A Bedtime Story

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I’m away from my studio this morning, so I’m digging out old material between the seat cushions of my laptop. This little poem first appeared in 2006 and ran here on the Web site three years ago. I’ve always thought it was rather cute. Note the candle: although it is a deliberate exaggeration in this case, I am struck when I go back through the old material with the anachronisms—or things on their way to becoming anachronisms—that are present in the everyday comic strips. VHS, telephone books, video recorders the size of cigar boxes, audio CDs, the CD itself. The list goes on and on.

120 responses to “A Bedtime Story”

  1. Jerry: “Does anyone know if that was the space station by the moon this morning? It was really something and it was the only light in the sky other than the moon.”

    It was Venus.

    Peace, emb

  2. Hello again, Sand I thunk you know how to get in touch with Ghost, anyone eelse? Can someone try? We are all concerned. I know both his mom and BIL were having trouble healthwise.

    Me and tablet not doing well, poor relationship.

    No Debbe, I am heading for a boating event on Stockton Lake for weekend. I have the 20# ham, boxes of cookies, six bottles of wine and big bottles of rum and vodka for those who drink, not me. They will probably like that better than my boat. Love.

  3. About today’s strip, good advice on syncing ones hours with a mate. My late husband and I were on the same schedule as mongeese and rats in the cane fields in Hawaii.

  4. Before you panic about GR, remember he has been having internet problems, and he lives in the Gulf Coast area. About 3 months ago, we had a thunderstorm that popped up in my area (I live north of Houston) and a bolt of lightning hit near us, although not on our property. The bang scared the you-know-what out of me, and the lights flickered, so we got some kind of a surge. It took out our modem, which we replaced, but still no internet. Took 5 days for the ISP repair man to find the problem and fix it – apparently it had fried or reset stuff not only on our line, but up from us. Hopefully GR’s absence is tech and not family related.

  5. I know I don’t post much, but will be doing so even less. Going to go see my son which I haven’t done in about 8 years. 2 weeks to drive a total of a little over 2k miles, and see my sister enroute. Going to be fun and hard both.

  6. Mark, if Ghost doesn’t surface soon write me about how to do a search for an unknown name. Just email or contact on Facebook. You may know how.

    Me, I’m hoping he is on a hot date or vacation or even a honeymoon, unlikely as that may be. Love.

  7. Trucker: Stumped my daughter, too, so sent her this:
    Kaf, Here are the relevant posts from the A&J blog.
    “TruckerRon 04 Oct 2015 # 232. With the various holidays showing up on the calendar beginning with Hallowe’en, ‘Why do computer programmers confuse Hallowe’en with Christmas? Because Oct 31 = Dec 25.’ [Actually, Trucker wrote Halloween.] emb # 239. Trucker: Stumped my younger niece with base 8 vs. 10. Too bad our ancestors didn’t foresee our binary future. Base 8 would have fit our world better.
    TruckerRon # 249. Debbe (and others who don’t already understand): Cptr programmers work in a number of different number bases, such as binary (base 2), octal (base 8), decimal (base 10) and hexadecimal (base 16). To avoid confusion, they often indicate which base they are working in by prefixing their numbers with the first three letters of the base name (bin, oct, dec, hex). The decimal no. 25 is 31 in octal, so Oct 31 = Dec 25. If you’re still in the dark, that’s OK. You can always Google (or bing) Octal for a more detailed explanation.”

    In Octal, the digits are: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 only, no 8 or 9. Therefore, 8 decimal = 10 octal: Look at the backs of your hands, hide your thumbs, and count from the left pinky: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 10. Therefore, 16 decimal = 20 octal; 24 decimal = 30 octal, and 25 Dec = 31 Oct. Neat. If we had Disney hands, our base would be 8, which would mesh nicely w/ the base 2 of cptrs. Love, Dad
    Peace, emb

  8. We’ve been having a lovely time in the mountains – gorgeous cool weather, lots of fall color, good food. Legs are a little sore from trails that aren’t flat like they are at home and our lungs have done some complaining too. Luckily, just when we’re feeling old and out of shape, we notice some youngsters huffing and puffing as much as we are.

