Bobbing Around Volume 20 Number 4

The current global culture of greed and conflict is a crime against the Universe.
Dr Bob Rich, talking with Fiona McVie

Human and non-human beings have an equal right to life, and the meaning of life is interdependent on all things.
Dr Anne Poelina

Bobbing Around

Volume Twenty, Number Four,
October, 2020

Bob Rich’s rave

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*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions

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

You can send me a private message via my contact form

Do note that anyone buying any of my titles anywhere, in any format, qualifies for a second electronic book for free. Emailing me a review qualifies as proof of purchase (unless I sent you a free review copy of course).

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.

Our nation (i.e., the USA) cannot continue with its highest office being held by the lowest man it could muster.
Kyle Bibby, U.S. Marine Corps, Common Defense’s National Campaigns Manager

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
My bunyips are safe: 12th life
In Midwest Book Review
Talking about a title

* New stuff *Blog posts during September

I love this little story

Dealing with terrible grief
13 and suicidal

Ingenious return to the stone age

I approve of these announcements
Social media tricks people into overspending

From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Amy Hunt

October, by Laurie Corzett
The Grave, by Casey Rich, 8.5 years old (August 2020)

Wise words

From me to you

My bunyips are safe: 12th life
In Midwest Book Review
Talking about a title

My bunyips are safe: 12th life

Actually, they are bunions, but I just can’t help it, sorry.

I decided to have my increasingly painful and malformed feet surgically altered to make them perform like they used to. The top surgeon for such things likes to keep his mates in business, and sent me to several other specialists for preliminary checks. One is Noel, a vascular surgeon. Indeed, he is head of the department for digging around in blood vessels at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Epworth Hospital.

Various tests followed. My American friends will be amazed: they didn’t cost me anything, because Australia has a government-financed health system, one that the right-wing politicians of the past 40 years have so far been unable to destroy.

The scans showed blockages in various relevant places. Noel recommended that we give a go to surgery in the plumbing. I’d have the procedure on Wednesday, go home Thursday morning, and be able to resume exercising by about Saturday.

First I needed a COVID test, then had to self-isolate 125% until admission. Fair enough too. That meant no use of public transport. Healesville, where I live, is home to a wonderful organisation that does things like driving people to and from medical appointments. I am honoured to be one of the drivers, but for some reason couldn’t drive myself and return the car while having the procedure. A nice bloke named Glen drove me.

The anaesthetist, Robyn, was a lovely lady the same age as my eldest child, so the two of us instantly agreed to adopt each other. She decided that I didn’t need to be knocked out, and indeed the only thing that hurt was the local anaesthetic.

Noel spent a surprisingly long time inserting a variety of wires with code names, and eventually cut through a calcium lump in my ankle. He divested me of all internal equipment, sewed me up, and I was good to go the Recovery.

THEN… Some time later, I couldn’t breathe. I was hot but shivering with cold. I didn’t have a mirror, but I reckon I must have turned green. I managed, “I can’t breathe.”

Next thing, I was the focus of a maelstrom of perhaps 12 wonderful people. Three or four worked on me at any one time.

Noel put all his weight onto the focal point of my internal explosion. I screamed with pain. He said, “Local.” I felt the jab and soon agony reduced to pain.

I think it was Robyn who put an oxygen mask on me.

Dark-haired, balding Michael was doing something intricate to my right arm, attracting lots of praise.

Noel said, “Bladder needs emptying.” He was still a battleship sitting on the bleeding spot.

No time for modesty when saving a life. Someone attacked my penis with a red-hot poker.

Then I was wheeled back into theatre. Robyn sat by my head, and I’m pretty sure, was doing Reiki. Noel now excavated into the femoral artery on the other side, and I watched on a screen as little tubes travelled along until one of them overlapped the break in the artery.

When the stint of stent-watching was over, I was taken to ICU to be wired into a space ship’s control station. Main problem remaining was a lump of congealed blood uphill of the operation site. From its size, I reckon I lost well over a litre of blood in seconds. This lump was most unreasonable, hurting at each inbreath, and of course every visiting staff member had to palpate it.

I made some wonderful friends during my time there. The staff could represent the United Nations. About half were Aussies. One young woman spoke American. I saw every shade of brown, and also, as a once-male-nurse, I was pleased to see so many guys in a traditionally female profession. And they all acted as a cooperative, caring team.

Katie was my first nurse. Once everyone was settled, she spent hours talking with me, since pain kept me awake anyway. I managed to entertain her, and she promised to check out Bobbing Around as soon as she had a sleep at home. At 7 am, she introduced me to Paula, who also became a lifelong friend I may never meet again, though I do hope that she, and the others I found so admirable, do contact me. She handed over to Jinny: very tall and slim and dark, from southern India. Paula started her handover with “This is the most amazing person I’ve ever met!” Validation: I am still good at bulldust. I got Jinny to promise to pass on hugs from a Professional Grandfather to her two kids.

My final nurse was Yvonne, a tiny China porcelain doll, who, like everyone else there, amazed me with her competence. She in turn handed me over to my darling daughter, because I convinced Noel to allow me to go home.

