Well… I hardly know where to begin. Things have been crazy and unsettling. However, I wanted to give a shout and let everyone know that I’m keeping on.

In the middle of our *epic* snowstorm, it suddenly rained projects on me. I have things to build, wire to pull, and money to be made. I will be pretty busy for the next few weeks trying to knock these out.

Things have amped up with regards to parenting. So many appalling things have come to surface and as much as I wish I could tackle it with fervor for the sake of social justice, I have projects to focus on. I might post a little rant about it, but I might not for the simple fact that the whole situation is already ugly and embarrassing enough.

Lastly, with this influx of projects, I am finally making the move into a real work space. It’s not very big, but it’s heated, powered, and very accessible. Ground level roll up door and a nice, large alleyway for delivery vehicles. The price is right, and all utilities are covered. First order of business today is dropping the application off and then preparing for the big move! Of course, not until having to haul a meltdown from school this morning. I just hope that after all this drama, I don’t get denied based on the incredible mess my life is. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!

Lastly, I think I will be changing my blog up slightly. It feels like time for this to have some kind of direction and purpose. I have some things I’ve been chewing on, and an unexpected meeting with a neighbor might sprout into a garden plot and/or greenhouse for labor relationship. My girl is over the moon for an opportunity to get her hands dirty again, and I’m happy I can offload half my unused materials instead of dragging it around the city in the move.

As always, I’m often not sure how to explain my feelings, but my plants always look the part exactly. 😥


Life is Letting Go

and making room for the new

There’s been a box of papers getting kicked around, shuffled here, buried, moved there, and buried again. It was unlabeled and I hadn’t looked in it since I packed it up to move years ago. A few months ago, I pulled the box out in a furious cleaning effort.

First opening the box revealed magazines adorned with skin, which happened to also surprise my curious girlfriend. There were only a few, and truthfully much of the reason I keep them is for the simple nostalgia of the countries they were printed in. In any case, they made it to a proper location and the rest of the box has been collecting dust.

School stuff. After those few magazines, it was just folder after folder of schoolwork. I suppose I’m a bit off just for keeping all the hardbound door stops I needed through school. In the same vein, I had been keeping this box of my work because there might be something useful and worthy of saving. I don’t know why, but this morning just felt like the right time to dig through it.

I suppose after spending so many late nights and early mornings wrapping your head around these charts, it would make anyone just a bit disconnected from and unable to relate to the population at large. In the folder I found these, I also found all the work I did leading up to failing Solar Thermal Systems. That professor is still there, still teaching all the classes I would need to take to finish. I thought I had him figured out, and a small part of me wonders if he didn’t just dish the pain out to me because a little bird told him I thought I had him figured. I kept the chart, and tossed all the work into the box.

Then, there was that one condensed physics class I had to take at community college to be admitted to my engineering program. Wherever Jeff Berkeley is, I sure hope he isn’t torturing more undeserving students with his belittling and ranting. Sure, I passed with a B, but it was an ugly summer. It was a period of time where I was realizing my marriage was doomed, and I didn’t know a sober day until I stopped eating altogether in the stress of my initial severance. All of that, in the box.

Ah, yes. Engineering school, where you might sit and pontificate the possibility of actually jumping from a burning building onto a lower one! I did like this class, as hard as it was. I actually enjoyed the daily quizzes where the class all got a little bit of a mind blown by the inaccuracy of common assumptions about the physical world and Newton’s Laws. Turns out, it’s not just Chuck Norris that can do ‘Earth Downs’ instead of ‘push ups’! I kept the quizzes for future mental gum to chew on and the rest went ceremoniously into the box.

It went like this for a couple hours. There were tests, the Electronics midterm for example, which the entire class bombed so badly that the professor had no choice but to offer points back for corrected solutions. There was the motors class that started with 11 students, only to end with 4 of us even attempting the final and only half the test takers passing. I wasn’t one of them. In the box, headed for the trash like that whole course was from the first day.

I really had a talent for circuits, and did fairly well along the way despite the electronics courses to follow. There was the bridge build for statics. That was actually quite fun and the proud remains of it are still around somewhere. The electronics courses were rough. I really can’t bias an op amp to save my life! In the box because none of that has stopped me from making my own amplifiers from scratch any damn way.

