All the Rest

It’s just after 6 in the morning. The day has long been engaged in daylighting; when I got out of bed a little before 5, the sky was already amply endowed with sunlight. Though I like the light of day to start early, I prefer to get  up when it’s still dark outside. I always have enjoyed waking in darkness and going to bed in darkness. But I sometimes fail to get in enough sleep during those dark hours, making a nap a necessary if unwelcome pause during daylight hours. Yesterday, I took an especially long nap, lasting something like three hours; that’s sacrilegious, in my view.  But there it is; another violation of the sanctity of wakefulness during daylight hours.


The weather has changed from summer to early spring. My computer tells me the temperature outside is 61°F. My thermometer tells a different story, asserting that it’s 67°F. In either case, it’s a wonderful change from morning lows that have lately ranged from the low-mid 70s to nearly 80°F. The computer screen says today’s high will reach about 82°F. In my opinion, that should be the legally-mandated upper temperature limit. Why don’t our legislators do something productive, like establish maximum high and low temperatures, with severe fines for deviations in either direction? THAT would be political leadership. Dammit.


I spent a couple of hours at my church yesterday, rearranging furniture and doing general clean-up in preparation for our first in-person service in well over a year. Yesterday’s efforts were necessary because, over the winter, the building suffered considerable damage due to a burst water pipe. Walls, ceilings, and flooring had to be torn out and replaced; the repairs are nearing completion, but are not yet finished. The volunteers yesterday did cleaning that will have to be done again (or finished) when the painting, etc. has been completed. But, even in an unfinished state, the church looks very nice and will no doubt offer a welcoming experience tomorrow. Although my role yesterday was miniscule, my body this morning is pretending I spent the day yesterday crouching, lifting weights, and contorting into unnatural shapes unsuited to the human form. I am so badly out of shape it is an embarrassment of the highest order. My stamina is essentially non-existent. My lung capacity remains minimal, thanks to the removal of the lower lobe of my right lung almost three years ago (and my subsequent negligence in failing to do exercises intended to expand my lung capacity). Another lesson from the church. Is it proper to call new information “knowledge” if the information is stored away without taking appropriate action?


During the time I subjected my body to the humiliation of failing miserably in an attempt to relocate church pews and other such heavy pieces of church decór, my significant other (another term for IC) went swimming in Lake Balboa yesterday, part of her 4-times-a-week swimming routine. While engaged in her water-worship, the only other participant (from her roughly-ten-person group) who showed up invited her (and me) to dinner and a game-learning experience tomorrow evening. I am a fan of barbequed ribs; board games, not so much. I acquiesced, though, to satisfy my IC. Though she made it clear she was going, with or without me. It’s a good thing, I guess, I did not simultaneously accept another invitation for the evening. Not that I had any such invitations. But if I had…


I can attest to the power of a Root Beer Float. Not the kind that has ice cream and bottled root beer. No, I’m referring to the Root Beer Float that mixes vanilla-flavored vodka, root beer flavored liqueur, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and ice. My IC introduced me to this demonically good drink last night. I could have consumed five of them if I’d been able to stay vertical. I stopped at three. Her advice had been to quit at two. Normally, I’m not especially enamored of sweet drinks. These are not normal, though. Abnormally tasty. Almost addictive.

The inebriant quality of multiple drinks of the demonically good drink helped prompt me to call my sister last night. I managed to first talk on the phone with her, then connect with her via a phone-based video app. My significant other and I chatted with her for a while and learned that someone had entered her unlocked door while she was out tending plants and had stolen her computer. People who do such things annoy me no end. Despite my disavowal of the death penalty, I might make an exception for the person who took my sister’s computer. I might take personal satisfaction of publicly disemboweling the fiend in an excruciatingly slow process that would certainly make the perpetrator wish he (or she) had never strayed from good, decent behavior. This attitude, at 6:22 a.m., suggests I might benefit from a nice marijuana-laced gummy. I should chill and accept the mental perspective that says “it is what it is.” Maybe a quote from my little black book of Zen-influenced quotations will help.

Do not dwell in the past,
Do not dream of the future.
Concentrate the mind
on the present moment.

~ Buddha ~

There. I appreciate where and how and what I am. The past is the past. The future is not assured. Everything is now. In this moment. Right now. So, now that is out of my system, I can turn to face the day with a different perspective.


According to, a website about which I know almost nothing and whose reliability is an absolute unknown to me, sex is beneficial. (Really? Who knew?) The website quotes an article from the Archives of Sexual Behavior, asserting that adults in their 60s have sex an average of 20 times per year, compared to 80 times per year for adults in their 20s (I suggest that “adults in their 20s” refers to children who have not yet reached their 30s.) The benefits, according to the source whose reliability is unknown, include numerous physical and psychological/emotional rewards. So there you go. Eighty times per year in my twenties seems like a low number to me, but I may be delusional. I would be inclined to say the average twenty-something who is married probably averages about three times per week, bringing the annual total to roughly 160 times per year. That’s about twice what the article suggests. If the lifetime total is a limited number, that could present potential problems in one’s latter years. You probably don’t want to be reading this, do you? Am I right? Okay, I’ll move on to something more appetizing.


Grilled salmon. Cooked just enough, but not too much. It must be extremely moist; if cooked too long or at too high a temperature (or both), salmon is dry and utterly unsatisfying. Any fish loses its appeal when overcooked. But so many people do exactly that. It’s a terrible thing to do. I recommend avoiding it at almost all costs. It’s hard to define what “rare” means in the context of cooked fish, but if I could define it, I’d say that’s how fish should be cooked. Especially salmon. And similar fish; that is, all sea creatures with fins and gills. Even some without. Like the octopus and squid. And oysters (best eaten raw, in most cases, though cooked oysters can be spectacularly good). Enough of that for now. I need more coffee and my fingers deserve a rest.  Here’s to a great day for all who read this post. And the rest of you, as well.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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