Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Christmas Wish

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0190 . . . OPEN:

There was one other sign with a Christmas wish that has stuck in my mind. And yes, I know that Christmas was almost a week ago. If I don't mention it now, I'll probably forget about it by the time December 2012 rolls around.

This sign was in front of another school in Louisville; Assumption High School, to be precise. And like the message on Goldsmith Elementary's sign, I'm guessing that the message won't be changed until after everyone comes back to school. I'm guessing that will be this coming Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest. I liked the wording of this particular sign message, which is probably it has stuck with me:

"May love light the world at Christmas."

As with the other sign, it's probably something that should be kept in mind throughout the year, not just at Christmas.

I hope all of you have a Happy New Year.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0190 . . . CLOSE

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Not Much Of A Difference

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0189 . . . OPEN:

With the holiday craziness finally over, I went by Mid-City Super Buffet for lunch today. I was curious to see what changes, if any, had been made since #1 Asian Buffet had closed several months ago.

In a word -- not much. As I noted when I went in to pick up one of their takeout menus, the decor looked the same. The arrangement of the booths and tables, the location of the sushi bar and buffet tables -- same places. I'm guessing that the new owners/management didn't feel the need to make any sweeping changes to the place that were not necessary.

After being shown to a booth, I shed my jacket, backpack, and helmet, and went to the buffet. My first stop at any Asian buffet is usually the sushi bar. I was a little disappointed by the sushi selection. Now, it may have been because the restaurant had not been open too long when I arrived, or it may be that the selection may be more limited at lunch, but the only choices available were various rolls -- including a very good cream cheese roll. I was hoping for some nigiri sushi, but they didn't have any at the time.

The food was your typical Asian buffet fare, including such exotic Chinese dishes as French fries. (Okay, I'm guessing that most of these places have fries because it will be something that keeps the younger kids happy.) I made several trips to the buffet, eating until I was pleasantly full. I think I found the secret to avoid that feeling of having a lump of spent uranium in your stomach -- take your time to enjoy the food. Don't be in a rush.

And of course, the meal ended with a fortune cookie. My fortune read as follows:

"Your wealth is where your friends are."

Okay, this makes it sound like my friends are picking my pocket.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0189 . . . CLOSE

Monday, December 26, 2011

MoreThan A Pattern

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0188 . . . OPEN:

I decided to pull another couple of cookies out of the bag from GFS today. I've been on the road over the weekend visiting my family, and for whatever reason, I decided that I was in the mood for a fortune cookie.

This time, I finally pulled my first triplicate fortune from the bag. I had a feeling it would happen eventually; I was just curious as to when. On the other hand, the other cookie was a fortune I had not seen before now.

The duplicate -- excuse me, triplicate -- fortune was:

"All your hard work will soon pay off."

And the numbers and mini-Chinese lesson was the same on this one as it was on the other two bearing the fortune.

The fortune I was seeing for the first time read as follows:

"You have a friendly heart and are well admired."

This is where I want to start borrowing a line from Bugs Bunny: "He don't know me very well, do he?"

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0188 . . . CLOSE

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Wishes

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0187 . . . OPEN

I trust all of you are having a very Merry Christmas. at the very least, I'm hoping that you're enjoying the day off.

I thought that today, I would share something I've been seeing on a sign for the past couple of weeks. The sign belongs to Goldsmith Elementary School, which is only a few blocks away from where I live. Since it's on the way to my local library branch, I usually see it at least a couple of times a day.

If I'm not too mistaken, this message was put on the sign outside the main entrance during the first week of December. At this point, I'm guessing that the message will stay there until after the beginning of the new year:

"Children need your presence more than they need your presents."

Probably a good thing to keep in mind year-round, and not just at Christmas.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0187 . . . CLOSE

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stuck On Me

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0186 . . . OPEN:

When I got home last night, I stopped by my mailbox on the way up to my condo. For reasons unknown to me, someone had placed a refrigerator magnet on my mailbox. I had to remove it before I could open my mailbox, and after looking at it, I decided to take it with me.

The magnet was much like many of the buttons I have. It bore a short message that falls into the category of what I have dubbed "fortune-ish." And it appealed to my sense of humor:

"I can only please one person per day. Today I choose me."

As I said, that's going on my refrigerator.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0186 . . . CLOSE

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cookie-Less Fortunes

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0185 . . . OPEN:

While I was reaching in the bag of fortune cookies a couple of days ago, I happened to notice something. I saw a couple of fortunes that weren't inside cookies.