Nearing the end of the pile, I started pondering just what qualities made for a good teacher. How do some of these professors give their students such a hard time yet leave them with such a positive perception afterwards? What makes others just come off as portentous jerks while they can’t even get their own facts straight to present them? I come to my calculus work. Oh, yes. There’s stone cold Thompson. The guy was a jerk and unforgiving, but in a clinical sort of way. His way of telling you that you failed was like a doctor writing a prescription. I did enjoy two courses with the local legend, though. At least, I left with a positive impression of the course. Looking back on the comments, I feel less impressed. He meant to be humorous, but at some point it gets to feeling like tests are nothing more than a ritualistic beating that you have to endure for the sake of the title.

Avoid creative math. Good advice that makes me shake my head at my father and all his ‘creative financing’. Turns out, you can’t just pretend an exponent is a base nor can you pretend debt is a credit.

However, I guess what does jive with me and my style is blunt force honesty. The math is all fancy with Greek letters and not logically incorrect, but the most valiant efforts are for naught if not executed correctly.

One Magical Day

…when I have money again

Sara in LaLa Land posted a bucket list and I thought I’d give mine a revamp!

Money doesn’t buy happiness, they say. Whoever they are, they apparently have too much of it if they can’t find happiness. I would frankly be stoked simply to pay all of my bills one month. However, one day when money and kids are not a hindrance, here’s a few things for my bucket list.

Snowboard the Alps. I grew up in Colorado near a legendary ski area. The powder was deep, some years the slopes would be open before Halloween, and some years would stay open past spring vacation. The west coast states, though I love living in the PNW, just don’t get that high altitude fluffy powder. I would also be happy getting some action in Alaska, though it just doesn’t have the same exotic appeal to it.

Fiji getaway. Simple enough. I just want to spend a week or two lazing around half naked and go diving in the reef. I started diving in Okinawa as an alternative to getting shit faced every weekend. Since then, I’ve enjoyed only a handful of dives in my adventures. I lost all my underwater photos in the course of life. I had a huge collection of ‘sea slugs’ photos. Sad, but it only means that one day I will have to go take more photos!

Take family to 6 Flags. Another one of those odd growing up things was being just close enough to Denver to feasibly make a day trip to Elitch Gardens. For most families, that is. I still to this day haven’t made it there. I did go to the one in LA a couple times while stationed at Pendleton. I mean, the fair rolls in with all the usual rides: the zipper, tilt a whirl, some version of centrifugal force ride where everyone is pasted to the wall, the swings… Okay, yay and stuff, but some of us have leaped off bridges and out of aircraft for fun. The Batman ride, now there’s some fun! I can’t wait until the kids are old enough that I can take them to enjoy all those things!

Speaking of thrills, man would I love to do what Dane Cook did on one comedy tour and fly a plane in a dogfight! Does that company still exist? It wasn’t exorbitantly expensive when I checked it out, and I would be stoked to have such an opportunity! I would probably still have a hard time finding someone to go with me. Not everyone has the stomach for that kind of physical upheaval!

Hot Air Balloon Ride. Simple as that. Just a peaceful, gentle excursion with lots of time to take in the sights. Skydiving is epic for the sight, but admittedly a scant few minutes is hardly worth the cost. The southwest is famous for ‘habbing’ and I always thought it would be just about the best excursion for a birthday or anniversary.

Romantic cruise ship getaway. Another one of those simple things. I suppose I could enjoy a Caribbean tour, as it would flow nicely with the minimal clothes theme for the ship bound part of the trip! However, I really don’t care for the heat, so Alaska has always sounded more appealing. Glaciers and northern lights are definitely more my flavor.

Yep, one day

Breakfast Hero

“W” is for WIN (and Waffles)

I just washed the iron from the last delicious batch of waffles and thought I’d share this with the parenting community.

I got my waffle iron one very difficult Christmas from a dear mentor at school. She’s a seasoned mom and has that magical mom way of doing just the right little thing to make all the difference in the world. A crock pot was also gifted at that time, also quite treasured, but I feel like the crock gets all the praise and media attention.

Ask the kids what they want for breakfast…

“Can we have waffles!?” Comes the excited request. The recipe is so simple, the kids can even measure and mix it themselves with guidance. They can be frozen and thrown in the toaster (if it fits). They can be flavored with extracts other than vanilla. Really, they are quite flexible. You can go all the way outside the box and serve with chicken nuggets! Why not?

