Thursday, February 2, 2017

Roofsit Jan 2017

First Roofsit of 2017

            ROOFTOP – Tell you what, let’s give the latecomers a few more minutes to find us. The first roofsit of the year is generally a big draw… for those few who enjoy sitting on a metal roof in late January.

            Had I started before dusk I would’ve had you notice how nice the yard looks. We’ve had some strong winds of late, and there were limbs all over the place. This morning, I got my tarp out and started dragging it across the yard. That’s how I pick up limbs. A wheel barrow is not good for toting limbs, so I toss tree debris on my tarp and drag it to the burning pile. Occasionally, I’ll grab a cat or two just to teach ‘em a little respect. Those things see me as no threat.

            I was tempted once to write Heloise about my ingenious way of using a tarp to haul off limbs, leaves and cats. However, I realize her readers are more into coffee cans and clothes pins. Did you know that some people actually use ziplock bags to hold spare buttons? That’s not nearly as surprising as the thought that some people actually think they’re the first ones to think up alternative uses for ziplocks.

            I guess I should’ve lit the burn pile tonight. Seems someone else within our Smell Zone has a fire going.  I doubt it’s a campfire because nobody camps out in this neighborhood. I should know, because on nights that I camp out, I walk around to see if anyone is as childish as I am. (That’s fake news. If I walked around at night, someone would shoot me after being awaken by the dog that was chewing on me.)

            At the moment, I think it’s best we take advantage of this crisp, clear night to look heavenward. Right now, it’s so dark that I can’t even see Melvin’s hand in front of my face. – Quit it! What did I tell you about horseplay on the roof, Melvin?

            Once again, the brightest light in the moonless night sky is Venus. Do you have any idea how long a day on Venus is? Of course you don’t. It takes 243 earth days for Venus to spin around one time. That’s not the weird part, though. While it takes earth a tad over 365 days to orbit the sun, it takes Venus 225 earth-days to complete its orbit around the sun. In other words, a day on Venus is 18 earth-days longer that its year.
A year is less than a day in the life of Venus

            A fascinating planet, Venus. It’s the evening and morning star, you know? I believe it was the Egyptians who called Venus a star. This was back when people didn’t know a planet from a fig. Nowadays, we know a lot about planets. In fact we now know that Pluto isn’t one.

            Turns out, Pluto does not meet planetary qualifications. Yes, it’s round and revolves around the sun. However, it doesn’t meet the third qualification. Pluto has not cleaned up the neighborhood in its orbit. – What?

            Pluto is a big rock in a gravitational field of other big rocks. In fact, there’s a rock behind Pluto that’s bigger than it is. Yet it’s not considered a planet because it’s circling the sun in an asteroid belt. Now, earth has cleared its neighborhood. Over a few billion years, earth’s gravitational pull has drawn in practically everything its vicinity. The only things keeping up with us are the moon, a bunch of satellites that we’ve launched, and some wrenches and lug nuts that escaped the grip of some astronauts.

            So, Pluto is orbiting with a bunch of trash, thus relieving it of its planetary title. Pluto’s official name is now 134340. (That’s true news.) All of our books and sky charts will need to be changed, and all extraterrestrials will need to be notified of our mistake.

            Wait! Hold onto your toast! Turns out that last year Professor Mike Brown, announced his discovery of our real ninth planet. Planet Nine is 40 billion miles further from the sun than Big Rock 134340.

            It’s so far away that Prof. Brown hasn’t even seen it. He discovered it through the use of math. Seems something is affecting the movement of Neptune and the rest of the planets. If you’ve been feeling a little odd lately, it’s likely due to Planet Nine. Brown mathematically proved that the gravitational anomaly affecting the eight planets is caused by a planet 20 times the size of earth.

            Planet Nine has yet to be officially named. I believe Mike Brown is hoping it will be named after his dog, Flaffy. (Fake news.) Assuming the person who finds a planet gets to name it, Brown could wisely sell the name to the highest bidder. With that in mind, our new ninth planet could end up being called “Budweiser.”

            Hokey smokes! Do you see what’s happened here? We’re outta time! So many things left unsaid. Tell you what, what say you call home and tell your significant other that you’re camping out with Hayter? I’ll bring some pillows up here, get some crackers, peanut butter and cold drinks. We’ll have a rooftop campout. We’ll sleep on a slant.  

