The Friday Fives

1. How closely do you think good manners are related to income and social status?
Very much so. Maybe not social status but stable consistent income, not just gobs of money, as well as a stable family with a stable routine, tend to raise families with good manners and social skills.

2. Can the idea of good manners inhibit people’s natural sense of fun and inhibition?
I don’t think so. Sure we may hold back sometimes but maybe sometimes not always going for the uninhibited comment, action or reaction is a good thing.

3. Do people have more manners now or in earlier times?
As an entire society – yes, we are all more mannerly, more considerate to one another. When we watch the news and we see the craziness going on, we think all is lost but we live in the best times this world has ever known with the highest economic prosperity for everyone. Sure there are inequities that can be addressed but we are not living in the dark ages anymore.

4. Do you say “hi” to people even if they are strangers? Why? Why not?
Yeah, I do. I don’t do this in the city but in rural Colorado visits I also wave at the cars and trucks that I encounter – a that is the socially polite thing to do.

5. Do you listen to other’s people conversations on the street?
Eavesdropping is great – and in keeping with this week’s questions, not really polite. I miss taking the public transit into work for the eavesdropping and people watching each morning and evening.

The Friday Fives

1. What would you do with a cardboard box?
True story
As children, probably up until I was ten years old, we used to use cardboard as a primary toy. My mother used to babysit a whole herd of kids – cousins, neighbors, friends kids. To keep us occupied she would supply boxes and steak knives and we would saw through the cardboard and create cars and trucks and buses and castles and prisons and all sorts of crafts and buildings. Mom used to get bulk groceries delivered in the pre- Sam’s Club and Costco days and she would keep those boxes. Also, we would have her groceries boxed and keep those as well. My dad, a mail carrier with the beloved USPS would work with some of the furniture and appliance stores in town and those big old cardboard monstrosities would end up as great cardboard sculptures. Did I mention steak knives? Yes, my mother supplied serrated edged steak knives to children as toys. the late 60s and early 70s were very different times.

2. What are some polite ways to say “fuck off”?
My sainted grandmother Lois had a knack of doing this by strategically changing the subject in such a way that you didn’t know you were just insulted until you left the room. I try to use words the way she did – it was an art.

3. Which celebrity’s death hit you the hardest and why?
2016 – the year when everyone and everything died. I think it was Robin Williams. So sad. What a talent. What a waste.

4. Did your parents tell you their alternate name choices for you?
A different grandmother and a different story. My mother was intent on naming me Ian, with a middle name of Allen and thusly my initials would have been I A N – Ian. Well, I was a C-section baby, so while the mother was under anesthesia and the baby was born and time to fill out the birth certificate, grandma Violet took charge and named me Roy Wayne. Goy for my great grandfather and Wayne, my grandfather’s middle name = not bad at all but I sometimes wonder if things would have been different if I had gone through life as an Ian.

5. What were some weird rules your parents had for you as a child?
Maybe not weird, but rare. If you wanted to leave the table at mealtime and your plate wasn’t clean, you had to at least take three no thank you bites of everything on your plate. It was actually a pretty clever psychological trick. Often I ended up eating a lot more of something I didn’t think I would like as a consequence.

The Friday Fives

1. Do you have any Labor Day traditions?

We used to have a lot of family gatherings and family reunions but as everyone has aged and moved less of that. Now it is just a big hang weekend.

2. When was the first time you realized Labor Day was a thing?

Probably around when I was 12 in the Boy Scouts.

3. Labor Day is generally recognized as the end of summer. How was yours?

Boring this COVID19 world. At home and very few outings.

4. What’s the most dangerous job you have ever had?

Well I quit jump school in the army, so I dodged being a paratrooper. I once got a papercut in the army. My jobs have been desk jobs. Not much danger.


5. What has been the least laborious job you have ever had?

Oddly, in the army. Literally, just a paperwork shuffler as a classified document custodian in Germany.

The Friday Fives

1. What is your favorite, very creepy fact?

The word creepy is what makes this a difficult question. Probably have to go with something from the animal world – like those fesh that live in the deep ocean and are allowed to live like parasites attached to the bodies of bigger fish. The odd and creepy circle of life.

2. What are you sick of explaining?

How I got the scar on my face as a young child. It’s why I wear a beard.

3. What purchase was worth every penny?

Sure there is my car – 12 year’s old and under 100,000.00. But I don’t drive much these days. Work from home and when / if we go back to the office it is bus and light rail to downtown. But I am going to go with my Bang & Olfsen A! speakers. Casting to them with a smartphone app I have the best stereo I have evr had with two little speakers with arena-filling sound. Magnificent.

4. What simple, daily habit changed your life?

Doing the New York Times crossword puzzle everyday. I am not perfect at it yet, but I do pretty good. Changed my life by forcing me awake and to think each morning.

5. What’s your biggest “I just dodged a bullet” moment?

Probably the time I was coming home from a work holiday party down in South Aurora and got pulled over by an Arapahoe County Sheriff and was allowed to go on home – rather than the inevitable DUI charge that I definitely deserved. Shame on me.

The Friday Fives

1. You can only add two things to freshly cooked rice, what do you add?
Easy – a life long snack – rice, butter, and an ample glug of soy sauce. Salty umami

2. What was the worst thing you had ever smelled?
Cow manure freshly laid down on a cabbage field in a farm in Stuttgart, Germany. There is earthy and, then there is overkill.

3. What meal is better as leftovers as opposed to the day it was cooked?
Most Italian dishes but I am going with lasagne.

4. What is your best home-prepared entree that rivals any restaurant?
I found this chicken chili stew recipe that has spicy chilies and savory spices like cinnamon and allspice. Served with toasted almonds and unsweetened whipped cream.

5. What is a kitchen aroma that sends you back to a special time and place?
Freshly cooked bread reminds me of my mom’s kitchen growing up – she baked bread probably two or three times a month and it was divine.