I tried two experiments recently. One was a kitchen experiment. I made soft pretzels. They tasted fine, but left a lot to be desired in the looks department. The recipe is very simple: water, yeast, flour, sugar, salt. A lack of counter space was the crux of the problem: the recipe called for me to roll the dough into a rope 20 inches long.

Well. The maximum length of any chunk of counter space in my kitchen is about 12 inches. So my pretzels were more like lumps of dough. But darn tasty lumps of dough. I used mostly whole wheat flour so I could feel like I was being somewhat healthy as I ate lumps of dough.








My second experiment was a behavioral one. My friend Lisa told me that her cat loved watching bird videos on YouTube. She suggested that I search for  “Cats. Snow. Hole.”

I had a snow day today so, earlier in the afternoon, I found the aforementioned video. I excitedly unplugged my laptop and brought it over to the bed, where Olive was lounging. “This is going to be so fun, Olive,” I said, as I started the video.

She looked at me, completely nonplussed. “Look at the birds!” I motioned. She looked at the screen for 30 seconds and then started grooming.








Maybe she’s just not keen on this particular video, I thought. I fired up another bird video and went to the kitchen for a moment. I came back to this:








She had walked away from the bloody video! Maybe she is too old to care about such simple pleasures as watching bird videos? Ah, well. It was worth a try.





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