Cider House Rules

One crisis facing us today is potential war with Iran. This is an emergency situation because a resulting oil shortage will increase what we pay to fill our cars with gas. Another crisis is the melting of Arctic ice because that would cause vacation cancellations to beaches that are underwater. On top of it all, high demand of White Claw Hard Cider is causing a shortage that is driving Generation Y Millennials crazy. I am not a doctor but I can verify Gen Y’s craziness. I also understand their frustration. First they lose unfettered access to their favorite hard cider. And then the resulting publicity causes Baby Boomers like my wife to suddenly crave the White Claw elixir. This both exacerbates the shortage and outrages Millennials who are not flattered that old people who never heard of White Claw are jumping on the hip cider bandwagon. By the time production catches up to inflated demand, Millennials will have left a hard cider glut while racing to find some new magic taste sensation.


Country Cookies

Sean of the South loves fortune cookie wisdom, including: “The man who knows when enough is enough, will always have enough.” As a regular reader of Sean’s Blogs, I know that he is rednecker than me, as Hardy would say. But I have some redneck bona fides. My Kentucky grandmother introduced me to country music. Johnny Cash sang about walking the line and she told me that “no man can do no better than that.” I was 13 and did not even know what walking the line meant. I thought it might be a prison idiom but I did not want to ask and seem ignorant. Grandmother Lucille seemed to imply it was about being true to a woman. It did not matter to me because I just liked the sound of the music. And I could never get enough of it, despite cautionary fortune cookies. Somewhere in a modern cookie, there must be a message that says, “The woman who knows when enough is enough, will still never be able to convince her man of it.”

What, Me Worry?

I was so busy and confused last month that I apparently inadvertently posted two Blogs on the same day (August 12th). This is frustrating, like missing a turn in a running race and having to double back when you are already tired and behind. The annoyance is compounded by my compulsiveness. I can waste a great deal of time trying to balance a checkbook that is off by seven cents. Apparently I accidentally predated the Marriage by the Day post. Since casual visitors to the site should never have seen it, I planned to move it into today’s slot but it had already attracted a comment. I obsess over anything that disrupts my universe and will probably fret until I re-post the extra Blog somewhere in the future. I took my irrational worries to Dr. Jon who steered me to the worry free philosophy Alfred E. Neuman developed in the 1890’s and used advertising mince meat, plum pudding, a stage play, and painless dentistry. Alfred even lent his image to the 1932 Presidential campaign with the slogan, “Sure I’m for Roosevelt.” I am not reassured, though, because eventually Alfred went Mad.

Left at the Laugh

I was temporarily lost and late for a very important dinner function where I was supposed to meet my wife. I had followed her directions exactly. She told me to take the second left. After much frustration and some wandering, it became apparent that I should have been directed to take a left at the second traffic light. I was cranky with hunger and starved for justice at the indignity I had suffered. I ignored Ajahn Brahm’s wise counsel to laugh at mistakes, especially ones as understandable and insignificant as this one. I should take a lesson from my wife. I am her biggest mistake and she laughs it off every day.

Worries by the Number

And troubles by the score. Joanna emailed me an article about the dangers of fluoride and I was shocked to realize that I had forgotten to worry about that issue for a long time. I do not think this forgetfulness is a result of my aging. I am as sharp as Presidential candidate Joe Biden ever was. The problem is having too many things to worry about. And that is a new worry right there. I am also worried that other people are not worried enough. I go to the Mall and see everyone walking around as if we are not all doomed. The icebergs are melting. The oceans are rising. Weather disasters are growing. Our water is polluted. The sun is giving us skin cancer. Lack of sun gives us vitamin D deficiency. Sunscreens damage the coral. Our leader is a narcissist. The Mariners are in last place. My hair is falling out. Our stove and two burners do not work. It goes on and on. I am going to make a list to carry around with me.


Very Stable Genius. That is how Donald Trump described himself in a tweet this weekend. He may not be a genius but he is brilliant. He got himself elected President and has survived well into his third year on the assignment. Maybe he lied and cheated and received illegal help from the Russians. But plenty of people lie, cheat, and sell their soul to the devil trying to be President and fail. Michael Flynn sold out and lasted only 24 days at a lesser job. Some of Trump’s brilliance could be accidental. My brilliance is rare and usually accidental. Like taking Mollie out to breakfast at Kebo’s Big Boy restaurant in the early hours of New Year’s Day 1968. I had only a short term vision at the time but that move looks brilliant in hindsight. Even if Trump were a genius, he would not be a universally popular one like Einstein because the Donald is a narcissist who is gratuitously mean. Many of the people he infuriates will likely call him unstable in response to his tweet. I think he should at least drop the “Very” from his own assessment. I would actually relabel his VSG title to a more descriptive Venal Shady Guy.

Now I Understand

For many years, I have struggled with my Polish daughter-in-law’s defiant approach to life. She sent me a September 4th BBC Travel posting that addressed the issue of why Polish people hate rules. Olga Mecking tells the story of her grandfather fleeing the Ukraine during World War II. He felt he could hide in Warsaw where no one knew him. The first thing he saw when he arrived “was a woman selling bread at Central Station, right under a poster threatening death for doing so.” That woman was surely my daughter-in-law’s grandmother.


I wish I could have seen the fireworks before the noon football game between Kent State and Kennesaw State last Saturday because they must have been spectacular. Kent State officials even cancelled a women’s field hockey game between Maine and Temple as it entered double overtime at 10:30 am just to remove any possible distraction to pregame fireworks introducing men’s football, no matter how laughable the logic. The field hockey game was playing on a different field with plenty of time to complete a second overtime and shootout. We all know college football is a lot more important than women’s field hockey but we usually keep up a verbal pretense supporting equal opportunity in collegiate sports. After two days of clinging to the “safety concerns” excuse (how safe is college football anyway?), Kent State issued an apology and a promise to do better in the future. So they jumped back on the lip service horse. But a majority coalition elected Donald Trump, giving hope to all who do not want to pretend to believe in racial and gender equality, justice for all, the environment, or protection for the poor and huddled masses. Kent State is just happy they won the football game and no one dared to kick them off the field when the game went into overtime.

Garden Party

I went to Bernie’s 78th birthday party at Camp David to reminisce with my old friends. They all knew my “Kitty lit her hair” pun but no one recognized me. I didn’t look that sane. People came from miles around to listen to Donald’s Tali Band. Everyone was there. Joko brought his baggage. There was bullpucky in the air. Over in the teepee, Elizabeth hid in moccasins, wearing her disguise. Kamala learned her lesson well. You can’t please everyone. I said hello to Amy, Cory, Andrew, Beto, and Juan, they belong to youth. After we danced to Ricky’s Honky Tonk, it was time to leave. Someone opened up a closet door and out stepped Pete swinging a microphone and looking like Bernie’s grandson. I wished them all a lotta luck and sprinted for my truck.

Vive la Difference!

My wife and I recently packed for an overnight trip where we would be gone for twenty hours. I carried a backpack and she took a suitcase, a carry on bag, three garments on hangers, and a purse that even holds kitty litter in case we buy a cat while we are out. This amount of luggage was not unusual for Mollie, so I took no notice. She likes to decide on outfits at the last minute, depending on weather, how others appear to be dressed, and whether she is subject to an alien mind melt. The running shoes I wore were the only pair I brought. My wife lugged around four pairs of shoes. I was only startled because she actually managed to wear all four pairs in the twelve hours she was not sleeping. Luckily, the hotel provided slippers so she never had to go barefoot.