My guess is as good as a TV expert's

A clever man commits no minor blunders.


-- Johann von Goethe


Let me state for the
record that I am not an expert on any­thing.

The other day, I tried to think of something I would have some high level of knowledge about – something that I could be quoted upon in the newspaper or on TV. ... But I got nothing.

I know a lot of things, but mostly that’s just what came with experience. I remember most of my past mistakes and try to avoid repeating them.

But at least I admit it. After a week of watching well-dressed, serious looking TV “experts” try to tell me who will win NFL football games or political primaries, I get the idea that most experts are really just guessing.

You and I can do that ... with about the same result.


YOUR MAIL: Better late than never I report that ... Lloyd, Lynn and Michael Creech sent a Happy New Year greeting from the River Walk in San Antonio. David and Sandra spent New Year’s weekend at Edisto, S.C., where the weather was perfect.

And Johnny and Kay Shaw sent a postcard from Washington, D.C., where they were visiting son Johnny IV.

“Had a beautiful snowfall,” they wrote.


TODAY’S JOKE: A shepherd was herding his flocks in a remote pasture when suddenly a new car advanced toward him out of a dust cloud.

The driver, a young man in a fancy suit, expensive shoes and sunglasses, hopped out and asked the shepherd, “If I can tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?”

The shepherd looked at him, then at his peacefully grazing flock and calmly answered, “OK.”

The fellow whipped out his computer notebook, connected it to a cellphone, surfed to a NASA page on the Internet and called up a Global Positioning System satellite.

Next, he scanned the area, opened a database and some 60 Excel spreadsheets with complex formulas. Finally, he printed out a 150-page report on his high-tech miniature printer, turned to the shepherd and said: “You have 1,586 sheep!”

“That is correct,” the shepherd said. “You can take one of the sheep.”

He watched the young man make a selection and bundle it in his car. Then he said, “If I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give my sheep back?”

“Sure,” answered the young man.

“You are a consultant,” said the shepherd.

“Oh, wow,” said the young fellow. “How’d you guess?”

“It was easy,” said the shepherd. “You turned up here although nobody called you. You wanted to be paid for an answer I already knew. And you don’t know anything about my business, because you took my dog.”