Five Routine Minutes: Sharing A Diet Coke With Omar

I haven’t run a Five Routine Minutes post in a while. For those who haven’t seen one before, this is the most poorly illustrated series on the net. Also, many times, what’s depicted doesn’t even add up to two minutes. But I like the idea as a goofy way to tell a story, so I’m resurrecting the series.

My wife has had to work a few recent weekends. That’s not typical and we’re taking it in stride. She’s done a lot of it at home. But this weekend she knew there was an event I wanted to attend.

Artist’s note: Despite what the drawing shows, my wife does not look like me. That would be creepy. Also, my goatee does not make my face look fat.


Read the rest of this entry »

This Tomato Thinks I Know What I’m Doing

Last year, I decided that I wanted to have a small vegetable garden on our patio.

I bought containers and plants, and assembled what I had into a tomato and jalapeño factory. There was no rhyme or reason to my choice of crops. I suppose I just like tomatoes and hot peppers.  If farmers chose their crops the way I do, we’d end up with a lot peppers and no Brussels sprouts. The world would be a better place

I am a farmer

I am a farmer

By the end of the summer, I declared my garden a success. My wife and I had fresh tomatoes for our salads until the first frost. The jalapeño harvest was prodigious; there’s still half of a gallon bag of spicy goodness in our freezer. But the biggest success of my garden was the enjoyment I got from it.

I tend to think that if a little of something is good, more is better. Sometimes that philosophy works, sometimes it gets me in trouble. But my plan this year is to have a bigger garden. A small garden equaled a little fun, so a big garden should equal a lot, right? Read the rest of this entry »

What Can We Learn About Male Frequent Urination From Steve Winwood?

When we were growing up, it was common for those in my generation to go on car trips with our parents. I suppose that you could say that we were the first generation to spend so much time on the road. And part of the ritual of those long drives was hearing our parents say “shouldn’t you go to the bathroom before we start?”

Parents loading the kids into a Conestoga wagon and heading to the Great Plains didn’t ask that question. We were the first to hear that. And now that we are older, gentlemen of my generation are the first to endure constant reminders of an unpleasant reality. Television advertising for some prescription medications has pounded into our heads that, as men age, we have to make more trips to the restroom.

This Shouldn’t Be Difficult

It isn’t hard to use. You don’t even have to lift the seat. (public domain)

But despite that head pounding, despite the reality of “going” over and over, many of my peers can’t seem to remember that nature will call. Not only will nature call, she will call more often than she did when we were twenty or thirty. If only our memories were as good as they were back then.

Now, I’m sure that some would wonder why I think that how often they do their business is any of my business. The answer is that, for the most part, it isn’t. In fact, because I walk that same worn down path to the urinal as my peers, I understand what they’re enduring. What I don’t understand is that so many of those peers can’t seem to remember that they will have to go to the bathroom sooner than they’d like to. Read the rest of this entry »

Suing For Cream Cheese Frosting

My friends, I was wronged. For more than a week now, I’ve struggled with the shock of the deception perpetrated upon me.  I’ve told myself to put it behind myself. I can’t.

I can’t and I won’t.

On Easter, I enjoyed brunch with my wife at one of our favorite establishments. This restaurant (which I won’t name due to my intent to take legal action against everyone in the place who took part in wronging me) is a favorite of ours.

The icing carrot should be a sign that you’re getting the good stuff (image by Joe Mabel CCbySA3.0)

Easter was different than our usual visits. The food was still good. But instead of the usual menu, there was a huge buffet. And while I enjoyed the entrees and vegetables that I picked out, my mind was on the dessert table. Right in the middle of that table was a carrot cake.

I love carrot cake.

Carrot Cake Doesn’t Make Sense

Did I mention that I love carrot cake? I do. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Things Maya Angelou Didn’t Say, On A Stamp

It seems that poet Maya Angelou didn’t say the quote attributed to her on the stamp the United States Postal Service created in her honor.



The stamp reads “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. Ms. Angelou, an inspirational author, poet and speaker, is responsible for so many inspirational lines. Sadly, the one about the singing bird isn’t one of hers. Another writer, Joan Walsh Anglund, produced that gem.

Maya Angelou wrote seven books in addition to her poems, plays and speeches. It is hard to conceive of how the Postal Service couldn’t track down a line that they were certain that Ms. Angelou was responsible for.

Obviously, this stamp is going to have to be redesigned with a new quote or a picture of Ms. Anglund. Since I have some time on my hands, I figured that I’d rework the stamp with some new quotes. In the spirit of the designer of the original Angelou stamp, I have created five new stamps with things Ms. Angelou never said.

It isn’t easy to come up with things that a person never said. There’s no data base to track such things. And even with someone as prolific as Ms. Angelou, the things she didn’t say far out number those that she did. I had to take a different path.

I chose to redesign the Angelou stamp using the words of another quotable American – Muhammad Ali. Read the rest of this entry »

How I Mastered Chopsticks

I posed for this drawing. (image public domain)

I’ve told this you before – I don’t believe in bragging. That’s one of the cool things about me.

I passed this idea on to my son. Not the idea that I’m cool, but that bragging isn’t. He lives by a code that says that it is better to show people what he can do instead of telling them. He’s a wise man.

Unfortunately, there are some things that I do well that don’t lend themselves to showing you here. Because of that, I’ve had to tell you that I am the King Of Parallel Parking and that I am exceptionally good at peeling oranges. I’m going to have to go against my principles and brag to you about something else I’m good at.

I Can Feed Myself In Asian Rim Countries

Chopsticks. Not the piano tune called chopsticks; I’m talking about the eating utensils common to east Asian countries. I am really good at using chopsticks.

There was a time in my life that I couldn’t say that I was adept with chopsticks. If I wanted to finish eating dinner before breakfast, I had to have a fork. A fork or perhaps a knife to sharpen my chopsticks into tools that I understood how to use. My fingers just couldn’t make the sticks work. Read the rest of this entry »

Guy Fieri, Please Stop

I love cooking shows on television. Amongst my favorites is Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Unfortunately, my love for learning about cool places to eat comes at a cost. I have to put up with Guy Fieri.

Before I make fun of Mr. Fieri, I should be fair. When I first watched the show, I sort of enjoyed the way he portrayed himself. It seemed that he didn’t take himself or what he was doing too seriously. Anyone who makes it clear that they know as well as the rest of us that they are not saving the world is OK by me. But I do have a problem with the man.

Fieri, at a restaurant called Dish, in Charlotte, NC. I’ve been there a lot. No one took pictures, but the food is amazing. Go there. (image via

Guy Fieri has done the Guy Fieri act so many times that he is becoming a cartoon of himself. Yes, there are only so many ways to take a bite of food and say that it is really good. But I can’t take another declaration that someone’s grilled cheese is “the bomb” or that the ribs at a particular restaurant are “off the hook”. Read the rest of this entry »


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