    While we’ve been on the Blue Ridge Parkway for the last few days, we’ve been somewhat out of touch. Little or no phone signal and only minimal wifi at the little lodge where we stayed – kind of nice, actually.

    Jerry – check out http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

  9. Paul was a nice guy, his family all cooked. I never much cared for the blackened thing and I remember everyone originally doubting if K-Paul’s would make it. The scary thing is that I always thought he was much older than this. The weight was an.issue so he was lucky to live this long.

    Thanks, Mark

  10. You’re welcome, Anonymous. Since we have a fair representation of Gulf Coast readers, thought that would be of interest. And an even larger group of cooks/eaters!

  11. I wear a night shirt in winter – maybe not so long as his.
    I sure feels good walking to that little room when we turn the heat down at night.
    When we heated with wood – Ma-ma had a kerchief & I had a cap. And our noses still
    got cold – no wonder the Eskimos rubbed noses.

  12. Jerry:

    About the space station –

    I’m not sure when or if Jimmy will have time to clear my first post. It went into limbo because I put two links in it.

    Here’s the basic text but without the links:

    I receive emails that tell me when and where the space station will be visible.

    Here’s the basic url: (Use a search engine with the term “spot the station.”

    Click the “sign up” link…

  13. Good morning Villagers…

    Jerry, Emb had been educating me on morning stargazing….read his comment from a couple of days ago. And yes, Venus is very bright this time of morning (5:50)….but this morning is cloudy, sigh. I actually copied and pasted some of it at the very end of “And, of course, pisces” Check it out.

    Mark, those pics…the first one threw me…I didn’t know they could stretch like that 🙂

    Steve, I’ve a story of a railroad track that ran between our house growing up and my grandparents house….but I’m running late.

    gotta go…

    Somebody, please find GR…..I fighting withdrawals from ‘Mood” music.

    Judy, I hope and pray that is all that is wrong with GR.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day.

  14. Debbe-

    Thanks for the heads up about the planetary conjunction tomorrow morning; I’ll try to rouse myself to observe it.

    I missed the “Christmas Star” conjunction this summer- skies were cloudy. What was most frustrating was that I had been observing Jupiter and Venus creeping slowly towards each other all month.

  15. The list does indeed go on and on. Dick Tracy’s wrist radio (30’s – 50’s) is now as laughable as the hand crank wall telephone.

  16. Thanks to everyone for the helpful hints, Debbe, if you do a search (maybe I can post a link later) for Woodstock, the lost performances, there are some great videos that I had never seen before. JJ, there’s an Arlo Guthrie video in which he chastises the audience for not liking his song. Speelczech doesn’t recognize Arlo?

  17. Jimmyjohnson@arloandjanis.com is going to be the fastest and easiest way to find Ghost because he has our contact information.

    I used to be able to ask the FBI once upon a time and I am stuck in Missouri right now and then Texas. I am not able to put my Sherlock cap on until after Texas boat show but I can try then if Ghost hasn’t reappeared by then.

    Everyone get out Oujuigi boards and hold stances for now. Love.

  18. Safe travels, Ursen, and enjoy your trip!

    Here in North Georgia we are finally seeing blue skies again, and cleaning up from the fierce winds we had last week. I hope our friends and neighbors in South Carolina are recovering from the floods they’ve had.

    I’m with Anonymous (Jackie, is that you?) in hoping that Ghost is just out on a hot date!

  19. Hi Trapper, yes anon is me. I lost or dropped or had taken my tablet and Smartphone in airport and this one doesn’t know me.
    I did a hurried check of obits based on what I know about Ghost and family but it was too fast and I was too tired. Had one of my usual exciting brushes with death, saved for some unknown reason to keep on truckin’. Spent the morning finding the beautiful blonde barefoot insurance agent who rescued me.

    She couldn’t believe I found her which makes me think I can still find people. But I would rather Ghost just showed up, even if he got married. There are worse things. Love.

