Fripperies R Us

Fifth Friday footnotes, follow-ups, and far-flung fripperies:
• Surveying this week’s election results, one detail mystifies me. Why aren’t the votes for Measures 66 and 67 identical? I’ve read dozens of commentaries on the tax measures, but never saw one that split the difference between the two.
• I don’t quite understand why I launder my washcloths.
• If your grocery store has two entrances, I’ll bet you almost always use one and not the other, and you don’t really know why.
• Never trust a driver wearing a full-brimmed hat. Unless it’s Betty Snowden.
• Has any product ever been so maligned as polyester? I predict a comeback — under a new name, of course.
• After reading Don Tykeson’s essay a couple Sundays ago, I got to thinking how the absence of a sales tax may attract more ne’er-do-wells to Oregon. Income taxes only scare away those who have or hope to have high incomes. The Oregon town with the most college students without specific career goals might bear the largest brunt. Hmmm.
• After we bear a brunt, can we do anything else with it?
• Egalitarianism is anarchy dressed for company.
• Don’t mess with how other people decorate their refrigerator doors. Just don’t.
• How could I feel nostalgic for Cingular? But I do.
• Anticipating historic speeches from Barack Obama and Steve Jobs on the same day, I dreamt that they combined them with a sleek device that made participating in democracy as easy as buying a song for 99 cents. It was called an iVote.
• I stopped eating most junk food about the time they started lining the bags with that space age silvery material. Space food sticks never caught my fancy either. Or Tang.
• When I first came to Oregon, I was amazed how cheap Christmas trees were, until I learned that groups raise money by disposing of them for you. Life cycle cost: about the same. I have friends who prefer to tromp in the woods to get a tree for free, but none who admit to returning their tree to the forest after December.
• Every Post Office’s automated postal center receipt has printed on the bottom, “It’s a pleasure to serve you.” Since no human helped me, that seems creepy.
• Why does winter darkness seem darker than summer darkness? Just because there’s more of it?
• I was once a stoic, but it didn’t feel right. Then I became a minimalist — it was the least I could do. I tried being a philanthropist, but it did nothing for me.
• Eugene does everything slowly. You’d think that a town known for its rain would do at least a few things precipitantly.
• James Cameron’s “Avatar” could be seen as a bold artistic statement against obesity. Ignore the McDonald’s “Avatar” Happy Meals.
• Politicians would do well to stop confusing centrism with bipartisanship. Voters don’t care if their leaders like each other, so long as things get done.
• If you just happen to know which streets are paved with asphalt and which with cement, then you understand the torture of being unable not to notice.
• Can we have zero tolerance for intolerance? Can we be fundamentally opposed to fundamentalism?
• I’m afraid all my children know about long-term commitment, they’re learning from their cell phone companies. It starts with romance, but ends with a contract “to have and to hold” — a hand-held device.
• Biopsy analysts don’t do surgery themselves. Paper doll artists have assistants. These people have their work cut out for them.
• I believe Massachusetts voters wanted to send a message to one politician who they believed had been given too much power. Most knew this man only from TV, but some remembered his years as their neighbor. They were trying to rebuke Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman.
• When was the last time an American family couldn’t play cards because they lacked a card table?
• Isn’t it strange that the same people who want government to become more transparent also want us to keep an eye on its every move?
• A sharp knife makes everything easier. Everything.
• Show me a house where three-way switches are connected to one-way bulbs, and I’ll show you people choosing simplicity for its own sake.
Don Kahle ( Writes a weekly column for The Register-Guard and blogs.