Biff Rambles On About … Blog Shirking, Season Shaming, Job Seething, and Mixture Shorting

Biff Hiking #4


I have been neglecting my poor little blog lately.

Frankly, I’m surprised that BPS (Blog Protective Services) hasn’t paid me a visit and had a long talk to me about my poor blogging skills before finally declaring me an unfit blogger.

Well, I need to change my ways before that simmering fear becomes boiling reality.

Now all I have to do is think of something to blog about.

Oh!  The trials and tribulations of living a boring existence!

The Rites and Fowl of the Autumn-Man Empire

Most people think of Autumn as being a woman.  They say things like “Autumn has swept into town with her brilliantly polychromatic gown, blanketing the environs in the delicate laces and embroideries of her autumnal petticoats.”

Okay, maybe they don’t actually say things like that.  At least, I hope not.

Still, people always seem to personify autumn (as well as the other seasons) as being female.

I on the other hand, tend to think that fall is swept into town by none other than the tights-and-cape wearing Autumnal Man.

The chest of his singlet (left over from his wrestling days at Des Moines Junior College – All-Region Championship, 3rd Place, SW Division) bears his logo: a clogged nose rampant upon a field of pollen.

Upon his cape are the bright orange letters “AM” (for Autumn Man … or possibly Allergy Menace) in Comic Sans [bold]).

He arrives in town on the “J” bus from Des Moines, Iowa, bringing with him, in his DMJC gym bag, the following:

  • Slightly less-hot temperatures
  • Leaves from the neighbor’s trees that are starting to turn brown and mottled from heat exhaustion
  • The more obnoxious varieties of birds (yes, I’m talking to you, crows!)
  • Asphyxiating seasonal allergies

Long story short:  It is autumn in name only here in Texas.  Otherwise, it is business as usual.


Anger’s Away, My Boss

I rarely get angry.  I am more the “peace-maker” type.  (Think:  Mr. Spock in a dead-end job.)

The last time I got angry was in 1987 when ABC cancelled “Mr. Belvedere” after a mere three seasons.  I never watched a single episode, but it just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason.

But last Thursday I was in a meeting and got angry.  I may have pounded the conference room table once.  I may have raised my voice a bit.  I may have pointedly banged some papers on their edges to align them.

I guess the absurdity of corporate nonsense finally got to me.

But I got over it.

However, all this week, people have been stopping me in the hallway and saying incredulously, “I heard you got mad last week.”

One time someone said that in earshot of someone who was there and they responded.  “Yep, we finally made Father angry.”

I seem to have achieved a new level of “street cred” at work.  I’m sure it’s like when you’re in prison and you have to shank someone with a shiv in order to get a little respect.  Or a little extra chipped beef in the cafeteria.

Be that as it may, I really don’t like getting angry.

I don’t like me when I’m angry.

And, frankly, I don’t like chipped beef enough to go through all the trouble of whittling a shiv out of a bar of soap.  Besides, if you have something to whittle soap with, you already have a shiv.

Variety is the Spite of Life

I recently noticed a pattern in my life.

(No, not my purple, pink, and chartreuse argyle socks.)

Whenever I buy something that is an amalgam of other things, something very strange happens.

For one thing, I begin to use words like “amalgam”.

But seriously ….

No, I find that there is always one thing in the mixture that I do not like.  And I then noticed that that one thing comprises most of the mixture.  To prove to you that I am not crazy (or maybe that I am), here are four examples:

Raisin Bran Crunch

I love Raisin Bran Crunch.  However, I think there are far too many raisins in it.  Forget two scoops per box!   I can end up with two scoops in one spoonful alone.  Is there anything more disgusting than eating a big heaping tablespoon of nothing but raisins dripping in milk?  It is like eating an entire package of Gummi Bears in one mouthful.   I finally got to where I just simply could not stomach the raisins and so stopped eating it.

Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix

I recently discovered this delicious mix in my efforts to start eating more heart-healthy.  It is a very tasty mix and has some amazingly large walnuts and pecans in it.  It is a wonderful blend of walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds), and dried cranberries.  I quickly discovered that, of all the things in this mix, I liked everything except the pepitas.   So, guess what half the bag consists of?  Soon after tucking into a bag of it, I find that I am eating whole handfuls of nothing but pepitas.

I have solved this problem by setting them aside and feeding them to the birds.

The birds have recently requested that I stop setting out great mounds of pepitas.  They prefer pecans.

Candy Corn

For one week, and one week only, right around Halloween, I love me some candy corn.  What is not to like about sweetened wax with copious amounts of FD&C orange #6 and yellow #3 in it?