  20. Old Bear — I love what you wrote! You should be in the movies — or something.

    Dear Jackie, can you please tell us more? Honestly, I worry about you — travelling around by yourself, getting in (and out) of all kinds of trouble. I had a sudden mental flash to Brenda Starr … this is true, I really did. Girl Reporter. Jackie, can you see yourself with red hair and high heeled shoes, writing stories from the Boat Shows?

  21. I once had red hair like Brenda Starr, deep deep red, not orange. It was in the day when I dyed my hair lots if colors. I borrowed a photograph of me from my daughter, I could post it on Facebook. Believe it or not I looked angelic, like a natural girl next door.

    Right now I am at a gas station in Oklahoma and will write checks and pickup my boat and head back to Missouri in the morning. I apparently worry my boating friends too.

    Reminds me of my calling home to the farm once and being told my aunts and mother were on top of tractor shed raking limbs off and burning them. The shed was about 12 to 20 feet high and they ranged from 70 to 90 years old. The shed was about 150 years old. Love.

  22. Good morning Villagers….

    Just came in from outside. The night sky is brilliant with stars and the four planets. Leaving for work early so I can take in a better view without the trees obstructing my view.

    You are welcome Blinky…Emb told me about the website.

    Mark, will check out your video later when I get home from work….I’ll need the laugh then.

    So, JJ, can you get in touch with GR? Please! We all are very concerned, he has never gone this long without posting.

    Old Bear…never heard that one before, but you can bet this blonde will be using it 🙂

    Jerry, that would be great…I love Arlo Guthrie…especially “Alice’s Restaurant”.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day….ooooo,it’s Caturday!!!

  23. It seems that a lot of people are missing or busy. We haven’t heard from Denise for a long time. Debbe, I will post that link today. Tippy says hello.

  24. Someone apparently bought the really high priced copy of Bop Til You Drop. Only one left at $999.98. Rick Springfield ripped off your cover and title JJ.

  25. Today’s strip reminds me of the meme that says “You really had a wonderful life if you had only looked up”. Of course many use that to tell people to quit looking at their phones, but frankly that’s always been true. We spend too much time with the nitty gritty and not enough time enjoying what God has given us.

  26. Yes, I am worried about Denise too but Ghost has been a fixture here as long as the Village has existed. People like me come and go but Ghost has been a constant, an anchor.

    I chewed off my immaculate manicure and nails last night and it wasn’t me or mine, it was Ghost I was worried about. A $50 manicure and all my nails gone!

    AND I wrote about why a friendship with someone we have never met can be as important or more so than the neighbor in the next block and more real. I feel the same way about Jimy and Arlo and Janis and Ludwig. But I know there is a real Ghost.

    And I suspect everyone here feels the same. Love.

  27. JJ, I’m in with Debbe and Jackie. If you can, please get in touch with Ghost and let us know if he’s okay. I also wonder if his mother is okay.

    Right now I’m going to take Jerry’s advise and have a cup of coffee. Husband and I had a late night last night. We went to the Forsythe County Fair for the Oak Ridge Boys concert which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then we had corn dogs and funnel cakes, walked around a bit, and ran into an old friend. All in all a good night, but I’m having trouble waking up this morning. The fact that it rained all night and is still raining isn’t helping any.

  28. Raining in the Carolinas again so no hiking today. We’ll need to do something tomorrow to work off today’s lunch but it was worth it – really interesting sandwich consisting of chopped brisket, apple butter, aioli, fried Brussels sprouts, and cheddar sauce on ciabatta.

    Old Bear – good timing 🙂

  29. It was a rainy night in Alabama, too. But it didn’t rain on Alabama (the band) who played for the UA homecoming last night.

    “Feels like it’s raining all over the world”.

  30. Oklahoma and Missouri are dry and I am back in Missouri with boat, 45 minutes from Stockton Lake. I am down to last thumb, there are no more nails and polish, fingers are bleeding.

