Fandango’s Flashback Friday — January 15

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 15th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on my old blog on January 15, 2011. For context, at the time I wrote this post, my wife and I were bicoastal. We had a condo in San Francisco and an old single-family home back east. For a few years we spent the winters in San Francisco and the summers in New England.

Brain Fart

I know I am not the only person whose brain occasionally disengages. Fortunately for me, such incidents are relatively few and far between, which is good. But when they do happen, they tend to either cost me money or to be embarrassing at best and mortifying at worst.

I experienced a brain fart when I was back east a few weeks ago. My wife had purchased a 3-step “slimline ladder” from Frontgate, a web retailer, for our condo in San Francisco. The beauty of this ladder is that it folds very flat and when so folded, it is only around two inches thick. Given the relatively small size of our condo, every space-saving device is highly prized.

Frontgate was offering free shipping on this remarkably thin device, so my wife ordered the stepladder, charged the $99 to our credit card, and had it shipped to the condo. Or so she thought.

I’m not sure if my wife suffered her own brain fart when she was finalizing her online order or if it was the good folks at Frontgate who had one, but regardless of fault, the stepladder ended up being shipped to our home in New England, which happens to still be our official billing address, rather than to our condo in San Francisco.

Okay, no big deal, right? It so happened that, shortly after we discovered this shipping snafu, I was planning to be back at the house in New England for a few days. The well thought-through plan was for me to simply take the misdirected product to my local UPS Store and have it shipped to us where we are currently residing instead of where we aren’t currently residing.

And so, on a cold and snowy New England Saturday in early January, I loaded the stepladder into my all-wheel-drive Subaru and took the short drive to the local UPS Store, where I arranged to have it shipped to our condo in San Francisco. The very accommodating guy at the UPS Store diligently weighed and measured the box. Then he quoted the price to ship it to San Francisco: $171.

Normally my brain would have been firing on all cylinders, with synapses crackling like tiny little lightning bolts inside my skull. The calculation would have been so elementary as to almost be unconscious. $171 is way more than the $99 (including shipping) we paid for the ladder. I should have just gone back to my house, logged-on to the Frontgate website, and ordered another stepladder for $99 and had it shipped for free to our condo in San Francisco, thus saving me $72. Duh!

But at that precise moment I suffered a serious brain fart and without hesitation, I handed my credit card to the friendly UPS guy behind the counter and said, “Alrighty, then, let’s do it.”

You know when all of a sudden you have a realization…a sudden, new insight…about something? Sometimes it takes a while for this “aha!” moment to materialize. In my case it took about five days after the incident for me to internalize my heretofore unrecognized brain fart. I was already back in San Francisco and was in bed attempting to fall asleep one night when seemingly out of nowhere came such a moment, but in this case, for me, it was more of a “WTF” moment.

Shit! I paid close to twice as much to ship the stepladder to San Francisco as it would have cost me to simply buy another new one and have it shipped for free to the correct address!

I started to toss and turn. I broke out into a cold sweat. Did I actually do that? I wondered to myself. What was I thinking?

I was overcome by a feeling of shame and anxiety. I became filled with dread. After all, I’m getting up there in years. Was this a sign of the impending doom? Was my brain beginning to malfunction, its neurons misfiring? Was I starting to forget basic logic and losing my ability to think and reason? Was I suffering early onset Alzheimer’s?

I have since determined that this brain fart, as distressing as it was, was an uncommon, isolated incident. My brain has since been functioning quite successfully and I am pleased to conclude that I am still of sound mind and that I suffered nothing more than a poorly timed and somewhat costly brain fart.

Nothing to worry about, though. Everyone one of us, at one time or another, occasionally has a brain fart. It’s just that some brain farts, like the one I had at the UPS Store, are more stinky than others.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — January 8

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 8th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on my blog on January 8, 2018.

An Open Letter to Dog Owners

Dear fellow dog owners,

I have a bone to pick with some of you. Like you, I’m a dog owner. And like most of us dog owners, I’m responsible and diligent when it comes to cleaning up after my dog. I carry at least two poop bags every time I walk her and I always, always pick up her poop wherever she decides to deposit it.

But there are too many of you who are falling down on the job. You allow your dog to poop in the middle of the sidewalk, on people’s lawns, in the park on the grass where kids play, and on paths and trails where people walk.

I am sick of how inconsiderate you, as a dog owner, are being when you don’t bother to clean up after your dog. I am tired of having to scrape your dog’s shit off the soles of my sneakers when I step in the crap you and your dog left behind.

Like I had to do this morning when one of you sonsabitches left your dog’s poop in the middle of the sidewalk.

So I’m very nicely requesting that you do what is right and scoop up your dog’s shit so that someone else doesn’t end up stepping on it or sitting in it.

And I’m also putting you on notice. If I ever see any one of you thoughtless dog owners fail to pick up after your dog, I’m going to do you a huge favor and scoop it up in one of my poop bags.

