spaghettiSpaghetti really isn’t Italian at all; it was brought to Venice by Marco Polo back around 1300. Right? Wrong. There is now evidence that people in Sicily were eating spaghetti at least 100 years before Marco Polo was born.

Hurrah for the Sicilians! They’ve given us one of the most delicious – and confusing – foods on modern menus.

Why confusing? Well, let’s start with all the different kinds of spaghetti. Spaghetti is pasta, right? It’s pasta shaped into long, skinny noodle-things. Sometimes the noodle-things are really skinny, in which case they are called either “capellini” or “angel-hair.” Sometimes they’re thick, and then they’re called “vermicelli.” And when they’re just right (like the porridge Goldilocks ate up), they are real “spaghetti.” Continue reading Spaghetti


Sock It To Me


When I opened the top drawer of my dresser the other day, I was struck by the number of mis-matched socks I found. There was a sock with a blue toe, and one with a pink toe. There was a grey sock with a white heel, and a white sock with a grey heel. There were several all-white ones, each of a different length and pattern. And there was one fuzzy black one, covered in green polka-dots (where in the world did that come from?).

So what’s the story behind all of these single socks? Aren’t socks supposed to come in pairs, and stay that way, like happily married-for-life old people who live together so long that they look alike and finish each others’ sentences? Where did the other-half socks go, and are the left-behinds lonely? Continue reading Sock It To Me



sellophoneRemember when a nice man from Nigeria used to call you and offer to give you money? All you had to do was give him your checking account number, and the routing number, and he’d put thousands of dollars right into your account. I think he may have retired on the money he got from gullible people; at least he hasn’t called me lately.

He has been replaced, however, by a whole score of folks calling to offer me things I don’t want or warning me about terrible dangers that I must protect myself against. Or offering to cure ailments I don’t have. And I’m really tired of interrupting whatever I’m doing (even if I’m not enjoying it much) to answer the darn phone. Continue reading Sellephone

Hot Season

Hot SeasonIt’s just past the middle of July, and summer Hot is back again. I shouldn’t complain, I know; it’s been a blessing to have it arrive so late. But I still hate sweat, and having to use an air-conditioner, and no lovely blanket to snuggle under while my nose stays cold.

It always amazes me that some people really enjoy having the mercury hover just under the 90 degree mark. At least they say they do, and I have no reason to think they are lying. “Ahh, what a gorgeous day!” they say, slathering on the sun screen. “This makes me remember growing up in southern California.” I’ve visited Los Angeles a few times, and I have to admit that there’s something in the air there that creates a kind of insanity, so maybe that explains those folks’ peculiar taste in climate. Continue reading Hot Season


patience2Elon Musk, the fellow who built the Tesla and is worth billions of $$, once said, “Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.” Boy, howdy, Mr. Musk – you’re not just a-whistlin’ Dixie!

I spend much of my life being impatient. My impatience level correlates almost perfectly with the amount of time I spend waiting for things, and I seem to spend a heck of a lot of time waiting. I wonder if other people have the same experience. Wait for the elevator. Wait in the dentist’s office. Wait at the train station. Wait while you’re on the train, for that matter, while it waits for a very slow freight to get out of the way. Wait for dinner. Wait for the light to turn green. Wait, wait, wait… Continue reading Patience

We, the people…

We the peopleI know this blog is supposed to be a light-hearted, sometimes humorous, set of comments on the state of my world (internal and external) as I go about living my life. Most of the time, it’s easy to write that sort of thing. But today I can’t. I’m too troubled and – I must confess – too sad.

Continue reading We, the people…


capitolWell, I’ve gone to Washington, D.C. Not only have I gone there, but I’ve gone there on the train, all the way from Seattle. Three nights on a train, even with a “roomette” (that’s Amtrak’s quaint word for the tiny compartment, big enough to hold a narrow cot and leave about 6 inches to stand in while you put on your clothes), are fairly tiring.

I don’t sleep very well in that little roomette, but I enjoy just lying there, being rocked by the train’s motion, and listening to the click of the wheels. It’s when the motion and the clicking stop that things get uncomfortable, because that usually means the train has pulled onto a siding to wait for another train to go by. It’s highly annoying to watch the minutes tick by, and think about what will happen if you miss your connection in Chicago. I guess it’s preferable to risking meeting that other train head-on, but you’d think once in a while the other train could sit and wait for us to whiz by. Doesn’t ever happen, though; clearly, passengers are less important than freight. Continue reading Tripping