I was up dark and early this morning. Got out of bed at 4:40, which seems ungodly but is really only half an hour earlier than I get up most days anyway. I had to be at the office by 7 a.m. for a phone interview with somebody in Hartford, in the far east. I should specify: not Japan, but rather, the Minnesota/Iowa border in eastern South Dakota.
She wanted to do the interview first thing in the morning, and because they’re on Central time, that meant hauling my ass to work an hour earlier than usual. So I bounced out of bed, hit the treadmill, showered, grabbed coffee and a quick bite to eat, kissed my wife, and it was off to the salt mines!
By the way, I never understood the meaning behind that phrase until recently. I’d always been under the impression that salt wasn’t mined, that it simply evaporated and was scooped off the ground.
In fact, several years ago, we took a trip to Park City, Utah, which took us through the Bonneville Salt Flats. At one point I pulled the car over, scraped some salt off the ground, and filled a Ziploc bag with it. Tara thought I was nuts.
“What are you going to do with that?” she asked.
“Season food with it, of course!” I replied.
“You could just buy some at the store, you know.”
“Sure, babe, but this is free!”
“Congratulations, dear. You just saved six cents.”
I didn’t let ol’ Negative Nancy…err, Tara…harsh my mellow. I had fully intended to use the salt when cooking, but that bag sat in the kitchen cupboard unused for a couple of years before I finally tossed it. While it was perfectly edible and probably harmless—I tried some and, what do you know, it tasted just like regular salt?—I never once felt the urge to forgo the salt shaker for the “fresh” stuff. The reality is, salt scooped from the ground contains bits of sand and dirt that, while adding a colorful contrast to the pure white flakes, aren’t exactly appetizing.
ANYWAY. It turns out salt really is mined. I know this because I took a morning stroll through a salt mine in Romania last week, and the whole process was fascinating. Technically I was in the basement on the treadmill and not actually in the 12th-largest country in Europe—the land of Transylvania and Dracula—but my iFit trainer was. Kind of a weird workout, when you think about it. You can’t exactly sprint through a salt mine. Still, I learned a thing or two and got my 10,000 steps in that day, so: win/win.
Because I started work early, I got to leave at 4:00 instead of 5:00. Which explains why I am drinking wine and writing a blog post from the comfort of my recliner when I would normally still be stuck behind my desk. A lot of people turn into clock-watchers during that last hour, but I find it’s one of my most productive hours of the day.
Probably because I go into a bit of a panic realizing all the shit I didn’t get done earlier and commence to hustlin’.
So, while today was a bit of an unusual day, yesterday was, too. Our Sunday night snowstorm dumped 5″, and it snowed on and off all day Monday and Tuesday. It was a frigid 29º when I got home from work yesterday, so I decided to build us a fire in the basement. I’d assumed we were done with those for the season, but this was a good excuse to make a dent in the shit ton of wood we’ve got left over. Now, we have a shit-ton-minus-six-or-seven.
In any case, we hung out down there all evening, watching Curb Your Enthusiasm in front of a blazing hearth.
To paraphrase LD, it was a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good evening.