I have no idea how how these fortunes became separated from their cookies. I'm guessing that the most likely explanation is that some of the cookies have been broken from the bag being handled at various times, and the jostling separated the fortunes from the cookie fragments. I'm not particularly in the mood to think of alternative suggestions, in any case.

I plucked the orphaned fortunes out of the bag, and thought I might as well use them in an entry of their own. And it turned out that this pair is split -- I've pulled out one fortune before, but for the other, it was the first time I've encountered it. (At least so far.)

"If you wish to, you will have an opportunity."
(This was the second time I've seen this fortune.)

"The reward of a thing done well is to have done it."

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0185 . . . CLOSE

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Double Double

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0184 . . . OPEN:

It has been a while since I pulled a fortune cookie out of the big bag I bought early this year. Last night, I pulled a cookie out of the bag. It was yet another duplicate fortune. So, I decided to try again, and pulled a second cookie out of the bag. You guessed it; it, too, was a duplicate.

I don't have the original fortunes readily at hand, so I can't compare the lottery numbers to see if they are true duplicates. But based on previous experience with this bag, it's a pretty safe bet to guess that they are. Here are the duplicate fortunes:

"Soon you will be sitting on the top of the world."
"Your future brings cheerful company and merry times."

Well, the latter does seem to be appropriate, seeing as how Christmas is just around the corner.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0184 . . . CLOSE

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Restaurant Regeneration

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0183 . . . OPEN:

This is something that happened back in May, if I'm not too mistaken. At least, I remember it happening around Derby time.

At the time, I was making a trip to Mid-City Mall. More than likely, I was going to the Highlands/Shelby Park branch of the library, which is located there. But as I was coasting up to the mall's entrance, I noticed something unusual at #1 Asian Buffet. It was closed.

No, I don't mean closed in the sense of "not yet open for the day." I mean CLOSED, as in "shut down for good."

I was a little surprised, because when I went to Mid-City Mall a few days earlier, they were open as normal. The closing was abrupt, to say the least. And a few days after that, I was again coasting up to the entrance of Mid-City Mall. I was talking briefly with someone, and for some reason, we were talking about the restaurant's closing. The other guy wasn't sure, but he told me that he thought he had heard something about the health department closing #1 Asian Buffet down after a routine inspection.

Well, that isn't out of the realm of possibility. The local health department does have the power to do that. Given that it doesn't happen often, I'm surprised that I didn't read or hear anything about it in the local news.

The space remained occupied through the summer. Then either in late September or early October, I saw a sign that a new restaurant would be opening soon -- Mid-City Super Buffet.

It finally opened last month, but I haven't had a chance to dine there yet. As best as I can tell, it's an entirely new restaurant -- new management and everything. I have stepped in a couple of times, to pick up their take-out menu, and it doesn't look as though the decor has changed.

I plan to go there for lunch before the end of the month. It will be interesting to see what changes have been made.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0183 . . . CLOSE

Friday, December 9, 2011

Looking For Some Hot Sauce . . .

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0182 . . . OPEN:

As I mentioned a couple of entries ago, sometime last year, Taco Bell introduced two new sauces at their restaurants. I wrote about the Border Salsa Verde previously. The other new sauce is the Fire Roasted Border Salsa.

As was the case with the Salsa Verde, the packets of the Fire Roasted Salsa had new fortune cookie-like messages printed on them. The Salsa Verde messages seemed to have more of a humorous bent to them, with several of them relying on "green" puns. The messages on the Fire Roasted Salsa, used puns relating to fire and heat. They also seemed to be slightly . . . edgier, for lack of a better term, in their humor. At least that's the way I perceive it. Here's the list; I'll let you judge for yourself:

"Dibs on the taco."
"Give me some knuckles."
"Have your people call my people."
"I see how you look at other sauces."
"I'm a people packet."
"I'm gonna be Fire for Halloween."
"I'm not just another pretty face."
"I'm with the band."
"Is it me, or is it hot in here?"
"I've been through fire for you!"
"Let's go get matching tattoos."
"Taco me."

Okay, maybe "edgier" isn't the right word, but I'm not certain what is.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0182 . . . CLOSE

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Sign Of Wisdom

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0181 . . . OPEN:

I'm sure if you drive by most churches, you will see an announcement sign of some sort. Most of the time, they usually post information on the sermon for the following Sunday's services. Occasionally, they will post some fortune cookie-like words of wisdom.

This is one that I saw probably back in the spring of this year. If I remember correctly, the church that posted this left it on their sign for a couple of weeks, which is probably why it has stayed in my mind:

"Tradition means protecting the fire -- not preserving the ashes."

