In a Pinch

“You idiot! You totally burned the gravy,” Sarah yelled at her brother. “Why can’t you ever pay attention to what your supposed to be doing instead of having your eyes always glued to your phone?”

“Hey, I’m only human, you know,” Aaron said. “Besides, I was trying to retrieve an interesting article that just flashed across my newsfeed.”

“Bullshit!” Sarah said, grabbing Aaron’s phone from out of his hand and looking at his screen. “Just as I thought, you liar. You were looking at Twitter.”

“What’s the big deal?” Aaron asked. “Your problem is that you’re too uptight, Sarah. You need to learn to be more footloose and fancy free, like me.”

“Someone in this family has to show some responsibility, and it’s definitely not you,” Sarah said. “People are going to be arriving soon and now we have no gravy for the turkey and mashed potatoes.”

“No problem,” Aaron said. He opened up a kitchen cabinet and pulled out a large jar of gravy. “It’s not homemade, but it will do in a pinch, right?”


Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (idiot), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (gravy), Ragtag Daily Prompt (human), Your Daily Word Prompt (retrieve), Word of the Day Challenge (footloose), and MMA Storytime (family).

Also written for Paula Light’s Thursday Inspiration, where her theme is “learn.”

Thanksgiving Flashback

What a difference a year makes. I originally wrote this post on Thanksgiving Day last year. My wife and I were hosting six other people at our home and we were busy getting ready for everyone to head over to our place by around 2:00 pm. This was in the Before Times — before COVID-19, before social distancing, before face mask wearing. Before some 13 million Americans had fallen ill with the coronavirus and more than a quarter million had died from it.

This year, it’s just going to be my wife and me. We have a small turkey, and my wife will be preparing some stuffing, mashed potatoes, and a green bean casserole for dinner. And we bought an apple pie at the grocery store for dessert. For just the two of us. With enough leftovers to maybe last until Saturday.

It won’t be the same as past Thanksgivings, but we are thankful that, even though we won’t be physically enjoying the holiday with family and friends, we’ll be together with them in spirit. And we are thankful that all of us are healthy and COVID-free.

So enjoy my Thanksgiving Day post from last year, and I hope that you and yours have a great Thanksgiving Day today.

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, and many Americans, if not most, have the day off from work or school. As an American, I’m also taking the day off. From blogging, that is.

I won’t really have the time nor the opportunity to WordPress today. My wife and I are hosting Thanksgiving dinner for eight this afternoon and evening. Joining us will be our son and his wife, our daughter and her live-in boyfriend, and two of our other local friends whose families live in other parts of the country.

My wife will be spending most of the day preparing the Thanksgiving meal, and I’ll be spending most of the morning, anyway, making sure our house is spic and span so that my wife won’t be embarrassed. And I’ll also be on kitchen cleanup duty so that as she dirties pots and pans, I will be washing and drying them.

The good news is that not one among our guests is a Trump supporter, so that won’t be a concern. But the bad news is that I won’t have much time to post anything or to read what you all post today. I’ll do my best to catch up tonight after everyone leaves…unless I eat so much at dinner that about all I’ll be able to do is waddle to bed.

So to those of you in the United States, I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving. And to those of you elsewhere, I hope you have a great Thursday.

I’ll be back in business tomorrow!


Cartoon credit: Mark Parisi.

FOWC with Fandango — Gravy

FOWCWelcome to November 26, 2020 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “gravy.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.

I Shed a Few Tears

I’m normally not one who easily or readily shows his emotions. But I have to admit that yesterday, when Joe Biden introduced the some of the nominees for leadership positions in his new cabinet, my eyes welled up with tears. Tears of relief and tears of a restored pride in my country.

After the impertinence of Donald Trump to name relatives (e.g., his daughter and son-in-law), conservative media personalities from Fox News and other right wing “news” outlets, and Trump donors, loyalists, and ass-kissers who had no relevant experience or applicable knowledge for their roles in top cabinet-level positions, it was cathartic to see the dark clouds of the past four years being lifted and the light beginning to shine again.

Biden’s selection of a highly diverse group of men and women, all of whom have a preponderance of relevant experience and are extremely well qualified for the roles they are being asked to play in the Biden/Harris administration, gave me a sense of tranquility. I felt as if I was witnessing a rebirth of normalcy that we haven’t seen in four long years.

There is no doubt that Joe Biden and his team will have a long road to travel as they work to restore faith in the American democracy and the country’s stature both at home and around the globe. But it’s a road that more than 80 million American voters are excited to be on.


Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (impertinent), The Daily Spur (dark), Ragtag Daily Prompt (preponderance), Your Daily Word Prompt (tranquil), Word of the Day Challenge (birth), and MMA Storytime (travel).

iPhone Upgrade

My new iPhone 12 Pro Max arrived yesterday and within an hour I had it all set up. I basically placed my old iPhone 8 Plus next to my new iPhone 12 Pro Max and it automagically transferred the entire contents of my old iPhone to my new iPhone.

So, how do I feel about my new iPhone? Well, first, as you can see from this photo above, physically, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is only a fraction of an inch taller than the iPhone 8 Plus (6.33 inches versus 6.24 inches, respectively).

iPhone 12 Pro Max display taken with iPhone 8 Plus camera

Second, from the standpoint of the actual screen display size, the iPhone 12 Pro Max (above) is around 22% larger than that of the iPhone 8 Plus (below).

iPhone 8 Plus display taken with iPhone 12 Pro Max camera

That’s mostly because the top and bottom of the iPhone 12 Pro Max are not taken up by the bezels on the bottom with the Home button and on the top with the front-facing camera and the receiver. Instead, those spaces have been incorporated into the display.

Third, the cameras on the 12 Pro Max are far superior to those on the 8 Plus. Just compare the picture of the home screen on my iPhone 12 Pro Max with the one of the iPhone 8 Plus. Look how much sharper the picture of the iPhone 8 Plus home screen taken with the iPhone 12 Pro Max is than is the one of the iPhone 12 Pro Max home screen, taken with the iPhone 8 Plus.

Fourth, the Pro Max is noticeably faster than the 8 Plus and the battery lasts a whole lot longer. That’s what a new, faster chip and a new battery will do for speed and battery life.

But that’s where the good news ends. While the display on the 12 Pro Max is larger, neither the home screen nor any of the apps that run on the 12 Pro Max have been optimized to take advantage of the larger display size. For example, on the home screen, the only difference is that there is more space between the last row of apps on that page and the row of fixed apps at the bottom. And that is the case with most apps, including the WordPress app for iOS. So where I thought that it might be easier to use the block editor on the larger display of the 12 Pro Max, it’s not. Hence, I will be continuing to use the classic-lite editor that is on the WordPress app for iOS.

Maybe, over time, the app developers, including those at WordPress, will catch up with the fact that the 12 Pro Max has a much larger screen and they, the app developers, will develop apps that can take full advantage of that additional screen real estate.