But I only like the ones that are orange, yellow, and white.  I do NOT like the ones that are brown, orange, and white.   I also do not like the ones shaped like little pumpkins.

Yes, yes, I know.  They are all made out of the same muck.

But I’m telling you, I cannot abide any of them except the yellow, orange, and white ones shaped like teeth.

So when we buy the large jumbo bag of candy corn ($2.99 for 23 pounds), guess what the ratio is?

93% – brown, orange, and white

6% – Little pumpkins

1% – Orange, yellow, and white

Frankly, I demand more from my colored wax and artificial sweeteners.

Peanut M&Ms

I used to eat my own body weight every week in peanut M&Ms.

Much like the candy corn example above, I had my favorite colors.  They were ranked thusly from most favorite to least favorite:

  1. Orange
  2. Green
  3. Red
  4. Yellow
  5. Blue
  6. Brown

So guess what each bag consisted mostly of?  Yes … brown.  And guess what there was the least of?   Yes … orange.

I think it is one of the reasons I gave up eating Peanut M&Ms.    (That and my family has a history of heart disease.)

So it makes me wonder … is there some sort of conspiracy among food manufacturers to give me lots of what I dislike, and next to nothing of what I like?

Or is it more likely that I have some sort of mental disorder that automatically makes me develop a distaste for what is plentiful, and a liking for things that are rare?

I suspect the conspiracy.












  1. I’m with you on the candy corn, other than the fact that I don’t actually like it but will eat up to one handful per fall season if it’s sitting there in front of me and there are no other options, like . . . water, for instance. But I could never stomach those dumb pumpkins because the illusion of the candy corn is that it’s not completely wax, whereas with the pumpkins, there’s no denying it.

    And does anyone other than me remember when there were NO blue M&Ms but there were light AND dark brown ones? Not that I don’t think the blue is vibrant and all, but I used to love lining up the colors like a color wheel, and the light/dark brown combo was important. Side note that’s vastly important in some universe: I don’t actually have a favorite M&M color, but once the pile starts to dwindle, I have to eat them in such a way as to keep the number of each color remaining as even as possible so the final mouthful is one of each. We all have our quirks, I suppose.


  2. If Blog Protective Services puts you in the lock up then I am pretty sure I have a spot reserved as well….maybe we can get connecting cells?!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would be cool! And we’ll have to practice our Morse Code so we can tap out messages to each other. I’m sure the messages will only consist of corny jokes … but still …


  3. I begin to wonder here if you got so angry in your meeting because your company actually manufactures candy corn and you were just trying to give the people what they want. Tell me if that is true. Tell me now or I’ll come after you with my soapy shiv-making-device. Of course, I’ll have to wait for the metrics on how popular my device is in the general prison population vs. the general population. And I’ll do that by studying shiv-making-device focus groups, but as with all new products, it should only take about seven years to make a decision. See you at the launch party in 2026!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha! This is brilliant! I can tell you have served in the trenches of the corporate world just like me. The sad part is, a seven year development and launch cycle for a shiv is not outlandish. I can hardly wait for 2026 now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I know 7 years isn’t out of the question. I know all too well. I can’t say I miss all of that. Interminable meetins are the worst. I don’t blame you for getting angry within the confines of a conference room. I used to have unspeakable thoughts while being tortured via meeting.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I rarely get angry, even at corporate stupidity or incompetence or inefficiency. I just shake my head at it and try to improve it any way I can. The only thing that truly gets me angry is duplicity. Seeing someone stab someone else in the back or throw them under a bus or to blame other’s for one’s own mistakes or incompetence … THAT makes me angry.

          When I am in interminable meetings, I just let my mind drift to more pleasant (and important) things. I imagine myself elsewhere, with people I want to be with, doing things I’d like to do. It’s not perfect, but it keeps me from climbing the walls. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Ignoring the fact that all colors of “my used to be favorite when I had better teeth peanut m and ms” taste the same, I do agree with the one dose of candy corn is good. However, I like the pumpkins. Trail mix also has gone by the wayside with lack of good teeth, but age is part of it, and a history of finding the worst dentists. We used to call it Gorp in the 70s and made our own. Enjoy the nuts!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I used to argue vehemently with friends and family that I could taste a difference between the different colors of the Peanut M&Ms, but I was just yanking their chain. Really, the color differences only provide a psychological “flavor” to the whole M&M experience. I just tended to like the brighter colors more than the drab ones.

