Category Archives: Observations

Trying to pretend

Is it possible to “try to pretend”?

I’m inclined to say pretending is, by its nature, trying.  This would mean “trying to pretend” is redundant.

Isn’t it amazing the insights one gains out of reading a new book?

MacGyver as 007

One of the many reasons MacGyver is a perennial favorite:

Scrutinizing his tux-clad appearance in the mirror, he decides with satisfaction that he feels like “Bond. James Bond.”

And then he attempts to flatten his cowlick.

Liquid gold

Chuckle for the day: drool-worthy ad for pasteurized processed cheese food… in a “healthy” cooking magazine.

Well, yuck

That’s why I love listening to Scott Simon on the radio:
matter of fact statements like, “Well, yuck” before he moves right on to the next topic.

The inimitable inchworm

An inchworm is a fascinating critter to observe, as I recently discovered.

Despite only moving millimeters at a time, an inchworm can really get around quickly. The one I was watching was apparently seeking sustenance – but having little success, it appeared.

S/he would make its steady way up to a pine needle, nibble on it, and push it away. The hapless inchworm sometimes found itself upside down, looking remarkably like a puppy battling a particularly tough blade of grass.

A brief struggle to right itself, then on to the next tidbit: a bit of seed or bark or perhaps moss. Most items fared the same as the pine needles: thrust aside, sometimes spit out, discarded in favor of the next bite.

Ah, the endless interest to be found in watching the littlest beings among us!

Because of Louis L’Amour

In the Westerns I devoured as a teenager, the good guys made a point of leaving the trails they traveled in a better condition than they found them: moving a branch off the trail here, settling a rock into place there (provided, of course, that they weren’t grievously wounded and/or being pursued by the bad guys at the time).

The lesson has stuck with me: the portages I recently traveled have been left in better shape than I found them. Thank you, Mr. L’Amour.

Beautiful things with bacon

A cookbook author was recently heard on public radio gushing about a local restaurant that does “beehyoooootifullll things with bayyykin.”

Have you ever noticed that cookbook authors and public radio speakers (both hosts and guests) have a great deal in common when it comes to descriptions and pronunciations? The first requirement is hyperbole.  The second is that a great deal of words must be used to say next to nothing.

Throughout my years of listening to public radio I have identified a few key phrases for anyone looking to get into the business. It is my contention that one cannot pass the test to go on the radio as either a public radio host/guest or a cookbook author without employing these phrases, preferably layered one upon another.

Sort of
This very
Very sort of
Kind of
Nearly anything ending in “y” or “ly”
[various ooh and aah exclamations]

A perfect audition sentence would be, “It’s this beautiful, this very sort of…um…I don’t know, just oh! so yummy bit of yummy, creamy goodness with this kind of crunchy, sort of crumbly finish to it.”

Female hankies

A major retailer returned the result female handkerchiefs to my internet query about bandannas. I prefer my wardrobe to have a little less attitude than to be identified as female rather than women’s, thanks all the same.  I kept searching.  Elsewhere.

I’m in mourning

The coffeemaker I have used since 1995 gave up the ghost today.

Back shortly


Thank you for your patience during my absence. I’ve been making hay as the sun shines, as it were.

Back soon with more reviews. Current readings address topics as diverse as an all-girls polka band, a canoe trip down the Mississippi, short stories by Western writers, and a soldier suffering from both PTSD and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Stay tuned!

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