Vaccine bribes: The latest gift from our absurd, divisive “leaders”

I’ve got some great news to share, everyone. They’ve finally done it. A crew of misanthropic marmots in ill-fitting leotards have been working round the clock to discover THE answer to one question:

“What is the one thing that will make us bug-eyed, big-eared, buck-toothed humans more attractive to each other?”

(yes, those were the adjectives that marmots most regularly used to describe us)

And, after thirteen years, six-hundred-seventy-two days and three sleepless nights of toil in their lab under the tundra of Antarctica, these marmots stumbled upon the answer and announced it to the world.

Are you ready?


From the importance of humor and asking questions to the wisdom of nature and the benefits of digging deep to live in integrity, 2020 had a lot to offer

An early-winter sunset over a river in Japan, one of many pictures of Nature I took this year. (Photo: Author)

I remember one year ago — there was much hope for 2020, much talk of 2020 Vision and yet …

What kind of year did you experience?

It certainly wasn’t the year I was suspecting. Thinking it was going to be a year of expansion outward, instead my 2020 was about going inward, rooting out some bad habits and developing trust in my body and my inner guidance.

What did you learn this year?

One thing I learned is that traditions exist for a reason, so for my top seven lessons of 2020 let’s give a nod to that suspense-building…

A parable to help us empathize with those on the other side of the Covid-19 debate

Karangistan’s famous pink daffodils. (Photo: Author)

The following is a thought experiment using a short story format. The intention is to invite people to understand and/or empathize with where I was coming from with my “rant” post yesterday. (For those of you who missed that post, I invite you to either go read it, or to just follow this experiment as I think it will perhaps lead to understanding the gist of that post by inference).

Here goes:

There was a woman named Kassandra living in the country of Karangistan, a country long known for its natural splendor, colorful scarves and repressive governments. …

Wendy, respectfully, your own comment says that "she lost by so few votes that anything could have tipped the scales the other way" so how can that sync with "the mistakes she made were probably not enough to cost her the win"?

I mean, sure, I think any presidential candidate who loses a tight race is going to feel bitter about aspects of it, especially if one feels the other side used below-the-belt methods, but I'm also a person who played competitive sports and when our team lost a close game, our coaches always taught us NOT to focus on calls that didn't go our way from the umpires, but rather to look at the mistakes we made and to learn and GROW from them so we can become better.

Thanks for taking the time to dig into this and writing about it, as well as sharing links to back up your comments and for us to follow up should we chose to do so.

As for what can be done, on the personal level, yes more commitment to critical thinking seems first and foremost, as does more of an "I don't know" humble approach to life and an "I need not be able to explain everything with one theory" orientation. I know I'm working on this in myself.

Second, I would like to point out that we DO need…

The challenging death and rebirth cycle was at the center of 2020 for many of us. Can we grow from it?

These trees were three of my best friends in 2020.

No matter which way I was blown by my life or tossed by the stormy seas of social media, these trees were there for me.

Standing tall, their limbs stretching over the bike path not far from my house in central Japan, shading me on hot summer days, soothing me when my soul most needed it, I could count on them.

They were there.

And then…

One day in late November 2020 they weren’t.

On what felt like the worst possible day for it to happen, the trees were gone.

The way I listened to him in the early 1990s can provide some answers

Rush Limbaugh (Wikimedia Commons)

In my college years in the early 1990s, I had a summer job as a grounds crew/maintenance guy at my former junior high and I’d pass most of the day listening to the radio. Mostly, I stuck with classic rock FM stations, but as a budding journalist majoring in political science, sometimes I’d venture to the AM dials where news and talk radio hung out and I’d find myself listening to this guy named Rush Limbaugh.

As a liberal (then and now), I didn’t do this because I was like the tens of millions of “Dittoheads” that made up Rush’s…


Photo by Jurij Kenda on Unsplash

Tonya was my first love
A foster-kid,
one of many
who stole — and broke — my heart
with her innocence
and purity

I took her to McDonald’s
and she was so happy
to get a Happy Meal
yet we were both 21
that’s how young she was

I felt guilt
guilt that she didn’t have parents like I did,
parents who took her to those Golden Arches
parents who patiently waited as I begged
for a drink without “the fizz”

Guilt that she loved me
for taking her there
because I was thinking
of how evil McDonald’s was
for razing the rain forest

How the rock music of 1991 transformed my life as an 18-year-old college freshman

Note: This post was inspired by one of my favorite YouTubers, Rick Beato, and this recent live stream, which you should check out.

I enjoyed the heck out of this playlist as I wrote this. (Photo: Author).

August 1991

I’m 18, sitting in the backseat of my dad’s car and Led Zeppelin’s epic “Kashmir” is caravaning through my headphones off the mixtape in my Walkman and I’m getting excited. We are about to ascend off the floor of California’s boring, sunny San Joaquin Valley into the mountains that mark the psychological northern boundary of one of the world’s great cities.

Los Angeles. Home for the next four years. College. Who knows what will happen?

My fellow Americans, I come in peace and I speak from experience, your news media diet is making you sick. Here’s how to improve it.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

When I moved to Japan from the Seattle area in July 2004, I was a 31-year-old news junkie and I had to get out of America.

Like now, post-9/11 America was a heavy time filled with lies and mistruths, many of them coming from the Bush Administration and then spread throughout most of the media.

As a journalism and political science major in college, I spent way too much time consuming, and being consumed by, media. …

Bryan Winchell

A Serious Fool who writes about: Personal/collective growth, politics, love of Nature/Humanity, Japan, podcasting, humor, and being a hippie in Service to Life.

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