            Round about 3:00 a.m. we’ll take a walk around the neighborhood. There’s bound to be safety in numbers. We’ll let Melvin take the lead. – Next time.
end – Please tune in on Wednesdays at noon to listen to Mark and Kay on “Hanging with the Hayters”. --  FM 104.5 and 106.1 as well as at

Fake News

Fake News

            Twelve hours from now, I’ll be standing in front of members of Montgomery County Retired School Personnel in an attempt to make them laugh. That’s what was written in the newsletter. “Mark Hayter will be the speaker, so prepare to laugh.”

            I don’t mind the challenge of making retired teachers laugh. I find retired teachers to be a very receptive audience. For one thing, they’re retired. I thought I mentioned that. Plus they have experienced faculty meetings and in-service meetings that would make members of Seal Team Six weep. Yet, they voluntarily show up in the morning to hear about the problems surfacing over retired teacher health insurance. These people will be grasping for something to laugh at.

            Regardless of the group I’m speaking to, I find that the best approach is to honest, even if it requires some verbal brutality. Most audiences can tell when a speaker is shoveling the proverbial bull defecation.

            Unfortunately, honesty is less in demand nowadays. I’ve never seen anything like it. Two things I never thought I’d live to see. Three if you count rap music. One was the fall of the Soviet Union. I thought that by my 50th year there would be a nuclear exchange. We still may have an exchange with Russia, but it won’t be with the USSR.

            The other issue I didn’t see coming was this phenomena known as “fake facts.” In graduate school I had to write so many research papers that the joy of life was completely ripped out of my chest… or wherever I store it. Kay was pretty much in the same boat, because she was the one who got to type most of my papers. This was back when you had to stop at some point to insert footnotes.

            The biggest problem was research. Professors kept stressing “primary sources.”  They didn’t want to read hearsay. They were looking for the exact words of Theodore Roosevelt or Nixon.  Nothing but the facts. It didn’t matter if you were writing about misinformation; you had to gather the facts surrounding the occurrence of the misinformation.

            I imagine fact-finding is still required in most universities today. But, in the real world, it’s not that much of a priority. Today’s “facts” come from those who report what you want to hear. Many a bowl of oatmeal has been ruined for me while I’m reading letters to the editor in this newspaper. Since I make myself out to be a humorist, I choose not to qualify that last sentence.

            No, I never thought I’d live to see fake facts reported so confidently by the purveyors of fake news. Fake news is not considered propaganda, because those who choose to believe it, don’t care one way or the other if it’s true. A politician can be seen on video making an outrageous statement. When the video is shown to the candidate, he denies saying it, and many of his supporters believe him.

            See what happened here? The whole tone of this conversation took a nose dive. I did that intentionally so as to segue into something funny. Get it? Tomorrow morning, I’m going to introduce some fake news to the retired school personnel. I started a fake news segment in our “Hanging with the Hayters” radio broadcast, and will incorporate one item in my talk. It will begin something like this: Whoa! This just in. --

            “Jimaku Tamagasi, the actor who portrays a figure-skating Sumo wrestler in an infuriating Geico commercial is in intensive care in a Dallas hospital after being recognized while unloading his tray at a table in Luby’s. Tamagasi suffered 86 fork stabs and 37 butter knife jabs from irate Luby’s patrons.

            “Police Detective Vince Devine said, ‘The big guy is lucky to be alive. Had he chosen to dine at the Texas Roadhouse across the street, he would’ve bled out.’ The ambulance crew dawdled for a full two hours before slowly transporting Tamagasi to Dallas Memorial. He was in stable condition up until the time a nurse asked if he wanted carrot salad with his lunch.”

            Now that’s fake news, but we all wish it to be true… so much so, that after the second telling it will become reality in the minds of many. See how fun it can be?

            If “fake news” catches on as well as rap music has, it will become a major part of our culture. When that happens, humor, not honesty, will be my public-speaking goal. I can make up anything I want and just throw it out there. The audience will be able to choose which “facts” to believe. Everyone goes home blissfully ignorant. When that happens, we will all begin to witness more and more changes that we never saw coming.
end – Please tune in on Wednesdays at noon to listen to Mark and Kay on “Hanging with the Hayters”. --  FM 104.5 and 106.1 as well as at

photo sorting

A billion pictures
            I have no idea what possessed her. I thought I might be dreaming, until I noticed I was wearing all my clothes.

            I kept staring at Kay as she sat at dining room table. Speechless I was. She had piles of photos scattered all over the table. As soon as she noticed me, she smiled and said, “Oh, I decided to organize all of our photos.”