Two medical students also joined my team, after I was allocated as the patient they had to interview.

This has been my 12th opportunity to die, and I would have, except for the competence of the doctors and staff at Epworth Hospital, Richmond. If you’ve read Ascending Spiral, you’ll know that I am required to stay on this planet to either witness the end of homo stupidens, or to be part of the team to save us. So I am still here, improving hour by hour but still very easily tired.

And yes, Noel told me, under no circumstances should I have operations on my feet. My bunyips are safe.

In Midwest Book Review

It is something of an honour to have one’s book reviewed at the Midwest Book Review. I am delighted to let you know that Carolyn Wilhelm has made From Depression to Contentment one of the three books she gave a positive review for in that venue.

You can check her opinion out, and see what else she likes.

Talking about a title

If you’ve been reading my posts over the past few months, you’ll know that one of my current writing projects is a companion volume for From Depression to Contentment. My working title has been Lifting the Gloom: An antidepressant primer of short stories.

There is one thing wrong. As the book has grown, it has flowered into a bouquet that includes essays as well as stories.

Yes, fictional stories are there, for example

But also, there are essays of various lengths like:

OK, so here is my question. I don’t want the subtitle to be misleading. Any suggestions?

There is a reward. The person whose suggestion I end up adopting will feature as a (good) character in a story.


I love this little story

Don Lubov’s contribution to making life bearable is to send emails with inspirational or humorous content. This is one of his posts. I’ve checked, and the facts are accurate.


Big cheeks. A grandson of slaves, a boy was born in a poor neighbourhood of New Orleans known as the “Back of Town.” His father abandoned the family when the child was an infant His mother became a prostitute and the boy and his sister had to live with their grandmother.

Early in life he proved to be gifted for music and with three other kids he sang in the streets of New Orleans. His first gains were coins that were thrown to them.

A Jewish family, Karnofsky, who had emigrated from Lithuania to the USA, had pity for the 7-year-old boy and brought him into their home. Initially gave ‘work’ in the house, to feed this hungry child. There he remained and slept in this Jewish family’s home where, for the first time in his life, he was treated with kindness and tenderness.

When he went to bed, Mrs. Karnovsky sang him a Russian lullaby that he would sing with her. Later, he learned to sing and play several Russian and Jewish songs.

Over time, this boy became the adopted son of this family. The Karnofskys gave him money to buy his first musical instrument, as was the custom in the Jewish families.

They sincerely admired his musical talent. Later, when he became a professional musician and composer, he used these Jewish melodies in compositions, such as St. James Infirmary and Go Down Moses.

The little black boy grew up and wrote a book about this Jewish family who had adopted him in 1907. In memory of this family and until the end of his life, he wore a Star of David and said that in this family, he had learned “how to live real life and determination.”

You might recognise his name. This little boy was called: Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong.

Louis Armstrong proudly spoke fluent Yiddish! And “Satchmo” is Yiddish for “Big Cheeks!”


Dealing with terrible grief
13 and suicidal

Dealing with terrible grief

A young woman sent me a cry for help, because her husband died of cancer three months ago. They’d been married 10 years, and he has fought the cancer for 7 of these. During those 10 years, they were together 24/24, all the time, and felt like two parts of a whole.

She was traumatised in her childhood because of dysfunctional patterns in her family, and her grief has triggered all that old hurt as well.

Here is my answer. It could help other people with a recent loss.

Dolores my dear,

Thank you for confiding in me. Although English is obviously not your first language, you have explained your history and situation very well.

If your husband died 3 months ago, then it is perfectly reasonable for you to feel terrible. He was a wonderful man, and the two of you were one whole, and now he has moved on. Serious grief like this can go on for as long as 2 years before it is resolved.

Still, there is some first aid. Death is not the end of a book, but the end of a chapter. He is still around, just no longer attached to his body. You know exactly what he used to do, say and think in every situation, so talk with him (not aloud when other people are around). He is still with you.

Feeling your grief is important, but it should not drag you down 24/24. Set aside two hours a day, 7 days a week. This should not be too close to bedtime. 5-7 p.m. suits many people. During those two hours, you may cry. Acknowledge whatever feelings come out, including anger, hopelessness, whatever. You can pray to God… or shout at Him.

The other 22 hours a day, live as normal a life as possible. Fill your mind with other concerns. One very powerful thing is to look for ways you can benefit other people. When a thought of grief comes, say inside your mind, “Go away for now, love. I’ll speak to you at 5 pm.”

Second, there is a wonderful book that helps everyone with grief: “Seven Choices: Finding daylight after loss shatters your world” by Elizabeth Harper Neeld. I don’t think it has been translated into Spanish, but your English reading seems to be excellent.

Dealing with this loss in your life is a big project. The aim of a grieving process is to get to a point of acceptance, when life goes on anyway. Celebrate the good things, when you can.

Later, once you have achieved this, you can work on the problems with your family of origin. If you can, just let them go for now, and focus on rebuilding a life for yourself.

