Bobbing Around Volume 22 Number 2

The lesson of the World Happiness Report over the years is that social support, generosity to one another, and honesty in government are crucial for wellbeing.
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University

If ever a reader is lost, you’ve lost the reader.
Bob Rich to an editing client

Enlightenment is not a state but a moment.
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Bobbing Around

Volume Twenty-two, Number Two,
August, 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.

You can send me a private message via my contact form (click the tab at the top).

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 not senile YET).

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
Fogging up my glasses
Funraising fundraising
Wordpress mysteries
My newest card
Healing Doom


  New content Posts during the past month
RESPONSES Fiona Lemmon  
ENVIRONMENT   The aikido of food growing
Setting land for nature aside does not reduce farm productivity
Fracking kills children
INSPIRATION How to run a loving business Hands across a border
Effective altruism
A LONG distance run to stop extinctions
PSYCHOLOGY My father killed himself
I don’t know my own sexuality
DEEPER ISSUES Implications of karma
Eight-legged wisdom
Listen, Contemplate, Meditate
: Grassroots Manifesto: Don Lubov’s guest post for August
TECHNOLOGY Phone charging  
HEALTH Back pain is not about posture
How to protect pets from COVID
The right choice: an inspiring story of a woman’s wisdom
You can’t beat a beetroot
WRITING   Quoting Thoughts
Killing my darlings:
My July, 2022 post for Rhobin’s Rounds.
How to help another writer
Do you read novels? If so, please advise me!
ANNOUNCEMENTS Lexington: a new historical book with a difference from DL Nelson
New post by Peter Gibilisco
In-person retreat with Pragito Dove
Staying Sane in a Crazy World
REVIEWS Hit and Run reviewed by Rhobin Courtright  

From me to you

Fogging up my glasses
Funraising fundraising
WordPress mysteries
My newest card
Healing Doom


Fogging up my glasses

No, that’s not from wearing a mask while trying to read, but the 20 or so lovely emails I’ve received in response to my last newsletter.

Thank you, dear friends, for sharing the planet with me.

Funraising fundraising

Earlier this year, my part of the world had a federal election. Now we are racing toward a state race. Sigh.

Before the previous fun and games, I had a t-shirt made with PROFESSIONAL GRANDFATHER printed on it. It was not all that noticeable. Nevertheless, it proved to be a wonderful conversation starter, and a great tool for inducing many people to consider voting for a future for our kids: the Australian Greens.

Election campaigns cost surprisingly large amounts of money. Unlike the dinosaur parties, we Greens don’t accept donations from big business, big unions, big anything, but depend on grassroots generosity.

So, I’ve come up with a fundraiser, building on my previous t-shirt idea. Here is my draft:

The idea is for my branch to offer it for sale to Greens campaigners in my state now, and for future elections anywhere in Australia.

Any suggestions for improvement, expressions of approval, disdainful dismissal or any other comment gratefully received.

WordPress mysteries

My Pommie friend, Colin Reynolds, has been complaining that he is unable to comment on some of my posts. Oh, for those not fortunate enough to speak Australian, a Pommie is an inhabitant of the British isles exclusive of Ireland.

At his goading and prodding, I have contacted WordPress help, which consists of Happiness Engineers. And yes! One of them has found the problem. There is a Setting page for each blog site, and there it was: options to stop allowing comments after 14 days, and for stopping nested comments.

Both of these are now firmly OFF, so comment away, and comment on comments till we have a veritable tree.

My newest card
If you have received personal emails from me, as some hundreds of subscribers have, you will know I have the habit of attaching a card designed to be of service to you in some way. This is in accordance with the Buddhist precept of “the two benefits,” which means anything we do that is positive, that is virtuous, benefits both ourselves and others.

You can read what Melvin McLeod has to say about it.

Please have a look at my existing list here.

When I woke at 5 a.m. one morning, I designed card number 22:

Healing Doom

Once more, after extensive renovations (THANK YOU, beta readers) I am again ready to pester publishers and agents about my science fiction saga. I don’t mean that the story is a saga, but that it’s been a publishing saga for me.

They want to know what other successful books this one resembles.

While searching for answers, I learned that Jerry Jenkins has a title The Chosen, which is about the Second Coming. While titles are not copyrightable, why cause confusion? So, I changed the title of my first volume from Chosen back to its original, the original and unique Doom Healer.

Only… now I need a series title.

I need a clickbait, memorable series title that indicates this, without giving anything away. Any suggestions gratefully received.

