Bobbing Around Volume 21 Number 11

Anyone who has never made a mistake is a liar
Dr Bob Rich

“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your Neighbour. On this hangs the whole Torah; the rest is commentary: go learn it.” (Leviticus 19:18)
Rabbi Hillel

People change when they are cherished.
Father Greg Boyle

Let’s see—we have drought, war, COVID, and cars.
Lloyd Alter on vegetable oil shortages

Bobbing Around

Volume Twenty-one, Number Eleven,
May, 2022

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.

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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.

Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. Actually, you may steal any of it, but only with permission from its author if that’s not me, and well, from me if I am the author.

* From me to you
Palindrome Anniversary
Nina and I
My newest card


  New content Posts during April-May
ENVIRONMENT   The greatest weapon in the green warrior’s arsenal: reblogged wisdom from my dear friend Pendantry.
Too hot? Too cold?: a guest post on Wibble.
GOOD NEWS   Hawaii: Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty
POLITICS   She was 11 and pregnant
COMPASSION   AFSC: a wonderful mob
INSPIRATION   Her child’s death made her into a better person
A guide on how to be deaf in today’s world
DEEPER ISSUES Pragito Dove on forgiveness
Our fellow people: trees
A common prosperity for planet Earth A guest post by Duncan Dean
I, Orc
Chattering fungi
The power of Buddhist philosophy: 5 teachers show how to purify the mind of the “3 poisons.”
Training to be a Bodhisattva
TECHNOLOGY The bushfire-proof house Don’t toss it; fix it
Risk of heart muscle inflammation in response to COVID vaccines
If you don’t want to eat pesticides…
Are loneliness and sleep related?
Pain: masking it is asking for more
Another reason to buy naked food
WRITING What Makes a Book ‘Age Appropriate’? Reading breeding writing: April Rhobin’s Round
Writing = life = writing: May Rhobin’s Round
ANNOUNCEMENTS Mary Tod’s latest book
Retreat on Love with Pragito Dove
Book launch: Ten Recommandments for Personal Empowerment, by Dana Sardano
REVIEWS Maraglindi, reviewed by Kevin Amos  
POETRY Grief Brief, by Lauren Persons
II. by Laurie Corzett

From me to you

Palindrome Anniversary
Nina and I
My newest card



For years now, Bobbing Around has taken flight on the first of the month. But…

As several dear friends who subscribe reminded me, this month it failed to appear.

I do have two excuses, which is no excuse. First, for months now I have been working 48 hours a day as the campaign coordinator for the Australian Greens in my electorate, and it has paid off: Thanks to our work, many thousands of us around the country, a GREENWAVE has drowned previous Prime Monster Scott Morrison and his toxic crew. We have a new Prime Minister worthy of the title. He has already made many announcements that gave me tears of joy, like support for Julian Assagne, and permanent residency for Hazara refugees in Australia.

Second, in the middle of all this, I had an operation. The surgeon said, “No exercise except for walking for six weeks!” So, I’ve been letterboxing. That’s walking, isn’t it? Some days, after several hours of trudging from box to box, with a few delightful conversations along the way, I needed to have a quick dinner, then chair an online meeting.

So, sorry, I forgot to assemble the May Bobbing Around on the first. But then, anyone who has never made a mistake is a liar.

My solution? This is a bumper issue. Enjoy as much of it as you can, when you can. Take your time: there is no hurry. And from now on, publication date will be approximately now, give or take a few days (30?).

Palindrome Anniversary

The most logical way of writing a date is year, month, day. For example, files labelled this way automatically fall into chronological order.

The second most logical is day, month, year. I have never been able to get my mind around the odd month, day, year so favoured in a certain part of the world.

Using either of the first two methods, the 22nd day of April, 2022 is a palindrome: 22/4/22.

And that happens to be the 55th wedding anniversary for Jolanda and me.

How’s that?

Nina and I

Dr Nina Savelle-Rocklin has a popular radio show in Los Angeles. She has been kind enough to feature me once before, and we have become friends as a result: a mutual admiration society.

Her specialty is fixing the underlying reasons for body image problems that in turn lead to obesity, or to eating disorders. She wants me to talk about positive psychology, which is a fun thing to do.

Only… it’s a live show, and will occur at, wait for it, 4 a.m. my time.

I’ll be there. Maybe you can, too. She hasn’t sent me the specific link yet, but this one should lead you there.

My newest card

This mother and baby are quokkas, among the wonderful native inhabitants of my country.

Deeper Issues


Pragito Dove on forgiveness

Forgiveness is realizing there is nothing to forgive.

