Monday, December 9, 2019

Note To Self: Avoid Hazelnut Spread M&Ms


I am a lifelong fan of M&Ms. But I'm also kind of an M&Ms snob.

The best M&Ms are:

  1. Dark Chocolate peanut
  2. Almond
  3. Peanut 
  4. Peanut Butter
  5. Pretzel
  6. Crispy rice

All the other flavors are marginal at best. Hazelnut spread ones are not on the list.

You're welcome!



Sunday, December 8, 2019

The End Of The Year Joy - Furnace Filter Replacement!



I used to clean the gutters of our two-story house. I felt like a real do-it-yourself guy as I gingerly climbed to the top of a 25-foot ladder that bounced and flexed under my weight.

I gave that up when I turned 50 and I haven't ever regretted not falling.

So now I have to look around a bit harder to receive that surge of joyous self-reliance I used to get from the gutters.

Lucky for me each year I can replace the furnace filter, a process that involves a step ladder of a modest height. I finish the job in about 5 minutes and then run to the computer and write a blog post so as to share the experience with the internet.

All is good, our air is filtered, the furnace continues to work properly.

Stoke!



Saturday, December 7, 2019

G.I. Yossi



One of the best gifts I have ever received is the G.I. Joe action figure of an Israeli soldier from the "Foreign Soldiers Collection."

A relative collects these figures and the IDF soldier is a rare one as production was discontinued for obvious reasons. He wanted me to have the figure as I had served in the IDF.

I told him I would give it to my son to play with and I wasn't going to preserve it as a piece of political history. He was good with that.

My son and I played with the figure for a couple of years. When he lost interest in it I made sure to put the figure in a safe place.

Now my thoughts run to how I can make a stop-action animation with the figure to oppose West Bank settlement. Perhaps the time to play with dolls is still upon us.






Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Photo Essay Just Because

Weirdly named diet supplement.


Pot dispensary offers discount at key time in the afternoon.


Another awesome outfit even without the crazy filter.
A dark background elevates breakfast into art.



Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Serious Guys



This is a picture of me in 1994. I was 29 years-old and was on my fifth year in Taiwan.

I was wearing a Sun Yat-sen suit which had passed as office wear for Kuomintang functionaries decades previous when air conditioning wasn’t ubiquitous.

Initially I bought the suit as a fun piece of local history, having it made at an old-time tailor shop near where I lived to the north of Taipei. I wore it to work and found the lack of reaction comforting, my foreign friends remarking that generally only men 50 and older wore such things. My Chinese friends might have thought it odd as well but were probably too polite to tell me.

At the time of this photo I wore the suit with seriousness and appreciation for all that Taiwan had given me. My friend Lawrence, sitting next to me, was a spiritual man who understood that philosophical explorations took many forms. He enjoyed wearing a traditional scholar’s gown while he did different artistic endeavors. He played the zither, practiced tai chi sword and calligraphy, and had a special room in his apartment outfitted with paper screens and tatami mats for meditation and contemplation.

I explained that I wanted a photo in the traditional style to mark my time in Taiwan. Lawrence understood immediately and set up the chairs and told me to not smile.

I suspect this type of thing wouldn’t be considered acceptable today – the suit, the attitude, another example of a white guy appropriating another culture. I can understand that.

Looking back, I worry that I was giving overt support to the Republic of China’s nationalists, weighing in on a political debate far beyond my purview.

I suspect all the above are equally true. Still, a nice memory.




Sunday, December 1, 2019