Friday, April 11, 2008

The Rest of the Stories

If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people - including me - would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism. ~ Hunter S. Thompson

No, I didn’t order a pizza on Thursday. The NutriSystem meals come with no vegetables or fruits, which the consumer has to supply. Therefore, I went into the cupboard and the refrigerator and created this meal for my supper: rice, spinach, carrots, whole wheat bread, margarine, and peaches.

I have this very old and very neat computer program which can keep track and provide all sorts of data on food. I have been entering all of my meals into it for the past month. Thus, I know that last nights supper in lieu of pizza consisted of:

Fats 4 g

Carbs 127 g

Fiber 5 g

Protein 9 g

Total Calories = 470

Yes, the NutriSystem order did arrive today, along with an apology from UPS because the driver had inadvertently pressed the wrong button when he scanned in the packages which indicated that he had already delivered them.

Alex is now napping beside my notebook computer rather than on it. I worked out a deal with the furball and turned on my high intensity desk lamp which evidently provides enough warmth for him.

Rimshot asked a couple of questions in his comments to yesterday's Nick's Bytes post that I shall answer here:

The First Saint Omnibus is a wonderful read. I believe that I am on my fourth or fifth reading of it. Unfortunately, my copy is so old that it has begun to fall apart. When I attempted to obtain a new copy, I learned that it is out of print, as is The Second Saint Omnibus

Yes, I am still puffing away, primarily on my collection of pipes sans tobacco and fire.

Unfortunately, there is no end is sight for these stories:


  1. You are a strong-willed man, Mr. Nick. I am sure that you feel much better after ingesting the foods that you did instead of a heavy, greasy, carb-loaded, greasy, vitamin deficient, card-boardy, greasy pizza. (How's that for taking away any desire for that stuff?)

    Glad that you and Alex could come to a peaceful win-win compromise.

    Now, if you could just teach your skills to the "leaders" of the world...

  2. Nick, that CLOCK is beautiful!! I'm a timepiece collector!

  3. Nick, it appears things are well at your house. Perhaps the same can be said someday of the places in those cartoons.

  4. Whew ! I am finally caught up on your blog. I am back after and unsheduled thre week vacation from the internet, courtesy of my internet provider.

    Good to know that you and Alex are doing well, both of you have been in my prayers. I can't believe that you are still struggling with the insurance company ! I have real issues with insurance organizations - they make me insane !! We had some very nice weather here in KS, unfortunately,
    it keeps getting interupted by those spring thunderstorms and very gusty winds. I'll be so happy when the sun comes to stay for a while and things warm up.

    Take care,

  5. Well done for not succumbing to the Pizza. Glad to hear your food was delivered. That's an interesting collection of pipes you have there Nick, how many have you got? I love the smell of pipe tobacco, even though I gave up smoking (not pipes I might add) over 10 years ago.

  6. I saw this and immediately thought of you and Alex.

    Thank you for your kind comments to me and your help as I traverse the slippery path I'm stumbling on. It means more to me than I can say.

  7. MIKE: For some reason, yesterday it was difficult to find cartoons that said what I wanted them to say. Perhaps I need to just say it and not seek cartoons to say it for me.

    CAROL: No, I’m not that strong-willed! However, as much as I was drawn to a pizza, the idea of eating pizza alone did not appeal to me. I suppose I think of a pizza pie as something to be shared—and not just with Alex.

    I’ve gone a step further with Alex’s need for warmth: his feline friend, Daisy the Curly Cat, to Alex about a cat warming cup that has a built in heater and that she curls up in to nap. I have let Alex use my VISA card to order himself one. This is the first time I’ve trusted him with the card since he went overboard ordering catnip from an Internet catnip pusher.

  8. Alex looks content with his spot beside the computer.

  9. DANA: Thank you. I inherited the clock from aunt and uncle who, I believe, purchased it in Germany in the late 1940s.

    CANDI: Yes, my household matters seem to be improving these days. I have hope and prayers that the world will do the same.

  10. AUBURN HAIRED ARTIS: I’m glad to hear that your exile is at an end! Thank you for your prayers. So far as insurance companies are concerned, I remind myself each time I deal with them that they are a business whose baseline is first and foremost profit, no matter what that sales people say when they sell one a policy.

    ALELAMALU: I have nineteen pipes left. I don’t know how many I have bought since 1965 when I bought my first. I do know that my sons broke a nice Meacham that I purchased in Germany and I’ve lost/misplaced a few during my various travels. Perhaps I remain orally fixated, but I find great comfort in have a nicely turned pipe in my hands and mouth. Maybe it’s as my friends in college used to tell me: I am actually a Hobbit.

  11. TWYLA: Thank you for the link to the video. Yes, that cartoon fits Alex to a T.

    I BEATI: Yep.

