Monday, November 20, 2017


Today holds a different sort of anniversary. 

It's the day my mother (I fondly called her "Moo") passed away in 1991, 26 years ago.

I was at work. I was a printing salesman. I got the phone call late that morning. I remember hanging up the phone, standing up, hands balled in fists resting on my desktop. I was hunched over. I remember slamming one of my fists onto the desk with a loud, ringing thud. It hurt ... but it grounded me.

And then I grabbed my suit jacket, went over to my boss' office, told him the news and took off for Wrightwood where she lived nestled in the mountains. 

It was a blur of a day. But I remember certain details, not only about the day itself but the days and weeks following. I remember vividly seeing my mother for one of the last times where she expired in her bed. The coroner removing her. Sitting alone in her house. Contacting relatives. Dealing with all the legal mumbo jumbo. The Mardi Gras party we threw for her funeral. So much more ...

I was still in my 20s. She had just turned 51 years old which seemed too young at the time. (And it was.)

And, somehow, 26 years have wedged themselves in between then and now ... 

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

Remember that annoying habit I wrote about a few weeks back? (Of course you do, being the responsible party you are who frequents my blathers with fevered interest.)

I have another. But this one doesn't bother anyone but me. And it doesn't really even bother me, if I'm being honest. 

It's insomnia. I know, not a habit per se but it happens so frequently it might as well be. I'm used to it. It happens, it's going to continue to happen and I'm living with it. Contentedly, I might add.

Truth be told, it's been more a help than a hindrance. I get a lot of reading in ... and that's always a good thing. (Because fact: There's a lot out there to read.) I have continual writing duties which need my attention. Might as well get to'em and get'em out of the way as they crop up. I'm up and awake anyway. That way I'm ahead of the game, right? Win win. 

The thing is I've often functioned on little sleep. I guess it's going on 20 years, probably more. It isn't an odd I'm up and running with a scant 5 hours beneath my belt. I work until midnight, I'm usually somewhat wired when I get home and it's rare I can immediately turn in after walking through the door. A couple hours of "wind down" time is not unusual. And, yes ... it catches up with me after a month or so. I'll crash for a good 10 hours or more when my body internally screams at me to "Stop it! Stop it! You're killing me!" 

It's not that I don't like sleep. Sleep's a good thing. But it isn't the be all, end all for me like it is for other people. I'll often take productivity in some way, shape or form over slumber at those times. No sense lying there trying to get back to sleep and failing miserably. After all, you can usually sleep; you can't always get done what needs to get done in a timely manner. 

I remember the days when weekends were looked forward to so I could sleep in. It wasn't uncommon on a leisurely Sunday to drag myself out of bed at 11:00 in the morning when I was younger. Those were the days when there was less to do (*snort*), when I was more carefree and, important to me at the time, when I simply didn't care. 

Maybe that's why I can't sleep like the dead any longer.

I might just care too much ....

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

You'd think that thing would, you know, get tired of listing to one side ...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

It's Got Nothing To Do With Walla Walla, Washington

Not long ago this was a conversation starter: 

"When people write walla when they mean Voila, it makes me stabby."

I admitted I'd never seen anyone write "walla" for the word "voilà" previously. I hadn't a clue that was "a thing." Naturally, when stuff like this crops up it's time for me to do some digging.

I see the word "walla" and I tag on an extra because "Walla Walla, Washington" - the city and county seat of Walla Walla County in Washington - immediately comes to mind. What else?

Still, off to the dictionary I went. 

Turns out "walla" is an actual word, a form of "wallah," of Indian derivation for a person in charge of, employed at or concerned with a particular thing. Huh. You learn something new everyday. (One of my personal credos.)

But ... "walla" for voilà? This was new to me. I dug further ... and still couldn't come up with any reference. 

And then, slightly frustrated, I said the word out loud to myself. A bell went off. I said it again, this time a bit faster and louder. And that's when I made the connection.

It wasn't the "walla" I was familiar with, the Washington reference, pronounced "wah-lah." It was more a bastardized version of the pronunciation of of "voilà" and, << Voilà! >> ... finally I understood how someone could write voilà as "walla." It took me talking to myself to figure it out.

The thing is: I talk to myself enough ... out loud. Usually alone but sometimes in the presence of others. (That's when I get the interesting looks shot my way.)

But, in this case, it was a good thing.

Because ... revelation.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

It's just going to sit there and continue to be sideways ... isn't it?

Friday, November 17, 2017


Working until late at night, I'll get up in the morning (without the benefit of much sleep) and head out to whatever project I have without stopping to grab breakfast. Usually this isn't much of a problem. Vut there are days I'm famished and need something to power me through to my next decent meal.

Those times call for a big old Monster Bisquit from Carl's Jr. With its bacon, sausage, egg and cheese all on a bisquit, it often does the trick.

