A Rare Arlo & Janis

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"
OK, so this comic strip from December of last year isn’t exactly “rare.” It’s Arlo and Janis sitting on the sofa, for cryin’ out loud. However, there is something out of the ordinary going on here. Can you tell what it is? That’s right! In the third panel, Arlo’s dialog runs to four lines. It is an unwritten rule here (where all rules are unwritten!) that dialog in a comic strip not run for more than three lines. You’d be surprised how easy this really is. Dialog tends to be terse and to the point, and much of what I write is dialog. I believe punchy dialog actually lends authenticity; remember that, would-be comic strip artists, and writers of all stripes.

I bring up dialog, because I periodically get emails from readers who complain (always nicely!) that they have a particularly difficult time reading the text in Arlo & Janis. I don’t doubt they have problems. Newspapers so reduce all comic strips these days that they’ve become almost impossible to read, particularly for the demographic that is keeping newspapers afloat. I do wonder, though, if A&J is particularly unintelligible. I look at other strips in the newspapers, and I don’t see many of them being any easier to read. I like to think it’s because Arlo & Janis is the one they want to read. Anyway, I have two points about this subject. 1) I am aware of the problem. I have gone to a thicker lettering pen, but I think this sometimes makes me squeeze the lettering, which probably is the worst thing I could do. I have experimented with computer fonts made from my own lettering. This is promising, but I haven’t been able to develop one yet that really pleases me. Perhaps I need to expand the three-line rule to four lines. In short, I am working on it. 2) I would like your observations and suggestions on this matter. It might help.

316 responses to “A Rare Arlo & Janis

  1. I WISH I could comment but back when a local paper (Sanford Herald) carried A&J none of the cartoons were reduced. Now the paper itself has been reduced to twice a week and carries only a couple of political cartoons.

  2. JJ: In our paper (the Logansport, Indiana Pharos-Tribune) I do not find A & J any more difficult to read than any other strip. Perhaps that is because it is the comic I least want to miss each day! In fact, today’s comic is easier to read than Garfield or Hi & Lois or a few others. -Steve Moore

  3. Houston Chronicle doesn’t carry A&J, thus forcing us into online readership. Nice feature about online is zoom.

    Rufus, in the current vernacular Laura Petrie would be a MILF.

  4. Further to previous reply: our paper does not “colorize” weekday comics. Do most papers do so? I think I actually prefer black & white! -Steve

  5. Alas, the L.A. Times does not carry A & J. I discovered your little gem at comicsidontunderstand.com. I had to know what the “Arlo Award” connoted.

    “Get Fuzzy” is by far the most difficult strip to read. Darby Conley text is extremely dense, although he very often comes up with some wonderful verbal tidbits. But for us seniors, it still needs to be read up very close – I hate bifocals – or with a magnifying glass.

    “Dilbert” is the very model of a modern major comic strip writer. I marvel at how he is able to set up a situation and a punchline in three panels and still keep his exposition so concise.

    Don’t worry, JJ. You are doing fine!

  6. Strangely, the Get Fuzzy strips that are repeats from 2007 weren’t as difficult to read then as they are now (and the size hasn’t changed.) Hmm. could it be me that has changed?

    Here in the Tampa Bay area there are competing papers, The Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Bay Times (formerly The Saint Petersburg Times.) The Times colorizes one of the two daily comic pages. I’m not sure about the daily edition but Tampa Tribune prints half their Sunday comics in black and white. Sacrilege!

    Also strange is that the Tribune carries A & J seven days a week, the Times only on Sunday.

  7. (Too much time on my hands.) Google research has shown that the Tribune has one color and one black and white comic page in the daily addition. I knew you were dying to know.

  8. I get the daily in The Fort Bend Herald (right southwest of Houston) in black and white but read all my gocomics.com in color. I have never noticed anything weird or unreadable about A&J in any form. I’d be afraid if you changed anything it be worse; isn’t that the way those things go? About dialog in general – I think I dropped Sally Forth years ago because it was just too wordy

  9. I still subscribe to the local newspaper, but they no longer deliver, choosing rather to avail themselves of the services of the USPS. It doesn’t arrive courtesy of a buckskin-clad rider on horseback, but by the time I do see the paper, I’ve long ago read A&J online.
    Way back in the aughts, when I read the dead tree version, I don’t remember that I had any problem seeing or reading the dialogue. But I’ll check the next paper I get; I do know the strips are printed smaller now. Without looking, I can recall that Doonesbury has been enshrunkened to the point the dialogue in the old strips that are being rerun is next to impossible to read. But of course I consider that a public service on the part of the newspaper. 🙂

  10. I have actually stopped reading comics that I used to read all the time because they’ve gotten far too wordy.

    I originally noticed this with Cathy and stopped reading it years ago because it was so annoying.

    I’ve recently stopped reading Sally Forth because it’s becoming very similar to Cathy with far more wording than can fit in the window comfortably.

    For me it’s NOT an issue of the font is too small. It’s lengthy and unnecessary verbiage.

    Arlo and Janis doesn’t have this problem, and for me the 4 lines presented in panel 3 of this example is NOT an issue.

  11. Dear JJ, I have no problem reading the lettering in A&J. Only very occasionally does a curve on one letter next to another letter make it maybe look like something else for a moment, but your lettering is quite good, if not some of the best. For truly bad word-ballooning, there’s Zenas Winsor McCay: no planning atall atall, I even repeat. Of course, that didn’t matter one whit, for no one ever read McCay for the lettering or story. Planning and a disciplined pen line: Those are two things it seems many syndicate editors don’t worry about much now. They’ve been convinced, along with many artists (and readers) that bad drawing and lettering are funny, and they’ve let a lot of inferior features in the door. Not much funny, I say.

    Rick Marshall once pointed out that in “Happy Hooligan” all the characters were drawn funny but with absolutely correct proportions. They are funny because the proportions are still good. Bad drawing—and bad lettering—are just that. But good drawing and good writing make even talking heads once in a while a really good thing, and Percy Crosby’s “Skippy” was full of that. What else is nice about your third panel is that there is one basic thought, but it is supported by a list of three examples. (I am sorry to confess I cannot place the Andersons.)

  12. The Boston Sunday Globe definitely has shrunk A&J down to a size that is very hard to read! More than other comics (although they too are a lot smaller than they used to be.)

  13. Jackie, we got them at a tourist-y gift shop at the Lower Tahquamenon Falls. We were using Deet, but its been a really wet spring and there are more skeeters than usual this year—and they are DESPERATE for food! I think your best bet would be a sporting goods store, someplace like Cabela’s, Dunham’s, or Dick’s.

    The jackets are a finely woven material, Ghost…think of a silky camo negligee. They do let the breeze through…kind of.

    It might be time, sand, to start gathering up the electronics two by two.

    I saw a young eagle this morning and thought of you, c ex-p. He was on the ground, but took off when he spotted us.

    JImmy, with the size reductions newspapers have put in place, many strips are more difficult to read than they used to be, but A&J is not one of them for me.

  14. Denise, so far today TS Bill has not done us much harm. Latest forecast indicates we could get side swiped over the next few hours. Victoria, Texas is setting front and center of the land fall; they’re 120 SW of us.

  15. “… a silky camo negligee.” As always, Denise, you certainly know how to turn a phrase. If you should ever decide to take up writing professionally, might I suggest the seldom-encountered-but-always-titillating (for some of us) genre of “military porn”?

    Unfortunately, many of the hottest days in our neck of the woods are also what my grandmothers would call “still days”…not a breath of air moving.

  16. As in doing QC on the latest run from the “still”?

    sand, live TWC video from your neck of the woods currently shows…rain. If you look very, very closely. And the wind not moving a hair on the head of the male reporter. Of course, he probably used a full can of hairspray on it this morning.

    Ah, for the good ol’ days when TWC sent their female reports out into the wind and rain wearing just their official TWC t-shirts.

  17. Mark, thank you as always. I wish I could remember the joke about Upper P people marrying mosquitoes but I do remember where, an ice cream stand with Moo in name which had just won the Morning Shows best ice cream in America award. Do not remember what flavor I had but probably sugar free pecan which was previlent up there, as were moose tracks

    I do remember lines and mosquitoes

    Mark, by the time I get to towns selling shirts I will be needing one. But refresingly, I have already been in every town on list in America
    Which says a lot about our travel habits.

    Jimmy, Tulsa doesn’t carry you, so I read you here. Occasionally I find you in towns I travel to and never have trouble reading. Unfortunately I have ceased to care about anyone but Arlo and Janis fate.

    And that is sad remark. Love, Jackie

  18. To me, “Bloom County” takes the prize for verbosity. I’ll probably quit looking at it totally one of these days. Already, if I see too much wordiness, I skip it for that day.

  19. I find the lettering very easy to read in A & J, and the amount of wording to usually exactly fit the need of the particular strip. If I want to exercise my ability to withstand wordy I go to Pibgorn, or 9 Chickweed Lane. They are usually fairly funny, but take a huge amount of dialog to get there. Even there, there are exceptions to that rule. It should be noted I read most of my comics on line. It never ceases to amaze me the perfect set up in so few words the is the hallmark of A & J.

    Jackie I lived in Da U.P. a number of years and met more than a few “chiquitos”. A crossbreed of a chicken and mosquito with a 5 foot wingspan, and a six foot beak. Two of them caught the neighbors beagle and drained it dry in less than 10 minutes.

  20. Just saw the radar for the Texas gulf coast, Houston…..be safe, be alert, and most of all….prayers on the way…………………………………………………Amen.

  21. It will not let me type your nane ursen, I managed to do it finally embedded. That one is funny, anyone else know some funny UP jokes? I cannot remember a one but laughed a lot with locals while fighting swarms. And I am going back to donate more, didn’t meet quota.

    Ghost I am worried about you. You do not seem happy for months now. I miss your wicked and wanton humor. The fact I am happy makes me feel guilty. You know how Southern women are, we want everyone to be good and if they can’t well, then wickedly funny and politely sinful.

