Two Great Themes of my Life

October 20, 2008

Two of the great themes of my life are:

  • I hate bullies and bullying.
  • I love to play matchmaker.

My brother and I were bullied by our father. I tried very hard as a father not to be a bully toward my daughter. I am not in close contact with my brother and his children-he lives across the country from me-but I think he has made a similar effort for his three children.

My wife and I met by accident, and we are not particularly well-suited to each other, but so far we have made it work. “So far” will reach 43 years in November. Our motto is: We are too weird for anyone else to put up with, so we might as well stick together. After 42 years of marriage, we got brave enough to say, “I love you,” to each other.

When I was young, I read a science fiction story about psychic powers. I don’t remember the title (as usual), but I do remember the author’s name: Keith Laumer. (He was a talented but very tragic person, by the way.)

The protagonist develops a psychic power-he can detect people who need each other. Not necessarily romantic need-though sometimes that is the case. However, each party has some quality or characteristic the other needs. The protagonist puts them in touch with each other and something marvelous happens.

I thought it was one of the most wonderful stories I ever read.

I don’t know that I have ever matched people up successfully in a romantic relationship. However, at times I have brought people together who benefited from knowing each other in other fashions than romance.

My pledge drive for David Rochester may be my magnum opus for working on both of these themes. It’s too early to tell if I will have success on either in his case. While I am working on it, I will tell two stories, one on each theme. One where nothing happened from over twenty years ago. That nothing happened was probably good.

The other incident was quite recent. Only a little tiny thing happened, but it was good.

I will write these stories in the midst of incessant pledge drive badgering. I am eagerly waiting to hear about money coming into David’s mail box next week.

The Scheharazade Pledge

October 18, 2008

To summarize the premiums in David’s pledge drive so far:

For $1 I will ask Random Granddaughter to thank you as she eats a wholesome snack. Perhaps a sesame seed stick. And a brownie for fluffy.

I will also ask Sylvie, the universe’s most lovable cat. to purr for you as I pet her. Sylvie and fluffy purring together should create a mighty roar.

These premiums are only good until November 11, when I will be taking care of RG and visiting Sylvie at the same time.

You also get a coupon good for $1 off a Pledge product. I don’t know how long that premium will be available, so I suggest you go to the Pledge web site and take advantage of it.

On public radio pledge drives, some people actually make $100 pledges. On this drive, I doubt that David will open an envelope some day and find it stuffed with 100 $1 bills. For one thing, the postage would add up. And how many people have one one hundred dollar bill sitting around saying, “Mail me to David!” so I doubt that condensed method will work, either.

So pledges and collections will have to be based on money accumulating a little at a time. About $5 at time feels right to me, as that is what I did. (I mailed $5 to David last week.)

I figure it will take to the end of the year for us to reach a hundred dollars, and the premium will have to be collective to everyone who contributes.

Also, the premium I am envisioning depends on David cooperating. I am something of an expert on this topic. I am married to a person whose personality is much like David’s.

My wife hates having anybody else-especially her husband-tell her what to do. It seems quite likely David is similar. Though I am not his husband, but you get the point, I trust.

Nevertheless, I will run it up the flagpole.

David has been reluctant to talk to Debbie, his therapist, about his continual thinking and scheming about committing suicide. When the pledgeware contributions actually accumulate to $100, I think as a premium, David should actually talk to Debbie about the topic of his suicidal thinking.

This is a high risk premium. Instead of talking about this issue, David may decide to actually end his life.That would certainly teach his therapist a lesson, not to mention us.

While this would perhaps bring a brief, intense thrill to the rest of us, I don’t think this is an option likely to lead to long term satisfaction.

Well, there’s nothing to do but plod ahead. Send in your dollar, or five dollars to David.

The address for your contributions is

“David Rochester”

4803 SE Woodstock, #202
Portland OR 97206

David is standing by waiting to open your envelope. Consider it this way, as long as there is an expectation of an envelope arriving the next day to open with money inside, David may choose to live another day. If each person reading this has a blog and has an interesting tale to tell on your blog for David to read, that offers another incentive to David to live. Perhaps I will call this the Scheharazade Pledge.

ShearWear PledgeCreep

October 15, 2008



I am almost never serious, but I am dead serious about the pledge drive for David Rochester. I have made this the permanent post on my blog site, so you have to scroll down to see the post of the day. It will stay here until we reach our goal.

I see that David has linked to this post on his blog. Earlier, he told us the address where you should send your contributions for the continuation of his blog. (It is a matter of some dispute whether the continuation of David is necessary for the continuation of his blog.)

Send your contributions in small, unmarked bills, to
“David Rochester”
4803 SE Woodstock, #202
Portland OR 97206


This is true. This morning I addressed an envelope to the address above. I slightly bungled the address, so I hope a) it will actually get there and b) David will laugh as he opens the envelope. A affixed a 42¢ stamp. I folded a sheet of scrap paper so squirrels crawling around in mail boxes won’t infer there is currency inside. I started to put four dollar bills inside, but then thought it might be too heavy. I took our the four dollars and added one five dollar bill. I am now ahead of my pledge of $1 for this week. I am now ahead of my pledge of $4 for this month. In November, I will only send $3.
In any respectable pledge drive (pausing as any comedian would, for laughter) contributors are offered premiums for contributing. Read ahead. Or behind. Blogs are funny that way. Oldest comes first, so it’s like reading a book backwards.


