Apr 14th 2017 09:03 am Comic Relief

Where do ideas come from? The answer can be surprising, such as from the corner of my long-deceased grandmother’s living room. In that corner hung a curio cabinet, one of those small delicate affairs, once-common relics of Victorian furnishing. Among the knick knacks on Mama Johnson’s shelf was a four-inch tall replica of the Mannequin Pis, cast from metal and satisfyingly hefty for its size. Truly a quality objet d’art! Mannequin Pis, of course, is a famous statue from a fountain in Brussels, Belgium. I’ve never seen the original, but Arlo’s reproduction is about full size. My grandmother’s much smaller version was an incongruous souvenir of World War II, brought home by one of her returning sons, either my father or my uncle. I don’t know which. It inevitably piqued my childish curiosity, and I would fondle it (OK, what word would you use!?) and wonder what the heck it was. However, I never asked about it. Perhaps I took a clue from the fact my grandmother always turned the little fellow toward wall.
Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

Posted by jimmyjohnson / Vintage A&J

112 Responses to “Comic Relief”

  1. emb on 14 Apr 2017 at 9:22 am #

    TIP BlogSpot. Yech, if I may say so. Bunny droppings [the second, dryish kind] are much neater than goose droppings, which have become the bane of golf courses and lawnsmen.



  2. Mark from TTown on 14 Apr 2017 at 9:25 am #

    You have a lot of fun with the garden statues, don’t you Jimmy? I recall one where Arlo and Janis were at a garden store and Arlo got tickled at the combination of Venus de Milo and a garden gnome with a roguish expression.


  3. curmudgeonly ex-professor on 14 Apr 2017 at 11:03 am #

    Can anyone explain why the loss of weight by someone named “June” is so newsworthy that it has been all over the ‘net for the past 3 weeks or so? If “June” needed to lose weight and did so, great; but why is this considered so exceptionally newsworthy?

  4. Ghost on 14 Apr 2017 at 11:31 am #

    cxp: How much time do you have, and do you have a strong gag reflex?

  5. emb on 14 Apr 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    Trucker: The bull snake [Pituophis catenifer] is a constrictor that preys on various birds & mammals, including ground squirrels & rabbits. Large adults can reach 7′ in length. The one in the video looks to be 5′ or so. I suspect that snake could have killed that gray squirrel by squeezing it to death [by suffocation]. But it looks like constriction is in its feeding repertoire, not in its defense repertoire [Wiki has reliable material on bull snake defense mechanisms]. Being cold-blooded, they have much lower metabolic needs than do small to mid-sized mammals. If the snake had fed in the last week or so, it may not have been hungry.
    Gray squirrels [Sciurus carolinensis] & many [but not all] other sciurids are omnivores, eating animal prey when they can, & are hungry more often than are mid-sized reptiles. This squirrel was mentally more flexible than its prey. It would defend itself by biting, but also attack prey by biting. So, in answer to your question, it’s not weird, it’s normal, though maybe uncommon.
    Bull snakes are much more sensible pets than the potentially dangerous large python & boa that I used to own. Would not do it again; fortunately found good homes for both ‘Ged’ & ‘Orm Embar.’ Better than releasing them into the wild in FL. Eventually, there w/b a dead child, youth, or small adult in the FL headlines.

    Mark: That ‘Manniken Pis’ site is hilarious. Here, Moral Mrs. Grundy would be up in arms. ‘Sad’, to quote an unnamed sort.


  6. Smigz on 14 Apr 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    Jimmy, your story above delights me in so many ways!

  7. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 14 Apr 2017 at 5:39 pm #

    Three for the evening:

    If you want something done the way you want it to be done, do it yourself. If you want something done right, hire a professional.

    In terms of angst, insecurity, self-doubt, and paranoia, Woody Allen is an uninspired slacker.

    Thought for the day for the paranoid: If you are one of those who hates to go anywhere in public because you think everyone is looking quickly at you and then judging you, you’re right. Everyone is always judging everyone else.

  8. Debbe on 14 Apr 2017 at 6:26 pm #

    I love post ‘ems……


  9. Bob in Orland Park on 14 Apr 2017 at 7:54 pm #



  10. Mark from TTown on 14 Apr 2017 at 11:31 pm #

    Debbe, I didn’t remember Janis was a Pink Floyd fan too: http://www.gocomics.com/arloandjanis/2013/08/07

  11. Mark from TTown on 14 Apr 2017 at 11:33 pm #

    Here’s an oldie for emb: http://www.gocomics.com/arloandjanis/2014/05/04

  12. Debbe on 15 Apr 2017 at 4:41 am #

    Good morning Villagers….

    Mark, I didn’t either, thanks for the link.

    Bob, you should go to his website, there’s more post ‘ems.

    The black cat that escaped from the house a couple of months ago (it’ll be 4 months the 19th that I’ve been here with Dad…time flies when you don’t know what you’re doing), anyhoos should have had that black cat ‘fixed’, she’s feral, and hisses, and I know of a least two kittens she’s had and they are under the crawl space of the house. She’s getting familiar with me, when she quits nursing, I’m going to nail her to a cat carrier.


