Ostomy Memories of THINGS


People who attend college are supposed to increase by their educational pursuit the sum total of their lifetime earnings. That is not to say, however, that those who go no further than high school can’t get wealthy; it all depends upon what line of work they enter.
My advice to a child not wishing to get a higher education would be… learn how to fix inanimate objects. They would be THING doctors. Inanimate objects are classified scientifically into three major sub-categories: things that don’t work, things that break down, and things that become obsolete.
Plumbers, electricians, and automobile mechanics have us all at their mercy. They can over-estimate, over-bill, and over-fix our malfunctioning things with impunity, since we don’t know the difference.
When the missus brings the aging sedan in for an oil change and George the mechanic informs her with a serious expression on his face that her left fractional widget is about to go, she will be afraid not to buy a replacement for it. Perish forbid it should cease to function while she’s at highway speed, George warns. I’ll let you have it for only $49.99, George tells her graciously, and I won’t even charge you for the labor. What a guy!
Some thing-fixers, of course, are strictly marginal operators. These are the guys with the “handyman” ads in the classified section. Beware of these often likeable fellows. They may not have even finished high school and they bring the same lack of enthusiasm to their present work opportunities. They may or may not be licensed. They may or may not complete the job, especially if it takes more than part of one day. It’s a form, I suppose, of attention deficit disorder, one of the many phenomena treated today as a mental illness that we used to think of as simple laziness and lack of sufficient motivation.
As for things that become obsolete, perhaps the most obvious and timely examples of that would be phones and computers. In today’s technological atmosphere, of course, there are many other examples. So the question is not so much fixing what’s broken but fixing the unenviable situation of having to rely upon a thing that is not THE LATEST THING.
Unfortunately the fixers of things -- from mechanics to refrigeration repairmen -- unlike telephones and computers, do not get half as costly and twice as smart every couple of years.


Hello HenryM.

Thank you for another entertaining and pertinent post. I have, of course, considered the concept of ‘thing-fixers’, but have never saw fit to commit my thoughts to verse. However, the concept has had a marked effect upon my outlook towards things that fall into the three categories you mention. (things that don’t work, things that break down, and things that become obsolete).
For me, the first two categories are treated as being much the same and my response has always been to try to fix these ‘things’ myself.
In the process, I have learned a great deal about ‘how things work’ and why things fail/break. My cynical theory is that modern ‘things’ are deliberately made to last for the period of the guarantee -plus one day. Many of those things with electronics probably have an inbuilt microchip to make sure that happens on time. However, those things without electronics are designed with ‘plastic’ parts, which are almost guaranteed to have the same effect as the malevolent microchip, causing malfunction soon after the guarantee runs out. Sometimes the breakdown happens prior to the prescribed date, but that doesn’t really matter to the manufacturers and the sellers because the broken parts are cheap and easy (for them) to replace and will almost certainly last until the guarantee expires. At that point, the concept of ‘maintenance’ and ‘service’ raises its ugly head and is likely to be a very expensive road to travel. This has become such a recognised ‘scam’, that companies are now offering and advising you to take out ‘insurance’ policies to cover this almost inevitable consequence of purchasing a modern ‘thing’.
Fortunately, for anyone who has an aversion to being ripped off in this way, the internet has come to our rescue and we can now get detailed advice on ‘how-to’ mend almost anything.
I have mended every domestic device imaginable – some of them several times and I have never needed the help of any ‘thing-doctor’ to do so. Sometimes I have needed to reinvent stuff because the original designers have obviously designed the items to go wrong, but the basic concepts seemed to be sound.
Quite often, When I have asked companies for ‘spares’(which cost almost nothing to make) the manufacturers will not provide them without their own mechanics doing the ( expensive) repair. However, for most ‘things’ there are a range of secondary suppliers on the internet who are only too willing to supply anyone and everyone with almost anything.
The best of all the advice I have found is a ‘tip’ on ‘how-to’ mend those infinite number of bits of plastic that fail, necessitating an expensive ‘thing-doctor’ to replace it with a cheap (if complex and unobtainable) Chinese spare. The process is to use ‘super-glue’ plus baking powder. This forms a very hard and strong bond which is far superior to the plastic and will not give way again. (at least not before the rest of the plastic has disintegrated, become microplastic and poisoned the world’s fish-stocks.)
Mending ‘things’ myself has been educational and fun at times, but it is not necessarily cheaper if I was to count my time and calculate how much I might have been able to earn elsewhere. However, there are now a number of us in our town who have joined together to help our fellow citizens to mend stuff and recycle, rather than throw it away. This is becoming a very popular, ‘free-of charge’ option, which hopefully helps develop a ‘kind, community-spirit’ rather than a money-making scam.
The DIY approach, when it is shared, also has the benefits of bringing satisfaction and contentment to the activities done for and on behalf of others.

Best wishes and a ‘contented’ New Year.


PS: I couldn'r resist a related rhyme:


There are some very useful tools
a hanging in my shed.
I know they could be useful,
I feel it in my head.

