Monday, November 20, 2017


My favorite tree--the ginkgo--has shed its leaves and the yard is a field of gold.  Looking out the window, I began singing Fields of Gold, substituting "ginkgo" rather than Sting's intended "barley".

My brother said, "You know, lying in the golden barley sounds much more entrancing rather than lying in the ginkgo."  I answered, "The ginkgo would smell so much better."  He wondered, "Where would you find a field of barley to check?"

I realized that I knew little about barley, other than it is very healthful and I like it in soup.  After reading several sites about barley, I plan to add more barley dishes to our menus, but definitely not lie in it.

Listen to Sting:

"Will you stay with me, will you be my love?
Among the fields of barley?
We'll fight the sun in his jealous sky,
As we lie in fields of gold."

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Recently, on a Columbus weather report, the meteorologist described graupel as "the wintry precipitation term you've never heard of" and told that it is also known as "soft hail" and "snow pellets".

Although I have seen graupel, it is indeed a new word for me. The National Weather Service (see chart below) defines graupel as "small pellets of ice created when super-cooled water droplets coat (or rime), a snowflake".  Graupel pellets are cloudy or white, not clear like sleet.


Saturday, November 18, 2017


Mentioning the movie Breaking Away in the Eenie Foods article, I recalled the following article from Sue's News in 2010:

                                   BREAKING AWAY

On an airplane trip my seat mate and I began talking; we learned that we both loved movies.

He asked if I had seen the movie Breaking Away and I answered that it was on my Top Ten List for the year.  He asked if I remembered the scene with the bicycle following behind a semi.  I answered, "You mean the Peterbilt truck?" He asked, "You noticed WHAT kind of truck?  I laughed and said, "I BUILD trucks!" He asked, "Did you notice WHAT kind of bicycle?" I said, "I thought it was an Italian one." He laughed and said, "I DESIGNED that bicycle!" He also told me that he was a technical adviser on the movie. I told him that I'd always loved the movie's tag line: "Somewhere between growing up and settling down.".

If you have never watched the movie, it is worth renting or you can borrow it from me. It's a coming-of-age story set in Bloomington, Indiana, where the local kids, called the "Cutters" (because of the limestone quarries there), are in competition with the Indiana University bicycling team in a bicycle race called the Little 500.  The hero, Dave, is completely enamored of the Italian bicycle racing team and pretends he's Italian. In rankings of "sports movies" this gem is always ranked in the Top 10.

My fellow passenger and I discussed the various "continuity" problems we had noticed in the movie and he and I became very competitive in naming them:

MINE: The scene where Dave is drafting the truck, he passes fields of corn at least 6' tall; as the Little 500 is held in early spring, it's doubtful the corn in Indiana would've been that tall.

HIS: In the Little 500 race the bicycles are single-speed with a coaster brake and small gear wheel on the rear hub. In close-ups the upper and lower halves of the chain are parallel.

MINE: A microphone was visible when Dave was talking to his parents in the dining room.

HIS: When Dave was drafting behind the semi, his bike is on the small chain-ring and he is traveling at more than 50 mph. An earlier shot shows him in the large chain-ring behind the semi.

MINE: After falling from his bike, Dave's shirt is dirty, but when he finishes minutes later, it is clean.

HIS: When passing the semi, the entire crew is reflected in the truck's bumper.

MINE: After Dave shaves his legs, he is at the quarry later with hairy legs.

HIS: When Dave first collides with another bike during the race, he has blood and dirt on his leg; when he gets into the pit area there's no dirt or blood on his leg.

I told him that since he had designed the bicycle, he had a "TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE" over me.

We then repeated some of our favorite lines from the movie:

MINE: When Dave's mother serves zucchini and his dad said he didn't want any "Eenie" food. She said she got it at the A and P and he said "I know Eenie food when I hear it; zucchini, linguine, fettuccine. I want American food like French fries."

HIS: When Cyril asked Dave if he was really going to shave his legs and Dave said "Certo; all the Italians do it." and Mike answered that the Italian women didn't shave theirs.

MINE: When Dave's dad says, "I don't care if the second coming's coming!"

MINE: When Dave genuflects his mother said, "Dave, this doesn't mean you're turning Catholic, does it?"

He said I had the "TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE" over him on dialogue.

Friday, November 17, 2017


In yesterday's article I referenced that I had 14 boxes of different pasta in my cupboard.

The following is from Sue's News 2010:


When I was telling Agnes, a fellow Water Aerobics member, that I wanted orecchiette but could not find any locally, she told me that she had some at home and she would bring it to me.  At the next class, she gave me an unopened package of orecchiette.   Agnes is of Italian descent and she told me that orecchiette means "little ears" in Italian.

I told Agnes that I had quite a number of different  pastas in my cupboard and I counted them:  spaghetti; macaroni, farfalle, penne rigate, rigatoni, mostaccioli, fettuccine, canneloni, rotini, rainbow rotini, trucioli, ditalini, pasta rings, and stars.  

She asked why I had so many and I told her I make a pasta dish once a week because cooked tomatoes are heart-healthy products and although all the pastas made from semolina, the taste is different because of the absorbency of the different shapes of the different pastas. 

I realized that I have all those pastas because I could remember my mother telling, how, during the Depression, she had gotten some macaroni and she had to pick out the "weevils" to be able to cook it and that's all that she and my brother Bode had to eat for the day.  I oftentimes say that although I hadn't actually lived during the Depression, I felt as if I did because I heard about it every day.

I do tend to go overboard;  Les will make a list of what NOT to buy until we have room for it.  When I brought the orecchiette home, he wailed, "ENOUGH ALREADY;  we have enough pasta for 10 years!"

