Plastic: The Silent Threat

(Originally written, 12/11/2008)

At three months pregnant with my daughter, my wife, Sarah, put all of our plastic kitchenware and dishes in a large-sized U-Haul box and set them in front of the door for me to take to Goodwill when I got home. Plastic cups, cereal bowls, mixing bowls, plates, and cutlery filled the box so that the lid could not be closed.  We’d been married for over three years.  I was accustomed to this type of behavior.  Sarah is paranoid, sometimes neurotic, and always obsessive.  Her anxiety gets the better of her frequently.  She logs onto the internet and finds a plethora of things to be scared of.  Most of the time, these things are invalid, minor, or propaganda promoted by fanatics—full body yeast infestations linked to memory loss, out of control herpes colonization causing chronic fatigue, the world ending in 2012, just to name a few.  Usually, she just needs a little time for her intellect to assert itself and defeat her anxiety.  Normally, it takes anywhere from a week to a month.  If I get involved—and I usually do—then the time usually takes a few days at most.

When I walked in the front door and had to step around the box of plastic. I looked inside the box.  We didn’t have replacements for many of the plastic things in the box, like our colander.  I asked Sarah, “What’s with the box?”  She told me that it needs to go to Goodwill and asked me to take it before they closed.  I put my keys in my pocket and sat down at the kitchen table.  “Why are we giving our dishes away?”

She said, “I was on the internet today and found a website….”

A website, here we go again.  I listened, nodded and smiled until she was done.  Then I opened my laptop to read the sites and pages that she’d been reading.  I do this every time so that I can find something to refute her fears and make her feel better.  I usually find some fact or theory that doesn’t quite seem right.  I tell her about it and we discuss why it isn’t right.  In the end, she feels better— until the next time. […Read More…]

Plastic: The Silent Threat was originally published onThe Fake Italian.

The First Fabio Cominotti

Fabio Cominotti

Fabio Cominotti

On Friday July 3rd, 1998, Fabio Cominotti stepped outside around 10:00 am to putter at his normal routine on his twenty acre plot outside of Blackfoot, Idaho.  He used to have much larger acreage, but for the last six years, this was all that he had.  Twenty pitiful acres that he only irrigated to avoid fire and to provide some sustenance for the ten or so dairy cows that he boarded during the summer.  He walked to the old chicken coop that he now used as a dog kennel and fed his three remaining dogs that had moved from Clayton with him.  After that he grabbed his shovel and threw it in the back of his green horse (a seven wheeled John Deere utility vehicle with a dumping bed and a maximum speed of twenty miles per hour) he drove out to the ditch.  By noon he died.  Even though there was no autopsy,  upon embalming, the technician discovered that Fabio died due to a blockage of his aorta by a massive blood clot.  The coroner concluded that he did not suffer and that his heart attack caused him to collapse into the ditch and drown.  Later, his grandsons found him like that after he was late for lunch.  This was how death caught Fabio Cominotti.

Six years earlier, Fabio sold his two-hundred acre ranch near Clayton, Idaho. […Read More…]

The First Fabio Cominotti was originally posted on The Fake Italian.

This full work is coprighted. © 2014, Fabio Cominotti. Please see the full work for re-use information.

Fabio Cominotti

August 6, 2014

Site launch alert.  The site is up and running.  It’s still pretty sparse but that will change soon.  Now I just have to find more Cominottis around the world.

Strategies for Managing Your Digital Footprint

Digital Footprint

“Lost Keys” by Orin Zebest

With all of the news about Europe nations pushing to enact and enforce right to be forgotten laws, I started thinking, again, about my digital footprint.  I don’t think that many of us even think about our digital footprints. Do we even know what it is? Basically it’s everything about you online. It’s your social media accounts–many if which you probably don’t use and can’t remember how to login. It’s all of your email accounts. It’s your Facebook posts and your tweets. It’s the picture that your ex posted on Google+ when you were hungover. It’s genealogical information that your stepmother entered into the LDS database without your knowledge or permission. I think I’m getting the point across. It’s every piece of information about you that exists digitally. Much of it is under your control. A lot isn’t.[…Read More…]

Strategies for Managing Your Digital Footprint was originally posted on The Fake Italian.

Why I Became A Teacher


Third Floor Classroom, Wikimedia Commons

I have no cohesive memories before eighth grade—only bits and pieces of memory.