A few background facts may help:

  • There are zillions of Universes. All but one are either mature, or, like ours, growing toward maturity. They graduate when all sentient life within Them becomes enlightened. That’s what Their material universe is for: a school for souls. An adult Universe no longer needs a material universe.
  • One Universe is a rogue. The other Universes refer to it as the Ancient Infant, because instead of seeking enlightenment, it seeks power and growth.
  • Very recently (10,000 Earth years ago), our Universe attempted to lead the Ancient Infant out of Its insanity.
  • The result was an attack. The Ancient Infant inserted an invader into every one of our galaxies. Their task is to pervert local lifeforms onto the path of cruelty, greed, hate, aggression, and so unable to gain enlightenment. This would inevitably destroy Us.
  • Bdud Mara, emperor (Gog) of the planet Magog, is the leader of all the invaders. He chose Earth because, different as we are from his home lifeform, we are the closest in our galaxy.
  • As the first volume (now titled The Doom Healer again) reports, Bdud started his work in what is now New Guinea, where a human named Derit opposed him. Bdud slowly and exquisitely tortured him to death, but Derit’s last words were, “I will oppose you, always.” And this is the Spirit who returned as King David, Gautama, Jesus, and in our times Bill Sutcliffe.
  • Bill defeated Bdud in the final duel, banishing him and all his kind from our Universe. 15 years later his son, Albor the Prince of Light, brought all sentient life in our Universe to enlightenment.
  • Then all the Universes combined to invade every seat of life in The Ancient Infant. The team of 12 from Earth succeeds in converting all of Magog.

So, what should the series be titled: accurate but without being a spoiler?



Fiona Lemmon

I remember you had a comment in Bobbin’ Around about the health benefits of beetroot. There is a timely article in today’s issue of the Yorkshire Post newspaper, “Research on beetroot aid for diabetes”. 2 English universities are investigating if the nitrate rich root vegetable can convert white fat storage cells into brown ones which are easier to burn off. The team is recruiting volunteers for a medical trial.

“Participants in the trial will be asked to drink half a glass of juice every day. Dr Rebecca Neal said: ‘Our hope is to show that beetroot juice could be a low-cost non-invasive alternative to drug treatment.'”



How to run a loving business

A young couple run a café in my little town of Healesville. This is what they posted:

    It’s a tough time for many of us at the moment!

    As a young family, and as small businesses owners, we hear you!

    Sometimes a coffee, a muffin and a milkshake is all you need to bring a little joy back into a not so great time for the family.

    So we are bringing back our pay it forward board… But it’s looking a little different.

    This time we are hoping to bring a little bit of normal to families who are finding it a little tough at the moment.

    Our pay it forward board will be focused on $10 donations from our community that will go towards $50.00 gift vouchers for those that need a bit of MLK love more than ever!

    We are kicking this off by giving away 2 x $50 MLK gift vouchers straight off the bat.
    We understand that asking for a helping hand can be hard. If you need a little TLC, or know of a family, or friend that could use a little love, send us a DM or email to put them (or yourself) forward. All totally confidential of course.

    To anyone who would like to pay it forward, you can pay at the till and we will add the donations to the pay it forward board. For every 5 marks on the board, a $50 GV will go out to a nominated person/ family. It’s that easy and you will be helping out a family in need.
    This town we call home is a place like no other. We know that our community has a heart like no other, and hope that this initiative helps to give back to the families of our beautiful town xxxx

    Healesville you have continued to support us and we will always support you.

    Ben, Danielle, Addie and Flynn



My father killed himself

My dad took his own life just a few weeks ago. I’m still in the process of healing and sometimes I still can’t believe that he’s really gone. my aunt has invited me to come live with her in a different country and if that is to happen, I’ll be leaving next year.

As much as I want to go live with her, I’m still scared my mom might take her own life too no matter how many times she’s told me she won’t leave me. I’m too anxious and now I’m having second thoughts about moving away.

    Dear Anna,

    First, I want to congratulate you. No matter how much you are suffering, how shocked you are, your thoughts are for your mom and what is best for her. Thank you for being such a caring person.

    I have sent you a copy of my book in preparation, If You Have Lost a Loved One. I hope it will be of help both to you and to her.

    Two immediate points from that book are:

    Being there for someone else helps us in our grief. Caring for your mom will help you, and caring for you will help her.

    The second is “social connectedness:” we all need people in our lives.

    If you do choose to take up your aunt’s invitation, make sure your mother continues to have loving connections. If you choose to stay with her, encourage your aunt to find care and support (I assume she is your father’s sister, and also grieving).

    Suicide of a loved person is a particularly terrible experience. Perhaps the most helpful thing to realize is, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. It is not your mom’s fault.

    For some reason, he felt as if he couldn’t go on. He was wrong: it is always possible to go on, in every situation, but that’s how he felt, and he acted on it.

    One rule I find helpful is to know that everyone always does the best they can, in their particular circumstances of the moment. At that moment, he did what he considered the best.

    Whether you or I disagree with him, whether he would have disagreed with the decision on the next day, at the time he did what he honestly felt he needed to do.

