“Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens.
If you have them, you have to take care of them.
There is great freedom in simplicity of living.
It is those who have enough but not too much who are the happiest.”
― —Peace Pilgrim
History lesson, kiddos: Have you heard of Peace Pilgrim? Google her. An amazing lady with aninspiring story. Read her biography
online—it’s only 89 pages. Put it on your list.
I’ve always been of the mindset that a house just isn’t a home without a dog. A logical person might think that’s a pretty dumb statement. Dogs certainly don’t add to your property value and I guess you could make an argument that they actually increase maintenance costs due to the things dogs tend to do. I’m thinking more with my gut than my brain, (both of which, coincidentally, are a little smaller these days)… or maybe with my heart.
What’s the Difference Between 3/4" and 1"?
About $400 per year.
Truth be told, I’m a cynic at heart. And since we’re being truthful, I admit that my finely tuned internal skept-o-meter is not a genetic gift, but a hard-earned character trait honed and hardened from a previously soft and gullible inner core. Over the years I’ve swallowed enough snake oil to sink a Nigerian money ship. These days, I let others buy the incredibly discounted surround sound speakers from the unmarked white creeper van.
I don’t claim to be an expert on car line etiquette because I don’t drop my kids off at school. As a matter of fact, ours is a family dynamic straight out of the 50s: Dad works, mom takes care of the kids. Dad comes home from work to his pipe and slippers, a hot meal, and a nice foot rub while my dear wife slaves over the housework in high heels and a frilly apron... OK, let’s just stick with the part about me not dropping off the kids, please don’t tell my wife the other
stuff (she beats me).
From my discussions with several local drop-off parents, there seems to be a tad bit of friction over at ye olde school house. Can’t we all just ride along? Most of the
complaints center around uncivil behavior and inattentive actions. Like life in general, huh?
That’s not too far off.
So, how was the tofurkey?
I gotta ask now that the holiday is over: How was it? Was it as bad as it sounds? Did you give in to temptation and eat some real turkey, too? Trash the leftovers of tofu bird? Give us the scoop, Chris.
—John Fox, Anthem
In a word, the tofurkey was OK. If you’ve ever had a real turkey that was not quite up to your culinary standards, and you drowned it in gravy and cranberry sauce to make the best of it, it was kind of like that. Not great, not horrible, but there were no giblets of a questionable origin, so that was a plus. I did not eat any real turkey and
I did have some of the tofurkey leftovers... Not a whole lot better than round one. Thanks for asking.
It seems we crazy Americans are always coming up with some silly new sport to fill up the free time we swear we don’t have. It’s part of our DNA, actually. As a kid, I invented a fast-paced and challenging game that involved lawn darts and little Leonard from down the street. It was the hit of the neighborhood until Leonard got perforated one too many times and told his mom. That woman had no sense of innovation.
Have you ever heard of “Pickleball?” I didn’t make this up, some other guys did, back in 1965. In what I’m guessing to be an historical clash of too much time meets too much beer, Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington State and Bill Bell, a successful businessman, stared at a neglected badminton court (is there any other kind?) and birthed what is now the rage of the boomer generation.
What hath my silly little life come to? With much anticipation, but not that much excitement, this will be my very first Tofurky Thanksgiving. With all due respect to my
animal-loving PETA peeps (if I have any), this is more about health than any political statement.
I’m not giving up my leather car seats, nor taking up catch-and-release with houseflies anytime soon. In my increasingly unrealistic quest to fight off Father Time, I’ve adopted a 100-percent plant-based diet. If it once walked, swam, quacked, slithered or had babies, it’s off the menu.
Like many young men, I grew my first mustache because I could. I was a bit of a late bloomer, with not much more than a wisp of whiskers until I was about 22. I sported the lip-warmer look all through most of the 80s, only shaving it off in protest to the cancellation of “Magnum P.I.” Looking back at photos from that time, my appearance was more Jeff Foxworthy than Tom Selleck.
When I was a kid, local parades were filled with vets: World War II dads and uncles and, to a lesser degree, World War I survivors who were old-timers and grandpas. It was almost surreal to read Frank Buckles, the very last WWI veteran, died earlier this year at 110.
The Daisy Mountain Veterans Parade holds special significance for me, taking me back to the days of eating peanut butter from a can, getting seasick shortly after my ship hit the breakwater and representing (see, I know the street lingo) like the fresh faced, clueless rube that I was, every time I took shore leave. I also recall the great lessons learned and the friends made during my four-year stint in the U.S. Navy.
Obviously, two multi-billion-dollar bailouts weren’t enough to satiate the cash-hungry appetites of our friendly neighborhood banks. Bank of America recently announced that they (or more appropriately “it”) will now charge debit card users a $5 monthly fee… Squeeze me? If you think you can just stomp your little feet over to their nearest competitor, think again.
Several other biggie piggies have either announced that they will be marching in lockstep to the B of A band, or are planning to do so in the near future. You just can’t win. …Or can you?
In the spirit of “Occupy Wall Street,” “Occupy Washington” and “Occupy Whatever,” minus the camping out and smelling funny, I propose the following forms of passive-aggressive protest. If any of these are illegal or objectionable under your personal moral code, I’m not forcing you or anything. You don’t listen when I harp on you to change your furnace filters so you certainly don’t have to listen now. Besides that, I’m only kidding (sort of).
Photo By Nourie Boraie
When I was young, broke and single, I got in the habit of refinishing furniture. Most projects began with someone else’s castoff, so the price was certainly right. I had more time than money (or sense), so endless stripping (the wood, people!), sanding and staining kept my otherwise idle hands productive.
There’s no satisfaction like bringing a piece back from the brink, especially the old stuff. When you refinish by hand, you gain a unique insight into every joint, deep into the grain. It’s like sharing a conversation with the builder. I recently realized I missed that conversation—and the peace that came with it.
You have dirty, stinky grout. There, I said it. Now that we’ve laid that bare, you have two choices: You can stare straight ahead at all times, employing a horizontal take on the “head-in-the-sand” strategy, or you can get scrubbin’! Oh, I guess there’s a third option—hire somebody else to take care of it.
Let me tell you a thing or two about grout before you spend time/money and wind up with a sad little scrunched up face. All the scrubbing, bleaching and elbow grease in the world may not restore it to its showroom finish. The devil lies in the original application.
Unless the rear doors of your home have hinges (which have their own maintenance issues) you have a sliding door. If you do, there’s a good chance you get your daily weight training trying to muscle the sucker open or shut.
Here are the whats, whys and hows to sliding door happiness… or at least tolerance.
The Wild Beast
If a sliding glass door were a jungle animal, it would be extinct. Let’s take a trip deep into the jungle of the mind and imagine a magnificent beast standing 8-feet tall and weighing nearly 200 pounds. Now picture him ambling about the ruthless wilderness on a pair of tiny, brittle feet. The weight of that dual-paned, steel-encased window wall is just too much for those cheap little stamped metal rollers with even cheaper plastic bushings. A few years pushing that sucker open and shut becomes like dragging a corpse uphill. (Don’t ask how I know.)