Henry Styron–Advice for Dealing With the Creeping Crud

My mother doesn’t like the term “creeping crud” and wishes I wouldn’t use it.  I do believe, however, that it’s the correct medical terminology.

It’s my mother’s birthday, by the way, and may she have a very happy day today.  She wouldn’t want me to tell you that she’s eighty-eight today, and has she EVER had an eventful life.

But, back to the creeping crud.  Lots of people I know have had it, and it’s made it’s way around to me.

My wife said I looked terrible.  That hurt my feelings a little, so I took a selfie to prove her wrong.  (Oh, and I’m growing the beard back, by executive order, although I’ll grant you it doesn’t help the look much at this stage.)

So, what do you think, internet-land?  I’ll grant you I might look a little rough around the edges, but I personally think I’m still radiating vitality and chutzpah.

(General consensus thus far sadly seems to be siding with my wife.  Just goes to show you what people know.)

Okay, so, let’s shift to boldface here for the official question:

Henry, how do you deal with the creeping crud?

Um, try not to get it in the first place?  The fever and congestion aren’t much fun, and I’ve gotten even further behind on projects.

Hope you feel better soon, and thanks for being with us on the blog.  Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

Tammy Williamson–Advice for Problem Solvers

Welcome to the blog. Can you tell us your name and any nicknames?
Tammy Loescher Williamson.  Although not a nickname, my best name is Mom.

What do you do with your time?
For 25 years, I was a full-time stay at home mom. I guess I am retired from that job. I am currently a car driver for my school system. I transport kids with different circumstances to and from school.

What’s a challenge about child transportation? What’s a particular joy from it?
The challenging part of transporting children with special circumstances isn’t challenging in itself. It mostly comes from other people who might not drive safely and put my kids in danger. I love being the smiling face who greets them with a clean slate every morning and every afternoon. I can help the bad start to a day get better with some fun interaction and redirecting. I can also make the ride home after a long day at school refreshing.

How old are you, and where do you live?
I am proud to say that I am 51, but I don’t mind telling it because I don’t look it, yet. When I start looking my age, I am pretty sure it will really hurt my feelings. I live in Montpelier, Virginia.

Where can we find you on the internet?
I am a Facebooker. The place that people would get to know me best is my instagram accounts… tamalam1966, worship_in_color, and merrydoodledo.

What’s the most interesting place you’ve visited?
Cade’s Cove near Gatlinburg.

For someone who’s never heard of Cade’s Cove, tell us a little about it, and why you like it?
Cade’s Cove is in the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area. It is an 11-mile drive-through loop that is situated in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It allows visitors to see some of the structures that were used during the development of the National Park…old and interesting. The valley is breathtaking. When I am there, I am in my zone of happiness. The slow atmosphere there makes me feel relaxed and grateful. I can stop and just soak in the beauty and the simplicity of just being alive. I have precious memories from times there…and am now realizing that I am far overdue for a visit.

What would your favorite meal be?
My favorite meal is fried okra, mashed potatoes with gravy, really good fried chicken, speckled butterbeans with okra, summer squash, sliced tomatoes, and homemade biscuits.

Pet peeve?
People just not being nice for no particular reason

Favorite movie?
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” I think most people have this secret life that they imagine they were actually living. They let life live them instead of the other way around. Many times, it takes some sort of serious crisis to bring the courage to bring that life to the surface. And, it is usually beautiful!

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for…..?
I could always use prayer for personal consistency in my pursuit of Christ

Tell us about your family?
I have been married for over 30 years…to the same man. I have three beautiful children…Jonathan is almost 25 and is living the life in California…Katie is 21 and is preparing to be a missionary (don’t know how that is going to look); she’s a modern day hippie who happens to love super heroes…Lynn-Lee is 13 and is a rules follower (won’t even go in the exit door); loves anything song and theater arts related; very creative and kind. My furbabies are Princess Yue (named after the character in the Last Airbender)…6 year old mutt and Rozy (pronounced Rozie…12 year old child chose the spelling) who is a beagle/Australian shepherd mix. And I must admit that I am still in mourning for the best dog ever created named Zipper…she will always take up a huge space in my heart.

Something most people don’t know you can do?
Most people don’t know that if I don’t know how to do something that I WILL FIGURE IT OUT

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
I can honestly say that I use all of my time in a way that makes me happy…now, I could use a few extra lifetimes to do all the things that I wish I had years to devote to learning.

Tell us some interesting things that aren’t already covered?
I suppose that I don’t think of myself as interesting as such…but I do a lot of things that people seem to want to know about…I have lots and lots and lots of random information in my head and I typically don’t know why I know that particular thing.

Just for fun, can you give us a few random facts?
Random facts…I don’t usually have them until they are needed for whatever reason. They pop into my thoughts because of the conversation or circumstances.

