May 4th, 2007

krazy koati

But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured

Dear Hinter:
Like many people I imagine I'm witty, particularly about five minutes too late to have a snappy comeback. I've got a great fix that your readers might like to try: whenever I do think of what I should have said, I write down what provoked it and what I thought of, and just before social affairs I re-read the whole list so I'm ready if something similar comes up! The only problem is keeping all the notes alphabetized.
-- Laughing from the Outside

Dear Outside:
The French have a word for this, l'esprit de l'escalier. That's actually more three words. Five if you're going to be fussy about the elisions. Maybe we should just put this confusing ``counting'' thing to the side.

If you run out of places to jot them down try the backs of business cards! If you don't have enough business cards you can ask people for them, which -- if you do it with a sufficient lack of social grace -- will let you create new awkward moments and maybe generate more witty statements after the fact!
-- Hinter.

Dear Hinter:
Whenever I find the dishwasher has left a contiguous but unidentifiable lump in the silverware basket, I immediately put it into a zip-tight plastic baggie and write the date on it in large letters in magic marker. This way there's no trouble later on sorting them!
-- Wishy Washerer

Dear Washerer:
That's a great tip! Don't forget that if you have a digital camera you can take a picture of each bag right after you've sealed it, so you have a permanent record in case you're ever audited.
-- Hinter.

Dear Hinter:
On those long dull car drives it's not rare we find ourselves not completely sure whether we've missed the turnoff. And I don't need to tell you what it's like suffering that horrible suspicion that you're on the wrong Interstate and will never see home again! So I took a simple dry-erase board, and spray painted it green. With a white marker, I can write the names of any ``control cities'' and exit numbers that we want, and hold that up by the passenger's side window, allowing me to firmly believe that I'm heading in the correct direction. My question: when making your own simulated road signs this way, is it necessary to include exit instructions for clearly fictional places such as ``Belmar, New Jersey''?
-- Road Blocked.

Dear Blocked:
Remember that not every road has green highway signs! You'll want to have your board painted the correct color for the local state or province. If your car has that array of plastic slots for CDs to be stored you can use that to keep all the major colors. Remember too that road signs in Connecticut have a cute little tail in the south-west corner!
-- Hinter.

Dear Readers,

Looking for a tasty snack to chase away those ``it's too close to the middle of spring to enjoy a day when the weather's lovely because you know tomorrow will probably be worse, and you can't enjoy it when the weather's lousy because it's lousy'' blues? Then try mixing up this simple little surprise.

You will need:

  • Recipe (1)
  • Ingredients (6 - 12)
  • Mixing Bowls (3)
  • Implements (assorted)

Beginning with a clean mixing bowl take three of the ingredients and mix them according to the recipe. While waiting for this to set, in a second, relatively clean, mixing bowl stir together four of the remaining ingredients. (If you run out of ingredients use unsalted butter.) Sprinkle any remaining ingredients into a third bowl, which you discard. Pour the contents of the first bowl into a greased baking pan, and the second bowl on top of that. Insert toothpicks in the center until the oven reaches 350 degrees. Serves four to six, but don't ask me of what! The implements do not figure in these directions.

Confidential PS to North-Central Wisconsin: The problem is not that new land isn't being made. It's that making new land by volcanos takes too long and isn't done in designated locations. That's the problem you need to fix!

Trivia: Wally Schirra got the four-hole harmonica he played on the Gemini VI-A mission from Michael Knapp, producer of Bill Dana's ``Jose Jimenez in Orbit'' album, on 8 December 1965. Source: On The Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini, Barton C Hacker, James M Grimwood, NASA SP-4203.

Currently Reading: The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, John M Barry.