    Love, Jackie

  22. Jimmy, I don’t have trouble reading your lettering online, even if I don’t zoom.

    And to the folks that are dropping strips because they are hard to read, that’s a shame. Many of the classics couldn’t survive today’s shrinking because either the art or readability or both would suffer. Can you imagine Prince Valiant without those huge, detailed panels? Or the various strips that depended on language to move the plot along, like The Phantom? I think the current rash of bad art/lettering/writing is due to the fact that the small size of the daily panels enables them to get away with it. If they were printed in the size of 50 years ago, their shortcomings would be all too obvious and readers would demand a change.

    Keep up the good work, Jimmy. We need you for your originality and as a good example to the new generation of cartoonists.

  23. Nodak Wayne and Mark in TTown (which I always figured means Tinsel Town): Thank you! I would not have remembered that, though I did watch Father Knows Best.

    And agreed about Prince Valiant and those big cartoon sizes. But I suspect a large number would not now complain, being so used to mediocrity or worse. Andy Gump and Pogo Possum ran for President (not at the same time), but I can’t see any cartoon character doing that and gaining the following those two characters did.

    Speaking of Pogo Possum and wordiness! But we could read every word.

    Yet such wordiness or (I am groping for a word here) “line-iness” like Walt Kelly’s is not the style of Skippy, A&J, or Peanuts. You’d never have seen one of Walt Kelly’s elaborate swamps or glorious trees in Peanuts! And wouldn’t one of those trees look so funny in A&J—

  24. Actually, the toughest strip for me to read is “Get Fuzzy”. Really scrunched lettering. I’ve read a number of the old comic strips–Katzenjammer Kids, Gasoline Alley and so on–and some of them were tough to read because of the printing. I don’t have a problem reading it A&J. To me, it’s really about clarity of lettering. As someone with the penmanship of a toad studying to be a doctor, I appreciate clear lettering, and A&J has it. So don’t fret it!

  25. OF due 6:00pm mountain time, give or take :10.

    Yep, Pibgorn can be extremely wordy, but it’s sometimes fun to decipher what is meant.

  26. Thanks for caring, Jackie. Life and all. But it’s getting better. And I am truly happy that you are happy now. You’ve been through more than I have, but I’ve been through enough to know that you deserve it.

    I’ll work on “wickedly funny and politely sinful”, I promise. Come to think of it, there’s some pretty good fodder there in your reports of your northern trip. 😉

    Love, Ghost

  27. Debbe 😉 As a solution to your lack of a weapon, try the following:

    1. Find rocks the approximate size and shape of eggs
    2. Imagine the target looks like “Skittles”
    3. Vigorously throw “eggs” at center-mass of “Skittles”

    Although it is true that orange is my favorite color for a string bikini, in the interests of full disclosure I must add that, in my opinion, there is no poor color choice for a string bikini. 😉

  28. Somehow I don’t think that rooster is going to get many dates.

    Sideburns, my idea of a proper string bikini is one that wouldn’t have space on it for polka-dots. 🙂

  29. I was looking back at last year’s A&J and pondering this exact strip. I googled the four dhows referenced and looked under images. Laura Petrie is clearly the prize out of the four gals in question, and by 1966, Our Humble Author was 14—and no doubt mesmerized by Mary Tyler Moore. But by that time, Major Nelson telling Jeannie to leave him alone was far, FAR “fishier.”

    I have no problem reading A&J in my local newspaper, nor indeed, any of the other strips, including Sally Forth… although I find it at times irritating for other reasons. I have always noted the attention paid by OHA to framing, posture and the visuals; the careful pacing and word selection in the dialogue department might look easy, but there is a lot of thought put into them.

    I had wondered about the lettering in some strips. I am relieved to find out that OHA actually WAS using a printed font derived from his own lettering, and that I was not overthinking things. 😉

  30. “Dhows” is of course a word that is usually “shows.” And the Context Police suggest that I affirm that it is Sally Forth that I find irritating at times… otherwise, I would not be here. 🙂

  31. Dhow: a lateen-rigged ship with one or two masts, used in the Indian Ocean.

    I thought Evan had caught a nautical comment I had missed. Then I learn it was just a pesky typo. Welcome Evan to the Village Spellers Club; if it weren’t for typos we would all be scholars.

  32. Well even further back than Flintstones (which some disqualify because they were
    cartoon characters.

    But – Mary Kay & Johnny December 1948


    The mention was made of no bathroom – my grandmother had no bathroom.
    The toilet was down the hall and shared with the other front apartment. The rear apts.
    had their own.

    The tub was in the kitchen and had a porcelain cover to use as a work surface.
    This was at 76th between 2nd and 3rd Ave

  33. Mark – I was 6 but we had no TV for 3 more years. Parents thought it might be a fad –
    or at least wait till it was perfected.

    Parents friends had one that the tube was vertical and shone up on a curved mirror.
    The mirror was on the lid so it closed and became a piece of furniture.

    The first color set I saw was as big as a refrigerator. Dad’s friend worked for RCA.

  34. Debbe 😉 Early this morning, I was jammin’ at the gym; it was one of those days when my body felt like lead; and I was about to say, “#&@$ this!” and call it a day. Then this song came on the playlist on my smart phone and I started laughing because I remembered the video of it you had posted. I got some strange looks but I finished my workout with verve and panache. (Or something like that.)

    So thanks, hon, for helping me get my day off to a better start than it would have otherwise. I even felt good enough when I finished to gently hit on a tall blonde lady I hadn’t seen previously, because I’ve changed my gym schedule. (And she was quite friendly.)


  35. Sand, that meteorologist needed strategic placements.

    Ghost, when I lived in Hawaii and actually wore string bikinis I favored flesh/natural colored string because they didn’t actually cover a darned thing anyway so go with no color at all. We had a friend named Dee Dee from Dallas who was known as Triple D before there was a Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, who also wore or hung strings on body if not for coverage, artistically. I was a scrawny 107 lbs. in those days at 5 foot 2 and not as pulchritudinous. My, my, I spelled that right on first attempt!

    I do assume Ghost is referring to my lovely tan without any tan marks? Sorry but Texas sun messed that one up. My friends are still down there or some are at Port Lavaca and Rockport and they said marina is full of media but they didn’t look distressed enough to be on camera, what with walking their dogs and drinking wine on decks. I said rescue a dog on camera?

    Finished listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn, who I love, and had forgotten about Texas Floods on album. Came on just as I got in car and about when Texas was being slammed. Hear y’all are
    sending us more rain up here. We don’t need it, keep it.

    Love, Jackie

  36. Good morning Villagers……

    Gary, thanks for the grin…… I think that poor rooster is going through puberty. When my ‘boys’ first arrived, they were only 20 weeks old, and their crowing needed much to be desired. Now, I can even hear them crowing when I get out of the car to go into the building in the morning. Thatsa my boys!!

    GR 😉 glad I can make your day, by chance was the blonde’s name…Lorraine 🙂

    For those who have never seen it, and just for grins…


    Cxp, I love Billl the Cat…..haven’t read Bloom County in years. Ever since (can’t think of the cartoonist name now) the cartoonist retired. And it’s nice of you to fill in for eMb’s timeline of OF.

    So, evidently TS Bill is making its way northeast and we are expecting rain on Friday…heh, it’s raining right now. This keeps up, we’ll never get that underground water pipe fixed.

    Funny GR that you mentioned ‘Skittles’. The other day he was at the other hen house with Ian and Andrew….he got plummeted with eggs so bad he had to go home and change clothes. But you are onto something there about weaponry 🙂

    Old Bear, I think you’re right about the polka dots…..even Sandcastler enjoys ‘dots’ 🙂

    And Sandcastler, I once had Ian explain that acronym to me…..I was shocked I tell you 🙂

    ya’ll have a blessed ‘Hump Day’


    (Jerry must be busy moving….)

  37. Mark in TTown: Alabama is a long way from Hollywood!

    And P. T. Bridgeport! Talk about lettering. “Ne plus ultra,” nothing more beyond, as they say. Thanks for the reminder!

  38. Debbe, the artist is Berke Breathed. And one of the specialty publishers who specializes in comic reprints collected all the Bloom County strips into hardcover books.

  39. “Newspapers so reduce all comic strips these days that they’ve become almost impossible to read…” Makes me feel obscurely better to know it isn’t just me. I know my eye doctor has told me that computer fonts have gotten so sophisticated that they can easily make print literally microscopic, and I was worried that my eyes were getting worse. They’re probably just fine for my age but it’s the scale, the print, the font, etc. that’s changed as well, and not for better.

  40. Debbe, TS Bill is still pounding us, wait your turn, please. Sorry about shocking you so early.

    Jackie, I found it funny that even a mention of a cool front elicted so positive of a response.

  41. We are going to all need Yellow Submarines to go with the teeny tiny bikinis if T S Bill doesn’t stop dumping on us. Good morning all, have to head for Tulsa via pharmacy and an oil change enrouGod bless us everyone.

    Love Jackie

  42. I woke up Monday and saw a deer munching some leaves in my backyard. I have 3/4 of an acre, which is big in Royal Oak. Since it a very urban setting, it is very rare to have a deer. My wife had taken the day off and the deer kept her company for most of it. He did not show up yesterday, but this morning he was at the end of the driveway as I went out to the car. I got within 5-10 feet of him and he stood there staring at me. I feel bad as he is alone (very young) and we have so many cars.

  43. That is enroute and God bless. Stupid Smartphone .

    Yes, Sand there used to be special equipment for avoidance of that effect on air and film. And thicker fabric

  44. Royal Oak Steve, I would love to have that sort of deer encounter happen! How magical! Your lot is large indeed for RO…when was the your home built? There’s a home on 13 Mile in Royal Oak that we almost bought back in the mid-80s…we still call it “our house” when we drive past. Built in 1927, it was on a narrow but really deep lot and had a big chicken coop out back.

  45. Denise, I thought of your “silky camo negligee” early this morning as I was pulling on an old pair of camo fatigue pants to go to the gym. Some images are just hard to get out of my head. Fortunately. 😉

    Debbe 😉 No, Tall Busty Blonde is not named Lorraine, but she did also have a similarly prominent pair of chestular appurtenances. But no, those were not the first things that caught my attention…her legs did. And her shorts. Then it was her cleavage-causers. I know, I know…it’s terribly chauvinistic of me, but if she went to the trouble to look (and dress like that), I feel it would be most impolite of me not to notice. 🙂

    And TBB was back today. One piece exercise suit, but the lower half was shorter (and tighter) than yesterday’s shorts. And those were short. Humm.