            I was discombobulated. Completely flummoxed… which, incidentally, is only the second time I’ve used that word in my column. The first was last week. That’s two weeks in a row of flummoxation. There’s no accounting for that.

            Before uttering a word, I said a quick prayer asking that I not say anything to ruin the moment. I then summoned some tears and said, “Darling, I have never been more proud of you than I am at this very moment.” – Whoa!

            Kay smiled and said that this was just the first box, but she was determined to organize all the pictures in all the boxes in one day. It’s hard to say how many boxes we’ve got. They’re stored in every closet, cupboard, utility house and outhouse in our house. But, Kay was resolute. I don’t use that word often, either, but that’s what she was.   

            I wisely walked over, stooped and gave her a kiss. Told her I had a bunch of work to take care of in the study, or else I’d help. Part of that was a lie. -- I reeked of wisdom.

            At first I had a lot of trouble focusing on what I needed to do in the study, ‘cause Kay kept  calling me to the dining room to question me about pictures. -- “Who is this girl?” She had found a photo from the surfing trip to Mazatalan that I took with the Sutton boys during my college days. I was dating Kay at the time, so I know she’d seen the picture before. It was only, what, 48 years ago?

            I said, “Oh, that’s the housemaid where we stayed by the beach. I think her name was Carmen. Spoke little English. Just cute as a— I mean, she was sweet. Not sweet like, you know, sweet, but, uh, kind and pleasant is what she was. Yeah, pleasant.”

            I don’t know why I get like that when someone suspects me of something. You’re bound to realize that I’m as innocent and na├»ve as all get out. But, when I perceive suspicion I get flummoxed. No defense lawyer would ever put me on the stand.

            Kay didn’t call be back very many times after that. She did start throwing away pictures. She tossed photos of unknown women, photos that were blurred, or near duplicates or of scenery with no people in ‘em. You can get that kind of stuff on the Internet. She ended up grabbing a laundry basket to hold all the discards. I was okay with that. We had at least 500 pictures taken on our trips with the Plilers. The only difference in many of them was how much we aged between trips.

            There’s one picture of Freeman with a swollen jaw. The guy looks terrible. I reminded Kay that it was taken during our softball tournament in Baytown. Freeman was standing on first base, ready to head to second at the crack of the bat. Unfortunately, Mark Allen was batting.

            Mark Allen always pulled the ball to right field. At the crack of the bat, Freeman was in mid-step when the line drive met the side of his face. He was called out for interfering with a ball in fair play. And, he was knocked out, but only for a few seconds. Once conscious, it took Freeman a good while to figure out where he was. He once asked where his glasses were. Some of the guys started looking for ‘em. I eventually reminded them that Freeman didn’t wear glasses. He was just a little out of it. I think he was flummoxed.

            Virginia might’ve run him to the nearest hospital, but it was Saturday. And, we were in Baytown? Where in Baytown can you get stitches taken inside your mouth on a Saturday? Besides, the tournament was double elimination, and we had yet to lose our first game. Wisely, Virginia decided to take Freeman to the emergency room in Conroe when we got home later that evening.  – Oh, the memories.

            Yep, Kay threw away as many photos as she kept. Yet, we still have hundreds, maybe thousands left. They just need to be labeled. We all know that’s not happening. And, since we’re childless, we have no offspring who will care to even look at the pictures after we’re gone.

            Besides, the idea of hard copies of photos is foreign to Millennials. – By the way, that’s the first time I’ve ever used “millennial” in anything other than a crossword. I think I’ll insert the word into my next two articles, in hope it will get “flummoxed” out of my mind. – Bottom line, all is well at the Hayter house. Kay hung in there like grim death until the task was complete.

            And, get this. At the end of a most grueling day, she ended up still liking me. I’m not pushing 
it beyond that. 

                    Larry, Jill, Al, Lynda, Mark, Susan and Dennis -- From several years back.

end – Please tune in on Wednesdays at noon to listen to Mark and Kay on “Hanging with the Hayters”. --  FM 104.5 and 106.1 as well as at


"The more I know, the less I understand"

            Do you have any idea how many times I’ve mentioned that I don’t belong on this planet? Nine, this year alone.

            Don Henley said it best in his song “The Heart of the Matter.” – “The more I know, the less I understand…” I really like Don Henley. And, unlike me, he really belongs on the planet.

            For whatever reason, I’ve been interested in science a lot lately. Biology, chemistry, technology… Not entomology. Not crazy about bugs. But, I’ve developed a fascination for the other stuff.

            Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone I can share my fascination with. I’ll mention some supernatural phenomenon to Kay and she’ll nod and say something dazzling like, “O’ wow.” Or “Cool beans.” It’s patronizing as all get out, but she thinks I don’t know that.

            On the “Hanging with the Hayters” radio show today, I was telling listeners about some of the scientific stuff I’d read. I was talking about how much argon is in the air. Did you know that there is more argon in the air we breathe than there is carbon dioxide? Our air contains about 1 percent argon and about .05 percent CO2?

            We use argon in light bulbs and double-paned windows and other stuff. We use carbon dioxide to make dry ice and, uh, beer and for fire extinguishers. And, plants seem to like it. Unfortunately, an increase in the level of CO2 in our atmosphere heats the planet it up. Too little makes the planet too cool. The key is to reach a happy point.

            The problem with talking science on the radio is the fact that can come across as boring. Especially when I’m the one talking about it. You get no feedback from a radio audience. I know how many of ‘em have tuned me out. The only audience I have is Kay. Did I tell you about patronizing she can be? Oh, and the director, Dick? I get no feedback from him. He could be over there gnawing on one of those beef sticks for all I know.

            That’s pretty much the reason I’m sharing all of this with you right now. I’m going to continue to bounce science info around, knowing that some of you will respond. I’ll get a couple of nice comments from really sweet fans, and several nasty comments from some of the more argumentative among us. Which is good, simply because it offers me a segway/segue into another topic on science. It has to do with complaining.

            I recently read that complaining gets easier to do the more you do it. Some of us can actually become experts at it. It has to do with the synapses in your brain. Our brains function my electrical charges that are created by chemical reactions inside our bodies. Different chemicals are carried to different parts of our bodies. – Stay awake! – The combination of some create electrical charges, due to electrons from the atoms of… whatever.

            The electricity is used to spur new thoughts, old memories and reflexes. Your lungs actually have to be told to inhale. In our brains the electricity shoots chemicals to one or more of your synapses. We’ve got synapses for different feelings and they’re positioned in different parts of your brain. We’ve got happy, angry, sad, apathetic places in your brains.

            When we start complaining, our synapses that are the big complainers are drawn closer together to create somewhat of a bridge so the electricity can move more easily between the blank areas in our brain. (Oh, yeah. We’ve got some air space in our brains. I’ve been told I’ve got a bunch.) The more we complain the closer the synapses and the shorter the bridges need to be.  After awhile we have actually programmed our brains to complain. We become what are known as malcontents. You know who you are.

            What we to do is to build more bridges to our happy, kind, patient, nice synapses. We do that by playing the Pollyanna game. Think of happy stuff whenever you can. Soon, our pleasant synapses will be really close to one another and our minds will be wired to happy thoughts. Some of us would rather take a big shot of booze or opiates to get there. Stuff like that builds a whole different set of bridges.

            Isn’t it weird to think of our bodies functioning through the use of electricity? I just imagine that’s how we can shock people’s hearts back to beating. And, how we can shock people to make ‘em forget bad stuff. Of course, never over-shock. It’s like CO2. You want the exact right amount.  

            I see we’ve lost a bunch of you, so let me mention this one last thing. It has to do with those devices that actually recognize your voice. You can plug ‘em into an outlet in your house, and tell your air conditioner to come on. You can tell the thing to order you a large pepperoni pizza with extra sauce. Tell you bank to shift money from one account to another.

            I cannot even imagine the technology that goes into something like that. I can buy a device like that for about $50, but it won’t work in my house, because my house is as dumb as I am. However, Kay can pick up her cell phone while we’re 46 miles this side of San Antonio driving at a speed of 70 mph. She’ll say, “Okay, Google, where is the nearest Arb
y’s?” In a few seconds there is a display on her phone showing her the nearest place to get a roast beef sandwich and curly fries.

            Somehow or other, radio waves or some kind waves are keeping up with us, and flying back and forth to a bunch of towers to some central source that sends different waves back that just so happen to hit our fast moving vehicle and tell us what we didn’t know.

            That is exactly what I’m talking about. I do not belong in place where something like that can happen. And, you wanna know something? By the end of this year, that kind of stuff is going to be old hat. Roast beef sandwiches will be dropping from the sky. I don’t know that I can handle something like that.

