Tidbits, Leftovers & Idle Thoughts

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

• While we were busy with other things, “heavy duty” fell out of our vernacular.

• Three quarters of contentment comes from knowing how long things take. The other quarter comes from refusing to use percentages to measure things like contentment.

• If you’re over 50, try to explain to some one half your age what a flash cube was. Your explanation must include the wonder it evoked.

• Understanding comes from taking things apart, but meaning is gained by putting things together. When the steps of knowledge can be retraced, wisdom occurs.

• As a friend of mine loves to say, “Perfection is a personal problem.”

• Why have fancy restaurants lately insisted on giving themselves unpronounceable names?

• Utter “stocking feet” with just the right intonation and it sounds like you’re swearing.

• Why doesn’t “post haste” mean “after you’re finished hurrying?”

• Parking on a speed bump just feels wrong.

• Do you know who still mails letters, like with stamps and stuff (besides your grandmother)? Prison inmates often are denied access to email.

• It’s not yet basketball season, but three referees cannot possibly catch every foul. So how soon before fans with cell phones are allowed to upload their camera’s catches onto the arena’s jumbotron? You say I’m crazy, but crowd-sourced officiating is just around the corner.

• It is football season, and I’m wondering whether Coach Helfrich will do Kelly one better and begin ordering field goal kicks (with ample opportunity for misdirection) on third downs. Opposing coaches won’t know how to substitute if our kicker might take two downs to score three points.

• Baseball fans are more analytical. Basketball and football allow analysis at halftime and between games, but baseball leaves room for it between every pitch.

• Sorry, but I have nothing to say about hockey or soccer.

• Can a fork make you happy? I found one that does. My standards must be lower than yours. Either that, or I found a really great fork.

• That sock you can’t find anywhere? It’s in a corner of the fitted sheet you folded quickly and stored for the bed in the guest room. You’re welcome.

• At least until I get very old, I have no more use for straws.

• If you expect people to doff their shoes in your entryway, you’re obligated to provide seating to ease the transition.

• How old do you have to be to start calling people youngsters?

• Letting yourself go is bad, but letting go (of everything else) is good. Explain.

• If Plan B doesn’t work out, call an English major. There are 24 more where those two came from.

• Q: What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question? A: To get to the other side.

• Of course Tom Friedman is alarmed by global warming. Every time he’s ever signed his name, he’s written “fried man.”

• Somebody should tell the GOP’s louder (and newer) Congressional members that histrionic and historic are different things.

• It’s so confusing that conservationists are seldom conservative and libertarians are not often liberal.

• After reading local headlines, I have a new career goal. I hope someday to be placed on paid administrative leave.

• Boulder is nothing like Eugene. It’s more like a cross between Corvallis and Beaverton.

• When we laud both power and efficiency, we shouldn’t be surprised when dictators rise. What is a dictatorship, except the most efficient use of power?

• In a literal world, elevators would only go up.

• Mine was the most Pampered generation ever. We were the only parents in the history of civilization to use disposable diapers without guilt.

• People who describe themselves as “low-maintenance” never ever are.

• Champions in every sport (except track) don baseball caps in the celebration — although football helmets would look cooler and protect them from flying corks.

• Don’t confuse details with depth.

• Rubbernecking used to be derided. Now we’re nostalgic whenever people pause for any moment of sympathy.

• I think we can all agree that salad forks have never quite earned their keep. It was a noble experiment, initiated by people feigning nobility.

• Life is short. And round. And not especially attractive.

• I finally can describe Cafe Yumm’s sauce to perfect strangers. It’s gravy for vegans. (I learned this after spooning Yumm sauce over Ikea meatballs.)

• During my visit to Boulder, I think I found a profession more imperiled than journalism. I sat with a reference librarian to learn what I could about the place, and she refused to leave her computer, using google for almost everything. She honestly couldn’t understand why I wasn’t searching for all this stuff myself. And I couldn’t understand why she was purposely making herself so replaceable.

• I wonder if some instances of depression come from our own adrenaline not being well regulated.

• If you’re looking for an answer, I’m your guy. But if all you want is the answer itself, I can’t help you.

• You know it’s summer in south Eugene when you feel constantly stuck behind lawn care trucks with precariously loaded trailers. No, I’m mistaken. That’s late springtime.

• Busses are on time more now in most major cities, because they know people (or google) is watching and monitoring their punctuality.

• I see old people on the street and I’m chagrinned to learn they are younger than me.

• Romance can be a powerful disinhibitor for some, which is a fancy way of saying they’ll take more chances. Could that include the romance itself?

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Don Kahle (fridays@dksez.com) writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and blogs.