  46. Bayou City now feeling TS Bill’s wetness. Steady rain since midnight, with bursts of tropical downpours. Had dental appointment this morning, arrived to find office closed.

  47. Denise: Our house was built in 1954. We moved there in November 1996. We are on a dead end street with the railroad tracks right next to us. Loved it for Prom, HS & College Graduation parties and even served breakfast and opened wedding gifts the day after our son was married.

    But times change. We don’t need that big of a house and with my lawn mowers in bad repair, the time has come to move to a smaller, cheaper home and save more for retirement. One of my favorite movies is Funny Farm. Chevy Chase is a writer (like my wife) who moves out to the country to disastrous results. So they decide to enlist the town (who have treated them poorly) to help them sell the house. One of the lines has Chevy saying “Cue the deer” and they release it so that they prospective buyers can see it. Not planning on doing that, but I might give them a close up picture when we close.

  48. OF may be about to spurt; a goodly crowd has gathered expectantly. Site’s time prediction was for more than an hour ago, so is useless now.

  49. OoOOOooooooo000oooOooooOoooOOOOOO!

    Sorry, just giving my new snorkel a test run. Hoping the new batch of canoes come in soon. This is getting ridiculous. The old home place in Ohio is precariously close to taking on water. Mere yards from the Wabash river. Mind you, in that neck of the woods, the Wabash is more rightly called a creek – it begins only a few miles to the south. However, many, many years ago, some government geniuses decided to reroute the river. (Why, I do not know.) When it rains like this, the Wabash simply runs thenew course AND the old one.

  50. Hey! I wasn’t done yet!

    Anyhow, my old hometown is blocked off from some directions by flood waters, and my new hometown is fairing only slightly better. The water is playing hell on the new pothole patches – canoeing is going to be the better option if only because everyone has lost their suspensions.

  51. OK, Lady Mindy, trusting you as always, I will not google “fashion scuba gear”. However, if I later find it involves string bikinis, I will will be pissed. 🙂

    And if it was the Army Corps of Engineers that rerouted the river, they apparently don’t have to have a reason, other than it was a river and they are engineers.

  52. Jackie, I totally refuse to believe that, at 107 and 5 foot 2, you looked “scrawny”. I also refuse to believe you didn’t look pulchritudinous in a string bikini. And from your own previous posts, I believe I can safely add “pneumatic” to the list. Hum…pneumatic and pulchritudinous; I believe I’ve heard that before. 😉

    True, few of us are ever going to look as good as we did when we were 20. (Actually, I had a better body at 40 than I did at 20, because of the same thing I’m doing now…eating healthy and exercising regularly.) Most of us develop various physical and health limitations as we age, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still strive be fit and to look the best we can at any age. Narcissism? I don’t think so, but I do think looking good makes you feel good and improves your attitude. And it’s a sign of discipline and perseverance, something I find very sexy in a woman, more so than her looks.

  53. Mindy, have you been shopping in Cabela’s Navy Sealette department?

    GR6, could have used the pontoon for this mornings coffee run. Rains have ceased, and sun was out for a moment. Now about the Army Corp. of Engineers, that was my primary MOS.

  54. Folks Bill is in Oklahoma now and he isn’t welcome . We are already waterlogged and flooded. My backyard looks like Pogos swamp.

    A strange thing happened today which I took to be a divine angel messenger in the ladies room. I am in putting on makeup when this tiny older beauty came in with a heart bypass zipper down her chest, just two weeks post surgery. Well, it was a heart hospital office building.

    Said blonde was a year older than me and tiny, petite, beautifully dressed, size 6 jeans. Except she had lost over 100 lbs. IN TOPS not WW and had been walking 5 miles a day, all in past year. Talk about inspiration she was 5 ft. 2 and the same . Weight as my goal weight and heavier than I was ar 20. So, it was like looking at what I had and could be again.

    Whoa! God works in mysterious ways.

    Went and had grilled salmon, asparagus, quinoa and a green salad, less than 600 calories. Then bought myself four pairs of properly fitted and GOOD walking shoes and a dozen wicking socks. I have enough bras, sorry Ghost.

    Inspiration pass it on.

    Love Jackie

  55. The Whizbang bra holster was inspiring too, Old Bear. Thank you. Now I have to show it to JohnW to convince him I will not shoot one off or him, which is what he thinks. He was a sniper and is a Viet Nam vet but not for America, one of our UK allies, and yes, Ghost, he still maintains his permits and goes and qualifies as required by their laws. So, not all our allies are wrong or did not fight with America, are not against us.

    But I have to respect that and I do, very much. Just as I respect all of you here who served for America, from Sand to all the others in all our conflicts.

    Love, Jackie

  56. Jackie, when I have time, I’ll discuss the Tueller Principle as it applies to the FlashBang and other means of deploying a defensive firearm.

    sand, a 21B? I’d hate to think of you as a “river rustler”. 🙂

  57. Good for you Jackie. And as far as good shoes, you might consider getting custom insoles to make them even more comfortable to walk in. My ex had heel spurs so bad she had trouble standing up in the morning. Then our primary care doctor sent her to get orthotics and that solved her problem.

  58. The New Balance store put diabetic orthotics into each pair for me, good ones. My son in law is a orthotist and a prosthesist designer and has his own practice in Illinois. He of course believes that I should have orthotics, the foot rehab and podiatrist said no, I didn’t need them, just get proper shoes.

    By the way, I had just bought 20 pairs of new shoes, some of which had not yet been worn and I am going to give them away. The podiatrist said that was what had caused my foot problem.

    Mark, I once had bone spurs removed by my orthopedist in Houston on both feet at same time.
    I could not walk for three months! I asked why he didn’t tell me how painful it would be or do just one foot at a time? He said I would not have agreed to surgery or would not come back for second foot.

    When he went to the federal pen for writing illegal drug prescriptions for money I was totally thrilled that retribution had arrived.

    Love, Jackie

  59. Jackie, if you are giving them away, try a women’s shelter. Many who go to those places have to leave home in nothing more than they are wearing at the time. Also good place to offer clothes.

  60. I have already enriched women’s shelters locally with all the clothes I have lost out of and all my mom’s clothes and if Bill doesn’t keep slamming us I am going to go empty a warehouse of my mother in laws clothes and apartment and donate that as well.

    Our women’s shelter in one town also has a thrift shop that benefits the shelter and we have two shelters in another town south of me. I believe in helping other women, I have watched several of my own friends being battered and three lost their lives. I know, the result of staying with men they probably shouldn’t have married anyway but it still left a mark on me that made me know that women from all walks of life are abused and battered. It knows no societal limits unfortunately.

    Those shoes will be going to the shelters, along with a few more truck loads of stuff. I am downsizing in more ways than weight and I own too much stuff. I know, I know, Arlo says this all the time and I agree. We do own too much, especially me.

    Love, Jackie

  61. The Parade of Homes ended on Sunday and we are busy with moving stuff out of the house where we have been living. This weekend will be very busy in moving furniture. The HP will be dismantled at some point and this may be my last comment for at least a week or until we get everything moved, plugged in and put back together. We will also be trying to get this house ready to rent out. Are leg cramps a symptom of dehydration?

  62. Dear Jackie, you have really been around the block a few times with the foot problems and the new shoes! I would LOVE to find a pair of good, comfortable walking shoes. But I have looked for years and never have been really pleased or satisfied. I have been to every shoe store within 15 or 20 miles … have had New Balance … just now am wearing new, lightweight canvas sneakers from WalMart; I’ve added foam innersoles; feels pretty good. What the heck kind of shoes did you buy 20 pairs of and now you have to give them away? I am very curious to know so I can avoid them.

  63. Miss Charlotte, they were Easy Spirits, Aerosoles and Naturalizers, plus a pair of Columbia hiking boots, some miscellaneous ballet slipper type flats that are in style right now, some flip flops I got up in the Desolation Sound area because I ended up taking most of shoes out of suitcases anyway and forgetting them. I will keep as souvenirs actually. But not the slides, the clogs and the flats, they all go, along with about 20 pairs of older shoes I had kept and not given away in the earlier purges.

    Remember that comment I made about excess? I am the most excessive. I have been banned from carrying the shoe suitcase and the luggage rack carts forever. Doesn’t fit in with new life style actually, boats are small although the one in Canada was plenty big, as Ghost keeps pointing out. I have lived in apartments with worse kitchens and baths.

    Am now restricted to a bikini bottom, a tee shirt and I carry my toothbrush in one hand and purse in the other! Plus some warmer clothes to layer over in colder climates of course

    Love, Jackie

  64. Jerry & Mark

    As mark said bananas are also good for low potassium/leg cramps – I average 1
    a day. But Dill Pickle Juice sure helps when you get cramps. About 2 fingers in a jelly glass.
    (About 3 oz.) Takes 30 sec. to relieve cramp. I some times get finger or toe cramps. Finger cramp when doing fiddly work.

    Your feet are the bodies foundation. Change shoes every day. Even if they are the same style-
    Each pair wears just a little different thereby helping your feet.

    Good luck with your move Jerry – Go down to the Library and check with us from time to time.

    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

  65. Good morning Villagers….

    Get ready Indy Mindy….AccuWeather says TS Bill is going to hit us (S IN) on Saturday. Flooding is predicted. The high tomorrow will be 80 degrees. Checked out the National Weather Service radar link, and it looks as though Bill is moving slowly.

    GR 😉 thank you, sweet, yup at times…I do have my wiley ways 🙂

    Sandcastler…there isn’t too much left in this life that shocks me anymore. Even Marks jpg pic of the orange crochet swimsuit….I could have worn that well in my day.

    Jackie and Charlotte, there are two things I hate shopping for…shoes and purses. And I am going to have to do both pretty soon. I need to get new shoes for work, and considering I work on concrete, stand and walk a lot during the day, I need to invest in a good brand with a good insole, only to get trashed out with chicken poop dust.

    I try to convince Ian to eat a banana a day….and so far it’s working. Andrew got sick yesterday at work, fluids son, fluids….ya got to hydrate your body. I took in some tea, then switched to water. I am going to go into Wal-Mart on payday (ugghh) and buy the powdered Power Aide with electrolyes and such….take that into work.

