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March 2018



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Eating out.

Genuan cooking, like the best cooking everywhere in the multiverse, has been evolved by people who had to make desperate use of ingredients their masters didn't want. No-one would even try a bird’s nest unless they had to. Only hunger would make a man taste his first alligator. No-one would eat a shark’s fin if they were allowed to eat the rest of the shark. ~Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad

Lunch with Bu at Chili's on Friday was great. He indulged me in a baby-back rib combo. I love ribs but I don't often order them because they are expensive and there is very little actual meat on them. Ribs are like chicken wings in that originally they were a cut of bone and gristle that didn't cost very much because no one wanted it. Then people figured out a way to cook them so they tasted good and now they are incredibly expensive.

There was a retarded woman at the restaurant having lunch with her mother and a friend. It wouldn't be worth mentioning except that she came over to say "Hi" to our waitress and shake Bu's hand. When I got up to use the restroom she was also hugging a waitress and shook my hand as well. She was very cheerful and friendly. I know there are some people who are made uncomfortable by the presence of the mentally handicapped or the severely physically disabled. But she had such a childlike openness. She was so innocently cheerful and clearly enjoying her lunch out. More people should take that attitude toward life. If everyone was so open and friendly the world would be a better place.

Yesterday was my Mom's Birthday. Gina and Dave come up and took us all to dinner. Mom choose Grande's Bella Cucina on Vestal Ave on Binghamton's south side. It is a nice place. Our waitress was a gem! She really went out of her way for us. We started with bottomless baskets of garlic knots. I asked the waitress for a small cup of dipping sauce, which she brought right away. Then Forrest decided he had a boo-boo on his finger and I asked the waitress if they had a band-aid in their first aid kit. She said they didn't, but she brought Forrest an ice cube in a napkin and then a band-aid from her own purse. For dinner Dad had the Lasagna Bolognese, Mom and Gina shared the homemade Ravioli with Vodka sauce, I had the homemade Manicotti, David had the Pasta Del Orto Penne (with Grape tomatoes, carrots, onions, roasted peppers, yellow squash, asparagus, baby spinach, northern white beans), and the boys had pizzas. We thought the pizzas would be small, personal, child sized pizza's, but they were at least 12 inches each and cut into eight pieces. The boys each ate two pieces of their pizzas and we took the rest home. Gina thought the ravioli tasted frozen, not freezer burnt, but it had a different texture. David ordered a glass of Red Zinfendel but it was a bit strong for his entree so he ordered a glass of white instead and I finished his red. It was very oaky, with a lot of tannin, but sweet as well.

For dessert I had picked up an Ultimate chocolate cake with Ultimate chocolate butter-cream frosting from Wegmans in Ithaca. A message and decorations were free so it said "Happy Birthday" with one elegant red rose. I specified "elegant" and that is what the wrote on the order :D. It was very nicely done and tasted good. The waitress presented the cake with candles on it for us, helped us sing Happy Birthday, and cut and served the cake for us. We ordered coffee, tea, and milk with our cake. When they had finished their cake the boys got a bit rowdy and we left.

Tanner is really growing up fast. I sat between the two boys and got to play Patty-Cake with Tanner and sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" I also played Peek-a-Boo and tried to steal his nose a couple of times. He got a bit upset with me when I tried to convince him that he had eleven fingers. He knew he only had ten. I think he takes after his mom. He does not tolerate falsehood.

Martians call their fingers "eights" and Martians have 11 "eights". If you count your fingers in Martian and if you have 11 of them it is because you are a Martian. (so count the fingers out loud) One-eight, Two-eight, Three-eight, Four-eight, Five-eight, Six-eight, Seven-eight, Nine-eight, Ten-eight, Eleven-eight. You are a Martian!

I spent the night at Song's and came back home this morning after they all left for work and school. Izzy Kitty is still skittish around me but she let me pet her a couple of times.

…education at the University mostly worked by the age-old method of putting a lot of young people in the vicinity of a lot of books and hoping that something would pass from one to the other, while the actual young people put themselves in the vicinity of inns and taverns for exactly the same reason. ~ Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times