Share Your World — 6/7/21

Melanie has given us another Share Your World prompt. I missed last week’s edition, but I’m back for this week’s. So without further ado…

What’s the worst commercial you’ve recently seen (or heard)? Why was it so bad?

To be honest, I rarely watch live TV anymore. Most of the commercial/broadcast TV shows I watch are recorded on my DVR, so when I watch those recordings, I fast forward through the commercials. And much of what I watch on TV is on streaming channels such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc., where there are no commercials. All that said, I hate drug commercials where, at the end, they give you a list of possible adverse effects. I especially hate it when they say “Don’t take [name of drug] if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.” Duh!

What takes a lot of time but is totally worth it?

Blogging.

Have you ever smiled at a stranger and then wished you hadn’t? Why or why not?

Smile at strangers? Are you kidding me? If I smiled at a stranger, he or she might actually want to stop and talk with me. Why risk that?

What do you think is the nastiest tasting food?

I lost my sense of taste after I had middle ear surgery at the end of 2019. Since then, nothing tastes particularly nasty anymore. Or particularly good, either.

Are you at peace with yourself? Your world? Please share, whether you said “yay” or “nay”!

I am at peace with myself. With the world? That would be a definitive “nay.”

Share Your World — May 24th

Today is Monday and that means that Melanie has graced us with another edition of her Share Your World challenge. I decided, rather than trying to come up with pithy titles for my SYW posts, I’d follow Melanie’s lead and just add the date to the title. So away we go…

What are you most proud of in the last year?

Well, first that I, and no one I know in my family or my real world friends, contracted COVID-19. And second, that despite threatening numerous times over the past year to leave WordPress after they forced the block editor down our throats and because of bugs in the iOS app (for the iPhone) that remain unfixed, I’m still here.

If you see a puddle on the ground, do you walk around it or give in to the child within and splash about?

At my age, walking around them is my preferred way to deal with puddles. That said, we are suffering a severe drought where I live and I think, if I actual came across a puddle, I might be tempted to jump right in and splash in it.

Do you feel free? Why or why not?

That depends upon what you’re talking about. I do feel free to speak my mind (or to post whatever is on my mind). But I suppose there are some things that I don’t feel free to do because of the potential adverse consequences to what I might do if I felt entirely free to do whatever I wanted to do. I’ll leave it at that.

What life skills are rarely taught but are extremely useful?

How to manage one’s money. I remember one of my first supervisory jobs and I was asked by the head of “Personnel” (now known as “Human Resources”) to talk to an employee about her having written a bunch of bad checks. I called her into my office and had that discussion with her. As background, the company we worked for offered a “free checking account” as one of the employee benefits. Of course, what that meant was a “no-fees” checking account.

Anyway, when I called her into my office to ask her why she was bouncing checks, she was totally befuddled. “I can’t be bouncing checks,” she said. “We get free checking because we work at this company.” Apparently she believed that “free checking” meant that you could write as many checks as you wanted and it was all for free, including being free of having to have enough money in said checking account to cover the checks written.

After that incident, the company changed its nomenclature in the listing of employee benefits from “free checking account” to “no-fees checking account.”

This incident happened decades ago, and I use this as an example of the failure of our educational system to prepare students to function in the real world after they leave school. Maybe things have changed over the years, and students to do get exposure to the basics of money management these days. I certainly hope that is now the case.

What am I grateful for?

I am grateful that yesterday my wife and I were able to invite around a dozen and a half family and friends, all of whom were fully vaccinated, over to our place to celebrate our grandson’s first birthday.

Share Your World — My Happy Place

Share Your WorldMelanie is once again asking us to share a piece of our world in this week’s Share Your World edition. Here we go.

How well do you know your next-door neighbors? Do you like them?

I moved into my new house last year in early February. A month later, we were put under stay-at-home orders due to the rapidly spreading pandemic. Before the quarantine started, I did get to meet a handful of my neighbors and they were welcoming and seemed to be very nice people. But over the past year, due to the lockdown, my interactions with my neighbors have been limited. So, my direct answer is that I don’t really know my neighbors very well, but from what little I do know of them, I like them.

Do you have a full-length mirror?

When we first moved into our house last year, my wife insisted that I hang a full-length mirror in our master bedroom walk-in closet. So yes.