They’ve hung in there for forty years
and must be useful still,
but, I have never used them yet,
and fear I maybe never will.

                           B. Withers 1989
Tools and rules in schools for fools.
                             B. withers 1989

<p>I'm jealous of your DIY abilities.&nbsp; I'm all thumbs when it comes to that, and fortunate if I can distinguish b/t a wrench and a screwdriver.&nbsp; In the rural Utah community where I lived for 14 years, I'm sure I was the only male in town without a full set of tools and the capability of using them to their fullest extent.&nbsp; Fortunately, the Mormans in that little town were always ready and willing to help me out when I needed it.&nbsp; I was also amused by your reference to the use of baking powder, surely one of the world's most versatile substances (I use it as a pouch deoderant).<br /><br /></p>
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Hi gents,

Both of you ndash; Henry and Bill ndash; have added divergency to my mid-morning reads. You are both ldquoanecdoters rdquo; and because of the time zone difference both blogs are posted before I really get up in the morning. That often takes a cuppa or Joe, or go-juice, or jitter-juice, or mud, as well as, like today - a dab of Irish Cream.

Your blogs allow me to recollect, reminisce, stir up, jog my memory ndash; but ndash; the best is that it is gratifying to read great words and thoughts. JK Rowling re-introduced our younger generation to some great grammar and creative imaginations when she wrote Harry Potter. Reading, with writing as a trickle-down effect, became cool again.

I had a lawyer-friend, who generously did pro bono work for people who needed fair representation in the courts, after he retired. Because he was computer-challenged, I typed all his documents. Also, a MENSA member, he once called a judge ldquo;Your Horror. rdquo; This people-loving ldquo;foodie rdquo; would pedal his one-gear bike in jeans and a hoodie all around Edmonton discovering restaurants in crooks and crannies. He used to tell me that life was for exploring and eating and if he was unable to do those things, it was not worth living anymore. Unfortunately, he had a stroke and was sadly tube-fed, bed-ridden, and speech-impaired for the rest of his life.

That brings me to why I love reading your posts, even though I do not reply to all of them, and why I hope you continue to do so, because even as ostomates we can still enjoy life ndash; we can travel, patronize any public event ndash; even get bit my mosquitoes. It is a pleasure to read thought-provoking posts on yes ndash; EVEN AN OSTOMATE SITE ndash; because some of us don't think of our condition as completely life-altering in a negative way, rather, it has given us life.

For a site with so many supposed members, most sedlom post or reply and some just pop in to complain and be grumpy, then disappear. For your generous contributions, albeit occasional negativity from other ostomates, I humbly thank you. Just, K.


Hello HenryM.
Thanks again for this post as it promotes a concept which is prominent for me in several different ways.

There are, of course, the material things of which we have written. However, there are also those ‘things’ which are emotional, psychological, ephemeral, logical.
One of my many ‘problems’ in rhyming endeavour, is to find ‘things’ to capture my imagination and motivate me into writing rhyme (or prose).
‘Things’ that spring to mind in what might be described as a ‘natural’ way, become less and less frequent the older I become and the more I write, as many ‘things’ start to become repeated and there are only a limited number of ways to portray a single subject.
I often set myself a target of writing a page-a-day, which enables me to produce 365 per year, which is enough for a book (or sometimes 2). Or, at least, that’s the logic! However, trying to think up new ‘things’ becomes harder and harder, the more I realise that there is nothing ‘new’ to think up. Someone has always thought of it before and has portrayed the things I want to say in ways that I can only wish and hope to emulate.

This is where your stimulating posts have helped. They are a refreshing change from the sorts of serious concepts and problems of everyday life that I usually search for. Thus, as the New Year approaches, I wish to think you for the ‘THINGS’ you write about and hope that you will share many more.

Best wishes

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Hello HenryM.

It is sometimes difficult to get this sort of concept out of my head until I've written a rhyme or two about it. It's a bit like one of those catchy tunes that plays over and over until it's replaced with something else.  As I have not addressed the issue in rhyme before. I must thank you for prompting me to do so now:

Best wishes



I wish to see what springs to mind,
what thoughts and notions I might find,
what concepts and ideas it brings,
when I begin to look at ‘THINGS’.

‘Thing’s’ as objects or possessions
can sometimes become obsessions,
motivating some people to
a somewhat narrow point of view.

This can be so at some weddings
where such objects are the rings,
which somehow come to symbolise
what couples wish to realise.

These rings are something that they wear
to show each other that they care,
reminders of the vows they made
hoping that they will not fade.

It seems so sad, people believe
the stories told them to deceive
them into thinking that these rings
would be what could achieve these things.

These rings are often made of gold,
so, what these lovers have been told
is, if they spend a lot, they might
build a relationship that’s right.

These are ideas that I despise,
for don’t these people realise
that love and care are things that grow
with or without a ring on show.

Objects like gold, are things of worth
only to humans on the Earth,
who seem to have transferred their care
from fellow man, to ‘things’ they share.


‘THINGS’. (----continued 2)

It’s not the objects we acquire
that other people might admire,
it is the way that we behave
that separates the king from knave.

