Answer Man

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When my grandmother was born, airplanes were more than a decade in the future. In my lifetime, space exploration and exploitation became a reality. In the 20th century, automobiles took over. Electricity and telephones became ubiquitous, and television was invented. It would be impossible to name a century of greater change. Yet, I think more apparent change has occurred in the past two decades. By apparent change, I mean changes in daily life and routine. Think how dated movies made only a few years ago can seem. You’ll see people running around frantically searching for pay phones. You’ll see black computer screens with green type. You’ll hear people asking, “Where are we?!” The fabric of daily life now has an entirely different feel. Take, for example, the above cartoon from 20 years ago. Of course, many people—if they still have land lines—still have answering machines, but they’re not the icon of connectivity they once were. And kids in the household certainly do not consider them a lifeline! Technological change has been a juggernaut for the past 200 years, but the small details have never been more apparent than in the current century.

160 responses to “Answer Man”

  1. But… but… what happened on August 17th?? You skipped to August 24th! Susan was leaning in against Gene! There is no other record of that series of strips! What happened next??

    (Enquiring minds want to know!)

  2. Meanwhile, along with the demise of land lines came the demise of the second listing in the phone book (the WHAT??) that read “Teen Phone” for that address. That was for the sorts of teens that drove new cars and wore the latest fashions, not ones driving their grandparents’ donated Rambler.

  3. Yesterday, I listened to The Ric Edelman Program.

    He’s a financial advisor and spoke for a few minutes about Singularity University and the accelerating pace of technological change.

    One item that he mentioned is that – only eight years ago in January 2007 – Apple’s smartphone was released.

    He concluded by saying, “And I predict that the next years will be even more revolutionary.”

    If he’s correct, then the 21st century’s rate of change might eclipse the 20th’s rate in only a couple of decades – or less.

    (Another item worth mentioning: He has frequently stated that we need to rethink our retirement planning because of the advances in medicine. He has claimed that, right now, most of us who are in our early 60s can expect to live to our mid-90s. Yesterday, he said that the first person who will live to at least 150 has already been born.)

  4. It’s amazing how many appurtenances of present-day life existed only in science fiction stories when I was a pre-teen.

    It’s not the concept of targeted ads I abhor. Unlike Arlo, they do sometimes steer me to products for which I have an actual need. (Well, a perceived need, anyway.) It’s that when I investigate an item on, say, Amazon, I then have to look at tons of ads for that same product for the next week, and I’m all like, “Haven’t I already learned everything about that thingamajig I need to know?”

  5. Good morning all, I am still here and none of my “staff” has appeared yet, I have not checked all my emails yet. Need to place some calls to friends around country about those cats. It is far too complicated (?) to get a REAL rescue group involved probably. Make that we aren’t busting into a testing lab for Loreal cosmetics but in a way it’s totally weird, like me.

    Some of my boating friends who are also animal lovers are going to help me out. Remember? I am the only boat festival in America who not only welcomes pets but requires that a dog is on the committee that awards the boat show awards as a judge with equal voting privileges

    About changes in a lifetime: I was raised by grandparents who were born after the Civil War. Before my grandmother died she had gone from horse and buggies where she was injured seriously in a historic buggy wreck to flying on jets to visit me in Hawaii. I would say that was quite a paradigm shift. But the interesting part to me was that I grew up in this same reference period and so her mental processes helped shape mine.

    Too early for existentialism.

    Love, Jackie

  6. Forgot to say let us all think about Martin Luther King today and equality of mankind, the worth of life and rights. Think how far we have come and how far we still have to go.

    Thanks Google for reminding me.

  7. Jackie, no need for apologies. If the IQ fills Arlo’s new hat then expect a little finger pointing. 😉

    P.S. another post just begging for emoticons.

  8. No, actually, the pace of tech advance has slowed. Take airplanes. In 1903, the airplane was invented. A kite with a little motor on it, flew 120 feet. Fifty years later, the Boeing 707, 500 miles an hour, 30,000 feet. Fifty years after that, about the same, except you pay for carry-ons.

    Around 1900, Ford quadricycle. Sixty years later, Ford Mustang. Another 50 years, Mustangs run on unleaded fuel.

    Other than for computers and the Internet, tech has slowed considerably.

  9. OF due noon-1220, CST.

    Don’t want to put words in JJ’s mouth. Space exploitation, at this stage, may mostly be application of space exploration technology to other endeavors of a more practical sort. Generation or two ago, miniaturization from the Apollo project and such was applied to civilian use, so now we have apps and things.

    Space exploration takes two basic forms: 1.Sending people or, now more often robots, someplace to check things out: e.g. Apollo, Cassini, and Curiosity.
    2. Improving our vision, broadly conceived: e.g. detection of hundreds of exoplanets, refinement of cosmological theory, DNA analysis that improves our knowledge of what critters, plants, etc. are most closely related to what others, etc.

