……. Introduction ……. Bobby and Ken are having such a great time with their diary threads, that I can no longer resist. Those of you that know me are probably asking yourselves, “How can someone whose favorite pastime is jumping down doomsday rabbit holes and reading conspiracy theories be a perennial optimist ?” I am not sure how that works either, but it is how I am , all the same. My mother was an optimist, my father was an optimist, and that is how I have lived for most of my life, even the bad times (as well as I was able to do, at least). One of the earliest things I remember Mom telling me was the story of the difference between an optimist and a pessimist . She said there were 2 rooms, one full of toys and candy and one full of horse manure. The first boy (pessimist) got to go into the room with all of the toys, and when they looked; he was not playing or eating the candy because he was sure it would make him sick, or he would hurt himself playing with the toys. The second boy (optimist) was put into the room full of horse manure, and they found him in there with a shovel, happily throwing manure everywhere. When they asked him about it, he smiled and said enthusiastically that with all of that manure, there had to be a horse in there somewhere, and he was going to find it. I wanted to be the little boy that found the horse. My dad’s advice was simpler. He just always said, “What is the good of life if you can’t enjoy it?” So, I try to do that , too, and look for good as much as I can.