In case you didn’t see this

At least 90% of you have read this, but in case you didn’t see it, I’m sharing (as I’m sure others have shared).  Robert Kirby is a columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune. The title of this one is:K “Wait’ll you see how much the Mormon church pays me.” Enjoy. (15 January 2017)


Despite the fact that I have in ways large, small, and painful, worked for the LDS Church my entire life, I’ve never received a penny from it. Not even a coupon. Note: This includes the time I had to go to the hospital because I was knocked down twice in five minutes by the same church welfare cow. For my church, I’ve cleaned ditches, roofed houses, vaccinated livestock, fixed plumbing and even canned chili. I’ve also held various time-heavy jobs like being in bishoprics and serving as an Elders Quorum president. Not a pay stub to show for any of it. It gets even crazier. I once worked for two years as a full-time missionary in a faraway land, the privilege of which I had to pay for myself. Actually, I didn’t. My parents paid for it. Prior to receiving a call to work for free, I’d blown every nickel I had on riotous living. Pleased that I was still alive and not incarcerated at the age of 20, my parents were happy to kick in. For all the free work I’ve done, it has never bothered me that I didn’t get paid. Being a worker bee is part of the Mormon gig. We don’t flaunt that beehive emblem around for nothing. When the church wants some work out of us, it simply asks. The request comes as a “calling,” which is not the same thing as a job offer. There’s no negotiating of benefits or stock options. Among Mormons, there are only two proper replies to a church calling, both of which are “Yes.” The difference between them is actually following through and doing the job, and just pretending to. We are counseled to never say “no” to a calling, although I have. Several times, in fact. But always to the future benefit of the church. They have no idea how many PR bullets I’ve helped them dodge by saying, “Oh, &#@% no. I’m not doing that.” But some Mormons do get paid. My sister worked for the church. She got paid. I ride TRAX with both LDS missionaries (unpaid) and church employees (paid). None of them has ever complained about what they get paid. I don’t recall when I realized that LDS general authorities were compensated for their work. This almost certainly means the news didn’t bother me enough at the time to file it away for future grousing. It still doesn’t. When it comes to general authorities getting paid, I don’t really care how much it is so long as they don’t flaunt it like some rapper/pimp. Lots of bling, tricked-out rides, pinky rings, and gold grills are not the best delivery method for telling people to behave themselves. Now that we seem to know what LDS leaders are paid, it’s still OK with me. I say this because I wouldn’t do it for that much. Not even close. If you were to pay me for wearing a necktie even to bed, while simultaneously trying to keep people on the straight and narrow without a machine gun, it would have to be at least seven figures, each and every one of them a nine. I earn a lot less than that as a newspaper columnist. How much? Well, it’s none of your *&#@% business, is it? I do what I do for what I make because it’s an acceptable bargain between myself and a tough editor. Come to think of it, I don’t know what I make. I get paid by direct deposit. My wife handles it from there. She seems fine with it, so that’s all that really matters in my life.

Christmas Trees

THE FOLLOWING IS A PIECE WRITTEN BY BEN STEIN (I don’t know when it was written, but I like his style). And I LOVE CHRISTMAS TREES!


Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year, which prompted Ben Stein, to say, on CBS Sunday Morning,


My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a nativity scene, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to. In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’
In light of recent events… terrorist attacks, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.
Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.
Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein





Just for fun

On a train years ago there were 4 people in one compartment, facing each other.  One of the four was a very beautiful young woman.  Sitting beside her was an older woman, a little bit “over the hill.”  Across from these two women sat a decorated Army officer and beside him a young Private.  The officer was a bit obnoxious.  One time the train went through a tunnel and it was absolutely dark in the car.  Two noises were heard – a loud kiss [smooch!], and then a loud slap.  When the car came out of the tunnel, there was a big red mark on the Army officer’s face.  The older woman was thinking “Well it serves him right!”  The younger woman was thinking “Well I wonder why he kissed her instead of me!”  The Army officer was thinking “Well what do you know… the Private got the kiss and I got the slap!”  And there was only one who knew the truth of the matter:  The Private had kissed his own hand and slapped the officer!

Ideas for Saturday

YES! Saturday is a SPECIAL DAY! So I thought I’d share a few SPECIAL IDEAS for making Saturdays (and ALL days) even brighter and better.  HERE WE GO!


Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker…

If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Never buy a car you can’t push.

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.


Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

The second mouse gets the cheese.

When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane!

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Have an awesome day and know that someone (MEE) has thought about you today.




There’s a magazine which has a weekly contest, and the responses are often SO clever and sometimes hilarious. They ask readers to respond and then choose one or more of the best responses. I decided I’d share a few of them “now and then.” And today is our first day to experience them. Hope some of them make you smile!

