level of mental and emotional weakness. Part of me justified post infidelity that it was “ok, because I wasn’t married, and at least content that if it did happen, it wasn’t before my marriage and I would be able to die with that secret and live the amazing life we both deserve”. Unfortunately I told her, but I can’t help but regret telling her (I should have died with that secret), in addition to regretting the general acts.

Then again, I get stuck and think. I am more of a man for telling her the truth and coming clean about my past than any man who is willingly able to keep this poisonous secret and live a life of lies. Lies lead to more lies unless stopped in its tracks.

Since uncovering the infidelity, my story has been a little iffy. Not purposely necessarily , but mostly because of my inability to recall step for step what happened and tell her the exact moments of my weakness. I wish I could tell her everything but the years of suppression have just forced the moments so deep into my subconscious that I cannot even bare to think let alone mention it to myself. Up to this point, I thought I had forgiven myself. After all, they were on night stands. Zero emotional connection, quickies, with communication shuttered quickly there after.

But now, the guilt is eating me alive. Seeing the person I love the most hurt from my immature and stupid actions kills me. It’s easy to say she matured earlier than me. I truly don’t feel I matured until months before the wedding when I had to step up to the plate and leave my childish ways in the past and look for the bigger picture in my life.

Please help me. I need something to grasp on for my sanity, my wife’s sanity and the future of our beautiful friendship and love.



Hi Mark,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be of service to you.

I don’t know where you live, so what local resources you have. A few sessions with a good psychologist or relationship counsellor will be of great benefit. You should have one or two couples sessions, and you should have private ones to work on the long term issues.

One of my rules is, “Above all, do no harm.” While your doctor was right about the effects of keeping secrets, it is nevertheless a pity you told your wife about the infidelities. The result was predicable harm to her.

But now, this gives you an opportunity to do things better. Guilt is a great motivator, but beyond that it is counterproductive. There is no such thing as a mistake, only learning opportunities.

So, what have you learned from the events you described to me? In what way can you now be a better, more mature, stronger person because of that list of past mistakes?

To me, there is a list of issues you may want to address.

Re-establishing her trust in you. Consult with her, in the company of a counsellor or just the two of you, on what actions and behaviour changes from you would make her trust you in the future. Ask her to be your helper and supervisor in this activity, but tell her from me that this also needs to be without humiliating you or worsening your feelings of guilt. It has to be done through mutual caring.

The various activities you used to drown your guilt: building up a debt, substance abuse, and there may be others. Changing such habits is perfectly possible. The first requirement is strong determination. You have that now, so you can do it. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is ideal for this. You can work with your counsellor, or either of my psychology books will be useful. From Depression to Contentment and Anger and Anxiety

Changing your attitude to material goods. You got into a huge debt, and this is also a learning opportunity. Retail therapy only makes things worse. Particularly my depression book, “From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide” will help you with this, and read my essay How to Change the World.

At 26, we may stretch the rules, and have you still qualify as my grandchild. Welcome.



How to cheat Apple
How to prepare for a hurricane


How to cheat Apple

I use an old Apple MacBook. An essential part is the power cord. Only, it is designed to have the little wires break in an unrepairable spot. Then you are forced to buy a new one, which is quite expensive.

The trick is to stop the cord wriggling around. Ove the years, I’ve tried various methods, but have at last found one that works.

I’ve glued two little Velcro spots to the computer, top and bottom, near the edge. When I close the lid, the thickness of the dot still allows the system to go into sleep mode. A little Velcro strip holds the cord in place, so, sorry, Apple, you can’t exploit me again. At least, not with this device.

How to prepare for a hurricane

The hurricane season hits the USA mostly in September. Hey, that’s NOW!

If you live near the Atlantic or Pacific coast, this informative essay is a must-read.


Alcohol and older livers

A website service devoted to the issues of aging has posted a detailed, well-researched essay on the problems older people can have with alcohol. It’s well worth reading if you have noticed that drinking has a worse effect on you than it used to, or if someone you love is abusing alcohol, perhaps while denying there is a problem.

Look over a writer’s shoulder

Free book on how to submit

I am writing to announce the third edition of The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript Submission by Emily Harstone. The book is now available to you, completely free.

If you want a traditional publishing contract, this book is for you. It is a complete guide to finding a traditional publisher for your book.

Get Your Copy Here (Free).