  13. Debbe on 15 Apr 2017 at 6:35 am #

    today’s grin….


  14. Debbe on 15 Apr 2017 at 6:36 am #

    …..and yesterday’s smile


  15. Chris in South Jersey on 15 Apr 2017 at 7:12 am #

    Jimmy, When I had temporary duty in Belgium, my husband came out for a weekend and we went to Brussels. He had to find the statue and was disappointed it was so small. There is also a museum nearby which houses all the clothes people have sent over the years to cover the poor child. ????

  16. Debbe on 15 Apr 2017 at 8:14 am #

    Have a resident squirrel that chased off by a mean blue jay….ran on the electric cable, just flippin’ that tail. Told Dad about the ice cream cone eating squirrel, he laughed…told him I would bring it ‘up’ on my laptop…it’s cute.



  17. emb on 15 Apr 2017 at 8:17 am #

    Older nestling just flew [= was airborne] from edge to center of nest. Th, it flew across the nest, airborne for over a yd. Likely w/b out of nest in a few days. They grow fast, almost like bull kelp. Peace,


  18. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 15 Apr 2017 at 8:30 am #

    Morning three:

    When you dance with the Devil, he leads.

    The schizophrenic’s creed:
    I haven’t been myself lately.
    Then, again, I’m not sure that I ever was.

    Expect the unexpected – even though you can never predict it and can never prepare for it.

  19. The Man Formerly Known as sandcastler™ on 15 Apr 2017 at 9:03 am #

    Arlo’s manly destiny has been defined. :-)

  20. emb on 15 Apr 2017 at 9:07 am #

    Today’s [retro?] Calvin. Peace,


  21. Smigz on 15 Apr 2017 at 9:42 am #

    emb, when that Calvin and Hobbes strip first ran, my husband, his brother, and his sister each cut it out and sent it to their father. They each did not know the others had done it until later.

  22. Old Bear on 15 Apr 2017 at 1:49 pm #


    When leaving this morning saw what appeared to be a white Robin.
    hard to see through rain on windshield, but it hopped like a robin
    and was hanging out with other robin.

    Will keep an eye out to see if it stays around.

    Albino? or other mutation?

  23. emb on 15 Apr 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    OB: Have seen an albino Amer. Robin sometime in ages past, probably Back East, but don’t remember where/when. Had an odd bird here in the spruces on the berm several years ago. No carotene, breast was grey. Couldn’t tell if M or F.

    The crows’ nest I mentioned here on 31 March is about done, and I know both more and less than I did before. I’d forgotten something about American Crows. Of course, you cannot tell Mom from Dad. But there’s a reason you see adults so often. Crows typically don’t breed until age 3 or so. Instead, the kids hang w/ the folks for a season or two, and help w/ feeding and baby-sitting. And you may not be able to tell previous young from parents, unless the calls are different, and I’m inside at the dining table. While outdoors, I’ve seen adults, but they weren’t talkative. I think everybody has left the nest, but they still frequent the area.

    Many summer birds are back: Can. Geese, Ring-billed Gulls, House Finches, Grackles, R-w Blackbirds. Juncos are still around but most will have gone N soon. Haven’t seen any White-throated, White-crowned, or Harris’s Sparrows, but that doesn’t mean they’ve not been through here. No Harriers ['marsh hawks'] yet. They sometimes nest on Salisbury Plain, but there are equally attractive fields nearby. Bald Eagles are around, but don’t nest close by.

    Blue Jays, Black- capped Chickadees, White-breasted and Red-breasted nuthatches are year-round types. See mostly White-breasted here, but Deerwood son and wife have Red-breasted in their yard. No Flickers yet, but often don’t see them until late summer. Haven’t seen or heard Killdeers yet. Pl. of deer is deer, but Killdeer takes the ‘s’.


  24. JACKQULINE MONIES on 15 Apr 2017 at 7:02 pm #

    Sorry guys but my main phone went dead, lost backup phone and tablet was misplaced. Working on getting stuff up and running including computers.

    I am doing just fine but have no geek genes. Nothing wrong at all.

    Made eggs Benedict with tomatoes, garlic spinach, bacon, hollandaise for brunch. Doing pan grilled garlic oysters on french bread for tonight with fresh green beans and sweet peppers, Pound cake with mixed fruit and whipped cream for tonight.

    Having fun.

  25. Debbe on 15 Apr 2017 at 7:50 pm #

    There’s Jackie….and you’ve made me hungry, I love eggs Benedict


    It’s Ian’s, he can’t bring up my old account….putting Dad down for the night

  26. Debbe on 15 Apr 2017 at 7:50 pm #

    …the laughter in this video is very infection :)


  27. Debbe on 15 Apr 2017 at 7:56 pm #

    infectious, where’s that edit button

    good night, and sleep tight.

    Old Bear we had an albino bird at the house a few years back, will need the husband to help refresh my memory….

  28. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 15 Apr 2017 at 8:18 pm #


    Few ideas that geniuses have appear to be ingenious to them.

    Be passionate about stoicism.

    I hear a lot about computing in the cloud. Considering how much propaganda is out there, perhaps it should be called the fog.

