Billy Joel’s first hit single “Piano Man,” contains the line, “Makin’ love to his tonic and gin.”
I do.
I admit.
Cousin Lauren can tell you: Gin and Tonic.
We’ve often had dinners enjoying that drink.

See “Today’s Posting” below for the recipe.

Let’s return to ‘Travel’
We’re talking about packing for the auto trip.

Why will I take my printer?
It has weight and bulk.
And I use it only once a day.

I take it primarily to satisfy my need (anal?) to organize.
Organization being a summary sheet of tomorrow’s activities.
On which I will gather pertinent addresses and contact information.
Reminders, they,  to gather tickets and other support materials.
In rural areas, not sure of Internet connections, to gather hard copies of the maps needed for navigation.

On the top of this summary sheet, in large font, I will type in my ‘anti-disorientation’ information.
Tomorrow’s day and date.
The town I am sleeping in.
The time I’m leaving the hotel and my immediate destination.

On my first solo auto-trip, Post-Thanksgiving, 2017, I experienced the disorienting effect that waking up night after night in rooms without a defining mark has on a person.
That driving so many hours day after day has on a person.
Disorienting, as in having no anchors, no touchpoints, no paydays or weekends, no weekly appointments, any of which back home remind one of where one is.
Disorienting as in the blurring of time and place.
My summary page of the day’s highlights anchors and directs me without necessitating any hard thinking at 5.00am.

So each night I print out tomorrow’s activities.
I keep this reference sheet handy on the passenger seat.

The summary sheet doubles as a scratch pad to gather random, odd, or highly pertinent thoughts that I might think of during the day.
Thoughts that when I start to compose my thoughts for the next day’s activities, I will sort out and enter appropriately into my Surface.

I need my printer.
It’s a big car and it makes for a big suitcase.
And can easily afford the space.

And Dr. Scolabasta Is back with another ugly from the newly-arrived Old Worlders: blowing their noses without a handkerchief.
The how-to: bend over to the side.
Place your fingers at the base of your nose and blow.
Squeeze your nose from the base to the tip, forcing the pile of snot out of the nose onto the public sidewalk.
If some snot catches onto your hand, whip the soiled hand and snap it off onto the person nearby.
Wipe the wet hand on your pants.
Or, I suppose, onto the next person you shake hands with.

Which brings up a related thought.

Especially at a facility that is so inexpensive as to attract third world immigrants with poor hygiene like a crowd to a self-immolating monk.
Planet Fitness, at $10.00 a month, where I go, is one of these.
When I finish my workout, I always wash my hands three times.
Unfortunately, the facility on Winter Street in downtown Boston very often permits ALL of the soap dispensers in the men’s room to run out.

Below find the Chapter Summary of Conflicted, a saga, from the start of this book to date.
Note that the entire summary from the start of this book to date can always be found on the Web Site: Pages, Conflicted, Chapter Summaries.

Met with Tucker @ Microsoft yesterday, our 35th hour-long meeting re: my technology development.
Discussed the emergence of a personality of the blog and website, namely, the several threads of thoughts that are daily finding their way into the blog.
A terrific development.
Am going to experiment with a smidgeon of color to mark different threads. 

Today is Saturday, July 14, 2018
Good morning, my friends.
This is my ninety-seventh consecutive daily posting. 

It’s 6.09am and today will extend the series of great weather days in Boston, except for rain this evening.

Wikipedia summary of what’s on the screen: “King Kong” is a 1933 American pre-Code monster adventure film directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. The screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose was developed from an idea conceived by Cooper and Edgar Wallace. It stars Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot and Robert Armstrong, and opened in New York City on March 2, 1933, to rave reviews. It has been ranked by Rotten Tomatoes as the greatest horror film of all time and the twentieth greatest film of all time.
The film tells of a huge, ape-like creature dubbed Kong who perishes in an attempt to possess a beautiful young woman (Wray). “King Kong” is especially noted for its stop-motion animation by Willis O'Brien and a groundbreaking musical score by Max Steiner. In 1991, it was deemed "culturally, historically and aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. A sequel quickly followed with Son of Kong (also released in 1933), with several more films made in the following decades.

Note “pre-Code.” This may be the first movie to show the female lead’s naked breasts.
I looked (someone’s got to do it) and found the moment: male rescues female and they run from ape, jumping into the water. When she rises up from the water, her top slips off her shoulders revealing a quite lovely woman.
You may not believe it just happened and may have to check it out to be sure.
Be very sure.

I’m at my desk.
Dinner is leftover Roast Chicken.

Today’s Post 

Billy Joel’s first hit single “Piano Man,” contains the line, “Makin’ love to his tonic and gin.”
I do.
I admit.
Cousin Lauren can tell you: Gin and Tonic.
We’ve often had dinners enjoying that drink.

Pick the gin.
I have a favorite.
It doesn’t have to be yours.
Mine is “St. George’s,” their ‘Terroir’ variant.
Pick the tonic water.
I choose Schweppes Diet because the sugar substitute they use is compatible with the Atkins people.
And I am a fellow-traveler, not a full-fledged Atkins follower but sympathetic to their goals.

Got to make love to it, to stretch it, because my body isn’t happy with more than 3oz of strong alcohol in a day.
Which relegates me to one stiff drink.
And I only drink with my dinner.

Starting at dinner prep.
Lasting all through dinner.

Don’t have to worry about stretching the alcohol when I drink wine.
Can drink 2 five-ounce glasses and my body’s fine with that.
From the time I start preparing dinner to after the cheeseboard.
Maybe two and a half glasses.

Drinking gin (or any whiskey) is an art form.
Start with a large Martini glass.
Fill it with ice. Fill it.
Three extra large ice cubes, with smaller ones between the spaces.

Fresh lime juice over that.
The all-important 3oz after that.
And a touch of tonic water after that.

Give it a moment while I prep something.
Return to the glass and lift it carefully.
We don’t want to waste any of the stuff.

Take the first sip.
The strongest-gin sip.
Wow! So many flavors pleasing us.
The gild around the drug making its first hit.
Smashing into our worries and dispersing them like so many empty cardboard boxes.
That image already in the rearview mirror and fast fading.
Mmm! Mmm!
So much ice.

Set the glass down, carefully.
Add a half-ounce of tonic.
Don’t need to stretch too fast.
The first several sips must taste strongly of juniper.

Maybe by the next sip, not only a touch more tonic, but another ice cube: that mountain of ice critical to the tactile feel of the drink,
That temperature of a melting glacier.

And so it goes.
Sip by sip.
More ice; more tonic; the bottomless glass.

Post Scripts

Would you like this daily posting to arrive in your mailbox? 
Just send the email address to

Or would you like to comment on a posting? 
Mail the comment to

Or would you like to view the blog?
Existential Auto Trip: 

God bless!
Be good.
Be well.
Love you.