BEDA Warning

For years I have been lithely and nimbly avoiding the April A To Z Challenge trap, by spreading my weight out over the entire year.  This year I have been ensnared in the BEDABlog Every Day in April Challenge.  I have decided to – not abandon my Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule – but add to it.

To my 13 regularly-scheduled April posts, I will add another 17, to sate the month, and my readers.  Many of the extra posts will be like little mental flickers from a 4th of July sparkler – like my 100-word Flash Fictions – a quick, bright idea, there and then gone.  Others may be a little wordier.  Oh good.  Thanx for the warning.

I had 45 unpublished posts in the can, in a Word file, when I found out about this, and I’ve already composed a couple of short new ones.  If any of my readers have an idea, a topic, a prompt, something they wish discussed, researched or satirized, feel free to submit your subject in the comments.

Why couldn’t I do this in February, when there’s only 28 days??!  😳

Onward and upward!  Excelsior!

Swimming In The OCD Ocean

I can’t dress myself!  Oh, I can put clothing on my body – but pick what to wear??  Shortly after I got married, my wife proved to me that, like many other newly-wed men, I was incapable of choosing acceptable attire.  I haven’t bought myself a piece of clothing in over 54 years.

We have agreed on black jeans for normal, casual wear.  For the mix-and-match polo shirts that go with them, her system for choosing to purchase seems to be based on – Ooh, I love that color – Ooh, I like the collar on that, and – Ooh, they’re on sale.  We’ll get one in all four colors.

She was doing laundry one day, and asked me to check my closet for any empty hangers that would be needed to hang them up after drying.  I opened the closet, and it was FULL of polo shirts – How many??! – 32!!  How can I possibly have 32 shirts left, on the day she’s doing laundry??  Not having done laundry in two weeks, she had another 10 in the wash.

When she buys me new shirts, she says, “I’ll throw out all the old, threadbare ones to make room.”  With 42 shirts in the rotation, how would any of them become threadbare?

I was wearing a particular shirt one day.  She commented, “I haven’t seen that shirt in a while.”  I responded, “You should see it every couple of months.  I put shirts into the closet on the left, and take them out to wear, from the right.”  “Wellll… You’ve got some shirts that I don’t like, so I go into your closet and move them around, so that you won’t wear them.”

Wait!!  You do what??!  You purchase all my shirts, and there are some that you don’t like??!  No wonder I can’t choose any that she likes.  She doesn’t even like the ones that she picks.  Must be the ones with the OOH collars.  And she goes into my closet and curates my clothing??!    😯

She does throw out threadbare shirts – right when she shouldn’t.  At the old auto parts plant, the windows were one short step up from kitchen sieves.  During a winter cold snap, temps on the floor could drop into the 60s, or even 50s F.  I had 10 thick, warm work tee-shirts – 5 each for two weeks till she did laundry.  In the summer, with no A/C and lots of hot vinyl, many days I worked in the 90s F.  I had 10 thin, threadbare shirts.

As cold weather approached one winter, I put away the thin, summer shirts.  At our first heat-wave in April, I went to pull them back out – but couldn’t find them.  “Honey, do you know where my summer tee-shirts are?”  “Oh, they were all so thin, and they had little holes and picks in them, so I just threw them all out.  Just wear the good, thick, heavy ones.  They cover you better, anyway.”  I can’t even go out and buy thin, cool shirts.

The poor dear probably doesn’t even notice what she’s doing, and does it with the best of intentions and my welfare and best interests at heart.  A guy could die from all that love.  I’ll be wearing a clean shirt when you return in a couple of days – solid colors only – no stripes, spots, or Canadian plaid.  Tell me if you like the collar.   😉

Flash Fiction #257

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

MOUNTAINS OF MOLEHILLS

Chris didn’t know why most people hated him.  In fact, most people felt that Chris didn’t know that they hated him.

There wasn’t a comment or request that he couldn’t read out of context, and take personal affront with.  A simple request for a work-file, had him running to HR with accusations of harassment.  There was always plenty of Guilt, and Blame, and Fault handed out.

Seemingly asleep on most Social Justice Issues, he still managed to stridently surf the crest of the Woke wave.  While not belonging to any, he constantly voiced loud opinions on BLM, LGBTQ+, and Feminism.

***

If you’d like to join the fun, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Food For More Thought

I was recently assaulted by a plate of French fries and gravy.
Well, you asked for it!!
Yes I did!  😀  😀  😎  🌯

On a recent Flash Fiction post about fast food, a reader commented, Canadians take French fries to the next level with gravy on top of them.’

Baby, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

….And then the French-Canadians taught us to put cheese curds or grated mozzarella on it and call it ‘poutine‘– English translation – heart attack in a bowl.  😳  It is now common across Canada.  Most Canadian outlets of American fast-food restaurants serve a version of it.  It’s a cheap, easy way to add protein for people too poor to afford much meat, or where dairy cows are common, but beef isn’t.

