Question Time Over Coffee — 12/24 Edition

Rory, over at Earthly Comforts, has once again posed a number of intriguing questions this morning. Let’s see if I can come up with some equally intriguing answers.

1. Are you more socially or community-minded regarding people, or do you not think there is a difference between the two?

The truth is that my wife and I are not particularly social anymore (other than with family) and I would say that we are minimally community minded.

2. On a scale of 1 – 10, how ethically minded do you think you are? What behavior do you consider to be ethical?

On a scale of 1 to 10 I’m not going to answer because Rory didn’t set the parameters. Does 1 mean totally without ethics and 10 mean ethical to a fault? Or vice versa?

What do I consider to be ethical behavior? I would say that ethical behavior is characterized by honesty, fairness, a respect for the dignity, diversity, and rights of individuals and groups of people. As to me, I would characterize myself as being an ethical person. I don’t steal, I don’t cheat, I don’t lie, I don’t commit crimes. And with respect to others, hey, whatever floats your boat.

3. Tattoos are a very personal lifestyle choice by those who have their bodies inked. So, do you think tattoos make people more confident or less? Do tattoos look good on everyone?

I have chosen not to have my body inked (or pierced). As to others, I will once again say whatever floats your boat.

4. What enrichment do you personally receive from being social? Have you become noticeably more socially isolated or socially interactive after the pandemic and the lockdowns?

As I mentioned in my answer to #1, at this stage of my life, I’m not a very social person anymore, other than with family and a small circle of friends. And yes, the pandemic and lockdowns partially contributed to that. I’m not even on social media. The place where I’m most social is right here on WordPress.

5. What would be your top sustainability tip?

This is a tough one. I guess I’d say to be a minimalist in order to reduce your carbon footprint. Use less energy and water, buy sustainable products, avoid purchasing plastic products, buy hybrid or all electric cars, buy organic, and just be cognizant of your impact upon the environment.

6. We live in a world that treats being open and vulnerable as a taboo and something to be frowned upon. So, do you find it easy or hard to talk to your friends and family about your health?

I’m not sure I agree that being open and vulnerable is frowned upon. Personally, I’m a stoic person and I don’t talk much about my health, which, fortunately for someone my age, is reasonably good. But I’m confident that my family, in particular, would not frown upon me openly discussing with them any significant health issues I was facing.

7. What will you be doing this weekend?

Not much today. Tomorrow we’ll be visiting with our son and daughter-in-law and our grandkids.

8. As the writer and author of your blog, how connected do you feel to your audience? Does your blog reveal too much, too little or just the right balance of you to your readers?

I feel very connected to my fellow bloggers and look forward to reading their posts and interacting with them on a daily basis. As to the second question, while I blog anonymously, my posts reflect my personal observations, opinions, and perspectives on life, society, and politics.

9. If you were granted a day at being one of your favorite book characters, who would you choose to be and why?

I enjoy reading about the characters in books, but I prefer to be me reading about them than being one of them, even for a day.

10. What do you believe is the greatest threat to our planet today?

Human beings. Particularly the greedy, selfish, and willfully ignorant kind.

Question Time Over Coffee — 12/17 Edition

Rory, over at Earthly Comforts, has once again posed a number of intriguing questions this morning. Let’s see if I can come up with some equally intriguing answers.

1. What actions do you take if you can’t sleep naturally?

I’m fortunate in that once I turn off the light at night, I usually fall asleep quickly. My issue is staying asleep, as I often have to get up at around two or three o’clock to pee. But I can generally fall back to sleep pretty quickly. On those rare occasions when I have trouble going to sleep, I have some cannabis-infused gummies that have a 20 to 1 ratio of CBD to THC, so they don’t get me high, but they do relax me to the point where I can quickly fall asleep. And I have some fantastic dreams after taking one, too.

2a. Can you easily recognise if you are suffering from stress, and if so, what do you do to reduce it?

I don’t get too stressed out anymore now that I’ve cut back on reading and watching a lot of the political news. However, if I do get stressed, I’ve found that this solution mellows me out quite nicely:

2b. Are you able to see signs of stress in your friends or your family more than you?

