I like things that come in 7s. From the earliest days of the Christian faith, the number 7 represented perfection. 7 days in a week, 7 sacraments in the Church, and lists of 7 virtues are some places the number comes up. The secular world has followed right along – there are 7 seas, 7 Liter Fords, 7-Up and 7-11 stores. And good old DuPont No. 7 Auto Polish.
Fellow blogger Herb (at The Haps With Herb) came up with a list of 7 topics that called for 7 answers to 7 questions. Or is it seven answers to seven questions? Herb did not make the perfection connection, and perhaps that would be a stretch here too. At least for those of you who know me.
Once upon a time, this would have come under the category of those pesky blogging “awards” that were kind of like chain letters. You know – I got this award that made me answer some questions and now I am awarding it to you so that you have to do the same thing. But it is not an unwelcome pain if I feel like doing it on my own. Herb, by the way, kindly recognized this blog as one he enjoys and I would like to reciprocate by saying that I enjoy his writing too.
But this isn’t an award, but a topic on its own, that now comes under the heading of “It is a busy time of year and my frazzled brain is having trouble finding a good topic for this week.” So, with a hat tip to good ol’ Herb, lets have a look at the following 7s. Or Sevens. I should add that these lists are in no particular order, other than the order I thought of them in. Re-ordering them would take much more thought and time, something that is scarce this week. So, without further ado:
Things That Scare Me
Things (Not People) I like Most
Things I Might Like To Do Before I Die
Things I Can Do
Things I Can’t Do
Books I Love
Things I Say Most
Seven Things That Scare Me:
- Unexpected loud noises. This should be no mystery and I’ll bet several of you share this one with me.
- Those moments in horror movies. You know those moments. When something happens and you jump in your seat and yell “Gaaaaaa!” or something like that. Maybe this (and the one above) are more “startle” than “scare”, but I think they count.
- Young people (and not-young people, for that matter) who seem to lack any kind of understanding of or appreciation for our Constitution and its Bill of Rights. It separates us from about everyone else in the world kids, so don’t be too eager to throw it out.
- Potato soup like my mother used to make. It would have scared you too.
- Mob violence. Not like “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” but genuine, out of control people on a rampage of attack and destruction. Well, maybe both of them scare me.
- Rats. There should be no explanation necessary.
- Losing those I love.
Seven things I Like Most:
- Old jazz music. But you already knew this.
- Ice cream. Good ice cream, at least. There are few things more pleasing than good ice cream.
- Cool old cars. Don’t ask me to name the coolest seven – that list changes almost daily.
- A well-made cocktail. I only enjoy these maybe once a week or so, if that often. This is one of those areas where less is more – the less I indulge the more I appreciate them. I suspect the opposite would be true too.
- The feeling when all of my day’s work is done and I get to relax.
- A medium-rare filet mignon with a baked potato slathered in butter and sour cream. To clarify, the butter and sour cream is on the potato, not the steak. The steak just needs some salt and pepper. And maybe some sautéed mushrooms. We mustn’t neglect our vegetables.
- The company of those I love.
Seven Things I Might Like To Do Before I Die:
- Visit Rome. The one in Italy, of course. There is a Rome City in Indiana, but I have already been there. And why do some cities feel the need to add “City” to their name? Of course it’s a city – what else could it be?
- Learn how to weld. I love fixing things, and who can fix more things better than someone who has the equipment and skills to weld?
- Own a Studebaker. The welding will come in handy because they rust like crazy.
- Finish reading the batch of 50 classic books I got through a subscription in the 1980’s. I am probably 40% through them. I could get greedy and say that I want to finish the rest of the books I have not gotten to, as well. There are more of them than there should be.
- Lose 30 pounds. Or even 20. Do I hear 10?
- Write a book – maybe a novel.
- Pass on some of the skills and knowledge I have picked up along the way to children and grandchildren.
Seven Things I Can Do:
- I can diagnose and fix most things on my car. Whether I choose to do so is an entirely different question. My concrete garage floor is colder and harder than it was when I was younger.
- I can perceive color much better than most males.
- I can make home made ice cream that is pretty good.
- I can make you laugh (if you have anything even remotely approaching a sense of humor).