    My own particular interest, which I’ve only explored a bit, is the implications of recent scientific knowledge and understanding for theology, broadly conceived. “Broadly conceived” = I’m not just thinking about Earth and universe being older than 6-10,000 yr., nor the diversity of critters [incl. us] and plants being the result, at least mostly, of natural processes in a universe that works naturally rather than having to be tinkered with by Elohim. [Didn’t say E. never tinkers, just that she doesn’t have to.] Peace, emb

  10. I wouldn’t say I was born pre computer, considering Admiral Hopper’s early work, but pre home computers, so I am amazed at the progress in the last 10 years of computers. Used in so much, and frequently so little thought about because they function so well for the most part. Communications and media in all formats and form is well beyond what was thought possible, or even imagined in 1900. I look at all of the changes that just my generation has seen, and it is no wonder that we begin to take the rapid change of technology for granted.

  11. Ursen, so right. My sister recently purchased a car that has in it enough memory and chipsets to make 24 smartphones. While Loon and I each own a mechanical watch; at last inventory, our immediate lives contain almost 100 intelligent chipsets.

    Yes, we do actual inventories, an occupational hazard of a software developer and a Googly geek sharing the same breathing space.

  12. I agree that some great inventions like combustible engines, airplanes, telephones and electricity were all make within a few short years and appliances like refrigeration, stoves and microwaves were just refinements. Television was a bigger refinement and along with radio, had a dramatic impact on our culture The Space Age in the 60’s introduced smaller and lighter technology that took us from a room full of vacuum tube powered machines to a single chip.

    As my soon to be 32 year old son was growing up, I told him that while I had seen big changes in my life, it was nothing compared to my grandparents and great-grandparents from the turn of the 20th century. The bar code label was to me a quirky invention, but it and personal computers led to the promise of change. However it was the proliferation of cellular phones and internet access (and the marriage of them ) that started to really change things. Once BlackBerrys (everyone wanted to own a crackberry) and smart phones became popular, bookstores and newspapers as well as retail stores have started to go the way of the railroad.

    I agree that the pace of change over the last 20-30 years has been quite dramatic.

  13. Ursen, just looked again at your post. The longer view of computing history would say we all have been born after the first computer. Charles Babbage designed and partially built the Differential Analyzer, the first computer. While being mechanical, it contained both registers and stores that performed the same functions as their silicon siblings. Further, Ada Lovelace (daughter of Lord Byron) wrote the operational code for the DF; earning her the title of First Computer Programmer. Ada also envisioned the machine capable of symbolic manipulation, manipulating any character set not just numbers. A joint view they held was the use of Jacquard loom cards as input-output media. All of this in the 1840’s.

  14. I love this place!!!! Emoticons here and here! Intelligent conversations. Knowledgeable people.
    Learning new things. All courtesy of those chips.

  15. In regard to Babbage’s invention of the computer, it seems quite a few things we take for granted now were thought of long ago. But they didn’t know how to change it from theory to reality because the means had not yet been created. Which is the reason why being a patent troll has become quite profitable for some. They didn’t create anything, just bought the then-useless patent and waited for someone else to make it real and demanded a share of the profits.

  16. EVAN
    “Meanwhile, along with the demise of land lines came the demise of the second listing in the phone book (the WHAT??) that read “Teen Phone” for that address. That was for the sorts of teens that drove new cars and wore the latest fashions, not ones driving their grandparents’ donated Rambler.”

    My kids didn’t have a second listing since all their friends knew what number to call after I figured out I’d never get through to the house to tell them if I was coming home on time or working late. I got a second line “family plan” at a good rate since I worked for the local phone company.
    Oh, and they drove what they could afford which wasn’t much.

  17. Jackie:

    I was a member of Mensa for a while and, unfortunately, was greatly underwhelmed.

    I quit fairly soon for three reasons:

    1. I knew that I didn’t actually qualify to be in the organization.

    2. They couldn’t spell my first name correctly.

    3. I decided that Groucho was right: I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.

  18. Jackie, when Jimmy finishes the upgrade you will see a flourish of emoticons. Lady Lovelace, Ada’ formal title, would have been overjoyed at the rich array of symbolism available today.

  19. Mark, Sand, and others – on the subject of changing theory to reality: The first course I took when I started working toward my master’s degree was Information Science in Librarianship and the first reading that was assigned can now be found at The article was written in 1945. I read it in 1978. Although I was amazed at its prescience, I didn’t expect his full vision to be achieved in my lifetime. The facts that I can post that link and that none of think twice at our ability to do that show how wrong I was.

  20. Ruth Anne,
    Librarianship is still a highly sought after degree. Graduates are efficient at building search query and understanding hierarchical structures. Many end up in computer science because of those skills. A book you may enjoy is “Intertwingled: information changes everything.” The author Peter Morville is an MLS and teaches online classes at UCSJ, amongst other activities. It is informative, insightful, as well as being sprinkled with personal stories.

