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Ffffuff Time Again

November 29th, 2013 by dk

Fifth Friday Footnotes, Follow-ups and Far-Flung Fripperies:

  • Within days of each other, two very different news stories came out of Washington, D.C. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led a vote to limit the filibuster and Secretary of State John Kerry announced a deal where Iran has agreed to disable 8,000 centrifuges in its reactors. And yet, “nuclear option” remained the term of choice describing Reid’s action more than Kerry’s. The metaphor has trumped the reality.
  • I hate falderal.
  • Did we really fall for surge protectors?
  • I honestly wonder why no one has even tried to build a clock for dogs. They know when it’s time for a walk or for dinner. Could they be taught when it’s almost time, or wouldn’t they care? Do you want to live in the moment? Follow your dog.
  • Half of us load dishwashers with utensils pointing up, half point them downward. We can’t both be right.
  • Those who keep a post office box for personal use are different than the rest of us.
  • This might be proof that I spend too much time in airports, but I’m waiting for a disembodied voice to show up in a dream saying, “CAUTION — the moving walkway is ending.”
  • Ken Woody’s blog has taught me more about football than I ever thought I’d want to learn.
  • When was the last time you stashed anything? It was too long ago, wasn’t it?
  • Front doors to people’s homes typically swing inward, signifying welcome. Businesses often are required to have their doors swing outward for safety reasons. Discuss.
  • For reasons I cannot begin to explain, I seem to be increasingly reliant on spatulas.
  • Last week I was meeting a business associate for lunch. The restaurant posted a sign on its front door: “Please wipe wet feet on mat when entering. Thank you.” Why risk doing it wrong, or suffering the consequences if others had done it wrong? We dined elsewhere.
  • I worry that too many American citizens don’t mind that our politics is beginning to resemble a banana republic’s because they believe there will be fruit involved.
  • Secrecy spirals. How could you ever know when enough has been hidden?
  • Autocorrect misunderestimates mistakes. Do we really want every Freudian slip unslipped? A roomful of monkeys with typewriters eventually would produce the complete works of Shakespeare. Add autocorrect and “eventually” becomes “never.”
  • If you catch yourself exhaling before you answer, you’re bored and you should do something else before others figure it out.
  • I don’t really understand how my dishwasher works.
  • Mistakes are not failures. Mistakes don’t even accrue to become failures. Only inattention and cowardice lead inevitably to failure. Mistakes are often evidence of courage.
  • It’s too bad philanthropist and philanderer sound similar.
  • The quality of your life may be measured best by the funeral held after you’re gone. You literally cannot know how good you have it.
  • It’s not easy being an extreme introvert. I resist going to Cloud Nine because I don’t know who might be on Clouds Eight and Ten.
  • Journalism’s plight, pithily put: we’re trading reporters for repeaters.
  • Seating charts and dress codes befuddle me today the same way they did in first grade. I’m sure that means there’s something wrong with me, but I still can’t bear to change.
  • I have a friend who calls meetings at 10:18 or 2:11 or whatever time will be just right. I love that he approximates always and only by choice.
  • I’ve written before about the importance of “you’re welcome” as an affirmation and amplification of the simple “thank you.” I believe this Friday each year should be christened “You’re Welcome Day” to teach it. Young people seem to be unconsciously uniting around a different answer: “No problem.” Here’s my problem with “no problem”: What would have been your reply if I had said “I’m sorry”? Would it have been the same? Then how can I keep track of whether I’m thanking you or apologizing, if your response doesn’t differ?
  • Do you feel a sudden urge to respond (or respond differently) to somebody’s recent thanksgiving? You’re welcome.


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and blogs at

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