Saturday morning family breakfast is our semi religious gathering, so that certainly fuels the desire for these geometrically delightful breakfast icon. However, they are also quite packable and portable. After they cool, they soften and are no longer a major crumb threat to the back seat! Load them with berries and you remove the burning need to slather them in artificially flavored high fructose corn syrup for ingestion!

Anything you can imagine putting on a crepe is fair game for waffle amendments. PB&J to yogurt to Nutella, to even more berries! You could even put the actual distilled sap of the Acer Saccharum on them, if you are so inclined. Or agave…

Parents, if you don’t have a waffle iron, do yourself the favor of the year and go get one! You will be amazed at the hangry taming power of this highly understated tool! I sure have been.

Moving Forward

Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves?

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my girl was lied to and hosed over by corporate ass fuckery once again. January is getting to be the month of unexpected unemployment for us. In any case, after stressing out of our minds for the last 3 or 4 weeks, she has finally found gainful employment again. I might be getting my hopes up, but the benefits are above and beyond and her initial impression of her new coworkers as ‘bubbly’ makes me think she might just have found a good long term fit. 

As for myself, money problems, not seeing the sun for weeks on end, being socked in with the cold rain, and the holiday season overall was enough damper to make me not want to get out of bed most days. My 30’s have had me down, but after a while I guess you come to the conclusion that you may as well, “get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’. ” (Shawshank Redemption)  Before you get concerned, rest assured that my boy’s bright, happy face and great big hugs  (like his dad’s) keep me grounded through everything. So, I’ve been chewing on this question all month and then some: what now?   

Without reliving too many miserable details, I have to say that I would pin this ‘midlife crisis‘ thing, if that’s what you want to call it, down to having to learn how to let go of your past hopes and dreams that didn’t work out, and find a new meaningful future starting from where you are. I suppose we are sort of guided as teenagers on our course of self-discovery and identity. You have to write all these thoughtful essays on how you understand and feel about the world, and coming out of high school you sort of have some idea about what your life should look like. Your roaring twenties roll around, and you’re full of piss-n-vinegar! You experience your first real world achievements, often your first really meaningful intimate relationship, and you start to set life goals. Then, struggle. Then, getting tripped up. Then failure followed by more failure. Next thing you know, everything you worked so hard to achieve is a damn mess and you start wondering how long it will be before you find yourself pitching a tent under Burnside Bridge! 

Without wanting to, my search for the answer to, “what the hell do I do now?”, led me to wondering just what I’m all about. Maybe I attached my identity to a dream future that didn’t come true. Maybe I lost myself along the way. Maybe I was distracted by the wrong glittery, shining things in life. Maybe that streak of success fooled me into forgetting the simple,  ubiquitous fact that life’s a bitch! 

Whatever the case, I’m starting to regroup and make a plan for moving forward. I’ve had to settle into myself like an expertly made cheesecake (for the love of desserts, don’t fuck with it for at least twelve hours! Why is this so hard?) or since I’m more of a savory foodie who more often than not gets the trial by fire treatment, maybe more like a homemade salsa made with flame roasted peppers. Either way, I’ve had to examine my past to accomplish this, and that’s been half the battle. 

The other half of the battle has been to find affirmation in the way I’ve dealt with my circumstances. See my previous post if you care to hear me rant and split hairs on choice, consequence, and circumstance. My early followers probably know that I have severed connections with my father and though I haven’t refused contact with my mother, still haven’t spoke to her in years. I won’t have alcoholism in my life, and I have neither the desire nor constitution to drag someone into reality that has chosen to be checked out of it. These are my choices, and I made them for a reason. 

Somehow, conversation with my girl last night triggered a chain of difficult memories, and I purged myself of some emotional indigestion over this fact. Sometimes, you just gotta let all that poison out of you to be mentally healthy again. This morning, with the ‘taste of it’ still lingering in my mind, I have this song in my head. I’ve given it a few listens and let it wash over me. There’s a lot behind this song for me. (Graphic content advisory: mild violence in YouTube clip, lyrics at the bottom if you’d rather not or the link doesn’t work) In fact, the movie it’s from, Kelly’s Heroes, is pretty damn classic, too. Even if war flicks aren’t your flavor, (though it’s minimal gore) I would say the all star cast from young Clint Eastwood to Don Rickles makes it worth seeing at least once. It has a lot of clean, old fashioned humor with a gold heist theme. The song resonated with my mother, and it took me until my adult years to understand why. Moreover, the movie stuck with me thanks to Donald Sutherland enlightening me to what it means to be a hippie out of his natural habitat. Come to think of it, I lived out quite a bit of that character’s role in my own service! Ha ha! I’m not even embarrassed about it! Woof, woof! 