      Sorry to hear about your teeth situation. I had horrible teeth as a child and there is no telling how many fillings I have in my head. I’m surprised I don’t set off the metal detectors at the airport. But, Thankfully, it has not adversely affected my ability to chew. On the other hand, I do suffer from ‘cold sensitivity” and biting down on a piece of ice inadvertently can send me up through the ceiling.

      I do remember hearing the word “gorp”, but I’d forgotten it until you mentioned it. I think it is a perfectly descriptive word for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha! This was simply terrific and the social worker from Blog Protective Services (love that!) filled out a report that it was a false alarm and reassure her supervisor that your posts continue to flourish and radiate sheer genius under your professional care. (Crows however have now sought therapy for low self-esteem.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Stephanie. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Thank you for the kind words, and I’m glad to hear that BPS I am no long on the BPS radar.

      I did not mean to speak unkindly of crows. I’m sure they have their niche to fill in Nature’s Grand Scheme. But, beyond annoying the stuffing out of me, and chasing away all of the “pretty” birds from the area, I haven’t been able to figure out what it is yet.


  6. everyone else’s comments were (and forever will be) so much better than mine. I only have one suggestion. Take one box of bran flakes (plain, no raisins) and mix with one box of raisin bran crunch. it works out to the perfect amount of raisins per spoon and doesn’t change the flavor of the crunch!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I love all comments equally, Suze. 🙂 The fact that someone took the time to write to me will never stop being thrilling to me!

      That is a great idea about mixing bran flakes with the Raisin Bran Crunch. I am definitely going to try that.

      I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bibibibibibibibibibibibiiiiii *catches breath* Bibibibibibibibibibibibibibibibibibibibibibibbiibibibibiiiiiiiiiiiff!

    It IS a conspiracy, and these same people are doing something similar to me… When I start liking something at the grocery store, and I buy it regularly, stores run out of it!! For weeks, sometimes months… Basically long enough for me to stop trying to find some. And when I lose my interest… Tadaaaaaaaa!! Guess what’s available again?!?

    I have 3 hypothèses:

    -I just have really, really bad food-karma.
    -“They” are watching me, and just want to make my life miserable with the most annoying détails…
    -I’m in the middle of my own Truman Show, and people are watching my (absolutely boring) life on tv. Of course, no matter how uninteresting it is, people still watch me and note down what I like, and the sales of these products sky rocket, and stores run out of everything I like.

    I don’t know what’s scarier… LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hiya, Sis! It’s so great to hear from you! You may not believe me, but I have been thinking about you lately and thinking, “I really need to drop in on Sis’s blog and see what she’s up to.” And then … boom! There you are leaving me a comment.

      One of my October resolutions (why wait til January?) is to check up more often on the blogs I enjoy (yours being at the top, of course).

      I loved what you wrote about stores dropping products that you enjoy. I have often complained about the very same thing! I can see something on the shelves for years, and then, on a whim, I will buy some. As soon as I try it and say, “Wow! This is really good!”, it is gone from the shelves by nightfall. So I agree with you. There is definitely a conspiracy!

      That’s a good analogy with the Truman Show. I never thought of that before. Maybe THAT’S it. We both have our own version of the Truman Show. I hope we’re not on competing networks in the same time slot!


  8. Yes, Biff, I agree! Agree with WHAT, you say? Well after reading this fine masterpiece of prolific prose, I figured it would probably be best for you to choose just WHAT I might agree on. That would save us, one, from you POSSIBLY getting angry (since you don’t like too) and two from disliking what I agree with you if it seems to be the most plentiful characteristic of your writing!

    Since I’m a new follower for just a few days, suffice it to say I didn’t miss you one bit! Popped over to the Reader and poof, there you were. Well, your article that is and what a Saturday morning joy you gave me! Oh, you don’t have to agree with that if you don’t want too!

    I’ll probably be back throughout the day for when I get bored of what I have to write on MY blog, so don’t be surprised if I agree with you some more on whatever! Hey that gave me an idea! A category called Whatever!! It must have been destiny Biff, thanks! Oh, if thanks is okay I mean!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. You know, if you are feeling guilty about your infrequent posts you can fake it by splitting them up. Rather than a digest, this one could have been three separate, shorter pieces and people would have marveled at how prolific you had become.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Lorne! I’ve thought about that many times, but it basically boils down to laziness. I hate creating posts and fiddling with all the tags and stuff. But once I’m in the post and writing, I just can’t seem to stop myself.

      Maybe when I was a teenager, I should not have read that self-help book, “How To Make Laziness Work for You.”


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