A Simple Turn of Phrase

It's simple on the surface. The difference between the placement of two phrases in a sentence exemplifies the change I see in the personality of our nation over the span of sixty years: one quarter of the time the United States has existed as a republican democracy. Can you tell the difference? "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what yo...
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In Admiration of Phô

My guess is that any college student has eaten the kindergarten version of Phô, the savory Vietnamese soup rich in noodles, broth and veggies. We call it Ramen and it comes with a square of dried noodles and a foil package of flavored salt for the soup base.  At its most basic, that is phô. Now, I've discovered that this soup is adaptable in m...
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Janus - God of Endings and Beginnings

The year 2020 is one for the books. The problem comes when you try to figure out where to shelve it in the library. Does it classify as a political thriller, horror, or science fiction? I don't quite know how to characterize it. I can demonize it. I can memorialize it. I just can't figure it out. It seems to be two-faced. In ancient Rome, the god J...
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A change in the national bird is in order

The great American intransigence on display these days will cost a million lives if we ALL don't do what's right. The selfless spirit of community that supported 13 million uniformed service members in WWII (The Big One) is missing. "Hell No. You can't make me ration sugar. You can't tell me I can't buy more gas. I won't turn out the lights at my A...
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Thoughts on Making Cheese Slicers

I've now made about a dozen cheese slicers, large and small, and from any number of different materials. All use the same assembly; bar, wire and handle. These are available from two sources. The first, a combination retail/mail order storefront charges $11.99 each. If you're going to sell these, that has an impact on your price point. A bit of sea...
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Thoughts on the Fourth of July

Today, I am of two minds about my country. I am a veteran, a retired Navy officer. I, and my family, gave up many of the rich years of our lives while I labored to guarantee the freedoms that we all celebrate today. That gives me a certain latitude to express myself; a latitude which I share with all my brothers and sisters in arms, current and pas...
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Not your Nonna's Noodles

If you make your own pasta, I invite you to read on. If not ... read on, anyway. You might want to try it. We all remember the pain of pasta. Dump your measured flour on the work surface. Make a well in the center. Crack the eggs into the center and sprinkle with salt. Then, using your fingers, gently work the eggs, pulling the flour in until it's ...
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Is this what it's like at Floyd's today?

I'd like to take you to Floyd's Barbershop in Mayberry. Oh, did I forget to mention that it's the first week he's been open since NC closed all the barbershops? So, Andy walks in, needing a haircut badly.  "Andy. You need a mask!"  Andy looked at his friend who was wearing a homemade mask with barber poles on it. He sported tan colored la...
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We're Missing an Opportunity

Good morning. I can't be the only person seeing this. In fact, I know I'm not. But, so far, voices are few, weak and far between. I've watched news footage of farmers plowing unharvested crops under because demand is down. Demand is not down ... it's just shifted. I've watched news footage of tanker trucks dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk...
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Nature Proves a Point

A feel good piece on the Today show should demonstrate, in an indisputable way, human impact on the environment. The lack of human activity, factories shut down, aircraft grounded, national park (not just ours) closed and cars parked, has given Nature the opportunity take a deep breath of her own clean air. The air in Wuhan china is 33.7% cleaner t...
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Plato Was Ahead of His Time

 It doesn't much matter, the outcome of the pandemic. The damage to our way of life will be irreversible, regardless. We have all stepped to the other wide of Plato's bonfire and now have new truths. Perhaps we've discovered what really IS important to us, individually and in groups. Did it hurt to stand and talk to your mother with a glass do...
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Coming Together as a Community

I think we are experiencing a change if you will, in the feel of this crisis. The vast majority appear to realize that this isn't someone else's crisis. It isn't funny or a curiosity. And, it's going to touch everyone somehow. But, in that realization, the community is beginning to band together to give from its own resource of talent.  We can...
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Bread and Seclusion

Okay, so I'm staying home. That doesn't mean binging on 'Outlander' or staring at the walls. I had a desire to bake bread; simple and hearty rustic bread. The recipe is 'no knead' and takes less than five minutes from ingredients to rise. It has no milk, eggs, oil or sugar; only flour, yeast, salt and water. And this is half a recipe! You'll even s...
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I'm Defining a New Word

I've decided to create a word based upon an experience this morning. Two boxes appeared on my porch from Amazon. It doesn't matter what I ordered, nor that the delivery was a day early. I received delivery notification on my remote device and retrieved the boxes from the porch. From there I carefully took them to the garage and retreated into the h...
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Memories of Long Ago

One of my fondest memories of food at during my time in the Navy were the hearty breakfasts. There was a quartet of yummy tummy-filling goodness, Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast, Creamed Beef (ground beef) on Toast, Sausage Gravy on Toast and Minced Beef on Toast. Over the years, Linda has perfected the Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast and Sausage Gravy...
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The New Normal

I expect that we are in the midst a paradigm shift as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our world will never quite be the same. For the foreseeable future, handshakes, hugs and other one-on-one greetings will be causes for stress. The new normal may be, who knows, a simple nod of the head? Home delivery and hands-free delivery of nearly any commod...
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Keep it Under Your Hat

It was raining today when I took Linda to Physical Therapy, so I wore my 'rain hat'. It's a soft crush hat that I boughtin 1999 at Walt Disney World. It was raining mice and ducks there that visit and I needed a hat, if only to help keep my glasses clear. But, I digress. Like all tourists, I got a few souvenir pins there. My first was Figment, then...
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Lest We Forget

Our granddaughter, Natalie, now home-schooling like most American kids, has a requirement to keep a journal about these times. I think it's a wonderful idea to keep notes on the big and small of what's happening in the world today. In fact, I recommend that we all keep notes on our observations of the day to day travails during this once-in-a-lifet...
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You can't make this stuff up!

I was outlining and had written the first lines of a story about life after the current pandemic unpleasantness. As the news unfolded, I realized that I couldn't imagine this as fast as it's making its own news. I know that somewhere in California, huddled, alone, trapped in place by gubernatorial decree, writers are grinding out screen plays about...
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Off the Deep End

So, my first post on "Off the Top of My Bald Head" will be about our responses, good and bad, to the current unpleasantness. First, I have enough toilet paper. We can make our own hand sanitizer. My mother taught me how to wash my hands at an early age. And, if the government wants to send me money. I'll take it.  On the other hand, the sky, w...
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