    So, perhaps the best way for you to start the long healing journey is to forgive him, and to send him your ongoing love, wherever he is now.

    Do read my book, and put my recommendations in it into practice, and keep in touch.

    Your new grandfather,

I don’t know my own sexuality

I’m extremely confused as to which gender I like. I have an idea of things I could be though, like asexual, lesbian, or pan sexual. I also don’t mind being called female or male. I’m a female, but he/him doesn’t bother me.

Am I bigender? I don’t mind being called she/her or he/him. I also don’t know my sexuality.

Deeper Issues


Implications of karma

Six years ago, I answered a question about reincarnation on Quora. To my surprise, I still get occasional notifications that someone upvoted it. Wonderful to be of service!

I’ve just re-read it, and find that in 230 words I have given a recipe for living a good life. Now I only need to remember to follow the advice.

Eight-legged wisdom

Actually, they are not legs, but do define the octopus.

I have an incomplete short story, which starts thus:

    Monday night, Michael went to sleep as usual.

    Tuesday morning, he woke as an octopus.

    At first he thought it was a dream—who wouldn’t? But it was like no dream ever before. He could feel six of his tentacles comfortably sucked onto rocks all around him, his suckers sensing the pitted surfaces, but… but the awareness was not central. The tentacles reported independently, and his central consciousness was more like the conductor of an orchestra.

    The other two tentacles each gently waved some seaweed from side to side.

    A red and blue striped fish came to investigate. Michael gleefully let go of the seaweed and wrapped a tentacle around the fish.

    Even while he ripped into it with his beak, he thought, But I can’t stand the taste of fish!

    Michael-who-used-to-be-human disliked fish. Michael-the-octopus loved it. More than anything else, this convinced him of the reality of his transformation.

    But… but what about the Industry Board meeting? His new anatomy didn’t allow shuddering, but he shuddered inside at the thought of the great blunder the rest of them were likely to commit without his legal expertise.

    Having finished the fish, Michael carried the leftover bones outside and dumped them on top of a pile, a fair way from the little cave, walked back along the seafloor, then masked the entry to his cave with a mixture of aquatic plants, just like closing a front door. After this chore, he rested in the friendly darkness. Another surprise: the octopus self was meditating. He drew in a breath of water though his gills, focusing on its coolness, and breathed it out through a tube at his end, focusing on the difference. A wonderful feeling of peace enveloped his octopus awareness, although worry consumed his human self. Octopus-Michael didn’t seem to be aware of this.

Having had his revelation about octopuses (no, it’s not octopi), I am not at all surprised at the an account of the nature of their intelligence.

You will find this essay to be entertaining and informative. It is yet more evidence that it is arrogant NOT to “anthropomorphise,” that is, speak as if other animals were able to reason, feel emotions, remember things, act with purpose, and so on.

Because they do.



Phone charging

I came across this helpful article on when you should and shouldn’t charge your phone.

Sorry, my crazy mind immediately created a phone with two widespread horns, charging at me as I waved my cape to divert it. I didn’t have a sword, because I don’t kill anyone, not even vicious phones.

But no, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes doesn’t mean that kind of charging, but the plug-into-the-powerpoint kind.

He has worked out that leaving the phone charging overnight shortens battery life. We don’t want to assault that important part of the phone (get it? No? Sorry).

One thing he didn’t consider is where the power comes from. In my sensible house, daylight power is from the sun. So, that’s another reason do to as he tells me.

Besides, my phone is so little used that it’s normally in the OFF position.



Back pain is not about posture

I should stop reading research-based, informative articles. As Socrates said, “The older I get, the less I know.”

All my life, I’ve been Lifting Correctly to protect my back. According to this report in The Conversation, it doesn’t matter.

I have a genetic condition that curves my upper back forward. Think of a 10% humpback. I was unaware of it for decades, but did know that following the precepts of “standing up straight and tall” did give me lower back pain. Since I have formed the habit of deliberately “standing like a question mark,” the chronic lower back pain has departed.

Basically, this is the study’s main conclusion: backs are highly individual, and the best trick is to adapt your posture to your back.

How to protect pets from COVID

Yes, dogs and cats can catch it too, and it can be a serious issue. The first dog in the USA to have tested positive for COVID has died as a result.

Unfortunately, many pet owners attempt to protect their fur babies in ways that can kill them. So, if you have a dog or cat in your life, you need to read this infographic.

Some of what you need to know:

Do not use hand sanitizer to sanitize your pets.
Keep your pet away from contact with stray animals.
Keep your pets away from crowded pet parks.
Do not face mask your pet.

