Ecru Pants, High-Tech Torture, and Mac and Cheese

It’s a classic confrontation: hapless bozo versus impersonal corporate interests, and their tools of oppression.

It begins with Valentine’s Day gifts from my wife: a pair of pants a size too small, and a new bathroom scale incorporating technology worthy of the nerds at MIT.

These gifts are a clear threat in my world, where there are two groups of people: those for whom the number of inches in the waist measurement exceeds the number of inches in the inseam, and everyone else.

On what is ordinarily a day afloat on a swell of affection, I am forced to fight off a giant company that has combined forces with my wife to blight my comfy existence. I am tag-teamed by Kathy and the Tanita Corporation. Continue reading

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Here, There, Back, and Dazed

I was here.

I left.

I’m back, 2,000 miles and just over 72 hours later.

Less than fresh, my nerves are shot, and there are bats hanging in the dark corners of the brain vault. There’s barely enough juice left in my tank to provide the energy needed to write this. Continue reading

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Give Me Pizza, Or Give Me Pain

I’m having a fine time.

She’s not.

I whip up two grilled pizzas: a simple tomato sauce —tomato paste (first ingredient into the pan, with a bit of olive oil, cooked until the fruit sweetens and turns a darker color), crushed, canned San Marzanos, a wad of chicken base, oregano, crushed garlic, a touch of sugar, salt, pepper, the sauce simmered, reduced for about an hour before basil chiffonade is added; a store-bought, ball of raw crust, divided, rolled and pulled into irregular shapes, the dough lightly coated with olive oil, grilled on both sides. I apply a skin of sauce to each slab, then add hunks of fresh mozzarella, a few chopped kalamata olives, sautéed mushrooms and onion, fresh basil, slices of high-grade pepperoni, a major flutter of shredded parmesan, and flip the pizzas back on the grill at a low temp to get everything hot and melty good. Done.

I’m proud of myself, so I celebrate. Granted, I celebrate regularly, absent any accomplishment, but this is a special occasion. Continue reading

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Heraclitus, Thomas Jefferson, and the Worst Rectal Disaster on Record

Heraclitus of Ephesus allegedly uttered something to the effect that “Opposition brings concord.”

The man was a crank so, naturally, he believed strife was necessary.

He wasn’t entirely accurate, however: opposition does not always bring concord. It’s soothing when it happens, but there are occasions when confrontation produces lasting discord, and some of these incidents are to be savored.

I, too, am a crank, so I savor.

I’m in bed. I finish reading Pre-Socratic fragments, I turn off the light, but I do not sleep. I take a trip on the Memory Express in search of delicious discord, and I end up at two confrontations: one with God, the other with Thomas Jefferson.

Each serves as a lesson in how to muster discord with opposition, and create enemies — one with Catholics, the other with presidents, and librarians. Continue reading

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