Smitty’s Loose Change #10

Smitty's Loose Change

A screenwriter was paid $25,000 for two days work, to produce an outline for a successful movie. A story reported that he was given 25,000 “Big Ones”.   Now, twenty-five thousand dollars can be described, in slang, as 25 Thou, 25 Grand, 25 Gs, or even as 25 Big Ones, but, if there are 25,000 of them, they’re not Big Ones, they’re all little ones. I’ve read writers like this described as knowing the difference between wet and dry, but feeling that it’s a fine distinction.

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I recently discovered something even worse than helicopter parents. These are lawn-mower parents, who precede their children, and mow down every possible problem, obstacle and hindrance to their life. They conceal the realities of life for their unfortunate children and allow them no chance to mature and grow, to become self-sufficient, and to learn from experience and failure, and how to adapt.

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The Universe of Politically-Correct speech continues to expand and grow. I recently read an account of a small-plane crash which killed three people, described as a shatter landing. No George Carlin bathroom tissue was involved.

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The Grammar Check needs a slap as badly as the Spell Check. I typed I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin tasted like into a one-liner comedy post, and got back, ‘I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin is.’ 😯

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Bag man, and bag lady, mean completely different things.

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I recently bought myself a box of Wheat Thins crackers, as an occasional snack…. because I like Wheat Thins, and they were on sale. I opened the box, took a small handful, and sat down with a book. I popped one into my mouth and crunched it, and – What in Hell is this petrified wallpaper paste??!

My weak eyes and weak mind must have made me pick up the wrong thing. No. The box clearly says “Wheat Thins,” – but, as I look closer – under that, it says ‘Multigrain.” You assholes do know that oats, barley, quinoa and chia don’t make “WHEAT Thins”, right??! I would have been better off just cutting the cardboard box into small squares, and eating it. Now I know why they were on sale.  😯

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I also recently astounded my chiropractor. The clinic where he practices also has two massage therapists. I took the wife in for massage, and sat out front waiting and reading a newspaper. When he stepped out of his office, his eyes went wide.

“In all the time I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen anybody read a newspaper here. They all have their noses stuck into the blue glow of their smart phones or tablets. They bring a book, or they leaf through one of our magazines, but I’ve never seen a newspaper in this waiting room.”

I told him that I never have to worry if the ISP is down, I don’t have to ask for the Wi-Fi password, and my batteries are never low – although occasionally I have to remember to sharpen the pencil that I do crosswords and word jumbles with.

***

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‘17 A To Z Challenge – W

Challenge2017

letter-w

WTF!

Out of the pile of ‘W’ prompts that I downloaded, including the WTF one above, I’ve decided to choose Word Count.

I sometimes (Okay, often) tend to get a bit verbose, so I’ve chosen to keep this little epistle to a maximum of 250 words.

I could watch and wait, as long as I don’t do it too close to my snacks.  Then, I would have to watch my weight, something that you could do from the next county.  When I sit around the house, I really sit AROUND the house.

I downloaded both the word wrench, and the word wench.  While they may seem very similar, they are both quite different in meaning….although, if you played your cards right, both of them would tighten your nuts for you.

I’ve never had wanderlust.  I’m quite satisfied with, wherever I go – there I am.’  With me, it’s more like wander lost??!  Even with the few vacation/sightseeing trips I’ve taken, my poor GPS unit is seeing a counsellor.

Now that the wife is recovering from her second knee-replacement surgery, the physiotherapist suggested that she get more exercise, to build up her strength and stamina. The wife is pushing me to go with her for a walk around the block each day.  I said, “Why??  I’m already here….and I’ll still be here when you get back.”  I am such a wimp.

Oops, this thing is running a bit long. I’d better check my word…..

 

Flash Fiction #144

Hot Chili
PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

WATCH YOUR TONGUE

It was a fantastic idea, inspired, as many fantastic ideas were, by the liberal application of beer. He had decided to make chili as the snack for his turn to host the guys’ Friday poker bash.

He liked his food with a little heat to it….and surely his buddies would too. He put in lots of chili powder, and several shakes of Tabasco.  Maybe he’d add some of this stuff his mother’d given him.

Hmm, Scotch Bonnet Pepper?? Bonnets??  Thanks Mom.  Probably some delicate old schoolmarm spice.  He’d add a good tablespoonful.

Dig in guys. It’s got a little kick.