    I am taking today off as I have to work the weekend. Thought about making it a straight seven day event, but my body says ‘stay at home’, not to mention my husband and son wouldn’t allow me to put in seven straight days.


  66. Sand, that looked like someone’s granny gone mad with a crochet needle at the senior citizen’s home. Sorry, I didn’t find it sexy, it just looked like a craft project. I know, you guys liked the project!

    While checking out and trying to reschedule at the cardiologist’s office (and there were no appointments within range of when I’d be around) the scheduler had a very thin blouse on, was wearing a bra (I could see it lifting) and pokies so extreme they had little pokies of their own.
    Ghost would have been ecstatic. I guess I don’t normally pay attention to women’s breasts that closely, this one made me look flat chested (where are all these top heavy women coming from?)
    and large area with raised bumps about the size of a doughnut.

    Well, maybe not too erotic, but graphic image.

    Still raining in Oklahoma. The swamp is swampier out there.

    Love, Jackie

  67. Jimmy, today’s strip is great! 🙂 And did you see “over the hedge”- he’s got spongebob as well. Made me laugh even more. Thank you!

  68. Strip is great! I was trying to wait for it to post last night and fell asleep doing leg lifts in bed.

    Just got photos from friend, aerial, of Lake Texoma on the Texas-Oklahoma border. It is way beyond flood. The marina is under water where we all sail and the restaurant which is set way back on land is under water to the roof line.

    The poster suggested we all go and take our tools, try to help them out when the water drops someday to recover from the flood damage. Our group has been going there to same place for years, private camp/cabins marina and I have friends who keep boats there. I am assuming the boats are still on top of water!

    Love, Jackie

  69. My brother shot me a text yesterday afternoon that his wife’s transplanted liver was failing. At 1:15 AM she passed away peacefully. I woke up from a deep sleep at exactly that time. Not sure if maybe her spirit was waving goodbye to me.

    She had made strides and was almost sent home about a month or so ago. The last 9 months since the transplant has been a struggle, with crisis after crisis and miracle after miracle. A while back my brother confided that he wondered if he had made the correct decision in having the transplant and I told him that medicine is always pushing the boundaries and even if this did not turn out successful, the Doctors and transplant team have learned something for the next patient. 3 years ago she was given 3-6 months to live and he got 3 years….

  70. So sorry, Steve. My sister spent the last seven and a half months of her life slowly dying, and I know how hard that is on everyone involved.

  71. Oh, Steve, I am so sorry. I am glad she had the additional years… but she must have been ready to go. Prayers for all the family.

  72. Steve, totally understand both you and your brother as well. You wonder if the suffering was worth it? I know Mike fought so hard, yet I also know that his cancer doctors had actually given up and decided not to try, sent him home to die the first go round. He just wouldn’t die, wouldn’t believe he wouldn’t make it.

    Would I want to watch that happen again? No, but his courage inspired me and many, many others. I am sure your sister-in-laws fight inspired others. And yes, how do we learn if we are not medical experiments? That is what my doctors tell me anyway, that I am an research project!

    Blessings, love Jackie Monies

  73. Steve, sorry your news was not of the better kind.

    Guess what Houston is receiving from the weather gods; more rain. Now wishing I had planted 400 acres of rice.

  74. Woke up from my nap and looked out office window. Swamp is now established in the section I can see and rain still pouring down. Alligators will be out there by tonight. Last I looked Bill was sitting on top of us spinning.

  75. Jackie: Just heard your hometown mentioned in connection with a road being washed out by flooding. Hope it’s not too close!

  76. The NHC has stopped issuing advisories on former TS Bill, but the Radarmaschine is still showing rather impressive rotation over the OK-AR border. Sometimes wetness is a blessing and sometimes not.

  77. Well, I managed to get off the Weather Channel and yes, we are flooding all around here. Since I never turn the thing on I managed to totally lose all television, so now I go search on internet.
    I was in Tulsa all day yesterday and I had noticed the same thing the weather channel girl did who was standing out in rain looking brave, braced and wet: The Arkansas River is normally nothing but a sand bar from end to end and now it is out of banks and flooding vigorously.

    If you see the flash flooding going through the Baptist College campus up in Tulsa, well that is way my yard was looking until I put up the concrete and rock walls to stop the river that went through my yard. Of course now it goes down alongside my house into back yard if it doesn’t make it into the lovely water feature I built (which is lovely actually)

    House may get washed off foundation. Never buy property with a lovely “dry creek” running length of property. They are not always dry!

    Love, Jackie

  78. Steve, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. You must be right: that was her saying “I have to go now, but I’ll see you later.” You folks are in my thoughts and prayers.

  79. Perusing the comics over the last few days, I have no trouble reading any of them. I had never thought about the notion that Our Humble Author rarely went to four lines as there are a number, including the oft-mentioned Sally Forth, that use far more.

    It is also interesting that the introduction of Robin likewise proved to be somewhat of a rarity; aside from the various gals that interacted with Gene Back In The Day, it actually turns out that the introduction of a named, recurring character does not happen all that often in A&J. Charles Schulz brought on Peppermint Patty because he thought it was an outstanding name and wanted to beat any other cartoonist to the punch. She worked out pretty well, but when Eudoria, Marcie and Rerun appeared, I did not think they did much for the strip… but Peanuts was already in decline by that point. Schulz had flown so high in the ’60s that it was sad to see. In contrast, A&J still tickles me to the present day. Hairstyles (and earstyles 🙂 ) may change, but the writing is still strong… and I can easily read it. 😉

  80. “…doing leg lifts in bed”, Jackie? You’re really trying to make me live up to my “wickedly funny and politely sinful” promise with straight lines like that, aren’t you? 😉 But yes, as a matter of fact, there does reach a point when a woman’s breasts pass erotic and venture into Cartoon Land. And many of them seem to reach that point very quickly these days. Also, just as important, if not more so, is their arrangement. But as a former floral designer, you know that, don’t you? 🙂

    I’ve always suspected that Giada has a hair stylist, a makeup stylist and a boob stylist.

    Virginia (Yes, Virginia, you are a TBB) was not there today, but I probably didn’t need the distraction of her “arrangement”. The humidity was awful. My warm-up is 60 minutes on the treadmill, and even under the best of conditions, the first 30 minutes suck, and I want to quit at least three or four times. But after that, the soreness from the day before wears off; the endorphins kick in; and I get my rhythm going. At that point, I could easily go another hour or more.

    Since he was four years old, I’ve tried to instill into my godson the idea that his motto in life should be “Never Give Up”. Can I do any less? “Ne jamais abandonner.”

  81. Ghost, while the flood alarms have been going off I went back to bed, put a bunch of Josh Gorban CDs on, meditated, did deep breathing exercises and meditation. And more leg lifts. I have gotten quite flexible in comparison to where I was, almost immobile. There’s lots of ammo for you, my friend.

    Does Josh Gorban make me look like an elderly lady? I had honestly never heard him and discovered him whiled looking for males singing opera. I am a huge fan of male opera singers, women are ok but I love opera with great male voices. Let me tell you, opera is hard to come by in Eufaula, OK!

    Years ago when I traveled as a salesman I stayed in cheap motels with no exercise rooms. I bought a book about exercising in close quarters, written for college dorm girls, and a second written by an exercise authority after his brother was paralyzed in a diving accident, for disabled people, lots of exercises done on beds. Don’t go there!

    Then here came another divine providence intervention, I walked by a display in bookstore and a book called “Feel Good Naked” jumped off shelf into my hands. Literally.

    http://www.FeelGoodNaked.com/book/about.html Author is Laure Redmond

    Totally common sense, great advice for life styles and self image. Since I never watch Oprah I did not know it was reviewed there as an Oprah book selection. Laure also appears on Dr. Laura show, another thing I do not listen to. But this woman is right on about women and their body images.

    Mark can probably find better links and Ruth Anne as a librarian probably knows book. Ghost will probably start giving them out as Christmas gifts and birthday presents.

    Love Jackie

  82. Geez, Jackie don’t make me have to pull out my collection of “traveling salesperson” jokes!

    “Feel Good Naked”? I actually don’t ever remember feeling bad naked. Quite the contrary. The gift idea may have some merit, however. 😉

  83. As a reminder that reporters often aren’t very precise about what they report, and that even what you see in a video may not be what it appears, the recent reports/video of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner pulling a high performance climb following takeoff were almost universally described as “near vertical”. It was a 30-degree angle of climb. While impressive for an (unloaded) airliner, that’s not exactly vertical.

    Or perhaps they just don’t teach geometry in school any longer.

  84. Remarkably Ghost, most of the women (make that ALL of the women) I know are totally horrified at the idea of being naked, even with their own husbands. Granted you probably know more women who are willing to shed clothes than live in small town Oklahoma because they are women you meet at places like your gym.

    But body issues are a huge deal with women, especially older ones. Well, no, that is not true at all, make that the majority of the women I run into around here, young, old, teens, younger. We are a demographic area of obesity and lack of exercise. When I lived in Houston and Dallas we all dieted, exercised, tried to stay fit.

    The first week I was in Oklahoma I was jogging in neighborhood and six people stopped within minutes to ask what was wrong, why was I running?

    Tulsa is one of few places here you see people who obviously do exercise and stay fit and even they got named in an article I read recently about most unfit, unhealthy places in America.

    Love Jackie

  85. Taking a short beak. Thank you Denise. Steve, I was very sorry to see the news about your sister-in-law. When the doctors began talking about doing surgery on my brain I reflected on the likely alternatives and decoded it was a no-brainer. 🙂 Years from now wires in the brain will be considered primitive, but it has certainly helped me and was worth it if I die tomorrow.

  86. I’ve tried to send a response to Jackie’s last post several times, but it keeps getting rejected. Not moderated but “The requested URL was rejected”. Anyone have a clue what that means?

  87. GR6

    Some flights out of MPLS-SP look closer to 45* – you know “noise abatement”
    But I may be standing in the wrong spot.

    Back in the early 60s the morning flight of F106s, after they crossed the end of the runway
    @McGuire AFB, stood on their tails – seemed more than 60* maybe 75*?