Is there a question you wish I’d asked you?
I would have loved it if you asked what makes me useful in this world. I’ll answer that with I am helpful, love the planet and try not to make it worse, write little blurbs that make people think, and bring light to dark places.

I’m going to ask you to give some advice to problem solvers. Give us a for instance–you’re faced with something you don’t know how to do. What steps do you take to get it figured out?
Problem-solving involves getting to know why there is a problem in the first place and if it is, indeed, an actual problem. Once the problem is identified, I think of what I need to do to rearrange the circumstances that are contributing to the problem. Pointing out possible solutions is ok but helping a person to come up with their own solution is fabulous. The thing about problem-solving is that every single one of us can have what we think is a problem and solve it in just as many ways…with success. And then, learning from that problem is the cherry on top.

Tammy, thanks for being with us on the blog. Take care and God bless.


Ann Landers–Advice for Grade Schoolers Wanting to Date

Hello, friends!  Actual interviews will be returning to “Advice for Everyone” this Thursday, November 16.  In the meantime, enjoy some words of wisdom from the queen of advice, Miss Ann Landers!

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.

Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.

Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass.

Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.

Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies.

At every party there are two kinds of people – those who want to go home and those who don’t. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other.

Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.

If you marry a man who cheats on his wife, you’ll be married to a man who cheats on his wife.

Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.

Sensual pleasures have the fleeting brilliance of a comet; a happy marriage has the tranquility of a lovely sunset.

Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass.

At age 20, we worry about what people think of us.  At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us.  At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.

Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.

Blessed are they who hold lively conversations with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called dentists.

Thank you much, Ann.  Could you share with us an actual letter you’ve received?

DEAR ANN LANDERS: I have just graduated from grade school, and the boy I like is in the Army. He has written that he will be home on leave soon, but my mother forbids me to see him. I tried to explain that we just want to see a movie and will be home early. Mother says I can’t go and that I am too young to know what I am doing. Please help me. — E.V.

DEAR E.V.: If you “just graduated from grade school,” you are about 13 years old, Chicken. Uncle Sam needs men — you don’t. Listen to your mother; she is right. And about that boyfriend — his brains must be AWOL.

Thank you for being with us, Ann (0r Mrs. Eppie Lederer, I should say.)  Friends, take care and God bless.

Cute Puppy–Advice On How to Live

Hello, friends!  I’m still working on rebuilding my backlog of actual interviews.  In the meantime, please enjoy this brilliant advice.  I wish I knew who’d come up with it, but I’ve had plenty of cold and early mornings when the bed was warm indeed…..

Take care and God bless.

Charlie Brown (and Friends)–Advice for Blockheads

The late, great Charles Schulz came up with all of these.

“In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back.” –Charlie Brown

“There’s no sense in doing a lot of barking if you don’t really have anything to say.”  –Snoopy

“What’s the good of having naturally curly hair if no one’s jealous?”  –Frieda

“A peanut butter sandwich is just the sandwich to be eating when you’re looking across the playground at a little red-haired girl you admire, but know you haven’t a chance of ever meeting.”  –Charlie Brown

“Happiness is a side dish of French fries.”  –Snoopy

“Being dirty is practical.  I’m never bothered by girls or mosquitos.”  –Pig Pen

“You blockhead!”  –Lucy


“Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.”  –Linus

“I now have three philosophies…’Life goes on,’ ‘Who cares?’, and ‘How should I know?'”  –Sally

“I’m afraid my brain has left for the day.”  –Peppermint Patty

“Home is where the supper dish is.” –Snoopy

And, last but not least…..

“Life is better with a dog.”  –Charlie Brown




Shakespeare–Advice for, well, pretty much everyone

Hello, friends!  I’m continuing the practice of publishing SOMETHING on Mondays and Thursdays while I’m working on getting my backlog of actual interviews built back up.

Please enjoy this collection of pearls of wisdom from the Bard himself, and thanks much to essentiallifeskills.net for compiling this.  (Yes, this is pretty much just a reblog.  Sorry, been busy.)

Take care and God bless.


Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

Be great in act, as you have been in thought.

This above all; to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

Who knows himself a braggart,
Let him fear this; for it will come to pass
That every braggart shall be found an ass.

Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

We know what we are, but know not what we may be.

It is the mind that makes the body rich.

Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none.

Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.

Everyone ought to bear patiently the results of his own conduct.

Expectation is the root of all heartache.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.

How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?

Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.

No legacy is so rich as honesty.

Beauty is all very well at first sight; but whoever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?

Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks, shall win my love.

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

The better part of valour is discretion.

Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…

Assume a virtue if you have it not.

When we are born we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.

Truth is truth to the end of reckoning.

Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.

Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.

Kindness, nobler ever than revenge.

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.

Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action…

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

Fight till the last gasp.

All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity.

