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

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Fifth Friday’s Are Frippery-Filled Fun

July 2nd, 2019 by dk

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

  • Could somebody please explain to me why low-cost airline Allegiant’s planes have the widest center aisles?
  • “Thank you for your patience” has been so much more effective for customer service representatives. “Please don’t foment rebellion, because you clearly outnumber us” never worked so well — and the new phrase is shorter, too!
  • I have a secret phrase to catch people off balance. It’s only six words, but it can shift a conversation, and sometimes an entire relationship. “What can I do for you?”
  • I recently experienced chronic pain for the first time in my lucky life. As soon as the startle reflex wore off, I found myself fighting boredom (same old, same old) on top of the pain.
  • My son recently paid more for a car than I’ve spent on every car I’ve ever owned. Neither of us were happy about that.
  • I’ve never had a car alarm, so I’ve never worried when I heard one that it could be mine.
  • A friend describes her depression by saying she “haz the sad.” This captures some of the burden, and also the sensation of being stuck — time seems irrelevant.
  • The first expression of hospitality should be visible from the street. If the message isn’t available to strangers, it’s something less than hospitality.
  • Stop to think about how lucky Eugene has been with its recent sport heroes: Joey, Luke, Ashton, Marcus, Sabrina….
  • How can we popularize work parties? They do so much for so many. We organize nose-to-nose time so much more easily than shoulder-to-shoulder time.
  • Let’s all sprinkle into our conversations this important phrase: “That’s a great question!” We must recognize and reward those who ask astutely.
  • Happiness, satisfaction, integrity — each is diminished when we consider it a possession.
  • I was surprised to discover that almost all the pleasure I get from a hot cup in the morning comes from the heat and the cup. A mug of hot water, all by itself, conveys most of the comfort I crave.
  • We say we love autonomy and self-sovereignty, but it’s not true. We binge eat, we binge drink, we binge watch. We brag about losing control. We treat personal agency like a better version of virginity — reveling in the pleasure of losing it, over and over again.
  • Did self-driving cars start with anti-lock brakes? Did the machine overrule the driver earlier?
  • A friend of a friend just turned 102. “At my age,” she told me, “every birthday party is a surprise party.”
  • Humans don’t naturally favor diversity over familiarity, but the health and survival of our species may require it.
  • In the face of gender fluidity, wouldn’t “this” be better than “they”?
  • If another organism tried self-awareness but then discarded it as too much trouble, how would we know?
  • You’ve never paid too much for a toilet seat.
  • I haven’t been invited to a wedding in years. Am I doing something wrong?
  • Arriving someplace new is brave. But leaving what you know takes courage.
  • Only task lists with an end in sight begin to acknowledge what will be left undone.
  • Are cell phones changing the design of women’s clothing? Pockets are suddenly necessary, and pocketbooks no longer are.
  • Humans may be nothing more than monkeys who tried mushrooms. Down from the trees, looking for food on the ground, one opened our minds extra-wide.
  • What has been your most creative use of dental floss?
  • Sometimes what we see as selfishness is really a whole-hearted devotion to a vision or a task, and so is actually the opposite of what it seems.
  • Time-share resorts are ripe for disruption.
  • I wish Elon Musk would skip electric cars and perfect hovercrafts instead.
  • Every transportation mode is trying to solve the same problem: how to make or store energy with as little added weight as possible.
  • Consider the plight of the egg salad sandwich. First we thought the cholesterol in the egg was bad for us, then the fat in the mayonnaise, and now the gluten in the bread.


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

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