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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Random Thoughts

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 6/20/2024
Page Views: 1975
All my posts that don't fit into any other subject.

It's hard to believe, but this website—which I created in 1997— has actually been around longer than the word "blog". During my most recent (2015) reorganization of the site, most of the blog posts fit into some specific subject (Alien Abductions, Autobiography, Music, Places, etc.) but a few don't; and you'll find them gathered here.

A Letter to Agnes

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 10/9/1991
Page Views: 2441
Topics: #Blog #Agnes
Highlights of 1991.

Dear Mom, We've been out every weekend. Three weeks ago, I drove my Mom to visit her best friend in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. On the way back we visited relatives in southern Vermont.

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Welcome To My Blog, James Frey

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 1/20/2006
Page Views: 3192
Topics: #Humor #Blogging
I start a blog.

Okay. I've finally done it. Started a blog, that is. The name of this blog comes from a bit of current-event trivia that will undoubtedly be forgotten within six months. A Million Little Pieces is a book by James Frey that has gotten him and his publisher, Random House, into a bit of trouble. It was sold as non-fiction and picked up by Oprah's Book Club and so sold millions of copies. There was one little catch. It turns out it didn't really happen. It was a novel.

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Keep An Open Mind

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 7/13/2007
Page Views: 6434
Topics: #Humor
Minds Are Like Parachutes…

At the phenomenal web site WikiHow, which contains instructions for doing just about anything you can imagine, there's a page entitled "How To Keep An Open Mind." Basically, to keep one's mind facile, we are told to keep doing things we've never done before: New crossword puzzles, new kinds of music, TV shows we think we wouldn't like (or, if we love TV, turn it off!). The premise is that doing or learning anything new causes new neural pathways to form in the brain, which in turn enable one's mind to open to further new possibilities.

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Internet Friends

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 9/18/2007 6:00:00 PM
Page Views: 6091
Topics: #Internet #Blogging #Humor
Is it possible to make real-life friends on the Internet?

Last night we had dinner with a friend from back East (actually, it's Ohio which she thinks of as the "Midwest") and the topic turned to Internet dating. Is it possible, we discussed, to meet a quality person on the Internet, someone you'd want to be friends with if not married to?

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 11/22/2007
Updated: 11/24/2016
Page Views: 8462
Topics: #Humor
All the things I'm thankful for this year.

In Luke 18:11, we read: The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this 'publican." While I, too, am grateful to not be a Republican, the Pharisee's approach to thanksgiving is generally presented as being a poor one. Nevertheless, as an "attitude of gratitude" is supposed to be good for the soul, not to mention the blood pressure, I'm going to highlight just twelve of the many, many things for which I'm grateful and make them public right here.

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The Importance of Eating Ernest

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 11/26/2007
Updated: 11/12/2015
Page Views: 6460
Topics: #Thanksgiving
The life story of your Thanksgiving dinner.

Ernest was a young, somewhat overweight, turkey who was beloved of his few friends and whose death shortly before Thanksgiving of 2007, while not unexpected, was still a tragically beautiful footnote to the whole Circle of Life.

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A Little Easter Humor

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 3/20/2008
Page Views: 4345
Topics: #Humor
A little levity for your pascal season.

So with Easter almost upon us, I thought I would share my favorite Easter story.

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April Fool's Day Challenge

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 4/1/2008
Page Views: 4555
Topics: #Humor #CurrentEvents
Can you guess which of these 'news' items never happened?

I decided I couldn't let April Fool's Day pass without posting a blog entry, no matter how busy I've been. So I decided to list a number of bizarre current events, making one up, and you can decide which paragraph in this post is the one that isn't true. No fair Googling before you guess. I'll post the answers, and links, tomorrow. (And my little joke endings to each item don't count.)

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Gym Clothes, Music, Book, GPS

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 4/10/2008
Page Views: 7773
Topics: #Humor #GPS
My borthday presents include a sense of direction.

So, my birthday has come and gone. We had a nice family dinner to punctuate the fact that I am now 57 years old. It really was a nice celebration. I got a pair of gym shorts and an exercise shirt from Jenny (she really wants me to keep working out) and a GPS and mount from Michael, Karen, Mary, John and Rachel so I won't have any trouble finding the gym.

