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Little nuggets from Empty Nest

Last winter we had to go to a friend’s house to watch the Super Bowl because the Fox Network and the satellite provider were in a contract dispute. Grr. As it turned out, we enjoyed the little Super Bowl party at the friend’s house, and the Chiefs won, Mahomes performing his magic, so no harm no foul.

However, this fall, when I wanted to watch the World Series on Fox, and they were still in a contract dispute, well, I got a little hot under the collar. I called the local satellite installer and he told me to relax and go buy a cheap antenna. I did, or I should say, I had Ginnie pick one up while she was shopping.

I couldn’t get the antenna to work on the big tv in the living room, but it worked great on the bedroom television. Ok, fine. I just went to the bedroom to watch the World Series and was happy napping.

Then, CBS and the satellite provider got into a contract dispute, along with Fox. The little antenna wouldn’t pick up CBS. Ginnie was really upset because we like to watch CBS Sunday Morning while getting ready for church and CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday night. Plus, there’s football. I noticed other people on Facebook were upset. I called the local satellite installer again, and he said he could install a small antenna on our house that would pick up the network television stations and would be connected to all the televisions — we have four. (Pathetic, I know.) And it was only $300. Considering we are somewhat housebound because of COVID-19, I figured it would be a good use of soon-to-be, maybe, stimulus money. We now have antenna-as-well-as-satellite tv on all of the televisions. Fox and CBS can take a hike. It seems a little regressive that, with the approaching 5G internet system, we are reverting to old fashioned antennas, but that’s the world we live in. What’s next, ringer telephones and party lines?

Are you irritated when your glasses fog over while wearing a face mask? Here’s a little trick I learned while welding. I was having trouble with my welding mask fogging over. I soon learned that if I mouth breathed and directed my exhalations downward, the mask didn’t fog over nearly as bad. It works the same for a face mask. Also, we just bought some glass cleaner from a door-to-door salesman that works great as an anti-fogging agent. I tried it out before going to Wal-mart and it really works. (You don’t want to be fogged over at Wally World.)

Also, if you’re losing your hearing aids because the face mask loops over the ear, get the kind of face mask that ties behind your head. Voila!

A retired farmer can’t understand the panic buying of toilet paper.

A reader south of Ottumwa called me with his tip of the day (or lifetime). He’s a retired farmer in his eighties. He told me that he couldn’t understand what all the panic buying of toilet paper was about. He hasn’t used toilet paper his whole life and it doesn’t involve corncobs or a Sears catalog. He learned it as a boy when he had trouble with his hind end chapping. (If this seems like TMI, bear (or bare) with me.) He went to the doctor and the doctor told him he had a high acid content in his excrement and to wash himself. He did and the chapping went away.

While in the Navy during World War II, he noticed the Japanese did not use toilet paper. They squatted over a bowl of water and washed themselves. He tried it and it worked, and he liked it.

So, he developed a method of washing himself that is quite ingenious and sanitary. Sitting on the toilet he reaches behind himself with his right hand and flushes the toilet. With his left hand he washes himself with the fresh, flushing water. He repeats this to wash his hand, dries himself with a towel and needs no toilet paper. He can’t understand why anyone would spend good money for a bidet or why there is panic buying of toilet paper. “Save a tree,” he says. Note: he does keep a roll of TP by the toilet for guests who aren’t as adept at self washing.

Another nugget of info: bananas peel easier from the bottom. I tried it and it works. It really does.

If you’re wondering where this pandemic and world-wide depression are headed, look back to the Dark Ages. Historians tell us the Black Plague, which caused the Dark Ages, ushered in the Renaissance — a revolution in art, architecture, politics, science and literature. Where are we headed — Utopia or Armageddon? Ginnie and I just watched “Greenland,” with Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin. My advice: don’t.

One last nugget (or maybe two) and I’ll stop. On Dec. 21, Saturn and Jupiter aligned to form what some call the Christmas Star. Another time the planets aligned, three of them, the Christ Child was born and man started marking time. December may be a month to remember.

At 12:01 a.m. on Jan 1, for the first time ever, hind sight will actually be 2020.

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Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com.

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