Musings for 2024

Musings for 2024 Cover Image

John R York

January 24, 2024


Moving a skosh faster than 18 miles per hour, we recently completed another full revolution around our Sun. The trip required 365 days, 6 hours, and 9 minutes to complete, and now here we are in 2024. It’s a routine trip, a redundant voyage that has been taking place for about 4.5 billion years, yet each new year is typically considered to be something very special. It's a time when people vow to turn a new leaf, promise to change their ways, and make grand resolutions. All this assumes that you follow the Gregorian calendar to keep track of a year. If you use the Jewish calendar or the Chinese calendar or others, perhaps your new year has yet to arrive.

There are at least two things that do make 2024 special: it’s a leap year and, here in the United States, it’s a general election year. People who were born on February 29 will finally get to celebrate their birthday after waiting for four years. The presidential election will result in doom or salvation for our country, depending on your point of view.

There will, of course, be lots of other special things that will happen this year: anniversaries, births, and deaths. I’m looking forward to yet another National Donut Day on June 7. 2024 will no doubt see significant advancements in technology, medicine, and transportation. I’m thinking that by the end of the year there will be an application that allows me to simply think about a story and it will be automatically written and published for me. With the extra leisure time, I may consider taking up pickleball.

One thing that the new year will probably not bring is an end to the terrible conflicts that plague our planet. This is a human trait that seems to be inescapable. If anything, we may see an escalation in violence everywhere. But I’m confident that there will be many good things that will happen this year. So let’s all try to think positive thoughts.

I didn’t make any New Year resolutions this year. After my 75th birthday last October, I resolved to lose weight and start working out again. I’m pleased to report that since then I’ve lost 18 pounds and am working out at Powerhouse Gyn three days a week – without fail. Paula and I will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary on January 25. And I am just a couple weeks away from publishing my 8th novel, Retribution. All in all, I think that's a pretty good start to the new year.

I think the trick to having a good new year is to go out there and make it a good year. Do good deeds and be nice to each other.


Things often just pop into my head and I start thinking about stuff, and then I feel like I need to share. Recently, somebody told me that I should roll with the punches, and I thought about that. It’s an odd thing to say, but I knew exactly what she meant.

This past December, a friend of mine told me he bought his wife a Christmas present that cost him an arm and a leg, yet it appeared to me that he was still in possession of all his limbs. He seemed certain that the necklace would tickle her pink, and, since he had more money than brains, he bit the bullet and shelled out the bread. I had to wonder if his shortfall of brains could perhaps explain his peculiar behavior regarding bullets and bread.

A young friend of mine who is attending a local college, told me he needed to prepare for a big test. Later, I asked him how he thought he’d done. “Well, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake, so I cut corners in my preparations, but I managed to pass by the skin of my teeth. Those damn multiple-choice questions drive me up a wall. Scratching my head, I wondered what kind of test involved cutting the corners off of a piece of cake. I didn’t want to embarrass him, so I didn’t try to explain to him that teeth don’t have skin.

Of course, we all use these nonsensical sayings in everyday speech. I can’t help but wonder, how do these colloquial expressions get started? I realize that all languages evolve. Well, except for Latin.

Occasionally, I hear old slang expressions that are no longer commonly used, yet many, maybe even most people, still know what they mean. The bee’s knees, for example, means cool, which means fab, which means bitchin, which means rad, which means primo, which means phat, which really means excellent. You gotta be hip to keep up with the current trends.

I remember when the current craze of using acronyms in email and texting first started. For a long time, I had no idea what “LOL” meant. I would see it embedded in business emails circulating around my company and presumed it was a technical abbreviation for a new software language or something. I finally broke down and asked somebody what it meant and they ‘spilled the beans’. LOL = “Laugh out loud.” I thought to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding.” I was still using “ha ha” which I still think is better than LOL.

So, a friend just stopped by to tell me he heard it through the grapevine that the big cheese of his company might begin laying people off.

“You’re pulling my leg. That would suck,” I told him.

“You can say that again. This couldn’t come at a worse time. My wife’s got a bun in the oven and I’m the only one bringing home the bacon. She’ll shit a brick.”

“Well, I wouldn’t beat around the bush about telling her the news. For all you know, she might take it with a grain of salt and everything will be as right a rain.”

“She’ll probably go off her rocker. I feel like I’m caught between a rock and a hard place.”

“Just playing the devil’s advocate, but you might not lose your job after all.”

“Speak of the devil, here she comes.”

“Don’t have a cow. It’s always darkest before the dawn. Take the bull by the horns. Get it off your chest.”

“Hi boys,” his wife said. “What’s up?”

My friend began acting like he had ants in his pants and didn’t respond.

“I guess that cat’s got his tongue,” I offered.

And so on…..


Homophones are not people of the same sex who are attracted to each other. They are words that sound alike but have different meanings. This is another thing that just popped into my head the other day. So, I have to share some of these with you. No wonder people from other countries have trouble understanding English:

Flour and Flower.  Know and No. Bare and Bear. By and Buy. Right and Write. Hear and Here. Knight and night. Fairy and Ferry. Incite and Insight. Hole and Whole.  Deer and Dear, How about Rain and Rein and Reign?

You see? It’s fun to try to think of examples.

That's it for January 2024. Don’t forget to read a book! (preferably my books)