Pressure Cooking: Duck and Cover or Relax?

1956: Blub, blub, blub. Wheeze, whistle, spit. KABOOM! A silver lid with an attached gauge becomes a projectile and looks like a flying saucer shooting forth from its aluminum pot base. Scalding hot water takes to the air.  Someone screams, “Oh, my God,” in the background, followed by a 3-pound beef brisket that explodes like the A-bomb tests out in the Nevada desert. A mushroom cloud of brown meat rises above the white Westinghouse range.  Shrapnel-like bits of beef plaster themselves to []

“Thank You” — The Art of Re-gifting

After a second helping of the Christmas dinner lasagna, I felt as round as the blow-up snowman on our deck that stoically waves to passersby.  I adjusted my stuffed body on the couch and grumbled, “I designate 2012 as the year of not saying Thank You.” Now, I know I’m not an etiquette queen, but jeeze, do folks no longer find it necessary to simply utter “thank you” once in a while?  Are thank you notes a thing of the past?  Heck, []

Northern Elephant Seal Births

Northern Elephant Seals arriving at the Piedras Blancas rookery north of San Simeon, California, have begun the annual winter winter birthing season. The first pup was born mid December. Each pup weighs between 60 and 80 pounds at birth. (C. Coimbra photo)

ULTIMATE Life Goal Answer Keeps Me Bare-Skinned

Today I heard the best security question ever.  But, first, a quick back story. In 2009 I took out a secured loan.  A small balance remained.  Presently, I’m near the end of standing naked in an allegorical spread-sheet format before bankers, credit companies, loan specialists, underwriters, and other such entities in the mortgage refinance business. “The underwriters would like you to pay off that 2009 secured loan,” noted one of the above persons.  “Please show the account that you used to pay []

Embracing My Sensitivity

I discovered yesterday that my sensitivity to spoken  words is a weakness, a fault, and a chip on my shoulder. Admittedly, I’m a sensitive person.  I can cry watching car commercials.  Tears flood my eyes when I watch adorable pet videos on You Tube.  A beautifully worded poem will cost my box of tissue about 10 tissues.  When a soulful guitar solo wafts towards my ears, the whites of my eyes turn red and I sniffle through the song.  Yes, I’m a []

Blame Election Hyperbole on Six Moral Foundations

After Tuesday’s elections spouse asked, “What are your Facebook friends saying about the election?”  First let me explain:  spouse will not, under any circumstances ever, join Facebook—yet, he’s a semi-Facebook voyeur always asking, “What are the peeps saying today?”  (Sometimes I’ll read him the posts in their entirety to demonstrate the utter blandness of my Facebook page.  But  I’ve blocked the fire starters as a measure of my good health, AKA lowered blood pressure.) Anyway, I decided to take a cruise through []

Rachel Carson’s Relevancy Fifty Years Later

I read Silent Spring in 1968. It changed my view of the natural world and was more than incidental in my personal growth.  Carson’s plea for moderation and close observance to what and how we walk upon this earth speaks louder today than it did 50 years ago.  Her opponents live on and rally against anything that smirks of environmentalism.  To my point of view their arguments remain shallow and manipulated.