“Where’s the beef?”…

Ol’ Clara really took corporate skimping to task in that classic Wendy’s TV spot (ah, the Golden Age of Advertising).

The same has been asked of me: do you ever deviate from single paragraphs to beefier single topics?  The short answer is ‘yes’.  The longer answer takes a bit more explanation.

Years ago it occurred to me that teenage attention spans being what they are, maybe it was better to cover a lot of little things in brief.  For better or worse, that formula has seemed to work.  But to be blunt with you, there are topics I have addressed in length: divorce, a relocation, grandparent’s health (and recalcitrance), to name a few.  At some point you will see some of those painful letters.

A little housekeeping.  The mushrooms that “rocked my fiscal world” are on full display in the original cell phone photo if you scroll to the February 3 post.  Housekeeping II: all letters are now shown on the same page as the post to save you a few unnecessary clicks.  Housekeeping III: if you think this blog is worth its salt, would you mind passing it along to 1-2-3 friends for whom the e-world is not the be-all, end-all of communication?

Finally, here is today’s letter to my parents, including a sordid update on yesterday’s physical.  “Turn left and…”

February 19, 2010

Mom and Dad: In view of the punky weather we’ve had, I have barred weather forecasters from joining my golf group.  They have done us no favors this winter and their exclusion is their punishment.  But it looks in the upper 50s tomorrow, so maybe their ban will be temporary if they play nice, forecast-wise.

Other than the turn-left-and-cough and bend-over-and-spread-‘em instructions, my self-imposed annual physical yesterday went pretty well.  A clean bill of health for the most part.  My doc chewed on me about seeing a dermatologist, and he’s thinking of putting me on cholesterol medication even though my numbers are borderline but he wants to see the latest blood workups first.  He mandated I get two shots on the spot (on the shoulders actually) for H1N1 and for shingles, which I guess is the adult version of measles.  He’s a young guy and says I’m in good shape for my age – another allusion to the 60-plus crowd.  Geez, I can’t escape it.

Bought me some romaine seeds the other day at Lowe’s, partly because I want lettuce and partly because it will at least mentally speed the onset of spring.  In the next week or so they will go into a shallow but wide pot on the front porch.  I’ll practice the old square foot gardening philosophy of poking a hole 3” apart in all directions so the pot is completely filled with lettuce.  On my oath I promise to faithfully use Miracle Gro to bulk things up.  Potting soil seems to wear out pretty quickly.  In an amazing turn of gardening events, the parsley on the front porch has outlasted the winter.  It looks frozen solid only to spring to life when the sun hits.  It’s not an annual, it’s a perennial.

Dad, by now you have no doubt marked all the typos in my church newsletter, and if you have done so, you need something better to do with your time.  I will personally come up there and throttle you.  I do think you guys ought to start – no, not start, but finish – thinking about another living situation.  I really do.  One of the best things Kathy’s mom ever did was ditch the house and go to assisted living.  It has made a world of difference for her, and you guys should do the same.  I volunteer to come up there and help rid the house of stuff and get it on the market.  Okay?

The apocalypse is upon us, or at least it is upon South Carolina.  They have a ditz in office who hosted – this is totally without exaggeration – a shoot-‘em-up fundraiser to show his arch-conservatism.  The Observer’s headline was “D’Annunzio hosts machine gun social” whereby for $25 you could fire Uzis and other weapons “until the ammo runs out.”  What lunacy is this?  We’ve got, or he’s got, bigger fish to fry.

The kids seem good.  Ellen is buying new dining room chairs, and there has not been a Reid sighting in a couple of weeks which I interpret to be good news.  His nose is to the grindstone, where it should be.  Come to think of it, that’s where mine should be, too.


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