A ‘thing’ is something that we do,
an act or deed or something true
to our beliefs or attitude
which gives us lots of latitude.

There’re many people think we should
spend all our lives in doing good,
and those who indulge in these things
know well what rewards it brings.

Others’ will do things that are bad
which, in turn, makes other’s sad
and sometimes they make other’s pay
just so they can get their way.

Our actions appeal or appal,
but what we ‘do’, defines us all.
Consider what you say and do
from someone else’s point of view.

I like to think that things I’ve done
have led to kindness or to fun,
and once my actions have begun
they’ve not caused harm to anyone.

An act done for a foe or friend,
sometimes, is a means to an end,
whereby the action might result
in things being less difficult.

No matter why we do our ‘thing’,
let’s hope that all our actions bring
comfort, joy and happiness,
instead of sad, bad crappiness.


‘THINGS’. (----continued 3)

Of course, a ‘thing’ can be a thought,
a force of mind, that can’t be bought
by money or by other things
that people use to pull our strings.

It’s difficult with just a notion,
for, there’s no buying an emotion,
or an instinctual reaction
to some other person’s action.

Some things that are said and done
may stimulate thoughts in someone
which probably were not rehearsed
and may or may not be conversed.

What we may think upon a day,
may not be what we want to say,
hence, we will sometimes hesitate
so, our words will not irritate.

I think that horrid things get said,
just because they’re in your head,
and you can’t keep your big mouth closed
so, all your thoughts are thus disclosed.

When people have a bad idea,
it’s best that others do not hear
what’s going on deep down inside
and these are ‘things’ that they should hide.

Sometimes, some ‘things’ are on my mind,
which cause concern, and then I find
I do not know which way to go,
or whether to let people know.

If I thought that people cared
the problems then may well be shared,
but if those people are troubled
my own concerns might well be doubled.


‘THINGS’. (----continued 4)

Some ‘things’ can be a circumstance,
an accident or coincidence,
or something unexpected where
someone feels something’s unfair.

Thus, a ’thing’ can be a state
in which people participate,
therefore, they want things to be right
open, honest and in sight.

A ‘thing’ will not always be bad,
for sometimes it is just a fad,
a fleeting, momentary trend
which we all know will soon end.

We see it in the form of fashion
where some people have a passion
for some ‘thing’ that will not last,
so, quickly moves into the past.

And as with fashion, a ‘thing’ can be
both passion and adultery,
a strong feeling of desire
as if one’s heart and soul’s on fire.

Or, it can mean the opposite,
which, in my case, is apposite,
for I have got a ‘thing’ with shit
and stomas that will deal with it.

The ‘thing’ that I have on my side
is something that I try to hide,
for most people don’t want to know
from which hole my faeces might flow.

So, there we have it, these are ‘things’
that simply being human brings,
and, having looked, what I have found
is ‘things’ have always been around.

The next ‘thing’ that I need to do
is to express this point of view.

                                B. Withers 2020

                      (proposed for 'Wext')


Hello HenryM.
While I was searching for the rhyme on ‘smoking’, I came across two others, that seem to accord with my initial responses to this post.
I hope it does not come across as overloading your posts with rhyme – but here goes:
Best wishes


Give me the things that I can touch
within my hands that I can clutch.
I’m excellent mechanically
and equivalent botanically.

I know enough to work things out
and show you what stuff is about.
And anything that I find broke
I quickly mend for all you folk.

I like to feel that things are real
so valid facts will seem ideal.
I find it’s fine to stipulate,
to manage and manipulate.

For I was good at fixing stuff
but now I’ve found that’s not enough.
Although I’m dexterous of hand
there’s things I do not understand.

It seems that I have missed some tricks
which means some things are hard to fix.
Like over-the-top emotion
can’t be stopped when once in motion.

People prone to get distressed
have been known to get depressed.
When some people get frustrated
they become infuriated.

They let their rage and anger out
they’ll yell and bellow, pout and shout.
If still they don’t get their own way
they will make sure they have their say.

With high emotions in the mix
we find it difficult to fix.
This is a skill that most have missed
or at least it’s not practised.

                                           B. Withers 2013


There’s not a lot that I can’t fix
with things involving mechanics.
I’m pretty fair at D.I.Y.
and dare to give most things a try.

I tend to be methodical
meticulous and logical.
I’ll think the problem through and then
use expertise and acumen.

I’m purposeful and tactical
with anything that’s practical.
I’ve a flair for innovation
and I’m there for renovation.

Many troubles I have tended
many problems I have mended.
And my confidence has grown
with what I’ve done and what I’ve known.

I like to be put to the test
so I can show I do my best
and no matter how involved
it’s great when problems are resolved.

There’s nothing I like better than
to execute a well-laid plan.
Using devices to progress
towards the prize of true success.

Mending things when they are broken
is like a present or a token
done by someone for another
like to a friend or a lover.

I’ve seen the problems that life brings
and I’ve been good at fixing things.
But when those things are of the heart
I hardly know where I should start.

                                        B. Withers 2013

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