Item: The wooden rocking chair in my living room rocks more and more these days. But there’s no ghost sitting in it. It’s my wife’s male cat, whom I call Stirfry, resting a paw on the right back runner. I think he’s discovered that he can move what is to him a large object with just a gentle push, the chair is so well balanced. It used to be, when he was a teen cat, he sometimes fought behind that chair with his sister; ears back, tails twitching, they rose up and jumped into each other, and I wish I could have recorded it on my phone because it looked to me like Feline Sumo Wrestling. They ran into the rocker and made it move. And when they were still kittens, they would jump on and off the chair too fast for me to see them from the corner of my eye. So there are no spirits in the house, and certainly, nothing haunting the rocking chair. Years from now when the cats are gone, and if the chair seems to rock by itself, I will explore the real cause. But it won’t be due to ghost cats.
Item: How did ancient peoples, like Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans, trim their toenails? Never seen that tool displayed in museums along with those very cumbersome-looking blades for shaving. Fingernails are easy, just bite them. And prehumans wore their nails down from foraging, I guess, digging for tubers in dirt and climbing trees for fruit, and running across savannas, as well as scouring the shoreline sediments of oceans, lakes, and rivers. My theory is that toenails grow faster when they’re not threatened by the environment. Bare feet and open-toed sandals slow their growth, while shoes trick the translucent keratin nail plates, anatomically know as corpus unguis (I found that when I was looking up how to spell keratin) into growing more quickly. Hmm, sounds like a long-term experiment I’m not sure I want to try.
Item: Mid last summer I attended a barbeque at my daughter and son-in-law’s house and they had several games set up in the backyard. One was called Cornhole. The object of the game is to throw a small, square bag (which I guess is full of dried kernels of corn, and thus the name?) into a hole in the middle of a board that’s angled about twelve degrees off the ground and about eleven yards away. It’s very much like horseshoes. Being an ever-growing fan of Cricket, if there’s a next time I’m expected to play Cornhole I’m going to make two boards with three larger holes cut in a triangular configuration, set the boards more upright at forty-five degrees, and bring two detached broom handles as bats. Not sure of all the rules, yet. But I’ll call it Cornicket.
Item: Why isn’t there cream of beef soup? There is cream of chicken and all kinds of veggies (except brussels sprouts, darn it). I would love, now and then, to add several beef strips and cream of beef to a plate of rice, instead of my usual chicken strips and cream of chicken. And since I brought it up, why isn’t there cream of turkey? And why can’t I get a box of just lemon Froot Loops that actually tastes like lemon? (You do know that the different colored Os all have the same flavor, right?) I would love a lemon cereal, Os, flakes, whatever.
Item: When the first new Star Trek movie came out, I admit I suffered from what I call Anaphylactic Spock. Leonard Nimoy’s character was my favorite—though I tended to act more like William Shatner’s Kirk. So I was at first very disturbed by Zachary Quinto’s portrayal since I knew him from the TV show Heroes. But quickly the other actors inoculated me with a dose of cure. Now I accept Quinto just as much as Nimoy. (Yeah, I only added this snippet so I could share my clever swap of Shock with Spock.)
Item: About the only thing I’ve watched lately is reruns of The Big Bang Theory, and that’s mainly so I can identify discrepancies in the background sets. I haven’t watched the show Young Sheldon, but I am curious as to whether or not all the bad things Sheldon said about his father are represented. So maybe I’ll start watching it. What I’d rather see, though, is a show about Old Sheldon. Netflix, work on that.
Item: Continuing with TBBT, I record them so I can fast-forward through the commercials. Then suddenly the channel started adding a commercial about TBBT, so I’d stop, thinking the show was back on. I noticed the same thing on another show I recorded, about making pizza. Right in middle was a commercial about pizza so I’d push play and be tricked into watching a few seconds of an ad. Pretty sneaky.
Item: What is a Mistle? And why have we named a plant after part of its foot?