By Mark Lee Golden Copyright 2020

Have you ever tried to read a big, bulky, massive, paperback? I have. After 600 pages, such publications are not only a literary challenge, but a constant ten-finger battle of digit dexterity. A 3-in-1 “Lord of the Rings” is 1,216 paperback pages. Did I say collateral clumsiness? There’s also “The Hobbit” as a 4-in-1 purchase at 1,520 pages. These immense products are not ergonomically friendly. They really aren’t. Compare those to an efficient ebook. Quite the miracle. Ol’ Johannes Gutenberg, of 500 hundred years ago, would choke at an eBible fitting into something so tiny as say a lapel pin.    

            Of late, I’ve read long, laborious books and had to apply some simple, comforting, common sense to such thick and weighty literature. With all-things PANDEMIC, I decided to try and read Mr. Stephen King’s 1978 post-apocalyptic dark fantasy novel, “The Stand.” It clocks in at 1,436 pages. This is actually (still) one his top best-selling books.

            If you ever travel up to the humongous forests of Canada’s Northwest Territories, you’ll find one onerous tree of note. This stately tall tamarack was spared on purpose to have a sign tacked on its burden bearing bark, acknowledging the necessary clear-cutting, in order to accommodate King’s “The Stand.” Saplings sired by initial First Printing conscripted trees of 1978, have grown up and are currently worthy of the newest “Stand” re-print. Generational, you might gather and guffaw.

           But I’ve digressed. You ask, “Mark, how did you make a stand (couldn’t help myself on that one) and manage melancholy misery?” I cut my paperback copy of “The Stand” into five sections, each one close to 300 pages. Using masking tape, I bound the booklets. Photo included. Now, my hands are happy and my fingers flexible. No floundering angst to be found. I’ve done this with two other plentiful paperbacks. I find these reworkings relaxing and rewarding. The Sacred Society for the Sanctity of the Printed Page will no doubt find my actions dubious and destructive.

           Now, my only continual concern is to locate where I’ve placed those stacks of storyline sections and keep readily reading! Conjuring Gandalf, to my aid? Not necessary. My house is only so big.

Hot Chicks That Kick Ass

Copyright 2014  Mark Lee Golden

Send me an email. I’d appreciate hearing from you!

Collective Insecurity Hovers Over Flight 370

Copyright 2014 Mark Lee Golden


The Last Tattoo

Mark Lee Golden   ©2012

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    Lance Arm not-so Strong

           Mark Lee Golden  © 2013

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Animal Abuse Gone A Fowl

Mark Lee Golden Copyright 2015

We are told terrible stories when we are but children. Morals are confused. Death is justice. Imaginative creatures rule beneath the waves. Above, in clouds, a Giant frolics. In thrones, kindly, plump, white-haired royalty sit. And standing over steaming, foul-smelling cauldrons, witches cackle and methodically stir. We read or listen as the world of make-believe is basted on to our childish fresh minds.

A duck that lays golden eggs! What a miracle. Or, was it a goose in that one? Oh, let’s stop and consider the players in that tale. Courage and poverty motivate a boy to pursue high danger. For his family he steals, which leads from bad to worse, ending in murder, shame, trickery, pride and hope. For the boy’s crimes he is hailed a hero. In his winnings is a goose, a female goose who has only known misuse.

Why I Wear a Kippa (Part Two)

  Mark Lee Golden   Copyright 2012

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How To Hear the Voice of God

Mark Lee Golden   Copyright 2012

Not only do totally crazy people claim that God speaks to them, totally sane people do too! Read how to save yourself

embarrassment, stay out of the evening news, win friends, and let God influence you!

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Why I Wear a Kippa

Mark Lee Golden   Copyright 2012

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I Honk Therefore I Am

Mark Lee Golden   Copyright 2012

“Tis better to have driven and honked, then to have driven and never honked at all!”

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Criminals in the Midst

Mark Lee Golden  Copyright 2013


Families Burning

Copyright 2014  Mark Lee Golden


To Blog or Not to Blog – That is the Question!

Mark Lee Golden   Copyright 2012   

Blogging is the one of the side lotteries of our age. We have the traditional monetary lottery–one ticket could mean winning millions of dollars. Then we have the YouTube style lottery – post a video and it may go viral. Millions of views, not dollars. And the Blog lottery, like anything posted on the Web, a blog or excerpt from one, can get a person instant fame and or a swarm of embarrassment.

Blogs are what the Romans might have chiseled on marble walls. But we all know, high-speed, electric chisels didn't exist then. Graffiti's digital step-sister is blogging (and she can get ugly).

To blog or not to blog is the equivalent of shouting at the television, heckling the ref in a crowded arena, back-talking parents or a place to take poetry and throw cherished verses at the world.

At its heart, blogging is: an answer by anyone, to anyone, and maybe – just maybe, left unread by everyone!