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0181 . . . CLOSE

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In Brightest Day, In Greenest Sauce

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0180 . . . OPEN:

This particular entry has been waiting to be written for some time -- probably close to a year, if I'm not mistaken.

It was about a year ago that Taco Bell introduced two new sauces at their restaurants. One of those is their Border Salsa Verde, and that is the subject of this entry.

As I said, I'm not completely certain when I first saw packets of the Border Salsa Verde at Taco Bell, but I'm pretty certain it was about this time last year. And when I picked up a couple of packets, I noticed that they had some of the fortune cookie-style messages printed on them -- just as Taco Bell has had on their sauce for a couple of years now. But as I noticed that the packets had new messages -- and that the Salsa Verde packets had messages specifically designed for the sauce.

I've been picking up packets for a few months, and by now, I'm certain that I have collected all of them -- for the moment, that is. I've found 12 different messages, and here they are in alphabetical order:

"Add a little verde to your life."
"Did the paparazzi see us together?"
"I'm green with envy."
(Yes, they are going to be big on the green puns with this set.)
"I'm not just a sauce; I'm a way of life."
"Imagine a world without sauce . . . sorry, I need a moment."
"Is green a good color on me?"
"It would be an honor to sauce your food."
"Kiss me, I'm Irish."
(And when did the Irish put colonies in Mexico?)
"Sauce has taken on a whole new greening."
"Take me to your leader."
"'Verde' is fancy for 'green.'"
"Verde (vur-day)."

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0180 . . . CLOSE

Friday, October 28, 2011

Way Too Far

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0179 . . . OPEN:

A couple of weeks ago, I found a button that I picked up at a convention . . . well, I'm not completely certain when. Let's just say that it was several years ago. I've been wearing it frequently since I rediscovered it, because it seems rather applicable right now:

"The Bill Of Rights went too far: They should have stopped at 'Congress shall make no Law.'"

As I said, it seems rather applicable, doesn't it?

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0179 . . . CLOSE

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sticker A-Peel

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0178 . . . OPEN:

A few weeks ago, I bought a bunch of bananas while I was grocery shopping. I picked up a larger bunch than I normally do, because I noticed that it had several of the "fortune-ish" stickers on the bananas. (Okay, I actually peeled off a couple of stickers from other bunches and stuck them on the bunch I bought.)

When I got home, I peeled off the stickers and placed them on an index card. That way, it would be easier to have the stickers at hand when I wrote this entry. Naturally, the card disappeared as soon as I stuck it in my backpack, and has been disappearing and reappearing on a random basis over the past few weeks.

I found the card again within the past hour, so I decided that I should write this entry now before the card decides to vanish once again. The bunch of bananas I bought had three stickers with messages on them. Here they are, for your amusement:

"100% Perfection."
(Well, at least until they start turning a little too brown.)

"Brain Fuel."
"PSSST! I'm Full of Vitamins."

And as I have done previously, the messages are capitalized just as they are on the stickers.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0178 . . . CLOSE

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Birthday Fortune From The Orange Owl

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0177 . . . OPEN:

The last time I went to Hooters (which, I should point out, was the first time I had ever eaten there), I discovered that the pre-moistened napkins they have at the tables are printed with what I call fortune-ish phrases on one side. I told myself that the next time I dined at Hooters, I would need to keep an eye out for napkins that had different phrases.

Today, I went by my local Hooters again. I had signed up for their email club, and a few days ago, I received a birthday present -- a plate of 10 free wings. I had to use the coupon within a week of my birthday, so I decided to use it today.

Once I found a table, and had settled down, I took a look at the napkins in the rack. There were a couple of packets with the same phrases that I saw last time, but I also found three new fortune-ish packets in the assortment. Here's what they said:

"58.3% of statistics are made up."
"Bartender: Pharmacist with limited inventory."
"Insomnia is nothing to lose sleep over."

Interesting birthday present, to say the least.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0177 . . . CLOSE

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Cookie-Less Fortune

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0176 . . . OPEN:

I found this fortune entirely by accident. I was in the library today, and I happened to be looking down when I noticed a tiny slip of paper on the floor. It was the fortune from a fortune cookie -- and there wasn't a cookie anywhere to be seen.

At first, I thought it might have been one of mine. I usually stick fortunes in the neck pouch that I use to keep my TARC pass handy. They usually stay there until I write about them here. But after a quick look at said neck pouch, it didn't look as though anything had fallen out of it. And I strongly suspect that more than just a single fortune would have fallen out if anything did.

