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Bread upon the waters

Yesterday Tom Knapp made a donation, forgetting he’d already given at the beginning of the fundraiser.

Knowing he and Rational Review are supported by donations themselves, I was about to refund the duplicate when he emailed to say not to. He’d just opened an envelope and found many times that.

He wrote in comments:

I know some people here are not religious/mystical, and really don’t consider myself ESPECIALLY so. But I do believe in karma and the whole “cast your bread on the waters and it will return to you” thing.

I’m one of those non-religious/mystical types. But Tom inspired me. The blog’s (and Cabal’s) volunteer admins deserve a small share of the fundraiser. I was waiting to see how it went before sending them anything, but I decided to PayPal them a token of good hope.

Less than half an hour later, I received a payment that covered everything I’d just paid out.

I fear that sounds like a particularly sappy Sunday School lesson. But it’s the way it happened.


I have a friend who is one of those religious/mystical types. He sees patterns in places I would never perceive them. But enough odd, coincidental things happen to and around him that I have to suspend disbelief. Especially since a few of those things involve me.

Earlier this month, for instance, I was hit by a sudden conviction that a picture I owned rightfully belonged to him. I put it in the mail the next morning. It turned out he had nearly bought a similar image a few days earlier but had decided to postpone the purchase for a week.

He has also sent me either items or messages that arrived at uncannily “right” times.

He calls such happenings “patternicity.” I don’t know what to call them or what to make of them. My rational self says it’s merely the human mind seeking meanings in random events.

But they do happen to, and around, him a lot. Much falls into the category of “bread upon the waters.”


I apologize for being in a sour mood yesterday. I’m not feeling well (doctor appointment is set for early June).

I’m also distressed by the perception expressed by several Commentariat members including coloradohermit and fred that many potential contributors took Anonymous Wonderman’s matching gift offer the wrong way.

Instead of “Wow! Thanks to Anonymous we can double Claire’s reward!” It seems quite a few took it to mean, “Now I don’t have to bother because some rich guy’s got it covered.”

FWIW, I don’t think Anonymous Wonderman is rich, but I’m sure he didn’t intend his offer to be used that way. I may have done a disservice by mentioning it on the blog at all.

Anyhow, it true that if we don’t get another dime, we’ve “got it covered.” But I would like to believe that more readers consider the blog worth paying for — as fred said, even five or 10 bux worth.

I’ve decided to (try to) let go of my anxiety about that, though. The fundraiser will be what it will be and I can’t improve it by getting crabby.

As the month comes to a close, I’ll append more “please give” messages to the bottom of posts (thank you, BD), but I’ll also do my best to avoid nags. And do my best to put the emphasis on gratitude — which is actually pretty easy given the good people hereabouts.


That said: please give. 🙂 Unless you can’t afford it; then don’t give. And if you’ve already given, I give you my love and best hopes in return. Along with the best blog content and discussion forum I can manage.


  1. Comrade X
    Comrade X May 18, 2018 2:16 pm

    Have a good weekend and feel better my friend, get out in that sunshine if it comes out!

  2. Shel
    Shel May 18, 2018 2:40 pm

    Oh, sh*t; I just saw that link came from this blog. I’ve just got to close some of these tabs.

  3. SKSK
    SKSK May 18, 2018 2:59 pm

    It’s a comin’, it’s a comin’… but it has to be after the first of the month. (Also, please know that we hold a good thought for your health!)

  4. Joel
    Joel May 18, 2018 3:08 pm

    I am very far from a spiritual person but I have definitely come to believe in synchronicity. I have quite lost count of how many times a thing fell into my lap at just the right time since I decided to stop worrying and love the poverty.

    😀 Of course I’ve also noticed the truth of the old saying, All things come to he who waits, as long as he who waits works like hell while he waits.

  5. Claire
    Claire May 18, 2018 6:12 pm

    SKSK — I remember getting a check from you a few months back, completely out of the blue. You’ve already contributed, my dear. Sure, if you want to contribute again I won’t turn you down. But you have already given your support to me and the blog.

    I regret this one effect of dumping my concerns on the blog: It prompts very few new people to open their wallets, but it makes existing donors (and long-time supporters who aren’t in good shape right now) want to do more. That’s not fair to you guys who already do so much and I’m sorry.

  6. Claire
    Claire May 18, 2018 6:14 pm

    “All things come to he who waits, as long as he who waits works like hell while he waits.”

    LOL, ain’t that the truth?

    I think my “garage sale-fu” and “scrounge-fu” operate on a similar principle.

  7. larryarnold
    larryarnold May 18, 2018 8:13 pm

    There’s no such thing as a coincidence.

    Cussed under my breath at a driver who cut me off this morning. Not ten minutes later I let my attention wander, and cut off someone else.

    Also, karma is a bitch.

    Me? I appreciate miracles on the “if I pick up a cookie and another one is stuck too it, I must be meant to have both of them” level.

  8. maDDtraPPer
    maDDtraPPer May 18, 2018 11:02 pm

    Im all in for Karma. So much so that I don’t even expect to see a return on all of my investment in this lifetime – now thats a buddhist can o worms! Sometimes get taken advantage of according to others but I don’t even see it that way.

  9. Claire
    Claire May 19, 2018 4:54 am

    And sometimes you cast your karmic bread upon the waters and it comes back times three. I awoke this morning to a gift from DT that was … impressive to say the least and raised the “temperature” of the fundraiser hugely.

    (I’m still putting official thanks in the original May 1 fundraiser post and of course sending personal thanks, which I need to catch up on this weekend.)

  10. fred
    fred May 19, 2018 11:22 am

    Nice.Warms my heart seeing it doing so well IMO.Made my morning.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp May 19, 2018 1:39 pm

    “I regret this one effect of dumping my concerns on the blog: It prompts very few new people to open their wallets, but it makes existing donors (and long-time supporters who aren’t in good shape right now) want to do more.”

    I’ve found this to be true as well. Whenever Rational Review does its year-end fundraiser (or if I just mention, “by the way, we are supported by reader donations”), most of the money comes in from people who have supported us over and over for years even though I TELL them, both publicly and privately, that our fundraising appeals are aimed at the 90% of our readers who seem to like the publication but for whatever reason won’t or can’t throw a buck at us now and then.

    I dearly love those people who keep coming back, of course. But I feel bad that they carry many times their weight. Based on reasonable estimates of how many people read RRND/FND each day, if we averaged $1 per reader per month (which doesn’t sound too expensive to ME for ~60 digested/linked items a day every weekday), I’d have a middle class full-time income and Steve a middle-class part-time income.

    But, that’s the market. Our “price” is “whatever you decide we’re worth.” And nearly 16 years into doing it on our own (and several years before that doing it as someone else’s employees), it seems silly to complain. Especially since, all things considered, I eat reasonably well.

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