Month-End Closing #309 –5/31/2016

In life we do things. Some we wish we had never done. Some we wish we could replay a million times in our heads. But they all make us who we are. And in the end they shape every detail about us. If we were to reverse any of them we wouldn’t be the person we are. So just live, make mistakes, have wonderful memories. But never ever second guess who you are. Where you have been, and most importantly where it is you’re going.

Welcome everyone to Drivel Over Coffee, the blog; musings, memories and whatnot infused with the earthy aroma of French Roast Coffee with a dose of rant mixed in on occasion. My look upon life as seen through dog-licked glasses.

12650925_1086894144705826_8869436885953203783_nMemorial Day has just passed and we will be getting back to our weekly routines. I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. Memorial Day is the start of the summer season. This day we honor those who have fallen to insure we can enjoy the freedom’s we all too easily take for granted. Take a moment to give some thoughts to those who have sacrificed their lives for you. But don’t reflect just this one day but every day.

Musings – About a month ago, I listed some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry.” A bevy of readers have asked me to shine light on more faded words and expressions, and I am happy to oblige:

Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We’d put on our best bib and tucker and straighten up and fly right. Hubba-hubba! We’d cut a rug in some juke joint and then go necking and petting and smooching and spooning and billing and cooing and pitching woo in hot rods and jalopies in some passion pit or lover’s lane.

Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! Holy moley. We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers. Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore. Like Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle and Kurt Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim, we have become unstuck in time. We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! Or this is a fine kettle of fish! We discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.

Poof, poof, poof go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink, and they’re gone, evanesced from the landscape and wordscape of our perception, like Mickey Mouse wristwatches, hula hoops, skate keys, candy cigarettes, little wax bottles of colored sugar water and an organ grinders monkey.

Memories – The Allure of Manure. Back in my younger days when I was new to the city life and freshly married to the current wife, we bought a new house. Oh, we were proud as peacocks. The yard was not yet landscaped, and we needed to condition the soil before laying sod.

Fortunately, I was born and raised on a central Iowa farm. I knew the best way to get things to grow was to insure the soil was nutrient rich. I studied the bare ground which was my lot. It was not a pretty sight. In town I guess there is an ordinance or something against black dirt. This stuff was a combination of clay and sand.

I had several truckloads of black dirt from the country brought in. It was a big job but I got basically six inches of great top soil. Now, I knew I needed to enrich this soil. Many farms had little signs advertising free manure, so I decided that this was the perfect lawn conditioner. I set about collecting a small mountain of the animal product. But this fertilizer came in hard, dry chunks, impossible to blend into the soil as is. Undeterred, I figured that there must be a way to break it into soft, spreadable mulch. Then the solution came to me: a leaf shredder! What better way to quickly reduce the chunks into a lovely, fluffy heap? So I bought a shredder and put it in the center of our barren front yard, right next to the manure pile.

It was a perfect day when I set to work: dry and sunny, with a gentle breeze. I put in my earplugs, fired up my new baby and got to work shoveling solid manure chips into the hopper. How quickly the shredder sucked the manure in! I was right; it made fast work of those lumps. I had been happily shoveling away for quite some time when our daughter Jenny stepped outside. The sight that greeted her made her stop short. I had imagined shredded fertilizer coming out of the shredder in a tidy pile the texture of spongy loam, something I could smooth across the ground with ease. That’s not what was happening.

Instead, a dry, powdery mist was shooting skyward, where the gentle summer breeze carried it aloft like a column of smoke. A billowing brown fog swirled down our driveway and engulfed the street. Both were lined with cars. What’s worse than depositing a fine film of fertilizer on your neighbors’ cars? Doing it on a hot day, when many of them happen to have their windows down.

Jenny looked over at me, working away, completely oblivious to the great fragrant dust bowl I was setting loose. Jenny yelled, but getting my attention required considerably more effort, what with the earplugs and the roaring leaf shredder. Instead, she called her mom to come see the spectacle. Together, they stared, and our daughter murmured, “Mom, Dad just isn’t normal, is he?”

Whatnots- Yes, I am an introvert. No, I’m not shy. No, I’m not stuck up. No, I’m not antisocial. I’m just listening. I’m just observing. I can’t stand small talk…. But I’ll talk about life for hours. I’d rather be home with a close friend or two than among a crowd of acquaintances. Don’t scold me in public. Don’t embarrass me in public. Respect that I am reserved. And if I open myself up to you, know that means you’re very special to me.

Little known factoids for your pondering.
It takes 7 seconds for food to pass from mouth to stomach.
A human hair can hold 3kg.
The length of a penis is three times the length of the thumb.
The femur is as hard as concrete.
A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s.
Women blink 2 times as much as men.
We use 300 muscles just to keep our balance when we stand.
A woman has read this entire text.
A man is still looking at his thumb.
Out of CoffeeIf I can make at least one-person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!