  21. I’m fuzzy on the details at the moment, but their was a computer found in an ancient Greek shipwreck if I remember correctly. People thousands of years ago were building things that we cannot duplicate. Automobiles with power steering, radios, air conditioning, not to mention (gasp) electric cars, were all being built or tried before we were born. As for the amazing world of cell phones, I’ve never tried to call China, but I have tried and failed to call someone that would have heard me if I yelled. My candidate for the man most responsible for change in the 20th century or responsible for the most change to the lives of people in the 20th century has to be Milo Fetterman.

  22. Jimmy – I know exactly what you mean. We came to Canada from England in 1957, there were 3 TV stations in Toronto. When I was 11 years old we lived on a farm outside of Orangeville, Ontario. The phone was out of Green Acres, 32 people on a party line, and a crank telephone on the wall. To call someone outside the party line you had to ring for the operator. Now I drive to work with my iPhone in my pocket, synced to my truck entertainment center. When there are traffic delays my phone tells me over the radio. When someone phones I answer through the truck. I drive a toll highway (407) that charges me through a transponder, when I get to work I wave a plastic card at the gate and it allows me into the garage. I Tweet and follow Tweeters. When Star Trek came out while I was in high school we thought it was amazing. Most of it was not a touch on what we have now. Truly a transformative couple of decades.

  23. Jerry,

    Fuzzy logic is helpful on zeroing in on targets where you have limited inputs. Sight, calculate next position in time. Resight, calculate difference from previous estimate. Repeat loop until on target.

  24. Does anyone here watch “Through the Wormhole” with Morgan Freeman? It is a wonderfully done program that challenges thought.

    But then too, so does this bunch of cartoon fans. Is that what we are?

  25. Jackie,

    I rather say that I am one of the Village People. That and one chorus of ‘In The Navy’ gets a room upgrade and a handful of free chips at Ceasers Place. 😉

  26. I knew of Vannever Bush when he was first in the headlines. Thanks for the reminder. If I remember, some of his predictions did not take biological realities into account, but we’re used to that. Peace, emb

  27. When my nephew got married in DC a few years ago, the reception was held at the Carnegie Institution. Earlier in the day it was also the location of a lengthy photo session. When our presence was not required, Bob and I got to wander around the building and were delighted to find a large portrait of Vannevar Busch in one of the rooms.

  28. Sand, despite having a ton of friends who probably went as The Village People at Halloween, I had never seen any of their videos until the other night. I confess, I rather enjoyed them and thought they had a good sense of humor and self, parody seemed to suit them all. But then it took me all these years to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show and I laughed at that one too and loved it. Call me a late developer. I missed so much by being too serious too young.

    Which one do you look like?

  29. On issue of people with too much money and sense of their own worth, no not any of us, but did anyone except me read news story today about requests for children’s nanny’s who multitask? And no, this had nothing to do with Prince Andrew’s sex slave scandal, it was a serious attempt to explain requests to an agency furnishing household help in NYC.

    Shades of Downton Abbey, one request they filled was for a trained nanny hairdresser who was to do complicated styles for wife, nine year old daughter and shave the master daily. It did say that finding cleaning nannies was difficult.

    Obviously wouldn’t do windows.

    On love slave subject I kept getting porn messages for available women from my sailing canoe website and I contacted group owner of canoes, not porn, after one of my ministerial friends up in Tennessee was getting same message. Contacted him several times, still got porn. So I told him I was dropping out and did so. You have to draw that line in the sand and hold firm!

    Love, Jackie

  30. I’d have fallen under the treadmill and been scalped by my hair getting caught in rotating pulley, along with two broken legs and anm, What coordination. Does he do windows?

  31. Mark, you made me smile which I needed tonight! Both remarks. Actually I was totally relieved to learn my ministerial friend was alive because he was in his 80’s when he attempted to sail coast of Texas for 200 miles in searing 100 degree plus heat in an 8 foot boat! One of my good friends in Louisiana bought one of his unfinished boats and finished it, an absolutely beautiful power wooden boat that my husband Mike always referred to as “driving a grand piano” it was so beautifully made. That is trouble with growing old with too many boats.

  32. Ghost, if you join the sailing_canoes group on Yahoo Groups you can get the porn I hope I got out of by clicking on unsubscribe. There is a definite opening. I do not know what happened to my trash filters except that I do belong to a lot of boating groups and someone got into first 60’s Sailing and then the canoes. I have been told porn in canoes is unstable activity but do not know first hand.

    Actually I would imagine porn would be unstable in a john boat as well. That would be an appropriate name I suppose.

    Love, Jackie

  33. He: “I want you in the worst possible way.”

    She: “What is the worst possible way?”

    He: “Standing up in a canoe.”

    Other than that very old joke (and one about lite beer), I really didn’t realize there was a boating/porn connection.

  34. My theory on why we get hit by so many spam porn emails is that we are about 99.9 per cent male members and I would suppose that a porn spam advertising available women in my neighborhood and today they were featuring children (!!!!!) apparently but I don’t open them, just delete. No one sends any males since they think they are hitting men of the outdoor sort.

    I am an observant filter on more than one group and if you are smart you get a webmaster who puts enough screens to stop them or gets rid of them really fast. The bigger groups all have that in place but the smaller ones are poorly managed and I think those are ones I have been seeing get thru. My own site has a savvy tech smart “owner” and I am a not so savvy owner of others but you won’t see much get by ones like that.