The motivations of bloggers can be to answer when no one has asked them a question and to question when no one is asking for an answer.

Blogger's opinions are lit on the international stage by the spotlight of self. These are perpetually powered by a connection to the Internet. Otherwise we're back to typing letters on paper, needing envelopes and stamps. Oh, and the innocent mailman, too.

By stepping onto my own virtual center stage, I create problems for myself and others. By posting anything, I will attract fans and enemies. If I write too little, I will be admired and misunderstood. If I write too much, I will be admired and misunderstood further. The anonymity of the Web, allows for good and evil to flourish side by side, born along by mere clicks separating the pages. Public readability of graffiti is no longer limited to exterior walls done in the dark of night.

I blog, therefore I am.

Tomorrow, people can say of me, "He blogged, therefore he was!"

“I giggled all the way down your trail!”  Sally P.

“Original!” Jim V.

“The dog got off the leash!” Paul L.

“Thank you for the laughter.” Deborah C.


What I’m about to write are the collected facts on an unusual date in history—Jewish history. Then I have a short, odd, personal account of my own connection to the day of fasting on Tisha B’Av 2015.

Tisha B’Av means “the ninth (day) of Av.” It’s the saddest day of the Jewish calendar and occurs in July or August on Western calendars.  

If the inventive comedic movie Groundhog Day had instead focused solely on Jewish tragedies it would have been titled Tisha B’Av Day. What follows here are interesting, though brief accounts of actual events happening on the same date in different centuries, plus religious responses to this mystical truth. If you are a Jew, Jew-friendly or a Jew-lover, you will sorrow. If you are a Jew-hater, you will laugh and shake your head in amusement. If you are simply a curious reader, you will wonder how this could be. Tisha B’Av primarily commemorates a list of catastrophes and what follows is an incomplete list. The fast mainly centers on the destruction of the two ancient and holy Temples in Jerusalem.

The First Temple, (Solomon’s) was destroyed on the ninth of Av, by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. Approximately 100,000 Jews were killed during the invasion. The remaining tribes in the southern kingdom were exiled to Babylon and Persia. The Second Temple (Herod’s), was destroyed by the Roman army in 70 C.E. Both on the same date, the ninth of Av, 655 years apart.

Tisha B’Av The Saddest Day on the Jewish Calendar

Mark Lee Golden  Copyright 2015



Blog #3   Mark Lee Golden  Copyright 2016

A King Without Royalty: Why I Pray For Donald Trump


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Home Blog Ring of Torrents Samples NQR News Grumpy Disciple Current Events
Home Blog Ring of Torrents Samples NQR News Grumpy Disciple Current Events

Two Men Walked Into A Bar

Mark Lee Golden  Copyright 2016

Two men walked into a crowded bar. A flurry of snowflakes followed on that December evening. By shuffling steps, each man meandered toward the bar. Heads swiveled at the oddly dressed newcomers. One wore warm winter clothes and a furry hat; the other’s bland summery clothes seemed inadequate. Both had beards, one white, the other dark. Some would’ve called these two men ‘eye-catching.’

READ THE REST IN PDF “Very Enjoyable. You boggle my mind!”  Deborah C. “Many Laughs.”  Robin W. “Hilarious!”  Leah N. “Funny. Good laughs”  Joe A.

At The Lake

Mark Lee Golden  Copyright 2017

Darkness deepened. Cold winter breezes left before darkness fell. Light speckles of the starscape unfurled in slow motion. A crescent moon grew closer to the forested hills of the horizon. Two companions casually swam in the chilly water; neither had anything to say.

Unlike summer and other fair weather, the expanse of the lake was devoid of watercraft. Thankful for each other’s company, they also enjoyed the silence without jet skis, speed boats, or trolling fishermen. The turtle, named Myrtle, and her small fish friend, Henry, meandered along close to the surface.

The two mariners drifted near a southern shore. Stately wooden lake cabins, side by side, exhibited large viewing windows. They suddenly heard happy children and the sounds of firm voiced supervising adults. The mariners’ curiosity caused them to swim and see the commotion. At the dock they stopped, raised their tiny heads, and listened.


Super Bowl Half-Time

Half-Full or Half-Empty

Mark Lee Golden Copyright 2018

Call me Scrooge.

I’m not a sports fan. In fact, when asked if I caught such-and-such game, my generic, jokingly reply will be, “I never watch hockey.” Just why I am not a good ol’ American sports fan is lost in the recesses of my early childhood, no doubt. With both of my parents deceased, it’s out of the question to sue them for this irreparable neutrality.

The Super Bowl is a phenomena. A golden, glittering, highlight of our culture. If you didn’t know, it’s a football game. The best against the best, is what they tell me; athletes doing athletic stuff.

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A Winter Glove Here, Fifteen Pair There

By Mark Lee Golden Copyright 2020

Do you have too many gloves? More specifically: winter gloves?

