Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2017

Archive for the category “Habits”

Blinded By Science!

THERE IS NEWS…AND THEN THERE IS NEWS.  The following doesn’t really qualify as any kind of news above a 7 pt. font.

Flash from the PBS NewsHour of January 3, 1914:

“Dogs poop in alignment with Earth’s magnetic field, study finds.”

How’s that for a headline?

This thunderbolt of journalism comes about as result of a study published in a journal called “Frontiers in Zoology” – not an item currently found on our coffee table.

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I Need A Time-Out

AS DAYS GO TODAY STARTED OUT LOOKING TO BE A GOOD ONE. The rains had stopped, the car got a free washing courtesy of “God’s Car Wash”, and I think I saw the sun trying to peek through the clouds.

According to the Weather Bunny on the TV today is supposed to be a dry day. I’m glad because later I’ll have to drag the recycling bin down to the curb for pickup later today.

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How Was Your Morning?

HUMAN BEINGS ARE THE CRAZIEST PEOPLE – and I think I know the zaniest of the bunch. They follow me.

I lived in California for 25 years – the world’s largest open-air asylum, and to put the frosting on that, I resided in San Francisco – Ground Zero for weird.

After all those years in California I moved to Indiana. Terre Haute (That’s French for “We’re gentle people aside from the Meth.”) is the Peoria of the Midwest with good, solid, hard working people who don’t wallow around in being nutty. If this is so why am I sitting next to a guy who would make San Francisco move to another table?

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Temporal Dyslexia

WE ARE NOW INTO DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME AND I’M HOPEFUL. Technically speaking I lost an hour of sleep in the shift from Daylight Wasting Time or whatever it’s called. That change took place last Fall and even though I supposedly gained an hour all it did was screw up my life.

For years, decades even, my internal alarm clock woke me up at 7 AM. –Everyday. Each and every work day, Monday through Friday. It was a reliable alarm clock, even though it never did pick up on the trick that Weekends, Holidays, and Vacations didn’t require such diligence. I adjusted.

Everything cruised along as smooth as the sales pitch of a guy selling time-shares in Heaven…until last Fall.

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Have A Cookie

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THERE ARE DAYS WHEN I SIT DOWN TO WRITE for the blog and I haven’t got the foggiest idea where it’s going – like today. It has been a busy and tiring week and I’m currently operating on one lobe.

Nothing has leapt off the pages of the newspaper. Nothing odd, bizarre, or just plain funny has trotted across the landscape in front of me.

Some days are like that.

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Albert Einstein Meets The Bowery Boys

einstein 1IT SEEMS THAT EVERY DAY THERE IS A NEW INVENTION OR DISCOVERY that changes the world. I recently saw that scientists have discovered proof of “Gravitational Waves” that were mathematically theorized by Albert Einstein decades ago.

While that may rattle the tea cups of the scientific world, it really doesn’t impact our daily lives. Gravitational Waves are something on a Cosmic scale that may, at some date in the future, affect how or where people live. But, so far, it doesn’t alter what I’m having for lunch today.Einstein 5

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I’ll Try My Best In 2016

Resolutions 1THIS TIME NEXT WEEK SANTA WILL BE BACK IN A BOX until next Thanksgiving. The rumor that he heads to Boca right after Christmas is just that. As soon as the cookies are eaten the old guy heads back into storage.

Now is the time to look forward. Pick up one of the new pens that stuffed a stocking, grab a piece of paper and get down to it. It is time to start making those dreaded New Year Resolutions. It should be easy. We’ve all been making the same ones over and over for decades. We could probably skip the pen and paper altogether and just recite last year’s list.

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I’m A Rebel – Honest, I Am

creatureofhabitIF SOMEONE, SOMEDAY, decides to write my biography it will be the dullest book ever written.

I admit it – I am not a very exciting person. I move slowly – even more so in cold, rainy weather like today and my brain is marginally creative, operating as it does within the boundaries normally occupied by an 11 year old boy.

And I am a creature of habit.

It’s not that I don’t like change or that I am afraid to try anything new – it is that if I find something I like or that works for me I see no need to change. That can make for some very snore inducing days for those nearby.

I was reminded of my predictability this afternoon when I stopped by the Chapel at St. Arbucks to come up with about 500 – 700 words for this blog.

I pulled the Toyota into the same gimp spot that I have pulled into for years. I walked up to the counter to place my order and the young barista beats me to the punch, saying, “Venti Green tea, iced tea, unsweetened.”

“Yup.”

I handed her my fancy-schmancy St. Arbucks card as she adds, “In the mornings you order iced coffee and in the afternoons you order iced tea.”

“Yup.”

That pretty much sums it up. I’m a coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon kind of guy. That gal has me pegged accurately.

What would happen if I broke with tradition and ordered the tea in the morning and the coffee after lunch? Would lions lay down with the lambs? Would dogs begin to consort with cats? Would the Chicago Cubs put together a winning season?

It’s hard to tell. Maybe something – maybe nothing.

I find that there is a certain comfort in my regularity. It cuts down on my decision making time allowing me extra moments for quiet reflection on the world at large. It certainly speeds things up at St. Arbucks. There are mornings when I walk through the door and my iced coffee is already sitting on the counter waiting for me. They see me pull into the parking lot and they put it together. There have actually been a few days when more than one barista has seen me coming and there are two coffees waiting for me.

“No extra charge. Consider it your free refill.”

The only variation in this morning ritual comes about when there is someone new at the register. I give them my order and then, per their recent training, they ask me my name.

“My name is Spartacus.”

“My name is Chuck Finley.”

“My name is Heisenberg.”

I try to mix it up for them. Most days when I do that one of the experienced baristas will blow my cover.

“Don’t listen to him. His name is John.”

See? Even when I try to break out of my habitual rut somebody pulls the rug out from underneath me.

On most Friday evenings my wife, the lovely and more diversified Dawn, and I have dinner with a couple of friends. We always go to the same restaurant and sit at the same table. When it comes time for me to place my order someone will speak up for me. They are invariably correct.

A few weeks ago I surprised them all and changed my order. I said, “I’ll have what she’s having.” It was a change, but just a small one because she ordered what I usually do – but I asked for raisin toast instead of rye.

I’m a rebel.

As I write this I am seated in my usual chair at St. Arbucks. Beside my computer is my Venti, green tea, iced tea, but I set it on the left side of the table this time.

I’m trying, people. I’m trying.

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