“This year I resolve to make no New Year’s Resolutions,” Professor Plum said as he walked into the mail room.

He read the mail…. (More)

Chef noted that Professor Plum’s joke was probably as old as the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. He shrugged, winked, and left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor resolved to “know when to hold ’em” and “know when to fold ’em,” though he never needed to walk away and his knee was a bit stiff from buffing so he’d let that settle before he tried to run. Alas, he did have to count his money while sitting at the table, as Chef had put in a pot-sized raise to open the pot. The Professor of Astrology Janitor had a pair of red Jacks, a good hand to win a pot before the flop, but one that was rarely best if played to the river. A pot-sized reraise would commit almost half of his chips, so it would be both hard to call and hard to fold if Chef came back with a third raise.

The question, then, was whether she would fold to his raise. She wouldn’t with a big pair like Aces or Kings. She might fold a pair of Queens, and would surely toss anything smaller. Ace-King was a tossup. She might fold or might push back, and his Jacks were only a very small favorite over an Ace-King. It was a lesson in why Jacks are called “hooks.” It wasn’t merely the shape of the letter J on the cards. They were a hand that could and often did hook players into costly mistakes.

“I guess that’s why they call it gambling,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said as he put in his raise.

Now it was Chef’s turn to ponder. She muttered a word that rhymes with ‘spit’ and patted the table. “I don’t like these anymore,” she said, flashing the Ace and Ten of Spades as she folded.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor wasn’t sure whether to sigh with relief or grumble about the small-ish pot, most of which was his own chips. He settled for his customary plaintive mewling, and Chef went to the kitchen to make New Year’s Omelets, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017?

Squirrius Obscurus in Blogistan

Dear Squirrel —

–So my secret identity still didn’t work?

— sorry, but no.

Did Blogistan give me away?

Well, that and Squirrius Obscurus is Latin for “Secret Squirrel,” which is the same pseudonym you used last week.

Sigh. Okay. I’ll have to see if Google Translate can do Swahili, or Serbo-Croatian, or some other language you won’t recognize right off the bat.

Anyway, what are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017?

Not-So-Secret Squirrel in Blogistan

Dear Not-So-Secret Squirrel,

Google Translate can do Swahili, but it would be Siri Squirrel. Not much help, we think. It doesn’t have Serbo-Croation, but it does have Serbian and that would be Tајна Скуиррел. We wouldn’t have figured that out, but we doubt your Blewberry keyboard has those letters.

Hold on.

Nope. I’d have to copy-paste and that’s hard on a Blewberry.

So, about those 2017 New Year’s Resolutions?

Not-Copy-Pasting Squirrel in Blogistan

Dear Not-Copy-Pasting Squirrel,

We’re thinking.

We could resolve to accept the New Year’s news with calm equanimity, but we don’t make resolutions if we know there is absolutely zero chance we’ll keep them. We could resolve to join a health club, a very common resolution, or just take a walk each morning. But we can’t afford a health club and we know ourselves well enough to know that even taking a walk each morning is … unlikely.


We resolve to treat President Obama’s successor with the respect and courtesy he deserves.

Um, he doesn’t deserve any respect or courtesy.

And that’s why we’re confident we can keep our 2017 New Year’s Resolution.

Okay then. So, how are New Year’s Omelets different from … well … any other omelets?

Betting They Don’t Have Macadamias in Blogistan

Dear Betting They Don’t Have Macadamias,

You’re right, they don’t. However, Chef says this is a traditional Scandinavian New Year’s breakfast recipe. Simply whisk 5 eggs together with 2 Tablespoons of Akvavit, and pour into a lightly-buttered non-stick skillet. Cook the eggs until they start to set up, but are still moist, and spread ¼ pound of thinly-sliced smoked salmon cut into 1-inch pieces, ¼ cup of thinly-sliced scallions, and ¼ cup of sour cream over one half of the eggs. Carefully fold the other half over the filled half, then cover and cook for another minute or so, to make sure the egg has set up throughout. Chef slices it into two servings, topping each with a small dollop of sour cream and offering Pumpernickel toast on the side. Bon appétit!


Image Credit: Crissie Brown (BPICampus.com)

New Year’s Omelets.


Happy Sunday!