When you do or say something you later regret, remember you did the best you knew at the time.

You were trapped by your own unconscious. You cannot be someone you are not. You can only be who you are at any given moment.

When another person hurts you, they are acting unconsciously from pain. You can choose to either put energy into hating them, or put energy into loving yourself.

Over time you understand that they too were acting the only way they knew at the time.

There is nothing to forgive, there is only to understand, and find compassion for yourself and others.

Our fellow people: trees

My friends know that one of my hobbyhorses is the sentience of all living beings. Here is some more evidence that trees belong in our family.

I have previously written about the ability of trees to learn and communicate, but am just TOO BUSY to chase down the references. But this new information confirms what I said.

Humans are not the only people on this planet with thoughts, memories, emotions, the ability to learn from experience.

If you don’t believe me, ask a tree.



The bushfire-proof house

Way back, when I was designing my house at Moora Moora, I researched how to reduce the risk of having it destroyed by bushfire. As a result, The Earth Garden Building Book has a chapter on this important topic.

That was the latest word then. Now, a research team at the University of Technology, Sydney have come up with a new concept.

Many places on this planet face increasing wildfire risk, even when historically this was out of the question. If this applies to you, do read the article. Actually, you are allowed to read it, regardless.



COVID toll

The WHO has released figures on the excess deaths attributed to COVID19 during 2020-21. The graphs and explanatory text presented by the BBC make for interesting reading, putting the pandemic into perspective.

Best estimate is that the virus has killed nearly 15 million people.

Each of those lives prematurely ended is a tragedy for a family. People are not statistics. This is nearly 15 million personal disasters: children losing parents, parents losing children, lives changed forever.

All the same, the dispassionate examination of numbers is immensely useful. It is the way we come to understand relevant issues, and thus gain the power to predict, control, reduce, prevent future tragedies.

Also, let’s compare it to the pandemic of 1918-20. The flu epidemic of that time is estimated to have killed 50 million people. If you multiply up global population increase since, the same rate would be perhaps 350 million. While the COVID pandemic is nowhere near over, it is completely unlikely to climb to such levels.


Because of the benefits of science. We have learned an immense amount in 100 years.

There are intelligent, decent, well-meaning people who oppose vaccination for various reasons. Those same people, and others, protest in the streets about the various measures used to reduce infection rates.

Here is strong evidence to show that the combined defence humanity has devised does work.

Risk of heart muscle inflammation in response to COVID vaccines

This is one of the worries that keeps some people from accepting vaccination. To investigate the issue, researchers in Singapore examined a huge database and came up with definitive findings.

In summary, no need to worry. Any vaccination for any disease has a low probability but real risk of an inflammatory response, and this can occasionally involve the heart. However, this risk is very much lower for COVID vaccines than, for example, smallpox.

Look over a writer’s shoulder


What Makes a Book ‘Age Appropriate’?

This thoughtful, authoritative essay by Laura Simeon answers the question.

If you write for young people, you will find it to be excellent guidance.

If you have children or teenagers in your life, her suggestions will help you.

And if you are the young person, she even has a few titles for your consideration.

I approve of these announcements


Mary Tod’s latest book

Mary is a leading writer of historical fiction, and with reason. Her characters are vivid, research of place and time impeccable, her stories gripping.

Her newest novel, The Admiral’s Wife follows the lives of two strong women in Hong Kong, 100 years apart.

Retreat on Love with Pragito Dove

The LIVE In-Person retreat is happening
Sunday, October 16th – Thursday, October 20th, 2022

Alchemy of Self-Love is a beautiful way to immerse your spirit in an experience of pure peace, love and joy.

This intimate retreat empowers you to enter a state of pure being. You will experience personal support on the level of your soul. This retreat calls you to go deeper into the energy of Love and surrender to the Divine.
Alchemy of Self-Love is offered in a beautiful setting created to lift you out of the mundane and help you transcend whatever has been holding you back from experiencing the deepest peace, love, and happiness possible.

Immersing yourself in four days of powerful Divine Love energy will fundamentally change your life, internally and externally, because when you raise your vibrational frequency it will be reflected outwardly in your life.

Please join me for this amazing adventure of transformation and realization in an unmatched setting of the peace and silence of the Tucson mountains.

Register and find out more

Early Bird Investment: Only $2,997 when paid in full (or first payment made) by 6pm PST on September 5th.



