I know what’s wrong with America now:  We don’t make useful notes.

A short story to illustrate the point.

As promised, I baked bread Saturday.  While it was on the wire rack cooling, Elaine and I stepped into the “180-room.”  That’s our room, made out of mostly recycled windows, where we can see at least 180-degrees of view.  Maybe I had a cold adult beverage, too.  It was hot in the kitchen baking the bread, after all.  Break-time for “cheffy.”

(Continues below)


While we were reviewing one thing and another,  Elaine came up with a damn-fine idea for an article.

“Hold that thought, darling.  I’ll just grab a piece of paper and write it down as a topic in the Coping section…”

Fast-forward 24-hours.  Now, I look at the note:

I have no idea on earth what it means.  I do remember thinking “Great topic.  I will just tear a sheet of paper out of Ure printer and write it down…”  But, as the scrawls reveal, the pen didn’t work.

The damn pens NEVER work when you need them for something important.

Off to Elaine’s desk and back with a fresh pen.  Which is why the scribble.  I even remember looking at the note “Oh, I can remember the THAT easy…

Except Sunday morning it was gone.  Just some Sanskrit.

Elaine had no idea, either.  Shot of OJ, a morning stack of vitamins, coffee, coconut oil and fish oil…and 20-minutes later?  Still nothing.

Except for the obligatory spousal “This is Ure hare-brain deal, not mine…” look.

So, Our first point of the week?

Especially if you have had an adult beverage, remember to make notes that will make sense the next day.  I flunked this one.  Badly.  Wasn’t even buzzed.  Just not fully present.

Looking back, I’m sure that’s what separates us from the Warren Buffetts of the world.  They probably take good notes.  Even after 8-hours of work and 4-hours of baking on my first glass of Italian vitamins, this should have been cake.

Life ReviewI should have saved, oh, maybe 50 cocktail napkins in my life.  I could be rich, have my Nobel Prize by now, and been on the front cover of People at least twice….who knows?  But I take notes that only make sense until the pen’s put down.

Then?  POOF!

Woefully deficient note-taking is one of my few downfalls.

America would not need to be “made great again” if cocktail napkins only accepted whole words and complete thoughts.  Or, if I’d thought to use the “Alexa take a note” command.

It’s all so horribly obvious on Mondays.

Spare Time This Morning?

We might as well be on a different planet.  Time moving from “daylight” to “unleaded” (God’s time) leaves us with extra time to waste before wasting it at work.

Some ideas how?  Sure, since you asked…

  1. Take a new way to work.
  2. Stop and eat a nice breakfast out at a place you’ve never been before.
  3. Play with the dog or cat.
  4. Try training goldfish.
  5. Sit on the throne and read something.  If your legs go to sleep, find shorter articles.
  6. Work out.  (*This will circle back to #4 with enough treadmill time.)
  7. Post a learned comment to a website.
  8. Clean the coffee pot before work, not after.
  9. Run a load of laundry.
  10. Learn to iron.
  11. Ask Alexa to read to you.  Ask Siri  — if you’re an Apple- or two -a-day type.
  12. Make breakfast in bed for your partner.  (Elaine won’t let me since I try to bring the camp stove and toaster to bed…)
  13. Vacuum.  Monday sucks, right?
  14. Make plans to have lunch with a friend or spousal unit.
  15. Trim your nose and ear hairs.
  16. Sweep the front walk.
  17. Cut your nails and buff them.
  18. Polish your shoes.  This is fun with running shoes, in particular.
  19. Take the garbage out.
  20. Check your tire pressures on the way to work.  You know the formula for tire pressure and hydroplaning, right?

21.  Write a Winter Driving Tip

I wasn’t just a-kidding about the tire pressure and hydroplaning. All pilots know this stuff, but since an hour won’t get you soloed, let’s get in one useful lesson that will increase your odds of what?  (“UrbanSurvival!!!”)

As the FAA explains in one of its publications:

” Data obtained during hydroplaning tests have shown the minimum dynamic hydroplaning speed (VP) of a tire to be 8.6 times the square root of the tire pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). For an airplane with a main tire pressure of 24 pounds, the calculated hydroplaning speed would be approximately 42 knots. “

Since I will send a “winter safety bulletin” to my kids about this, let’s see what the difference is between 28 Lbs. and 34 Lbs. of tire pressure:

At 28 Lbs. we get 5.29 X 8.6 = 45.5 knots..

Since you could have learned the conversion from knots to MPH (knots X 1.151= MPH close enough) with all the spare time this morning, it means 52.37 MPH is a fair guess at hydroplaning speed with 28 Lbs. of pressure.

However, 34 Lbs. means 5.831 X 8.6 or 50.14 knots which pencils to 57.72 MPH.

Now, this may not seem like a lot of difference, but let’s say you are driving down the road at 57 MPH and the bozo in front nails his/her/it/thems/whatevers’s brakes.

Since you are slightly under hydroplaning speed, you shouldn’t smack into his back bumper.  But brace, because if the person behind you doesn’t have their tires adjusted to winter/wet driving, you might get whiplash.

Bad news?

Oh, no!  Not really.  Cops will generally cite the person hitting the back-end for following too close.

Three ways to avoid this?

  1. Become a drug dealer so you don’t get stuck in traffic.  There is an upside to irregular hours.
  2. Install a small GE or Rolls jet engine on the roof and keep it spooled  up.  Then car-pool with a flight-engineer and have them ready to hit thrust reversers.  This will insure a rear-ender and a big insurance settlement if you survive the fire.
  3. Get old quick and retire.  Then you won’t have to travel, except under ideal conditions.  Exception:  Blizzard Bingo tournaments.  But, some things can’t be helped.

Or, become a writer…

How Much Bread?

Hardly any in writing anymore.  But, Saturday bread-making was perfect.  Nice, crunchy crust, but not quite light enough for me.

Elaine loved it though – and honestly it was about the texture of the “salt rising bread” I remember from the first half of the last century.

Next time, I will let it rise longer.  But you know how impatience works?  Well, I don’t have time to tell you…

Write when you get rich,


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