The book is free for a limited time, so be sure to get your copy right away.


Jacob Jans
Authors Publish

I approve of these announcements

Global climate strike, 20th September
Joyality: An online intensive course that can change your life
Carolyn Howard-Johnson at The 805 Writers’ Conference, Nov 2&3
Medicins sans Frontieres needs you
Max Overton’s excellent interview
Insects is life
Four book set at a discount from John Rosenman


Global climate strike, 20th September

Be there.

Numbers count — be counted.

Check here for how you can be involved.

Joyality: An online intensive course that can change your life

Joyality for Healing Professionals – starting this September

The Joyality Program is an 8-week experiential ecopsychology program that helps you feel empowered, fully alive and positive about the future. It guides you to discover and develop your abilities as a powerfully positive changemaker. The Joyality Program is grounded in principles of ecopsychology, deep ecology, The Work That Reconnects, and non-violent communication and social action.


1. connect with your deeper feelings about what is happening in the world and discover your unique gifts and passions

2. connect more deeply with nature

3. connect with other people, both “allies” and “opponents”

4. apply your unique gifts, skills and resources to creating positive change in your own life, in your community, and on the larger social, economic, and cultural scale

5. care compassionately for yourself and others in order to maintain and strengthen your commitment to action and your joy at being alive at this time in history

“… We can no longer isolate healing at an individual/family level without including the larger community and planetary context, and we need to continue to expand our tools and resources as professionals to do so. ”
– Haaweatea Holly Bryson

For more information:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson at The 805 Writers’ Conference, Nov 2&3

I believe in making writing a joy! I’ll be speaking at The 805 Writers’ Conference this year. It is November 2 & 3 at the Mandalay Beach Resort and Conference Hotel at Oxnard Shores, Mandalay Beach Rd., Oxnard, CA. I hope to meet you there! You’ll want to meet conference producer Kate Kaiser, too. ( It’s time to plan your working vacation.

Medicins sans Frontieres needs you

Several Mediterranean countries have made it a criminal offence to rescue people from drowning. Medicins sans Frontieres is defying them, and sending a rescue vessel. They need your support.

Can you spare a few dollars for this magnificent organisation?

Max Overton’s excellent interview

Max and I have been friends for 20 years, when I reviewed his first book. Now he has 19 published books, and more coming.

I read his interview at Writers Exchange E-publishing with interest. You will enjoy it, too.

Insects is life

If humans disappeared from Earth, most other species would be better off. If insects disappeared, all ecosystems would collapse, and everything would die.

Well, insects are disappearing, thanks to Bayer-Monsanto and their ilk.

Friends of the Earth has been fighting the insect apocalypse for years. They need your help.

Four book set at a discount from John Rosenman

Featuring Preditors and Editors SciFi / Fantasy best story of the year, The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes is available for only $2.99

As if that wasn’t enough of a bargain, John also offers the most personal of his books for 99c:

This is The Merry-Go-Round Man. It’s a rite of passage, coming-of-age Young Adult story of three boys growing up in the 1950s and their initiation into sex, violence, and self-discovery. Two of the boys were my friends, and one of them is me… sort of. It’s available in all formats: Kindle, Print, and Audio – and costs only 99¢ on Kindle.


Hit and Run reviewed by Lawrence Brown
From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Christina D. Warner
When a Toy Dog Became a Wolf and the Moon Broke Curfew by Hendrika de Vries
Wholistic Wisdom by Elena Bensonoff


Hit and Run reviewed by Lawrence Brown

Hit and Run is a story of many things, and starts as an intersection of lives through a tragic event. But instead of treading the usual “police evidence ground” to uncover the antagonist, we meet him in a most unusual way. I’ll say nothing more to limit the spoilers, but suffice to say, this book took me on a journey I’d never taken before. Which was refreshing! And it held my interest to the end, so combined with the excellent, cliche-free writing and the imaginative tale — and honestly, most of all, the characters — this warrants a solid 5 stars. Congrats and Very well done!!

From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Christina D. Warner

An important book no matter your age or gender or where you live. Dr. Bob Rich has complied a comprehensive guide on what depression is, how to identify it, and tools to help. You will learn concrete exercises on relaxation, the different types of depression and sadness (e.g. burnout, meaninglessness, dysthymia) and has a fascinating mix of history, philosophy, medical and pragmatic guide. I highly recommend this book for I truly believe it can change someone’s life.