    This is more than a week. I feel guilty for teasing him about a kilt.

  31. Oh dear, how I’ve been hoping that someone heard from Ghost, but no. Last night I Emailed JJ at the address Jackie posted here, but it came back as undeliverable. I must try on Facebook, see if I can find any way to get through.

    Debbe dear, the cat picture you posted is very cute! Thank you for the nice things you said. Our children are all good-natured, caring people and yes, they are very good to me. Chris and I always treated them with respect and that’s how they treat us. Two of them live near me in NH, half an hour or less drive. The two in Vermont have a 3 hour drive or more, and the 3 in upstate NY take many hours to get here. But they all like to visit whenever possible.

  32. I just attempted to contact the Great and Almighty Webmaster about our wayward Ghost. So, whomever is the current keeper of the Rubie Slippers, click your heels three times. Meanwhile, stay on the Yellow Brick Road, do not talk to strangers, and never pick the flowers.

    Thank you for your attention. Had this been a serious notice, a house would have fallen from the sky. You may now return to your regularly scheduled events.

  33. EMB,
    Very good one.
    try early in the morning. He was there this morning. Re the brouhaha about Ghost I was under the impression that he did secret stuff for unnamed people in undisclosed locations for unknown periods of time. He will probably show up soon.

  34. Who was where early this morning? And I seldom got that impression from Ghost, and he was usually careful to tell us if he was going to be away.

    I left a comment on Facebook for a woman who is JJ’s cousin, does she have the ability to get in touch with him; said I’d check back tomorrow.

    Dear Jackie, I hate to think of you chewing off your manicure! Please tell me that you are exaggerating — for artistic effect.

  35. My 2 cents on our missing Ghost: he had been complaining about persistent internet connection issues for a while. He may have reached his breaking point and shot the router!

  36. Except for a detail that Ghost did let us know when he’d be gone, remember when he and I vanished but not together. And he often checked in with us at odd times during the day which says to me he is like me with multiple communication means. I have a Smartphone, a Android tablet, a new laptop, and a new portable Apple and a desktop. I would perhaps shoot the desktop because my late husband got that stupid satellite (a pair!) On my porch roof. I no longer threaten to throw phone out car window.There are several companies involved, not one, so unless you lost them or had them stolen you can communicate.

    Charlotte, I was not kidding, I wear shellac nails that require special chemicals and tools to remove polish. I pay $50 to have them done and I chewed off polish, nails and several layers of the nails and all the tips. That is how worried I got.

  37. Good morning Villagers….

    Emb…pea soup, hahhaha, that was a good one.

    Old Bear, definitely good timing on Ruth’s brussel sprouts….the look on teh ketteh’s face…priceless.

    Miss Charlotte, you are blessed. I have on my bulletin board a list titled “Children Learn What they Live”. Some day I’ll post it. I don’t hear much from Ian…says he doesn’t like to talk on the phone. I don’t either, but I told him you could at least call your mother once a week 😉

    I’ve been posting here some two and half years. GR is a staple here. I’ve never known him to completely go off radar this long. We are a Village of virtual friends who care about one another. I look forward to coming here every day. I’ve learned a lot from everyone. Denise went MIA for awhile, but she returned…she will return again some day.. I remember one time GR and I asked her to write our obit for us.

    Jackie, I hope you don’t get sick from biting your nails off with all those chemicals involved. And I like what you said about GR.

    The last thing he said was something about a cape, a cape is what he needed.

    I hope Jimmy can help us find out about GR, as I am really getting anxious about this.

    Jerry….post away 🙂

    going in to work…..

    ya’ll have a blessed Lord’s day

  38. (off topic, again)

    Absolutely hilarious.

    Had banana for breakfast and then soup and salad for lunch on Saturday.

    Had a cheat day: 1/4 lb. cheese-chili hot dog and bowl of chili. Later, bowl of black bean chipotle-style soup.

    Gained six pounds by evening.

    Karma, karma.

  39. EMB. Well, it is one of those “what’s different in the second picture” things but if there’s a joke I don’t get it either. Peas.