Thursday, November 16, 2017


A client said that he'd had a delicious meal the previous evening and that there were leftovers in the refrigerator and he would like to have the same for lunch. I asked what it was and he said, "It was kinda like spaghetti, only thinner; something with Alfredo sauce." 

I asked, "Angel hair?" He answered, "No, that's not it!"

I continued, "Spaghettini, Spaghettoni?" He answered, "No, it's not a spaghetti name, but I'll know it if you say it." I said, "Canalini, Fedelini, Bucetini, Cappelini." 

He said, "No, that's not it!" I kept guessing: "Bigoli, Vermicelli, Bavette." He replied, "No, that's not it."

Finally, I said, "I'll go look in the fridge!" 

I went to his refrigerator. It was LINGUINE! I said, "Oh, that's flat like trenette and fettuccine, NOT like spaghetti." He asked, "How do you know so many pastas?" I said, "Well, I have 14 different boxes of pasta in my pantry with different shapes and sizes." He said, "You know how many boxes you have?", he asked, with a note of disbelief.  I told him I had counted them recently because of another conversation about pasta.

I giggled to myself, remembering a scene from one of my favorite movies Breaking Away:

The movie centers around a group of friends who enter a bicycle race in Bloomington, Indiana, and one of the boys is obsessed with everything Italian and his mother accommodates him by cooking Italian meals. His father reacts with this marvelous speech:

"I know I-tey food when I hear it; it's all them eenie foods--zucchini, linguine and fettuccine. I want some American food, dammit, I want French fries."

As we fix pasta at least once a week, Les or I will invariably enact the following shtick:  one will mention "eenie food" and the other will say, "I want American food.....". 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


From The Huffington Post:

In recent weeks, scores of men and women have
come forward with stories of facts of sexual violence
perpetrated by prominent people.  Allegations against
Harvey Weinstein opened the 
floodgates; now actor Kevin Spacey, comedian
Louis C.K., Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore
and others have also now joined that ignominious list.
On Saturday, Roy Moore defended himself against
allegations of sexual misconduct by ― surprise,
surprise ―attacking his victim. In defense of himself, 
he said, “To think that grown women would wait
 40 years... to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable.”

See complete article below:


Roy Moore: "To think that grown women would wait 40 years... to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable"
Twitter Ads info and privacyBut actually, waiting decades to report is not at all
I, like many victims, took decades to find the courage to
name my abuser and seek justice for the crimes he 
committed when I was a child. Many victims either never
disclose or wait years to share their stories.
Perpetrators and their allies undermine victims’ credibility
and impugn their character.

If you own a TV, read the newspaper, or have an Internet
connection, you have seen how victims are portrayed in
the media when they come forward.The community often
rallies around the perpetrator and pillories the victim.

If you have ever interacted with a victim or supporters of 
an alleged perpetrator, you have probably witnessed this.
Predators groom individuals and entire communities so 
that they gain the trust of victims and so that they have
convenient “good guy” cover in place in case they are 

Victims face a barrage of questions when they 
come forward instead of the sympathy and support they 
need. Why didn’t you speak out sooner? Why didn’t you 
try to stop the attacks? These questions add to the 
trauma and horror of sexual violence. 

Victims sometimes have kept in touch with their 
perpetrators. Maybe they continued dating, working 
together, or interacting politely at family events. 
Continued contact with a perpetrator is also very 
common. Often 
this factor alone keeps victims trapped in silence.
Not reporting allows a victim to maintain the fantasy
that people in positions of responsibility would be
helpful if he or she did report. 

Reporting often crushes that fantasy when responsible 
people protect themselves and the perpetrator instead. 
lot of victims prefer you create an alternate reality, 
one in which the abuse didn’t happen. 

If a victim is hiding  behind a facade of success, 
competence, and achievement, admitting past abuse 
can shatter that facade. Being the victim of sexual
violence is highly stigmatized. No high-functioning 
person wants to be viewed as damaged. Victims find
it easier to pretend to be normal and live a lie than 
face the horror of sexual abuse and trauma.Victims 
often fear that coming forward will result in the loss 
of  employment, support network, housing, 
reputation,and even their lives. 

Victims involved in athletics and extra-curricular 
activities may fear loss of playing time and access to
important opportunities.  

Some victims simply don’t remember. I had suppressed 
the memories of my abuse and still do not have linear
memories of it. In the case of child sexual abuse (and 
oftentimes abuse of adults), reporting can disrupt 
every relationship important to the victim. Family 
members and friends choose the easier narrative: that 
the victim is lying. Believing someone has lied is easier
than believing that a loved one has raped a child. 

Victims might not know who to tell. Do you tell a friend? 
A pastor? The police? Since sexual violence is 
shrouded in a code of silence, sometimes the 
impediment to timely reporting is that victims literally
do not know what to do. 

Some may not even realize initially they have been a 
victim of sexual violence in the first place.Some victims
are under the mistaken impression that you cannot 
report at all if you do not report immediately.Some 
victims tried to report and were told there was no 
recourse. In some cases, victims disclosed to allies of
the perpetrator who told them not to tell anyone else, 
further fortifying the prison of silence. Who would take 
the risk and report again after that? 

Victims may have been committed a crime or infraction 
of rules around the time of the crime. Underage victims
who have been drinking at a party, for example, could 
fear getting in trouble and decide it is not worth the 
risk of reporting the sexual assault.

Naming an act of sexual violence makes it real. 
Keeping silent is a way of protecting oneself.The victim 
feels indebted to the perpetrator. For example, if the
victim is an elite athlete, he or she may feel as if she
owes the coach his or her silence.

Child victims may have been under the  misguided 
impression that they were in a consensual 
relationship with a much older person. In this case, it
can take a long time to realize that the “relationship” 
was actuallya sexual crime.