With love and caring,

13 and suicidal

I’m 13 gay and trans I was never bullied about it but I was bullied of everything else I would cut myself with scissors pencils and even my own nails. I was in 6th grade when I had a therapist and never likes her so I tried drowning but couldn’t drown because I went up for air then I slit my wrist and survived. I actually still try to this day to kill myself and don’t know how to try and stop it comes natural please tell me what to do to stop thank you for hearing my story.

Danielle my dear,

When I was your age, I wanted to not-be-alive too. The only reason I did not think of suicide was because I thought that would please my stepfather, to be got rid of me. Please read this little essay:

The onion and the pearl.

It describes how those terrible times when I was young made me into a healer and helper.

Take a lump of coal, and put terrible heat and pressure on it. It becomes a diamond. So, think of it this way: when you are through this, you will be an exceptional person everyone will admire.

As the first step, design what kind of person the adult Danielle will be. Imagine you are starting to write a movie script. The first thing is to describe the star. At this stage, we don’t need to describe what happens, only what this person does. Remember, a movie doesn’t show anything except what you can see and hear. So, describe how the wonderful adult Danielle speaks, handles various situations. Keep it realistic, because you need an actor to act this role.
Then train yourself to be this actor.

Please go to my blog, Bobbing Around and send me a message via the contact form. Then we can work together to overcome your problems.

Your new grandfather,


Ingenious return to the stone age

This is a German article, but my browser’s translation was perfect. A Siemens subsidiary has been playing around with hot rocks as energy storage. You superheat the rocks from sources like excess solar electricity and the waste heat from an aluminium smelter, then later use the heat to produce steam that spins a turbine.

They have demonstrated the process to be 45% efficient, which is huge — and in addition the waste heat can be used for other purposes.

The current demonstration model can store as much energy as 10 tons of heating oil would generate. The company is now offering even larger models for sale (the larger the more efficient because of reduced heat loss through the insulated surface).

I am getting one for my backyard.

I approve of these announcements

Social media trick people into overspending

Kayla Montgomery sent me a link to a research report that’s worth reading, particularly by younger people. There is a natural tendency to show your best on social media, and this leads to an escalation of consumerism.

You can choose to make up your own mind. Less is best. Live simply so you may simply live.


From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Amy Hunt

If you have ever had depression or are currently suffering with any form of depression, this book can be a very nice, interactive support for your journey through those tough times. In this book, Bob pulls from case study after case study to provide examples of how people overcame depression. With a strong counseling/psychology background, Bob provides the reader self-taught homework and additional readings so the reader also has practical experience and support for the journey from depression. The homework and additional readings are a unique and valuable addition.

Contentment is something I personally have always agreed with, but I only remember this subject spoken about minimally. Because I agree with contentment being the end goal, rather than happiness, and because there is so little literature supporting contentment over happiness,
I wished the subject of contentment could have been spoken to more so as to align with the
emphasis from the title. Regardless, it was a very encouraging read.

Amy Hunt, author of Spirituality Matters: Deeper Thoughts for Spiritual Curiosity, is a spiritual intuitive, explorer, and leader. She records her deep thoughts at and is in the process of learning about natural foraging and unleashing her supernatural powers.


October, by Laurie Corzett
The Grave, by Casey Rich, 8.5 years old (August 2020)

October, by Laurie Corzett

            love long subdued, yet never denied…
            Deeply sown, muffled aria calls from memory’s tomb.Embedded in layers, perennial autumn leaves.
            Empty years
            temporarily deluged by tears
            tumbling like coins through torn clothing.Hard earned but never spent;
            Entering into a joy of its own,
            elation of interchange incomplete.
            Crepuscular darkness of Autumn,
            solemn, ancient, descending,
            anticipates consummation.

            I asked Laurie for a bio. This is what she sent: Making an inventory of my life, thinking I had done nothing to speak of, no big successes that really made sense, then I realized I had all this work done over the decades, a lot online to share — a vast trove of experiences and life lessons.

            The Grave, by Casey Rich, 8.5 years old (August 2020)

                      The grave was as silent as death,
                      The wind flew like a bird from its nest,
                      The crow, it was brave
                      But it flew from the grave
                      Deciding that cowardice was best!

            Casey is my darling red-headed grandson in Sydney. He certainly has the rhyming pattern and cadence of a limerick right. From the content, you wouldn’t know he is a boy, would you?


            Wise words

            Posts during September


            My recommendation: move inland, to higher ground

            New research shows we are destroying the web of life even faster

            Why I do my best to avoid single-use plastic


            A first for Scientific American: endorsing a political candidate.


            You can visit the city of the kindness revolution


            Six champions for survival

            The wisdom of a dying young man

            If we all shared this lady’s vision…


            Accepting the Unacceptable, a guest post by Penny Fenner

            Irreconcilable differences

            My dream job sucks


            No, public transport won’t kill you


            Let’s Stop Saying, “I Don’t Like Poetry” by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
            book and marketing consultant, writer and sometime poet

            Bandwidth burst!


            An opportunity to make a difference

            A thought a day, from Issac Robledo

            About Bobbing Around

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            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.

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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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