Laughing Matters
Avoiding alien-nation in a PC world

By Charles Marshall | May 13, 2009

Charles MarshallI want to make it clear that I do not believe in aliens. Having said that, I think it would still be wise to have a plan in place in case of an alien invasion.

The following are my suggestions in such a case:

1] Let the aliens keep the kids for the weekend.

How this would work: The aliens would come down and start doing their War-of-the-Worlds thing, and we would say, “Hey, you got us. It’s obvious we’re out-smarted and out-gunned. Tell you what, we’re going to take off for a last hurrah before you take over the planet and whatnot. By the way, we’re leaving the kids with you. We’ll be back late Sunday afternoon. Bye-bye!”

Why this will work: First of all, the grandparents always fall for it, so the aliens certainly won’t know what hit ‘em until the kids are tearing up their spaceships.

Second, the primary difference between a grandparent and an alien from outer space is that a grandparent knows when to duck. An alien would be fooled by a child’s deceptively diminutive size and not be on his guard. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the fool beaten out of me by the kids while we were just hanging out, watching TV. Leave the kids with the aliens for the weekend and I guarantee you that the kids will snap their scrawny alien necks and be playing kickball with their over-sized, bulbous heads by Sunday afternoon.

2] Give the aliens all our PCs, especially if they’re running a Vista operating system. We humans are used to computer manufacturers taking a perfectly good product, ruining it, and charging us for the service, but this process would blow an intelligent species’ mind.
Giving an alien from an advanced society a PC would be a lot like giving a Mac user a PC. They simply would not be able to comprehend how anyone could possibly live with such a moronic piece of equipment and would go insane trying to figure it out almost as quickly as a Mac user would.

By the way, this column was written on a PC and I would have finished it a lot sooner if I hadn’t had to keep telling my moronic PC that I don’t want updates and that, yes, I know my security software is about to expire.

Additionally, I had to do a search for a file, which means I had to wait about three days for my computer to find said file. In the meantime, this irritating little dog icon popped up on my desktop and pantomimed scratching the dirt and paging through a book, ostensibly searching for my file. And the one thought that kept going through my mind as I watched this unimaginably annoying display is, “I wonder how much quicker the computer could find my file if it didn’t have to use up valuable memory maintaining a picture of this dumb little dog on my desktop?” This thought, of course drives me insane, but then again, I used to be a Mac owner before switching to a PC.

So, I say let’s give the aliens some PCs and then watch their brains melt.

Yep, it’s a stressful world alright, what with all the babysitting, PC problems, and alien invasions, so what’s a body to do with all the stress?

I’ll tell you what helps me. I know I’m supposed to offer some amazing technique or revelation here but what works for me is actually quite simple, and therefore all the more valuable I believe.

I read my Bible.

That’s it. Like I said, it’s pretty simple really, but here’s the thing — it works. There is just something about God’s word that puts everything happening in my life into perspective and helps me to clarify my focus.

It helps me to see just a glimpse of God and that one little peek changes me somehow. It puts my mind at rest and reassures me that there is a loving God who is in control of my little world, even when it is being invaded by the kids while I’m trying to work on my PC.

So let the aliens come, I say. But, um, let’s make sure they’re hostile aliens before we sic the kids on them.

Healing garden opens at Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital

May 13, 2009

A tranquil place for quiet reflection and relaxation

SCOTTSDALE – Patients and visitors at Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital have a tranquil place for quiet reflection and relaxation in a new healing garden located adjacent to the hospital's lobby.

The 4,786 square foot H.N. and Frances C. Berger Thomas and Joan Kalimanis Healing Garden was made possible through community philanthropy. A dedication ceremony for the garden was hosted by the Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation on May 6 at Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital.

Designed by Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, the garden features a winding path, lush greenery, colorful plants, water treatments and seating areas visible to many of the hospital's patient rooms in the open air courtyard.

Addition of the healing garden complements the original art found throughout Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, as well as the home-like feel of its all private patient rooms with scenic views.

Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital is now a Certified Chest Pain Center, awarded by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Since its opening in November 2007, the Valley's first hospital north of Loop 101 continues to attract new patients from the greater Phoenix area as its reputation grows for excellent physicians, latest technology and compassionate staff.

Jean Knoedler, hospital vice president and administrator, says, "We are so grateful to the Kalimanis' and the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation for their support and commitment to the patients, families and friends of Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital."

Phoenix-based Ten Eyck Landscape Architects is an award-winning firm noted for its work at the Desert Botanical Garden, Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. In April the Arizona Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects gave two of its top prizes to Ten Eyck Landscape Architects for the Underwood Family Sonoran Landscape Laboratory at the University of Arizona.