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

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I’ve finally come full circle and am now plagiarizing from myself. This is a re-imagining of my #46, Four Alarm Flash Fiction story of April 16, 2015.  Sorry guys.  I couldn’t help myself.  When I saw all those spewing fire hoses outside the frat house, it was either that, or a “cold shower” story.

’17 A To Z Challenge – P

Challenge2017

letter-p

Only because I let him, my dog eats

Peanut Butter

PEANUT BUTTER

Born a slave, George Washington Carver spent his life improving the peanut plant, and championing its uses and the planting of it as a crop in the Southern U.S. Like the oats which made Scottish warriors the men they were, one of his best reasons was that peanuts were a cheap, plentiful food for Negroes, rich in protein and other nutrients.

The peanut plant is a nitrogen-fixing legume which fertilized and re-enriched soil made poor from constant growing of cotton. While he sometimes took public credit for the discoveries of others, aside from the food value of peanuts, Carver found many uses for the nuts and plant.

Peanuts have a variety of industrial end uses. Paint, varnish, lubricating oil, leather dressings, furniture polish, insecticides, and nitroglycerin are made from peanut oil. Soap is made from saponified oil, and many cosmetics contain peanut oil and its derivatives. The protein portion is used in the manufacture of some textile fibers. Peanut shells are used in the manufacture of plastic, wallboard, abrasives, fuel, cellulose (used in rayon and paper), and mucilage (glue).

The food value was where Carver concentrated. He published a small brochure, listing 105 recipes/uses for peanuts.  One of the greatest things to come from peanuts, is peanut butter.  I dig a small dollop onto the tip of a kitchen knife, and dip the dog’s daily antihistamine pill in it.

Peanut butter is just basically finely ground peanuts, although commercial producers add sugars, salt and stabilizers. In my little neck of the universe, in the late 1940s and ‘50s, we still had to stir jars of peanut butter, because the oils would separate out.

In 1922, a chemist developed a process for homogenizing it. In 1928, he sold the rights to a company which marketed it as ‘Peter Pan.’  Apparently before conflict of interest/competition contracts, in 1932, he began producing his own peanut butter under the name ‘Skippy.’  Later, he churned in recovered peanut bits, creating the first chunky peanut butter.

For reasons unknown to me, the son recently stirred the top half of a new jar. Apparently that negates the homogenizing effect, and now the oils must be stirred back in each time we open it.  It also changed the peanut butter from a semi-solid paste, to a drippy sauce.  You have to move quickly to get it where it’s going, or have it run off the knife, onto the kitchen counter.

Peanut butter….it goes anywhere, any time –white bread, rye, bagels, plain or toasted, crackers. It finds its way into Thai food with peanut sauce.  It goes with anything….spread it along with honey, or jam, (Good Old P. B. & J!)  Elvis Presley used to like it in peanut butter and banana sandwiches – although he wanted the bananas mushed, and the assembly fried, like a grilled cheese.

Me? I slice a banana into 3 slabs, lengthwise, and lay it over the PB, on toast – usually rye.  On white toast, I slather Miracle Whip on top of the PB.  It has a spicier taste than plain mayo, and sets off the peanut butter’s taste.  You Americans don’t know what you’re missing.  Then again, I’ve been known to put catsup ketchup, even my Spicy Ketchup, as a spread on toast, and you’ve been lucky enough to miss that, too.

I gotta go check with my bathroom scale, to see if I’m allowed some peanut butter and rye crackers as a snack today. The dog is already looking at me suspiciously.  How about you guys??  Eat it?  Leave it?  Like it?  Hate it?  Partner it with what??  😕

WOW #17

Dictionary

My son just handed me a great little word. I’ve been doing it for years without getting caught at it.  The word is;

Bricolage

a construction made of whatever materials are at hand; something created from a variety of available things.

(in literature) a piece created from diverse resources.

(in art) a piece of makeshift handiwork.

the use of multiple, diverse research methods.

Origin of bricolage: Middle French/Old French

1960-65; < French, literally “do-it-yourself,” from bricoler “to do odd jobs, small chores” from Middle French bricoler “to zigzag, bounce off,” from Old French bricole “a trifle, bricole ” + -age -age

So, this explains all those ‘Seinfelds, and Shotguns, and Trivianas, and now, Smitty’s Loose Change.’ I thought that I was gathering wide-spread, interesting trivia for my readers.  It turns out that I was just doing unfocused, French odd-jobs.  I am underwhelmed and disappointed.

