dkSez : : : : : : Don Kahle's blog

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

dkSez : : : : : : Don Kahle's blog random header image

Fripperies for a New Year

January 31st, 2021 by dk

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

  • When you get your vaccination shot, join others in calling it your Fauci Ouchie.
  • I figured out why the last 12 months seemed to take longer to pass than usual. It was a Leap Year. Yeah boy howdy — that must explain it!
  • Oregon has always been below average on everything. It’s finally working in our favor with COVID infection rates.
  • If pizza got lazy and phoned it in, the Caller ID would say, “Cheesy Bread.”
  • What you see depends on how you look.
  • Lead with your weaknesses. They are what’s most interesting about you. Your strengths grew because others rewarded them. Your weaknesses remained because they are uniquely yours.
  • Any moment worth capturing is also fleeting.
  • I predicted in December that President Trump would spend his final hours in office knee-capping civil servants to script a satisfying exit. I was wrong. And naive.
  • Take a different way home once in a while.
  • I’m not afraid of heights. I’m afraid of depths. Falling wouldn’t be so bad except for the landing.
  • Faith is a huge part of every human’s life. We all believe in certain things we can’t be certain of.
  • Car doors and microwave doors sound oddly similar when closing. Listen. You’ll hear it too.
  • You needn’t wonder how much butter a hot slice of toast can melt. It will tell you.
  • Twenty Twenty: the year we washed our hands more and the rest of ourselves less.
  • Plexiglass salespeople were the clear winners of 2020.
  • It’s no surprise that Republicans have failed to rebuke Trump. They missed all earlier opportunities to buke him.
  • The information economy has ended. The appetite economy is well underway.
  • Why widen our minds when widening our bodies is so much easier?
  • Contrarian view: “We need to start with a common set of facts.” How about we start with a common set of experiences or stories or beliefs instead?
  • I can’t shake the feeling that I’m losing all my washable belongings, bit by bit, through the lint trap.
  • Some days, I think about moving to Mexico and opening a piñata repair shop.
  • Election campaigns, summarized: Biden: “America needs to heal.” Trump: “America needs to heel.”
  • Election results, summarized: The emperor had no clothes except coattails.
  • I’m tired of hearing about “wake-up calls.” They don’t work on the comatose or the dead.
  • I’m wondering. Have instrumentalists found themselves practicing less or more during COVID?
  • Biden has been imagining his presidential inauguration since he came to DC in 1972. We witnessed what 50 years of planning can do.
  • My favorite line from Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem: “And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.”
  • Uber-generic job titles reveal certain industries’ centrality to our consciousness. (Auto) “mechanics,” (telephone) “operators,” and (therapy) “analysts,” for starters. Are there others?
  • How would society change if our garbage containers were made of transparent plastic?
  • I’d like to meet the originator of the prequel, unless I already have. 


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and archives past columns at


  • Pasta shapes shouldn’t nest. It’s unnatural.
  • Is there anything that doesn’t sound better to many people when the prefix “eco-” is added?
  • Trump issued his raft of final pardons on Wednesday morning, so he could dominate one last news cycle, stealing thunder from POTUS #46.
  • “Suffering can make you bitter. Or it can make you better.” Have we reduced suffering too well? Has affluence afforded us fewer chances to make ourselves better?
  • “I’m at work” — this phrase lost its meaning in 2020. What are some others?
  • Where is the line between new-fangled “cancel culture” and regular old consequences? (Does accountability factor in?)
  • Remember Apple’s HyperCard? It was going to change the oppressive linearity of Western culture. If only.
  • “Shocked” and “surprised” always went together, until recently. We’re told what will happen. We don’t believe it will. And then it does.
  • I just realized today that I’ve been mispronouncing “20” as “twunty” my whole life. Glad we got that straightened out….
  • Trump may soon revive his rallies. If he does, Obama should match him, city for city — counter-programming philosopher-kings.
  • My son knows the word “dystopia” and can use it in a sentence. I don’t know whether to feel proud or frightened.
  • What do you imagine you’ll miss most about not being old?
  • Watch the spouses for the new administration. First Lady Jill is keeping her job. (A first.) Second Gentleman Doug (another first) has quit his.
  • Another: Something tells me there will be a lot of babies born the first week of August in 2021.
  • The pandemic has made us overplanners. What’s the worst that could happen if you just show up (virtually) unannounced?
  • I’m hoping that Biden’s magnanimity changes the DC dynamic in ways that no one has anticipated.
  • Not long ago, I used the last bit of shampoo in the shower, and then finished the conditioner bottle too. An hour later, I finished my fabric softener. I felt like my own “Truman Show” after the writers were told the series was being canceled.
  • “Grief is joy, inside out.” – George Valliant
  • Is the cosmos fundamentally harmonic or foremost rhythmic? (There is a right answer and it may be on the test.)
  • I wonder when newspapers will allow illustrators and cartoonists to wander freely across all pages. They often capture a story’s essence better than photography.
  • Tom Friedman captured an essential truth: “… the future is not our fate, but a choice — to let the past bury the future or the future bury the past.”
  • I’ll bet you can measure an elder’s age by the volume at which they announce every change in bodily elevation.
  • Once this plague passes over us, can we keep with tradition and decorate our doorways to tell neighbors they are welcome again?
  • This is my first winter without a newspaper coming to my porch overnight. (I get it electronically now.) It feels like my first Christmas without Santa Claus.
  • It’s interesting to watch social media companies trying to add fact-checking into their processes. Turns out those old-media editors were not superfluous after all!
  • If youtube merged with U-Haul, what would they call it?
  • Corollary to “The unexamined life is not worth living” — “The unlived life is not worth examining.”
  • I’m concerned that we’ll eventually get back to “normal” and it won’t seem at all familiar to any of us.
  • Arranged marriages are back! In place of parents or tribal elders, we now entrust our familial future to dating site algorithms.

Tags: No Comments

Leave A Comment

Are you human? *

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.