I logged on here, and I did a quick scroll through some of my most recent entries. The fortune did not appear in any of those entries, so I am fairly safe in stating that I had not written about it -- until now, that is. Here's my unexpected discovery:

"Be cautious while walking in darkness alone."

You know, that's pretty good advice most of the time. Of course, if you're Batman, or a ninja, this probably doesn't apply to you.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0176 . . . CLOSE

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's Really Being Stamped Out?

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0175 . . . OPEN:

Back in January, I wrote about a number of other platforms that just as easily convey the brief sentiments you find in the fortune of a fortune cookie. One of those is the button.

I've picked up dozens of buttons at SF conventions over the years. It's not that hard to do, especially when the dealer prices them like "$2 each, 3 for $5" or some similar discount for multiples. At that point, it becomes a question of how many do I really want to get this time, and once I have a quantity, which ones do I really want?

I was looking through the bag where I keep my buttons, and I decided to wear this one today. It appeals to my admittedly snarky sense of humor:

"HELP STAMP OUT UNICORNS -- walk a virgin home tonight."

The cynical side of me is saying, "Yeah, what are you really wanting to stamp out, pal?" The more or less non-cynical side of me is pretty much in agreement.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0175 . . . CLOSE

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Wisdom Of An Owl

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0174 . . . OPEN:

At the moment, I'm sitting in Hooters. Normally, I would not have thought that this particular place would be a source of research material for this particular blog. But as I was waiting for another plate of wings (I ordered the all-you-can-eat wings), I noticed the pre-moistened napkins at my table. (They're in the same rack that holds the menus and the roll of paper towels.)

On one side of the package is the Hooters logo. On the other side was a short phrase of the type that I usually tag as "fortune-ish." I found two different ones at my table this time:

"Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?"
"Indecision is the key to flexibility."

I'll have to keep my eyes open the next time I go to Hooters.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0174 . . . CLOSE

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Here A Double . . .

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY 0173 . . . OPEN:

As I said yesterday, I mentioned that I had pulled another fortune cookie from the big bag. I also mentioned that I didn't have the fortune with me when I was writing the entry. Well, today I remembered to bring the fortune with me. And I quickly noticed that I had another duplicate on my hands:

"You have a deep interest in all that is artistic."

And once again, everything was duplicated. The lucky numbers on both fortunes were as follows:

07 11 12 15 20 24

And on the back of both fortunes was the same Chinese word/phrase. It was "baseball," which according to this fortune, is "bong cho" in Chinese.

You know, I really hope that I am not going to be running into only a dozen or so fortunes over and over again throughout the bag. For one thing, it would kind of ruin the whole purpose of my buying the bag of fortune cookies. For another, it would get a little boring after a while. And for yet another, after a while, it's going to get a little difficult thinking up new ways to write about the same fortune yet again.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0173 . . . CLOSE

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Totally Random

JANUSFILES 2 . . . ENTRY #0172 . . . OPEN:

I made what I thought was a rather interesting and random discovery last night. It happened because I realized I hadn't posted anything for a couple of weeks. (Unfortunately, I don't have the fortune with me, so that entry will have to wait for tomorrow.) When I pulled a fortune cookie out of the big bag, I noticed that it might have been a little stale.

I decided that I would see if I could do something to make the cookie a little crisper. My first thought was to place it in the microwave for about 10 seconds. And that is what I did.

The results were not quite what I expected. The zapping did not make the cookie crisper. As a matter of fact, it had the opposite effect -- it became softer. In fact, the cookie became rather pliable, to the point where I could unfold it to remove the fortune.

Now, here is something you might not have known. The fortune cookie is circular. The fortune is placed in the center of the cookie, then it is folded in thirds, parallel to the long edge of the fortune. The cookie is then folded more or less in half to get the familiar shape.

I'll have to try another tactic to make the cookies crisp again. I'll keep you posted.

JANUSFILES 2 . . . ENTRY #0172 . . . CLOSE

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Just Long Isn't Enough

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0171 . . . OPEN:

I just realized that it has been a month since I last posted something. Well, I can say that I have been busy. In any event, it looks like it's time to go back to the big bag of fortune cookies. And this time, the fortune says:

"Long life is in store for you."

Just as long as I will be able to properly enjoy that long life; that's all I'm asking.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0171 . . . CLOSE

Monday, May 2, 2011

Missing The Mark With THAT Fortune

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0170 . . . OPEN:

Tra-la, it's May, the rainy month of May . . . well, that's what it's looking like at the moment. Last month was Louisville's wettest April on record, and it looks like May is trying to continue that theme.