Then, there are Chili-fries.  The soupy, spicy meat mixture that is poured on wieners to make chili-dogs, is instead, poured on crisp French-fries.  Also pouring on the cheese sauce used to dip pretzels or nacho chips, makes them chili-cheese fries.  The further addition of sour cream and chopped green onions, peppers, and/or salsa, makes them Nacho fries, or All-Dressed.

A DIY version of this can be achieved at Wendy’s, by ordering a plate of fries, a cup of their chili, and asking for a container of the sour cream that they serve with their baked potatoes.

Newfoundland is Canada’s island, easternmost Province, separated from reality the rest of the country.  The population is known to be…. rustic.  😕  Someone(s) down there piled some leftover turkey-stuffing on top of fries and gravy, and created ‘Newfie Fries.’

Jobs are scarce on Newfoundland.  The young have spread themselves all across Canada seeking employment.  There are more Newfies in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada’s oil capital, than are left in the province.  ‘Newfie Fries’, which can also include cooked peas, can be found wherever there are clots of Newfies.

There are several local chip-wagons – often a small Air-Stream trailer with no wheels – which list all these on the menu.  This includes a brick, stand-alone, drive-in that was once a Dairy Queen outlet.

55 years ago, when I arrived here, drive-ins were ‘the thing.’  There was an A&W Drive-in, well out from downtown, at the corner of what would become a ‘Golden Mile,’ and a north/south artery road.  I did not arrive early enough to see short-skirted waitresses on roller-skates delivering food to the cars.

Over the years, the public shunned drive-ins, and wanted sit-down outlets.  This drive-in disappeared, to become a strip mall, with a Money Mart, a Fed-Ex depot and a lube shop.  Back down the street, first, a McDonalds popped up.

A few years later, Burger King bought the land next door, and went head-to-head – or rather – drive-thru-to-drive-thru.  One day, when I was out with the son, he wanted McDonalds, and I wanted Burger King.  We got his order at Mickey D’s, and he surreptitiously entered Burger King through the drive-thru door, while I walked around, and ordered at the counter.

We thought that we had got away with it, but the manager approached us.  I feared that we would be kicked out, but he was very nice about it.  He said that he knew why we did what we had done, and he appreciated at least a portion of our business, only…. the clearly-marked McDonalds containers.  The cola was carefully poured into a Burger King cup, and the fries now rested on a Burger King tray.  The incriminating evidence was whisked into the garbage.

More years later, Burger King had organizational problems.  Six local outlets shrank to three, losing this nearby one, and completely obliterating one at the edge of the BIG mall at city’s edge, to become the depot for the new street railroad.

A&W bought the property, and opened a sit-down restaurant, directly across the street from where they once had a drive-in, a half a century ago.  Around the corner, on the side street, just past the Thai Pho bistro, sits the Canadian, Harvey’s  restaurant, whose parking lot abuts the back of both the McD’s, and the A&W.

It’s a good thing that my paltry Government retirement pension is so measly that it prevents regular patronage to all these all-too-common/handy eating establishments, but I think that it might be the ingestion of all the chemical preservatives over the years that has kept me alive and fit for so long.  If/when COVID disappears, and the border opens up again, I want to test that theory at a Sonic.  There’s one right down the road from Cordelia’s Mom’s.

Smitty’s Loose Change #13

I just won the jackpot – and I don’t even gamble.

I notice things.  I find money, because I look where people will lose money.  The $100 bill that I picked up from a grocery store checkout line floor, had been stepped on by the two customers in front of me.  I check the overflow chutes of the coin-counting machines found in many grocery stores.  I found 40 pennies in one, before Canada stopped minting them.  I still find the occasional few, because the machines have been set to reject them.

I recently left my neighborhood store, and glanced at the chute as I passed.  There were coins in it.  Not just a couple of pennies, or a bent dime, or a foreign coin that I could add to my collection.  The chute was full.  I bent over to see what they were…. and they were Loonies and Toonies – Canada’s, one and two dollar coins.

I quickly looked around, to see if there was someone cashing in a machine receipt – someone who would yell, “Get away from there!  That’s my money!”  No-one was paying me the least attention.  I took a large handful and dumped it into my shirt packet – and another large handful – and another large handful.  I scraped the last of it together and poured it into my pocket, affecting an off-the-shoulder look as I scuttled out.

I hoped to beat my $100 dollar record.  When I got home, I sorted it out.  21 Toonies = $42, 33 Loonies = $33, and 4 quarters, totaling $76.  Not a bad reward for just paying attention.  The next day, I only found two dimes.

***

Newspaper article headline
Should Kitchener aim to end all traffic injuries?

