Friday, May 24, 2019

3 Controversial Opinions

It's been a while since I've added content to my blog. Sometimes I just write about random topics but today I'd like to share my thoughts on three important things I'm very passionate about. The first two fall under the category of manners, etiquette, or proper protocol, and the third is a pet peeve.I don't want to sound like an ignorant hick by going against the grain but it's time to stand up for how I really feel so let's get started.

My first concern is with spaghetti. I was taught it is bad manners to cut your spaghetti so you should instead swirl it around your fork. Maybe I've just witnessed too many little kids making a mess of their face and clothes as they slurp up long strands of pasta. I'm a big enough boy to be able to eat the "appropriate" way without making a mess but I don't want to. Since my blog is a big hit in most culinary circles there will undoubtedly be several 5 star chefs reading this and rolling their eyes. They would probably suggest I eat a bowl of spaghettios with a spoon if I don't want to adhere to the appropriate protocol, but I don't care. I'm going to keep cutting my spaghetti.You can have my fork when you pry it from my cold, dead, hands.

You should also know I break the spaghetti in half when I cook it. Yes, I'm aware that this is also taboo but you may have this rebel confused with someone who cares.



The next topic to address is tie tacks. I'll admit I'm a good 30 years behind the times when it comes to fashion trends but this accessory just doesn't feel right. I've known for a long time that when you wear a tie bar, it should attach at the level of the third shirt button. I just think that is way too high. That may look acceptable when you are wearing a jacket but once the jacket comes off, I think it looks imbalanced and awkward. It doesn't even serve it's purpose when it's up so high and your tie will still swing around down below. I own a few tie bars but never wear them since I will probably have some know-it-all come up to me and tell me it's supposed to be worn higher up on the tie than I prefer. As a result, the world is missing out on seeing me sporting stylish tie bars. Your loss.


My final gripe is a pet peeve about something I see regularly on Facebook. I usually see this from women who post a lot. I don't understand why someone posts a link to an article on their page and then say "for later", meaning they have not even read it but it sounds interesting to them. That's like an Instagram user taking pictures of a menu descriptions instead of the food they are eating. Why would you promote something you haven't even read? It was obviously not important enough for you to take the time to read but you share it with others? Do these same people forward e-mails they have not read to their friends after just reading the subject bar?

I'm sorry if I have come across as being  judgmental and uptight. I admit I probably need to chill out. By the way, one of the best ways to blow off steam and relax is by breaking handfuls of spaghetti in half.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

I Hate Getting Old

My vision has always been good, but for the last 10 years I've been using cheap reading magnifiers to help me see fine print. I had a shocking wake up call when I forgot to take my reading glasses to church on Sunday and realized it was not just fine print I needed them for.  I could not read anything without my glasses. I felt as blind as Velma from Scooby Doo when she'd drop her glasses and could not see them right in front of her. My already impaired hearing in my right ear has also gotten worse over the last couple years.


I also find myself getting tired earlier and earlier in the evening. I hit a certain point at night when I realize I'm finished and have about 2 minutes remaining to brush my teeth before I literally lie down and fall asleep for the night. It's like an aura that hits someone before a seizure. I get this feeling that I'd better be ready to sleep in a few minutes because my energy is gone. It's the same kind of panic and urgency you feel when you see you have a 1% charge remaining on your cell phone.

Another feature of aging is that I am more prone to injuries now and they take longer to heal. I no longer have cool stories to tell about why I am limping but now have to give embarrassing answers like "I hurt myself taking clothes out of the dryer." I also experience odd phantom injuries in my hip and shoulders that come and go. Some days I am fine and others I can hardly walk up stairs.

I've been complaining about getting old on this blog for over 10 years. I just reviewed some of my older posts about this topic and I have to laugh since I would love to be in the shape I was in my 40's when I was whining about how hard getting old is. Sometimes I feel like aging gracefully requires a personal chef, trainer, masseuse, hormone replacement therapy, and a special effects budget.

I've already experienced many mid-life crises over the years so I'm not sure if I need to find a different name for what I'm feeling. Some days I get a little frustrated or depressed with a body that doesn't perform like it used to but I'm not going to give up. In fact, I have a chip on my shoulder about getting old. Years ago I set a goal to be able to dunk a basketball when I was 50. I'm now 50 and it's been a couple years since I dunked so I guess I need to start working on that goal soon if I'm going to make that happen.

My body may be working slower than it used to, but on the bright side, my nose and ear hair is growing faster than ever before.

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Harmattan

Last year I went back to America around Christmas time and ended up missing much of the dry season in Ghana. This year I'm learning what it's like. Between November and March, West Africa experiences the "Harmattan" which is the dry season. It is a result of the winds from northern Africa blowing sand from the Sahara desert down to the coast of west Africa.

When I first heard that explanation I thought someone was just making up the reason for the dusty air but it's not just a wives' tale. Trade winds from the Sahara do actually blow dust and sand all the way down here. During this time of year it stops raining and the air is more hazy and dryer than usual. In the last two months I've only see it rain twice and there is not substantial rain in the forecast for several months. Lately I've noticed you can look directly at the red sunsets in the evening since there is so much debris in the air.

There is a fine layer of red dust that settles on everything on a daily basis. I'm even shocked at how fast it can accumulate in some of the rooms where we have air conditioning and closed windows. I have not been running in this weather and don't intend to start strenuous exercise outside until we get some rainfall. Once the rains start again the humidity will soar but I'd still prefer that to having everything covered in dust. I found the following clip on Youtube that shows how the drastic contrast in the weather that happens during Harmattan.


I miss the rain and am looking forward to things greening up again in several months.