Two Texas deer hunters were attacked by a revenge-minded buck, which charged into them, chased them into their truck, and ate their cigarettes. We asked you to please imagine the next instance of animal revenge on humankind, in headline format.  Reindeer Charge Santa $25 Per Carry-on Bag!


People with math anxiety feel actual pain when forced to do difficult numerical problems, according to a study that scanned their brains with MRI machines. We asked you to come up with a medical name for the misery felt by math haters.  Fibromyalgebra – Trig-anosis – Sine Flu

A New Jersey homeowner put up a sign on his lawn reading, “House for sale by owner, because my neighbor’s stupid.” We wondered, what truthful For Sale sign would you put up in front of your home?  House for sale before adult children try to move back in  /  House for sale by owner: We paid more than you will

An archaeologist discovered an Aboriginal cave painting in the Australian outback that was created 28,000 years ago. What line of graffiti might have been found next to it?  Say NO to the wheel  / Only 9,492,798 shopping days until Christmas! / Repent now! The world will end in 27,999 B.C.
After 115 years together, Bibi and Poldi—a mated pair of Galápagos giant tortoises at an Austrian zoo—had a vicious, biting fight and are no longer on speaking terms. We asked you for the last sentence one of them said to the other before the fight began.  I cheered for the hare. / Yeah, that outfit makes you look fat. / Just so you know … you taste like chicken.




I know most of you will have read or seen something like this before, but I love what I learn from doing some thinking about the difference between the two quizzes.

QUIZ # 1

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world. (Extra points for spelling names correctly).
  2. Name the last five Heisman Trophy winners. (Extra points if you know what the Heisman Trophy is).
  3. Name ten of the people who have been featured on the cover of People Magazine in the past 3 months.
  4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize. (Alternate: Name the last five winners of the TV reality show “Survivor”).
  5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress. (Extra points if you can name the last ten “Best Picture” awards).
  6. Name the ten most popular websites on the internet. (Extra points for ten most popular YouTube sites).
  7. Name the ten most popular websites on the internet. (Extra points for ten most popular YouTube sites).
  8. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest. (Double points if you can name the last five winners of the Miss Universe contest).
  9. Name the ten most influential current political leaders in the world.
  10. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners. (Extra points for naming the last decade’s worth of Super Bowl winners).

HOW DID YOU DO? Some of you probably scored a LOT higher than I did. For most of us, the point is that we don’t remember too much about people who are in the headlines – who are celebrities or “winners” or just plain popular.

Now try QUIZ # 2

  1. List a few teachers who were especially helpful to you during your first 12 years of school.
  2. Name three friends who have helped you through some of the “deep waters” and “fiery trials” of your life.
  3. Name five people who have taught you something which has made a significant difference in your life.
  4. Think of three people who have believed in you – who have made you feel like you were worthwhile and important.
  5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
  6. Name five or six people whose stories/lives have inspired you – people whom you consider to be heroes.
  7. List five people whom you consider to be absolutely honest – people of integrity and personal honor.
  8. Think of five people whom you trust completely.
  9. Name three friends whom you have known for at least 25 years (10 or 15 years if you’re only 20 or younger) who have kept in touch with you.
  10. List 5-10 people whom you have never met but whom you would love to have known because of their influence on you even without ever having been with you physically.

HOW DID YOU DO WITH THIS QUIZ?  It seems to me that those who have made the most difference in my life (and maybe it’s the same for some of you) are those who CARED (and/or still care!). This is just “food for thought.” Nothing scientific … and you could likely think of better questions … but I hope it’s been at least a little bit thought-provoking. HAPPY WEDNESDAY!!!



Every year, Beloit College puts out a list of the mindset of the graduating class of that year. One of the reasons they began doing this was to remind the faculty to be aware of dated references.  I find it fascinating to read each year. I won’t share the whole list (yes, I know you’re THANKFUL!), but I think you’ll be fascinated by what you read.  This year’s entering college class of 2016 was born into cyberspace [DIGITAL NATIVES!] and they have therefore measured their output in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds. They have never needed an actual airline “ticket” or a set of bound encyclopedias. They grew up, somehow, without the benefits of Romper Room.


Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1994, are probably the most tribal generation in history and they despise being separated from contact with friends. They prefer to watch television everywhere except on a television, and can carry school books – those that are not on their e-Readers – in backpacks that roll. They have spent much of their lives helping their parents understand that you don’t take pictures on “film” and that CDs and DVDs are not “tapes.”  In these students’ lifetimes, with MP3 players and iPods, they seldom listen to the car radio. A quarter of the entering students already have suffered some hearing loss. Since they’ve been born there’s been a 16-cent rise in the price of a first class postage stamp.


