What’s Your Sign?

When we get together with a group of friends, often the conversation turns to the Chinese Zodiac and who is what sign. We talk about how Aaron is a Horse, like his grandfather, and how Sunny is a Goat, though also a bit of a Monkey. When it gets to me, I modestly note that I am a Dragon.

The last time we had this discussion, one of Sunny’s friends asked, “what kind of dragon: fire, wood, earth, water…” Sunny felt compelled to look over at me disparagingly and volunteer, “he is a Gas Dragon.”

Given how my digestive tendencies have evolved of late, I find myself unable to contest this.

Later, looking through my Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Monster Manual, I found one. Picture appended.

The good news is that the next time I run a D&D adventure, I have the perfect beast or NPC to drop in at level 12.

Kick-Back Stack

Sunny’s eyes just about came out of her head when the waitress at Kick Back Jack’s set these monster blueberry pancakes down in front of her.

My dear wife had her revenge, though: she made it through about 80% of this massive stack, then jumped back into the car and drove another four hours.

Never underestimate the ability of a thin person to make food just seem to disappear.

For the record, I only ever attended UCLA as a summer program participant and an extension student. But my father and my son are both Bruins, so I claim association via legacy.

The heater on the second floor is working. The heater on the ground floor is kaput. The thermocline halfway down the stairs was brutal this morning.

September Progress Report: De-Amazoning

In our first month of cutting our ties with Amazon, we have taken the following steps.

1. Spouse cancelled her Prime subscription

2. Shifted all book purchases to a trustworthy list of independent booksellers, with Powell’s as our primary go-to.

3. Cancelled all “subscribe-and-save” subscriptions and found new and economical sources or substitutes for those items.

4. Ceased purchase of all Kindle books and began buying used hard copy editions from independent bookstores.

5. Began transcribing my Amazon Prime Music playlists in preparation for terminating Prime and beginning a long term effort to acquire LPs, DVDs, and legitimate digital recordings of my favorites.

Now that he’s at UCLA, it has been a personal quest to take Aaron to all of the places I used to haunt back when I grew up on the Westside. With the worst of the pandemic behind us, we could finally start that process. Fatburger was first, but Nate & Al’s was second. #AchevementUnlocked

The humidity was high, and the winds were low, so this looked and smelled worse than it was. Might have been a homeless encampment, or it might have been the brain-damaged testosteroids setting off illegal fireworks on the beach. Thanks to Oxnard and VC fire for jumping on the hard-to-access flare-up at 10:30pm.

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