Teacher, mentor, friend, and philosopher Howard Stein died two years ago today at the age of 90 — and I still miss him every day — and yet his death strangely seems so far in the past as to be unrecognizable. Because of all the surgical procedures he had at the end of his life, Howard would often refer to himself as the “Frankenstein Monster” held together with stitches and sealing wax.
As I’ve written before, having a blog of a sustained length over time that can dive back a decade with in situ thoughts and facts-of-mind on the record makes for a wonderful repository that allows a certain grabbing back into what we thought we knew then in order to compare it against the modern treachery of The Now.
The internets have lately been filled with delicious and vile revelations about our blood. The media is in a tizzy of mice and memes and surgeons and even strippers — each one vying to try to measure and mess with our blood — and I’m sure all of this is all just the start of what just may become a regular Boles Blogs featurette: This Was the Week in Blood!
It is important we are always learning and always keeping our minds keen and inquisitive. There are some evil efforts among us to dumb us down, to keep us complacent, and to make sure we cease to question authority and just place our blind belief in certain people to lead us.
We have a horrible new neighbor living above us, and she’s young and preppy and VERY LOUD! She bangs things on her wood floor/our ceiling all day and all night long. She walks heavy on her heels back and forth and back again. She drags her furniture across her wood floor/our ceiling that creates fingernails-on-chalkboard by osmosis.
I have taken to using earplugs when she’s at her most obnoxious and the earplugs do seem to filter out the precise range of her banging on our heads to make her terrorism from above us sort of tolerable. I’ll leave the whole injustice of, “Why should I have to wear earplugs all day long so I can’t hear you being obnoxious?” question for another day.
We’ve written a lot about memory and meaning and memory on this Boles Blog over the last decade or so — and yet I am always a little bit shocked and surprised when I read elsewhere, on other blogs — revelations of how fleeting and failing memories really are in the execution of rallying a daily life.
The blog post in question was written by a fresh and successful database engineer who, at a young age, was mildly complaining, in the midst of a technical exposé, how his short-term memory was failing him. He was trying to draw parallels between caching database memory and how his mind would clear, on its own, important, stored information he needed for short-term recall.
The young designer shared with us that if he thought of something while in the midst of working, he had to immediately stop and write down the thought on a piece of paper, or in the next thought, he’d forget what he meant to do next when he had a break in time.
The author didn’t seem to be particularly alarmed by his lack of short-term memory reception, but I felt for him because his letter read as if this were a semi-new experience that he was dealing with in the analytical manner of a software designer and problem fixer. He was using mechanical logic to solve a scientific health problem.
As a healthy eater, and as a Vegan, I have been a longtime supporter of McDonald’s long-suffering effort to offer a better, and healthier menu, at an affordable price, for their millions of daily customers.
Here’s my review of their new “McVeggie” sandwich — published on January 2, 1999:
The McDonalds McVeggie burger can be found in limited availability. In New York City, there are three or four McDonalds in Manhattan that offer the McVeggie. In locations that offer the McVeggie, you’ll find signs outside and large banners inside touting the McVeggie. There’s even a “McVeggie Extra Value Meal” that offers a large drink and large fries with the sandwich! The full-color McVeggie Extra Value Meal sign was professionally made and looked like all the other food images hanging behind the cashiers. The McVeggie is certainly not a scribbled-on after-thought and it appears to be a full member of the McDonalds family in these limited locations.