Henry Styron–Advice for Shaving a Beard Off

Hello, friends!  In my quest to provide more regular content while I’m building up my backlog of interviews, I thought I would provide you some helpful counsel for shaving a beard off.

This is what I looked like a few weeks ago:  




I usually wear facial hair.  The few times I’ve been clean shaven over the past twenty years have been when I was in some play or other that required it.  I’m currently in a play that needs a shaved face, so this is what I look like at the moment:



My wife has always preferred the beard, and one of the conditions of me shaving it off was that I promised to grow it back just as soon as the show was done.  I’ve gotten, in all due modesty, a lot of compliments on how nice I look without the fuzz, but the missus gets the deciding vote.

And NOW, when the end of the play is upon us, she’s thinking I should stay shaved for awhile.  She’s started to like it.  Go figure.

So, advice for shaving a beard:  Start with clippers, and get the hair as short as possible before moving to a razor.  Use plenty of warm water and a new, sharp razor, and take your time.  If you haven’t shaved in years your skin will be very sensitive and you can nick yourself very easily.  Don’t shave again the next day–give it a solid thirty-six hours before you shave off the stubble, to allow your skin some time to recover, and allow extra time for shaving until your face gets used to it.

Oh, and here’s a picture of a sleeping puppy.  No particular reason.

Thanks for reading, and God bless.

Grace Hopper–Advice for Boot Camp

Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USN (covered).

I’d like to welcome to the blog Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, a pioneering computer scientist.  Admiral, thank you for being with us today.
You’re very welcome, but you know you’re not talking to me any more than you were talking to President Truman a few weeks back, aren’t you?

Yes, ma’am, I know that, but I am going to be using your exact words.  Among lots of other accomplishments, you’re credited with popularizing the term “bug” to refer to a computer problem. Can you tell us how that came about?
I had to remove a 2-inch-long moth from the Harvard Mark II experimental computer at Harvard in 1947 that was stopping it from running.  From then on, whenever anything went wrong with a computer, we said that it had bugs in it.

What did you do when you had to demonstrate how far electricity could travel in a billionth of a second?
In total desperation, I called over to the engineering building, and I said, “Please cut off a nanosecond and send it over to me.”

What do you think of your nickname, “Amazing Grace?”
I’ve received many honors and I’m grateful for them; but I’ve already received the highest award I’ll ever receive, and that has been the privilege and honor of serving very proudly in the United States Navy.

What do you think about change?
Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, “We’ve always done it this way.” I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.

Tell us about the Harvard Mark 1, the world’s first large-scale digital computer.
It was 51 feet long, eight feet high, eight feet deep. And it had 72 words of storage and could perform three additions a second.

What do you think about building bigger computers?
In pioneer days they used oxen for heavy pulling, and when one ox couldn’t budge a log, they didn’t try to grow a larger ox. We shouldn’t be trying for bigger computers, but for more systems of computers.

What do you think about management?
You manage things, you lead people. We went overboard on management and forgot about leadership. It might help if we ran the MBAs out of Washington.

What won’t computers ever do?
A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We’ve tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question.

What’s the most damaging phrase in the language?
The most damaging thing we can say is “It’s always been done that way.”  I am now going to make you a gift that will stay with you the rest of your life. For the rest of your life, every time you say, “We’ve always done it that way,” my ghost will appear and haunt you for twenty-four hours.

Thanks much, Admiral.  Can you offer some advice to new recruits in boot camp?
There’s something you learn in your first boot-camp, or training camp: If they put you down somewhere with nothing to do, go to sleep — you don’t know when you’ll get any more.

Admiral Hopper, thank you so much for being with us.  Anything else you want to tell us?
One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions.

Dealing With Depression

Hello, friends!  It’s been a while since I’ve had any new interviews for you.

More WILL return.  I believe in this project and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it, and look forward to having a lot more fun coming up.

But I probably need to tell you about something that’s been going on in my own life.  First, I’m feeling much, much, much better than I have been.  Honestly, as I’m typing this, I’m having a pretty good day.

I was diagnosed a couple of months ago with major depressive disorder.  Evidence suggests that I was suffering from it a couple of months before the diagnosis.  We’ve been busily playing around with medication levels, and I’m very happy to report that we appear to have arrived at a good level, and I’m feeling much more myself.

However, it’s been a very rough few months, and it’s been a struggle just to get out of bed in the mornings and get through the day, and LOTS of things, including this blog, have gone by the wayside.

So, I’m better, and I’m back, and I’m looking forward to getting going again.  But I’ve lost a lot of traction and momentum and it’s probably going to be awhile before I have enough interviews to make a regular posting schedule.  I’ll be posting SOMETHING every Monday and Thursday until I get a margin built up again, just to keep things interesting.

I appreciate you bearing with me.

I hope all is well out there, friends.  Thanks, and God bless.