Archive | Rambling Ruminations RSS feed for this section

What is the Point?

27 Jun

In the last post, I wrote about going to AmericasMart with my wife. That is where she buys clothing for her boutique. It is truly an art to choose what people will want to buy in the future, and I am always amazed at how she does it.

I am also amazed by the words that I hear over and over.

Gorgeous!

Beautiful!

Perfect!

Price Point!

Price Point? Yes, Price Point.

I know that does not fit with Gorgeous, Beautiful and Perfect, but it is an integral part of the language at Fashion Market. I just do not understand why they say it when it can be said in a much simpler way.

How about saying Price?

That gets to the point.

 

The Last Walk to the Hay Bale

3 Jun

It is hay-cutting time in these parts, and bales have been scattered behind our house. The other evening, Daisy and I took a walk to one of the bales, and I took this picture.

It was posted on social media, and a lot of people liked it. However, my wife was not happy. She said that Daisy should not be that far from our house because a coyote might get her. We have seen a few of them around here, and we have to be diligent when Daisy is outside. Honestly, I did not think about that when Daisy and I walked to the hay bale. It was daylight, and I was with her.

Later that night, I took Daisy out before bed. A siren could be heard going down the nearby highway. As the siren faded away, we heard the howls of coyotes not far away. The siren had stirred them up. When I say that we heard them, I really mean it. Daisy looked at me and did her business as fast as she could. Like a flash, she was up the steps and at the door.

In other words, we will no longer be walking to hay bales.

The Place That I Find Strange

20 Apr

There is a place that I find strange.

It is a place like the edge of the frontier. It is a place that is safe but is only a few steps from the dangers of nature.

It is limbo. It is a place between dimensions where a person is neither inside or outside.

It is a portal. It is a place where a person can climb into the machine and speed to parts unknown.

It is a treasure box. It is a place where we keep some of our most valuable possession. It is a place where those possession can be easily found.

It is memory. It is a place where memories are kept along with things that will never be remembered.

It is a place with a thin shield between the fullness of the light and the emptiness of the dark. It is a place with a thin shield that keeps the cold away and the warmth within. It is a place to be near the elements but out of the elements. It is a place that keeps creatures at bay.

It is a place that is clean yet is unclean. It is a place of comfort yet is uncomfortable.

It is the garage.

The Dog With No Name

9 Apr

She came from the East. Daisy Dog was the first to see her. There was a standoff until the Dog With No Name retreated into the darkness.

The night can be dangerous with bandits, highwaymen and coyotes prowling in the night. We decided to search for the Dog With No Name. We searched the trails. We searched the hills. We searched the neighboring homestead.

She was sitting in the shadows watching us closely. Only the moonlight gave away location of the Dog With No Name. Unsure of these strangers, she slowly approached. We offered her a drink and a warm place to bed down.

At first, the Dog With No Name was cautious in her new surroundings. She and Daisy Dog eyed each other but finally came to an uneasy truce. After a long time on the trail, she had a roof over her head; food in her belly; and a warm bath.

It has been almost a week, and we are still searching. We are searching for her home. We are searching for a future home. We do not know when the uneasy truce will come to an end and a gunfight will commence.

Until we find her past or her future, she remains the Dog With No Name.

The Sounds of the Night

10 Oct

The whistling of the wind.

The rustling of the leaves.

The lowing of the cattle.

The chirping of the crickets.

The roaring of cars on the distant highway.

The patter of Daisy’s paws.

The thumping of the music from inside the house.

The clicking of the keyboard.

Those are the sounds of the night on our back porch.

Listening to Art Bell from East of the Rockies

16 Apr

I opened up Twitter and saw a message from a friend. He wanted my thoughts on the passing of Art Bell. At some point, we had discussed how both of us had listened to Coast to Coast AM into the wee hours of the night. Now, the host of that show was gone.

