Back after This…

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"
Obesity has become a real problem in this country; we all know that. I’ve heard a lot of theories about why that is. Some of them make sense, but I have my own theory that I haven’t heard voiced elsewhere. I believe people began getting fatter in direct proportion to the length of commercial breaks on television. Think about it! We all have to do something to fill the one-third of airtime that is now devoted to advertisements. Makes sense to me.

I didn’t say anything about the passing of Robin Williams yesterday, because it was news to me when I was updating this page. I just didn’t know much. Plus, I knew there’d be a lot said by others, and I was right. There was a third reason, maybe. I didn’t want to make any comment that might be construed as negative at such a time. That comment would have been: I have always thought Robin Williams was best as a dramatic actor. Of course, that isn’t a negative thing to say, but with so many emphasizing his original and frenetic approach to comedy, I just didn’t see going into it. Also, let us remember Betty Bacall, who left us yesterday.

334 responses to “Back after This…”

  1. Wow, completely missed yesterday’s post. That’ll teach me to not check back here at least once in the afternoon! 😉 Rocking out now to Ina Gadda Da Vida, thanks to Nodak Wayne.

    On the subject of Robin Williams movies, Richard Matheson wrote both the novel and the screenplay for What Dreams May Come. He also wrote the novel and script for I am Legend/Omega Man as well as a number of scripts for The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone. He was a truly great writer.

    And for Bogie and Bacall,

    When I started typing this I would have been the first to comment, but there have been several interruptions. I wonder where I’ll be now?

  2. I agree with you, Jimmy. Robin Williams could be hysterically funny, but his manic humor could be a bit much at times. He really shined at drama. My favorite Robin Williams drama that hasn’t gotten much attention is “The Fisher King” (1990), an off-beat movie by Terry Gilliam and starring Jeff Bridges. Williams was also creepy as the villain in “Insomnia” (2002) by Christopher Nolan (“Batman”) and starring Al Pacino.

    Regarding “The Fisher King,” I agree. I wanted to mention that. Truly great dramatic acting plus a generous dash of Williams’ comedy. And for the record, I did not use the words “a bit much.” That’s why I hesitated to bring the whole thing up. But it’s fun to talk about! — JJ

  3. Hi Debbe, just taking a break and lurking/reading again. I found I was beginning to get nightmares and depression again from thinking about things I also try to forget. Topics were causing this. I felt guilty too, for caring too much I think.

    That and fact I am sole publicist for a couple of boating events I need to promote, get donations for, coordinate totally on one, I am behind about 50 letters and three magazine articles due and a email blast to 7000 boaters unwritten!

    Sorry about the chickens. I told you, I skipped poultry production in college because I knew I could not do that. I’d switch to tofu but no one else in family will.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  4. c x-p: Went back to your msg. above, put cursor at the left edge of the first word in your second paragraph, and held the cursor key down with left finger while dragging the cursor to the end of the paragraph with right finger. That ‘shaded’ what I wanted to copy. Released the cursor key, did ‘ctrl c’, came here, typed this paragraph, hit ‘enter’ to get it on a new line, then did ‘ctrl v’. Thus:

    “Cut and paste”, eh? Sounds like something I once knew how to do. Never having been proficient at anything electronic, I suppose I lost that soon after learning it. Not often having any need would have been a contributing factor.

    This is probably the only thing I knew about word processing that you didn’t. Now you are caught up.
    In fact, I just made the same mistake you had, posting this at the end of yesterday’s posts. So I just went through the same copy and paste procedure. As usual, the cptr. does what you tell it to do, not what you want it to do. Freud might claim I really wanted to hide it, but ‘he’s often wrong’. [A line from Major Hoople, or at least that era.]

  5. I usually preferred Mr. Williams in his dramatic roles. My favorite is probably the Bicentennial Man. Most people dismiss the movie and ridicule it but it is one of those movies that may speak to you on a spiritual level without you being aware of it until you start thinking about it later.

  6. Galliglo: Yep. “Shanesville”, to be exact. For about 45 years, it has been part of neighboring Sugarcreek. Wife’s ancestral home can be seen via Google maps lying less than a mile E of the one intersection (39 & 93) where the main road splits. The house is to the S of that road a few yards E of that fork in the road. Her greatgreatgrandfather built it in the 1830s and it has been passed on down – always to daughters, so the name changed each generation – to my late mother-in-law. After both of my inlaws died, neither daughter could live there because of other commitments, so the place was sold to a cousin of those daughters (one of whom is my MBH), so it is still in the family. That cousin had the means and ability to do some refurbishing and has improved the place while still farming the associated 9 or 10 acres.

    BTW, it will be surprising to most, but only about 2 miles S lies, of all things, a full-fledged railroad roundhouse! Use Google maps and enter “roundhouse” and “Sugarcreek” to see it. It’s in the middle of several farms, there being nothing industrial around for miles! Wife just turned 75 and had never known of its existence before recent weeks!

  7. Whew, finally got to get back online after a really frantic morning. Wow, JJ actually posted!

    The only dramatic role I liked Robin Williams in was “Good Will Hunting,” but I have never see most of the movies y’all cite, like “Bicentennial Man”. I tried to watch both “What Dreams May Come” and “The Fisher King,” but I couldn’t get into them.

    As for obesity, who needs it? I am on track with my free weights and I did 8.5 miles this morning and actually didn’t have to rehydrate myself back to 103 lbs. Hail, Fall!