The person I’m most in contact with is my wife, who is much more high strung than I am. A lot of things stress her out, but when she does feel stressed she dives into crossword puzzles to distract her.

3. The West holds firm concerning the war in Ukraine. However, how do you feel about it all now? Do you believe we are providing too much or too little support?

I’m amazed that Ukraine has been able to hold off the invading Russia for this long and hope they can continue to repel Putin and his not so mighty military. Are we providing too much or too little support? In my opinion, we are not doing nearly enough. We should not only provide weapons and technology to Ukraine, the West should be much more actively engaged. If we don’t step in to more aggressively aid Ukraine and if Ukraine does eventually succumb to Putin, what will be next?

4. How much black-and-white honesty from your best friends do you believe your friendship with them warrants? Should friends be brutally honest with you or provide support without question?

I expect my friends to be supportive, but not without question. Honest feedback among true friends is a necessity.

5. Do you think you have an addictive personality?

Not really. The closest thing I have to an addiction is WordPress, but if I needed to or wanted to, I could give it up cold turkey. I might have more difficulty, though, giving up my addiction to a nightly helping of Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream.

6. Why are so many of today’s online/television advertisements so cringey? Are you ever influenced by the comedy or corniness of them?

With respect to television commercials, most of the TV I watch is on commercial-free steaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV+, HBO MAX). Whatever shows I watch on network TV are recorded on my DVR and I zip through the commercials.

As to online ads, the most cringeworthy are those that show up on free WordPress sites, and I just scroll past them.

7. Do you ever need help responding to some comments left by readers on your blog posts, as in not knowing how or what to respond with? Why is this, and what usually throws you off?

Help? What kind of help? I have never needed assistance in figuring out how to respond or what to respond with.

8. What five vegetables do you use the most each week or month?

Potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, sugar snap peas, and corn.

9. What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done?

Taking a continuous shower for 102 consecutive hours, temporarily holding the world’s record, when I was a freshman in college.

10. Have your blog reading habits changed since you first started to blog? Have you ever felt frustrated from reading blog posts because they are perhaps not piquing your interest? What have you done to prevent the boredom from biting deep if this is the case?

No, my blog reading habits haven’t changed much, although I’m following a lot more blogs now than I did when I first started blogging, so it takes up considerably more of my time. If a post doesn’t “pique” my interest, I don’t feel frustrated, I just move on. There are plenty of interesting post published by the bloggers I follow that I never suffer from “deep, biting boredom.”

11. Do you find it easy to make difficult decisions, and do you have a process of elimination for making those tough decisions?

I try to gather as much pertinent data as possible when faced with making a significant decision. That is my process.

12. What’s the longest you have gone without a shower?

After the pandemic hit and I rarely left the house or came in contact with anyone other than my wife, coupled with the severe drought were we live, I started to shower every other day, instead of daily. I have gone for as many as four days between showers, but mostly it’s still every other day.

13. Between the choice of a deep fried insect sandwich or a raw earthworm hamburger with no option of declining either, which would you choose?

I’d instantly eliminate the raw earthworm burger, so that leaves the deep fried insect sandwich.

14. How would your family and friends react if you started to talk to another person one day that no one else could see but you? Do you speak to yourself regularly?

I think they’d start looking into homes for demented seniors if I suddenly started conversing with an imaginary friend. Do I speak to myself? Well, I occasionally feel that way when I’m speaking to my wife even though I know she’s not listening. And I may sometimes mutter to myself. But no, I don’t regularly speak to myself.

15. How far can you be pushed before annoyance becomes full-blown anger and what is your anger style?

I’m a relatively easygoing guy who rarely gets very angry. My anger style is mostly to withdraw inwardly and to silently seethe.

Share Your World — 12/12/2022

Share Your World

Di, at Pensitivity101, is our host for Share Your World each week. Here are her questions for this week.

