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Fifth Friday Fulminations

July 29th, 2016 by dk

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

  • We shouldn’t be surprised that people seem less dear and sincere with one another. We’ve stopped writing letters, where those two attributes are repeated and rehearsed.
  • Name a positive spree.
  • You’ve been given 24 hours. You must use them all, or you won’t be given 24 more.
  • At least for the moment, it looks like the only person who can prevent a President Trump is candidate Trump. Fortunately for Democrats, that doesn’t seem unlikely.
  • Cell phone cameras are transforming many situations from he-said-she-said to they-saw-we-saw.
  • It’s time to rotate your tires. You’re welcome.
  • I find it helpful to think of strollers and wheelchairs as generational bookends. They do the same thing for different people. In fact, I think we’d dread old age less if we learned to use those two wheely-words interchangeably.
  • Don’t stop to think how we water our lawns so we can mow them more. Or how we pave streets filled with potholes and then install speed humps to slow drivers.
  • “Stranger danger” is just one of many childhood lessons we overlearned. Another is “always try your hardest.” Driving unsafely when you’re late for a commitment is only one example.
  • In yard sale scheduling, Friday is the new Sunday. Thursday is the new Friday.
  • Which murders are assassinations? There must be a rule.
  • Here’s the simplest way yet to save the Postal Service: penny postcards. Loss leaders work for plenty of businesses, and this one would rebuild a helpful habit and reconnect people. Once people are happy to see their mail carrier again, solutions will emerge.
  • The Whiteaker: a neighborhood where the people are edgy, but their lawns are not.
  • There’s a sometime gap between law and order, where one undermines the other.
  • I’m not usually a pessimist, but I opened a can of soup the other day with an expiration date in 2018 and I thought, “Well, that’s presumptuous.”
  • How long before shoes are no longer sold exclusively in pairs?
  • Handicapped bike parking makes more sense than you think.
  • Class is measured better by what you expect than by what you have. This revelation may be America’s best contribution to economic theory.
  • Quick casual service at coffee and sandwich shops often ask for a tip before the service or product is delivered. Are those tips or bribes?
  • Beauty shared is beauty squared.
  • We confuse comfort with safety.
  • Demagoguery sprouts from a soil of envy, resentment and avarice.
  • Bask more.
  • The recent political bathroom wars offer a perfect symmetry between the left’s love of identity politics and the right’s fear-mongering about government intrusion and overreach.
  • Chronology tells us where to put things. It doesn’t tell us where they are.
  • Can eyeglasses make you more empathetic? You’re always toggling between how the world naturally looks to you and how it looks to others.
  • As we enter another bountiful harvest season, neighbors should gather together to jar, juice, preserve and share what they’ve grown. They’d be enjoying the long-term benefits that come from “putting up” with each other.
  • I miss winter for its beers.
  • Trolls on website comments sections are like modern graffiti artists, but without the athleticism or the derring-do.
  • ASAP was invented (as an initialism) by U.S. military leadership during the Korean War. Its first appearance in popular print was in 1955. Before that, people communicated deadlines with dates and times, not lazy platitudes.
  • Once there are two unrelated tasks to be completed ASAP, one won’t be. That’s not even logic. It’s physics.
  • If you really value diversity, go someplace where there’s nobody like you. Diversity is too often a comfortable concept for people who contribute nothing to it and a discomfort only for those who do.
  • Addled is wrong. It should be “subtractled.”
  • Are there any local restaurateurs willing to help people become more comfortable with strangers? Sunday night meals could be served only “family style” at tables of six or eight. Only the entrees would be served individually. Everything else would be shared, sometimes with people you’ve never met.
  • Rural economies reliant on extracting commodities are falling further behind as we increase efficiencies. Those displaced workers are then too often turning to opioids for relief, which are manufactured most often in cities.
  • We dare one another to finish our portions, as if that’s some sort of accomplishment.
  • I can no longer rely on my chin when I’m fitting a pillow into its case.
  • You’re old when you see an attractive young person and realize his or her parent would be too young for you.
  • Many recent tragedies used to be called “senseless killings.” I’m afraid we’re giving terrorism too much credit — and our own terror too little.
  • Under-ripe avocados are better than over-ripe avocados. There’s a life lesson in that, but I’m not sure what it is. #hassiteveroccurredtoyou
  • People crave certainty, but only for what it gives them: comfort.
  • Autists remind us how often we use language less than literally. Just one example: “When is your next birthday?”(You have only one, and that day is in the past.)
  • Pop quiz: Name the last Democratic President to enter the Oval Office without a majority in both the House and Senate. Answer: Grover Cleveland (1884)
  • Hashtags work like comedic rim shots. #dontgiveitaway
  • Just so you know, “want” entered our language as a noun, meaning “lack” in Old Norse and Middle English. When it became also a verb, we changed more than it did.
  • When is a jig anything but up?
  • GOP: Winning trumps all. Trump’s winning all.
  • How long before somebody combines a puzzle room with an airbnb lodging? “Solve these riddles to gain access to the bedroom. Or sleep on the floor.”
  • I hope NBA announcers are spending their off-season rehearsing new ways to describe three-point shots. It’s time to retire “from downtown.”
  • When somebody says we have to uproot terrorism or cynicism or anything else, check to see if they have dirt under their fingernails.
  • How do bicyclists stay liberal without listening to NPR at stop lights?
  • Could somebody please explain to me why Eugene doesn’t have a marijuana dispensary at 420 High Street?

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

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  • 1 Jay Stanton Goldstein Jul 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    wow, what a funny smorgasbord! I can hear Steve Wright in his sad deadpan saying “I opened a can of soup the other day with an expedition date in 2018 and I thought, that’s presumptuous.” perfect!

  • 2 Jay Stanton Goldstein Jul 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    especially after two weeks of political conventions!