Well, there you have it. Accepting who I am, accepting everything that’s happened, and getting the hell on with it. I will leave you with these lyrics and promise to be back soon to share my itchy green thumbs and projects.

“Burning Bridges” sung by The Mike Curb Congregation 

Friends all tried to warn me but held my head up high. All the time they warned me but I only passed them by.

They all tried to tell me but I guess I didn’t care. I turned my back and left them standing there. 

All the burning bridges that have fallen after me. All the lonely feelings and the burning memories. 

Everyone I left behind each time I closed the door. Burning Bridges lost forevermore. 

Joey tried to help me find a job a while ago. When I finally got it I didn’t want to go. 

The party Mary gave for me when I just walked away. Now there’s nothing left for me to say. 

All the burning bridges that have fallen after me. All the lonely feelings and the burning memories. 

Everyone I left behind each time I closed the door. Burning Bridges lost forevermore. 

Years have passed and I keep thinking what a fool I’ve been. I look back into the past and think of way back then. 

I know that I lost everything I thought that I could win. I guess I should have listened to my friends. 

All the burning bridges that have fallen after me. All the lonely feelings and the burning memories. 

Everyone I left behind each time I closed the door. Burning Bridges lost forevermore. Burning bridges lost forevermore. 

Choice and Circumstance

Same shit…different year. 

I was about to post another “It’s Always Something” rant. However, this week I also did some housecleaning on my blog, reading through my thoughts at various moments through last year and judiciously deleting the unnecessary. Man, I’ve sure done more bitching than I care to display!

So….what now? Somehow, I don’t feel like my ‘digital penmanship’ is entertaining enough for everyone (anyone) to want to keep reading that crap. Besides, when I started this blog, I really had hoped I could use it as a medium to display my work. Truth be told, I really relish the presentation of a product. Despite my flurry of emotions when my product is less than impressive, I still enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and (am I vain for saying so?) I really love the empowerment of people recognizing my work. The most casual compliment makes me feel valuable and, I don’t know, true. Like I’m not just some schmuck with big ideas and a bigger mouth, like I actually go forth with my claims. 

That post, which I may or may not just delete, sort of followed my rambling thoughts to the heart of it all: Choices and circumstances.  

We all understand choice, at least we think we do. Maybe industrialization has numbed our minds with the constant need to make decisions, such that we are either complacent or exhausted by time the big ones come around. Either way, our minds do their best to process the inputs of our senses across the record of known outcomes with each option. 

I admit I’m not a fucking people person. Yet, in many instances, I’m embraced and cheered on. Pushed into leadership, even. It’s all well and good when I get to enjoy leading people who are naturally dedicated to the objective. When it comes to those difficult type people, however, all the worst sides of me come out. What really blows my mind is when those difficult people present their emotional plea and label me a bully.  

Well, before I chase that rabbit too far, let’s crack this choice nut. I suppose we don’t have a lot of choice in waking up or falling asleep. Everything between that, though,  requires a conscious decision. I have to choose to even so much as get out of bed after waking. Even though water, food, shelter, etc. are all necessities to survive, taking them in is a choice. I know that’s getting morose, but I have to bring this to attention: survival –sustaining your life– is a choice! 

So, that’s the long and short of it. Just like every last theorem in mathematics is rooted in addition and subtraction, every last choice we make is ultimately for the sake of survival. Can I live with charcoal gray, or do I absolutely have to have black? Can we shoot a rocket to the moon by lots and lots of addition or are we isolated to this terra-firma from which we came? It’s the same question, with different content. 

Choice. We can choose charcoal gray or black, and I think there’s a realization to face that the consequences of either are miniscule in comparison to the consequences of making the purchase at all. The choice to shoot a manned craft to the moon? There are a plethora of known risks and consequences, but ultimately it does boil down to survival. Most humans are prone to want to continue living and surviving as comfortably as possible.