1. As a kid, did you have roller skates, a go-kart, or a push bike?

Yes, I had the kind of metal roller skates that you wore on the bottom of your shoes and used a key to tighten them up around the sole and heel of the shoes. A buddy of mine and I built a go-kart using wood, a wooden crate, and wheels from an old wagon. I never had a push bike, but I had a tricycle and then a two-wheeler with training wheels until I was able to ride it without the training wheels, which didn’t take that long.

2. Also, did you belong to a gang or just hang out with your friends?

No gang. Just a bunch of friends from the neighborhood.

3. What is the best present, birthday or otherwise, you can remember as a child?

That probably would have been my first two-wheeler bike.

4. If a friend stayed over, did you have a midnight feast or did you go to bed and sleep ?

I don’t recall having any midnight feasts, but we would stay up later than normal, play games, listen to records, or just talk. But usually, by around midnight or shortly thereafter, we would run out of steam and go to sleep.

Gratitude: What gives your day a kick start?


Question Time Over Coffee — 12/10 Edition

Rory, over at Earthly Comforts, has once again posed a number of intriguing questions this morning. Let’s see if I can come up with some equally intriguing answers.

1. What motivates you to get up every day?

Needing to pee.

2. What words have always struck you as funny or odd when looked upon?

I have come to believe that there is nothing anymore about the English language that strikes me as funny or odd. For example, the plural of goose is geese. So why isn’t the plural of moose be meese? And why do we park on a driveway but drive on a parkway? Everything is funny and/or odd.

3. How often do you read the comments left by other bloggers on other bloggers’ published posts?

That depends upon (1) how many comments there are and (2) how much time I have available. I’m less likely to read other bloggers’ comments if there are a lot of to them or if I have a limited amount of time.

4. How hard do you work to keep your long standing friendships alive year in and year out and do your friends work the same way to keep you?

We’ve moved around a lot (eight different states, not including two different times in Maryland and California), so it’s been challenging to maintain long standing friendships when you move around every few years.

5. How many emails do you delete every week?

Most of them that are not from someone I know or regarding something I’m expecting.

6. Are you easily distracted, and what do you find distracts you the most?

I’m not really that easily distracted, but there’s not much of what I do these days that suffers if I do get distracted.

7. Have you ever had a strange unexplained encounter that left you shaken and baffled, and if so, what do you think it was? Or what did your brain make you think it was?

I’ve experienced what I might call interesting coincidences, but nothing I can think of as being especially strange, unexplained, or baffling.

8. Are we more scared of things that go bump in the night when in the dark or equally as concerned if the same thing happens during daylight hours? If so, why do you think that is?

I think darkness adds a sense of mystery to things we hear or see, so I’m going to go with being more scared of such things in the darkness of night.

9. What do you think are the magical ingredients for writing a bestseller and do you think you could write one?

If I knew what the magical ingredients for writing a bestseller are, I’d probably have written one by now.

10. When was the last time you stayed awake all night having fun with another person, and what were you doing?

Sorry, but I don’t kiss and tell.

11. Would the 18 year old you recognise the older you if you both collided on the street today? If not, why?

Probably not. Unlike me now, the 18 year old me had a head full of hair (a lot) on his head, did not have a beard, and was skinnier than the much older me is now. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t recognize me at all.

12. What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

Mostly I’m looking forward to staying healthy and to still be around to look forward to 2024 (and beyond) at this time next year.

13. Are you more curious or are you more passionate, or are you both?

I’m curious about those things that I’m curious about and passionate about those things that I’m passionate about.

14. Can you easily recognize your flaws, and do you think it is important?

Flaws? What flaws?

15. The musical album you loved the most in the last twenty years was… ?

The last twenty years? So since 2002? That’s a tough one, since my musical taste is mostly classic rock from the Sixties and Seventies. But strange as it seems, over the past decade I’ve become a bigger fan of Pink Floyd than I ever was when the band was back in its prime. So which Pink Floyd album? Hey, I’ll take ‘em all.

Question Time Over Coffee — 12/3 Edition

Rory, over at Earthly Comforts, has once again posed a number of intriguing questions this morning. Let’s see if I can come up with some equally intriguing answers.

1. Do you sometimes ‘just’ LIKE posts from those you follow but don’t often read the content, and if so, why do you do this? Is it a time restraint or something else that motivates this action?

