Friday, December 26, 2008

Teaching a Senior Dog New Tricks

[William Blake - The Ancient of Days. HaShem designs His creation. Notice the inverted 'Y' of the Arm and the arms of the compass. A cosmological hint?]

Just when I had assumed that I had accomplished every kind of folly open to the pedestrian, I have discovered yet more.

While I have been ill I have spent tens of hours in bed. Upon getting up I discovered each time that my lower abdomen was ache-y and painful, sometimes dreadfully so. After an hour or two of activity the pain and ache subsided. So I came to assume that my joints were deteriorating badly and collecting fluid while I slept. And that activity temporarily diminished the swelling. Or maybe it was nerves about the economy.

Yesterday I remembered how well I had slept during last summer's bicycle trip, with only a thin inflatable camping mattress between me and the ground. As an experiment I slept on the Thermarest on the floor in the parlor. It turns out it's not the economy stupid, it's the mattress.

Every single person who has ever examined that mattress has told me it is too hard. I ignored them. Amazingly, they were right. Even more amazingly, I was wrong.

Another example of learning what everyone else already knew --
A 2 for 1 sale on a well-known brand of wine at Safeway. Two arguments. One is that they just had more of that particular vintage than they thought they could sell at full price. Alternately, they have already tasted it and are dumping it. On the theory that the wine glass was half-full I bought two bottles. The wine glass turned out to be half-empty.

Later I was making a stir-fry of a sliced onion, then sliced beef stew meat, and soy sauce. Then I remembered the wine. I added it on the theory it couldn't hurt. A revelation! It was great.

Then I remembered that I have seen wives and girlfriends cooking with wine since forever. Groceries sell cooking wine. Cooks have been cooking with bad wine as long as there has been bad wine. Really bad wine is vinegar and is also used. Only now did anyone tell me.

Tune in tomorrow for my discovery of what to drink with pretzels.

Merry Christmas to you too item:
I picked up the mail yesterday and found this delightful lump of coal in my stocking. The State Franchise Tax Board is demanding I pay them $36,569 for the 2005 tax year. They seem to have started with their final notice and demand. Arnold must have gone down there and told them to dust off every old file they could find. They found mine.

The twist here is that 2005 was a year of easy money when I could have easily paid it. Now it is more than I will live on this year unless the tourist rental business pans out, and perhaps even if it does.

My theory is that the first letter in the tetragrammaton, the name of G_d, stands for Yrony.


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