True Stuff that I Made Up

PLEASE NOTE: The entries which are published at this site are solely my personal and sometimes whimsical musings. For information regarding my political positions and proposals, please visit

Further, this website is devoutly dedicated to all of my friends and associates, both early and late, who have mentored and influenced me. However, being who they are, the majority of them have been late most of the time.

  Also, check out my personal entry at

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pungent Promises

The article by Elder Monte J. Brough ("Adversity, the Great Teacher") in the August, 2006 issue of the "Ensign" magazine provoked a cascade of pungent thoughts and memories.
Friends sometimes comment to me about "all" the trials and tribulations that previously have been part of my life.
While it admittedly is true that I have had my share of various challenges, it also is true that a few of them have been self-inflicted.
More importantly to me, however, is my realization and utter certainty that every one of the challenges in my life has blessed me with more and better patience, persistence, skills, knowledge, and even (sometimes) humility and wisdom.
All of which also has helped develop in me a much deeper appreciation for the irony and humor in my everyday experiences.
"After much tribulation....cometh the blessing." (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Doctrine & Covenants: Section 103, Verse 12)
Even better, these blessings are eternally enduring, since "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection." (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Doctrine & Covenants: Section 130, Verse 18)
How could I not be grateful?

(Also see Psalms 119: 71 & 114)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

In Search of Uncle Wiggily (please note the postscript)

Can you help me recover a precious childhood toy?
As a very young lad, the children's board game, "Uncle Wiggily", provided hours of fun for me.
I have some very special memories of my beloved maternal grandfather (Lawrence David Steinbach) taking time to sit down and play this game with me.
In point of fact, his nickname for me was "Skeezick", one of the characters in the game.
Alas, this game no longer is available for retail purchase, and my childhood copy has long since been worn out and discarded.
I very much would like to obtain another.

July 21st, 2006 Postscript: Wow! Within moments after I made this plea, a multitude of good folks offered to donate their Uncle Wiggily games to me. The first and almost immediate responder was my friend Marlo Barnhart. Then, the next morning, to my utter surprise and wonder, I discovered that some secret Samaritan, in the wee hours of the preceding night, had stealthily set a pristine original game at my front door. Thank you so much, everyone.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Good Advice from "Old Yeller"

"You can't afford wasting the good part, fretting about the bad."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Fish Tale

After getting a 55 gallon aquarium donated to me from a wonderful friend and coworker, and my daughter Sarah buying me an expensive aquarium hood and lighting system for me as a belated birthday present; all of this sat forlornly for months in my bedroom as I sought a suitable aquarium stand for it.
I was indignant about the approximate $200 price range for even used aquarium stands (a penny-pinching attitudinal legacy from my German-Scot heritage), and so I dithered and delayed while searching for something much more inexpensive, yet attractively serviceable.
Today at the local Goodwill Industries outlet, I triumphantly discovered a beautiful oak bench that was just the right size and selling for only $15.
Dragging it home (perched precariously on the roof of my battered old automobile), I then decided to move the aquarium to my living room and set it up there on that oak bench.
Phew! Even an empty aquarium is heavy and cumbersome, particularly a large 55 gallon one.
It tuckered me out to do all of this (I keep forgetting that I'm no longer a young man, and not exactly "buff" anymore).
Anyway, it's all moved into what seems a perfect place now in my living room, and, even empty, looks pretty good to me.
Now, I've got to test it for leaks, purchase and put in the gravel and plants, fill the tank completely with water, purchase and set up the water filtration system, and then finally purchase and introduce the fish to their new home.
I plan a community fish tank; with large snails and a few tiny underwater crabs.
The freshwater tropical fish will include a few bottom feeders, swordtails, platys, black & silver mollies, and maybe a few cardinal tetras and kissing gourami. (With the exception of the bottom feeders, tetras, and gourami; all of the fish will be paired live-bearers, who will spawn a new batch of live offspring every month.
There will be no goldfish and no guppies.
It has been many many years since, as a teenager, I raised and bred tropical fish.
When I left home to go to college, I dismantled all of my tropical fish tanks, and went on to other things.
(I don't remember what I did with all of that old equipment and tanks, but there were so many tanks that they covered the entire wall of my parents' dining room)
I suppose it was a nerd's avocation, but I enjoyed it then, and look forward to it now.
But for now, all of rest of these plans can wait for a bit, especially since my finances are stretched thin.
Maybe next month will see the beginning of my new underwater ecosystem.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

From My Friend and Former Coworker, Maria (Teach) Palmer

(A response to the "About Evil" entry)

Well Larry, you are one of the truly good then.
I don't think there is an evil bone in your body.
You work harder than anyone I know helping to solve others' problems before you worry about your own.
I feel truly blessed to know that I have a friend like you, as I am sure others feel the same.
I just wanted to share my thoughts with you.
You may share them with others if you wish or keep them to yourself.
Either way you are in my thoughts and prayers .
May God bless and keep you always.

Your Friend Always

Maria (AKA: Foxy Maria)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Constitution (part of a letter to a coworker)

I always carry a copy of the United States Constitution with me in my suit pocket, to the discomfiture of some inmates on my prison caseload, who sometimes allege that their Constitutional Rights are being breached.
It seems to me that our judicial system has interpreted the 8th Amendment far too broadly, adding meanings not intended by our Founding Fathers, while not giving nearly enough credence to the purpose of the 10th Amendment...

On My Country's Independence Day Holiday

(A redacted portion of a my letter to a friend in the former Soviet Union)
... Except perhaps for Christmas, today is our country's most important holiday.
It is so sad to me that many (most?) of the people in my country just see this day as an excuse to have picnics by their swimming pools and drink beer (float and bloat)...
Many of us have gotten so lazy and foolish that we don't even vote in our own elections, and don't understand the importance of our many freedoms and blessings.
One of my ancestors was Patrick Henry, a great American patriot. (I did not know this until after I researched my family history.)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) also teaches us that the United States of America was created under the direction of God so that there would be a free nation in which the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ could be restored (Doctrine & Covenants: Section 101, verses 77-80).
As I study the history of the founding of my nation, it is more and more clear to me that it was many miracles from God that gave us our independence, and also our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
When our founding fathers declared our independence from Great Britain, the world laughed at our foolishness.
It really was an impossible task.
These men sacrificed everything so that we could enjoy our liberties today...