Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
As I write this post I am looking across the top of my desk at a box.
The box is approximately the length of the desk but annoyingly taller than the desk's surface. It is almost a foot and a half deep and even though it is jammed-up tight against the desk it crowds the doorway.
Comfortably ensconced in its factory packaging the occupant of the box is what I have christened - The Giant Conundrum.
Every time I sit at the desk I ponder the conundrum.
You cannot help but ponder it as it is so obviously huge and in your face.
Periodically I curse the conundrum. Like I said - it blocks the doorway and I can no longer pass freely with briefcase and gym bag in the morning.
Every so often my wife metaphysically wrestles with the conundrum as if manipulating a massive virtual Rubik's Cube. With her tape measure in-hand she takes valuable time out of her day in a valiant attempt to cypher a home for it. She finds no solution to the puzzle. The conundrum remains in the box.
It's just too damn big.
Sometimes I chuckle over my peculiar good fortune. Of all the possible places it might have ended-up the conundrum has come to reside in our house.
You're thinking - What the heck is he talking about and why is it a conundrum?
Well, by definition a conundrum is: A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; in short - a dilemma.
And I have a dilemma on my hands. A problem of sorts.
You see, inside the box is a 42 inch plasma television. I won it in a raffle at a recent charity fundraiser. My investment was $100 worth of raffle tickets.
You might say - That's a helluva conundrum, Tom.
Yeah, but consider this, I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase one of these suckers.
My wife and I might just be that last surviving souls in Wauwatosa to not be cable or satellite television subscribers. Don't forget, I'm the only guy who hasn't a clue from one year to the next who the American Idol is. I admit it. I am a cultural lowbrow.
We've downsized our living space. Our modest Tosa bungalow doesn't have a wall sufficiently large enough to accommodate the conundrum.
There might just be one particular location we could possibly install this monolith of Korean electronics and only partially block one window - but then we would be sitting so close to it I wonder if we might not blind ourselves or grow wrinkled and leathery while basking in the warm glow of its radiation.
We thought about moving it to the house up north. Nope, too many windows and too little unbroken wall space. Imagine favoring sunlight over giant television space - what a glaring engineering faux pas.
Someone suggested expanding the unfinished bungalow attic into a master suite complete with a whirlpool bath or maybe finishing the basement of the up-north house with a vast man cave complete with bar and slate-topped pool table - either of which would accommodate a surround sound system easily adapted to the conundrum. These are all terrific ideas but my all-knowing wife gives me the all-knowing look.
So, for the present, the conundrum will continue to remain under wraps (and our electric bill will remain affordable) while we consider its options for the future.
The conundrum really belongs in a home theater. Or does it?
Maybe I could put it in the machine shed up north?
It's a cavernous space.
Hundreds upon hundreds of square yards of unfinished walls. Metal walls too - outstanding acoustics. It's filled with all manner of guy junk - a bunch of tractors, fishing boat, a couple of bush hogs, disc/harrow, pick-up truck, scraper blade, compressor, beer fridge, radial arm saw, 3-D deer target, microwave, giant chemical mix tank, four wheeler, patio table (with Labatt Blue Beer umbrella), deer hoist, a well-ordered collection of tools, canoe, sprayers, lawn mowers, a flock of goose decoys, various hazardous chemicals, boom boxes, giant jugs of hydraulic fluid, gear and motor oil, loader with bucket, Jerry cans of diesel and gasoline, chain saws and dead spiders.
What it doesn't have is a plasma television.
At least yet.