I pulled a fortune cookie out of the big bag yesterday. Even though I had the fortune with me, I forgot to write about it. Well, time to correct that. The fortune from this cookie read as follows:

"You have a friendly heart and are well admired."

Okay, every once in a while, you get a fortune that leaves you wondering, because you know it can't be talking about you.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0170 . . . CLOSE

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm Beginning To Sense A Pattern Here

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0169 . . . OPEN:

A few days ago, I reached into the bag of fortune cookies, and once again, I encountered a fortune for the second time:

"All your hard work will soon pay off."

And as on the previous occasions, this one was a true duplicate. Here are the lucky numbers from both fortunes:

02 06 09 19 26 33

The Chinese word on the back of both was "Gift/Present," which translates (at least on the fortune) as "li woo."

Now I'm beginning to wonder. Just how many different fortunes does this bag contain? And how many duplicates will I be running into while I go through this bag of fortune cookies?

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0169 . . . CLOSE

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

That's A Little Reassuring

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0168 . . . OPEN:

Today, we return to the bag of fortune cookies from GFS. Here's what the latest fortune had to say:

"You should be able to make money and hold on to it."

Not if the Democrats have anything to say about it. The holding on part, anyway. They seem to think that we exist solely to fuel their fantasies of redistributing wealth.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0168 . . . CLOSE

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Interested In Art, Yes

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0167 . . . OPEN:

Earlier today, I decided that it was time to reach into the big bag of fortune cookies once again. Instead of just grabbing a cookie from the top of the bag, I reached down a little for today's fortune:

"You have a deep interest in all that is artistic."

That rather depends on how you define art. A crucifix in a bottle of urine isn't art; it's just someone's calculated attempt to see if he can get some people really, really irritated. And a really piss-poor one at that.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0167 . . . CLOSE

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It Did Wish More Than Once

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0166 . . . OPEN:

I dipped into the big bag of fortune cookies earlier today, and I pulled out another fortune that I previously encountered:

"If you wish to, you will have an opportunity."

And as was the case with the last duplicate I pulled out of this bag, it was a true duplicate. The lucky numbers on both fortunes were:

20 21 32 33 45 51

And this time, the mini-lesson in Chinese was a phrase. The phrase was "Have you any question?", which was transliterated as "NI you wenti ma?"

As for the fortune, yes, I would really wish to have an opportunity. Please have it shipped to my condo by UPS. Thank you very much.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0166 . . . CLOSE

Friday, April 1, 2011

Greetings Of The Day

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0165 . . . OPEN:

As I've mentioned before, today is not the best time for a new entry here. With half the Internet trying to pull some kind of joke on the other half, April Fools Day is never a good time to mention whatever fortune I most recently found in a fortune cookie.

If I found something completely outrageous, or incredibly funny, no one is going to believe me. One look at the date stamp, and the response is, "Yeah, right."

On the other hand, something completely run-of-the-mill is likely to be met with disbelief as well. Again, a quick glance at the date stamp (assuming that you're not fully aware of what the day is) earns a response of, "Is that the best you could do?"

So, I've decided that the best approach is to acknowledge the day, and state that I'm taking the day off from engaging in fortune cookie philosophy. Other than not posting an entry. But I do feel the urge to post something.

And since I conclude my April Fools Day entries with an observation or bit of advice on the day, here's my thought this year:

April Fools Day is the one day of the year when everyone seems to think they are Allen Funt.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0165 . . . CLOSE

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Get Back To Where You Once Belong

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0164 . . . OPEN:

As I've mentioned in the last couple of entries, I had been cleaning my condo in a semi-mad frenzied rush. I've been taking a break since last Thursday, mainly because I was just a little burned out, and I was needing something to restore what I laughingly refer to as my sanity.

Early this morning, I walked by the big bag of fortune cookies, and decided that it was time to pull out another cookie. I saw one on top that was partially broken, and further decided that it would be the cookie of the day. (For some reason, these cookies are not individually wrapped. I suspect that by the time I reach the end of the bag, I will be faced with a layer of fortune cookie fragments.)

Here is the fortune from today's cookie:

"You should be able to undertake and complete anything."

Hmmmm . . . I think the cookie is telling me that it's time to get back to cleaning.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0164 . . . CLOSE

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Baci For Destressing

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0163 . . . OPEN:

In my last entry, I mentioned that I was in the process of cleaning my condo. I still haven't completed it, but at least the main reason for doing so is out of the way.

I had spent most of the last couple of weeks trying to clean the place. I won't go into details, but I was doing this because someone was paying a visit that lasted, at most, 15 minutes. I also spent a good portion of the last couple of weeks stressing out over the visit, for two reasons. First, there was the reason for the visit, which, as I said, I would rather not mention the sordid details. Second, I'm not really not that good a housekeeper. In fact, my housecleaning skills do not come up to the high exacting standards of Oscar Madison.

