Category Archives: Thoughts at Large

• Scenic is a picnic with see in it.

• When one is young, there are not enough hours in the day.  When one gets older, there are not enough days in the year.

• Over one thousand people a year complete the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail in one hike (known as thru-hiking).  Compare this to the 50,000 runners who complete the 26-mile New York Marathon every year.  So I wonder: how many would attempt these feats if they were longer or shorter?  There must be an optimum difficulty level for such endeavors that is hard enough to be considered a challenge but attainable enough to get people to try.

• We just bought a new mattress at Ethan Allen.  I was not that happy with the experience, because Ethan Allen wanted to charge us a $125 delivery and set-up fee along with a $95 disposal fee for our old mattress.  None of the other stores we shopped had a delivery or disposal charge.  When we questioned the Ethan Allen salesperson about this discrepancy, her response was, well we have no idea what they do with old mattresses but we have to send them to the landfill.  As if JCPenney drives a truck into the mountains and dumps their old mattresses in the river.

We negotiated the $220 delivery-and-disposal charge down to $75 but I still feel like much of what we paid for this item was to compensate the entitled salespersons at Ethan Allen.  That said, the mattress feels great.  Maybe if I sleep better, I will write a less resentful blog.

• I was in a spelling bee in sixth grade.  I dropped out seven or eight people from the top.  The word I choked on: mattress.  It was the last time (until now) I cried over a mattress.

• Here in the Bible Belt, the Christian code-word for being well-off financially is blessed.  I wonder what the Bible Belt euphemism is for fellow-believers addicted to painkillers.

• It is tempting to allow time to have its say and let Donald Trump be judged by history as the injurious incompetent he is.  But the long perspective is small comfort: my history is this morning, my history is ten minutes ago, my history is the period ending this sentence.  I don’t have time for historians to decide whether Trump is comedy, tragedy or chaos.

• If I ever wanted to create a video to promote my art, the persons I would ask to narrate would be David Attenborough, Morgan Freeman, and Laura Linney.  For the lighter bits, Tom Hanks.  For my dammit-who-cares-what-you-like items, Samantha Bee.

• Are we the Pretender States of America?  Our leaders say we believe in x, y and z but their actions so often demonstrate the opposite.  The United States loves to pat itself on the back, as if we were the New England Patriots of Humankind, but where is the evidence that Americans are any less hateful or prejudicial to those who are unlike us than the people of any other developed nation?  We recite our myth of plain-spoken provincialism, we toss some of the bounty of our ill-gotten lands to the nations who marvel at our lavish parade, then we proclaim ourselves to be exceptional.  We are great — marketers.

• You have just read the otherwise unexceptional 500th post on The 100 Billionth Person (D is the Roman symbol for 500).  I made special bits for my 300th and 400th posts but was uninspired to make something special of it this time, as I am not sure who (if anyone) I am talking to anymore.  It’s not that I wouldn’t like an audience, it’s more that having an audience has not led to more connections, the two-way conversations I desire.

• So on we go to No. 501.  As Ringo says, Peace and Love.  You’re invited.

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•  Donald Trump: fake president, real prick.  Donald Trump: no leader of the free world, but the world’s cheerleader for vile remarks.  Donald Trump: vainglorious minus the glory.

•  I keep thinking I’ll get Donald Trump out of my system, but he lingers on like a bad case of pinworms.  Not that I’ve had pinworms, but you come up with a better analogy.

•  My wife is furiously typing on her laptop, and she turns to me and asks how one spells unaesthetic.  My reply was, can you just say ugly?

•  My 80/80 Facebook Rule: Even taking into account the 80% of things that one decides  it is better not to comment on, 80% of what remains is still better not to comment on.

•  And the remarks I decide not to post on Facebook?  80% of them wind up in this blog.

•  My spouse often asks me to “dust the tops of things” before company arrives.  I cannot recall a time when I was asked to dust the bottoms of things.  So when you visit our place, please don’t look there.

•  It is my firm belief — maybe even extra-firm — that pillowcases have been designed for planned obsolescence, and zippers are the weak link.   The only reasons I have ever thrown out a pillowcase are because the zipper tab falls off or the zipper gets stuck or breaks down somewhere along its short pillowy highway.  Are zippers made by Chrysler?

•  Speaking of planned obsolescence, what is it about supermarket raspberries?  Once you bring them home, you have (at most) 36 hours to eat them before they start getting moldy, even when refrigerated.  I suspect that someone at the berry packaging plant is responsible for spraying spores on them prior to shipment.

• pork rinds I went to the Southern States farm supply store last week to buy some bird seed.  (They have great prices on safflower seed, a cleaner and cheaper alternative to sunflower seed).  Waiting at the checkout, I saw these pork rinds.  Not just any old pork rinds but microwave pork rinds.  The feeling crept over me that I was out of my element here.

•  I was saddened by the senseless assassination of NYPD officer Miosotis Familia.  Her yet-another wanton and random death was not a carefully-thought-out act of some evil, affluent, philosophical mastermind, but instead the pressure-cooked product of poverty, alienation, neglect, a cacaphony of messages, guns sloshing around like oxycodone, and a culture of untethered survival that most of us don’t even begin to understand.

•  Those of you who would prefer that thoughts expressed here would be happy thoughts: there are times for escape and times for engagement.  Thanks for reading.

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Thoughts @ Large: 46

• Why are short forks called salad forks?  Why are salad forks shorter than other forks?  Are lightweight forks somehow appropriate for lightweight food?  Why would one need a fork that is shorter than regular forks?  The better to jab thin people with?

• One full slot in every American’s silverware drawer is wastefully devoted to salad forks.  This takes up precious space that could otherwise be used for chopsticks, poultry lacers, rubber pot-scrapers and rectal thermometers.

• You know, I was just thinking the other day.

• I may turn out to be a very bad grandfather.  I can’t seem to watch children at play without imagining all the ways they could hurt themselves, which naturally makes me want to constrain their play.  Good thing I was not my own grandfather — otherwise I would not have gained such an appreciation for dangerous things.

• Perhaps I should take heart that, on Antiques Roadshow 3000, my works of art will be best-known for having been made during the Trump Dynasty.

• Every sound-effects team in Hollywood should be fired.  One film after another persists in accompanying all blows with thundering deep bass tones and all fast-moving objects with cavernous whooshes.  Such sonic clichés should be banned, never rewarded.

• One of my favorite expressions is, “Excuse my French.”  (It so often needs excusing.)

• I am really getting tired of getting directed to some Pinterest site whenever I click a link.  I will never sign up for Pinterest, never, ever.  If the internet is so smart, they would have figured this out by now and they would stop sending me to Pinterest.  Goober Pyle and me, we’re just going to sit here and play checkers in the repair shop until the internet fixes this.

• I call them thunderstorms but many others refer to them as electrical storms.  I would be interested to know whether there is a cultural or geographic locus for the designation electrical storm.  There’s something about that name that pays tribute to the primitive forces of nature.  The more documentary thunderstorm falls short on that count.

• I am not a fascinating person.  As evidence of this, my conversations with others always  seem to last much longer when I engage them in discussion about themselves.

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