With You


Breakfast started with you.

The day hurried by. Time
for my walk at four. Sunny,
warm, and a little breeze.

I tried to think of other
things with little success.
Then there was a visiting

food truck on the way back
that resolved dinner. She
could tell I didn’t know

how it worked. “Salad or
wheat lo mein noodles?”
she asked. “Noodles, please.”

“Your sauce?” My eyes ran
up and down their sauce
list. “I’ll take spicy girls.”

“Pick three veggies,” she said.
“Broccoli, mushrooms, and
onions,” I replied.

“Now, pick a protein.” I wanted
shrimp, because I knew you’d
pick shrimp. But I said chicken.

I moved to the side wondering
why I said chicken. I wasn’t
really sure what it was I ordered.

She could tell I didn’t have any
food truck experience. Then I
heard my name called from the

other window. “Fork?” “Yes.”
“Napkin?” “Yes.” “Bag?” “What
does it come in?” “Box.” “No bag.”

I walked home across the street
with a very hot flat box in my
hand wondering why I didn’t take

the bag and why chicken. Too
many questions for my state of
mind. So, dinner was early.

Two glasses of iced green tea
later, I switched off the TV due to
my lack of interest. I’m not sure

if I took the Alka-Seltzer because
of the dinner, the day, TV or all of
the above. I laughed at myself and

about the chicken. More important
to me is that my day ended with you.

Like Chicken


I’m in between old
and new. Exhaustion
is the norm these

days. An errand hit
at the end of the day.
on the way back I

started thinking
about dinner. More
specifically I thought

about chicken fried
rice and steamed pot
stickers. I found a

parking space and
walked in. “Take out?
He turned to grab the

bag behind him. “No.
I’m going to order.”
As soon as I said that

the take out guy
appeared. It was
taking him a while

to pay. Fong turned
to me, “Are you ready?”
I hesitated because

I thought he was busy
with the other guy.
Fong stared. I blurted,

“An order of shrimp
fried rice and an order
of steamed pot stickers.”

Fong nodded. Mr. Take
Out left. In the car my
brain was saying chicken

fried rice. But my mouth
said shrimp. Why I’ll never
know. Tired I guess. But

shrimp is okay. Fong
walked over to the table
near me. That guy ordered

sesame chicken. He’s
getting my chicken; he
probably wanted shrimp.

Fong walked back to the
kitchen and reappeared
with my order. I think I

waited less than five
minutes. I thanked Fong
and walked back to my

car. I wiggled through
the Friday rush hour maze
in the parking lot; then

shot into traffic still
wondering why I said
shrimp instead of

chicken. Didn’t take too
long to get back home.
I sat down at the table.

I could smell the food.
This was a rare treat!
I tasted the rice and

enjoyed the crunch of
the bean sprouts. Funny,
about the shrimp.

It tasted like chicken.

 

Odds and Ends No. 56


I didn’t plan to write today because of my eyes.
I had just finished making a cucumber salad
for tonight and sat down on the love seat to

rest my eyes. New eyeglasses not due until
next week. I couldn’t look at another screen
of any kind or print in any form. Before I

made the cucumber salad, I had another nose-
bleed as I sat at my laptop. I have a history of
nosebleeds, so it is more inconvenient than

anything else. But I had to tell you this. After
the nosebleed, I shut the Mac and went into
the kitchen to make the cucumber salad.

Just in the time I’ve written this much, the
deluge has diminished. The raw power of it
was unnerving and unexpected. It was four

door to door…

something and getting black outside. I took
the English cucumber out of the fridge and
cut it into a mountain of paper-thin slices.

I pulled out a medium size metal mixing
bowl and threw them in. Next, an onion.
I halved it and cut a whole bunch of again

paper-thin slices. Half-moon shaped. I
pulled them apart gently by hand and put
the thin half-moons in the same bowl. Then,

I grabbed the Kosher salt container that
sits behind the cutting board and sprinkled
in two big pinches of salt. The pepper

grinder felt light. So, I refilled it with a
handful of peppercorns and peppered the
contents of the bowl. The cucumber was

cold; the onion was not. Well, I added one
third cup of apple cider vinegar with two
thirds ice-cold water. I did a mix, mix, mix;

whisk, whisk, whisk with a dinner fork and
large slotted spoon. Why I don’t know but
sliced cucumber always sticks to itself. So,

I tossed and separated as I went. I put
plastic wrap tightly on the bowl, stuck
the bowl in the freezer, and set my iPhone

timer for fifteen minutes. I needed to get
a chill on that going as dinner is not far
off. It was then that I sat down to rest my

eyes. The deluge started with claps of
thunder reminiscent of the Midwest; seldom
heard or seen here in the desert. The wind

blew and the rain literally poured off the

window to window…

roof and down all sides of the house. What
a show of force in sight and sound! I ran

from window to window, door to door
looking out at its majesty. Don’t worry, I
didn’t miss the alarm. The salad is in the

fridge getting yummy for dinner. At this
very verse the rain came to a dead stop.
It is so quiet I can hear the silence.