Choosing can be overwhelming. I get that. Consequences of our choices is more to the point of this lengthy post. What do we do when our decision has been made and it’s not in line with expectations? I have to put that in bold, and maybe even repeat it. What do we do, how do we react, what  subsequent decisions do we make, when the effects of our initial decision are undesirable, distasteful, or unpopular? 

Consequences. Are you wondering if I lost track and rambled onto this instead of circumstance? I didn’t, and here’s the punchline: people, especially those fucking difficult people, love to confuscate consequence with circumstance.

Let me make this perfectly clear, and I will even quote it just to be sure, consequence is a result of choice. Oxford and Webster pretty much say the same thing, but I love vocabulary.com for their bold and direct definition. 

A consequence comes after, or as a result of something you do. 

…Something you do. Rather, a choice you make. Doing implies action, but inaction clearly brings consequence, as well. It’s an effect of reactions set into motion by you, that you later find to be undesirable. 

I guess that about draws the line between circumstance and consequence, but I’m not hopping off my soapbox yet! Circumstances are what they are. They describe our environment, implying a one-way relationship to those in it. As before, I turn to the authorities on meaning, and I easily spot my supporting documentation at dictionary.com . 

A condition, detail, part, or attribute, with respect to time, place, manner,agent, etc., that accompanies, determines, or modifies a fact or event; a modifying or influencing factor:

 Fact is the root word here. Another source said it exactly as something environmental, inherent, and outside your control. Absolutely no choice you make will negate the outcome that circumstances induce. Sure, there’s a spectrum here. You can certainly do the best you can in every situation. 

If I was handy with memes, I’d insert one of Bert from Tremors 2. Stupid movie, classic scene, I’m only sort of surprised I had to look so hard for it. 

However, as I’m backing myself up, I stumble on the real issue. Those same authorities I called on also define circumstance as:

One’s state of financial or material welfare. 

Disclaimer: I hate politics and I entirely disapprove of America’s current disgrace of a president. However, I have to really challenge this definition following the lines of a quite unpopular statement made by him. 

Is poverty really a circumstance, or is it a consequence of choice?? 

I grew up poor. I worked. At the tender age of 10, I held my first 40 hour per week job. I didn’t have a lot of choice, but I did have one. If I were another child, I would have chosen to fuck around all day at best, or be a screaming, fussing nightmare for all involved at worst. I didn’t want to not have things, and I sure as hell didn’t want to be homeless, so I chose to be a good lad and work diligently. But, as my boss and parents were aligned in this scheme to provide some sort of slush fund, I still grew up in poverty. Emancipation was kept a secret from me until it was too late, else I damn sure would have just paid my own fucking rent, thank you very much!

I signed a dotted line in the middle of a war. Not a single faculty member could understand why a perennial honor roll student would willingly step into harm’s way. Probably because not a soul was aware that my parents put a roadblock in my future by lying on their taxes. Every university I applied for wanted me, but without filing a FAFSA, my options were this: get shot at and maybe dead for a chance at a future or continue to pay for my parents’ livelihood at the cost of my own life… I mean, I had a fucking choice, didn’t I? My options were absolute shit, but I did what I could with what I had. The career counselor looked down on me, and my service commitment wasn’t even announced upon graduation, unlike my fellow reserve-ees. They said I couldn’t get an education in the Corps, and I came out with an Associates. Doing what I can with what I got. 

I made my choice. I could hardly be happier about any choice in my life, because from that point on, I no longer suffered in poverty. 

Until the last few years. The state is beating me up for overdue child support. My car got repossessed. I have a stack of 72-hour notices and an eviction on record to boot. I haven’t paid student loans, credit card, vehicle insurance, or even daycare for almost half a year. Rent is coming up hard and fast, and I expect to have all of $400 to throw at it. 

Circumstances, right? 


I have made choices. All these years, I have been making choices. These choices have led me here, and now what? I’m suffering the consequences, and my child, along with another’s, are suffering the circumstances. This woman and I are stressed with the consequences of our choices, and our children are living with the circumstances.  