I don’t read every post of every blogger I follow, but I don’t LIKE the posts I don’t read. If I do tap LIKE on a post, I will have at least skimmed the post to get the gist, so I know what the post is about and basically liked it. Yes, there are definitely time constraints, given that I follow about 200 bloggers, many of whom post multiple times a day. So it’s close to impossible to read every one of their posts. But if I do tap LIKE, it’s because I opened up the post on my Reader and at least skimmed it.

2. What do you do with gifts you have received but have no use for?

If it’s possible to return it or exchange it, I will do that. If not, I’ll see if someone else I know might want it or I’ll donate it to Goodwill.

3. Have people become lazier concerning cooking do you think, or is it more a case of people not knowing how to cook? Is cooking considered a valuable skill by you?

My wife is a very good cook, but these days, she often prepares meals that will take us through three or four nights without her having to prepare another meal. It’s not a matter of being lazy as it is that she’s tired of spending a lot of time each day preparing and cooking dinner. I don’t blame her one bit.

4. What news stories, in your opinion, have so far defined the 2020s and what do you think they have taught us personally as individuals?

The news story since 2020 that has so far defined the decade is that Donald Trump, his minions, and even the mainstream Republicans have bought into The Big Lie that Trump did not lose the 2020 election, that it was rigged, and that elections don’t matter. That story is followed closely by the pandemic and by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade.

5. What would you never swallow even if you could?

The Big Lie (see above).

6. How many hours of sleep do you get a night, and how many hours do you think you need and why?

If I turn out the light at 11 and can sleep until 7, that would give me a full eight hours of sleep and that would be ideal. The reality is that I usually get only between six and seven hours of sleep each night.

7. How important is it to you to have a clean house or environment to live in and does it have to be pristine?

I don’t need “pristine,” but clean and tidy is important to me.

8. Could you give up your smartphone and break your addiction to it?


9. What have been five of your best TV shows from the dawn of dot to today? Why were they good?

Since the dawn of “dot”? I’m not sure what that means, so I’m going with five of my favorite TV shows of all time.

  • Cheers
  • M*A*S*H
  • Seinfeld
  • The Wire
  • All in the Family
  • Honorable mentions: Taxi, The Twilight Zone, Rocky and Friends, Monty Python and the Flying Circus, the original Star Trek, Laugh In, and, well, that’s enough for now,

10. Why is life not a bed of roses but a bed of thorns? What makes your life good and or bad?

I don’t think life is is either a bed of roses or a bed of thorns. It’s more like a roller coaster, with plenty of ups and downs and twists and turns. I’m very content with my life, and that, to me, makes it good.

11. Toasted waffles or toasted bread, and why?

I’ve never been a fan of frozen waffles that you heat up in the toaster. So I’m going with toasted bread.

12. How do you feel about the ageing process and you?

I suppose, for an aged person like me, the aging process hasn’t been too bad. So I’m okay with it, knowing that there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. I would prefer a few less aches and pains, but I suppose that’s what aging is all about.

13. What is the last rebellious thing you did?

I’m not sure I’ve ever done anything truly rebellious. Yeah, in my youth I used to go to protest marches, I was a hippie, I grew a beard and had long hair in the late Sixties. I still have a beard, but my hair has long since abandoned me. I smoked grass, dropped acid, took a cross-country motorcycle trip, did some skinny dipping at a nudist beach, and maybe a few other things that some might call rebellious. But nothing recently (i.e., within the past few decades).

14. What would be your ideal ‘you experience’ of the following …. museum, theatre, spa day, bungee jumping?

I’ve never been to a day spa, so it might be nice to give it a try. I’ve no interest in bungee jumping. But I do enjoy going to museums and to theaters (for live performances, as opposed to movie theaters).

15. Could you easily step off the planet and away from society and your friends and being social and also away from the Internet for 12 months?

Wouldn’t I die if I somehow stepped off the planet? I suppose, if the choice was to either step off the planet and die or be away from society and my friends and being social, and also away from the internet for 12 months, I’d choose the latter.