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Quips, queries, and querulous quibbles from the quirky mind of Don Kahle

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Fall Fripperies

October 30th, 2009 by dk

Fifth Friday footnotes, follow-ups, and far-flung fripperies:

• Given the Ducks’ fondness for misdirection and ballyhoo, I’m surprised they didn’t accelerate running back LeGarrette Blount’s rehabilitation schedule a week, just so the Trojans would have to prepare for tomorrow’s game two ways.

• Once a man feels he can unbutton his pants in public to tuck in his shirt, life has very little more to offer him.

• People who overuse the phrase “for some reason” make me nervous, for some reason.

• Jimmy Carter is living long enough to see his presidential library being remodeled. Has that ever happened before?

• Back yards are for children, dogs and company. I don’t know anyone who uses their back yard as much as they think they should.

• Will our children ever believe that once there were no drive-through coffee kiosks, but we had Fotomats, which looked the same, where we dropped off our film to be developed?

• You probably know how many teeth are in your mouth. You learned it in a book. But after all these years of flossing, how many spaces between teeth do you have? What, you don’t know?

• I wonder who coined the term “public servant?”

• It always feels to me like a sentence that begins with “I wonder” should end with a question mark, but just barely.

• When you really stop to think about it, it’s weird that we consider bacon to be food.

• Somewhere somebody is shopping a script that remakes “Sound of Music,” but this time built around product placement of a Prius being silently driven, not pushed, for the family’s pre-dawn getaway.

• I’ve never before lived in a place where as many adults as children dress up on Halloween.

• I wonder how Duck fans will handle trick-or-treaters tomorrow. If the game is close, they might not answer the door. Worse yet, what about the football-loving parents of young children. Will they be able to dig out their transistor radios quickly enough?

• Would somebody please tell Duck head coach Chip Kelly that the sun visor look is unique as a marketing device — calculating and workmanlike — but it becomes ironic-bordering-on-silly in Oregon after Columbus Day? The sun won’t be out again until April, Chip.

• How long before hunger meets greed and air travelers create a black market for in-flight tuna sandwiches? Can it be called an underground economy when the transactions take place 30,000 feet above ground?

• Dust jackets are more trouble than they’re worth. Nothing against hardback books — I feel the same way about dusting.

• Should I be concerned if my pastor’s car has vanity license plates?

• Isn’t it amazing how easily one can hide an assertion inside a question?

• Does it bother you to eat something with an expiration date in 2012? Should it?

• Parsley has a good thing going. Almost any recipe calls for a sprig or a sprinkle at the end, but you have to buy a bunch that’s fifty times what you’ll use.

• I remember when tennis balls were white. Just barely. Not just barely white. I just barely remember.

• Last month a news report stated that a fire near Los Angeles was “42 percent contained.” What exactly does that mean? I suspect it’s precision pretending to be accuracy.

• Is there such a thing as “female pattern baldness?” If not, isn’t the male term either redundant or unnecessary?

• “Putting a stripper through college” is my new least-favorite phrase, as if vice can be dressed as virtue.

• I love living in a town where people still ring doorbells. Whether it’s kids raising money for camp, do-gooders saving the planet or scammers looking for a mark, it’s a wonderful distraction from whatever it was I was doing.

• What do they call a rain check in Phoenix?

• I buy my socks in sets. When one sock gets a hole, must I throw out two? Or can I store the widow as a spare?

• With podcasts, TIVO, web viewing, and other so-called conveniences, I find I never get around to watching most of it. Since I can do it any time, I don’t do it at all.

• I wish a grocery store would set aside “ripe for tonight” choices in their produce section. Hundreds of us would alter our meal plans to save a squash before it goes sad. Avoiding waste can be community service. Charge us extra for fewer choices. We’ll bite.

• Am I wrong or are airports and shopping malls becoming more alike all the time?

• How do employers with graveyard shift workers handle the switch to Daylight Saving Time? Do they pay them twice for the 2 a.m. hour that’s repeated each fall? Is it overtime? In the spring, do they pay them for the hour that gets skipped?

• I figured out what bugs me about “for some reason” being included in an explanation. It’s used as an indirect and evasive version of “I don’t know why….”


Don Kahle ( writes a weekly column for The Register-Guard and blogs. Readers can follow his fripperies at

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