  29. Jerry in Fl on 15 Apr 2017 at 10:10 pm #

    Ok. Take 2. We are entering the time of year when man and nature have brought about significant tragedies. Think the whacko in Waco, Oklahoma City, floods, tornados, etc. Everyone be careful out there.

  30. Mark from TTown on 15 Apr 2017 at 11:48 pm #

    Haven’t seen any albino robins. Did see 3 albino alligators at Tulsa Zoo today. Great day to be outside here walking. Sunny and temps in the 80′s. Had a great time.

    Glad to hear from you Jackie. I just figured you were busy getting things in order prior to your surgery.

  31. Debbe on 16 Apr 2017 at 5:51 am #

    A good Easter morning to all Villagers….

    Standing on the back porch this morning around 6ish, listening to the chirping of the birds, looking at the skies and seeing the sun just starting to rise, I thought to my self…it is a good morning for a Sunrise Service being Easter Sunday.

    Pray your Easter is celebrated with family and loved ones….we are here.

  32. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 16 Apr 2017 at 6:53 am #


    In writin’ thar ain’t no rule whut cain’t be broke at the rite time for affect.

    (The following two were inspired by percussion ensemble’s concert of 02.10.09, during which they played music by John Gage.)

    Be still, and know.

    Happily ever raptor.

  33. Debbe on 16 Apr 2017 at 7:49 am #

    without comment…..


  34. emb on 16 Apr 2017 at 7:54 am #

    That last could be the motto of the Duluth hawk watchers each fall. The SW slanting shoreline of L. Superior funnels migrating raptors twd. Duluth, which lies on a sidehill facing the lake. Along the top is ‘hawk ridge’, and birders gather there for a couple of weeks each fall. Easterlies flow up ridge, yielding an updraft along which dozens to hundreds of raptors soar. Birders on top are often above many of the hawks.

    Been there a couple of times, once w/ Elaine and once w/ her and a BSC student who lived w/ us, and who died in the ’00s of tobacco cancer. Saw my one and only Goshawk there. Congenial folks, many of course long-time friends of ea. other. Some exchange of late summer produce. Dinner some time, once at a UMC downtown. Hotels fill. Over 100 mi. from here, about 150 from the TC.

    Some time in late May / early June, bikers do the MN 150 for MS from D to TC. I sponsor some from hospital’s PT and Cardiac T staff. Peace,

  35. emb on 16 Apr 2017 at 8:04 am #

    ‘That last’ refers back to Rich’s comment, & bikers should be cyclists. Peace,

  36. Mark from TTown on 16 Apr 2017 at 9:40 am #

    Mindy from Indy shared this on FB and I thought the Village would like it too: https://scontent-dft4-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17903487_10155556269389523_8901874998283319640_n.jpg?oh=5db481b7aa008bf3de2ebdaae030b655&oe=594F7AFD

    This is a series of animated cartoons you can watch on YouTube, very funny if you like cats.

  37. Jackie Monies on 16 Apr 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    Bad oyster dish, too much garlic and butter? Made for a sleepless night and indigestion which led to cancellation of the Easter buffet at LA Villa restaurant at Philbrook Museum and the live musical of Dirty Dancing.

    Then it began raining and storming and the rabits got rained out but great weather to stay in bed. It’s been a fun Easter.

  38. Gary on 16 Apr 2017 at 1:39 pm #

    Happy Zombie Jesus day to all of you. The eggs have been hard cooked and the smoke has risen. The kids have tried them and deem them to be acceptable although maybe I should have smoked them for 2 hours rather than just one hour.

    I was going to get a rabbit and have smoked Easter bunny but I settled for smoking a sirloin tip roast instead. I also have a round of Brie on the smoker and some garlic smoking that will be squeezed on to the Brie when it is ready. Smoked Brie on baguette slices anyone?

  39. Charlotte in NH on 16 Apr 2017 at 4:16 pm #

    Gary, the bread and cheese sound wonderful! Did you really smoke Easter eggs?

  40. curmudgeonly ex-professor on 16 Apr 2017 at 4:19 pm #

    I protest Gary’s description of Jesus.

  41. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 16 Apr 2017 at 4:54 pm #


    Have you noticed that the GMC Terrain needs only one letter to become the GMC Terrapin?
    Have you ever noticed that “today” is extremely similar to “toady”?
    Must be a conspiracy.

    There are few things more humbling than seeing a candid photograph of yourself.

    (The last one was inspired by a joke book that I once read. My joke reminds me of Janis, now that I think about it.)

    A man knows that the only thing that a woman hates more than a man who doesn’t listen is one who does – - and remembers what she actually said.

  42. Smigz on 16 Apr 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    Happy spring holidays, everybody! I hope your day has been sunny and your buds are bursting!

  43. TruckerRon on 16 Apr 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    cxp, that also struck me as inappropriate for this site.

  44. Morphy on 16 Apr 2017 at 7:07 pm #

    Gary may have intended a levity that fell wrong. I do not remember him as disrespectful, and am willing to understand a poorly turned phrase. Forgiveness and all that.

    I do really appreciate the restraint shown in the dissenting posts. Though I still find questions yield more information than statements. I prefer the direct approach.