And then I’m going to catch up with you and, I swear to God, I’m going to smash it in your face.

Best regards,

Fandango

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — January 1

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 1st) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on my blog on January 1, 2018.

Conversation About Drama

72F31045-5C6F-4A0E-A96E-A6E737E1082BThis month there are two daily one word prompts. One is from WordPress, like today’s one-word prompt, “conversation.” The other is something cooked up by Linda G. Hill called Just Jot it January (or #JusJoJan). Today’s #JusJoJan word is “drama.”

So, I thought my first post of 2018 would be a one-word twofer. Let’s have a conversation about drama, shall we?

I enjoy a good drama. At the movies. On TV. In books. Even as flash fiction on someone’s blog. But not in my real life. I try, as best I can, to keep my life as free of drama as possible.

Of course, sometimes drama in life is unavoidable. Shit happens. People do or say stupid things. Drama happens.

So what can you do to escape drama? Well, if possible, don’t get involved. If you’re not a party to the drama, get out of the way. Or if that’s not possible, maybe just lend a neutral and sympathetic ear to those immersed in whatever drama is taking place.

But sometimes you’re an actor in a drama that is playing out. Maybe at home with family, maybe at play with friends, or maybe at work with coworkers or your boss. What you want to do is to minimize the drama as much as possible.

How, you ask? Well, my first bit of drama avoidance advise is to determine if you, yourself, are the source of the drama. Are you the constant? Are you creating it? If drama is always swirling around you, you need to change your behavior, your perspectives.

And whether it’s you at the center of the drama or if it’s others, you need to think before you react. Maybe follow that old trick of counting to ten before you say or do anything. And you need to figure out a way to rein in your emotions. Don’t feed the drama, tamp it down.

So there you have it. Fandango’s words of wisdom regarding removing drama from your life. If you need more drama, read a book, go to the movies, or watch TV.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — December 25

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 25th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on my blog on December 25, 2018.

Christmas Miracle

As my wife and I were on our way home from walking our dog this Christmas morning, we passed our local convenience store. They sell Mega Millions lottery tickets there. The sign in the store window showed that the Mega Millions jackpot is up to $321 million and the next drawing is tonight.

I don’t usually buy lottery tickets. As a retire on a fixed income, and with my 401(k) retirement savings account haven taken a big hit over the past few weeks, buying lottery tickets is a frivolous expense with almost impossible odds of hitting the jackpot.

But when I saw the Mega Millions sign in the window, I said to my wife, “I’m going to splurge on five ‘quick pick’ tickets. After all, today is Christmas Day. Maybe we’ll experience a Christmas miracle, and one of my picks will be the big winner.”

So I walked into the convenience store, plunked $10 on the counter, and bought my five Mega Million picks. (And for another $5.00, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for later).

I promise that should I win tonight’s Mega Million jackpot, I will start believing in Santa Claus again. Hell, I will even commit to believing in God. Because if I do win, that has to be a sign from above.

Do you hear me, God?

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — December 18

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 18th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on my old blog on December 18, 2013.

Shampoo

I have a huge bottle of Shampoo in my shower. It’s 28 ounces huge. And it’s not just shampoo, it’s “2-in-1” shampoo and conditioner. It’s salon tested and clinically proven to clean and condition my hair, to moisturize it, and to leave it healthy looking. It adds body, it makes my hair shiny, silky smooth, lustrous. It strengthens my hair and makes it thicker. It’s like Viagra for my hair!

Best of all, this isn’t some sissy shampoo that only girlie men would use. No siree Bob. This shampoo is formulated specifically for men. No fruity, flowery, or spice-like fragrances.

Uh uh, babycakes! It smells like musk, that greasy secretion with a powerful odor produced in a glandular sac beneath the skin of the abdomen of the male musk deer. Oh yeah, baby! Deer sweat!

For some reason, while I was taking my shower this morning, I looked at that giant bottle of shampoo and thought to myself, Isn’t it kind of ironic that I have a huge bottle of shampoo in my shower?

No, it’s not ironic that there is a humongous bottle of shampoo in my shower. Where else would one have a bottle of shampoo, if not in their shower?What is ironic, given the lack of hair on my head, is that I would have a bottle of shampoo in my shower at all. For me, a bottle of shampoo in my shower is about as useful as antiperspirant is to a male musk deer.

So why haven’t I just thrown that bottle of shampoo away? Why keep it in the shower as a daily reminder of an earlier time, a time long ago before Mother Nature had visited the curse of FDD (follicle deficiency disorder) upon me?

Do I think that if I periodically rub a healthy amount of masculine, deer musk shampoo on my pate (which, for those of you with a limited vocabulary and/or a dirty mind, means the top of my head, not a mixture of cooked ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste, nor my pet name for an entirely different body part) that it will suddenly and miraculously, in a Viagra-like way, stimulate new growth? That I’ll wake up the next morning with a shiny, silky smooth, lustrous, thick mane of hair?

Hey, it could happen.