Saturday, May 30, 2020


About four-thirty in the morning there is a robin named Larry Bird that sits outside of my window each day, just as the eastern sky begins to lighten, and screeches his sunrise song.

It wakes the cats up and it wakes me up; but I don’t mind. 

 Our bedroom is comfortable, with an overhead fan.  My beautiful wife sleeps comfortingly next to me, and I lie there and think.   I don’t think about getting up and feeding the cats, or making tea, or the problems of the day; I just allow myself, in the stillness of the early morning, to think.   I think about books I have read, about projects I am working on, about blogs I might write, about science, the universe, life, the human animal, earth’s environment; and today about banks. 

I never thought about it before, but how the hell do banks work?

I just had an electronic transfer from PayPal for a few bucks from selling on e-bay.  Where is the actual money?

Say a man in Florida electronically transfers one-million dollars from his Florida bank to a bank in Minnesota.   He instantly gets a notice that the transfer is completed and he now has a million dollars in his account in Minnesota – but does he?

Where is the actual money?   Does the bank in Florida load up ten-thousand one-hundred-dollar-bills in a Wells Fargo truck and have it driven to the bank in Minnesota?   Does the bank in Minnesota actually receive the cash?  

The federal government just distributed $1,200 as a stimulus to all Americans.   Let’s say that our bank received 5000 electronic transfers of $1,200 from the U.S. Treasury.   Now the bank has to credit $6,000,000 to their member's accounts.   Does the Fed actually load up $6,000,000 in a suitcase with Donald Trump’s name on it and UPS it to your local bank?   Where is the money?

I know that banks give out loans and charge interest; but they almost always issue a check.   Where is the cash?  How is it distributed?

This is nothing that will keep me awake tonight; but I am just wondering.

How many people nowadays actually take the time, not while driving, not while eating lunch, not while working on your motorcycle…; but a quiet time where they can just think – let the mind wander and think.

Einstein called it ‘thought experiments’.  He could not actually see the micro-miniature world of quantum mechanics, but he thought about it.  Today there is an entire field of science called theoretical physics that operates on thought experiments.  They think about it!

I make no analogy between Einstein and myself; but thinking - having time to think – is an activity rarely practiced in todays society.   I have the feeling that instead of thinking and reflection, people today just grab their cell phones when a few minutes of quiet time presents itself. 


You can think while you are getting stoned,
But the problem is,
you can’t remember your conclusion

the Ol’Buzzard


  1. I'm also a spatial thinker. Many of the things that I think have to be done during the day are thought up while I'm lying in bed in the morning. I make a mind list of what I have to do and how to go about doing the harder jobs.first and how to get them done without tiring myself out and ending up laid up for a whole week because of lupus.

  2. They say we do our best and most creative thinking while we are relaxed -- for example, while taking a nice hot shower or, as you are, snuggled up in bed.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."