Nah!  Let’s maintain the ‘Run Em Down’ protocol we’ve always had!

Duh.  While that headline may seem rather silly, what the article was (delicately) asking, was, how much tax revenue can we afford to spend, for how much reduction in injuries.

***

How can you tell when a Christian Apologist blogger is lying?
That’s a trick question.  They’re always lying!
The liars are the majority, who won’t enable comments.  They make strawman claim after special pleading claim, but won’t engage in debate, or allow Atheists to offer counter-arguments.

The ones who are even worse than this, are the ones who edit out comments they don’t like.  I found a Christian trivia post which asked, “Who did Paul say should not be allowed to continue to Cyrene, because he had left the group?”

Knowing what would happen, I gave two answers.  Howard Stern?  Ray Comfort, because he went out for more bananas?  (If you don’t get the Ray Comfort joke, Google it.)  Sure enough, when I returned the next day, I had been excised.

***

I heard a TV weather forecast during the cold snap around Christmas.  The announcer warned not to travel to Canada’s Prairie Provinces, because the temperatures could go down to Negative 35.  I’ve never heard that expression used before.  It sounds like we owe somebody some weather.  Technically, it’s correct.  Plus and Minus are mathematical terms which indicate actions.  Five, minus (take away) three, equals two.  Have any of you ever heard a weather forecast which included the term “negative” temperatures.  My new online friend from Kenya is exempted.

***

After claiming victory over an infestation of rats, Oh Rats!, they came back for a second round.  I tried to turn the central air-conditioner on, and found that they had chewed their way in through the tiny hole that carries the tubes to the outdoor unit…. and the control wire.  😯  😦  After that repair, I sprayed the hole full of expanding, hardening plastic foam.

I had replaced the flexible dryer hose with another plastic one, because the path the tube takes from the machine to the outside vent is quite twisty, and complex.  To prevent another attack from that direction, I hired Dryer Vent Wizard to install solid, aluminum tubing.

The installation tech was, indeed, a wizard.  When he moved the dryer, leaving a hole in the floor, to the basement, Mica, my Fred Astaire-dancer, Bengal cat showed up to supervise.  Workers like this now all take pictures with their smart-phones, as proof of work done.  We didn’t even know that Mica was there.  He leaned up, took a photo, showed it to us when he finished, and sent it to us by email.

’20 A To Z Challenge – B

A To Z ChallengeLetter B

I’m writing less, and you’re enjoying it more. Even after urging me to start a blog, as a comment on my initial post, my first online friend remarked, “however: among your qualities, you failed to mention your verbosity.”  And this was from one of my friends.

Orator

Another fellow-blogger introduced me to one of the many 100-word Flash Fiction groups. I do like to spin a yarn. I’ve just had to learn to spin the yarn a little tighter. I have successfully completed the 12-step program for the terminally loquacious. When I considered availing myself of it, I researched to discover exactly what it contained, and was disappointed to find that 6 of the 12 steps involve submission to God. Since I don’t believe in the existence of any “God”, where necessary, I have substituted chocolate and French fries.

Since I am now well on the road to recovery, I thought that I might present a couple of archaic descriptors that I hope never to be afflicted with again.

BLOVIATE

I thought that this word might have been about that morbidly obese guy in the Monty Python movie, who consumed one bite too many, and exploded, but it turns out to mean

to speak pompously.
1850–55, Americanism; pseudo-Latin alteration of blow, to boast; popularized by Warren G. Harding

AA

Now that I’ve been linguistically clean and straight for several years, I swear on a Merriam-Webster Dictionary, never again to deserve to be called a

BLATHERSKITE

a talkative silly person
foolish talk; nonsense

To prove it, I’ll keep this post short and sweet, although I will invite you to come back on Wednesday, for a wordier edition of my monthly Philosophy and Religion discussion.

’19 A To Z Challenge – S

AtoZ2019Letter S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The judge asked the accused in a paternity suit, “Have you ever slept with this woman?”
He replied, “Not a wink, Your Honor! Not a wink!”

Bed

Without even thinking about it (and that’s what causes problems) most people expect social conformity.

Despite my liking for archaic language, there are just some 19th century insults that should not be brought back. Have you ever been called a

SLUGABED

a lazy person who stays in bed long after the usual time for arising

Neither have I. Not quite.

Late one Sunday night (by my calculations), about 4:30 AM, I walked down to the end of my driveway to pick up Monday’s newspaper. I arrived at the same time as my neighbor across the street, who was putting out Monday’s garbage.

Full of perk, and perhaps perked coffee, he brightly said, “Oh, I see that you’re up early too. I have to drive to Ottawa today (5/6 hours), so I thought I’d get an early start.”