    Gary, are you a fan of the popular, possibly waning, zombie genre? And so meant a bit of friendly humor?

    Or, as the black and white of printed word without the inflection of face and voice reads, did you intend to make light of a Resurrection that is not part of your worldview?

    Either is fine for you, and those you love. But the later can make others turn away.

    Last I exchanged with Gary, I feared he took offense somehow when I acknowledged he had reason to know the exchange rate CAD/USD more accurately or currently than I did. I do not recall, and sorry if that is my fault, him posting since.

    Good to read you again, Gary. Enjoy your carnivorous approach to food, and usually genial descriptions of life well lived up north. Hope to understand you better.

  45. Gary on 16 Apr 2017 at 7:48 pm #

    Yes, I am a fan of the zombie/walker/undead genre. I am a fan of many genres. I understand some folk taking offence while I have had clergy-folk think it is quite humorous. This is more of a Gary Larson sideways look at the world but there are people who take offence at his humour too.

    I am not out to diss anyone’s religious beliefs. As long as beliefs do not inflict harm on other people, everything should be tolerated.

    Morphy, I didn’t taken offence at your exchange rate exchange.

  46. Gary on 16 Apr 2017 at 7:52 pm #

    Charlotte, the cheese and bread came out perfectly. If have done better with the smoke beef roast. It may have been a lesser cut of meat. And yes, I do smoke hard boiled eggs. In theory you can smoke them in the shell but I like to peel them before I smoke them.

  47. Morphy on 16 Apr 2017 at 8:05 pm #

    Thanks, Gary. Just landed badly, I get it. Glad you took the opportunity to clarify.

    Now I need to find something to eat, I’m salivating over thoughts of smoke cured treats.

  48. Mark from TTown on 16 Apr 2017 at 8:30 pm #

    Welcome back, Morphy.

  49. Morphy on 16 Apr 2017 at 8:52 pm #

    Thank you, Mark. It has been really good to read of your settling in, by the way.

    I am not back, so much as not really been away, only not contributing. Jimmy’s work is too enjoyable to avoid. I simply fell back to the poorly named ‘lurking’ mode of enjoying as I had before. Village commerce has gone well without me; though I did not see many indications of change.

    Today, I saw a need to throw a line to a man that should not have needed one. It went well, where it might not have done. That pleases me, and I think it is enough.

  50. Mark from TTown on 16 Apr 2017 at 9:25 pm #

    Morphy, nothing wrong with “lurking”. I read the comments for a long time before starting to add my own. I still read far more than I add.

    While I didn’t care for Gary’s choice of words either, I did find this funny; https://scontent-dft4-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-0/p526x296/17796513_1480188508671623_8523805122330752315_n.jpg?oh=dc38e8a7a375a3027a04e6db137d996a&oe=594D3BE2

  51. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 17 Apr 2017 at 4:48 am #

    Morning Three:

    To see ourselves as others see us is fatal; our lies keep us alive.

    Of all the lies I’ve told, I like the ones I’ve told myself the best.

    The secret to being happy is ignoring the obvious.

  52. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 17 Apr 2017 at 4:53 am #

    If you have not yet had the pleasure of listening to Toccata in Symphony No.5 by Widor, I strongly recommend it.

    I heard it yesterday morning for the first time myself.

  53. Debbe on 17 Apr 2017 at 5:02 am #

    Good morning Villagers….

    Gary…boy, did you drop a MOAB! Just what was in those smoked eggs? Sometimes we hit send before we REALLY think “should I, or shouldn’t I hit send”. I blame it on the smoked eggs and garlic. I didn’t really care for the ‘Zombie’ remark.

    Nice Easter with the family, Dad is not a big get together person. He wants to leave when he’s ready, told me sisters he’s 85 and no one is going to change him. My sisters and their families strongly practice their faith. ..but for some reason, my sister’s only two grandsons reaped the bounties of a Christmas practice…toys, chocolate, and an egg hunt…they are two and three.

    Last night, I stumbled across the Grammy special honoring the Bee Gees and their “Saturday Night Fever”. John Travolta could dance. Tuned in about the time this group, DNCE, was performing “Night Fever”….if I had not seen it, I would think it was the Bee Gees, they really did an excellent job on performing and sounding like them. The best I could find on them at Grammy special: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjoUpPu8Lzg

    …and tomorrow’s Tuesday…Jeep, jeep, jeep and jeep

  54. Debbe on 17 Apr 2017 at 5:24 am #

    today’s warm and fuzzy feeling:


  55. Mark from TTown on 17 Apr 2017 at 6:52 am #

    Good morning everybody. It’s a rainy night in Tulsa, with thunder and lightning, yet!

  56. Llee on 17 Apr 2017 at 7:49 am #

    Hmmmm, wonder what Gene has up his sleeve? :)

  57. emb on 17 Apr 2017 at 9:21 am #

    I have several files of quotes, mostly lifted from Anu Garg’s “A Word A Day” and Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac.” I had none from Thornton Wilder ["Our Town," "The Matchmaker"], but today is his birthday, and now I have two.

