“If you come to a fork in the road, take it” — Yogi Berra

Yesterday I picked blackberries for a cobbler. A record setting heat wave dominates the local news. I didn’t get out to the berry patch as early as I would have liked and the heat was a constant companion under the insistent sun.

I almost didn’t go. I prepared to leave; choosing the proper shoes, picking a hat, finding the sunscreen. Somewhere in those tasks I received a phone call and I wandered onto the front porch during the course of the call. The heat on the porch was overwhelming. My house is surrounded by a pine forest and is always several degrees cooler than the official temperatures nearby. If it is hot on the porch it is dangerous to venture out where the sun can pin you down.

I almost didn’t go but I knew if didn’t I would regret it. Given the choice of suffering either the heat or the regret I grabbed my hat, my fruit basket, and my determination. I needed all three.

The berry vines were covered with berries damaged by the sun, reminding me of what my body was enduring with a constant parade of shriveled dried fruit in front of me. But not all of the fruit was spoiled. There were still a lot of plump juicy berries perfect for the cobbler.

I moved from row to row, gradually adding berries to the basket. After some time I got better at finding the best berries and after I noticed I had more than enough for the cobbler I still found myself picking berries.

Finally I stood up, looked at my harvest, and felt the sun. In an instant I had enough blackberries and I had had enough of the heat.

With the help of my wife the cobbler was spectacular. It had all of the right ingredients folded in and was topped with ice cream. I am deliriously happy I picked the cobbler over regret.

Finding Perfection

When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
– R. Buckminster FullerWatch Consumed (2015) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

In any search for greatness, from the grandest mountain to the finest grain of sand, patience and persistence rule. I was getting thinner about both.

The bar featured a row of proud but dusty bottles on the right hand wall coddling a single patron hunched over his drink this Tuesday afternoon. Missing in this scene was the smoky stench of tobacco. Spilling into the room of dark wood and old carpet was a thick stream of sunshine from an expanse of glass at the back displaying the waterfront deck. From the light a tall brunette approached me with a smile.

“Hi, I’m Patrick” I offered with my hand.

“Of course. We spoke on the phone.” she nodded. “I’m Kelly.”

“You can help me?” I asked, arching an eyebrow to accent the seriousness.

“I’m sure. Come this way.” She turned with a swish of her hips and started for the deck, glancing over her shoulder. “I assume you want to be outside on such a wonderful day?”

“That will be fine.”

She knew. I could tell. Her confidence was impressive. But would it measure up? Could this be what I’ve searched for so very long, or just another one of life’s many disappointments? Whatever was to happen I was ready. I was prepared for the best, or the worst. My journey had tempered me with patience, but my determination carried me forward. My heart reminded me it was beating hard. This could be it. Or not. I would soon know.

I took a seat behind a table with a fine view of the bay and ordered water. I didn’t want my senses to be dulled for this.

“Water? Is that all?” she teased.

“Don’t be coy.” was my reply. “You know why I’m here.”

I turned my attention to the boats gracing the water as time oozed out like a slowly dripping faucet. My thoughts drifted to younger days and other quests. I was slightly startled, jerked back from my mind’s wandering when Kelly returned with a glass in one hand and a plate in the other.

“Your fish sandwich, sir” she announced as the plate settled in front of me with the water glass beside it. “Will there be anything else?”

I shook my head, my gaze directed only at the sandwich. Not just any fish sandwich. The “Key Largo” fish sandwich, sporting the name of it’s geographical origin. I breathed in deeply and noticed my mouth getting moist. I barely saw the pile of fries also on the plate.

I peeled the top of the bun to reveal a thick slab of cheddar cheese completely covering the grilled onions setting on top of a piece of mahi-mahi, also grilled. Next to the sandwich was a strip of lettuce, slice of tomato, and a small container of mayo. I applied the mayo to the top bun and set it back on the stack of fish, onions and cheese with a strip of the lettuce between them. The tomato could wait.

With a smooth motion I shoveled the sandwich up to my mouth and took a large bite. I was surprised by the way the cheese and onions married to the fish, erasing the skepticism I held about their presence only moments before. I took another bite. The fish was fresh and grilled perfectly. The bun was light and also fresh, wonderful in it’s supporting role. The juices made me reach for my napkin.

It doesn’t get any better. This was it. This was the fish sandwich. Just wait until I get back home. Wait until they all hear.

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X-Ray of my Left Foot

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Messages, Meanings and Means

I came home from the hunt today and the woman painted a new picture on the cave wall. She is good, my woman. Our visitors will see we have a fine cave and that it is ours. We did not kill today but we still have roast beast from yesterday. It is harder to hunt well when your belly is full.

The messenger from the village should bring me the book that I ordered to the cabin soon. The book is on what it is like to be creative. I like books. I like the way they feel in my hands and tell me things. Later if I see the book I remember some of the things I learned from it.

In late 1989 or early 1990 I went to a seminar at which W. Richard Stevens gave a talk. He gave us handouts from his soon to be published book – “Unix Network Programming”. After it was published the book quickly became the bible on network programming for the early stages of the internet explosion. His book became this after his early death. I hung around after his talk to watch him answer questions. He was a brilliant man but he was also a very nice man. Later I used his handouts to write internet programs so that computers could talk to each other from far away. The World Wide Web as still an experiment then.

Today I hear that blogging is not yet dead, and I need to use my blog as a home base to coordinate excursions on my outposts – Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Delicious, LinkedIn. I need to do this to build my tribe. Perhaps.

I wonder if the postman will bring my book soon? Will the weekly newspaper from the village come with the book? After I read the newspaper it is also good to use starting a fire in the wood stove here at the cabin. The newspaper is good.

From the mouth of my cave I see rain is coming. Good thing we have plenty of roast beast to last us. In this light I see how wonderful is the painting the woman drew on the wall of the cave. I will encourage her to do another. And our children’s children will see.


Yesterday I watched a pot until it boiled.

Happy Hoilidays

These holidays have been hectic. That may be the accepted and routine nature of things for most people. In any case I hope Santa brought you what you wanted most whether he is real to you or not. And I hope the next year treats you especially well.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Senate Seats

I’m sorry I haven’t posted much lately but I’ve been very busy working on my proposal to Illinois Governor Blagojevich to name me the successor to Obama for the U.S. Senate. I know, I know, I’m not a resident of Illinois but I figure I could telecommute and if my proposal is good enough the good people of Illinois would overlook some details in the residency requirements. Recent news events have given me some real insight into the dollar amounts of some of the other bids so I need to figure out a way to be competitive and I need to work quickly before they take the choice away from the Governor. Wish me luck.Watch Full Movie Streaming Online and Download

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of the U.S. Senate, I reached into my refrigerator’s vegetable bin yesterday for a few carrots and was surprised to find 14 more votes for Al Franken.