They come as fragments—fragments of fights, fragments of school lunch, and fragments of classroom horse-play.  During eighth grade and high school, I remember much, but just not about the classroom.  I enjoyed math and did well.  During my high school career, I had only two math teachers and one of them for only one year. I learned from him and never had trouble understanding.  It puzzled me when my classmates did not understand derivatives and integrals.  I always thought that if they had so much trouble with calculus, then why take the class—by that time it was not required for graduation.  I did okay in science, but did not like it.  My teachers were stuffy and bored, nearing retirement or bitter or a bit crazed.  Chemistry was fun, but only because it came easily to me.  History interested me, but not the way my history teachers taught it.  Government was a joke with a teacher there only to keep us busy and collect his paycheck as he lorded his power over the seniors as since the only teacher who taught a class required for graduation.  Okay, maybe I exaggerate, a little, but that realization comes from years of hindsight.  At the time, I felt that way and resented him for it.  I still don’t remember much from Government other than boredom and how angry he could get.  Boredom seems to be the theme—that and dread.[…Read More…]

Why I Became a Teacher was originally posted on The Fake Italian.

The Huckleberries


One of Our Secret Huckleberry Stands, Fabio Comintti

We took a trip up to see our favorite huckleberry stands today.  It’s been over 4 years and it took some doing to get up there and actually remember where they were.  The berries weren’t all the way ripe yet so we only got to taste a few.

These plants are really amazing.  First of all huckleberries smells delightful and when they are ripe, there’s nothing like them.  Like their cousin, the blueberry, they have proven difficult to domesticate.  In fact, there has not been a successful domestication of these plants yet.  They grow in odd areas.  Clear cuts or burn areas that have had 10-20 years to regrow are the best.  The plants mostly exist underground and only the tops are visible and berry producing.  It takes a decade for a plant to even start producing berries.  They truly are one on nature’s mysteries.

In search of new huckleberry stands we drove up above the Laird Park campground. We didn’t find any berries but I did get a chance to take my first photosphere. Check it out. It’s pretty cool  It’s my first one so it may not be the best quality, but it’s still cool.

I look forward to returning this summer and getting some for jam and pie and other wonderful creations.



Up Above Laird Park

The Gingerbread House

photo 1

The Gingerbread House, Fabio Cominotti

Today, my daughter invited me to her school to help her create a gingerbread house with her class.  She has been practicing her songs and talking about if for several weeks now.  She even gave me large guilt trip since I missed her last little activity at Thanksgiving.  Needless to say, I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.

photo 2

The Gingerbread House, Fabio Cominotti

The gingerbread house was, in fact, graham crackers, vanilla frosting, empty school milk cartons, and candy.  It turned out really well and fun.  She enjoyed it and we loaded her house and “yard” up with candy.  And, as soon as she got it home, she of course wanted to eat it.  That’s okay.  It didn’t quite make the trip home as you can see in the photo below.  The roof collapsed and knocked a wall over.  It’s been really nice going to her school activities and helping her with her homework.  It will have lasting memories.  This weekend we are going to make Santa hats and watch old-school Christmas shows like Rudolph and Frosty.  It’ll be a great weekend.




photo 3

The Finished Piece, Fabio Cominotti

The Christmas Tree

Unsurprisingly, I have very few Christmas tree ornaments this year.  It’s still more than I’ve ever had before.  The whole trove consists of two boxes of shiny Christmas balls and not enough hooks. There is never enough hooks.  Surprisingly, I do have a tree.  Since my divorce, I haven’t really put up a tree.  Last year was the first and my mom left the one she brought from Boise.

Well being poor and fund less, my daughter and I decided to make some ornaments this year.  Actually, she decided we were going to make some ornaments.  I had the choice of helping and keeping the mess contained or cleaning for a long time when she decided she was done and running the risk of glitter and glue and all over my dinning room.  She’s very determined.


The Beginning, Fabio Cominotti

We started with some paper, ribbon, glue (regular and glitter) colored pencils, crayons, and a few printed coloring book pages of Santa, Angels, and reindeer.  Oh, and one bossy little girl.

Like her previous gingerbread lady project earlier in the week for school, I had no creative control. Although, I did get a lot of positive feedback with the gingerbread man


The Gingerbread Girl, Fabio Cominotti

.  I heard, “That’s beautiful Daddy” and “Good job Daddy, you’re good with the scissors.”  She’s such  a little supporter.  Anyway, I was given a lesson on using colored pencils.  According to my daughter, I’m not supposed to press too hard or they will break.  If they break, I have to put them back in the box until we can find a sharpener.  They pretty much work like crayons, but are for big girls.  And finally, she’s been using the light red so it will probably break soon.  She also directed me in making the paper balls to hang on the tree, which consisted of wadding up pieces of paper and sprinkling glitter glue of different colors over them.  I also had to color the snowflakes that I cut in a specific pattern according to my little boss and cut out the pictures that she colored.

All in all it was a great time and one that I think will become a holiday tradition.  I can’t believe how confident she has become in giving directions and leading.  I’m a proud father right now.

We came out with quite the hall of home-made ornaments.  We even have a paper angel to put on top of the tree.  I think that the tree turned out pretty well.


The Final Products, Fabio Cominotti


Christmas Tree 2014, Fabio Cominotti