Yesterday was the visit, and I was cleaning up until about 10 minutes before my visitor arrived. At that point, I realized that I had completed as much as was going to be completed. And it was time to face the visit itself.

As you perhaps may have already guessed, I don't entertain. In fact, I tend to stress out when someone else is in my condo, which probably explains my somewhat . . . relaxed attitude toward housecleaning. If I remember correctly, the last person in my condo (other than me, of course) was a plumber sometime last year.

By the time my visitor left, I was in need of something to destress me. I recently read that two good ways of dealing with stress were sex and chocolate. Well, one of those is not a viable alternative, and it would probably take more chocolate than I could comfortably consume to ameliorate my stress levels at the time. Fortunately, simply getting out of the condo for a few hours handled things quite nicely.

While I was doing the cleaning, I discovered a box of Baci that had gotten buried under some other stuff. The box (and they) were slightly smashed, but were otherwise all right.

Unwrapping these Baci proved to be a slight challenge. After all, I didn't want to damage the love notes underneath the foil. And I was rewarded for my efforts with these notes:

"Doubt thou the stars are fire . . . But never doubt my love." -- William Shakespeare
"The woman does not exist of whose beauty all men shall agree upon." -- G. Leopardi

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0163 . . . CLOSE

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Really Hope So

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0162 . . . OPEN:

I pulled another fortune cookie out of the bag today. Here's the fortune:

"All your hard work will soon pay off."

At the moment, I'm in the process of cleaning my condo. It will be nice when the payoff does finally arrive.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0162 . . . CLOSE

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Hope It Wishes More Than Once

JANUSFILES 2 . . . ENTRY #0161 . . . OPEN:

I felt in the mood, so I pulled another fortune cookie from the bag. Here's today's fortune:

"If you wish to, you will have an opportunity."

Okay, I'm wishing. Among other things, I'm wishing that I will recognize said opportunity once it finally appears.

JANUSFILES 2 . . . ENTRY #0161 . . . CLOSE

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Hope She's Cute, Too

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0160 . . . OPEN:

Time once again to reach into the mailbag . . . uh, make that the big bag of fortune cookies. Here's the fortune that was in today's cookie:

"Your future brings cheerful company and merry times."

I'm hoping that said cheerful company is female, and the merry times include the sharing of fortunes from fortune cookies.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0160 . . . CLOSE

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feeling Like Karen Carpenter

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0159 . . . OPEN:

I reached into the big bag with just the slightest amount of trepidation. I couldn't get the same fortune three times in a row, could I? What were the odds on that happening? (Yeah, I know the quote: "Never tell me the odds!")

As it turns out, there was an entirely different fortune in this cookie:

"Soon you will be sitting on the top of the world."

Okay. And will I be looking down on creation while I'm on the top of the world?

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0159 . . . CLOSE

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Not A Sad Song, Either

JANUSFILES 2 . . . ENTRY #0158 . . . OPEN:

When I came up with the idea of Project GFS1, I figured that I would encounter a duplicate fortune. The bag did start with 160 fortune cookies; it would be reasonable to assume that there are at least a couple of duplicates in the bag.

I just didn't think it would happen this quickly.

Here's the fortune from the cookie I pulled out of the bag yesterday:

"Happiness is in the heart, not in the circumstances."

Not only is the fortune the same; this time, it is an exact duplicate. The lucky numbers are the same:

06 13 17 25 43 46

And you might notice that some fortune cookies teach you a word or two of Chinese. The fortunes in these cookies do, and the word was the same in both instances. The word was "chopstick," which they transliterated as quite ze.

Time to start wondering how soon it will be before I encounter another duplicate. Or is encountering a triplicate too far-fetched to contemplate?

JANUSFILES 2 . . . ENTRY #0158 . . . CLOSE

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Apparently Not A Warm Puppy

JANUSFILES 2 . . . ENTRY #0157 . . . OPEN:

Today seemed like a good day to pull a fortune cookie out of the bag. So that's what I did, and here's the fortune:

"Happiness is in the heart, not in the circumstances."

Sounds to me like that old song lyric, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." Or at least a variation on that theme.

JANUSFILES 2 . . . ENTRY #0157 . . . CLOSE

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Introducing Project GFS1

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0156 . . . OPEN:

Remember last entry, when I said that I already had something to replace the now-depleted bag of fortune cookies that my friend Linda gave me? I've been meaning to write about this for a couple of weeks now, and I finally got my butt in gear today.