    It did break up Reveille – we were 500? yards from there.
    Motor pool shop was 150ft from the runway

  88. No link, Jackie, and the raciest phrase in the post was “sexual objectification”. And as I said, it didn’t drop in the Black Hole of Moderation; it was just “rejected”…the same way that made me feel. 🙁 And we all know how important “feelings” are today, don’t we?

    Bear: Speaking of too close to the runway…


    I kinda hoped to see some of those ladies get their bikinis blown off, but I didn’t. (I wonder if alcohol could have been involved.)

  89. Today while visiting Dinosaur National Monument my lovely wife complained to me about the immodest clothing on display… I mollified her by pointing out that none of them looked very good, that they only succeeded in making their imperfections all too obvious. And it was true, I hadn’t seen so much cellulite or faded tattoos on display in one place for several years.

  90. Good morning Villagers…

    Steve, sorry to read about your sister-in-law. Your brother would not have traded in those three extra years for anything. I’m glad he got to spend extra time with his wife. Prayers for you and yours………….Amen.

    Sandcastler, now that would shock me….especially with your pony tail hanging 🙂

    GR 😉 hippie chick music indeed…Canned Heat…..good tunes, especially their “Vietnam Song”. “Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn, next stop is Vietnam.”

    Good for you Jerry, I have a banana every morning, along with peanut butter for the protein.

    Went in to see Mom yesterday morning, came home depressed then PO’d. She is starting to lose her memory, lost her cell phone, (which I am paying for). Need to go into Verizon and see what they have for senior citizens….unfortunately, that will tie me into a two year contract. All my sisters see is the expense of getting one like a Jitterbug. Heh, it’s her only contact to the outside world……I’m going to stop before I become enraged again.

    Then a follow up from an insurance man, my husband requested him to come by. I let them talk while watching a movie. Then husband called me into the kitchen, they were going over my life insurance policy. He asked me my height and weight, told him around 5’6″ ish, and roughly 120 pounds….he looked at me and said, you’re underweight. My husband told me to flex my biceps, and I did, the insurance man couldn’t believe it….told him it was all muscle no fat…told him what do for a living….lifting about eight thousand pounds in a 4 to 5 time frame and the walking I do. He said that maybe he should think about a job like that instead of paying for a gym workout.

    AccuWeather saya Mr. Bill is coming in late tonight….oh boy, just hope we don’t lose electricity, anywhere. When we lose it here, we lose water…..our water pump is 200 feet down. Sometimes in my frenzy, I will fill up the garden tub with water.

    TR….that is one of the reason i hate to go into Wal-mart….people really don’t see what they look like from behind….and they really should. It’s enough to make me…….get sick.

    later, ya’ll have a blessed day


  91. Debbe, I agree on the new format. Was not anything wrong with the one they had. On the second post, I really like the black and white photo that’s about 3 down. Looks like one of those 1950’s giant animal movies.

  92. Easy there GR6, Debbe is already in a state of shock. 😉 Besides you asked a silly question; everyone feels good naked. 🙂

  93. Sand, you missed my point entirely in previous posts!!!!

    Very, very few women feel good naked. Ask Loon who I am certain does. But she is a secure and self accepting woman. Ask her about the rest of America’s other half.

    Where are y’all finding those emoticons on posting for this page? I need some at times.

    Love, Jackie

  94. Thank you for all for all of the thoughtful posts. Funerals can be bittersweet as you are sad for the loss, but it is a chance to see so many members of your family.

    The one thing that my sister-in-law was adamant about was that she suffered from cirrhosis of the Liver, but did not drink. Not that it should matter, but it did to her.We should all try to take care of ourselves, but at the end of the day we really don’t have much control. But we fight the good fight anyway.

  95. Jackie, did not miss it, just let it fly by. 😉

    Still wish we could use emoji in here, so much more freedom of expression.

  96. Still so cool to me that we’ve come here about a favorite comic strip and share our lives. Steve, I know it’s rough. The year of my wife’s cancer, we knew it was a long shot, should she even bother with the chemo? “Why can’t I just go to sleep and die?” but she pushed through the holidays and mercifully passed a few days after New Years…. … ..feeling good naked – my criteria is – if I had to run naked out of a burning building would I be ashamed of my body ?

  97. My reply to Jackie’s “Feel Good Naked” post from last night failed repeatedly to post. (A “reject” message was received rather than a “moderation” one.) So I retyped it from scratch and…same result this morning, although other posts of mine go right through. As some of Jackie’s nautical friends might say, “It beats the flotsam out of me.”

  98. Ghost

    I had that the other day – did break it down to 3 post to see if it were content.
    But 3 individual each went through. And there were no links so it was not that.

  99. Leather panties, leather thongs, leather bikini bottoms and leather Speedos in the Deep South in the summertime? I don’t think so.

    But now I know that Latin for “banana hammock” is “subligaculum”.

  100. Dearest Ghostly One, should leather not be to you liking, don’t watch the “controversial ” new Chobani yogurt commercial. It has the potential to fry your masculine neural wiring. Ta, ta 😉

  101. Actually pretty tame, Loon. The hottest TV commercial ever was from some years back and featured a well-endowed Scandinavian-type blonde in a small white bikini, sitting as she sensually ate a bowl of cream of wheat with a spoon. Or at least my youthful hormones told me so at the time. 😉

    Oh, and I’ll note that Arlo once said, “Hollywood’s idea of a homely woman is a beautiful woman with glasses.” Apparently, Hollywood’s (and by extension, the ad biz’s) idea of a lesbian is a beautiful woman without makeup.

    Layers and layers of creativity.

  102. Laughing at all of y’all again, which is good. We dropped a piece of a cheap bookcase while moving stuff out of my mother in laws storage shed (she passed away some time past) on my 10# chi-weenie’s foot, breaking it. He screamed and screamed, we ran to emergency vet since while next door to my regular vet, he was out of town naturally.

    My helper on move is a vet tech, ex-dog breeder now working as a 911 police operator so she got it under control, got dog and me taken care of, all good now. She is out putting signs on stuff in front of house to sell since there happens to be a ten mile garage sale going on all up and down Oklahoma State Highway 9 and my neighborhood.

    Lord knows I would not survive without good friends.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  103. Actual headline on AccuWeather site: “Tropical Depression Bill Leaves Oklahoma Underwater”. So I assume that either Jackie’s boats are coming in very handy for commuting, or that’s news hyperbole along the lines of “near vertical takeoff”.

  104. Oklahoma did get flooded but people are out mowing, cleaning up, holding garage sales. Humidity is about 150% and my yard is pure mud.

  105. The Red River, border between Texas and Oklahoma is flooding. News report shows I35 bridge with water up the bottom of it. Appears parts of the two states are still fighting water.

  106. Dear Jackie, I feel sympathy for your little dog; please pass it on to him. Golly, you Oklahomans are tough cookies! Yesterday horrible rain and floods, today (or tomorrow) a ten mile yard sale!! You have explained it well, I’m glad to say.

    And many thanks for explaining the great Shoe Purge as well — I was puzzled, but now I see what you mean. I have never spent much money on clothes, or shoes. You have, but everyone is different; and now you are cutting back … that’s good.

    Dearest Ghost, I love your recent handfuls of wisdom. I am laughing along with Jackie. Can I please steal your “fountain of knowlege” quote to share with my family?

  107. Steve – My condolences. Glad your family had the extra time to make memories.

    Work has been and continues to frustrate me to no end. There is a movie? TV show?, I forget which, where the bad guy tells his captive the all will be well as long as said captive held onto her happy thoughts. I’m beginning to think I’m in the sequel. 🙁 Currently riding high as my boss’s least favorite problem child. However, I am aware he is only the bearer of bad news and most of this is not his fault. That said, he really needs to learn how to communicate effectively and provide more useful support. I, for my part, will try to take my lemons and make daiquiris with them.

    For those battling Bill and other soggy weather – double-check the air pressure in your water wings and inner tubes before hitting the water. 🙂

  108. Should anyone need additional lessons in adversity, may I suggest moving to Oklahoma? These people seem to suffer the wraith of God along with the Wraith of Grapes weather wise. Worst weather I have ever lived through, ice storms, tornadoes, gustnados, drought, heat, humidity, floods, snow, thunder snow, earthquakes, although that may not be weather?

    And they do seem to get out, pick up the pieces and go on and rebuild, seldom pulling up stakes since the great dust bowl. In fact, many of those and their descendants have returned. They seem not far removed from their pioneer ancestors.

    Yes, Charlotte, I am downsizing. I have too much, in this case the remains of purchases and belongings of not one but four individuals. It all needs good homes, I am overwhelmed by plenty.

    Right now I am washing clothes since my housekeeper seems to have done no laundry in last month and I will be donating some things because they have somehow not fared well in the laundry she did. She also gained 28 pounds in my absence. The laundry soap is cheap brands I do not use, so that may account for the laundry but not the weight gain?

    Love, Jackie Monies

  109. Good God, Jackie, I am horrified by your laundry and housekeeper problem! Laundry is very dear to my heart and I hate seeing it done “wrong”. And all the bad weather in Oklahoma! You make a good dramatic story of it, but it must be no fun at all to endure.

    And to Mindy from Indy … you are certainly rising above the frustrations at work. Good for you that you can take the lemons and do so well with them! Thanks for the laugh in your last sentence!

  110. Laundry and housekeeping is dear to my heart too, Charlotte because I was raised on a farm in the 1950’s when we washed the “hard” way, bleached and starched everything and hung it out to dry on a clothes line with pins and then flung water on it, rolled it up and ironed it all, even the sheets and underwear, with a very heavy iron. Including those infernal cancan petticoats and heavily gathered sundresses! I was very, very good at laundry! In Houston I just sent it all to the dry cleaners and an ironing lady but I can tell you, I know how.

    Ditto on dirt. I clean floors on my hands and knees like Cinderella. And have cleaned boats and yachts for a living and they are harder than houses.

    And I pay a decent $10 per hour including lunches and breaks which is more than retail businesses pay around here. And am generous in giving away my surplus possessions.

    No Ghost, it does not add up. I hand her large bills for supplies, so she is off supplies if I keep her and I am back on. And no money for supplies or food or whatever. If I keep her.

    Love y’all, Mindy is not only one with employee problems. Out to do some more laundry.