            Don Henley can deal with it. I know that from the second line in that song lyric. Remember? “The more I know, the less I understand.” Then he says, “All the things I I thought I knew, I’m learning again.” – Me? I’ll never be able to learn how stuff works. All I can do is take advantage what’s happening. I can deal with that in the spiritual realm. But when what used to be supernatural becomes natural, the humanness in me starts freaking. What I’m saying? – Next time.

end – Please tune in on Wednesdays at noon to listen to Mark and Kay on “Hanging with the Hayters”. --  FM 104.5 and 106.1 as well as at

2016 rehash

Personal look back at 2016

            Before we get too swallowed up in 2017, we should probably take a moment to reflect on what happened last year. That’s only wise. Try to remember what worked and what didn’t. If it didn’t work, perhaps I need not experiment with it again.

            One of our nation’s greatest spokespersons,
Will Rogers, once said, “There are three kinds of men; The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.” That always gets me right here. And here.

            Even though I’m not all that excited about a journey into last year, Will Rogers is dragging my mangy rump in that direction. Since I don’t have time to review the history of the world in 2016, I thought I’d delve into what happened to me last year. – Sit down! Nobody leaves! Okay, then.

            Last year started with a stupid idea I had about New Years resolutions. Obviously, I was blind to its stupidity. I thought it’d be great if Kay and I started off 2016 resolving for one another. I would make her resolutions for her and she’d do mine.

            Kay resolved that I would cut down on the space used for preparing coffee. I was taking up half our counter space with coffee making stuff. She measured. Kay gave me a month to take care of the job. In February, she gave up on my resolve and did the job herself. Now, my coffee stuff takes up only one-eighth of our counter space. She tossed and boxed some important stuff.

            As far as my resolutions for Kay, she didn’t do any of ‘em. I resolved that she should start painting again in 2016. The girl has got artistic talent. She didn’t paint a thing. She did start making jewelry, though. Another of her talents, that does me absolutely no good at all.

            I also had Kay resolve to put stuff away when she’s through with it. Cereal boxes, magazines, advertisements, those round bands that you tie your hair up with. She can make my coffee supplies disappear, but can’t manage to dispose of stuff when she’s through with it. This resolution went unresolved. -- Bottom line? Don’t make New Years resolutions for your spouse. It’ll be like doing something stupid to an electric fence.

            Last year, Kay and I went on a diet. It took me four months to lose 50 pounds. Kay lost 40. That diet taught me a very important lesson. Are you ready? – Achieving a weight-loss goal does not mean the diet is over. A diet ends at death. Same with chronic constipation.

            What else? Last year, we had the Pokemon craze. Fortunately, it died before I got involved. Same with streaking at college. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that at the time.

            Last year, Kay had to have another tomato garden. It required digging and applying bags of fertilizer and mulch. Afterward I had to construct a barrier against deer and rodents. I couldn’t keep out the birds. I had no idea birds liked tomatoes. The neighbor’s cats don’t like tomatoes. They hang around the bird feeder, but won’t even approach the tomato garden. There could be 100 birds eating green tomatoes not 50 feet away, yet the cats would be sitting beneath an unoccupied bird feeder. Heaven help us if cats ever get into politics.

            In September of 2016, Kay and I started a weekly radio talk show, “Hanging with the Hayters.” The talking part of a talk show is fun. However, the administrative duties and the research and prepping are a pain in the rear. It’s a lot like teaching in that respect, only I don’t have as many parent conferences. One of us is pulling one whale of a load.

            I’d ask Kay to do more, but I’m afraid she’d quit. I’d have to find someone else to work with. “Hanging with Hayter and Whoever” wouldn’t make it. Whoever would end up hating me for being too bossy. Which is absolutely crazy because “along with” I’m so easy to get. (That’s what happens when I apply correct grammar. My computer doesn’t even recognize it.)

            What else? Oh yeah, my sister, Susan, married Col. Don, and they both came down from Washington state to visit with the family. By the way, Susan’s Christmas card this year included one of those family newsletters. I think they’re doing just fine. I had to leave ‘em somewhere in the middle of the thing. I don’t get all that interested in hearing about people who appear to be getting more fun out of life than I am. And, that’s the very reason that I’m able to maintain any readership at all. After wading through my articles, readers generally start feeling better about themselves.

