The Secret Revealed, Avocadally

There’s an old magicians’ dictum that if you want to hide the secret to a magic trick, print it in a book. That probably goes double for blogs. So after much thought, I’ve decided to reveal in this blog the secret of one of the world’s most perplexing problems. Probably no one else will ever bother to read this, so the secret’s safe just between the two of us.

As far as I know, I’m the first and only one to crack this particular code. It wasn’t as if it hadn’t been tackled before, Lord knows. There have been dozens of hare-brained schemes, some of which may have even sounded logical and promising at first. But none of them stood the acid test of successful experiment. All other solutions faded, like a mirage that shimmers on the desert’s dust. Only my solution remained.

I would like to claim that the answer came to me in a flash of blinding light, or in a dream, or perhaps was whispered to me by some Holy Man at the end of a long and perilous mountain climb. But I would be indulging in romantic fantasy were I to maintain such. No, the truth, as it so often is, was more mundane, grittier, sweatier. As Thomas Edison so aptly said, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. How true that was. So Herculean were my efforts, I could have used a whole barrelful of deodorant.

It would be, perhaps, foolish to proclaim myself a genius. The word is bandied about so freely and carelessly in this present slipshod generation, so much so, as to almost lose all sense and meaning of the word. And yet in this one instance, in this one happenstance, it would be, perhaps, false modesty and a dereliction of the historical record to downplay my achievement. Through constant toil, testing, tedious trial and error, sleepless nights, days when my bones cried out for rest, still I continued on, persevering against the greatest of odds, first trying this, then trying that. Over and over and over again.

All for the trivial avocado, you say? Nay, a thousand times nay. And no. For humankind I say, for our children, and our children’s children, and for their descendants everlasting. And perhaps, too, for the ancestors, who now smiling down upon us, may rest more easily, knowing that that which had tormented them in their all-too-brief sojourn on this mortal coil, could now, at long last, be put to bed. Rest, rest, perturbed spirits!

One cautiously cuts the avocado in half. Rather than greedily devouring the entire avocado, like the judicious ant and not the profligate grasshopper, one places but one half of Nature’s gift carefully on the plate to enjoy what Mother Earth hath given unto us: one hemisphere of verdant green to eat but then, one hemisphere, equally verdant, to carefully store in some manner.

And here is the crux of the matter: no matter in what way one stores that half globe of delight for a later meal, when one returns to it, it has turned into an unrecognizable foul thing, scarcely of this earth, marred with all manner of mold and rottenness, like a Cabinet member in office for more than two weeks. With the pit or without the pit; in a baggie or exposed to the winds; in the refrigerator or by the hearth; immersed in unnamed secret liquid potions or dried under the heat of diverse planetary suns, the sickening result is still the same: base, blight, decomposition, decay, and heart-rending waste. The Gods mock our pitiable efforts to stop the hands of withering time.

That is, until now. Listen up, guys. Here’s what you do.

Cut the avocado in half, vertically. The pit will be in one side of the avocado. That’s the half you’re going to store. Get yourself some Seventh Generation unbleached recycled paper towels. No, believe me, it’s not going to work with just white paper towels. Forget that Bounty crap. With one sheet, wrap up the half avocado with the pit. Put it in your refrigerator. Eat the other half. Now come back a day later, and if the avocado wasn’t too ripe to begin with, when you go back to your refrigerator and unwrap the half with the pit, you will have a very respectable looking half avocado. Yes, as Mama used to say, God never sends us a problem more than we can handle.

Now go, and godspeed. And wipe that green junk off your lips.

On Unwanted Change

We usually don’t do more than one post a day, but here we are:

In line with the basic rule that any time a program is updated it will suck even more, have less functionality than before, lose data, ruin your work flow, and take hours to actually get this worse version to come to some semblance of rudimentary performance and/or appearance, WordPress, without announcement, has “retired” our blog theme and also instituted a new editor to create posts.

No matter what imagined benefits the flacks at WP may pitch to us, it’s spinach and we say the hell with it.

Here at Shalblog Industries® our teeming minions have always striven to give the reader a decent daily blog experience. After almost six years of daily posts, the frustration level with these “improvements” is reaching the boiling point. It will take us a while to adjust, so in the next few days, you may see the appearance of the site change its design somewhat. We will still post everyday, it’s just that the layout will probably look different. For example, the blog name is ridiculously large, and there doesn’t seem a way to do anything about that. But don’t worry, it’s still us, the same Shalblog Industries® team scouring the world daily to bring you the finest in musings, memories and magic .

The Social Media Trap: The Social Dilemma

In the new documentary film, The Social Dilemma, a group of founding tech wizards warn of the dystopia awaiting us because of our fundamental misunderstanding of the true nature of the social media giants like Facebbok, Twitter, and Google. I was happy to be speaking with the director of The Social Dilemma, Jeff Orlowski, about how social media manipulates all of us.

To listen to my conversation with Orlowski, as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio show on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation, click on the triangle or mp3 link above.

Africa: Toto

Monday morning after sifting through literally dozens of versions, band configurations, and covers, we settle on this 2013 version of the 1981 Toto song.

Dave Paich: lead vocals, keyboards and writer

Simon Phillips: drums

Nathan East: bass

Steve Lukather: lead guitar

And because here at Shalblog Industries® we use every part of the buffalo, expect more versions of it posted this week.

Thanks to YouTuber MADIM67

Diana Rigg, 1938-2020

Diana Rigg died this week. A fine actress, the clip above shows her in a few of her famous roles.

But my favorite thing that Diana Rigg ever did as an artist was to write a book called No Turn Unstoned: The Worst Ever Theatrical Reviews. Stung by unkind reviews that she had received over the years, to cheer herself up, Rigg compiled a book of horrendous reviews that other celebrated actors had received over the years. If you can get a hold of a copy, it’s a fun read.

Thank you, Mrs. Peel.

Thanks to YouTuber Guardian News

The Semicolon Song

A very silly, clever song. Make sure you stay for the end, if you don’t want to be completely confused. Language definitely not suitable for work or the easily offended.

More at thelonelyisland