Feb 052016

I worked with a guy some time back. Let’s call him Steve. I would guess Steve is 58 or 60 now. He’s been single as long as I’ve known him. He’s currently taking an extended vacation somewhere in a tropical part of the world, evaluating it as a possible spot for retirement. He posts beach and sunset photos periodically.

So Steve recently posted a photo of an attractive, and young, woman, calling her his “new friend.” She looked like she might have been 30, but she initially hit me as 26 or 27. The resulting comments were predictable: way to go Steve, how old is she, can she be everyone’s new friend, and so forth.

Now, sensing a golden comedic opportunity, I didn’t want to squander it. So I thought quite a bit before I commented “Hey, maybe she could have you over for cookies and milk and then y’all could play Barbies!”


Now I think the line is quite funny, but I’d have still withheld it had I known he’d take it so hard. But, really, what is the great offense here? How is my comment so different from what went before it? It’s a huge age difference. To be charitably vague, there are likely some dynamics in play here that are generally not in play with two people closer in age. That’s the subtext of the previous comments, just like it is mine, is it not?

So Steve can’t come back with a “yeah, yeah”? A “you’re just jealous that I’m at the beach with her, and you’re at work in cold, wet Huntsville”?

I’ve mentioned before that so far, my taste in women has tracked reliably with my age, and that I consider that a good thing. If yours doesn’t, more power to you both, and all the best.

(But grow a little skin. It’s small to take a smartass jab so seriously.)

 Posted by at 3:43 pm
Jan 232016

aldisalsa1A logical eventuality of our increased time and money spent with Aldi is that Lea would come home with a new house-brand organic salsa to review. Simply Nature Organic Thick & Chunky Hot Salsa is the latest up in this long-running review series.

So what do we have? Ingredients (“organic” precedes everything on the label except water and sea salt): Diced tomatoes, water, crushed tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, green bell peppers, evaporated cane sugar, distilled vinegar, sea salt, garlic, chipotle powder, cilantro, black pepper, cumin, and jalapeno powder.

There are a couple of warning flags here. Water is high on the list, and I’ve noticed sugar creeping into more and more salsas. I prefer that a salsa’s tomatoes, and to a lesser extent onions and peppers, be sweet enough on their own. Plus, it’s a needless infusion of calories.


Despite the concern about high water content, the salsa is appealingly thick and an attractive color, with herb and vegetable chunks readily apparent.


The salsa clings effectively to a chip, and delivers a near-immediate shot of smoky heat upon hitting your tongue. It’s a pleasant chipotle flavor that, despite the quick ramp-up, tops out quickly. This shouldn’t be too hot for any but the mildest palates.

Neither the water nor the sugar ended up being a concern. The balance of tomato, onion, pepper, and spice is good, with the only real dominance being the short-lived chipotle punch. This is a fine-tasting salsa that should have broad appeal at a party, with that slight caveat for people with no heat tolerance at all. I do wonder just how much the sugar is actually doing for the flavor, and whether it’s worth the additional calories.

Still, no worries with this product’s quality. If you’re looking for a good mainstream hot salsa, this fits the bill.


 Posted by at 2:06 pm
Jan 192016

So my friend Paula had, on her Facebook page, an invitation to join her DietBet. I plunged. DietBet is an intriguing concept. For the wager I joined, you pay a fee to enter, and your bet is that you can lose 4% of your body weight in four weeks. If you succeed, you split the […]

 Posted by at 10:47 am
Jan 152016

I was fascinated by this recent story of a fellow who runs a Silicon Valley startup, yet doesn’t own or carry a smartphone (or, indeed, any mobile phone). Certainly, there are parts of the narrative that sound appealing. He speaks of thinking more clearly, and rediscovering peace. But–but!–he does confess that he makes occasional use […]

 Posted by at 12:09 pm
Jan 052016

This year, Papa Ross and Grandma Martha got us a NINJA for Christmas! As you can see, it has about as much power as my first car did, and it also comes with TOTAL CRUSHING TECHNOLOGY. We are having a really good time with it so far. Lea’s been making fruit and vegetable smoothies for […]

 Posted by at 8:54 pm

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