    Love, Jackie

  111. Jackie, just so you know, this fall you will be expected to write an essay on “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”. Unexpurgated, of course.

  112. For what it’s worth, I don’t mind doing laundry and housework and in fact am pretty damn good at it. (And of course, I cook pretty well, too.) I always maintained than being in the armed services will make a pretty good housekeeper out of one.

  113. Good morning Villagers….

    …as Mr. Bill slowly slides to the east, I bid good riddance..(ok, who here remembers ‘Mr. Bill’ from SNL?)

    AND to wake up to Mr. Clapton’s guitar, thank you GR 😉 I enjoy your music links in the morn.

    Indy Mindy, how in the world did you stumble across the chicken harness…I would most likely put it on ‘Skittles’ 🙂

    Miss Charlotte, you and I have something in common. I am very, and I mean very meticulous when it comes to my laundry. I button shirts, fold my towels a certain way, clothes get taken out of the dryer immediately and hung up. I even hang my T shirts. Ain’t braggin’, but I can fold fitted sheets like they came out of the package.

    Jackie…ten dollars plus meals….and 28 pounds heavier….hmmmm!!! What are you going to do when you have to leave again for another extended period of time?

    Old Bear…yes, sometimes the pics don’t come up, I assumed it was my computer.

    Glad you agree Mark..

    gotta go….Happy Caturday

  114. Debbe, well there is far less stress here at my place than on the Chicken Ranch and I will put you into protective custody, what with a county deputy sheriff in back apartment. You can live in my master bedroom and the big Chippendale canopy bed. Sorry, no chips and dales come with it, you have to bring your own. And roosters would love it out here, lots of bugs and critters to eat and a garden.

    Love, Jackie

  115. Debbe 😉 Better watch out, hon. As we know, Jackie has a history of traveling long distances and perpetrating kidnappings when she feels justified. And I’m sure she’d feel justified in doing that again to get a housekeeper like you. Hell, I would, too. 🙂

    One caution…if you ever stop lifting tons o’ eggs every day, make sure *you* don’t gain 28 pounds. I’d hate to think about you not being able to fit into that crochet “craft project”. (I did like that project, Jackie.) 😉

  116. Morning all.

    Suns out. 🙂
    Espresso is good. 🙂
    Loon and cats still asleep. 🙂
    (only times cats seem to be awake are when their food bowls are empty.)
    Universe stil here. 🙂 🙂
    Blasted tree crew working in public space. 🙁

    Have a lovely Saturday, its the last day of Spring.

  117. Ghost, would it make you feel better if I told you I bought a black lace top and two nude-ish colored lace tops, the kind you wear with little or nothing. They look rather like those old fashioned curtains of lace our grandmothers used to hang on windows. You know, heavy, heavy crocheted laces with intricate patterns and large holes?

    That may wake up Sand and Ghost both. A granny in draperies?

    Love, Jackie

  118. ^°^°^°^°^ is awake, so also is Loon. Had breakfast, then dropped her at the nail salon for beautification. She is off to a national conference in the morning. Yesterday it was clothes shopping at the mall. All part of the cost of being a spouse. 😉

  119. Ghost, B&D devices for chicks, 50 shades of gray feathers? The Story of Cockadoodle-O?

    Jackie, our local Sam’s Club got chicken houses in this spring. Guess that urban chicken thing is catching on. Don’t know how well they compete with Tractor Supply and the Co-op stores.

    Bad day for fathers trying to cook out here. Had heavy rain for about an hour between 1130 and 1230. Then it started up again about 1/2 hour ago and is still going at it. This is also the weekend they have an outdoor flea market at a local state park. It is the third weekend of each month from March-November, and so far this year it has rained every Saturday when it has been held. Wonder if we have a vendor coming from Texas/Oklahoma and bringing it with them?

  120. Until I decide whether to go kidnap Debbie and a few hens and roosters, I won’t know whether to put that chicken coop in our garden area or not. I figure I can whip one out there if I get a new house keeper or keep the old one. But the vet I took Dickens to yesterday had a big display of “some assembly needed” chicken coops in his pet supplies and the local Amish built houses feature coops, in fact there is a new expensive sort of Southern Living subdivision down the highway from me on lake and it even offers backyard coops as part of the construction packages. And has a community garden, sheep and chickens as part of their common grounds.

    Our ten mile garage sale tied up traffic horribly this year but I didn’t hear the normal sirens denoting the wrecks that usually occur. They set up right out on road, creating a hazard.

    Ooops, spellchex changed coop to cook up there and I have fixed it. Chicken cooks. Yep!

    Love, Jackie

  121. Mark in TTown, I got back from Utica, NY 1.5 hours ago. Beautiful 4.5 hour drive that was mostly sunny. Was just in time to smoke some meatballs for the kids’ dinner. Tomorrow promises to be rainy and with thundershowers so outdoor cooking will likely not be done then.

  122. Isn’t it funny, the more you exercise, the more you want to keep exercising? What is that phenomenon Ghost? You will know. Heart rate and breathing increase and you feel fantastic, want to keep up feeling that good.

    OK, it’s late and I have gotten in several hours of exercise today.

  123. Happy father’s day to all the dads, uncles, and positive male role models to all the men of the Village. Enjoy your day. May you each get your dream gift.

    It’s an entire industry of bad gifts, aren’t they? All those
    executive gifts, any stupid, goofy, brass, wood thing, they put a piece of green
    felt on the bottom. “It’s a golf, desk, tie and stress organiser, dad.” ~ Jerry Seinfeld

  124. Ghost: I thought the same thing about TDS yesterday. Oh well… some people want to find fault with everything… Can you imagine how sad their lives must be? I can’t…

  125. Morning Village!

    Mindy, thanks for the fine words to dads. I think GR6 and I may be positive male role models, just not for the current generation.

    Damn Debbe! Straightforward. You could have tried the more subtle approach, a coat hanger on the doorknob; it worked fine in college. 😉

    Meanwhile, on the home front. SO is safely on her way to Orlando. I stopped and bought groceries, now able to enjoy four days of solitude at the ranch. Only distraction will be Tuesday when I am having some dead timber removed before it becomes a hazard.

  126. Yes, it was! Debbe, is that a real cry for help, honey? Please tell us if it is. We all love you.

    Good Sunday morning, I got all the animals fed and their water buckets emptied of dead flies and nasty water, washed and refilled, fresh food out. Didn’t take very long. I am disgusted with my rather overpaid help who is doing no cleaning and animals are not taken care of. I am going to board the dogs while I am up in Puget Sound sailing and take Dickens the broken footed with me.

    Deputy sheriff has to double on pet feeding and security now with cat flock. I can tolerate dirt (what? I live in Oklahoma, home of the Red Dirt band) but not animals not cared for. One or two cats will go board too I think.

    Oh, and I am still doing my laundry.

    Love, Jackie

  127. sand 🙂

    “What are you going to do now, Loon?”
    “I’m going to Disney World!”

    Well, Gal, I suppose they could always invest their own time, energy and talent into getting their own nationally syndicated…oh, wait.

  128. Mindy, I keep imagining a whole flock of chickens in those harnesses pulling Debbe along….kind of like they were sled dogs. Thanks for making me smile!

    Happy Father’s Day to all the good guys out there, the ones who are dads and the others who fill that role. Mindy, you said it so well.

    We got back from up north late yesterday and spent the morning with my husband’s Dad. Now for the fun of unpacking, laundry, and coping with the jungle that the yard and garden turned into. I know things grow faster when I’m not around, kind of like that old saying about watched pots and boiling.

  129. My godson asked me what I wanted for Father’s Day. I told him that I wanted what I want every day…for him to be the very best person he can be.

    He hasn’t let me down yet.

  130. “Isn’t it funny, the more you exercise, the more you want to keep exercising? What is that phenomenon, Ghost?” – Jackie

    It’s the exercise-stimulated production of dopamine, Jackie, a natural neurotransmitter responsible for “rewarding” your brain with feelings of pleasure and happiness. Unfortunately, as I learned from an addiction specialist at a illicit drug seminar I attended a while back, that’s also the mechanism by which cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs cause a “high”, with the addition and insidious effect of requiring a greater amount of product over time to produce the same dopamine load.

  131. OK, so my shrinks have told me forever that I do not have an addictive personality, reason I can give up cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine so easily. I have never had a drug addiction and dislike drugs, probably from having to take so many out of necessity for illness.

    Will I become addicted to exercise and want to do more and more daily? Which I had suspected anyway, kind of like eating disorders which are compulsive if not addictive, you just eat less and less or more and more.

    Not saying exercise is bad at all and if I do become addicted my body and weight will get better, so why worry?

    Back to the boiler room and the endless dirty stuff I have found just everywhere out in laundry area (which is part of my sunroom and hence big) I have walked back and forth so much today I don’t need to walk but the leg lifts, etc. need to be done.

    Thanks, Ghost! Love, Jackie

  132. Since exercise produces dopamine naturally, and at natural levels, the short answer is “no, you will not get addicted to physical exercise”. Of course, that means physically addicted. Some people may apparently become psychologically addicted to certain things (sex, anyone?), but that is actually a different paradigm at work.

    There was another lady locally who began WW at about the same time as my sister, who also lost 100+ pounds in about the same time frame. However, she did not follow the program that closely but rather became a compulsive walker, then runner. Today, after blowing out both her knees, she has regained most of the weight she lost. My sister, on the other hand, maintained her goal weight for several years, right up to the day she underwent the surgery that ultimately took her life.

  133. As long as we are talking following an eating adjustment program and not crazy diets like I have done in past, I am doing just that. Three meals per day and two to three healthy snacks with no sugars, salts or caffeine, lots of water. And yes, Ghost, I am back following the program I learned from WW and also American Diabetes Association because as you say, if you don’t do that it all comes back to bite you later for what you bit yesterday.

    Beginning a food diary again, deep breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation routines too, all part of a big life adjustment.

    Both my knees have been blown out for years. How the heck do you think I got this weight on?
    I was a size 8 when I moved here and jogged, walked a couple miles each day, did all kinds of physical hobbies. You are absolutely right on about permanent life changes.

    And it is never too late. Love, Jackie

  134. No, Jackie, don’t stint on the leg lifts…you never know when those might come in handy. 😉 And no, it is never too late.

