Family tradition(s)

Yesterday I had the day off and did some family things with my daughters. We leveled my wife’s parents’ refrigerator, which a friend and I had delivered to them recently and which had been rocking. I tipped it back and Beta screwed one leg (of the refrigerator) out until it was the right length to make the fridge level. I changed a lock at the inlaws’.
Stuff like that.
Then we drove to the girls’ place where I drilled holes in the concrete wall (in order to bracket a bookshelf to the wall) with my new impact drill, which I bought a while ago after my old drill died in a shower of sparks while trying to drill holes in a concrete wall.
We had lunch. Then we briefly strolled to the bookstore, which this year was voted (I don’t know by whom) the best bookstore in the country.
We went in and the manager either recognized us or is just a nice guy. We asked him for coffee and he made us some. We fanned out and started filling up on books. This is one of the family traditions the title of this post refers to. When we collectively visit a bookstore, it is more of a raid than shopping. We fan out and meet at the cash register at closing time, arms full, no two books the same.
I only planned to buy two books but the manager started telling me about good books so I got six, then I saw the new David Sedaris book so I got seven, then two for my wife, then I ordered another one for her, after consulting with the manager again. He didn’t ask my name when processing the order, so I suppose he really did recognize us. Since I stopped buying anything through Amazon I order all my books from him and Beta or Gamma pick them up for me.
Then we left and I carried my loot to the car, and my drilling gear, and forgot one more fatherly task I had planned to do, and went on a date with Alpha, to celebrate the 38th anniversary of our first kiss. Alpha wore a dirndl and we went to a Japanese restaurant that was okay. It has received good reviews but served modern sort of fusion food based on Japanese cuisine, too many spices and mayonnaise for our taste, and the service was a little too attentive in our opinion, but it’s always nice to go on a date with Alpha.
Then we went to bed early because we’re trying to sleep 8 hours at night. And we both had dreams, which is unusual for a work night.

Cultural criticism

Which onea you fuckers
peed on my phone
on the kitchen table last night?
When I picked it up this morning
it swished not swiped
It’s a miracle it still works
I don’t wanna know who it was
Just don’t let it happen again
or I’ll i don’t know what.
not that I’ll forget so quick,
whenever I pick it up to
check likes on Instagram
it smells like betrayal

Roast something with poached apples, a recipe

First poach the apples. Today it worked liked this: along the creek where we took a walk there are various wild fruit trees including pear, quince and in larger numbers apples. I don’t know who they belong to, I assume the farmers who own the fields bordering the creek. We filled our pockets with the apples.
Back at home we got the roast ready. You can roast whatever you have. We had ground beef so I made a meatloaf by chopping up some old bread, adding milk and an egg to it, as well as salt, pepper, garlic, mint, and a little sage. And the ground beef. I put that in a roasting pan and added the apples (cored and wormed but not peeled) and some sweet potatoes (peeled and quartered). I had planned to add potatoes but the potatoes had gone bad. Some were rotten, one was green and a couple had an attitude. Chopped up a couple small onions, added a little vegetable broth and a little dry white wine. Put the pan into the oven for an hour at 200 degrees celsius.
In the last few minutes I added a few sage leaves I had forgotten to add earlier.
Then we ate it. It made six portions, so we ate one portion each (there were three of us) and I packed 3 portions for later.

As weak as possible

George R.R. Martin is quoted as saying, “The more people you love, the weaker you are.”
But thanks to the power of the Internet, I — and now you — now know it was in fact Cersei Lannister.
Question everything, kids.
When I was a kid, I read the bible and a part that impressed me was the statement, “…God is love…”
(1 John 4:7-21 — FYI to put it in context here is a longer bit containing that “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”)
Anyway, “God is love” stuck with me and although I have been very bad at loving in general I do believe deeply that we are here to love everything, and that everything is beautiful and loveable in one way or another, from the right angle, perhaps with certain exceptions that you are probably already thinking about, and that there is beauty in everything, and that this world is abundant and generous and that the point is to do everything in a loving way from a position of love and generosity and gratitude and wonder. That the point is to love as much as possible, which is to say, to be as weak and vulnerable as possible.
Not to seek strength out of fear, but to abandon strength; not to seek dominion over nature or others, by bowing down to an authority figure or authoritarian system but to open your heart.
And above all, not to waste a single dime on a fucking dumbshit Space Force WTF people seriously.

Handy Household Hint

Dear Mig,
Silver nitrate solution sloshed out of my dipper tank the last time I was making wetplate collodion photographs in my backyard and by the time I noticed I had dripped a trail of photosensitive heavy metal solution down the cellar stairs, across the big room in the cellar into my workshop, which exposure to ultraviolet light was rapidly turning black. What should I do?
Sincerely, Photosensitive Heavy Metal Solution Stainer Dude

Dear PHMSSD,
Easy peasy. Take some sodium thiosulfate fixer solution, wet a paper towel and use that to wipe it up. Wear gloves, because I think I remember hearing it’s carcinogenic. Works like magic on tiles. Pets and carpet, not so much I figure. Under no circumstances use cyanide fixer, because that contains cyanide and will kill you. And safety goggles, because silver nitrate in the eyes will blind you. And remember this is time-sensitive: you must get it all cleaned up before your wife notices, or she will ask you to finally get all these funky chemicals out of the house and into storage somewhere with better fire insurance.
Regards, Mig

Can I have a cui bono?

Me: Whenever crazy shit, or stupid shit, or baffling shit, or shit in general, happens, I always ask myself, who is this good for?
Kid: Cui bono.
Kid: Cicero.
Me: I’m not the first one to think of that?
Kid: Uh uh.
Me: But I did think of it.
Kid: You did.
Kid: But.
Me: Why is it, everything that happens benefits either Putin or the Koch Brothers.
Kid: Beware…
Me: Or both.
Kid: Of nutty…
Me: Trump is nothing but a big red herring…
Kid: …conspiracy theories.
Me: …for the klept.
Kid: Quod erat demonstrandum.

Love, a play in one act. One scene, actually

Curtains open to reveal a kitchen.
Man: Dude, are you fucking your lettuce?
Tortoise: What? No.
Man: Cause it looks like it.
Tortoise: Erk, erk, erk.
(Woman enters)
Woman: Good morning.
Man: Good morning. Would you like a cup of coffee?
Woman: Sure.
(Woman sits down at table)
Woman: Is the tortoise stuck on his lettuce?
Man: That’s what I thought at first. Remember when he was little and he tried to walk over a leaf of lettuce and it rolled up into a cigar and he got high-centered on top of it?
Man: Here’s your coffee.
Man: But he doesn’t appear to be stuck this time, strictly speaking.
Man: I mean, I think it’s optional.
Tortoise: Erk, erk, erk.