    Chicken jokes would be great if I could remember any. That might be an old joke but I had not heard it. I do have a seldom used almost new canoe in back yard. At least I hope it is there, we moved it right before Mike went to hospital to get it out of plain sight in middle of yard.

    Love, Jackie

  35. How about a different bird joke. Actually, it’s a cartoon that I have taped to the side of my computer desk. The roadrunner and R2D2 are standing side by side, both of them beeping like crazy, unaware that a truck is backing up behind them. Caption: Tragically, no one could hear the truck backing up. Mark, thanks for the link, that’s the one.

  36. Questions and comments for last few days

    We can not get the Jack Daniels # 7 locally any more what gives?

    Jerry: mark Twain had something to say about your situation (your premature obit)

    Our last name is not common in the US – Manhattan had only 10 when I was a kid
    but the first and last combination has a high %. When I was in basic training there was
    another in a different Training Regiment, we got each others mail.
    Driving home one time I heard on the radio Mr & Mrs (same first &last name) had a baby. When I got home I asked my wife what she was not telling me. (I was only away a few hours).

    I am the 4th with my name(none juniors) +son & Nephew. Grandfather had brother that died
    at 8 – since he was the next male he got the name. Hard on genealogy, but not uncommon back in the day.

    The litter we use turns to mush – even the clean stuff tracks worse than mud. (Like wet chicken
    manure. Debbe would know)

    We had a 6 toe cat – all started from one around Boston area 1740ish – they are moving west.

    I know of 4 other people with my birthday including my son’s significant other.
    Son missed my wife’s birthday by 4 days (He was late).
    My brother and his daughter share a birthday – he credits a dutiful wife.

    Going off with “Little Nemo”


  37. Good morning Villagers…..

    Goodness sakes, and I thought the website was mind boggling…yes, Virginia, there is intelligent life in this Village. Brains, breasts, pokies, porn….oh my.

    Old Bear….yes I do know all about chicken poop 🙂 I got a pit full of it. I’ve even gone as far to see if there is any correlation between the fumes of the pit to the onset of cataracts. Nothing. Just part of the aging process….sigh.

    GR 😉 none that I could post here…

    Too much testosterone in this house last night, went to bed at 8….after slamming my bedroom door.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day…

  38. Debbe: “. . . the onset of cataracts. Nothing. Just part of the aging process….sigh.”

    My ophthalmologist is fond of saying, “Everyone over 50 has cataracts.” Mine were first mentioned by his predecessor after an exam in the early ’80s, when I was in my early 50s. They can tell well before you can. I began to notice mine in my mid 60s or so, and had them replaced with plastic several years ago. If you drive, you need them replaced when the glare from lights [head-, street-, traffic-, and advertising neon] gets so bad that you become a traffic hazard]. Peace, emb

  39. My spam filter usually traps email from wonderful Christian folks with huge sums of money that needs depositing in my account. Can only wish for porn that I could enjoy

  40. Mark – Thanks for the That’s Jake. I hadn’t seen one of those in a long time. Jake Vest used to live somewhere in central Florida but quit doing the comic. My favorite is probably still “If you didn’t want grits, why’d you order breakfast?”

  41. Ghost Sweetie, you asked for it!

    Chicken joke: Why did the chicken cross the road? To prove to the possum that it really could be done!

    I get pretty much the usual spam about loans and vapor smoking and buying cheap property and moving to Belize, but the ones that are really funny are the ones for Russian brides and male “enhancers”. I wish I could figure out what sites I clicked on that got me noticed by those people so I could not go there again!

    The two things in modern technology that amuse me are personal computers and cell phones. We didn’t have them, then we did but they were so but we needed backpacks to carry them, then they were pocket-sized, and now they are both in the same tiny case. All this, and I still don’t have my personal jet pack!

  42. Thanks, Jean dear. Yeah, I’m always “asking for it”, aren’t I? 😉

    And, trust me, those danged personal jet packs will be dangerous. Do like me and hold out for a flying car.

  43. Ruth Anne in Winter Park, he is one of my favorites too. At one time I had both of his collections, may buy them again if I can find them at a decent price. From what I found while searching for his comics Jake retired from the Sentinel and now teaches 4th grade there in Lake County.

  44. Trapper Jean, that is what the Ghostery program does for you. It shows what cookies the sites are putting on you and lets you block them more effectively than the built-in blocker on Explorer. Once you get rid of these electronic ticks, you don’t get nearly as much of that junk.

  45. I keep blaming my spam on horny old sailors and the groups I belong to because Mike always denied it was him! And I know I don’t visit porn sites, nor need Russian brides or male enhancers. I do however, still use Mike’s email address and not mine, I decided I didn’t care if he knew what I did or said, the whole world knew anyway! I told him same thing.