    ABBY: I suppose that Alex is content with his spot beside the computer. That is exactly where he is at the moment, after coming back inside from his morning cat walk and eating his second breakfast.

  12. What a lovely mantle with clocks and pipes.

  13. Wow! You go Nick. WILLPOWER MAN. The buttons on the phone would still be smoking from ordering home deliver pizza. Alex seems to love his spot under the lamp. Peace be with you.

  14. I love Carol's comment. Muffin is by my computer as well.

  15. Could you modify one of your pipes to blow bubbles? (I had a bubble-blowing pipe as a kid.)

  16. i reamber those pipes from when i was cleaning your house!

  17. Hi Nick. My son loves the pics of Alex. He wants to come over and play with him. :)


  18. Good luck with the NutriSystem.

    And do you ever smoke your pipe with Apple pipe tobacco? I love that; my father smoked a pipe with I was younger and I will forever associate the smell of Apple pipe tobacco with him. (One I was homesick and even though he hadn't smoke it for more than 20 years, I bought some to just smell!)

  19. I love the smell of pipe tobacco. Hubby used to smoke a pipe. However, since we had the girls, I will not allow smoke around them. I'm such a strict mama!

    Good luck with the Nutrisystem. Let me know how that turns out. Hubby and I were looking into it, but we can't afford it at the moment.

  20. THE LONE BEADER: Actually, I had pizza last night—NutriSystem pizza—for dinner. It wasn’t as good as Pizza Hut or Papa John, but it was pizza!

    FIOCHRA: Thank you. These days I hardly look at the mantle—except to dust the stuff and wind the clock.

    LADY DI TN: Alex abandoned the spot beneath the lamp last night to join me in bed. Could it be that sniggling next to my body is even warmer than napping beneath that high intensity lamp?

  21. ENEMY OF THE REPUBLIC: Alex just came inside from this afternoon catting around and has leaped upon my desk. He is again beneath the lamp beside the computer—not napping, but grooming himself.

    THOMAS: A bubble pipe? I possibly could, but that would ruin the pipe (I think).

    TIFFANY: Yep, I’m sure that you remember the pipes. They have to be lifted each time the mantle is dusted/polished.

    SNOWELF: I’m so glad that your son loves the Alex pics. He is welcome to visit and play with Alex at any time. However, I must warn him: whenever my grandkids enter the house, Alex hides.

  22. PROFESSOR: Yes, I have smoked apple flavored pipe tobacco. Come to think of it, in the 40 or so years I’ve smoked pipes, I’ve smoked just about every kind of pipe tobacco made. I believe that smells can powerful stimuli for our memories; I have a cinnamon-apple candle in my kitchen that, when I burn it, brings to my mind my Aunt Lill’s kitchen of some 50 or so years ago.

    There used to be tobacco specify stores that had huge selections of various pipe tobaccos in just about every mall; however, since the health Nazis have won the battle against smoking, all the ones that I knew of have closed.

    CALLIE: Does Hubby still smoke a pipe, out-of-doors perhaps? With all of this pipe-talk and the memories of it jogging my mind, I just may grab a pipe and a glass of wine, put some soft jazz on the stereo, recline in my favorite chair, and read some of the Beat generation poetry.

  23. Hello Nick,

    I really like your pipe collection--very pretty. (and clock) nice arrangement and I would be quite comfy at your place napping and sampling some of your food--I have always been curious about those food systems.

    I am going to wait til the messiah of coffee returns and find out about the french market stuff too-- it will never replace espresso as my favorite, but it is delicious--I have never tried making it myself from the can.


  24. That is a beautiful clock, Mr. Nick. And the pipes look quaint. They do to me, anyway.

    I'm glad Alex has found a nice warm spot, without using the laptop. Cats love warmth. You might consider heating a small pillowcase filled with rice, in the microwave, and giving it to Alex to nap on. He will love it!

    I'm glad things are going well, and that you got your food. Have a great week, and happy eating. :-)

    Best wishes,


  25. Thanks for sharing that most excellent rendition of "To Sir with Love"!

    Nostalgia meets groove down at at Motown themed coffee house.

  26. ANONYMOUS (Chedwick): Thank you. I, too, am awaiting the information on the coffee w/chicory.

    RENIE BURGHARDT: Thank you, Ms. Renie. At them moment Alex is not napping on the desk beside me. This afternoon I applied his monthly dose of anti-flea/tick medication to his skin this afternoon and he is not at all happy with me. So he is napping beside the FAX machine, which I assume is also a bit warm.

    RIMSHOT: Thank you. Vonda Shepard and Al Green did do a marvelous job singing “To Sir, with Love.” I think I’ll keep it up another day!