This particular morning, however, I wasn't anywhere near a Carl's. McCrappage was all that was en route. I decided I could live with an Egg McMuffin, sadly lacking though they may be. But ... put a little mayo and mustard one one and it's actually edible.

I pulled into the drive thru (I was the only one frequenting the place at that time) and, to my surprise, I discovered a couple sausage with egg sandwiches were only $3.00. I ordered two. 

"Anything else with that, sir?" I was asked.

"No, thank you. That'll do" I replied.

I paid at one window and drove up to the next to retrieve my order.

A girl handed me a bag. She looked to be about 14 years old if she was a day. 

"Excuse me ... I forgot to ask: Could I get some mayonnaise and mustard too, please?"

"For your order?" she asked me.

Now, sarcastic old me had a couple zippy barbs at the ready, the first of which was "No ... I like to simply open the packets and down them individually, mayo first." But, by the look of this girl, it appeared if I hit her up with something unexpected like that she might break into tears. 

I mean ... what else would the condiments be for? I hadn't ordered anything else. But I decided to be nice and stay on the level. "Yes, they're for my sandwiches, thank you," I confessed.

She disappeared and reappeared just as quickly with my requests. Immediately following, she handed me a large drink and straw.

"Don't forget your Dr. Pepper!" she told me.

This time I couldn't resist. 

"Thank you! Is there a promotion going on I don't know about?"

She looked at me quizically. "Excuse me, sir?"

"Well, you know ... order two Sausage McMuffins, get a free large Dr. Pepper. Is that the deal?"

"Uhm ... no. You didn't order a Dr. Pepper?"

"Nope" I responded. "Maybe the guy behind me ..." I looked in my rear view mirror. "Oh ... look at that. I'm the only one in line here." I handed the drink back to her.

She looked confused. 

"Thank you for my order! Have a good day!" I said as I pulled away.

Where do they get these youngsters?

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

It's! Still! Sideways!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Genetic Failure

I tried.

I really did.

But I failed. Miserably.

Not that it was any big deal.

But I learned a valuable lesson: I can't multi-task. Not insofar as having the television on in the background while attempting a physical task.

Still, now that I really think about it, that's not completely true. I can have a baseball game on while doing something, listen and comprehend what's going on without any problem at all. Is it because I've been attuned to such a big part of my life, because I've grown up with it? Since I was a kid I've had Dodger games blaring on the radio while I was outside doing chores or putting a model together or what have you. No problem. Multi-tasking in that particular manner wasn't an issue in the least.

But this morning? A complete and total failure.

I had pulled out several boxed Christmas trees, time for them to make their annual appearance. (Hey! Don't judge! There are as many trees as rooms in this household and every one of them gets one. With that many you have to start somewhere and if that means assembling them before Thanksgiving has arrived? So be it.) I was in the middle of the living room and a little background noise seemed appropriate. I flicked on the television. Already on some random movie channel, Scent Of A Woman was playing ... good enough. I've seen it a few times so good distraction fodder.

Little did I know.

I kept finding myself gravitating from fluffing tree branches to watching the television screen and back again. Over and over and over. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't do both simultaneously. I tried willing myself to do so with superhuman concentration. Nope. Unable.

So ... how do women do so well at multi-tasking? Understand, I'm not trying to pigeonhole the fairer sex with the ability. It's just a well known fact they're more proficient than men at it. And I'm not pulling this stuff out my ass; there are plenty of sources out there. (Here. Are. Three.)

Look: I can walk and chew gum at the same time. But when it comes to television (ballgames excepted) and doing something else? I can't. Much as I'd like to. 

And I don't see that as a failure per se. I see it as devotion to a singular task at hand without compromising or negating the importance of one or the other.

Yeah ... that's the answer I'm going with. 

.......... Ruprecht ( I STOPped trying to multi-task almost the moment I started ... )

Hey ... why is this sideways ... !???

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Passive-Aggressive Apple Cake

What have we here?

A little apple cake recipe. Terrific!

Now ... if only one could read it, you know, where you could see the measurements in order to prepare this Fall delight ...

... instead of simply gaze at what little you can actually see of the recipe and wish ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP drooling already ... )

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Peeves, Part 2

Deception. Plain and simple.

That definition above is pretty clear. This packaging is not:

It's a play on words. And a downright contradiction of terms to the unwary.

This fryer is not "oil-less" if it claims to "use little to no oil."

Even more disturbing is the fact the Good Housekeeping label is attached to it. Part of the Good Housekeeping Institute's duties include "reviewing product effectiveness as well as packaging and marketing claims." Granted, it may be an approved product but it's got a suspect feel with that bon mot.

Kind of feels like it doesn't exactly hold water, huh? 


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP with the contradictory packaging )