I first heard of Art Bell on another radio show. I was driving through the night, and a local talk host was discussing Bell’s sudden and mysterious retirement. This was sometime in the 1990s before we had instant access to everything. I had to do some searching to find out the scoop and to find out if he would ever return to the airwaves.

He made a triumphant return, and, although I had joined the party late, Bell became a late night staple for me. Despite the show’s name, he was on the FM dial in Nashville. At midnight, I would put in my headphones and listen for the theme music to start. It was “The Chase” by Giorgio Moroder, and I cannot listen to that song without thinking that an interview about UFOs is coming up next.

My favorite segments were with Richard C. Hoagland talking about NASA and the face on Mars. For months, they talked about the secret messages in the movie Mission to Mars. I went to see it just because they talked about it.

Zecharia Sitchin was also a great guest. His specialty was ancient astronauts and their influence on humanity.

Bell also took calls from listeners, and they always had stories of conspiracies or the paranormal. They would call in from East of the Rockies and West of the Rockies.

I would stay up too late listening to those shows, but I always fell asleep at some point. I wonder how many dreams were influenced by the voices coming through the headphones with words of weird stuff.

At some point, I stopped listening to Coast to Coast AM, but I always wondered about everyone who listened to it. Did they listen for entertainment? Did they believe what they were hearing? Was it a little of both?

I have also wondered about me. I listened for the entertainment value. However, some of it started seeping into my brain. How did it affect my ideas?

One of my colleagues at work teaches a class on conspiracy theories in American history. Maybe I should ask him.

The Oddity of Appetizers

5 Mar

We dine out quite a bit. Nashville has developed a vibrant restaurant scene, and we try out as many trendy places as we can. The menus are always filled with choices that all sound delicious, and we cannot help but try a variety of items. That usually means getting an appetizer before our main course.

At most places, the appetizers bother me.

It is not the taste. In fact, I have found few appetizers that I did not like. Rather, it is the number. I have noticed that many restaurants serve their appetizers in odd numbers.

We order the cheese fritters at Amerigo, and they bring out five. This is us after eating five fritters.

We order deviled eggs at Bricktop’s, and they bring out five. For those who are not familiar with deviled eggs, they cuts eggs in half and take out the yolk. They then mix the yolk up with other great stuff and put that mixture back in the egg white. When I see five deviled eggs, I see two and a half eggs and wonder what happened to the other half. Why not bring out six?

The odd number of appetizers bothers me because they cannot be divided evenly among the diners. Just take the five fritters. If there are two dinners, which is often the case, then there may be a fight over the fifth one. That may definitely happen because the fritters are awesome.

Think about what happens if there are three diners. For example, there could be parents with a child. Then, you have one each and two left over. How do you divide that?

A lot of times, couples dine out together. Do you divide the fifth fritter into quarters?

The only way this works is if five people are dining, and I am certain that does not happen very often.

In my opinion, restaurants should tackle this issue because it is definitely a misstep within the industry that leaves diners in a quandary. Luckily for them, I have a few suggestions.

First, count the number of diners at the table and serve that many portions of the appetizer.

Two people equal two portions. This would also prevent them from stuffing themselves before the main course.

Three people equal three portions.

You get the point.

If it is a large table, then we understand that restaurants cannot financially do this. Those people can order more than one appetizer.

Second, serve an amount of portions that is easily divided amongst everyone. I have thought about this a lot and determined that six is the best number.

Two people get three portions each. They may not be hungry when the main course arrives, but the fritters or deviled eggs were definitely divisible.

Three people get two portions each. See, you have taken care of two amounts of diners that are probably common.

Four people gets trickier, but it is not insurmountable. Each person gets one, and the other two are split between each couple.

Five diners make six portions impossible to deal with. My suggestion is to leave the fifth wheel at home.

I have been thinking about this problem for a while, but I finally decided to write about it after dinner on Friday night. We went to the Yellow Porch and ordered appetizers. They were awesome, and, lo and behold, they were served in an even number. It was not the optimum six, but it was an easily handled four.

Finally, a restaurant is close to figuring out the oddity of appetizers.