    Wilder, Thornton (17 Apr 1897-1975). Everybody’s talking about people breaking into houses but there are more people in the world who want to break out of houses. A.170417

    Wilder, Thornton. “There’s nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.” Wr.A 170417

    Rick: “… pleasure of listening to Toccata in Symphony No.5 by Widor.” Were you perhaps listening to Michael Barone’s “Pipedreams”?
    “The secret to being happy is ignoring the obvious.” Maybe, but in the long run to our and our children’s / grandchildren’s and humanity’s peril on this grossly overpopulated planet.


  58. Smigz on 17 Apr 2017 at 10:27 am #

    I can’t wait to find out what Gene has in mind. We know there’s a reason he’s taking Arlo away from his porch and beverage. Could it be restaurant related? Has the restaurant got a new name and sign? Is it “Chez Arlo”?

  59. Jackie Monies on 17 Apr 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    Hello all. It has been raining and thundering here. Good day to stay in bed, read, sleep.

    Finally had brunch a little while ago. Honeydew, orange juice, English muffin, cheese bacon grits.
    Actually healthy with whole grain muffins, fat free cheese, low fat bacon. Got ingredients chopped for mandarin orange chicken for the afternoon.

  60. Nancy Kirk in AZ on 17 Apr 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    Gene just dyed his hair back from blonde to brown!!!! Will it stay that way??

  61. curmudgeonly ex-professor on 17 Apr 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    That’s it, NK!! Gene has decided to open a hair salon next to the cafeteria….

  62. Debbe on 17 Apr 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    Nancy and c-xp……too funny :)

  63. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 17 Apr 2017 at 6:09 pm #

    3 @ 7 PM

    “Live and learn.” Hmm… Is it even possible to learn and then live?

    “The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates.
    “But the examined life will drive you crazy” – The Pessimist
    But to a realist, it’s a glass that hasn’t been knocked over yet.

    Perhaps the eyes are the window to the soul, but the mirror is the portal to our mortality.

  64. Mark from TTown on 17 Apr 2017 at 6:32 pm #

    Rick in Shermantown, does the fourth comment mean that most cats are realists? Since they never see a standing glass except as a challenge to see how much it takes to knock it over?

  65. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 17 Apr 2017 at 7:18 pm #

    Sorry for the lack of clarity.

    The middle three are supposed to be closely spaced so that it counts as one comment, the first leading to the second and so on. The spacing did not transfer over correctly when I copied and pasted.

    Otherwise, you’re right, and I wish I’d thought of that.

    We used to have five cats, and they put me to shame in terms of being a realist.

  66. Jackie Monies on 17 Apr 2017 at 7:18 pm #

    Quiet rainy day here. Finally went into town for errands and Cokes in 6 Oz. Glass bottles, mail and more large plastic bins to pack away winter clothes.

    Going in shortly to stir fry chicken and mandarin orange Vegs with brown rice.

  67. Ruth Anne in Winter Park on 17 Apr 2017 at 7:33 pm #

    Just spent a pleasant 30+ minutes watching a barred owl, first in our backyard and then on our neighbors’ power line (very conveniently next to a streetlight). It didn’t seem to mind us standing fairly close, taking pictures, and sharing the experience with passersby.

  68. emb on 17 Apr 2017 at 8:28 pm #

    Ruth Anne: There’s also this:


    Just now 3 or 4 young bunched up in nest box, parent off seeking supper, maybe.


  69. Ruth Anne in Winter Park on 17 Apr 2017 at 8:39 pm #

    emb: Thanks. We suspect there’s a nest near us; multiple owls have been quite vocal for several weeks. They’re more than welcome to reduce the local squirrel population, which has been having a field day in our garden and flower pots!

  70. emb on 17 Apr 2017 at 8:57 pm #

    Unfortunately, owls mostly hunt at night, perhaps a factor in squirrels being mostly diurnal. A more important may be their unusual retinas: they are all cones, no rods.

    Here’s another favorite topic among both botanists and zoologists: invasive spp.



  71. emb on 17 Apr 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    Dasn’t [ignorant speelczech] comment; might get sued.


    That newborn Reticulated Giraffe has gone viral.


  72. TruckerRon on 17 Apr 2017 at 10:58 pm #

    I have lived in this valley for 38 years and mostly enjoyed it, with its changing seasons, magnificent mountains and valleys, and fun people. From time to time I’d gripe about how any time I wanted to watch a lunar eclipse or see anything unusual that it’d be cloudy. Only now that I have a telescope have I realized just how cloudy our night sky is.

    A few days ago the local paper reported how the local university’s astronomy department had played a role in finding an exoplanet… and the article mentioned that they had been hampered by having had only 11 cloudless nights during the first 105 days of 2017. I can vouch that only 3 of those have occurred since I got my telescope last month!

  73. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 18 Apr 2017 at 4:50 am #

    Three for the morning:

    At one time, I was concerned about making it into the fast lane. Now, I worry only about staying on the road.

    Senior Citizen: one who has lived long enough to lose all self-delusions and realize that everyone else is right about him.

    When I was much younger, I used to say, “The best things in life are free.” Of course, that was when I couldn’t afford anything else.

