One of my Friday evening joys is to read the inspirational Jewish Sabbath messages my friend Allan Lengel posts on his Facebook page. Anyone who knows Lengel will confirm he’s the consummate mensch and he maintains a more positive outlook on life than yours truly. Lengel’s posts are both enlightening and uplifting.

Lengel’s post last week featured a reference to a talk the Buddhist psychologist Tara Brach recently gave about “rewiring for happiness.” Brach says we have about 86,000 thoughts a day, and most of them are repetitive.

Tara Brach/Website photo

“Whatever we think about becomes the habit of our mind,” she says. We worry about what’s around the corner, or our crazy political landscape or war or disease, the latter particularly as we get older. Or we replay a slight in our head over and over again.  It impacts our moods.

Brach’s comment prompted me to make an inventory of some of the thoughts that I dwell on.

While some of them deal with weighty matters that I write about in this blog, too many focus on meaningless stuff I shouldn’t admit to, but I thought I’d throw caution to the wind and share a few.

Here’s a random sampling:

The Misnamed San Diego Freeway

The San Diego Freeway, more commonly referred to as the 405, runs through Los Angeles and Orange counties. While it feeds into Highway 5 which extends to San Diego, the biggest portion of the freeway runs through Los Angeles.

Logic suggests the 405 should be called the Los Angeles Freeway.

Even native Angelenos, including my cousins David and Rob, can’t explain why the 405 is misnamed. No one but me seems to care.

General Motors’ Dated Name

GM CEO Mary Barra says electric vehicles are the future of General Motors. Indeed, Barra vowed that by mid-century, GM will be selling more EVs than Tesla.

Buying a battery powered electric vehicle from a company called General Motors doesn’t speak to the EV in me. GM urgently needs a name that will appeal to EV enthusiasts without alienating buyers of its gas guzzling SUVs and trucks.

How about: Gas Engines and Electric Motors R Us (GEEMRU)?

The name isn’t perfect but it’s still better than Stellantis.

Or maybe just rename the automaker X and cause Elon Musk to throw a hissy fit.

Elon Musk’s Tweets

My news feed is flooded with reports on Elon Musk’s incessant tweets (or is it Xs), with reporters analyzing and amplifying them as they were handed down from God. The other day Musk made news agreeing with professional money managers that buying short-term Treasuries are a “no-brainer.”

Do you really want to take investment advice from someone who paid $44 billion to acquire Twitter?

What I wonder is how much thought, if any, does Musk put into his tweets before posting them. I also wonder the last book Musk read cover-to-cover. Seems a safe bet it wasn’t Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

When Billionaires Break Bread

Musk and Bernard Arnault, a peddler of luxury goods such as a Louis Vuitton, are alternatively ranked as two of the world’s richest persons. The two men recently had lunch together in France.

Here’s what I want to know: Who paid for the lunch?

Newsom website photo

Governor Newsom’s Haircare

I’m not a fan of my governor, but I’m in awe of his haircare. I’ve never seen him with a hair out of place, and as it always appears to be the same length, I wonder if it still grows.

Does Newsom use gel or hairspray?  I recall years ago environmentalists warning that hairspray was burning a hole in the earth’s ozone, so Newsom better be using gel he buys by the barrel to save on climate destroying plastic containers.

Causing a New York Times Newsroom Riot

The New York Times despises Donald Trump and cranks out stories 24/7 pandering to the hatred the publication’s readers also have for him.

What would happen if I got a job interview to work for The Gray Lady and showed up wearing a MAGA hat?

Ford’s Safety Recalls

In the past 19 months Ford Motor Co. has issued about 100 safety recalls, which cost the automaker megabucks.

Who is the executive responsible for overseeing the recalls and telling CEO Jim Farley about them?

Does the recall executive get paid a bonus based on volume? Maybe that’s why Ford has been issuing recalls on work done for previous recalls.

The Perils of Tart Cherry Growers

I would have thought that growing tart cherries would be an enjoyable and lucrative life, given the price of the seasonal delicacies. How sad to read this Detroit News story that Michigan’s tart cherry farmers, who are responsible for most of the tart cherries sold in America, are struggling.

Yet another reminder that life isn’t a bowl of cherries, especially if you grow them in Michigan.

Exxon’s EV Initiative

Bloomberg reported that Exxon is in early stage talks to provide lithium to EV manufacturers, including Tesla, Ford, and Volkswagen.

If the talks are successful, would that make Exxon a “green energy company?”

What Tesla and BMW Drivers Share in Common

I’m declaring that Tesla drivers increasingly rival their BMW counterparts in the a-hole department. Tesla drivers at least come by their behavior honestly, given who they bought their vehicles from.

Canada’s Justin Trudeau

Do Canadians truly believe the former drama teacher is up to the task of leading their country or are they just too polite to vote him out of office?

Trump’s and Biden’s Commonality

I scream, you scream, Donald Trump and Joe Biden both share a love for ice cream.

It was reported that Trump demanded that he be given two scoops of ice cream after dinner when he was living in the White House. I’ve seen lots of photographs with Biden licking ice cream cones.

Why can’t the two men bury the hatchet and open a national chain of ice cream shops, sparing America both their participations in the 2024 elections?

On Being Un“Like”able on LinkedIn

I don’t get many “likes” when I post on LinkedIn. Does that mean most people on the social media site dislike what I post?

Hopefully, this post will find its way to some Buddhists, who might “like” my humor. This might come as a surprise, but Buddhists love humor and appreciate a good joke.

I’m going to close with one from Tara Brach, as shared by my friend Allan Lengel.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are on a camping trip, and so they set up their tent and they fall asleep. Some hours later, Sherlock wakes up his faithful friend and says, “Watson look up in the sky and tell me what you see?

“Watson replies: “I see millions of stars.”

 Sherlock Holmes says, “What does that tell you?”

Watson ponders, then says, “Astronomically speaking it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Time wise it appears to be approximately 3:15 a.m.  Theologically, it’s evident that the Lord is all powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically it seems we’ll have a clear beautiful day tomorrow.”

“What does it tell you?” Watson asks.

Holmes pauses a moment and says, “You idiot, someone stole our tent.”

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