Better check the cucumbers and get the
rest of our meal cooking.

Odds and Ends No. 49


Looks like it hit 119° F this afternoon.
I had a late lunch after my massage at
noon, so I’m eating a late dinner as

well. It is a little after seven. High
temperatures didn’t change much for
me. I made a simple ramen soup.

Chicken flavor. With peanut butter,
grape jelly, and a slice of Pepper Jack
on wheat bread. This is one of my

standard eat-by-myself meals and a
favorite of mine. The sweetness of the
jelly and the heat of the Pepper Jack

plus peanut butter being peanut
butter go well together. A little sweet.
And a little zing. Why the soup? Well,

In the hot summer months we keep
the house at 79° F during the day. Not
very cool, but cool enough for me that

soup is an easy choice for me all year
around. And, oddly, ramen noodles are
a substitute for a rice fix that I don’t

have as often as I’d like. Cooking for one
is no fun, so I don’t cook major meals as
much as I’d like. Windows Pro 10 had

installed a major upgrade. With Firefox,
Word, and Excel open at the same time,
I had a hunch that my CPU was running

hot. So, I installed Core Temp and
SpeedFan. Critical warning Core 0! I
promptly closed Excel. I returned to my

work in Word. About six warnings
followed in as many seconds. I closed
Firefox. Still too hot. I installed Chrome;

and uninstalled Firefox. When in doubt,
press restart. It got worse no matter
what I did. Software froze or wouldn’t

open. I saved my work in a nick of time,
as they say. Then, I held down the power
button. I closed the cover. My laptop

could be used as a hot plate. I let it sit
until the next day. The night was short.
My brain woke me up a little before four.

I installed openSUSE Tumbleweed again!
And I tweaked my book manuscript in
LibreOffice. Lunch came and went. And

here I am. I was so busy with this OS
mess this morning, I missed my second
cup of coffee and neglected to put it in

my thermos. I wanted something fresh,
flavorful, and strong. That is when I
remembered my espresso beans. One

cup for me at nine (We ate breakfast at
five.) and the rest in the thermos for
lunch. It made an excellent cup of

regular coffee just like the package
said. Not just for espresso. And the
hazelnut creamer made it amazing.

It looks like my trusty old laptop can’t
handle Windows anymore. I can’t be
OCD with operating systems anymore.

Core 0 is at 64° C; Core 1 is at 60° C.
Linux is it until my next laptop (which
is long overdue). Gets warm but not hot.

I didn’t need the computer drama, but
at least I’m back on track and writing
again. But wait! Windows 7 is good

until 2020. I’m thinking factory reset.
(Just kidding.) Paying for Office 365
and running Linux doesn’t make sense.

How about a clean Win 10 Pro install
without any other intruders? Tada!
Is this my next computer challenge?

 

Odds and Ends No. 48


The temperature hit 112° F as I got out
of the car to walk Thunderbird. A few
spaces down, a young man was standing

near his car. He looked like he was in
email or texting mode. He was dressed
in running shorts only. “Adonis lives,”

was my first thought. Stark white.
Perfectly muscular. As I opened the
trunk to get my walking stick, he took

off running up the trail to the first ridge
line. He looked like a Greek statue; not
one body hair! To say that he and I were

opposites is an understatement. Here I
am dressed in black top and shorts, my
belt with stuff hanging all over it, two

water bottles, and a walking stick. He,
on the other hand, ran off with nothing.
Just his phone and shorts; no water!

As I crested the first ridge, no sign of
him. I was only a minute or two behind
him or so I thought. I got to the top of

next ridge which gave me a wider view.
I started to pan the trails visible from
this vantage point. No sign of him.

Fifty-five minutes later I was back in
the parking lot. His car was gone. Wow!
In my car cooling down, I toweled my
head, neck, and arms. Then, on the

drive back home, I started to chuckle.
How did he do that? You and I both
know that Adonis lives in Greek

mythology; not in that parking lot!
I have enough hair on my body for at
least three people! A big knot above

my left knee. My skin is more olive
than white. (Maybe that is why the
Army listed me as “Other.”) Well, it

is a good thing that the Lord loves
me like I am. Adonis, I’m not. I had
a power bar soon after I got home.

I was depleted, needed protein. She
just left for a meeting but I’m now
thinking dinner. I have one frozen

hamburger left. Sounds good. Not
very hungry. Good day. I baked in
the sun and basked in my Father’s

love for me as I am; hair, knots,
and all. Correction: Great day.
Hamburger, sliced pickles, ketchup.

Cheese? Annoying phone alarm.
It is garbage night. Trash out first,
then dinner. And iced tea. Most

might say I saw an ordinary guy;
another my guardian angel. I’ve
never been one to agree with “most.”