Skivvies or Fashion Statement

I decided I needed some new underwear, probably not the most exciting thing to purchase, but a needful thing, at any rate. So, I went on line to a couple of large retailers to see what simple, white, boxer briefs would cost. On both the sites I checked (which shall remain nameless to keep me from getting hammered by the fashion police) the price range for three (3) pairs of underwear were from $25 to $36 or more. Geeze, I realize I live in the modern world and all, but I’m past the age (way past) that I’m worried about my underwear making a fashion statement. I just need something to keep me relatively comfortable and friction free when I’m wearing pants. (I regularly wear pants at work and home, otherwise people point and laugh, besides which not doing so would be socially unacceptable to most of the people I know) However, one of the big box retailers (which shall also remain nameless in fairness to the above mentioned fashion police) offers the same sort of thing at $11 for six pair, much more in line with reality. I start wearing $95 pants to work, I may purchase $35 underwear, but I doubt it.

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Dislocation

I finally managed to do something a week ago Saturday that I had avoided for 61 years, dislocating my shoulder.  I’m sure a number of my readers have suffered various injuries akin to this over the years, it’s just amazing to me that I’ve gone this long without a “major injury” to my person, particularly when you consider that 20 years of my work history were as an aircraft mechanic on a concrete surface, with an unbelievable amount of opportunity for injury.

So, instead of doing it while on active duty, I take a misstep off of a sidewalk 19 years after retirement from active duty.  Go figure!  At any rate, that’s why it has been a while since the last post on my blog.  I don’t type well with only one hand currently available.  If it is another 61 tears till I do it again, that’s fine with me.

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Mom’s Meat Loaf

My Mom passed away a couple of weeks ago at the age of 91.  Mom had a beautiful spirit, and was loved by virtually everyone she knew, and she could make two sons and a husband actually enjoy liver and onions.  But the one thing she could not do, was never able to do, nor should have even attempted to do, was make that most comfortable of comfort foods, the meat loaf.  The first time my wife offered me meat loaf we nearly got into an argument,  because what my Mom had presented to me as meat loaf had made me so averse to the food that I refused to even try hers.  This, needless to say, did not sit well with the wife.  She took the item out of the oven, and presented it to me for inspection, saying “What’s wrong with Meatloaf?”  Looking down at this evenly browned, wonderfully scented dish in front of me, I said, “This isn’t meatloaf!”  She assured me (most forcefully if I recall) that it most certainly was.  I then explained to her that what Mom had presented to us as meatloaf never looked or smelled this way, so please excuse me for saying this was not meatloaf, for indeed it was not as I had ever experienced that dish.  I proceeded to taste  my wife’s version, and pronounced it sheer ambrosia, a culinary masterpiece.  Her reply was “It’s just the recipe off the Quaker Oats box.”  I said no, “Mom always used that recipe, and this is not the same thing at all!”  She still did not believe me.   I then had to describe what Mom’s meat loaf looked like.  It invariably took the form of an unappetizing lump of a grayish shade, with a texture akin to lard, and was virtually without any taste.  My wife still did not understand, even when I told her that “The dog will not eat Mom’s meat loaf.” A couple of weeks later we traveled the 60 or so miles from college to my home town to visit for the weekend, and had our dog with us.  When we arrived home Mom and Dad were out, so I looked in the ‘fridge.   Sure enough, lurking in plastic wrap, was a chunk of Mom’s meat loaf.  With my wife standing there to witness it, I cut off a piece and offered it to the dog, who sniffed at it and then refused it completely.  My wife looked at the meat, looked at me, then said, “I understand why you reacted the way you did!”  I’ve eaten a lot of meatloaf since then, but have always wondered what it was that Mom did that turned a pound of good quality hamburger, tomato paste, rolled oats, onion, salt and pepper and eggs, into a gray, unrecognizable mass?  She and my wife used the same recipe, but there was something lacking in Mom’s approach; I don’t know that she ever managed an edible meatloaf, but I doubt it.    Maybe, if there is a heavenly kitchen, Mom has finally learned to make meatloaf, for dear lady that she was, it was a touch that escaped her during her time on Earth.

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Scale

Yesterday I found myself wondering about the many permutations of the word “scale”.  Why  this particular word, I have no idea, it just popped into my consciousness.  Anyway, I began to consider its manifold meanings and uses, and have decided it is one of the more used, if not useful, words in the English language.  Scale is a word used when we climb a cliff, or a high peak, or even a building.  Yet this same word means the calcified skin cells on a fish, a snake or a lizard; as well as those pesky mineral deposits on faucets and tubs.  It is also used in reference to measurement, as an engineers scale (which may use either English or Metric measures)  or of weight.  We weigh justice in the balance scale, and of course “step on the scale” to weigh ourselves.  Metaphorically, “scales on our eyes” keep us from seeing situations clearly.  Ultimately, I’m simply amazed by the wonder of the word, which like so many in English, both enlightens and confuses, depending on your point of view, on a scale of 1 to 10.

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Monday, again!

Perhaps it would do us all some good if we ceased to view Monday as the low point of our week.   How about seeing it as a chance for a new start, a fresh beginning, another chance to grab the ring on the carousel of life. Just maybe, seeing Monday in that light, we will find ourselves refreshed and ready to face the daily slings and arrows that are part and parcel of our existence.  The potholes on the road can happen at any time; so lets not front load our expectation of them on Monday.  So enjoy your Monday, it’s the first day of a new week, and perhaps, a new point of view.

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Cleanup

I spent three hours yesterday morning just to make a pathway in my storage shed/work shop.  I also used some of that time to inflate the tires of my garden tractor, a wagon and a cart we use around the yard, but primarily it was just time spent re-arranging stuff, sweeping up the floor, and tossing trash.  What occurred to me while I was working is how much of our life we spend in cleanup, whether it is the physical cleanup of our clothes, our dishes, floors, sinks and so forth, or the cleanup of the emotional and social mishaps that happen along the path of merely living from day to day.  Cleanup  is simply a byproduct of living and interacting with our physical and cultural worlds. It is inevitable! The need for cleanup is always there in spite of our best efforts to not make messes; it is a part of the human condition!  So, all together, lets roll up our metaphorical sleeves, get the brooms and mops and buckets, and embrace the fact we will be doing cleanup until we cease to inhabit this plane of existence.

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Polymaths

It occurred to me that we live in a world of specialists!  Everyone in their own little knowledge niche busily specializing in something special.    What happened to the polymaths, the people who knew something about a range of subjects and processes; who were capable of all work, yet masters of none?   These are the people who are really interesting to talk to (or play Trivial Pursuit with) because they can hold forth on so many subjects, yet are not such snobs as to think they have the last word on everything.  They know what they do not know, and I say we need more people like that and less talking heads who think they do know it all.  It would make for a far richer intellectual landscape than we know inhabit and I suspect, a much more interesting one.

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