Shareware is an informal system for publishing and marketing computer software. For example, software companies give away programs (such as applications that let you send unwanted email to millions of people) and let you try them out at no cost. Aside from the possibility that some shareware programs may be programmed by idiots and may destroy your computer, there is little risk involved in using this approach to test and purchase software.If you like the program, the publisher asks you to pay for it on a voluntary basis. Or if you decide after trying it you don’t like the program, the publisher asks you to stop using it.


An advantage to the company is they save a lot of money on marketing, packaging, and retail distribution, not to mention  the expense involved in developing software that actually works. A disadvantage is that many people cheat by using the software without paying for it. In the adding insult to injury department, some people use the software, don’t pay for it, and then complain about it not working.



There are many variations. Some companies release so-called “cripple ware.” Programs slide down the information superhighway to your cpu on little wheelchairs or limp across your screen on crutches, or even lie there on your hard drive not even moving at all.

My public radio station is having a “pledge drive.” Public radio and listener-supported community radio stations such as the Pacifica Radio stations in five cities across the United States and several in the Puget Sound area also have pledge drives.

Because I sometimes listen to such stations in the Puget Sound area, they ask me to help pay for it. Thinking about these request, and my wife’s and my concern about our financial future, and the value I put on the programs I get on public radio, I calculated I should put a dollar in an envelope and send it to my public radio station. I won’t even waste some volunteer’s time by calling in and saying, “I pledge one dollar.”

Romance and sexual relations sometimes work on a shareware basis. In the traditional paradigm, the man wants sex and the woman wants him to marry her first to prove he will support her and her children financially. The archetype of this type of shareware is the 1740 British novel Pamela.

This type of shareware raises many questions, such as “How many of us have an MRI machine in the bedroom?”

Actually, at least one couple does. (I am not making this up.)

You have never seen REAL pornography until you have seen an MRI scan of people having sexual relations.

On most days, one of the first things I do is read David Rochester’s blogs. For one thing, I want to see if he is still alive.

The danger is so acute; an entire university has been created just to keep him alive.

He educates me culturally. Once the University of Rochester convinced him not to kill himself, he became a culture coach for one of the largest credit unions in the country, the ESL Credit Union in Rochester, New York.

On the  World Wide Web I found:

“We hired a Member Focus culture coach to work on the front-line with our managers, helping them develop their own coaching skills.”

Obviously, David is such a dynamic and magnetic personality it is no wonder that the third largest city in New York State has been named after him.

I am inspired, tickled, amused, amazed and outraged every week by David’s creative work. What have I given back to express my appreciation or done to support him? (Except come up with a cockamamie and useless plan to mate him with a woman as crazy as he is thousands of miles away.)

I have decided to pay a shearwear fee to David. David, if you email me an address where I can actually reach you, I will mail you a buck a week to encourage you to keep up your work. It’s not much, but a dollar a week will help keep cats in catnip, or something. And if I can get a few other people to join in…

There are obviously hundreds of people reading David’s blogs daily. The latest post on his secret blog has 44 comments when last I looked.  Isn’t it worth a buck a week to you as well, not-so-gentle reader?

I’m starting a Pledge Creep for David Rochester. Creeps can send send small unmarked bills in plain envelopes. To provide greater security and privacy for David, perhaps he should open up an account at the ESL credit union in Rochester, New York. How can David set up an account at this credit union on the East coast when he lives in Portland?

I looked at the eligibility requirements. Members of the the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® are eligible to join. I looked at the application forms for the Association; nowhere did it say members actually have to live in Rochester. I am going to work on this. Thoughts are crawling across my brain on their little creeper boards. I will post more as soon as a thought or two actually arrives.

In the meantime, David, email me an address where I can make my $1 a week donation to support your blog.

In honor of cripple wear:

Cripple Creek


I got a girl and she loves me

She’s as sweet as she can be

She got eyes of baby blue

Makes my gun shoot straight and true


Goin’ up Cripple Creek

Goin’ on a run

Goin’ up Cripple Creek

to have a little fun

Goin’ in a whirl,

Goin’ up Cripple Creek

To see my girl


Cripple Creek’s wide and Cripple Creek’s deep

I’ll wade old Cripple Creek before I sleep

Roll my britches up to my knees,

I’ll wade old Cripple Creek when I please


Repeat Chorus


I went down to Cripple Creek

To see what them girls had to eat

I got drunk and fell against the wall

Old corn liquor was the cause of it all


Repeat Chorus


Well I married a wife in the month of June

I married her up by the light of the moon

We live down on Cripple Creek

We’ve been there about a week


Repeat Chorus


I got a gal at the head of the creek

And I’m goin’ down to see her ’bout the middle of the week

Kiss her on mouth just as sweet as any wine

Wraps herself around me like a sweet potato vine