Biff Rambles On About … Floods, Donuts, Body Snatchers, and Fortune Cookies

Biff Hiking #4


It was a relatively good day here in Biffville (population: damp).

The steady rains continued, increasing my happiness, and decreasing my traction.  I emptied out my rain gauge this morning because because my gauge’s cup runneth over.  It read just over 5 inches of rain since yesterday.  When I glanced at it this evening, it indicated that only another inch of rain has fallen since this morning.  I was disappointed that we haven’t gotten even more rain.  But you know what they say:  Into each life some rain ….. oh … wait.  Never mind.

As I drove to work this morning, I passed several low-lying areas that were completely under water.  One of those low-lying areas was a golf course, the entirety of which is now a water hazard.  However, the ducks seemed to be quite happy with this turn of events.  The golfers less so.

It was a quiet day at work, which is the kind I prefer.  I hid out in my office most of the day, continuing to teach myself Visual Basic for Excel.  I ventured out once or twice to attend meetings in the hopes that someone had brought donuts.  No one did.  It made my attending the meetings an exercise in poor judgement on my part.  My vision had been clouded by the possibility … the hope … of donuts.  How many of us have been led astray by the false promise of donuts?

Having shown up for donuts and finding none, there was nothing I could do but participate in the meetings.  Never before have so many people talked so much about so little of such insignificant consequence and to so little effect.

I kept looking around to see if anyone else was picking up on the absurdity of it all, but they all seemed quite earnest and assiduous.  It reminded me of the final scene in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” when Nancy (Veronica Cartright) sees Matthew (Donald Sutherland) and, seeming relieved that he, at least, has avoided being replaced with an emotionless alien replicant, calls out to him.  However, he turns to her and emits an alien screeching sound, indicating that he had, alas, been replaced.

I spoke to no one in the meetings today, fearing that they would screech at me in replicant.  Even Google Translate could not have helped me in that awkward situation.  I would just have to have shrugged my shoulders and said, “Sorry, I don’t speak replicant.”

In my continuing efforts to be unprepared for almost any situation, I left the house this morning without a coat.  I knew it was going to rain today, but I did not think it was going to be cold.  Why, just earlier this week it had been 75 degrees (24 C).  I had no reason to believe it would get colder.  After all, this is Texas.  Warm temperatures are just a way of life.

But, let me tell you, it was cold today!  Temperatures hovered around 36F (2 C).  And it was very windy!  And wet!  And as luck would have it, I had to attend a meeting at a different site today, so I had to get out in that mess TWICE, with no coat.  And no gloves.  My old Boy Scout troop leader would have hung his head in shame … and then ripped the “Be Prepared” patch off of my uniform.  He might have even struck me across the cheek with a pair of gloves …. if I’d had any on me at the time.

Dinner tonight was at a Chinese buffet.  The food rose to bold new heights of mediocrity.  The jalapeno chicken was quite tasty, but was not spicy in the least.  It was more like chicken that someone has merely described jalapenos to.  The Mongolian beef was likewise tasty, but also devoid of its traditional spice.  It might just as well have been called Montana Beef.  The fried rice was … well … you know … rice.  That was fried.  The best fried rice in the world is still nondescript.  All in all it was a very good meal.  And the fortune in my fortune cookie said that some movie would inspire me to do something great.  I can’t imagine that happening.  I only watch about one movie a decade.  And unless it involves talking Penguins or inarticulate yellow chappies, I feel my odds of being inspired by a movie are pretty remote.


  1. I lived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia fro three years (93-96). All the meats served were spice free and 95% of the time either mutton, sheep, or lamb (a little joke, but true). (I don’t consider salt a spice except at New Year’s when you substituted it for sugar in your tea). For a real Mongol BBQ, it was meat only and meat parts stuffed with blood (cartoon coming on this). At home I turned cows and a horse into ground meat since being Southerners, sheep is rarely on the menu. Years later it was gazelle, cape buffalo, wart hog, ostrich, and zebra, the other striped meat (cartooned that). Keep up the good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Pat! And thanks for the interesting info on Mongolian meat dishes. It’s interesting how here in the states the phrase “Mongolian beef” came to mean spicy beef. Even at dinner last night I could see lots of red pepper flakes in the dish. There was just no heat in them. It was, however, seasoned with salt as you mentioned. Thanks for the info! I always love learning new things!


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