    Seriously, my spam filters gets most of the stuff we are talking about and I just erase the whole file every couple days. I have talked about this to some of the other “owners” of groups and what we watch for are suspicious “members”, either ban them don’t approve them, delete them and put moderation limits on people/members. It is the unwatched ones that get through.

    Once my entire computer contents got hijacked and suddenly people all over the world were getting appeals to get us out of a jail (I think) in Spain. Since most of my friends knew I was in Oklahoma preparing to be invaded by hundreds of boaters, I got dozens and dozens of emails alerting me before I even got out of bed!

    At that time I maintained all the thousands of address files for members in so many groups, I was a gold mine I guess? Now I don’t do that.

    Love, Jackie

  46. Used to like Jake too. Houston carried him, I guess I thought he was a Texas cartoonist. Had not seen the grits joke. Sitting here eating big portion of unsalted traditional oat meal with dates, cranberries, honey glazed walnuts, fresh blueberries and unsalted butter. It might benefit from some honey but didn’t put any.

    And a Diet Coke. What do the rest of us eat when we get up? I am curious.

  47. 1. Corn Chez with 8 oz of 2% milk
    2. Oatmeal with 8 oz of 2% milk
    3. Two scrambled eggs with 2 oz of sliced lean ham, whole wheat toast and tomato juice
    4. One over-easy egg on top of grits with a slice of whole wheat toast and tomato juice
    5. One over-easy egg on top of three slices of bacon on top of a slice of whole wheat toast (open face sandwich style) and tomato juice
    6. Ham-and-cheese omelet with one slice of whole wheat toast and tomato juice

    Note: Not all at same meal

  48. Neither does anyone ever offer me Russian brides or millions of dollars from Nigeria. The only thing that ever seems to (legitimately) show up in my spam folder is (I’m guessing, ’cause I don’t open ’em) offers for “Russian Wiagra” with oddly-spelled but recognizable words in the subject line. (Ex: Getz Goodr Medzines) An attempt to defeat spam filters, perhaps?

    I’m sure my lack of spam affliction relates to leading a pure life and never, ever visiting questionable sites.

  49. Jackie, here’s Jake Vest’s short autobiography:

    As for the spam, what I am getting is mostly phishing scams, from people masquerading as legitimate groups. One was supposedly from PayPal, which I forwarded to their site for advice whether it was legit or not. They said it wasn’t. Also got one telling me to update NetZero info. As I don’t have one of those cards, this email went straight to file 13.

  50. Well, I had a good friend who must have fallen off a turnip truck because he fell in love with a Russian bride and sent her a ton of money. I know this because I used to be his sales rep and knew all his staff really well. And I make friends of course. So they confided in me about all this to try to get me to talk to him and stop his foolish behavior. This was about time the net took off and I could not believe he fell for this scam, he was good looking, not too old, way younger than me in fact and straight. I thought he was smart too, before this.

    Come on Ghost, you just have better filters and screens, like your cooking utensils.

    Good sounding healthy breakfasts, protein, whole grains and vegetable juice. I like more fruits and veggies, nuts thrown in. By the time I get up it is either brunch or lunch of course!

    Love, Jackie

  51. What an interesting person Jake Vest is! Anyone should be thrilled to have someone like that teach their kids. I have friends like that who chose to teach after some lives of “adventure” and I think how fortunate those children are.

  52. Looked at what was in my spam folder today, filter working overtime as it had a ton of department store ads I actually shop and health stuff from my medical advice patient portals, but the most interesting observation was that yesterday I could have had a 39% discount on cialis but today only 37%. And the Chinese one which I have no idea how to read Chinese (Or Korean or whatever) but the address was in English.

    Then I deleted all 91 at one time!

  53. Several years ago, my filter would occasionally catch an email purportedly from a friend but which was actually spam. It seemed obvious to me that something had invaded her computer and had at least stolen her contact list, but I could never convince her of that. After all, she had a Mac, and back then everyone “knew” that if you had a Mac you didn’t have to worry about that kind of thing.

    She got a new computer a couple of years ago, and that spam stopped coming.

    “Cialis, 37% off (old-timey bath tub not included).”

  54. Ghost, one thing always struck me strange about the commercial for Cialis. If you are taking that for a reason, why would you want two separate bathtubs?

    Jackie, if you are using Windows, I hope you have the “preview pane” turned off (if there is one in your email) and that you are only reading the subject line without opening the email. If it opens it could infect your computer with all kinds of nasty stuff. (something we didn’t have to worry about with the old telephone).

  55. I think the bathtub would just complicate things, “Bridges of Madison County” to the contrary.
    We had those at my boarding school, original plumbing, and my daughter has them in her house, also original plumbing. Deep and hard to get in and out of.

    Anyone with first hand knowledge?

  56. Never open anything I don’t have to, even if I know names. Just delete. I need to spend a night getting rid of old emails and cleaning up. If the Geek Squad is still around I need a house call!

    Mark, see note above about those tubs. The two tubs on the beach seemed pretty ridiculous way to promote a drug for coupling.

  57. I know about Hueytown, but even there a chicken suited salesman would be a shock! As a florist I got asked to do a lot of weird things, one was a flower arrangement in a giant rubber chicken foot and another involved a rubber chicken. Had no idea what those were about.

