Communication devices can be nuisances

Phones and computers are really great inventions. These days you can apparently have both capabilities operating through a watch on your wrist, but I am way behind times so I have only progressed to a cell phone carried in a holster on my belt — no, it does not look anything like a gun — just a 4“x6” flat object. And I only use the cell phone for voice communication. No texting.

However, I do like email on my desk computer, but nothing fancy — I’ve been sort of forced into seeing a few Facebook messages, but seldom do I put anything of my own on Facebook.

Both devices can be nuisances. We all know how prevalent robo calls have become. If you call my landline phone, I have gotten more and more into waiting for the answering machine to answer or at least watching to see who is calling, though the caller ID often is misleading even then.

I do have an email, but I have over the years apparently gotten onto some lists so that I get weird, sometimes disgusting and often numerous emails requiring immediate deleting. Last week, on Aug. 29, 30, and 31 I received a total 17 emails with a reply to “San Francisco” (albeit to 17 different emails, e.g. online313@plrum.iname.com, online092@qdind.iname.com, etc.) My computer failed to warn me, “This message may be junk mail,” giving me the option to immediately junk it. Interestingly, each of these emails were from different sources.

Here are a few of the 17 sources:

• Costco Satisfaction Survey with subject: “Congratulations. You may have received a Costco Reward!”

• Medigap.com Quotes with subject: “Get a Free Medigap Quote 2019”

• Rent Own Club with subject: “GREAT NEWS! You May Qualify For These RENT TO OWN Homes!”

• McDonald’s with subject: “We have been waiting your Respond (sic)”

The body of the message for all 17 sources is the same for each and much too long to repeat, but in part it mentions that September is Hunger Action Month and asks the recipient to take action to help neighbors in San Francisco and Marin to help the 1 in 5 neighbors who are hungry. In the body of the message there are 55 lines in blue interspersed with other text — to click on to read even more. (I never clicked any of the blue lines.)

Yes, I have since trashed all 17 messages and am crossing my fingers that that might be the end of them. On the other hand, maybe it is time to get a new email account. Oh, Fiddlesticks!


On an entirely different topic, this past Sunday at church after saying the Lord’s Prayer, I once again wished that every now and then that instead of just reciting the prayer, I think it would become much more powerful when the words are sung, especially the latter part that seems to soar… “for thine/ is the kingdom,/ and the Pow-er/ and the GLORE-EE/ FOR-EV-ERRR… Amen.” Even the “Amen” at the end is an emphasis, sort of like saying, “You better believe it.”

At my college alma mater, we had Monday mornings at 11 a.m. reserved for all students to attend a convocation held in the chapel that could seat everyone, usually a special lecture on current affairs or a debate or a performance of some sort. Then on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. we had a regular chapel service. Both the convocation and the chapel were not absolutely required, but attending regularly allowed you to reduce the number of credits required for graduation, which was 132, making up for 4 credits so that you needed only 128.

I attended both because of the credit relief, but also because the programs and the services were often quite interesting with quite a few nationally or world renown persons presenting or performing. What I particularly enjoyed about the chapel service was the closing when the college’s great choir often sang the “Farewell Anthem with Sevenfold Amen.”

That anthem you may recall starts with the lines from Numbers 6:24-26: The Lord bless you and keep you./ The Lord lift his countenance upon you,/and give you peace,/ and give you peace./ The Lord make his face to shine upon you,/ and be gracious,/ and be gracious;/ the Lord be gracious, gracious unto you. Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen. The harmony of the Amens was always spectacular.

The anthem or benediction was composed by 42-year-old Peter Christian Lutkin of Thompsonville, WI in 1900.


Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II composed two songs that have a similar powerful, uplifting message.

Every time I have seen the movie (or the play) “Sound of Music,” I thrill at the message of the Mother Superior singing, “Climb Every Mountain,” to Maria … “Ford every stream/ Follow every rainbow/ ‘Till you find your dream.”

A similar song from Carousel is also inspiring, this time Billy Bigelow sings after his death to the now grown daughter Louise, daughter of Billy’s love Julie: “When you walk through a storm/ Hold your head up high … Walk on, walk on/ With hope in your heart/ And you’ll never walk alone/ You’ll never walk alone”

Until next time: Oh, Fiddlesticks!