  74. The Man Formerly Known as sandcastler™ on 18 Apr 2017 at 7:21 am #

    Jimmy just went quintuple gold with Jimmy Buffett’s “Just got home from Illinois.” Special shout out to the guys at CCR, it’s comedic art.

  75. Ruth Anne in Winter Park on 18 Apr 2017 at 9:22 am #

    Owl was back this morning getting a drink from our birdbath. After it flew up into a tree, we noticed that there was a second owl on the roof of the house behind us.

  76. Jackie Monies on 18 Apr 2017 at 10:08 am #

    Beautiful sunny day here. Birds chirping outside and peaceful. Had breakfast and Dickens ate the leftovers he likes.

    Time to do something significant like haul laundry out. But not reopening Chinese laundry for a few more days, better ways to spend time I enjoy.

  77. Ghost on 18 Apr 2017 at 10:25 am #

    Sorry it’s been so long since I commented. I’ve been tied up. Again. Damned gypsy women.

    My immediate comment on Gene’s comment today: “Huh?”

    Followed immediately by “Oh.”

  78. Smigz on 18 Apr 2017 at 10:49 am #

    Ghost is loose! ;)

    Gene and Arlo need boots? The plot thickens…errr, deepens.

  79. Morphy on 18 Apr 2017 at 1:56 pm #

    To proclaim the planet we call Earth is grossly overpopulated, implies there is some portion of that population you feel should not exist. Rather than be so gross as to request a description of that extraneous portion or where one would find them living their lives, I simply ask: Do you count yourself, and your progeny, among them? Or are you and your offspring somehow more deserving of a place here?

    Despite my habit of addressing matters directly, I will not name you. This is to match your habit of talking past people to the ether at large; and to honor your explicit request.

    I am less offended by Gary’s humor than that statement. I believe Jesus is a big enough man to take a joke. [present tense intentional] I’m not sure how strong those lesser peoples are, and will stand firm on their (or is it also my?) behalf. It is strange to me what is acceptable discourse, and what is not.

    And I wonder, to the world at large and no one in particular: should I now expect more personally derisive postings, some sputtering of ‘not what I meant’, or silence? I would prefer reasoned discussion, but silence on the matter is acceptable.

  80. Ruth Anne in Winter Park on 18 Apr 2017 at 2:07 pm #

    Pictures of our visiting owls – https://flic.kr/s/aHskV3Kjbn

  81. Mark from TTown on 18 Apr 2017 at 2:18 pm #

    Thanks, Ruth Anne. Nice photos. Looks like they are cooperating with the photographer!

  82. Ruth Anne in Winter Park on 18 Apr 2017 at 2:21 pm #

    My bird book claims barred owls are “easily spooked” and do “not generally tolerate close approach” but this one is, as you say, most cooperative.

  83. Jackie Monies on 18 Apr 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    Since Jimmy has never ever put up a list of verboten subjects or posts, I do not know who has done so.

    I was once the moderator for six very popular Yahoo forums with rules against profanity, politics and religion, as well as not trashing anyone, no derogatory comments, especially sexual ones against women or races.

    Since Jimmy has never done so I feel someone has overstepped their position here by making up rules. I for one think we should be able to discuss anything. Jimmy does in comic strip.

  84. Morphy on 18 Apr 2017 at 3:48 pm #

    Jackie, this is where naming the person you intend is useful. If ‘someone’ is meant to be Morphy, I reiterate my preference for reasoned discourse. Silence is only preferred over personal derision. If you did not mean me, I apologize for my poor reading. My own recent use of silence was in response to personal derision received. I believe you know the feeling.

    It is the contrast of what is ‘protested’, ‘inappropriate’, or allowed to go without comment that surprises me. I did not dictate silence. And have no position other than frequent reader, and now spotty contributor. If deleting the last seven words of my previous post would make that more clear, consider it done.

    I have in the past spoken in support of discussing anything, and reminded that we all have and do. I have not been one of the handful of voices that have suggested topical rules over the last year or so. And following each suggestion, eventually others have posted in each of the suggested categories. I do have the right to ask more from anyone, on any subject they have broached. And then to return my own opinion. And wait for a question in return. But you did not question the subject or my view of it, you judged. Is that an overstep?

    A question was posed. It may be answered or considered rhetorical. How, or if it is answered, is not in my control. Never has been, do not want it to be.

    This has already gotten messy, so I will again withdraw. I intend to respond if addressed. Please, remember that writing concerning a person as if the person cannot possibly be aware, is not kind.

  85. Llee on 18 Apr 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    Great photos, Ruth Anne! Thanks for sharing :)

  86. JACKQULINE MONIES on 18 Apr 2017 at 4:35 pm #

    Morphy it is not you darling. I was writing to support being able to discuss ANYTHING NOT TO SUPPORT RESTRICTIONS.

    FRANKLY my real feelings are that political or societal correctness has emasculated the commentary here in the Village. I have found most of our discussions lately to be rather inane and boring.

    Furthermore the ones I spoke of hardly would recognize themselves as a culprit. They believe we wait for the very words like hungry chicks. Think I will take a vacation as well except to sign in as alive once in awhile.

