Check tire pressure (again)

Tire pressure indicator icon

This indicator light is glowing again on my dashboard, for the third time since I started driving this car 18 months ago. If the same thing holds true as was the case the other times, this means there is something stuck in my tire and I need to take it in to have it patched. 

I love my Jetta, but I can't lie, this indicator confounds me. Perhaps in the more expensive models, there's a more helpful display that includes information on each tire's exact pressure, or even a sensor that can tell whether you've driven over a nail, but on my base model, here's what you get:

Pssst. One of your tires is low. Can't tell you which one, but something's wrong. Could be it's just low on air, could be you drove over something sharp. You might wanna have that looked at. Just thought you should know. Good luck. Bye.

In other words:

Shrug emoji

The dashboard icon looks like a shrug for a reason. As if to say, YOU figure it out. I got nothin'.

Tire pressure is kind of a recurring gag in my life. My vehicles always seem to have tire issues. I thought with a brand new car, I would finally be free of tire-related problems. I thought wrong.

Another recurring gag in my life is vacuum cleaners. Some people have the same vacuum cleaner for their entire adult lives. We, however, have gone through them far more frequently. Many years ago, when we used have a cleaning lady, she squinted as she eyed our latest vacuum cleaner. "Where'd you get this?" she asked. "Target?" Uh, yes, in fact that's where we purchased it. "Hmmpf."

HMMPF?? What's wrong with a Target vacuum cleaner? Turns out, her scorn was well-placed. That one did not last long. I'm on my third one since then.

Am I the only one who has to patch a tire every 2-3 months? I'm not off-roading, I swear. I drive somewhat gently. I stay on paved roads. I almost never hit curbs. Come to think of it, though – potholes are often unavoidable in the District; maybe that's the problem.

Just me???



When your childhood bedroom overlooks acres of corn, it stays with you. You can grow up, leave the farm, move to the city and put 31 years between you and the corn fields, but you can't entirely leave them. Corn, it turns out, stays in your blood.

Such are my thoughts this morning as I just finished blanching 14 ears of sweet, sweet Pennsylvania corn, cutting the kernels off the ears, and packaging it for the freezer. Soup season is not far off, and I'll need the corn for chicken corn soup. Oh, you can try using the frozen stuff from the grocery store. It's passable in a pinch. If you use canned corn (home-canned is OK, I'm referring to the grocery store stuff), I'm sorry, but we can't be friends. No – you need sweet corn, and it has to be fresh when you cut it off the ears. Trust me on this.

Here's the link to my "recipe" for chicken corn soup

I've written about corn before, a hundred years ago on my old blog. When you do many dozens of ears, as we did back in the day, it takes a whole squad of good country folk. But this morning, I was only doing a few. I started with this 


And ended up with this


I think about my wonderful grandmas all the time, but never more than when I'm sitting in the kitchen, cutting corn off the ear. One of my fondest memories of my Grandma Losch is of her sitting in my childhood kitchen with a big bowl on her lap, slicing corn off of blanched ears with unrivaled precision and speed.  I don't remember anyone else doing this job. But I paid attention, because I knew one day I would get to cut my own corn.

See those intact chunks of kernels? We would try to sneak our hands into that sticky bowl to grab those because they tasted so delicious. Some kids stick their fingers in the cake batter (ok, fine, we did that too), but we wanted corn.

Alas, August is almost over and school starts next week. Summer is winding down. I'm happy to have tucked a bit of golden summer goodness away for later, when the days are shorter and the temperatures are cooler. 







Short Todd Gets Invited to a Baseball Game

The surprisingly ordinary life ofFirst installment of an occasional series about a guy I invented one night at a baseball game.

“Hey Todd.”

“Yeah?” Todd replied, popping out of his chair and around the partition into Jason’s cubicle.

“Jimmy has to pick up his sick kid from daycare, so me and the guys have an extra ticket to the game tonight. It's last minute, you probably already have plans, but…”

Jason knew he could scalp the ticket outside the stadium, but thought, what the hell, why not ask Todd. He couldn't find anyone else who wanted to go.  

Jason checked with the other guys and they agreed, even though they all found Todd annoying, he was a serious baseball fan. Plus, they knew that Todd knew they were going to the game because he came in to the break room yesterday right when they were all talking about it. Todd had tried to join the conversation. He said something about trying to get tickets but they were sold out. It would be shitty if they invited someone else from the office and then Todd heard about it. Especially with him sitting next to Jason now after the move.

And it was the Pirates. Todd LOVES his Pirates. So Jason asked, "…You wanna come with?"

“Aw, yeah man, that’s AWESOME, yeah, thanks, thanks man! First beers are on me!”

Todd was excited. Finally, he’ll get to hang with the dudes from work! He’d been trying to drop subtle hints, but they didn’t seem to notice or invite him to stuff. There were happy hours and games and other group outings, but somehow he missed hearing about things until after the fact. This was his in.

“But listen,” said Jason, “We’ll have to meet you there, k? Chad has a parking pass but doesn’t have room in his car for all of us. That cool?”

“Yeah, dude, totally! I’ll just take Metro and meet you at the center field gate. Wanna meet early? We could check out Red Porch, watch some BP…”

“Nah, just meet us at the seats,” replied Jason, handing Todd his ticket. He and the guys had planned on having a beer at the Bullpen outside the stadium, maybe throw some cornhole, and he thought it might be a little too much Todd to include him in that.

“K, cool! Thanks again, man! So excited!” Todd returned to his cube and tried to remember where he’d left off in his spreadsheet.