            Hey, I do what I can to brighten the corner where you are. Regardless of my whining, I must say that I am right now in a good place. I think I shall try to improve it just a bit by ending this with another quote from Will Rogers. -- “Never miss a good chance to shut up.” – Next time.

end – Please tune in on Wednesdays at noon to listen to Mark and Kay on “Hanging with the Hayters”. --  FM 104.5 and 106.1 as well as at

Gift giving

Marriage saved by non-gifting

            I assume you’re done with all the thrill that comes from  playing with your Christmas gifts. I’m so proud for you. Me? I got no gifts. Same as last year.

            I’ve made no secret of the fact that Kay and I don’t exchange gifts. That policy has pretty much saved our marriage. I got in a rut five years running where everything I bought for Kay got returned. I no longer knew the woman. Everything I bought looked good on the manikins, but, turns out, manikins are from Mars.

            The last thing I bought her was a jacket. She did so want to like the thing. Always feared hurting my feelings. She tried it on, and before she even made it to a mirror, I told her to stop, that the receipt was in the left pocket. I know when something looks good on Kay; the same as I know when something stinks on ice. The jacket reeked of stink.

            I was either going to start buying the manikin with the clothes, or just stop buying. Before reaching that conclusion, I tried perfume, cosmetics, jewelry, a vacuum cleaner… Nothing worked. And, I’m here to tell you that Kay was in the same boat as me or I. The USS Loser. I didn’t care for my gifts, but I really didn’t care that I didn’t care. --What?

            So we quit all together. No Christmas, birthday or anniversary gifts. We pretty much pick out what we want a week or so before the big events. This year we got each other the same thing for our anniversary: A trip to Fredericksburg. Remember? Some people go on a cruise or to a resort. We went to Fredericksburg. I wrote an early December article from there. It was fascinating, in a sense that the reader kept waiting for something to happen. The reaction at the end of the article was pretty much the same as my reaction to the end of “No Country for Old Men.” – What? That’s it? They’re leaving it there?”

            After all that, I must confess that I did buy Kay one Christmas gift this year. I keep getting e-mails from You know, the outfit that will sell you boots that fit on either foot? They’ve got a pair of compression pants that will tighten the fat on your rear and make it to where you couldn’t dint your bottom with a hammer. – Stuff like that.

            Anyway, I ordered Kay a cell phone microscope. Cost me five bucks! I got her two at that price. They encouraged it. How can the Chinese make an attachable miniature microscope that fits on the lens-part of your cell phone and can photograph Lincoln sitting in the chair on the back of penny?  For $5! Who can compete with that? And, who else would’ve thought to make such a thing? If President Elect Trump isn’t careful he’s going to get the Chinese so upset that they’ll start charging $20 for that stupid microscope.

            I got the microscope for Kay because she makes jewelry and sometimes sells it on E-bay. This way she can make the fake rubies and emeralds look really big and beautiful. I gave Kay her gift live on our “Hanging with the Hayters” radio broadcast last week. It was our first episode that was video taped. When it comes on YouTube you can see how excited Kay was to get her mini-microscope.

            You’ll get to see her true demonstration of joy. She was so excited about the gift that she gave it to our producer, Dick Schissler. His words were, “Uh, okay, if you don’t want it.” I imagine Kay was generous because she knew she had another one at home. You think?

            The only backlash from my order came from the fact that I used Kay’s Paypal account to pay for the things. Ended up costing about $15. They nail you with the shipping cost for the second item. That just fries my rinds.

            I now have to clear stuff with Kay before ordering anything on the Internet. She acts like I’m a “stranger to wisdom.” Her words. See what happens when I think I’m doing something nice. A selfless act turns into a burden for Kay. – No more gifts. The cell phone microscope was the last. I’m pretty sure.

            By the way, we spent most of Christmas Day in Pasadena with what’s left of the Kay’s family. Kay’s got two brothers. Mike has a family of his own. Tracy, has no other family, and though you don’t care one way or the other, I thought I’d mention it, because Tracy will care if I don’t. The little goober.

            Kay prepared everything for the meal except for the turkey. Our good friend, Ed, couldn’t make it for Christmas, but he smoked a turkey for us. That sounds odd, only because the word “smoke” references different things. Same with the word “prune”. Regardless, Ed, smoked the bird in his smoker grill thing. Now that’s selfless… and the very reason I like him so much.

            Well, I’d best turn you lose before this article gets as long as last week’s Christmas short story. That was a near saga. What say we squeeze all the joy possible out of the rest of this year. – Next time.

end – Please tune in on Wednesdays at noon to listen to Mark and Kay on “Hanging with the Hayters”. --  104.5 and 106.1 FM as well as at