THE BLOG
09/28/2016 03:53 pm ET Updated Sep 29, 2017

Post-its, Bags, Gherkins & Other Fripperies

A familiar nursery rhyme to die for. The year is 1346. An estimated 75 to 200 million Europeans are being wiped out by bubonic plague. If you are among the fortunates who manage to live through this devastating pandemic, no doubt you join in the sardonic verse that's going around:
Ring around the rosy...
The little red spots that turn black and break out all over your body. Which is why you call it The Black Death.
A pocket full of posies...
You believe that by putting posies in your pocket, you might be saved.
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
You die.
Source: The World Was Never Same: Events That Changed History, thirty-six masterful Great Courses audiobook lectures from University of Oklahoma Prof. J. Rufus Fears.
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How long did it take you - meaning the great reusable paper bag adjustment? If you live in a city where supermarkets no longer provide free brown paper bags, you've probably had a wobbly transition period. Whether they're in your car trunk or wedged in next to your refrigerator, how long did it take you to remember to bring the actually the bags into the store? And how many should you bring? You think you're only picking up a few items but supermarkets are very clever at reminding you what else you need. You often have to buy extra bags. But 10 cents per bag isn't the problem. It's about forgetting to bring them. That's the issue, isn't it? If you're a lifelong grocery shopper, any significant change like this is challenging. Fellow shoppers may not admit it but they all went through the same wobbly transition. Here's a suggestion: Post-its! Properly placed Post-its are dramatic enhancements to your to-do list which is usually stuffed into a pocket or purse. A bright yellow Post-It on your car dash is a striking reminder to take the bags. Also, keep a stash of them in the glove compartment. You may need one to slap on the window of the dumdum who parked so close to your car, you can't get in on the driver's side.
Post-Its: a thinning memory's best friend and a useful weapon for vigorous expression.
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Pickles are a food group. To many of us, pickles are a fundamental stand-alone food category that gets absolutely no credit from America's food gurus. In fact, pickles are criticized for their abundant sodium content. If sodium is your issue, you can stop reading now and scarf down some unsalted popcorn.
Whether the bumpy little Gherkin, the bold and sassy kosher dill or the spicy kick of pepperoncini, subtlety is not the pickle's sell. And they are not the warm-up act for your meal. You think they're a side dish, a compliment to the main course on your plate. No. They are the brassy trumpets of the food symphony. They demand attention. They wake up your mouth. Got morning breath? Pickle it. Facing a bland meal of couscous and spinach. Pickle it. The word itself is delightfully expressive. "What a fine pickle this is!" "He was pickled the whole night," "He looks like he's been weaned on a pickle." Pickles are never shy about their standing. They are proud and usually green. Pickles are the narcissists of the food pyramid.
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If young Adolf Hitler had not been rejected for enrollment by a Viennese art school, how different you think the world would be.
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The next development in video combat games: WarBland, Rise of the Generics