- I can tell a story without rambling. Usually. Or maybe just sometimes.
- I can appreciate almost any genre of music.
- I can wiggle my ears.
Seven Things I Can’t Do:
- I can’t keep a conversation going with someone else who can’t keep a conversation going. If you will hold up your end, we will do fine. If not, prepare for some awkward pauses.
- I can’t maintain a clean desk. Someone once told me a clean desk is a sign of a sick mind. My mental health is fabulous, by this measure.
- I can’t stop a book or a movie before I have finished it. Well, I can but I feel awful about it. “Finish what you start” was drummed into my psyche from a young age. Why yes, as a matter of fact my mother WAS of German ancestry. How did you know?
- I can’t see clearly more than eight inches in front of my face without my glasses. That works great for things within eight inches of my face. This is why I never took to contact lenses – I tried them once and only then did I realize how much time I spend looking at things within eight inches of my face.
- I can’t sleep late in the morning. It doesn’t matter what time I go to bed – I have a great internal alarm clock. Which is why I hate the twice-annual time change so much.
- I can’t stay awake late at night. This is a side effect of early rising. Or is this caused a lack of stamina? I think I’ll go with the first one. Also, this is a bit of a problem for one who is married to a night owl.
- I can’t function in the morning without coffee.
Seven Books I Love:
- The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Edmund Morris, 1979). I read this in college, and was a fabulous telling of a phenomenal life.
- Rome Sweet Home (Scott & Kimberly Hahn, 1993). This was the book that made me a Catholic.
- The Hunt For Red October (Tom Clancy, 1984). Clancy wrote quite a few good novels, but this was his first, his shortest, and I still think his best.
- Maverick – A Biography of Thomas Sowell (Jason Riley, 2021). Sowell is a national treasure. Some economists allow their politics to steer their economics. Sowell is not one of them – which is why I have so much respect for him.
- The Way The World Works – How Economies Fail And Succeed (Jude Wanniski, 1978). This was a read recommended by the best econ prof I had in college. Economics teaches a highly counter-intuitive way of looking at the world. Be careful – once you start thinking that way you will be miserable because of all of the people in positions of power and influence who don’t have a clue.
- The Old Man And The Sea (Ernest Hemingway, 1952). I read this in high school, and remember it as the first assigned reading that I enjoyed from front to back..
- Three Chords For Beauty’s Sake – The Life of Artie Shaw (Tom Nolan, 2010). I love a good bio. This is much like the TR book that started this list – a fascinating person whose story is told by a good storyteller.
Seven Things I Say Most:
- What were they thinking? We live in an age of hubris, where all kinds of ideas get traction. For awhile. “Hey, let’s let kids look at live-action X-rays of their feet in their new shoes!” “Hey, aluminum wire conducts electricity as well as copper and it’s a lot cheaper!” “Hey, let’s change the formula for Coca-Cola to make it taste more like Pepsi!” You get the idea.
- It seemed like a good idea at the time. This is a variation on the example above, but usually involves ideas that I came up with on my own.
- Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good. This can be a struggle.
- Wow! This can have many meanings, so it is very context-intensive. It could mean “This is delicious!” Or “That is an impressive accomplishment!” Or “That is absolutely the stupidest thing I have ever heard another human say!”
- I have a theory about that. I have lived long enough and thought about random things enough that I have theories about lots of things. I would use this as the subject for that book I want to write, but it would probably sell about five copies. One for me and four as gifts for everyone in my immediate family
- It needs more salt. There are very few foods that have ever been served to me that were too salty. The mashed potatoes at a formerly favorite restaurant were a memorable exception. Wow! (as in “Sweet leaping lizards, but that was salty!”)
- Found it! This one is usually preceded by a questions that starts with “Where’s the . . . ?” This may be related to my inability to keep a clean and orderly desk. This is different from one of my mother’s most common utterances – that began with a loud “WHERE’S MY . . . . ” and followed shortly thereafter with a much quieter “Oh.”
So there we are. Now I have 7 (or seven) days to come up with something for next week. Which I see will be Christmas eve-eve. Maybe Herb will have another idea for a quick and easy blog post next week.
COAL update: I think this was my childrens’ choice for favorite family car of all time.