I told him that I wasn’t getting up. I was about to go to bed at 5:00 AM, and would be back up at 1 PM. “You sleep in till 1 o’clock??! How in Hell do you get anything done?” I had just spent four quiet, productive hours – half a workday – on the computer. It was fine for him to modify and set his sleep hours, getting up at 4 AM, rather than at 7:00, to suit his needs, but he felt that I was wasting time by doing the same thing, to fit my schedule and my usual time.

There was no ASSUME here. The only ass was the one trapped in a car for hours, while I recharged my energy in a nice soft bed. He didn’t make me into one. 😯

Now that I’m awake again, feel free to comment.   😀

Happy Birthday 75

Birthday Cake 75

Click below to hear

Swedish chef happy birthday

Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthdayyy dear Archon
Happy Birthday to me!

Happy or not, at my age, I’ll take any birthday that I can get. I almost can’t believe it. I’ve been hanging around this planet, making a pest of myself for ¾ of a century. I’ve seen Century 21 Real Estate become a reality. A 75th birthday is something special to be celebrated. Not everyone gets to do it. I don’t plan to repeat the feat, although a recent study proved that people born later in the year have a better chance of living to be 100.

I felt that an extra, out-of-normal-sequence post was justified. All contributions gratefully accepted. Cash and checks (cheques) would be nice, but I will happily settle for visits, views, likes and comments.

Dad & Danny
Early August 1960, Detroit (Ferndale) MI
I am the handsome one on the left, not quite 6.
The sulky one on the right is my 3-year-old brother.
I’ve come a long way, Baby.

For those who may not have seen it, HERE is a further explanation of how I got here.

Tombstone 2

Book Review #16

The Whenabouts of Burr

I just got back from a short time travel trip.

I recently visited the website of a female author. She has written 5 or 6 Young-Adult Sci-Fi books, all centered on Mars – ‘The Tunnel on Mars, A Ranch on Mars, Subduing Mars, etc.’  The post I read was her book-review of Time And Again, a seminal time-travel novel.

I told her that I was also fascinated with time travel stories. I showed a bunch of them in my post of books read in 2016. I remembered a somewhat different time-travel book, and suggested it to her. Later, I went back in time, dug it out of my hoard of old Sci-Fi books, reread it, and decided to do a book review of it.

The Book: The Whenabouts Of Burr (1975)

The Author: Michael Kurland

The review: The time travel in this book isn’t – quite. It’s a story about parallel Universes, and alternate Earths, created by different choices at significant historical nexus points, like the Aaron Burr/Alexander Hamilton duel. Like a deck of cards skewed sideways, each reality is just over nine hours from its neighbors. The more levels you travel through, the further back in time you go.

It’s a great device for the author to make sociological comments – a fun game of “What If”. In some levels, Burr lives, but becomes an exiled political outlaw. Some levels have benevolent, supportive democracies, others have restrictive tyrannies. On some worlds, Europeans did not reach the Americas, and the natives have developed their own civilizations.

The sharpest social comment/warning comes from the author’s description of Prime Time, the world which originally developed the Temporal Translation Technology. The people have become like professional Victorian tourists, slumming, and gaily gadding about the alternate words, observing. The entire society has become effete and static. There is no interest, or challenge, nor further research or advancement through struggle, because they now steal/import all discoveries and new technology from the other ‘Earths.’

Published only a little over 40 years ago, it’s not as old as many of my books. It was a fun re-read, and a warning reminder of how Western society may be going. I got back in time to publish this post, and I’ll move forward, to have another ready in a couple of days. See you then. 😀

Don’t Get All Emotional

Emoticon

23 Emotions people feel, but can’t explain

http://fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com/post/122182141428/23-emotions-people-feel-but-cant-explain

Sonder: The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.

Opia: The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.

Monachopsis: The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.

Énouement: The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.

Vellichor: The strange wistfulness of used bookshops.

Rubatosis: The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.

Kenopsia: The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.

Mauerbauertraurigkeit: The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.

Jouska: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.

Chrysalism: The amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.

Vemödalen: The frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.

Anecdoche: A conversation in which everyone is talking, but nobody is listening

Ellipsism: A sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out.

Kuebiko: A state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence.

Lachesism: The desire to be struck by disaster – to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire.

Exulansis: The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.

Adronitis: Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone.

Rückkehrunruhe: The feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness.

Nodus Tollens: The realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.

Onism: The frustration of being stuck in just one body, which inhabits only one place at a time.

Liberosis: The desire to care less about things.

Altschmerz: Weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had – the same boring flaws and anxieties that you’ve been gnawing on for years.

Occhiolism: The awareness of the smallness of your perspective.

There’s no sense asking if you’ve experienced any of these.  We’ve all experienced them all, and will continue to, only now we’ve got a label that we can point to.  I will experience my usual, clearly-labeled pleasure if you visit, read, comment….  You know – the usual, happy déjà vu.  😀