A chance comment this evening reminded me that Peter used to refer to holding hands as “premarital interdigitation.” I see by a quick web search that he was not the only person to say that, but I think he was the only person I ever actually heard say it. And that indirectly reminds me that […]

Beer with meals

Peter used to say that drinking water with meals diluted the food while it was in your stomach, making it harder to digest. When I pointed out that he often drank beer with meals, he said that was different—he said that beer contains yeast and is sort of like bread in a way, so it […]

Nose adjustment

One of the semi-magic tricks Peter used to occasionally do: He’d say that his nose was out of alignment or something, and needed an adjustment, like a chiropractic adjustment. He would put his hands together palm to palm, as if praying, but with his nose between the index fingers. Then he would bend his hands […]

Pie-eyed emu

Peter once told me that when he was a kid, he left a note on a slip of paper in a library book for a future reader to find. The note said, “I’ll be a pie-eyed emu,” and added something like “If you understand this, contact me” and his address or possibly phone number. He […]

Tense yourself skinny

Peter used to say that the way he stayed thin was to “tense myself skinny”—I think it had something to do with tensing his stomach muscles. Then again, he had the pot belly that most Hartman males end up with, so I don’t know that his approach actually worked. I’m a little unclear on where […]

Cocktail onions

Not an anecdote, just a memory: Peter almost always had a little jar of pickled cocktail onions in the fridge. Not for cocktails; he would just take one out and eat it as a mini-snack every now and then. I don’t know whether that was a lifelong thing or not. I associate it with him […]

Going back to school

My birthday seems like an appropriate time to reflect on one of the most valuable life-lessons-by-example that Peter imparted to me: At around age 50, he left his career in the computer industry to go back to school. He ended up getting two master’s degrees, one in math and one in education; then he became […]

Peter’s “neat words” list, part 4

Here’s part 4 (and last) of Peter’s “neat words” list. (See earlier entries: part 1, part 2, part 3.) These are the words starting with R through Z. radar raffis rara-avis ratite recuse riant riant rococo rodomontade romanesco rondo ronyon rumper rumply runcible-spoon rupicolous sackbut satrap schwa scrawny scrim scrimshaw scrod scrofulous scruff scruffy scrum […]

Movies Peter watched as a kid

Another of the files rescued from Peter’s hard drive was a letter containing stories and anecdotes about Peter’s father and about Peter’s childhood. A lot of them were pretty bitter and unpleasant, and I won’t post those; and most of them aren’t directly about Peter anyway. But here’s one bit that I thought was interesting […]

Peter’s “neat words” list, part 3

Here’s part 3 of Peter’s “neat words” list. (See earlier entries: part 1, part 2.) These are the words starting with J through Q. jabberwocky jactitation jape jejune jocularity jodhpurs kerf kith klinker kludge krait kwashiorkor lambent lethargy ligature liminal lissome lowboy lubricious lucubration Luddite lugubrious luminous-flux lumpenproletariat lumper lustrum macron maelstrom malfeasance manque meander […]