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Odd Thoughts by Steve Schulz

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About 20 years ago, I remember really enjoying the "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy" portion of "Saturday Night Live" every week.

I wouldn't call these deep thoughts, but I do have a good supply of odd thoughts that keep nagging at me, none of which deserve their own column, but perhaps a mention couldn't hurt.

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• I read recently that if the human brain were a computer hard drive, it would hold four terabytes of information (a terabyte is roughly 1,000 gigabytes.) Since there are four terabyte external hard drives on the market now, isn't my brain due for a backup? It's never been done, and there's some data in there I'd like to keep. Seriously, my Norton Utilities nags me every few days to back up, and all I have on my computer at home are old photos, taxes and fantasy football information. Seems like my brain should be a higher priority.

• My mother reminded me recently that I was born two weeks early. Some people are born two to three weeks late. Am I not due a two-week vacation, then? Perhaps spending two weeks curled up in a fetal position would be appropriate -- and undoubtedly restful. At the very least, I feel like I should be paid comp time. It's been 38 years. I'm due.

• Do you ever get the feeling that some people's motto is, "Well, it's not hypocrisy if I do it?"

• I read that something like 70-80 percent of a person's lifetime health care bills come in the final year of life. Often it's when machines are keeping your body alive so family members can travel to see you one last time. Then you die, and everyone comes together and says nice things about you. Then your family spends a bunch of money on a funeral and burial, and there's a day set aside every year to come and see your grave. Could I just have the money, the health care, the visits and nice things said now, while I can enjoy them? If there's an insurance company out there that's game, I'll sign a contract today that says they can kill me off at the first sign of a terminal illness, but I only pay 20-30 percent of the premiums my whole life. Done deal. Sarah Palin can even sit on my "death panel."

• I've lost two high school friends to suicide already in 2010, and I see a lot of despair out there and thoughts of suicide. If you're at that point, please, don't do it. It's so permanent, and so hurtful to your family and friends. If you don't like your life, change it. Seriously, go be someone else. Have an adventure. Move to somewhere you've never heard of. Get some perspective. Realize no matter how bad your problems are, nothing is insurmountable. When it feels right, take back pieces of your old life. Suicide is so final and horrible. Don't do that.

• I'm constantly hearing things like "if you exercise, you'll add five years to your life" or "quitting smoking can add as much as seven years to your life!" Now if all of those were true, wouldn't someone have done all of them and lived to 180 by now? I'm not volunteering, and I'm not a good candidate.

• I have no earthly idea why there's a Bible in every hotel and motel room, yet I can't remember the last time I saw one in a church pew. I've been to a lot of weddings and funerals lately, and have yet to stumble across the Good Book. While sitting there, I kind of wanted to read it. I can't say I've had that urge as often when I'm in a hotel room, and I usually forget it's in that drawer.

• Reading, in general, is underrated. So is listening. Everyone today wants to talk and give their opinion and say "this is how I interpret things." Some things are just facts, and don't require interpretation, and the answers are often found in books and aren't that hard to find.

• A lot of people badmouth "kids today." I'm impressed by them. They're brighter, more well-rounded and more experienced than ever before, and there's never been more pressure on them to earn money, get good grades, have a nice car, go to the prom with the right person, etc. And they never get a break. When I was a kid, we shot BB guns at each other for fun, broke into the school just to run around the halls, and pulled a knife on a class during a prepared speech just for dramatic effect (and even got an A on the speech!) Any one of those things done today would land a kid in juvenile detention or at least a suspension. So what if they don't know how to make change? They can hook up a wireless network and change your privacy settings on Facebook. And they don't seem all that mad -- yet -- that we've basically spent away their future with deficit spending and have let tuition rise to become unaffordable so we can have our cake and eat it too. If there's a group that's going to pot nowadays, it's us, not kids.

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