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What’s top of my mind: Harper’s eye. For some time now her right eyelid becomes intermittently swollen. Poor thing. It must be itchy as she tries to scratch at it. She doesn’t look to be in pain from it. We apply warm wet washcloths to it, which seems to be appreciated. We set up appointments with The Vet, and during the wait the swelling goes away on its own – again. It keeps reappearing. Regardless of its status we need get the poor pooch in for a check up.

Where I’ve been: The Shell station air pump. The warning light came on in the car stating the front tires are low in pressure. I suspect the relatively cooler evening air is the matter. I have never been good working an air pump, so I defer this sort of thing be done by Someone or a mechanic or somebody like him. This morning on my way to work, dressed in professional attire, I was tried to maneuver the air hose about the wheels while behind me a large truck waited its turn at the pump. I wonder what the four fellows in the truck were thinking watching me bungle this endeavor. They four young Hispanic lads, dressed in yard work attire, sitting a large truck full up with rakes and mowers and such. I felt an ass, which they often saw as I bent over to attempt to inflate the tires.

Where I’m going: Total Wine. Every autumn I get me a six pack of various autumn ales. The store allows me to pick and choose individual bottles and cans so I get to try different beers from various brewers, one beer per week until All Hallows Eve. These usually have pumpkin in them or spices. As an autumnal libation, these brews beat pumpkin spice lattes by a country mile. This year I plan on trying some ciders, which in this country are called ‘hard ciders’ to distinguish them from the stuff one gets at the cider mills. I recently heard a podcast interview of a Gabe Cook, expert in the field. He raised my interest in trying proper cider, no rubbish.

Mr. Cook is worthy of an entry at Fearsome Beard.

What I’m watching: The History of the Medici. Someone and I started watching a twelve-part lecture series on The Medici. We are only into the second episode and there is already dirty work a-foot. In Florence, only ‘men without debt’ may run for public office, so Giovanni Medici is financing these have-nots with loans to make them eligible. This puts them figuratively and literally into Mr. Medici’s debt. That ain’t good. He sounds like Donald Trump, minus the artwork.

What I’m reading: “To be determined”. I recently finished “Moving Pictures’, the next installment in ‘The Discworld’ series, so I am ready for a new book. I have two shelves full up of books to read. When I stand before them I almost hear a hushed gasp, something like what a director must face when coming before a group of actors each hoping he will choose them over the others. I am still slogging my way through “The last of the Mohicans”, which has in common with ‘Moving Pictures” they are both fiction. ** Therefore, my next book will probably be non-fiction. I have heaps. Mine are mostly history-based. One is a biography of Peter the Pretty All Right, Czar of Russia, and another one is about Lafayette. There is third about the history of the modern grocery store and how it came to be. I think I will choose that one. The misters Romanov and Lafayette will have to wait their turns in line at the check out aisle #2 at The Piggly-Wiggly.

What I’m listening to: Autumn songs. After Labor Day I get out the playlist titled “Autumn”. They are my fall equivalent to Christmas carols. It is surprising how many tunes are about the fall. They tend to be wistful, a tad melancholy, using the metaphor of falling leaves to the passing of time or romance. There are no ‘upbeat’ autumn songs.

What I’m eating: Less carbs. I have a creeping upwards A1C, slowly reaching the point of becoming a problem. The Good Doctor is skeptical I can do something about this on my own. I have three months to support my hypothesis something can be done prior to medication. By coincidence this week’s JAMA (The Journal of the AMA) had an editorial telling us docs to stop thinking of obesity as a mere ‘calories in/calories out’ equation and more like a system in deregulation, driven not by the total amount of calories but the quality of calories viz. carbohydrates of the more dubious sort (the ones that taste good).

All of this is bad timing. October is ‘All Hallows Month’, four weeks of party-time. I was planning on making a lot of neat treats for the elite to eat. I am not certain now what to do about this.

Who needs a good slap: People at the gym talking during exercise. The other day I was on an elliptical machine located in a row of nearly empty machines. Grendel’s mother arrives. Not only does she pick the machine right next to mine, she is talking nonstop to somebody. Once upon a time I concluded thems who talk out loud like that have schizophrenia, but nowadays it is a sure sign they have some sort of communication device, as demonstrated by little white spoon in her ear. She talked nonstop. Although I had on headphones, it wasn’t enough to drown out her yakking. After awhile I gave up, stopped, and moved over a few machine’s distance. Yet she was the one who glared at ME as if I had done something rude.

I give Chatty Cathy and her ilk 2 slaps (on a 1-5 scale).

What I’m planning: An ersatz dinner for four. Once upon a time we had a set of Williams-Sonoma pasta bowls, consisting of a large center and four individual bowls. One bowl, the one with the olive design, broke to pieces years ago. We often use the three bowls (two at a time), and it bugs me every time I seem them I pull them. Someone never wanted to buy a replacement on the sensible grounds we never use all four bowls at the same time, and the replacement bowl would cost as much as the original set. The other day in a pique I went online and ordered the damn thing on impulse. I told Someone about it, when he was in a good mood, on the sensible grounds it is easier to get forgiveness than permission.** When the blessed bowl arrives and the set is again complete, I plan to put out the large bowl (which hasn’t seen daylight in years) and place it with the four bowls in a lovely arrangement on the kitchen table, just to look at them. There, I will say, how lovely; things are complete. Lord willing, maybe some day I will actually have over two others for supper and make a huge pile of pasta, served with cider. Wouldn’t that be nice.

What’s making me smile: Once again this W is the hardest to conjure. It makes me sad to say this. I was about to conclude nothing this week was making me smile when I got a text from Brother #2. He sent me a GIF cartoon. It iss stupid and distasteful and it l made me smile and laugh out loud.

**View this your own risk; this is not in good taste. It is about as bad I thing as I have posted. As they say at the BBC: pllease don’t write in.

*They are both fiction like Boons Farm and Chateau Petrus are both wines.

**Actually he didn’t have any reaction, good or bad, other than to ask what was the price.

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September 2021

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