  40. Steve, it was indeed a rainy night in Georgia, and continued to be a rainy day.

    I’m hoping Ruth Anne is right and Ghost just shot his router. I am worried that something happened to either him or his mother. Praying that they are okay.

  41. It is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. I have the bird on the smoker. I have never done a turkey on the smoker so I hope it is eatable.

    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all of you and to GR, wherever you are.

  42. Gary, I hope you remembered to remove the giblet/neck from the inside before smoking. My ex and I bought one at a church fund-raiser one time, and found that little surprise when we started to carve it.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too. And in my opinion, any day I have a job, clothes, a home and family (birth or friendly) is Thanksgiving!

  43. I think the Luann strip is, as one or more bloggers have written, a matter of the cartoonist getting tired of nitpicking critics and giving them a lot of minor changes to feed their tendencies.

  44. Debbe: Tell Ian one (and maybe more) of your Village friends say he ABSOLUTELY needs to call his mother at least once a week! Love, NK

  45. Yes Mark, I did check for goodies in the turkey (giblets in the head opening and neck in the body). I would have found them no matter what. I seasoned it inside and outside (and under the skin) and left it in the fridge over night. And then I spachcocked it in the morning (removed the spine and flattened the bird). Not bad for my first attempt but it now means I have to do this every year. My wife liked having the oven all to herself for the rest of the meal.

  46. Mark: None anywhere close: http://www.shopsleuth.com/world-market/

    Mostly, I buy Taylor’s English Breakfast Tea, 40 tagless tea bags / box, or Taylor’s Yorkshire Tea, 50 / box. Taylor’s Yorkshire Gold is $1 more / box, but I like Yorkshire better. All by appt. purveyors of tea to Charles, Philip, or maybe the Duke of Plaza Toro, or his Duchess. Favorite local supermkt. also has Yorkshire as loose tea in a bag. I have one, in case a particular person visits.

    Peace, emb

  47. P.S. I’d never heard of PG Tips tea. Did a search; I’ve seen one herbal tea in those 4-cornered bags, which I didn’t care for. I like real tea. emb

  48. Good morning Villagers….

    Still no GR!!!! This is not looking good.

    Nancy, I believe he is off work on Mondays, I will be the one to call him. But I will definitely tell him what you said. He teases me about the Village, and I would tell him some of the stories posted when he lived here. I going to really miss him come winter time…he always cleaned the car off when it snowed and got the car warmed up for me.

    Read the Luann strip for the first time….saw the differences in the two panels, but the comments were funny, and there were 179 more comments to load….quite a following of fans.

    Gary, a Happy Thanksgiving day even though I am late. So that’s what a flat turkey looks like when cooked. It looks good and yummy. When we find flat hens in the bottom of cages, we call them floor mats….sorry, I couldn’t help myself 🙂

    The hens are due to go out December the 8th, and new pullets in on the 22nd, 23rd. The hens warm the house….going to be really cold, and guess who isn’t going to clean…I’ll stay in the packing room and clean. Yesterday morning the hen house temp was 55 degrees, we need to shut some fans off manually tomorrow as the temp will fall to 42 degrees tomorrow night.

    gotta go…ya’ll have a blessed day

  49. Brooke McEldowney can’t be all bad. In today’s 9CL, Solange opines, “Never trust a man who doesn’t have cat hair on his suit.”

    Jerry: Had to look back to recall which comment you meant. Couldn’t get away w/ the two finger unlock. We were rare birds: virgins on our wedding night [you could hear the mice in the walls laughing], and faithful for over 58 1/2 years. I was chomping at the bit then but am most grateful now.

    Peace, emb

  50. Steve I stayed faithful to my late husband for 50 years, we were married for 48 of them. I always say that making a decision on anything in life is that way, whether it is honesty, sobriety, quitting smoking or losing weight. Commitment is a choice we make.