    Florists are not easily surprised either but the time I made flower arrangements in two life sized plaster/painted kangaroos in their “pockets” to go on either side of a customer’s fireplace was a shock. Then she left on an extended trip, leaving them in the shop where we’d put them in window area for safety, causing great comment from other customers. Never was I so glad to see two animals leave my shop!

  58. All this cookie talk has me wondering when Girl Scout season opens. Love those little girls learning to hustle in front store entries, tasty cookies too. 😉

    Don’t knock Russian brides until you have had one. Loon has a sharp Russian tongue. I have the scars to prove it.

  59. I sincerely doubt you got Loon off an internet site. Where’d that emoticon come from?

    Girl Scout cookie sales have begun already, I got an email from granddaughter in Houston to sell me some on net. I told her mother (the cookie sales lady I am sure) I wanted to send mine to the troops overseas, an option, and I needed the form to do that.

    Have not been down to Walmart parking lot to see if the tables are up out there.

    On second thought, maybe you did but I doubt Loon was on the one my friend subscribed to!

    Love, Jackie

  60. Usually [tea or decaf, varies], 9 oz. tomato juice + rounded tsp. plain xxxsyl, and:

    M and F, sardines [water pack] on Ezekiel 4:9 toast.
    T, at hospital, ww bagel, farina + lots of raisins, fruit unless there’s only grapefruit sections [typically fresh pineapple, strawberries [giant], chunks of honeydew/cantaloupe]
    W, Th, S, S. Typically a bowl of hot cereal set up the night before: cup skim milk, 1/2 cup oat, wheat, barley, or rye flakes [or 7-grain mix] + oodles of red seedless grapes. In the morning, nuke on hi 2m22sec, then on 6 or 7 at 6:66. Let cool while doing other stuff. Since I’m alone, if I’m rushed, I have a Clif Bar + tea, make the cereal for lunch or supper.

    I’m not sure Harmony Foods Coop has grits. They’d work fine, with the grapes.

  61. OK, on the red seedless grapes you mix them with dry cereal, skim milk and nuke the entire thing?

    I have yet to find a Clif bar I like, although many boating friends swear by them. I however love Kind bars so much I end up eating them before I need “rescue” as a snack.

    I like the Biblical breads but can only get them at Whole Foods, maybe Sprouts and Reasors, a local upscale grocery here. To my knowledge we have no food coops here. I am envious.

    Love breads full of seeds and weird grains. Now I have to go see what’s in my bread drawer.

    Love, Jackie

  62. Thanks Mark. They are located on Utica where I go almost every time I am in Tulsa. I will go check them out and see about joining. Last time I did this I lived in Houston. I must have some degree of “old hippie” in me because I have always favored coops, natural foods and helping the environment. Plus, the sacks were fun, you’d never know what you’d get, especially if they were using local growers. Like a trip to the farm.

    All this thought about healthy food and I went and threw on a big pot of yellow split peas and leftover ham I’d cooked in an orange juice and jerk spice mix in slow cooker. Too salty for me but I think it will work great in the soup which has sweet potatoes in it, carrots, onions and fresh ginger root.

    My house is already so full of good for you food, I have no excuse!

    Love, Jackie

  63. I was in my office slightly after hours one day when two young, blond Russian women wandered in looking for an English class. Their limited English took me awhile to figure out, but I can assure you that I was in no hurry and I helped them search for the class until we discovered that it had been cancelled for that evening. I offered to be a substitute teacher, but for some reason they left.

  64. By the time I get up, I seek lunch: currently a sandwich of Swiss & hard salami with whatever condiment strikes me at the moment. Rye bread is preferred, the caraway seeds being just large enough not to be dangerous to/in my diverticula.

    Heard the chicken/road joke with an armadillo as the recipient of the knowledge. Does that come from living in Florida?

    In one of my smaller chemistry classes (only 15 persons), no fewer than 6 different nations were represented. Those originating in the US and Canada posed no problems, and I did know a few words of Russian, but the students from Cape Verde and Lithuania were more difficult to understand. I hoped they could understand me at least a little.

  65. Girl Scout (chirpily): “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”

    Wednesday Addams (deadpan): “Are they made from real Girl Scouts?”

    Last year, a 13-year-old California Girl Scout set up a table outside a marijuana dispensary (aka, pot shop) in San Francisco and reportedly sold 117 boxes of cookies in two hours. She and her family took some heat for that, but I predict a successful business career in marketing for her.

    Is Loon telling dirty jokes in Russian now?

  66. Basic translation on the Loon comment. Blonde Russian women are not dummies. The second is a more vailed reference to Putin style diplomacy; unclear whether Florida is under threat of annexation or invasion.

