A non-prime time serial…


When I was younger – way younger – and working at perhaps the most fun job I’ve ever had as an “assistant news director” at a CBS affiliate TV station in the Midwest, the other knuckleheads and me got hooked on some inane soap opera over our noon hour.  The show told you just as much as you needed to know about one element of the plot or personalities.  If they told you too much, you’d know too much and you wouldn’t tune in day after day after day.  So when Ursula stepped out on Xavier, we knew all-too-little about the whys and wherefores behind this vixen’s motives.  Such was the stuff of newsroom conjecture.

Sort of the same serial with letters.  As you’ve no doubt noticed (if you’re a regular to this URL), the kids get dripped on week-after-week with a series of short-ish paragraphs on recurring subjects.  If I told them too much about a singular topic in one fell swoop, they’d know too much.  Because the same dreary topics are regular visitors to the pages, the kids can assemble all the disparate parts over a series of weeks into a more complete picture.  At least that’s the theory.

Housekeeping: Craig’s letter was a smash hit last week.  Lots of page views.  My friend Bob in Des Moines suggested that reader’s submit their own letters – along with a synopsis about the note.  Makes sense to me.  If you have letters you want to share, get them to me.

Here’s last week’s letter to Ellen and Reid.  Note the short paragraphs on dreary subjects.  Must be reflective of the dirth of truly momentous doings in my life.

March 8, 2010

Ellen/Reid: It appears my gloom-and-doom forecast about the lettuce seeds remaining unsprouted on the front porch is baseless.  Went out to fetch the paper Saturday morning and – viola! – there were the first little green heads popping up in their dinky little holes.  It took them long enough to reach this point but am glad to see they have persevered through the cold snap.  The temps are forecast to be in the 60s through much of this week so the second round of seeds will be inserted in the pot sometime this week.  No sign yet of weather warm enough to support tomatoes or basil.  Those will wait until the overnight lows don’t dip much below 50F.

My men’s group at church had one of the survivors of U.S. Air 1549 speak to us last week.  It was a pretty harrowing ordeal when they landed in the Hudson River with a thud and a splash.  That would be hell to think about your last possible moments.  But it was a fascinating recount of the final moments of the plane ride.  The pilot-hero of the plane retired last week with fanfare.

I’d like to delve back into Skype if that would be fine with you guys.  Reid, you’ll recall we tried that with mixed results when you were in Finland, and it might be worth another go-round.  It’s tough enough to reach the two of you but I am trying to boldly step forward into the new digital age.  It must mean I have yet to master all the intricacies of my ancient cell phone.

The scale has been granted a tepid approval to reappear in the new bathroom.  But only if it plays nice.  I would be afraid of what it might say if it were a talking version.  No doubt it would call out my weight issues along with sage nutrition advice.  But nevertheless it is going to be dusted off and placed in a corner where the truth will win out every day.

Played golf twice this weekend and it is yet again another reminder that my swing deteriorates to nothingness as the round progresses.  I can start out like a house on fire but my attention span and inspiration really wane with each succeeding hole.  It is the driver that is causing most of the woe; the swing gets way too long and way too lazy to support good scoring.  Reid, best get your carcass down here soon so you can help me navigate things around the course.  Got a couple of goodies for us to play.

Had some friends from church over Friday night and it was more proof that there are still polite people in the world.  I made them wait – and wait – for dinner while I fumbled with the recipe and the cooking.  This is where wine comes in.  My theory is that the longer you make them wait and the more you ply them with vino, the better they think the meal will be even if that is the furthest thing from the truth.  We had ‘low country boil’ which is code for boiled potatoes, shrimp, sausage and corn on the cob.  In the hands of a capable cook, it can be quite good.  In the hands of the lesser culinary light, it can be something less.  This was something less.  When you guys trundle down this way, we will try it again.

The battery on the bike is on the fritz.  It needs a ton of TLC because it hasn’t had any these last few months.  Oil change, transmission fluid change, new battery and plugs, it all needs to be done and done soon.  The brine is off the roads so that lessens the potential from chrome-chewing salt.  I’ve not really looked forward to riding for whatever reasons, but the warming temps are stirring the juices just a little bit.  The problem is riding season clashes head-on with golf season.  I probably need to find some sort of middle ground.

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