Archive | March, 2011

Today’s resolution: Contemplate synthesis of inner & outer worlds

31 Mar


2009 Photo/RO


Today’s resolution: Grow beyond my comfort zone

30 Mar

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing. — William Butler Yeats

Deck garden, Summer 2010 (Photo/RO)


Today’s resolution: Defer no time, live the moment

29 Mar


Memorial Clock Tower, Sharon, Conn. (Photo/RO)

The bacon test

28 Mar

Bacon flavor dog treats smell temptingly like bacon — but they’re not. They have a playdough texture and taste like rancid fat.

How do I know?


Cooked bacon on a plate

Real bacon — not simulated.

Last week, I bought Simone a bag of peanut-butter flavored training treats — I like to buy training treats because they’re small, just her size — and enjoyed the sweet peanutty aroma. But I knew better than to taste them.

The makers of these treats know people are not inclined to give their dogs something to eat that smells — or looks — like rancid animal fat. They make “gourmet” canned dog foods that simulate beef stew or chicken pot pie or turkey surprise because that makes it appear palatable to us.

Are we fooled? Ha.


OK, sort of. Not enough to actually eat something made for dogs, but enough to be curious whether it tastes like it looks or smells. Come on. Admit it. Don’t you want to know if your dog’s food is better than yours?

Wonder no more.

Long ago (I had to reach way back into my memory for this), I was curious to see if Simone’s treats were like real bacon, so I  pinched a teensy — miniscule — bite from one and put it on my tongue.




Coat tongue with minty fresh toothpaste.

You’re welcome. I do these things so you don’t have to. Which is why I can also tell you that beef stew for dogs — not beef stew. Those chicken sticks? Nope. Not chicken.

Now you’re probably wondering how I know the taste of rancid fat. I don’t. But I bet it tastes exactly the way it smells.

Today’s resolution: Resist distractions

28 Mar


Thanks for visiting! Now, back to work.
Big Island, Hawaii (Photo/RO)

What’s the question?

27 Mar

When I was job-hunting, I went to every interview prepared to answer the standard questions about qualifications, reasons for applying, felony convictions and so on. But the other questions? There’s no way to prepare.


“Do you do anything outdoors besides *sneer* take photos?” — I roll naked in pine needles.

“Do you know what a comma splice is?” — A young man asked this question, he obviously hadn’t read my resume.

“If someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, what will you do?” — What are you asking me for?

“We deal with a lot of people in rural areas. Can you handle different kinds of people? — Can I wear gloves?

The worst question, however, was one of the standards: “What is your greatest weakness?” — My greatest weakness is not knowing how to answer this question. I mean, how do I decide which of my weaknesses is the greatest and which one applies to this job?


The greatest weakness question confounded me because I didn’t understand its purpose. What do employers hope to learn from the answer?

A friend in management who routinely interviews people for jobs explained this to me in a way that makes sense. She said she believes the answer to the question says a lot about an applicant, then provided a telling example:

“I was interviewing a young woman for a job in our office. When I asked her about her weaknesses, she said — she was completely serious — that she had a weakness for married men.

“That told me she’d probably create a lot of drama, an important thing to know. “

Today’s resolution: Hang the blues

27 Mar


Backyard blues (Photo/RO)

Today’s resolution: Quiet of mind

26 Mar

Big Island, Hawaii (2009/RO)

Today’s resolution, by Simone: Never overlook a found chewy

25 Mar

Chew, baby, chew (Photo/RO)


Today’s resolution: Don’t look back

24 Mar

Pig races at Dutchess County Fair, NY. September 2009 Photo/RO