  67. Jackie: “OK, on the red seedless grapes you mix them with dry cereal, skim milk and nuke the entire thing?”

    I misled you with “rye flakes” and such. These are all comparable to uncooked oatmeal, which is sort of misnamed. They are all meant to be cooked as hot cereal. We/I just learned to nuke our hot cereal with skim milk rather than water. Worked fine. You do it in a two qt. oven-glass bowl. Wife used to eat half of that and heat the rest next morning. I eat the whole thing. As I’ve said here before, I do a qt. of skim a day. She averaged maybe 3 glasses a day. When orthopod put a bionic knee in her right leg [age 76 or so], he told me she had the bones of a 60 year-old.

    I’m told that, when they cremate someone, bionic joints are sent to some recycling service [for the materials, not for use in cut-rate surgery]. [I asked the undertaker.]

    Peace, emb

  68. Although I did put a little spin on it the incident did happen and I don’t regret trying to be nice to two people who needed help and were completely out of their element. For fear of Russians I refer you to the movie “The Russians are Coming”.

  69. @sandcastler™,

    The bike’s name is oddly enough “Fargone”(stitched in the seat and Symply Fargone will go on the scoop). The paint job is done by the guy helping me to design the bike. Jay at Stones Motorcycle in Northborough, MA. It is Symply stunning to my eye.

  70. Sitting here eating the golden split pea soup (put carrots in too late and they are still crisp) but rest was delicious. Will be better for even more cooking. I was right, the sweet pulled pork flavor of the ham was great. Realized this may be first food I have cooked in a month despite a full pantry and refrigerator. I will go defrost something out of freezer for meat and try again.

    Sitting around torturing myself listening to traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music, especially Brudda Iz, what a great voice! Died way too young of obesity issues, a problem with many native Hawaiians who while tall are extremely heavy. When I was in Weight Watchers there the women were often 6 feet or more easily but weighed immense amounts. They could not understand a little bitty Haole being there (trying to maintain of course) but it bothered them.

    Leaving Hawaii to return to the mainland was one of the stupidest things I ever did. It is called “Rock Fever” and I realized what a mistake really fast but couldn’t undo. Often wonder about roads not taken or taken.

    Sorry, nor very uplifting conversation except maybe the pea soup or if Mark could link a song by Israel like “Over the Rainbow/What A wonderful World” as he is uplifting!

    Love, Jackie

  71. John, let the cats lick ’em clean and save the trouble of washing. 😉 < emoto

    Breakfast for me: four shots of espresso and yogurt.
    ………………..Loon: bowl dry cereal and diet coke.

  72. sandcastler(tm) your breakfast reminds of a line from an Elton John song: “When are you going to come down? Where are you going to land?”.

  73. Breakfast every single day for me is 100% whole wheat raisin bread, two slices toasted, one with soft in a tub margarine. The other with almond butter — nothing but ground up almonds, you have to stir it and it has no salt. This is yummy! And two or three cups of coffee. That’s it on the coffee, no more the rest of the day.

  74. Mark, when I was a young teen in Venezuela we always had marimbas around to play with musicians, amateur or professional. Marimbas are like xylophone but more complex in sound and resonance. Lots of dance music, both Spanish and American, with strong beats. Look it up, they use them also with Trinidadian music, calypso, drum marching bands. I bet R and R is good on the marimba because I can remember bands playing rock music from the 50’s on them.

    Love, Jackie

  75. Ramen noodles, David? So you’re like an impoverished college student? 🙂 Actually they aren’t that bad if you gussy them up a bit.

    A Recipe from Ghost’s Kitchen

    Ramen Noodle Bowl

    1 lb boneless beef sirloin, cut into thin strips
    2 cups water
    1 package (3-oz) Oriental-flavor ramen noodle soup mix
    1 bag (1 lb) stir fry vegetables
    ¼ cup stir fry sauce

    1. Spray wok with cooking spray; heat to medium high heat. Cook beef in wok until brown. Remove beef from wok.

    2. In wok, heat water to boiling. Break block of noodles from soup mix into water; stir until slightly softened. Stir in vegetables; heat to boiling. Boil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender.

    3. Stir in contents of seasoning packet from soup mix, the stir fry sauce and beef. Cook 2 to 3 minutes stirring frequently, until hot. Serve in individual bowls.

  76. I’m sure sand knows this, and probably Jackie, too…pho, the Vietnamese rice noodle soup, is actually a breakfast dish. Now I’m hungry for some pho bo.

  77. Ghost, did you know you can now buy pho in packages like the ramen? The brand I have is called Snapdragon. I seem to have two flavors, mushroom Vietnamese pho and vegetable pho. Each bag makes one serving. I require bean sprouts, herbs, chopped peanuts, lettuce and cucumbers and carrots shredded as a minimum addition and it says nothing about this, nor the fish sauce to top it all with. The pickled vegetables and the crunchy fried stuff on top is pretty important too.

    Frankly I need to make a trip to Oklahoma City to get my ingredients and I have absolutely no reason to go there anymore. I guess I can give Tulsa’s Vietnamese market another shot but they are disappointing usually. OK, if I will drive to Florida to help a friend rescue cats, I guess I can drive to OKC for no other reason than to shop at the big oriental super market here which is amazing.