For those who cannot comprehend that it has been 18 years since this year’s entering college students were born, they should recognize that the next four years will go even faster, confirming the authors’ belief that “generation gaps have always needed glue.”


For this generation of entering college students, born in 1994, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Richard Nixon have always been dead. They have always lived in cyberspace, addicted to a new generation of “electronic narcotics.” If they miss The Daily Show, they can always get their news on YouTube. They can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it.


Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles. Outdated icons with images of floppy discs for “save,” a telephone for “phone,” and a snail mail envelope for “mail” have oddly decorated their tablets and smart phone screens. Star Wars has always been just a film, not a defense strategy. The Metropolitan Opera House in New York has always translated operas on seatback screens. Simba has always had trouble waiting to be King. Before they purchase an assigned textbook, they will investigate whether it is available for rent or purchase as an e-book. NBC has never shown A Wonderful Life more than twice during the holidays. They have always enjoyed school and summer camp memories with a digital yearbook. Herr Schindler has always had a List; Mr. Spielberg has always had an Oscar. History has always had its own channel. Little Caesar has always been proclaiming “Pizza Pizza.” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has always been officially recognized with clinical guidelines. Point-and-shoot cameras are soooooo last millennium. Despite being preferred urban gathering places, two-thirds of the independent bookstores in the United States have closed for good during their lifetimes. Astronauts have always spent well over a year in a single space flight.

I wanted to know what the mindset was when I started at BYU (in 1958) (NO! It wasn’t 1858!!!)  But the earliest I could find was 2002. That must be the year they started doing this. Here are just a few things from that year: They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan era, and did not know he had ever been shot. Black Monday 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression. There has only been one Pope. They can only remember one other president. They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart, and do not remember the Cold War. They have never feared a nuclear war. They are too young to remember the Space Shuttle Challenger blowing up. Their lifetime has always included AIDS. They never had a polio shot, and likely, do not know what it is. Bottle caps have not always been screw off, but have always been plastic. They have no idea what a pull top can looks like. Atari pre-dates them, as do vinyl albums.


The expression “you sound like a broken record” means nothing to them. They have never owned a record player. They have likely never played Pac Man, and have never heard of “Pong.” Star Wars looks very fake to them, and the special effects are pathetic. There have always been red M&Ms, and blue ones are not new. What do you mean there used to be beige ones?


They may never have heard of an 8-track, and chances are they’ve never heard or seen one. The compact disc was introduced when they were one year old. As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 32 cents. They have always had an answering machine. Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black & white TV. They have always had cable. There have always been VCRs, but they have no idea what Beta is. They cannot fathom what it was like not having a remote control. They were born the year Walkmen were introduced by Sony. Roller-skating has always meant in-line for them. “The Tonight Show” has always been with Jay Leno. Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave. They never took a swim and thought about Jaws. The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI and WWII or even the Civil War. They can’t imagine what hard contact lenses are. They never heard the terms “Where’s the Beef?”, “I’d walk a mile for a Camel” or “De plane, de plane!” They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. is. The Titanic was found? I thought we always knew where it was. McDonald’s never came in Styrofoam containers. There has always been MTV, and it has always included non-musical shows.

And for those born in 1940, starting college in 1958? Oh my goodness . . . DON’T GET MEE STARTED ! ! ! !




SAGE ADVICE for Thursday

I know we live in a world where everyone has advice for us (wanted or not… “obeyed” or not). I thought it would be a nice thing to share some “SAGE ADVICE.” I think it’s called that because it was created out in the SAGE BRUSH. What??  Yep… that’s what I think, and I’m sticking to it.  See what you think….


*Your fences need to be horse‑high, pig‑tight and bull‑strong.

* Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.

* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

* Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled.

* Meanness don’t just happen overnight.


* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

* Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

* It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge around.

* You cannot unsay a cruel word.

* Every path has a few puddles.


* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

* The best sermons are lived, not preached.

* Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen.

* Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

* Don’t judge a book by the movie.


* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

* Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

* Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none.

* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance or a snipe hunt.


* If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

* Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

* The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with watches you from the mirror every mornin’.

* Always drink upstream from the herd.

* Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.


* Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.

* If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

* Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And try a little harder to be a little better!





These questions were posted on an Australian Tourism Website. Have fun with the answers!

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK) A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA) A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.


Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney – can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden) A: Sure, it’s only three thousand miles, take lots of water.
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia ? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay ? (UK) A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? (USA) A: A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe … Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not     … Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is North in Australia ? (USA) A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK) A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do…


Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It’s a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA) A: It’s called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? (USA) A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is  … Oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK) A: You are a British politician, right?
Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany) A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA) A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from.  All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA) A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France) A: Only at Christmas.
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA) A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first.