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Bartlett's Unlikely Quotations

“The journey of a thousand miles must begin by punching your destination into your GPS system.” –Paul V. Atkins

I’ve seen a similar quote attributed to Confucious, John Lennon, The Reader’s Digest, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and Barry Bonds. My trusted reference, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, attributes the thought to Lao-Tzu, 604-531 b.c., who said the journey must begin with a single step. Pretty pedestrian.

The modern standard is that if you don’t know who said something, attribute it to the first name that comes to you. During the 2000 presidential campaign, specious e-mail messages attributed former Vice President Dan Quayle’s …

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Access of Evil

My friend Bob has successfully installed a wireless mouse and keyboard for his new computer.

I’m awed by this, but I wish he had first checked with my other friend, Myron, who also went wireless. Myron’s wife Amy is threatening to divorce him, on grounds of technology.

Myron lives in Polymer Village, one of the retirement communities northwest of Phoenix, and he loves technology. But like me, Myron is not smart enough, or patient enough, to make all the gadgets work correctly–he’s wireless, cordless and clueless.

Life was harder when Bob and Myron and I were boys. Not everyone had …

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A Hurried Courtship

Valentine’s Day will be Arizona’s 90th birthday. On February 14, 1912, Arizona Territory became a state, the last of the lower 48 to be admitted to the Union.

Still, statehood is nowhere near as compelling as romance. On the day Arizona became a state, a young Phoenix man, Thomas, saved his fair maiden, thus winning her heart and hand. Some said Thomas was daring, and others called him reckless.

The battle for statehood had been long and difficult. Democrats in the U.S. Senate felt that Arizona had too many outlaws, too many range wars, too many Republicans. After 20 years, …

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Snowbirds and Snowhorses

I saw an Arizona license plate in the parking lot at the post office today, among all the plates from Wyoming, Indiana, Idaho.

I walked toward the Arizona plate, hoping to see a familiar face. Then I realized it was my own car. On the way, I passed plates from Alaska, Montana, Massachusetts and Ontario.

The snowbirds are here, fleeing the cold elsewhere. They flock like the Canada geese who also visit us in winter, but there are a lot more snowbirds than geese.

I dreamed last night that all the motorhomes traveling Arizona stopped at once. In my dream, …

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