Christina D. Warner, healthcare marketer and author of The Art of Healthcare Innovation.

When a Toy Dog Became a Wolf and the Moon Broke Curfew by Hendrika de Vries

I have often edited autobiographical accounts by older people who wanted their descendants to know about their youth. I have read — or started to read — many more. Usually, these autobiographies are pedestrian, full of facts and names, but short on emotional impact.

This book with the odd title could be used as an instructional case study for people who want to write an autobiography. Grandmother Hendrika does a beautiful job of being within the reality of a tiny child in war-ravaged Holland, and takes the reader with her. At all times, there is a seamless melding of the wise old woman and the innocent little girl — the calm, logical analysis of a dreadful situation and the emotion of being within it.

I was also an infant in a country under Nazi occupation, and death all around me. I suffered the trauma, books I’ve written have won awards, but have never managed to depict the inner view of being in the middle of it the way she does. Here is a sample: “For the rest of my life I would remember the eerie silence of our slow walk home. It was as if I had been wrapped in a sealed-off bubble, a bubble of silence from which all worldly sound had been sucked out. Like someone in a dreamscape, my eyes could see the buildings we passed, my legs could move one after the other to make my body walk, and my lungs were able to pump the air I needed to breathe in and out, but they all operated in a soundless bubble. I walked in a void, a vacuum where no sound existed or could penetrate.”

This is dissociation, as I’ve seen from the outside, as a therapist. Having read this book, I now understand it.

Should we oldies keep harping back to the Second World War? Isn’t it ancient history?

No, because humans have short memories. Once more, irrational hate is riding rampant, with people in power spewing racist poison. We need to remember what the receiving end is like. Hendrika writes, “In future years I would wonder if there might ever be a time when we could say about every young person on our planet, ‘She is safe now.’ How amazing that would be.” All of us with compassion and empathy must work for that time.

Wholistic Wisdom by Elena Bensonoff

This book is a manual for implementing a course of self-therapy based on an intriguing blend of the results of neuropsychological research and what in the west are considered esoteric practices. It is very different from my practice as a psychotherapist, but I was fascinated by the parallels between our techniques.

Deep truths can only be expressed in mathematics, poetry, story, myth, allegory. My work and Elena’s overlap only in some of our myths, but the divergences don’t matter. What does matter is the identical unspoken message. This can best be expressed in a quote: “Your natural state is to thrive, and anything less than that is an imbalance you can choose to consciously correct” (p 86).


In defence of rats

Please read this amusing, gentle and informative essay about our little, furry, four-legged cousins.

Posts during August


Melting Ice Everywhere — Arctic Sea Ice Extent Hit New Record Lows in Late July and Early August
An important and well-researched paper reblogged from RobertScribbler.

The Climate Arsonist
Please also read the comment I left.


Minnesota pays you to feed bees


Can you help this artist?
Rich McLean is offering free artwork to people who support his Kickstart venture.


Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem: we are all brothers and sisters

Microplastics: young Irish genius to the rescue

The best of human nature
A bunch of young women give us all a model to copy.


Featured in a podcast
Bob Pessemier asked me all about depression, and how to get rid of it.


A modern parable: the prince’s birthday party


CO2-sucking concrete?


The page won me an award
My contribution to the August, 2019 Rhobin’s Round.


Festival at Moora Moora

Amazon Influencer recommends Hit and Run


From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Hendrika de Vries

About Bobbing Around

If you received a copy of Bobbing Around and don’t want a repeat, it’s simple. Drop me a line and I’ll drop you from my list.

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Contributions are welcome, although I reserve the right to decline anything, or to request changes before acceptance. Welcome are:

  • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
  • Brags of achievements that may be of general interest, for example publication of your book;
  • Poems or very short stories and essays that fit the philosophy and style of Bobbing Around;
  • Above all, responses to items in past issues. I will not reject or censor such comments, even if I disagree with them.

Submission Guidelines

It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.

Content should be non-discriminatory, polite and relevant. Announcements should be 100 to 200 words, shorter if possible. Book reviews, essays and stories should be at the very most 500 words, poems up to 30 lines.

Author bios should be about 50 words, and if possible include a web address.

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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2 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 19 Number 3

  1. Bob Nailor says:

    Those pesky letters did it again… correct web address is This time I checked to make sure I typed it correctly. As always, great reading.


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