    Are you sure your dirty laundry is not breeding and multiplying in dark places, like wire coat hangers do in closets? Both can get so tangled up with each other that they certainly seem to be doing the nasty sometimes. (The plastic hangers you buy at Wally World have apparently been neutered, as they don’t do that.)

  135. I am like Joan Crawford. Wire hangers do not exist in my closet although I suspect the plastic WM hangers may breed too because I have huge quantities. But then I do have the contents of four lives to give away and sort through.

    And yes, leg lifts do come in handy, especially for climbing back into small boats and so do arm exercises for pulling yourself back in. I am packing my weights and would pack all of the sizes except I haven’t found them yet.

    No Ghost, I fired one housekeeper after almost 20 years with me and this one has been fired and then given a second chance over laundry and packing stuff away so as to not have to deal with it. It is just filthy and poor workers.

    But on life changes, it is never too late. The legs and arms are showing most improvement, I need something for stomach muscles, although the leg lifts help those too

    Love, Jackie

  136. I’m back…and that’s because no one came by to pick me up…so I worked….just another humid day in S IN and a bent door frame that happened Friday and my husband saw it this morning…and that event is a SFYAD, paydays 🙂

  137. Exercise can be bad for the body. I know lots of fanatic exercise folk with blown joints. This is especially true in martial arts. There are ways of moving that guarantee blowing your knees out. It is hard to unlearn those ways and learning the correct form (you know, old dog, new tricks).

    I wonder if the same thing is true for walking and jogging?

  138. Debbe 😉 OK, hon, don’t be surprised if you wake up in Oklahoma, or somewhere, one day. 🙂

    Funny how door frames just up and bend themselves sometimes, isn’t it?

  139. I ramped up my walking/jogging the first of the year at the same time I got seriously back on the WW plan. (Down another 20 pounds and all my cargo pants have mysteriously gotten too large in the waist since 1 January.) On the contrary, long distance walking and shorter, moderate jogs have actually strengthened my left knee, the one I banged up in a motorcycle mishap a number years ago (I still miss that Gold Wing), and aggravated a year or two ago by overdoing leg presses. My knee doesn’t bother me at all now, and I baby it, reserving almost all of my weight work for arm, shoulder and chest strengthening.

    As previously mentioned here, moderation in all things…including moderation.

  140. ^°^°^°^°^°^ has bad joints due to leaping out of perfectly good aircraft.

    Heard from the SO. She says the weather is nice, the pool is warm, wine tastes great, and the adult only pool is fabulous. Glad she is enjoying today, tomorrow she starts the hard work of attending all those conference meetings.

  141. Sandcastler, my youngest daughter did her first “sky dive” yesterday morning, celebrating a significant birthday this week. She enjoyed it and was only a little nervous. I wasn’t there, no fear; the location was a place in Pepperell, Massachusetts. Her husband kept family and friends informed on Facebook; I’ve gotta tell you doubters that FB is perfect for this kind of thing. Could she hurt her knees doing this just once? (Probably not. Sorry about your joints, though.) I was mighty nervous myself but did not say anything. Was SO GLAD when Dana posted that Marge was safely down on the ground!

  142. Thank you, Ghost! I can do those! Add it to the things I do in bed.

    Yeah, me and Gracie with the straight lines and straight faces.

    Seriously had not thought of going to youtube to look for exercises. I am so old school, I dug out that book on exercises for college dorm rooms, translate to motels and home bedrooms as well. I will add that routine to what I do already.

    Fats Domino is playing piano and that is good old school exercise music. Or Dr. John or Dr. Hook or other oldies for oldies.

    By the way, Gary I blew out the left knee which is the one I am having replaced in April back in my youth at about age 25 when I weighed almost nothing, doing a routine where you sat on you knees on floor and lowered and raised your butt, first to right, then to left. So it has lasted for 46 years anyway.

    Love, Jackie

  143. sand: See? I told you so! 😀 And this just in from the Department of Ironic Things: After giving you grief for jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, I’m still seriously considering trying a few jumps at least.

    Charlotte, tell your Marge she is an inspiration to me, without even knowing it…or me. 🙂

    Trucker, looks like some of that geometry that I wondered a few days ago (“Near Vertical Takeoff”) if they still teach in middle school.

  144. You are very welcome, Jackie. At the point where you can easily get down on and up from the floor (yeah, I know, bum knees), you may want to start exercising there on an exercise pad, for the additional back support. “It’s never too late.”

    Ain’t kiddin’…been doing this a few years. (On and off.) Attended enough otherwise-all-female aerobics classes I could teach one. Wouldn’t be as much fun watching the cuties from the front of the room, though. 😉

    Actually, I was perfect gentleman, and they all loved me. And I think it made them work harder with a male there. Anyone who says females aren’t as competitive as males, if not more so, knows not of whence he speaks.

  145. ^°^°^°^°^ front teeth knocked out, L5 disc reptured, left ankle broken, left ankle badly sprained, C3-C4 vertebrae crushed, right rotator torn, right knee injured; last three unrepaired. Plus side, no combat injuries.

    Most yoga classes we’ve attended I am usually the lone male. 🙂

  146. Ghost, I own the exercise mat if I can find where the heck it is. In fact, now that I think of it, I own an exercise bench too for the arms and weights, etc. And ankle weights and wrist weights and five sizes of hand barbells. Boy, look what happens when you get a little more fit, you start remembering! It is like childbirth only in reverse?

    Told you I used to be quite tiny lady. Well, I don’t know about the lady part!

    Ghost is right about competition, don’t go to a gym full of hot chicks if you are not one, you will get left in the dust. I don’t like aerobics but that is just me. Don’t know if yoga and pilates are as competitive.

    Wait, I own a pilates ball too and a bunch of other exercise equipment too. Wonder what happened to it all? That second warehouse is a bottomless pit forty feet deep and it ain’t all boats.

    Love, Jackie

  147. Jackie, better send your deputy and his partner in first, if that stuff hasn’t been touched in a while. No telling who is making their home in there these days.

    I really got a good laugh out of today’s strip. Being somewhat of a nervous disposition, sudden loud noises can bring results out of proportion to the cause, like Arlo. While in the Navy, I was helping a SeaBee rewire an outlet in a barracks. Didn’t know it was live until he crossed the terminals with a screwdriver. Loud pop, bright flash, and we were both standing on the other side of the room. I don’t remember crossing the floor, so maybe I can teleport with sufficient cause!

  148. Obviously, Jackie, you should open your own gym. Sounds like you already have half the equipment.

    Aerobics and Pilates; liked them both, although they are a two different animals. Pilates (core strengthening and flexibility) will help all your body parts move like they did when they were young. Well, most of them. 😉 Never tried yoga, but won’t rule it out, even though I have to say what I’ve seen of it recently strikes me as a bit too “New Agey”. Probably just need to find the right instructor and class. (Come to think of it, I think my aerobics instructor may be doing yoga classes now. Need to check on that.) Gym I’m going to offers “Zumba”. Watched part of a class; wasn’t that impressed. Plus, sounds more like a noise than an exercise program.

    I agree that 5’2″ and 107 qualifies as “tiny”. And I suspect you have have fallen somewhere between “lady” and “broad” then. As I use them, both are complimentary terms.

  149. Jackie, don’t kick what you’ve not tried. Become one with the universe. Drink deep from the great mother’s bosom. Live fully in the moment. 😉

    See? I am not that different from you. 🙂

  150. Flushing probably wouldn’t work, either.

    Probably time to dig out a fancy-schmancy MS wireless keyboard I’m not using for anything else.

  151. Dear Sandcastler, all those horrible injuries! I feel so bad for you. And were you in the Armed Forces when these happened? Nice that you have no combat injuries, I guess, but remember that someone with a Purple Heart can enroll more easily in the VA care programs.

  152. No Ghost, if you tried to flush it, you’d probably need a plumber next to get it out of the pipes. Unless you broke it into very small pieces.

  153. I am suspecting Sand got those injuries while employed as a noncombatant contract employee, Charlotte, but I may be wrong on that guess.

  154. And no sooner had I posted it than I thought, well, also possible he was a civilian government employee and got injuries. That happens all the time. Ask me how I’d know that.

  155. Ruth Anne, and in the operating scene, one important thing about books. They are not alive until somebody reads them. In between, they are in a kind of suspended animation.

  156. Good morning Villagers….

    OK, GR 😉 , here it is….had my Isuzu passenger side car door open, Andrew was ‘screwing’ around with the door with the front tire of the ‘dead’ GMC truck….Ian decides to put it in reverse therefore ‘pinging’ a dent in the front side frame and the door creeks now….husband is po’d.

    I am constantly walking on glass around here as husband and son do not get along. Just not a good day yesterday. Oh, but his other nephew can pass out in his truck in our driveway with the lights on….that is what I woke up to yesterday morning.

    Husband went out, shut lights off on truck, saw the dent in my car and then the fight started.

    But ya know what guys, it’s paid for and it still runs and it’s in my name 🙂

    Ya’lll have a blessed day

  157. Debbe, keep that attitude my friend! It’s yours and it’s paid for. And keep feeling good naked too. That gives you power, darling. You’d have to promise to come alone if I kidnap you, though, except for a few chickens and the cats if you want to. I have enough drama! LOL
    since I can’t do a smiley face.

    Good morning all, it is 7:30 on Monday here and I need to get some blood drawn.

    Love, Jackie

  158. Morning all.

    JJ, must be the same brand of motion sensor we own. Why do they only come on after you don’t need light?

    Jackie, no comment.

    Debbe, keep the faith.

    Charlotte, yes para jumping.

    GR6, wind shifts and other jumpers are variables outside of normal operational parameters. Like all operations, the plan goes out the door with you; after that you do like a Marine: improvise, adapt, and overcome.

  159. Ghost, did you know that paperclips are the larval form of coat hangers?

    Mark, I like to imagine books on shelves or in stacks whispering to each other. Nothing is so lonely as a single book.

    Thank you for that article, Steve!

    Debbe, hugs.

    For those of us who may benefit from gentle workouts, may I suggest the 30th anniversary edition of Bob Anderson’s “Stretching”? I recommended the earlier editions of this book many times while I was a bookseller, and received a great deal of positive feedback. It is available from many sources; I see the author now has a website at http://www.stretching.com/.