I approve of these announcements


Lexington: a new historical book with a difference from DL Nelson

James Holloway has just lost his wife and daughter. His older brother won’t let him try any new ideas at the bakery which has been in his family for generations in Ely, England. When he runs into recruiters for the 43rd Regiment of Foot, he decides to sign up, never realizing it will take him to Boston on the eve of the American Revolution. He is assigned as an orderly to Governor Gage where he gets a first-hand view of all sides of the unrest.

Newlywed historian Daphne Andrews is married to the newly appointed Consul General in the British Consulate in Boston. She quickly wishes she hadn’t married without knowing more about her husband. Only after she meets the wife of the French Consul General and they decide to create a comic book about the American Revolution does she begin to recapture her own sense of identity.

How did D-L Nelson make certain decisions on what to write? Notes on the creation of the novel add a different dimension to the novel.

Cover by Deirdre Wait. Artwork by Bruce Davidson.

New post by Peter Gibilisco

…I can still remember some events quite well of my early life when I was seven. For example, let me tell you about trying to ride a bicycle. It took me a while and took me some time before I got to master it. It was no easy feat…

This is my recent article published in the John Menadue website.

Peter lives with the debilitating neurological condition Friedreich’s Ataxia, which hasn’t stopped him from gaining a PhD. He is a powerful advocate for people with disabilities. “Differently enabled” rather than “disabled” is a good description for him.

In-person retreat with Pragito Dove

In The Alchemy of Self-Love Retreat you’ll learn how to

  • Eliminate blame and criticism from any relationship — including yourself!
  • Speak your truth despite fear
  • Access your true power and return to complete authenticity
  • Increase your self-confidence
  • Love, trust and value yourself, rather than striving for recognition from others
  • Transform feelings of unworthiness into acceptance of your true self
  • Re-ignite the fire of passion, joy and playfulness in your life
  • Attract people who are a match for you and know when you have

It’s a LIVE, IN-PERSON Experience happening:
Sunday, October 16th – Thursday, October 20th, 2022
in Tucson, Arizona

To learn more about the retreat and see if this feels aligned for you, visit this page now to discover more about the event.



Hit and Run reviewed by Rhobin Courtright

Sylvia Kryz is speaking to Vlad Stavrou, a psychologist, explaining what she witnessed: A gleeful young man driving a red car purposefully running into her friend Naomi, a school crossing guard, and six children under the age of seven. All were killed. He only just missed Sylvia because, at age 84, she was a few steps behind them, using her wheelie for support.

For the policewoman Jemina Johnson, Sylvia drew several very accurate pictures of the young man’s side features. She wanted to draw his face from the front. That night, she had a dream where she pictured him full-frontal in her room … and he appeared … foul-mouthed and aggressive. After her dream meeting, she drew his frontal face and gave it to Jemina. This strange meeting occurrence reoccurred many times after she initially drew the boy’s image. She learned his name was Chuck, because he made his mother chuck when she was pregnant with him, but Sylvia called him Charlie. She learned he was physically abused at home and didn’t care much about anything but his 6-year-old brother Tommy, who he wanted to protect. During their ‘meetings’ she gave Charlie advice to help him through some of his problems. The police caught Charlie and took Tommy into protective custody. By then, Sylvia’s opinion had changed. She believed Charlie could become a good person.

At a memorial meeting for the dead children and Naomi, and after a priest makes statements about vengeance, Sylvia speaks, telling of the violence against Charlie and Tommy, and that violence always begets violence. She suggests a solution—as a community they can teach these boys a better way of life. After her speech, things change but it’s a slow, hard road to follow, and Charlie still faces murder charges and prison. It is surprising who decides to take part in this reclamation, but can they really make a difference in these boys’ lives? Hit and Run is an interesting and beguiling read.



Be(gin)ing, by Laurie Corzett

            Soft Summer night.
            Far drift of stars; open car-barren road.
            Kicking up bits of stone and dust.
            I could be anyone.
            I could start here.
            What is beginning?
            Aware of the first rays,
            conscious aloneness.
            Summer is harsh on
            fragile skin, newly opened eyes.
            They catch on eager forays,
            studies in mimicry;
            simple truth hidden in proverbs,
            squalid temporal cages, punishing
            rewards that bind and itch.
            Beginnings are not the point.
            They are portals, not the
            mystic river,
            the sand so burning insubstantial,
            the forest enchanted in
            eider and lace.
            Beginnings never warn of battle
            flame or drunken dares.
            They only promise vague
            adventure, valiant possibilities.
            A brief eternity before dawn,
            supplicating the night sky for
            solace, this soft moment before,
            an unmarked road
            to ride along home.

About Bobbing Around

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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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7 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 22 Number 2

  1. Don Lubov says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joan Y. Edwards says:

    Dear Bob,

    Thank you.

    Have a great day being your sweet self!

    Add Color to Your Life

    Pray – Dream – Read -Write – Draw – Talk – Listen – Pray

    Joan Y. Edwards

    Liked by 2 people

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