Maraglindi, reviewed by Kevin Amos

This book is set in the mid 1800’s and centres around a young aboriginal girl who has a particular gift. I must admit that this is not the sort of book that I would normally read but as is so often the case when you step out of your normal habits pleasant surprises take place. Once I had got into the first chapter, I was hooked and this is one of those books that you just want to keep reading to know what happens next. I don’t want to reveal too much of the story but will say that it has some surprising twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting, and I think it’s this that keeps you wanting to move on through the book just to know the outcome.

I found that I became attached to the main character and felt for her on occasions, a sign of a good author.



Grief Brief by Lauren Persons

            Knock, Knock

            Who’s there


            Go away.

            Knock, Knock

            Who’s there?


            You again.

            Knock, Knock

            Who’s there?


            Grief who? Be brief.

            Sorry. Can’t oblige.
            I am here. For a while.
            The only way to make me go away
            Is head into it, my friend.

            You are not my friend, damnit!

            Okay, fine.
            More than acquaintances, though.
            Business partners?

            I wish distant cousins.

            You’re funny. Use that.

            Use what?

            Find the funny.
            Find the joy.
            Find the absurd.

            I can’t even find my shoes.

            Okay. Okay. Never mind.
            Let’s agree to disagree
            and move

            What is this thing that weighs squat
            and yet, encases feet and soul
            in a block of cement?
            And another thing…
            When I do let you in
            you overstay your welcome
            you don’t pick up after yourself
            you strew dirty clothes everywhere.
            Even when I kick you out, lighten up,
            have a laugh, you slip in under the mat
            and begrudge me even that.

            Got that off your chest?

            Hardly, my chest feels
            Like a bear is hibernating there
            Everything I eat tastes like sawdust

            So where should I start?
            Ha. There is really no start.
            Grief doesn’t own a watch.

            Don’t tell me. No end either?

            Hmmm. You have a moment?

            Really? Everyday moments feel like a month.

            Let’s put it this way.
            Grief is a bank account.

            Nooo. I am not good with mon…

            Like I was saying, grief is a bank account.

            Savings or checking?

            You invest in something,
            You take a leap of faith,
            You share a dream
            You create, coddle, coax, and
            Protect this investment
            You put it in your account
            Watch it grow. Use it wisely.
            Make plans and then one day,
            you look at the ledger and
            it’s just an inkblot.

            That’s not fair. Close the account.

            Nope. Keep it open.
            Did I say anything about fair?

            So, you say grief feels like hell,
            Has no distinct start or finish line
            Is a thief,
            A hoarder,
            A n’er-do-well,

            And so it goes.
            Every day, throw your leg
            out of the bed. Find you shoes.
            Take a walk. Get caught up in nature.
            Scream at a sycamore. No matter.
            She’s tough-skinned.

            So that’s all you got?

            No, repeat.

            So that’s all you got?

            Real slow.
            Some days, you may overdraw your account.
            Some days, you may have a little to deposit.

            And when it’s all over?

            Did I say over? This doesn’t go away.
            It is a new account. And sometimes


            Yes, and sometimes, not better or bigger.
            Your new account grows–richer.

            Are we done here

            Knock, Knock.

            Who’s there?

            Who’s there?

            Oh, I get it.
            I’m here.
            I’m worth
            the investment.
            That’s rich.

II. by Laurie Corzett

            “Mommy,” she cried, dead eyes open,
            awash in tears,
            “I didn’t mean to leave you.
            I didn’t know I would be gone so long.”

            My desiccated heart bathes gladly
            in those soothing tears.
            I am brought back to my journey.
            The mirror images have softened.
            Every face, every form, every failure,
            every sin
            I can’t quite grasp why it would matter,
            how these essences
            combine with mine.
            Perhaps I am hallucinating.
            Perhaps none of us
            exist at all.

            Baby girl, I have always loved you.
            Hated you for dying.
            Hated life and death for dividing us.
            Hated, blamed,
            damned to hell,
            all those mirror images,
            all those wraiths and wretched
            wayward souls who pass me by.
            I have loved and lost and
            lonely wandered.
            And wondered why.
            I hold you close as
            I look into the mirror, deeply,
            drink of the magick of lethe.
            Falling, gently, easily, even leisurely,
            letting go and drinking in,
            all that Hell allows
            now that we create the rules.

            Caught up in my Hecate role,
            I feel the power of my soul.
            Rain and wind and ice and snow
            I feel you all from here below,
            and revel in elemental energy.
            I am the wind, the seas, the fire
            I am all will and all desire.
            It is me you love, and me you hate —
            I am the master of your fate.
            Yet I am hidden from all sight,
            beyond the reach or need of light.
            I have found my peace,
            my place, my voice.
            Take heed, O’ mortal,
            create your choice.
            Create it every day.

About Bobbing Around

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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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