  160. Denise in Michigan, I’ve never had a lonely book.

    Sand, about the light, isn’t it the truth? Except when you are trying to sleep on a windy night and the blamed things keep coming on. Like a false alarm on a home security system.

  161. Debbe 😉 Remember…

    “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. – Matthew 5:9 King James Version

    But also…

    “Illegitimi non carborundum.” – Ghost Rider 6 Version

  162. TBB was at the gym again this morning, skimpily clad as usual, but I made a new friend, too. She was on the treadmill beside me while I did my hour, but she did 40 minutes, half of it walking and half running, then went and did some other stuff. Impressive stamina; must have one big lung in her chest. Of course, she’s a few (ha!) years younger than I. Great legs, naturally. Cute without makeup, likely adorable with. She said she liked my t-shirt, anyway. It’s a start 🙂

  163. Oops. From the looks of the Radarmaschine, Royal Oak and other places in the Detroit area are about to get pounded by some weather. Hope Steve and everyone else is keeping their heads down.

    Looking at the radar map reminded me of a geographical oddity someone pointed out to me a few years ago…that there are places in the Detroit area where one may look *south* into Canada.

  164. It did come down like a cow wettin’ on a flat rock, Ghost, but only for about an hour. Metro Detroit appears to be safe and secure. And yes, some Michiganders can point south to Canada. We still point at our hand, though, to indicate the spot in The Mitten we call home. (At least, those in the Lower Peninsula do, although you can make a passible Upper Peninsula by hand if your viewer has an active imagination.) Oh, and Wisconsin? We own that whole state-shaped-like-a-mitten thing, so you can just stop using that in your advertising. 😉

  165. Denise in Michigan

    Read Tom Holt’s “My Hero” -While the characters are not on duty they go home.
    He also has them moving from one story to another. Much of the humor comes from
    knowing literary characters.

  166. Speaking of Terry Pratchett, I just finished reading a collection of his non-fiction pieces called A Slip of the Keyboard. Lots of discussion of how he came to be a writer (reading, reading, reading) as well as his thoughts on his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

    Among my favorites of his comments is this description of an ideal school (from 1997): “First, you build a library, then build the school around it. You make sure that the kids can read adequately, write coherently if simply, and at least have a good enough grasp of simple maths to know when a pocket calculator is lying. Then you show them how to use the library, and you DON’T let them loose on the Net until they CAN read and write and have grown up enough not to confuse data with information, otherwise they’re just monkeys in a banana plantation.” [had to substitute caps for the original italics]

    Of course, how could I not like a guy who said this (in 2009): “After all, if you have a choice, why not call yourselves Shining Acolytes of the Sacred Flame of Literacy in a Dark and Encroaching Universe? I admit this is hard to put on a button, so why not abbreviate it to: librarians?”

  167. Popping back in to say that I’ve always thought Minnesota looked like the profile of Paul Revere with his hat on. Any other candidate for “That state looks like….?”

    Putting Holt’s “My Hero” on my reading list, Old Bear.And Terry Pratchett, Ruth Anne (ashamed to admit I’ve not read him at all, to date).

  168. Mark

    I foresee a possible problem with that camera system for some people.
    They may get so mesmerized looking at the screen they miss other dangers.

    And if people drive the way they should, so they/you/we can see the cab mirror and far enough back so you know the truck driver can see your car there should be enough visibility to pass
    safely. But most people don’t drive – they just point the vehicle.
    Then there are those that think “I can make that” and can’t. And the on coming traffic
    is not driving either – and is distracted.

  169. Denise: I know we have discussed Pratchett here before, with some of us suggesting good starting points for his many books. I recently came across a copy I had printed of a chart – made by people with more time on their hands than most of us have – showing suggested sequences. You can find it at http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/ My favorite starting point remains Equal Rites.

  170. Gary, I am being retested because I am still dropping blood sugars like crazy, even with eating regularly and right and reducing insulin already. I won’t say I will get off it but I doubt I will need as much either. Exercise is probably doing that, more than food intake.

    And I love both Ghost and Sand and Kris Kristopherson’s Don’t Let the Bastards Grind you Down.
    Thanks, although I had heard both before and forgotten I think.

    Ruth Anne, thanks for the Terry Prachett title, I lost my note to go to Barnes and Noble to buy it. Since I will be gone for a month, the library isn’t an option. I totally love his nonfiction writings.

    Among my many adventures in travel last month was sitting for three hours of engrossing conversation with Mark Z. Danielewski, author of “The Familiar” and several other best selling fantasy fiction epics. Mark and I shared seats (he in his, me in mine) all the way to Denver where he had a book signing but for one hour I had no idea who he was, just that we loved cats, whales, shared similar ecological and political views, loved so many of same things.

    Finally I asked him what he did that he’d been in Tulsa and he asked what did I think he did? I said, you’re a writer. Which he was, of course, I had just seen The Familiar in B and N the day before. He said he had same agent as Terry Prachett and was weirder than Terry or The Confederacy of Dunces author and I said that’d take some doing!

    Ended with us hugging and kissing each other in Denver and him wanting to come to BC with us to cruise and look at marine life and waterfalls and glaciers. Instead he went to sign books.

    Love, Jackie

  171. Put me down as a no on the screened truck. It has been proven people will watch something on a screen over the real life counterpart right in front of them. People will watch the screen and either rear-end the truck, or pull out anyway because they’ve forgotten the projection was in real time. No thank you.

    Off to bed. The next 72 hours are going be hopefully-controlled chaos. Night!

  172. Lastest numbers on the OPM scandal, the Chinese hacked 18 million records.

    In related news. Taylor Swift, upon hearing the news, has demanded the Chinese owe her the usual and customary percentage.

  173. Anonymous (Ruth Anne?), yep, I promised myself then to read some Pratchett and haven’t yet. I do have “Good Omens”, so I’ll might start there, even though it’s co-written. Thank you for the reading order guide—that’s terrific!

    Holy Moses, sand, it does look like a saddle!

    Sweetest of nights, Mindy, and better days!

  174. As Jackie and Denise correctly surmised, that last Anonymous was me. I thought I had posted something after that but I guess I didn’t hit submit – no links and nothing controversial so I don’t think it should have gone to moderation limbo.

    Anyway, for those of you who are interested in the process of writing/publishing and who venture into Facebook-land, I recommend reading Sharyn McCrumb’s latest posts. She has a new publisher and thus a new copy editor for her next book. Usually it takes her a couple of days to review comments/corrections but with this one it has taken two weeks – and many, many uses of STET. Her account of “Copy editor wars” would make a funny story if it weren’t true. It seems she is dealing with someone who has a firm grasp of formal English grammar but no understanding of normal conversation, regional dialects, or history.

    Steve in Royal Oak, MI: Has your wife ever had to deal with anything like this?

  175. Denise in Michigan, other good reads by Tom Holt: Expecting Someone Taller, Flying Dutch. I was reading those before I ever heard of Terry Pratchett. Sorry it took so long to get to him, but I was pretty busy when he got going and I had a limited book budget.

    If you like mysteries too, try the Garrett series by Glen Cook. Also good is One Foot in the Grave and related books by Wm. Mark Simmons. Interesting take on vampires, werewolves, zombies and Cthulu.

    sideburns, and Ook-oook-ook back at you. Pratchett seems to have liked orangutans, making one a central character in his books.

    Whoever recommended Pratchett to us, thank you. I have worked through the Rincewind books and have gotten to Soul Music in the Death series.

  176. TruckerRon, good question. My non scientific take is, images allow focusing on a subject without intrusion of surrounding noise. A great image brings the subject into the foreground while pushing the rest away. Reality is full of distractions that keep us from focusing for long periods; an exception might be GR6 who seems to be highly focused.

  177. sand, re the OPM hacking scandal, any day now, for failure to take even elementary steps to protect sensitive data, heads will roll…many will be fired…many more will be demoted…oh, wait. OPM is part of the US Gubermint, isn’t it? Never mind.

  178. Tried to reply to GR6 re: 9:03 PM post. My reply vanished. So far no one has kicked in the door. Will assume the Lord was looking out for idiots.

  179. Mark & All

    Flying Dutch so far is my favorite Tom Holt maybe because it was my first.
    Who’s afraid of Beowulf is close behind.

    Expecting Someone Taller lacked something – or I was not in the mood. Know your Norse
    mythology – According to Tom , Wagner got it wrong.

    Walled Orchard you have to be at least conversant with Greek history.

  180. Thank you again, Mark! You gave my frazzled memory another jolt. I could not for the life of me remember who I loved so much you’d linked for me. Jethro Tull! Yes! I will pick some up tomorrow. Preparing for a very long road trip, music, books and more exercise clothes. And a 10# dog in a cage with a broken foot, so dog food, water, doggie supplies.

  181. Thank you, Mark, for the additional book recommendations; they are going on my list.

    It sounds like you’re going to have that car packed pretty full, Jackie. Remember people snacks and water for you, so you can maintain acceptable blood sugar and hydration levels!

  182. Prayers (& donations?) for all those who lost homes and possessions in tonight’s storm from Des Moines east into Indiana (so far). Have not heard of any personal injuries greater than minor stuff, but am following on NBC.

  183. Thank you Denise. Yes, I have water bought, diabetes rescue drinks for cooler, rescue bars, taking limes for tea I buy along way (no one ever has that!) carrying fruit, bought mini cheeses in tiny packing size, carrying tuna packs, oatmeal packs for when motels buffet has none, ditto on whole grain breads. Why do they never put healthy on those “free” breakfast buffets? Rule on trip is no sugars, no salts, no junk food and definitely no Diet Cokes, just water and a tea occasionally.

    One current trend I love are the new super truck stops with healthy offerings like fresh fruit bowls, healthy sandwiches, high quality snack foods. There is a chain I frequent here in OK that is far better choice for a meal than going to a drive by restaurant or even most sit down ones, called QuickTrip. Hope they are spread westward!

    Love y’all, four days and so behind! Jackie

  184. Old Bear, thanks for the words of encouragement. 😉

    Mark, I think JJ recently installed motion lighting at his compound. My personal experience shows that flash-bangs with trip wires work better, plus they wake you quicker at 03:00.

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