This little project actually started February 3 -- Chinese New Year. When I went to Jefferson Mall, I also made a swing by the nearby GFS. Now, if you're unfamiliar with Gordon Food Service, I've occasionally described it as a great place to go if you're planning a party. Need to buy ketchup, chocolate syrup, soy sauce, or barbecue sauce by the gallon? GFS is the place to go. Planning a room party at your favorite sf convention, and need to feed a few hundred of your closest friends (some of whom you have just met for the first time)? You can find what you need at GFS. Trust me.

In a couple of previous visits to GFS, I noticed that they carried fortune cookies -- in bulk. More than likely, this is what your local Chinese restaurant buys when they get fortune cookies. After one visit, I thought that this might be an interesting source of material for this blog. If I haven't been in the mood for Chinese for a while, I can still write an entry. All I have to do is pull out a fortune cookie, and voila, instant entry.

As you probably have already guessed, I purchased a whole bunch of fortune cookies that day. "A whole bunch" in this case was a bag containing 160 fortune cookies. This bag should last me quite a while. Even if I didn't use any other source material for this blog, I could have enough entries for most of the year. (And I do plan to have using other sources. sooner or later, I'm going to have a craving for Chinese.)

As I said, it's about time I started using these cookies for the reason I bought them. Here is the first of many, many fortunes from that bag:

"You should be able to undertake and complete anything."

Hmmmm, kind of appropriate for a first entry, now that I think about it.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0156 . . . CLOSE

Monday, February 7, 2011

Linda Collection 8

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0155 . . . OPEN:

Well, I have finally reached the last of the fortune cookies that my friend Linda gave me. So unless Linda shows up at a club meeting with another big bag of fortune cookies, this will probably be the last Linda Collection.

Looking back, I see that I made the cookies last over two years. More importantly, these last cookies didn't taste stale, so it seems I didn't have to worry all much on that account. And I have decided on a replacement for the Linda Collection entries (more on that in a future entry). So for now, I present the fortunes (with comments by me in parentheses):

"You are a bundle of energy, always on the go."
(Well, most of the time, anyway.)

"You have a potential urge and the ability for accomplishment."
(Sounds promising.)

"Your dearest dream is coming true."
(You mean the identical triplet majorettes?)

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0155 . . . CLOSE

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happenstance, Coincidence, . . . ?

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0154 . . . OPEN:

"Your happiness is intertwined with your outlook on life."

This makes the second time that I have discovered the same fortune twice in a batch of fortune cookies that I have bought. Granted, this isn't going to happen to most people. Most people probably aren't going to be picking up fortune cookies in bulk. Or if they are, the odds are more likely that they will probably be doing it for a party, and that they will not be opening all the cookies by themselves.

The last time this happened to me, I decided that the odds on something like this happening were along the lines of "astronomical." I also said that getting more specific would take someone like Charlie Eppes of the TV series Numb3rs to do the actual math.

Obviously, I need to redefine my idea of astronomical odds.

At the moment, I'm thinking of Ian Fleming's Goldfinger, and a line from the titular character: "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action." I've seen a number of variations on this theme; one that might fit this instance more accurately is, "Once is an event, twice is circumstance, three times is a pattern."

It didn't surprise me the first time I encountered a fortune for the second time. I suspect that this sort of thing happens more often than people realize. I'm just noticing it because I hang on to my fortunes. Getting two at the same time was surprising -- and having it happen twice was even more so. Now, I find myself wondering how long it might be before it happens again.

I suppose the answer to that question depends on how often I buy a batch of fortunes.

Like the other duplicates, this pair had different sets of lucky numbers. But this particular company printed two sets of numbers on the back. One was "Daily Numbers," which was numbers for Pick 3, while the other set was the usual set of six numbers. Here's the numbers listed on one fortune:

Daily Numbers: 8 5 5
Lotto: 25 18 38 32 23 37

And here are the numbers from the other fortune:

Daily Numbers: 0 3 4
Lotto: 21 31 08 05 46 12

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0154 . . . CLOSE

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Eh, Happy New Year, Doc!

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0153 . . . OPEN:

If the title doesn't make any particular sense, imagine Bugs Bunny saying it.

Today is the Chinese New Year. Specifically, it is the Year Of The Rabbit, which is why I chose a title referencing that Oscar-winning rabbit.

Last year, I discovered that ordering takeout from a Chinese restaurant might not be the best idea. Oh well, at least it didn't fall on Super Bowl Sunday. That would probably be chaos squared, at the very least.