Coming into the new year, I cannot just continue to do the same damn thing, hoping for a different result. I’m not incarcerated or confined. I’m not living out in the boonies, and I’m not without a means to communicate. I have options, which means I have choices. I guess the ultimate point of this is that I have some foresight as to the consequences of my choices, and the range of outcomes possible in my circumstances

Stupid is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Defiant is making the same detrimental choices and blaming everything but your own choices for the consequences. Circumstances are nothing more than conditions actually outside your control that you should be considering when making a choice. 

Now, about that rabbit. If I’m relied on to make positive outcome decisions for the benefit of all parties, and I am met with defiance or inaction, does my frustration really make me a bully? If things are going really bad for everyone, and it’s another’s choices driving it, am I really a bully for trying to set them on the right path? For fuck’s sake, I stress so much over how to approach every situation with courtesy and finesse, I really can’t make the connection between my efforts and bullying. But, isn’t it just fucking peculiar that every last person who places that label on me is absolutely devastated when I leave them? Hmm, I thought a bully was a person you don’t want around because of the conflict they bring? I’m not being a bully, I’m just making the tough choices nobody else wants to face. Sometimes, that choice is walking away from the fucking difficult people in my life. Don’t hate me for having to live with the consequence of my absence after choosing to be difficult!

Courting the Dressing

“Ugh, I’m sick of ranch, can we get something different?” my girlfriend asks as we walk along the condiments. I give an affirmative grunt. Great, now we have to stand here and debate back and forth for ten minutes what flavor might appease all parties concerned. The conundrum of choice. We look. I notice the raspberry vinaigrette.

“Whatever you do, don’t waste your money on that one” I point out. My mind wanders off to a time I was on a late night kitchen rampage attempting half a dozen combinations and concoctions before admitting that raspberry is just never going to combine well with vinegar, no matter how intoxicated the consumer is. 

I hate the fact that it is never just her shopping or me shopping. To me, getting groceries is some kind of Ninja Warrior type event, where the goal is to get all the shit on the list as fast as possible without wrecking the produce, eggs, or bread. Yep, I’m the midlife, long haired shit that never grew up, riding the cart and kicking skater style through the store. Newman’s Own ranch, there! Scrrrr, snatch, kick and gone. To her, it’s a lengthy exercise in having to make critical decisions over and over. The critical decision of the moment being just which one out of half an aisle full of options will win her heart, eyes and tastebuds? Clearly, the ranch is not doing it for her these days. 

I see this raspberry vinaigrette isn’t a one brand show, and I start to ponder the deeper implications of the market given the immense selection and drastic price differences. Anything from 99 cent mostly made of corn products ranch to a small $6 glass bottle of goddess, and that horrid sweet-sour combination only appearing in the mid range to expensive. 

I reach the end of the aisle and turn around trying not to look annoyed, but there’s a reason I don’t play cards, you know? She finally reaches into the shelf and pulls out the Newman’s Own fucking ranch. I’m not the least bit surprised. Before stepping away with it, she saw the Chipotle ranch and avocado ranch. If my deceitful <ahem> poker face wasn’t telling her it was time to go, my grabbing the cart did.  

Later on in the shopping experience, we come to the toilet paper. This being near the end of the journey, I offer up my unsolicited advice, “let’s just get this brand this time.” That being said, her first consideration is to wonder what the price difference is between this brand and Charmin. I’m the only one who prefers Charmin extra strength, because I don’t appreciate the treatment of John Wayne tp but kinda need it at the same time on occasion. So, if I’m okay with the cheaper stuff this time, why ask? Well, then there’s roll count to consider. Twelve? Eighteen? Twenty four pack? Regular or jumbo roll? Ply count?? Fuck’s sake!

I stare at the Brauny guy for a minute, chuckling to myself at the thought of how sex sells and it’s not just men’s eyes being seduced. A whole aisle of paper, behind each roll some graphic designer’s attempt to woo emotionally driven and indecisive shoppers. 

I don’t get it, but then again I’ve always shopped by price tag. If most people thought the way I did, the grocery store would feature about 10 feet of aisle with plain cardboard boxes encasing each option. The limited printing would show the bare minimum of carton information, along with a hazmat style 3 point chart to indicate comfort, strength, and ability to remove shit. But I suppose by this point, I would rather have built the whole store into a pick-n-place warehouse conveniently networked with my fridge and pantry so I don’t even have to remember we need tomato sauce, ranch dressing, or toilet paper in the first place!