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I May, In Fact, Be Alive

I was born a very young person with a short attention span. I paid no attention to formalities like keeping records or filling out forms. It never occurred to me to keep track of the hospital staff involved in my delivery, or even the time of my birth. That inattention to detail was the start of my problem, lo these many years later.

This happened in New Jersey too. I had nothing to do with it. (public domain, wikimedia)

You see, I would like to get a passport. Once I get that document, I’ll be able to vacation outside the United States. Todd Snider wrote that “a man hasn’t technically flown until he lands”. In the spirit of Mr. Snider’s thought, I will also use my passport to return to the United States.

Nations are pretty particular about knowing who wanders over their borders. My home country is no exception. If they’re going to watch me go and then give me a pass to just stroll back in when I’m good and ready, they want to confirm that I am who I claim I am. So, one of the things they’ve asked to see in the process of giving me a key to the front door of the country is my birth certificate.

Since I was young and did not have pockets when I earned my birth certificate I do not have a copy of it at hand. That vital record is in the hands of the State of New Jersey…I think.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Why I Don’t Eat Penguins

A long time ago, I wrote about how good I am at parallel parking. I told you then that I don’t like to brag. That’s still true. Bragging is so uncool.

But I’m exceptional at peeling oranges.

Oranges – Good And Good For You

Antarctic explorers ate penguins to prevent scurvy.

Just saw a Norwegian (imabe by Ken Funakoshi CC by SA 2.0)

You might not think that being a skilled orange peeler isn’t such a big deal, but it is. Peeling an orange makes it so much tastier. The better I enjoy the taste of the orange, the more likely it is that I will eat it. When I eat an orange I get all the health benefits it has.

An orange contains twelve and a half percent of your body’s daily requirement of fiber. That’s important for a guy my age. Just think of all the money I’m saving on Metamucil because I’ve developed my orange peeling to such a high level.

Did you know that members of Roald Amundsen’s successful expedition to the South Pole ate penguins to ward off scurvy? They did, because Norwegians are notoriously bad orange peelers. My orange peeling gift allows me to get at the tasty Vitamin C inside the fruit and protect myself from scurvy.

But enough about oranges, let’s talk about me. Read the rest of this entry »


Can I Get A Witness?

I am going to hire an employee. That person will have one duty – they will have to be with me so that I always have someone to turn to and say “did you see that?” when I witness something.

Unfortunately, I have not hired that employee yet. You’re going to have to take my word for it – the story I’m about to tell you is true.

Traveling Man

(public domain, wikimedia)

A six a.m. flight had me up and moving early. I wasn’t moving fast, but I was moving. There were all the usual hygiene procedures, then I got dressed and carried my bags out in to the hotel’s hallway. Read the rest of this entry »


Stop Interrupting Me

Last week, I told you about my latest and most terrifying haircut adventure. Today I’m going to tell you that it may not be over.

No, I’m not saying that I’ve been getting my hair cut continuously for the past three weeks. I will admit that would be terrifying in its own way. Thank you so much for bringing it up. If there’s anything I need, it’s to waste more time worrying about crazy stuff that you bring up…like three week long haircuts. Please don’t interrupt me.

I’m concerned about something much more sinister, with ethical implications far beyond what I should be addressing on my humble blog.

Lydia, Oh Lydia

The only thing scarier than one of these is one of these in Lydia’s hand. (image by Dr. K CC by SA 3.0)

You might recall that my last few haircuts were done by a woman who is littered with bad tattoos. During my last cut, she brought out a straight razor to trim the hair on the back of my neck. No one has ever used a straight razor to cut my hair before. Read the rest of this entry »


Art Criticism: George Washington, By Gilbert Stewart

Chances are you’ve got a Gilbert Stewart painting in your pocket. Of course, if you live outside the US or are having some financial difficulties you might not. The picture of George Washington on a U.S. one dollar bill is from a Stewart portrait of the first president of the United States.

Gilbert produced more than one thousand portraits during his career. Not all of those paintings were of George Washington, but a lot of them were. Washington was a favorite topic for Gilbert. Not just any art critic would take on the task of critiquing a very skilful portrait artist on a painting of that artist’s favorite subject.

I’m not just any art critic.

Today, I am going to discuss a particular Washington portrait by Gilbert. The original is at the Museum Of Fine Arts in Boston. A reproduction of this painting hangs in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. Read the rest of this entry »


Top Five CNN Questions About New MH370 Transcript

(altair78 cc by sa 2.0)

The big story on CNN is that the last transmission from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was not “all right, good night”. Malaysian authorities now say that the last words from the plane were actually “Goodnight Malaysian three seven zero”.

Oh…my…God! Read the rest of this entry »


Dermatologist. Cosmetologist. Whatever.

It has been rare that the same person has cut my hair more than once. That seems to be changing with the shop I go to now.

This new place isn’t bad. There aren’t other customers waiting when I arrive. I’m always first in line. The woman at the counter asks if I made an appointment. I never make one, because like I said, I’m the only one there.

This has almost nothing to do with what I’ve written, but I’m sure it’s funny. Or maybe it was funny, or something (public domain)

So she always says, “have a seat, someone will be right with you.”

It used to bother me that the receptionist would ask me to take a seat and wait when I’m the only customer. The Hallmark Channel is always on the waiting area television. I began to wonder if my penance for not having an appointment was enduring ten minutes of sappy Hallmark programming. Now I realize that the wait is a good thing. I think they are trying to assign me to the same person each time.

Meet Inky

I’m not sure how old my current hair cutter is. Perhaps she’s in her seventies. It might also be true that she is in her forties and has gone through a lot of wear and tear. She has red hair, but it isn’t a shade of red that occurs in nature. I don’t simply mean that I know she dyes her hair. I’m saying that this woman’s hair is a completely unprecedented red. If the color wheel was a tire with a nail stuck in it right where the reds are, this red would be at the spot where that tire went flat. Read the rest of this entry »


1 + 1 = Syracuse

There are times when one plus one equals two. But now and then, you look at one, you look at the other one and when you add those together you get five.

When one and one equal five, there are usually logical reasons to think that’s the answer. Once, when I was very young, I added one plus one.

And the answer was Syracuse. Read the rest of this entry »


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