I was going to make myself a Dagwood sandwich, as a snack.  It seemed to fit definition number one.  Now that I know that I’ve been infected with Froggy Lazy Fair, I’ll probably hop out to the kitchen, and feel compelled to prepare myself some snails, with mouldy cheese.

I’ll be zigzagging and bouncing off the walls for a couple of days, probably fighting the impulse to smoke Galois cigarettes like it’s mandatory. I’ll put on my dress kilt and eat some haggis to get back in grumpy character, and present you soon with something a little grittier. Vous revenez ensuite, n’est-ce pas? Y’all will come back then, won’tcha??   😕

The Evolution Of Archon

Paul's Baby Pix

A tourist flags down a New York taxi. He climbs in, and asks, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The cabby responds, “Practice man, practice!”

How did Archon get from the happy, smiling, enchanting little baby above, to be the Grumpy Old Dude he is today?  It all starts with a good genetic background, goes through more than a half a century of formative social interaction, and is molded into place with constant, “Practice, man!  Practice!”

CCI_000010

It may have started here. This is my maternal grandfather and grandmother.  I’ve always thought that his dour look came from being a dark Scottish Pict among the skirt-wearing, fair-skinned Highlanders.  Recent DNA testing revealed that ¼ of my genetic makeup is from Ireland.  I would imagine that thinking yourself a ‘good Scot’, or even a poor Scot, and finding that you’re descended from poteen-swilling, colleen-chasing, superstitious, banshee-herding idlers, would put a scowl on your face.  I know it put one on mine….or was that already there?

This photo was taken in the mid-1930s, in the parkland adjacent to their home. If you can see in the upper, right-hand corner, two tall Poplar trees about a block away; this will be where my Mother returns from Detroit in a couple of years, and purchases her home and property.  She met and married my father.  He got a job and moved in with her, and about ten years after this shot, they produced me, in my Home Sweet Home.

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When Mom returned from Detroit, she brought along with her, not only a divorce settlement, but a daughter from her first marriage. Shown here, she’s about 10, along with my Mom and Dad, about Christmas, 1944, clustered around the real center of attention, the recent arrival, that little Ray of Sunshine and Bundle of Joy, the Archon-in-Training ….pants.

Already sulky about losing a father in a divorce, her mood soon soured further when she found that she’d gained two new half-brothers in a remarriage. Her never-ending whining harshed my tiny mellow, and her shrill, constant complaints about, “Those boys! Those damned boys!” quickly got on my little nerves.  I was well on my way to a world-class Old Grumpitude.  Either that, or the fact that my Mother didn’t tie the laces on my little walking shoes and I tripped over them and fell on my handsome wee face.  There’s always some reason to be grumpy– if you search hard enough.

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This photo is of my Mom and Dad some 60 years after the one above. The reasons they’re happy and smiling, is that they’re both retired, I’m the one in the room taking the picture and my sisty ugler isn’t there.

I don’t really know why I continue to be such an old grump. I have you, my regular readers, and faithful followers.  A young lady recently set a new personal record.  She followed my blog – for the 20th time.  She used to have her own blog-site, but shut it down.  She follows me – and a day or two later, WordPress disconnects and un-follows her.  She re-follows me – and a day later my stats fall again.  We’ve done this dance now, twenty times.  Now that’s dedication!

It’s probably been because I’ve been out for treks in the blogosphere, leaving grumpy footprints comments hither and yon, but there was a period following my Five Long Years post, where I gained 90 followers in 90 days.  (Not including Rita Repetitive)

You’re probably wondering, ‘What can I do, to make Archon less grumpy?’  You’ve already done it.  Visiting my site, reading, liking, commenting, all constitute Step 1 of my 12-step Grump-Addiction loss program.  Now it’s up to me to take the other 11 small steps.  I’ll get right on those – after I’ve had a snack and a nap.  😉

9 Q

i-am-part-of-the-family-award

In her ongoing spree of blog-awards distribution, Benzeknees insisted that I also qualified for the “I Am A Part Of The WordPress Family Award”.  I am so glad that some family would take me in.  If it weren’t for the insurance to pay off the mortgage, I think the kids would do what Benze’s blog suggests.  “I got a dog for your Father.  Good trade Mom!”  I see no signs that this is anything like the Manson family, there’s a little drool here and there, but no blood, or the Wallenda Family.  I mean, I like heights, but that no-net thing is crazier than even I am.