    I have no idea where I bought this pho as it was either just before Mike died or after and I have no recollection of purchasing them.

    Love, Jackie

  78. The ONLY reason I believe I miss Houston are the Vietnamese restaurants. It used to be Chinese but there really are no amazing Chinese restaurants in my opinion in Houston unless there is one someone can tell me about.

    My last trip to Fresno, California produced some of the most amazing Chinese=Vietnamese-Pacific Rim cuisine I have ever experienced. They did some upscale pho and bun as well that was ethereal.

    Heck, I just need to cook my own and quit being nostalgic.

  79. I am an idiot and tired. I described additions for bun, not pho although the bean sprouts and herbs and jalapenos would apply for the pho additions.

  80. The secret of good pho bo or pho ga is of course in the quality of the broth. And making good broth comes from more experience than I have. One day I’ll have enough time (and be brave enough) to try making my own.

  81. A short time ago, I think some of you were mentioning U. Andress in “The Blue Max” – and in a favorable manner. By coincidence, I saw the first 45 minutes of that film this morning before I retired at 4:30; unfortunately, U.A. didn’t appear….

  82. Good morning Villagers…

    Yes, GR 😉 , this whole Village is a ‘trip’. I kept thinking about Sigourney Weaver in that movie with Gene Hackman where she portrayed a Russian woman….funny movie. Right now I can’t think of the name. But someone here will.

    I vividly recall that line from Wednesday Adams…..classic line. Miss Raul Jual (?)

    Never have seen his movie “Kiss of the Spider Woman”….maybe someday.

    Emb…thank you so much for the info….it’s encouraged me. It’s only in my left eye, and yes, there is glare. My husband is on me to get an appointment…which I will today.

    We talked about the five senses here last night and asked if one had a choice, which one would you choose to loose…..taste for me.

    Mark and GR….thanks for the video links.

    Hey, what day is it, said the camel………………………

    ya’ll have a blessed ‘hump’ day.

    Loon…you should post more often…still think about your remark on the ‘toy’ drawer 🙂

  83. When the AFLAC Board of Directors meets, do you suppose they have Duck a l’Orange for dinner?

    And in the background of the Girl Scout scene in the movie, a new high (low?) in product placement…a billboard ad for Tombstone Pizza.

  84. @Debbe,

    A Symply out there article on how Hendrix covered Dylan’s Watchtower…..

    I also have some pics of hens in sweaters, if you are interested…my partner’s wife brought them to my attention at our last gig and I had her email 3 of them if you were interested…..not Fargone saying anyone should attempt to improve their fowl’s sartorial splendor, but if that is your fancy…….

  85. Thinking about pho last night and looking at the packaging, I noticed that star anise is prominently featured in photo. That is one of the tricky spices in the broth that gives it the pungency.

    Many years ago when we had moved here to Oklahoma and were having trouble finding Vietnamese food, good, bad or indifferent, I decided to learn to make my own, so I have cooked quite a bit of Vietnamese foods. Not necessarily instant ones either. The pho beef broth is a very slow process and very spicy. I had decided to make the one that used to be called Hanoi broth which is even spicier.

    Mike came home and entire house was permeated with this smell. He made me put the pot of broth out in back half of house to cool and then strain it. The pho itself with noodles was too pungent for him, he left on a three week sales trip, came home and house still smelled like pho.

    Reminded me of famous story of when gallon jug of kim chee exploded with a pressure change on a Hawaiian Airlines flight and entire cabin had to be stripped and replaced.

    Love, Jackie

  86. Symply all, there is nothing like a paint job that reflects your feet, face or body parts. So hard to achieve. I remember my comment when I saw the first photos of the little Scamp sailboat we helped popularize, the prototype, “My God, you can see your reflection in the paint!”

    No boat we ever built had those standards of paint but I know some bike painters who have done custom boat paint jobs and achieved it.

    Love, Jackie

  87. I had to laugh at one of the ads I am being targeted with now, a brand of underwear for men which I assume is for boaters to dry fast on your body, called Mackieweldon, if I got it right.
    Anyone here wear such a brand? I need to click on it and see what it offers, comfort I’d assume.

  88. I just saw that “Poldark” is being remade, but cannot imagine anyone more attractive in the role of Ross Poldark than Robin Ellis was. Sigh. My teenaged self fell head over heels in lust with him.

  89. Just backed up to look for underwear ad and there was a topless ripped senior biker on a bike I am sure we’d all love advertising a health supplement called Synegenics or some such. They are not missing a beat tracking us, I’d just drooled at Symply’s bike parts.

  90. OF is free of fog, but still has Tuesday’s last prediction posted. I’ve not read the latest posts above, but thought you should know that the magazine Politico ranks MN & NH as tied for #1 as best in the nation. Their ranks are based on 10 factors; weather is not one of them. Neither is quality of home cooking, or # of Tabasco[r] bottles used / household / year. Details at:

    Peace, emb

  91. Dear eMb, I liked the article a lot, about the ranking of the States. Nice to live in one of the best, for both of us! Thanks for putting it out here.

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