Do you shave every day or do you like the ‘stubble’ look, or a beard?*

I have had a full beard from most of my adult life. Before I retired, I used to trim my beard with my handy-dandy electric beard trimmer once a week and I would shave my neck below my desired beard line. Now that I’m retired, I just don’t bother shaving my neck anymore, and I’ve reduced trimming my beard to every two or three weeks. That said, I also shave my head when I trim my beard.

How many items of clothing are in your bedroom (or closet) and not hung up?

I have a chest of drawers with my undershirts, underpants, and socks folded up inside the drawers. I also keep some sweaters folded up in that chest of drawers. In the closet, I have sweatshirts, sweatpants, and a few other sweaters folded up on the shelves. Other than that, I have my clothing that needs washing tossed into a hamper.

Do you have a happy place?

I’m still among the living, so wherever I am, I’m happy. As the song goes, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

*This question was specific to men. Melanie asked an alternative question directed at her female readers: How long do you spend putting on make-up in the morning?

Share Your World — About Cereal, Toys, and Pets

Share Your WorldIt’s Monday and that means that Melanie has graced us with another edition of Share Your World. This time Melanie wants to know…

Is cereal soup? Why or why not?

No. Try putting Cheerios and milk into a sauce plan and heating it up for a few minutes and you’ll quickly see that cereal is not soup. Cereal is cereal and soup is soup, just like day is day, night is night, meat is meat, and fish is fish.

What are some interesting ways to answer everyday questions like “how’s it going” or “what do you do”?

These are examples of perfunctory questions that people ask without really expecting or even wanting an answer. That said, if someone asks me, “How’s it going?” I would typically say, “Fine and you?” But maybe someday I’ll instead say, “Well, tell me what it is and I’ll tell you how it’s going.

And if someone asks, “What do you do?” I might answer, “That depends upon how much time and how much money you have.”

What was your favorite toy growing up?

Probably my Etch-a-Sketch. I used to spend hours with that thing. I wish we had digital photography back then so I could have taken pictures of some of the more elaborate sketches I painstakingly created.

If you have a pet, and you could ask it three questions, what would you ask?

We are down to one pet now that our dog is gone. The three questions I’d like to ask our cat are:

  1. Why do you insist on jumping up on the table and sitting down right on top of my newspaper every morning when I’m having my first cup of coffee and trying to read the paper?
  2. Why at 5:00 every morning do you jump on the bed, walk on my body, and start kneading the blanket. Can’t you wait just another hour or two?
  3. What’s up with those gross hairballs that you spit up every few days? A little warning might be nice.

What’s one simple thing society at large could do to improve our world?

Wear a goddam face mask when you go out in public and keep your distance.

Share Your World — Taste, Admiration, and Regret

Share Your WorldMelanie’s Share Your World prompt this week asks a few relatively simple, non-controversial questions, which is just the ticket for the day before election day in the United States. Here goes:

Which meal is your favorite: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

As those of you who read my blog know, I lost my sense of taste early this year (another reason to despise 2020) as a result of surgery in my middle ear. One of the nerves that apparently enables you to have a sense of taste in your mouth was severed and now almost everything I eat is rather tasteless. So rather than depending upon taste to get any sensation from my food, I depend upon texture. For breakfast, I have cold cereal with raisins, bananas, and, of course, milk. While that might not sound like much to get excited about, breakfast is now my favorite meal because of the crunchy nature of the cereal flakes, and the texture of the raisins and bananas. And I can taste the coldness of the milk. Unfortunately, everything I eat tastes bland. My dear wife tries really hard to make meals that tickle my taste buds, but my taste buds are no longer ticklish.

Who do you admire most in the world?

These days, there aren’t very many admirable people left. That said, with Barrack Obama coming out over the past few weeks to support Joe Biden, I was reminded of what a smart, articulate, intelligent, sane, and normal president can be. And while Obama was far from perfect, when compared with the current madman we have in the Oval Office at the moment (and hopefully for not too many more moments), I have to say that I truly do admire Barrack Obama.

With the obvious restrictions in place, what do you regret not doing in the last year?

I regret not being able to spend more time face-to-face with my grown children, and, particularly not being able to spend more time with my five month old grandchild.

Melanie also asks us to share something we are grateful for.

I am grateful that tomorrow is election day and that we shall soon (probably not by the end of the day tomorrow, though) know who won the election. And I’m grateful that, if Biden wins, on January 20, 2021, Inauguration Day, our country can begin to recover from this madness we have been living with for the past four years.