  87. The Man Formerly Known as sandcastler™ on 18 Apr 2017 at 4:58 pm #

    Had to explain the daily offering to Loon. She lacks the higher cultural awareness of 1970′s R&R. ;-)

  88. Morphy on 18 Apr 2017 at 5:51 pm #

    Jackie, sorry I mistook your point, I apologize.

    Regret I have lost track of your progress on knees, or postponement status. Just know I wish you well.

  89. Mark from TTown on 18 Apr 2017 at 6:39 pm #

    I, too, don’t see anything wrong with most of the conversation here. I did object when the political discourse got too strident. But, polite commentary and polite questions should always be welcome.

    And Morphy, since you said you enjoyed my comments on settling in, I have a couple more. I have found only two things problematical in this apartment and both relate to the bathroom. The shower head is mounted about the level of my mid-chest, requiring me to bend near double to wash my hair. And the toilet is one of these very small ones, similar to an RV-sized version. I told the leasing agent I felt like I was using a 5-gallon bucket when I had to sit. Wish I could get them to install a larger one with the elongated seat, but I can live with it.

  90. Mark from TTown on 18 Apr 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    I don’t know what kind of birds are nesting outside my window, but they seem to be involved in a feud with their neighbors. Quite noisy, more than my human neighbors have been.

  91. Morphy on 18 Apr 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    Mark, a reply went to non-existent moderation. No links, no keywords, no special characters. Just the curse of the verbose: too long.

    All you’ve posted suggests found again freedom and contentment. I commiserated over commode size. Then advised on after market shower-head available at most grocery stores, or replacing the short stub out of wall with a goose-neck sized for your space and needs, measurements become important here. But must have droned on too long for the submission bot. Then wrapped by noting I think you read as pleased despite the ‘features that give a place character’.

    On birds, a post-divorce rental some years ago had me living near some feathered friend which learned to mimic my annoying alarm clock. A feature that assured immunity to power failure. but no end to grief otherwise.

  92. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 18 Apr 2017 at 8:18 pm #

    Late Evening Three:

    We go through life, scattering bits and pieces of ourselves here and there and into others until nothing is left of ourselves but all of others.

    Perhaps it is true that all things come to those who wait, but, by the time that they arrive, we are usually too old to enjoy them.

    In the middle of the black night, we lie still, listening to the beating of our own hearts, hoping that the Great Dark does not engulf us yet always longing for it.

  93. Mark from TTown on 18 Apr 2017 at 8:35 pm #

    Morphy, I have bought one of those shower heads on a hose and intend to put it on. Over the years I have done several of these.

    As for the bird imitations, I got out of my car in a parking lot and kept hearing what I thought was some kind of gas powered tool. Once I pinpointed the sound I found out it was a bird sitting under a car making the noise. It looked like a starling. I have also read of someone who visited Arlington Cemetery on a Sunday and was startled to hear a weedeater going. After looking for the source, they learned it was a mockingbird who lived there and had learned to imitate the equipment the maintenance crew used.

  94. Mark from TTown on 18 Apr 2017 at 8:39 pm #

    Have a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zd6Iy4JuGk

  95. Morphy on 18 Apr 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Mark, glad you will not abide the aggravation. Sorry if it seemed simplistic, sometimes it is hard to tell from a distance if a chief surgeon or other accomplished person has the skill or desire to change a tire. And then to gauge my post succinctly.

    More bird: My next residence while rebuilding life was a 2-bedroom duplex, the kids were still quite young so sharing a room was still appropriate, and Dad didn’t sleep on the couch. I’m sure the house was older than the local cardinal, so I have no idea why he was convinced he should be able to fly up the small rise in the backyard and hurl himself against the small basement window, then scold it for stopping him. Many more times than just once, or I would not still remember it.

  96. Charlotte in NH on 18 Apr 2017 at 8:57 pm #

    Mark from TTown, You can buy an elevated toilet seat — it’s a large white plastic thing shaped like a doughnut — at a pharmacy where they have lots of medical supplies. 20 to 30 dollars. If it will fit onto your present toilet, folding up both lid and seat first, it could help a lot. I have one and even have an extra to take when visiting or traveling. It’s a must have for bad knees. Cause a person can sit down okay, but when you can’t get up, it’s an awful problem!

  97. Steve from Royal Oak, MI on 18 Apr 2017 at 9:04 pm #

    I got to watch the beginning of the Boston Marathon and was shocked as I saw my son flash across the start line. I have a DVR and got some stills of it. Alas, he has been fight a bronchial condition, along with the 80° heat made for a VERY rough day. He then flew back to Detroit and was home by 11:00 and slept until 5:00 where he drove down to Fort Wayne for my brother-in-law’s funeral. He wanted to bring his wife and my grandson, but both of them were sicker than he was. My sister was SO touched by his effort. There just was no doubt that he was going to be there out his respect and love for his Uncle.

    We left on Monday at 11:00, hoping to get there by 2:00 or 2:30. We decided to get a sandwich and that put us a half hour later. We were nearly to the Ohio line when traffic stopped for an hour and a half for a fatal accident. Of course one wonders whether we might have been at the scene of the accident had we not stopped to eat. Someone was watching us. I love funerals. They of course are very sad, but there is SO much love and it is fun to swap stories with people from your youth.