    Right now I am regretting eating a vegetarian omelette here in Missouri that involved sliced tomatoes, half an English muffin and apparently a cup of melted butter to saute the vegs and cook the omelette in. And this is 24 hours later!

    Back to original subject, some decisions we make in life have far longer lasting consequences than eating that omelette. I commend all who stay faithful to spouses. Love.

  51. I’ve been asked if I’ve been to West Africa over a dozen times over the last months; none of the receptionists I asked had yet gotten a positive answer.


    From the responses to my recent post, looks like many of us are conservative, at least in one regard. Great, isn’t it? May also be true of one of my three kids, though they did not wait until the ceremony. That’s ok.

    Peace, emb

  52. The Village is getting about Ghost like I get when Skeezix does “walkabout”.

    Ruth and all you other educators
    See if you can get “The Little Red Schoolhouse” by Eric Sloane
    What he wrote 40YA is valid today – maybe even more so.

    From an 18th Cent. Copy Book—

    “Goodness & Greatness complete the man.”

    “Give not a certainty for an uncertainty.”

    “Great minds and small means ruin many a man.”

    “He is not poor the is contented
    He is not rich that covets more.”

    “Hear both parties before thou judgest”

    “Harbour no thoughts, that blush in words.”

    “Honesty is better trusted than an oath.”

    I get PG Tips at Target
    It is not an Herbal Tea

    MBH cousin worked for them in England. She called them “floor sweepings”
    But I like them.

    If you have a hard time finding Tea try


    Quite a place – they made Onion Marmalade for me.

  53. OK, fellow Villagers, I have sent a Private Message on Facebook to Jimmy Johnson; that’s what I should have done at first. No answer, yet. Sent 4 or 5 hours ago. My daughter Pat helped me, over the phone. Then I explained the problem to Pat and told her that JJ knows everyone’s real name. She said, it’s quite a responsibility for him; and I said I feared that he was not taking it very seriously; and she said, well, he will learn!

    And it’s true; he has not replied to our increasingly frantic inquiries, at all.

    I’ll try one more thing: I see that JJ has two Facebook accounts, a cartoon one and a more real looking one. I sent the PM to the cartoon one, natch, but now will try the other. “Lord, give me strength.”

  54. Charlotte in NH, try the keeper of the A&J fan page on Facebook, too. Although Ghost is not on FB, it’s possible he and Jim have been in touch through other means.

  55. Mark, I have tried to find the keeper of the fan page — I used to see him on there, but don’t any more. As for JJ reaching Ghost, JJ is supposed to know everybody’s real name, maybe address too? I’ve Private Messaged both JJ’s FB accounts and asked him to check obituaries — he could do that once he has the real name. Because I’ve come to think that Ghost has died in a car crash or such, or else is badly hurt.

    I fear that JJ has wandered off and is not paying attention to the blog, which is disheartening. And I also fear that he has mislaid the real names of the members — not a nice thought.

    Good night, I’m going to bed now, and about time, too.

  56. Oh, he’s paying attention, just not 24 hrs a day. With a little guesswork and common sense I found his phone number, but he’s not going to answer a call from us. If he wants to answer an email he will. BTW, show a significant other how to post a comment for just this reason. I don’t remember when I wandered in. We’ve lost family, but I don’t think that we’ve lost a regular since I’ve been around.

  57. On 9/22 GR said that he does not do facebook. I know noting about tweeting, texting. The only “t” that I do with my little folding phone is talk.

  58. Good morning Villagers…

    Miss Charlotte, you and I share the same fears. I’ve imagined every scenario about the fate of GR.

    Mr. Johnson, please help us find GR and what has happened with him.

    I have fretted over this badly, I could cry. No more ‘mood’s songs. No more ‘Hon’s. No more pokies.

    When I first logged on here, all I did (if I remember correctly) was just put my first name and email address.

    And yes, Jerry, we are family here…and it hurts when we lose one. How’s Tippy doing?

    Old Bear…love the LOL’s cheezburgers….especially the one who looks like your Petunia..the caption would go well with the other comments on yesterday’s real time A&J.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day.

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