More from Helpful John

Q. You know that trick where you throw spaghetti on the wall to see if it sticks, and if it does, you know it’s done? What are your thoughts? (Chef Garcon Arde)

A. Only that it’s important to occasionally scrape the old spaghetti off the wall from time to time, unless you’re a modern artist in which case put a frame around it. I recommend spraying some varnish over the arrangement once there are enough flies on it to appeal to your artistic sensibility.

Q. What lighting is best for outdoor photography? (Caspar Gasparre, Tillington Village-on-Rye)

A. Daylight. Thank you. Next question.

Q. What would you consider to be a popular method of accelerated depreciation? (Tauxeth O’Malley, 6th grade)

A. Quite simply, double-declining-balance depreciation which entails doubling the straight-line rate and then multiplying the resulting rate by the beginning book value.

Q. What is the best method for boiling an egg? (your aunt who can’t quite get egg salad down, up north)

A. Place eggs in water-filled pot. Bring to boil. Let boil for a minute, then turn off heat. Let eggs sit in pot until water cools. Throw eggs against wall. If they stick, they’re done. Frame.

Q. Do you have any tips on internet security? (Jelly Jelly, New York, New York)

A. Mouse traps. Car batteries. Itching powder. Rubber gloves. The usual.

Q. Are you really helping people with these questions and answers? (Sister Patrick Lucien)

A. Thanks for coming. See you next week.

*   *   *

Took most of yesterday off from pretty much everything for Margaret’s birthday. I can certainly think of worse reasons to take a day off. A nice day overall. I baked a batch of cupcakes and found a good chocolate chip cookie recipe that was dairy-free. The secret ingredient? Extra virgin olive oil. I kid you not. They came out quite nicely.

When I wasn’t cooking or shopping, we spent the day together. Hung around Newport and visited her mother. Took wrong turns because it was interesting to do so. Did birthday presents. A nice day.

And today it’s back to work. A lot to catch up on. Sorry if today’s entry isn’t up to its usual snuff. My mind is already on two projects ahead.

So time’s a’wastin’.

Cheers!

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