Brrr…with me.

When autumn weather arrives and isn’t going to leave, I find my winter gloves. There’s a pile of them. My winter wardrobe lies strewn in what used to be my daughter’s bedroom upstairs. Extra blankets, electric blankets, warm hats, snow pants, snow boots, scarves, long underwear, hefty coats, and my many, many, gloves. These cold weather items will now make their annual migration to the main floor’s back room. The rear door is there and through it continual winter smorgasbord.

I live in Eastern Washington—by choice—though now I question remaining here. But after 40 winters I’m tired of even pondering the four months of chilly, chillier, more-chillier, (officially) cold, too cold, and unnecessary damn freezing temperatures and wary conditions. No, I don’t do any winter sports. Such as snowmobiling, skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, hunting, sledding, igloo construction competitions or underwater snowshoe weaving.

I do necessary activities such as: shoveling snow, icicle management, spreading salt and gravel, digging out, snow blowing, cussing while scraping frost off the car windows (again), warming up parked cars (again), chipping ice dams while cussing, driving on black ice cussing, cussing while looking out of the windows of my house, turning up the thermostat while cussing, watching the latest weather report (again and again, and just one more time), and of course, wearing the proper gloves.

Did I tell you that I grew up in sunny Southern California? Nev’r a snowflake nor icicle in my childhood. Yes, our front yard had real palm trees.


Now before you point your finger in cold judgment (I just couldn’t pass that up) and call me a “winter wimp” READ THE FOLLOWING. Try to sincerely understand my deeply rooted problem. Confession time. I have poor blood circulation—no, it’s worse than yours! I recently had a blood test, and if you’re curious, yes they did find blood!

It seems that my internal furnace of 64 years, just won’t work right. As Edgar Allen Poe lamented, “Nevermore, nevermore…” In the years behind me I’ve needed to wear socks to bed. My feet are not happy even during the summer months. (Don’t ask about my vast winter sock collection! That’s a separate rant.) My hands are typically cold—I know, I know—cold hands, cold heart! Right. My hands get painfully numb abnormally quick and they’re hard to warm back up. When my gloved fingers nearly turn into icicles I put on another pair of gloves. It’s no fun. It sucks. (Don’t ask me about my chilled and near frosting tip of my nose. That’s yet another rant.)

In my glove emporium there is one pair of gloves, only one, which I count on to keep my digits warm in below freezing temps for more than 30 minutes. That pair is bulky and long-sleeved and is always close by, just in case. No, I don’t keep them under my pillow at night—not a bad idea now that I think of it.


When the weather gets challenging, autumn turns unfriendly and those pretty, colorful leaves have blown away. You’ll find me sorting a large basket full of said gloves. I know that I won’t wear all 15 pairs (including those 3 gloves without partners—all left hands) in the next four months. I figure that I don’t know just when I’ll need this or that pair for the differing cold weather conditions.

You asked, “But, Mark, what about the near useless partner-free glovets?” Yes, it is folly to keep them in hopes of a better, future outcome—which after these years will truly never be. The only solution is for me to dispose of them on a bristling hot summer day next year. Then, no practical nor emotional attachment will register as I toss them in the gaping maw of the mindless garbage can. (I must remind myself to do this come July.)

This winter season, I paired the gloves into a respectable pile while questioning the probability of once again, ever using ALL of my cold temp buddies. Two piles manifested as always. #1. Really, really, really cold. #2. Not as cold as #1.  

I photographed this gathering of 155 fingers and thumbs. (Refer to photo provided.)



You ask, I ever sought counseling, been accosted by mental health professionals on the street or visited a Gloves Anonymous support group. NO. And, I am not a glove-a-holic. NO I’M NOT. Also, I’m not promoting glove porn—honestly where has your mind been? Yes, I have looked at the Dictionary’s definitions of ‘accumulating vs hoarding’—I passed clean as a whistle. Did I hear one of you say “Oh, c’mon Mark, you know it’s overkill!” Plus, I am not planning, though tempted, to start a GoFundMe site in order to expand and round out my…well, y’know what. Finally, yes, I’ve researched a double-hand transplant operation. It costs a bundle!!!

Now, it is true that somewhere in the Gospels According to Old Man Winter, Jesus (while shivering) proclaimed, “You who have two pairs of mittens, give to him who has none.”And I intend on doing so………………….…I do……….I really do, someday.


BTW the inspiration for the glove portrait was not the Christmas tree. No, it was quite obviously the 1969 Pink Floyd double-album cover of “Ummagumma.”


“You are a marvelous writer.” James M.

“Haha! You gave me a chuckle today.” R.R.

Thank you, Mark. That brought lots of smiles.  Sue E.


Oh your cleverness is reaching new heights.”  R.J.

Me at some recent point in my life.  I’m somewhat different right now…