I went by Jefferson Mall today. After visiting the food court, I concluded that mall food court Chinese restaurants probably don't deal with the same sort of insanity on the Chinese New Year. The traffic at Max Orient -- indeed, the entire food court -- seemed to be fairly normal. Of course, when I made my stop, it was just after the usual lunch hour, and it was way too early for the dinner crowd.

I didn't have any fortunes on me, and I thought I should post some sort of entry today. So, as you may have guessed, I made a swing by Max Orient just to pick up some fortune cookies. I picked up my usual half dozen for $1, and I nibbled on the cookies after catching TARC.

Here are the fortunes, with some editorial comment by me (in parentheses):

"At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30 the wit; at 40 the judgment."
(Okay, what happens after that?)

"Depart not from the path which fate has you assigned."
(How do you know that fate has assigned you a particular path until and unless you try to depart from it?)

"The best prophet of the future is the past."
(Those who do not learn from history, etc., etc.)

"When winter comes heaven will rain success on you."
(So far this winter, all heaven has rained on Louisville has been rain -- and snow.)

"Your happiness is intertwined with your outlook on life."
"Your happiness is intertwined with your outlook on life."
(Yeah, I got two cookies with the same fortune. I'm not sure if this means I should pay more attention to this one or not. I'll probably be writing another entry on this fortune later.)

And even though the Year Of The Pig was four years ago, I think it appropriate to end with the words of Bugs's friend Porky Pig:

"Th-Th-Th-That's All, Folks!"

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0153 . . . CLOSE

Monday, January 31, 2011

Other Fortune Platforms

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0152 . . . OPEN:

A little over a month ago, I posted my first working definition of "Fortune Cookie Philosophy." I have been giving the matter some additional thought since then, and I thought it might be a good idea to write about those musings while they are still more or less on my mind.

Of course, there are similar platforms for conveying the same ideas that you can find in the fortune of a fortune cookie. The first that comes to mind is the bumper sticker. It's even the same basic shape as the fortune. You probably don't find anything particularly profound on a bumper sticker, though. It's probably not a good idea, come to think of it; you probably don't want to be distracting the driver behind you too much at 70 MPH. Which means that you're more likely to find something along the lines of "My Labrador retriever is smarter than your honor student" than "What's hidden in an empty box?"

A platform more likely to mirror the fortune cookie is the button. I have amassed quite the collection of buttons over the years. I acquired most of them at the dealers rooms of many science fiction conventions, and as you might suspect, those do reflect the genre. Like this one from the early 1990s: "Mr. Data, did you just say, 'Oh, Boy!'?" In my mind, though, the passage of a few years would provide a funnier version: "Captain Archer, why did you just say, 'Oh, Boy!'?"

I think one of the best buttons I have seen was one that my brother picked up in England many years ago. It said, "If God had not wanted us to make dirty jokes, He would have come up with a more dignified means of reproducing the species." I love the understated humor, and I have found that it's impossible to read that line aloud in anything other than a British accent.

Finally, we have the T-shirt. Now, there is one big difference with this platform for espousing fortune cookie philosophy. You have just a little more room to express yourself, which can lead to something similar to the T-shirt I saw that begins, "Stop Reading This!" From that beginning, it goes on in smaller letters saying things like, "Seriously, I mean it. Stop reading now. Why are you still reading this?"

Of course, you can still use it to prove that brevity is indeed the soul of wit. For instance, there is the T-shirt that simply says, "Sorry Yet?" The O in sorry is the logo of Obama's 2008 campaign. (For the record, I was sorry as soon as the election results were announced. But if you think things are really screwed up, don't blame me -- I voted for John McCain.)

I have mentioned other platforms from time to time, in the entries with the "fortune-ish" tag. But these are three I haven't mentioned before, and thought were worth mentioning.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0152 . . . CLOSE

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Linda Collection 7

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0151 . . . OPEN:

You might have noticed that I have been somewhat conspicuous in my absence this month. There's a simple explanation, really. I haven't been in the mood for Chinese food recently. And if I don't get Chinese anywhere, that also means that I don't have any fortune cookies.

Well, I still have a few fortune cookies in that bag my friend Linda gave me. So, it's as good a reason as any to post another Linda Collection entry. (Unfortunately, I think I have only one more entry to go before I use up all of the fortune cookies.)

This time, I grabbed two cookies from the bag. Here's what the fortunes said:

"Your life becomes more and more of an adventure!"
"Your whole family are well."

All right, the second fortune sounds more than a little vague. And I'm wondering just what sort of adventure my life is going to become.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0151 . . . CLOSE