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Things You Didn't Know To Worry About

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 4/16/2008
Page Views: 7083
Topics: #Humor #CurrentEvents
And you thought life was simple…and safe.

Yeah. We all know the obvious things to worry about, like losing your house to foreclosure (up 57% since last year), being unable to afford the gas to drive to work so you can buy gas to drive to work (average price is now $3.50 a gallon), global warming raising sea levels so that your land in Florida will be underwater (even if it wasn't before). But that's just the tip of the melting iceberg. There's lots of things to worry about you may not have suspected. And as a public service, I'll let you know what a few of them are.

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Family Thrown Off Royal Caribbean Ship

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 4/28/2008
Page Views: 6969
Topics: #Cruise #RoyalCaribbean #Travel
If you must travel on Royal Caribbean, for gods' sakes, don't get sick.

You might remember, gentle reader, that I and my family took a cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship this past January. During the trip, Michael became ill and we were charged $1000 for his medical care onboard ship. Supposedly the trip insurance was going to cover that, although we have yet to see a check. Now it looks like we were lucky to be kept on board. The Luis Cortes family of Orange County, Florida, wasn't so fortunate.

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Camping Checklist

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 7/10/2008
Page Views: 6477
Topics: #Camping
My checklist for solo camping (or with a guest).

What should be taken on a camping trip? What's essential, and what can be left out?

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Blogging Shepherds

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 12/22/2008
Page Views: 3438
Topics: #Humor #Blogging #Christmas
A little Christmas humor.

May your holidays be notable!

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Ike's Story

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 11/9/2009
Page Views: 4385
Topics: #VerdeHotSpring #Arizona #Saipan #ChumorroPeople #Travel #Slavery
I relate Ike's adventures as an accidental world tourist who stumbles on a legal slave trade.

Michael and I and our friends, Eddie and Carl, were sitting around the fire at their campsite near Verde Hot Spring when we heard drumming from a distance. "That's Ike," Eddie remarked. "He drums all through camp…hopefully he won't be doing it all night."

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Facebook In History

By: (Unknown) Posted: 9/21/2010
Page Views: 5728
Topics: #Facebook #Humor
Let's consider what historical Facebook postings might have been like.

Facebook has become such an integral part of our world that it's hard to imagine life without it. But what if Facebook had been around in Galileo's day, or Darwin's, or Caesar's?

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An Open Letter To Circle K

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 11/4/2010
Page Views: 5948
Topics: #CircleK
I give Circle K a piece of my mind.

Dear Circle K, My experience yesterday at the Circle K at the intersection of Ray Rd. and McClintock in Chandler was upsetting enough that I want you to know why I won't be visiting there ever again.

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Where The Hell Is Paul?

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 11/14/2012
Page Views: 5822
Topics: #Windows7
I explain how my computer crashed.

Well, it's been a few months since I last posted here! It's not that I've been sick or dead, it's just that our computer crashed, hard, last February. And, since this blog uses my own proprietary software, and I never bothered to program into it any alternate means of posting entries (for example, by smartphone), I haven't really had any options until the computer was replaced.

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Lessons Learned from Craigslist

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 5/20/2013
Page Views: 6330
I explain what I did wrong when I bought a car.

In early March, I received a partial judgment in my disability case, which gave me a small sum of money but not an actual monthly income. Still, with the idea that I was going to return to work, I decided to buy a used car to get to work in. I found it on Craigslist and have learned some very dear lessons from the experience, which I pass on to you, gentle reader.

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Sanitizing Halloween

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 10/31/2013
Page Views: 5194
Topics: #Halloween
Let's mull over the changes we've seen in the celebration of Halloween.

That Halloween is an ancient holiday is generally accepted; but I was surprised to learn there isn't much agreement on exactly howancient. There's a clear path back to the Celts in Ireland and Wales; many of our traditional Halloween rituals, such as the Jack-o-lantern, come directly from them (though, in the original story, Jack carried a lit coal in a turnip; this became an easier-to-work-with pumpkin when transplanted to North America.

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