THE RULES FOR THE AWARD ARE:

  1.  Display the award logo on your blog.
  2.  Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3.  Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
  4.  Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them.

Okay, ta-dah!  See the shiny thing at the top of the page?  Number one rule tooken care of!  I am so proud of me!

Unless senility has caught up to me, I’ve linked to Benze’s site.  If you haven’t already, you should go have a look.  Being the mannerly, well-brought-up hick that I am, I’m also throwing in a great big Thank-You to her, for honoring me like this.

Oh-oh, number three and I’m in trouble!  I’m just not the chain-letter kind of guy. The buck stops here – because I’m too lazy to push it any farther.  Every blogger whose posts I read on a (semi)regular basis, has had a positive impact on my WordPress experience and family.  You guys, who are mostly girls, have provided me with friendship, guidance, support, training, education and humor.  I can only hope that, to the limits of my abilities, I have done the same for you.

Okay, no top ten Most-Wanted list to post.  Before I get all teary-eyed, maybe I can distract you with a bit of song and dance.  How about some Question and Answer??!  Maybe even I can discover something about the mysterious inner workings of The Archon.

Know-Me Blog Quiz

    1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
    2. What 5 things are on your To-Do list?
    3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
    4. Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire:
    5. Name some places you have lived:
    6. Name some bad habits you have:
    7. Name some jobs you have had:  
  1.  I was working my ass off, trying to get through the last of over a half a century of working my ass off.  I was just finding out that some already overpaid dickhead had over-extended and almost bankrupted the company, but was going to get a two-million dollar bonus for cutting costs by putting me and 400 friends out of work after I’d put in twenty years of faithful service, so that, at the age of 63, I could go looking for another, even more physical job.   Bitter much??!  Angostura’s got nothing on me.  (Run-on sentence care of Sandylikeabeach’s training.)
  2. Number two and number four have to be joined at the hip.  We’ve done many interesting and, for us, exciting things, but the decreased income of retirement puts restrictions on what is possible.  Travel would be high on the list.  A cruise or several, as long as the power stays on and the toilets flush.  I would like to see ancestral lands in Scotland.  Allergies and breathing problems deny air travel to the wife.  Maybe we could take a ship over.  If I had millions, I’d find a warm place in the south to at least winter in.  Actually getting to meet blog-friends sounds enjoyable.
  3. The snacks that I enjoy are the ones with the word “Snack” in them.  I have to watch my girlish figure, because we have too much, too many, snacks in the cupboard near the TV room.  Plain style chips have to be off-brands for the extra grease and salt.  I don’t care for rippled chips, even flavored ones, without dip.  Peanuts, smokehouse or candied almonds, roasted pumpkin seeds and cheese twists.  I’m not much into sweets, although we have plain dark chocolate, and dark chocolate with cherries, toffee bits or orange flavor.  Last year I got 12 Cadbury Easter Crème eggs.  This year the wife bought me 24.  I’m rationing them, one a week again, plus we have maple sugar candies from the Mennonites at the Farmers’ Market.
  4. See number two, above.  Also bigger, better TV, DVR, computer, tablet, and another Kobo, and somebody to build shelves for more books.
  5. I was born and raised, and lived my first 18 years in the small town of Southampton, Ontario.  I moved to the small city of Barrie, Ontario for about a year.  I came to the mid-size city of Kitchener, Ontario, and have been here about 48 years.
  6. Bad habits??!  I can’t afford bad habits!  If I were any less exciting, someone would have to water me twice a week.  I have never smoked, so I didn’t have to quit.  I can handle reality, so I don’t do drugs.  Medications maybe, but no drugs.  I’m not a total abstainer, but I’m down to a beer a month, and maybe some occasional Mead with some hot apple cider, or a Crème de Menthe after a large meal.  Lack of social drive, coupled with procrastination.
  7. If you link back to Archon’s Exciting Work Life, Jan. 27/13, you’ll get a whole sob story about my work life.  I’ll be posting another soon, about what I worked at before it became official.

Benzeknees has expressed an interest in my back-story.  Since she donated the award, I felt it was the least I could do.  If I’ve bored the rest of you, I apologize.