    At the gravesite I looked up and saw some beautiful clouds. One group looked like a choir of angels while another looked like the Angel Gabriel. I guess we see what we want to see, but that was our choice. After a fantastic luncheon/dinner, I drove back on US 24, which was the way I came down. I usually go home a different route because it has more gas stations and rest stops. I got to Napoleon OH and was yawning so hard I stopped at a truck stop to get something cold to drink. I felt much better and got back on the road.

    As we were driving home, I remarked to my wife that I had not recalled seeing so many huge wind farms in Ohio, especially close to Toledo. About then I saw a “Welcome to Indiana” sign. I had driven about 45-50 miles west, so we got home about 1 1/2 hours later than we expected. We were talking about the funeral and listening to music and never realized that we had gone the wrong way. My brother-in-law loved to play jokes on people and I swear i could hear his belly laugh at us.

  98. Charlotte in NH on 18 Apr 2017 at 9:17 pm #

    Awww, lovely stories, Steve from R O — you have a fine family. Your travels and adventures to get to the funeral and home again were remarkable. Long may your good humor and optimism continue!

  99. Charlotte in NH on 18 Apr 2017 at 9:22 pm #

    How I wish Arlo would lose the baseball cap — he looks awful in it. Yes, I wonder what the boots are going to get him and Gene into. Can’t imagine. Our favorite cartoonist knows how to keep us in suspense!

  100. curmudgeonly ex-professor on 18 Apr 2017 at 9:53 pm #

    Enjoy your writing, Steve/RO, whether at sad or joyous times.
    Morphy’s bird imitating his alarm clock strikes me as a hoot!

  101. curmudgeonly ex-professor on 18 Apr 2017 at 9:53 pm #

    Agreed, Charlotte – Arlo in that cap just doesn’t make it.

  102. Mark from TTown on 18 Apr 2017 at 9:57 pm #

    Charlotte, thanks for the suggestion, but my problem is that my posterior is approximately the same size as the seat. No problem with height, just not enough seating room, if you get my drift.

  103. Mark from TTown on 18 Apr 2017 at 10:01 pm #

    If anyone wants birdsong for an alarm clock and can’t get the real thing: http://www.audubon.org/news/wake-gentle-birdsong-new-smartphone-app

  104. David in Austin on 18 Apr 2017 at 10:17 pm #

    Here’s an option for something other than bathroom wall rails. We use for my wife’s mother while we care for her post-embolism and pre hip-replacement.


    It works well. Mark, I had to get a bariatric toilet chair when I was in the wheelchair with my knees. I couldn’t get the wheelchair into the toilet nook and my rear is larger than a standard toilet chair. It worked nicely.

    Apparently, there is also a product called “Big John” that has larger than standard seating for a standard toilet! I may investigate that further.

  105. Mark from TTown on 18 Apr 2017 at 10:24 pm #

    David, thanks for the heads up on Big John. Was able to find the website with your help in providing the name. The open front would be a big help.


  106. Old Bear on 18 Apr 2017 at 11:57 pm #

    If you do not fancy the shower hose arrangement, there is an
    adjustable arm that is rigid, 12 long, that you can mount a standard
    (And there is no such thing as a “standard” shower head).

    You can shop on line – and have it delivered to your local store freight free.

    The adjustable one is SKU 657975 {easiest to install and cheaper}.

    The best is go to your local store and have them order the item for you if they do not stock it.

  107. Old Bear on 19 Apr 2017 at 12:02 am #

    There is something the program does not like about
    the second I item I listed – an “S” arm that I did not know existed

  108. Old Bear on 19 Apr 2017 at 12:03 am #

    # 658003

  109. Old Bear on 19 Apr 2017 at 12:04 am #

    You just have to be just a little smarter or more devious than the computer

  110. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 19 Apr 2017 at 4:43 am #

    Early Morning Three:

    A life is what you have after you survive everything.

    “The ability to see clearly is often called cynicism by those who haven’t got it.” – Author unknown

    I enjoy nothing else as I do lying; as a matter of fact, I am lying right now, and, thanks to lying, I look and feel great.

  111. Debbe on 19 Apr 2017 at 5:50 am #

    Good morning Villagers…

    Steve, back home in Indiana, what a pleasant memory to take home with you, glad your brother-in-law was there with you…in more ways than one.

    Got it. Get it. Good!! Jeep, jeep, jeep and jeep….

    Mark, with your height, I can’t imagine all the disadvantages you have to endure.

    Smigz….couldn’t access today’s go comics, did any one else have problems? Finally found today’s strip on an Oregon paper…sponsored by Go Comics no less. Yes, the plot ‘deepens’ :)

    …still having troubles with email accounts, oh well!!!!

    Yesterday, I was mesmerized by this: https://redditblog.com/2017/04/18/place-part-two/
    I leave it up to you all to click on some of the links…a social study, I loved the fact the U.S. flag persevered…and stayed right in the middle.

    Jackie, do come out and play sometime…..inane, not…insane, yes….it’s what has kept me under the radar all these years.


  112. Debbe on 19 Apr 2017 at 5:56 am #

    without comment…..