  8. I feel Bicentennial Man was greatly underrated, much to think about and great acting. Notice no one has mentioned the two great fun films, Hook, and Jumanji. Nothing super outstanding, but a lot of fun, again with a message buried in both.
    For veterans dealing with obesity try getting into the VA Move program, better than any fad diet, and concentrates on actual lifestyle changes that really work. Been doing it for several months now. Losing and getting healthier.

  9. Jackie, I’m very sorry if any comments I made have in any way contributed to the return of any of your nightmares. I’ll not broach the subject again.

    And I have to agree, Southern Fried Tofu just wouldn’t cut it. And trying to serve Slow-Cooker Tofu Brisket to my all-female staff for lunch today would probably be a good way for me to get neutered. 🙂

  10. Jimmy-
    The only trouble with your theory of obesity it doesn’t explain my uber-gut. I tend to ignore TV.

    I have to agree that Williams was a great dramatic actor, especially in the roles where he could throw in some of his comedy. I’ve always liked Dead Poet Society and Patch Adams. Maybe not his most dramatic roles (can you get much more dramatic than One-Hour Photo?) but they allowed him to mix his talents.

  11. I’ve not been much of a movie viewer in recent years, so I have not seen any of Robins Williams’ “serious” dramatic roles. But one I did see, and will never forget, was a 1994 guest appearance in an episode of “Homicide: Life on the Street”. His role as the husband of a tourist whose wife was the victim of a fatal robbery-gone-wrong was a high-point of what I always considered an excellent TV drama.

    I cannot imagine anyone giving a more accurate or more moving betrayal of a man attempting to deal with the sudden and senseless death of a loved one. Even then, I could not help but wonder if the sadness and sense of loss (and the struggle to hold his life together for the sake of his children) he projected did not come from deep inside himself. Now, I have no doubt that it did.

  12. @Debbe,

    Spectacular, Symply four such nice young women my son Michael had for children. July vacation was special. Thanks for asking…

    For those interested the concert business has been a lot of Fargone fun, but as far as profit the only ones getting rich are not us. Might have to build our own venue I do not know, for now we are expanding into dinner venues, smaller and more intimate, but with less overhead, risk and substantially lesser known folks.

    Yes “The Fisherking” is my favorite of his movies and his golf monologue is the finest piece of golf(or Scottish) humor I have ever heard! See for yourself(caveat emptor: there is obscenity)

  13. For most people, poor food choices + insufficient exercise = weight gain and/or obesity.

    For almost all of those people, better food choices + increased exercise = weight loss.

    Even though I speak from first-hand experience of both of those scenarios, Jimmy is probably right, though…it’s those danged TV commercials. I hate ’em and personally blame them for global climate change as well.

    Munchkin, you’re probably aware than the generally accepted healthy weight range for a five foot two inch tall female with a small frame is 108 to 121 pounds. Since there can be some health risks related to being underweight, you should probably have an extra slice of bruschetta or such every once in a while, particularly if you’re going to keep running like a Navy SEAL. 🙂

    ::End of avuncular lecture::

  14. I am sure everyone gets immune to Mother Nature, but the Detroit Metro area and the cities around Royal Oak got hammered with 3.5″ to 6″ of rain. Considering that many of the freeways are underground and there are many viaducts under RR tracks and it was a disaster.

    I got within 2 blocks of home when I realized that I could not get under the RR tracks. We got 1.5″ in 30 minutes so the sewers could were severely overloaded. I waited patiently for 2 hours or so, when I talked with my so about a potential route home that would bypass the viaducts. I was never so happy to be home!

    The next morning I got up at 5:00 in order to be at the airport for an 8:30 AM flight. Between the radio and the traffic feature on my phone, I was able to find a way there and made my flight. I was disappointed not see much coverage of a potentially tragic situation, but understand that famous people committing suicide interests more people. A lot of people IN THE Detroit area lost cars and personal property, but only 2 deaths. So, today is a day to embrace Life!

  15. Steve: Not to belittle the Detroit area’s troubles, but in addition to celebrity suicides there is rioting in Missouri and war in central Asia and the Middle East. I suspect that the news outlets are relatively overwhelmed.

  16. I think I might know “how dressed”, Munchkin. 😉 Good to know she’s looking out for you in that regard, too.

    Someone somewhere apparently left their dog in their vehicle recently while running an errand, with a sign taped to the window reading…

    Please Do NOT Break Window!!!

    1) Car is running
    2) A/C is on high
    3) Dog is listening to Creedence (She hates the ****ing Eagles!)

    Back in a flash!


    Real cute, “Dude”. I wonder if the carjacker that does break your window will get a laugh out of it as he drives off and tosses your small terrier-type dog out the window into traffic. The lesson is still “Don’t leave your dog unattended in your car!”

    [Not applicable to everyone, such as Lily, who has a convertible and a dog that no one is likely to be able to get into the car with or to toss anywhere.]

  17. Wish I did know the boating/cruising couple. Sound fantastically resourceful. I have been all day writing and asking for product donations to publishers, magazines, authors, artists, boat companies, sail makers, chandlery’s and just about anyone I can think of. When you put on an event like this that is free to attend, you have to beg, we can’t afford trophies nor would want to. We are the antithesis of trophies!

    Got some great emails today, starting out with a reader in England who wished he could come and take part in our nonsensical educational efforts, mailed me a used book and a Duck dog toy for my Nautical Flea Market. I was so touched. Heard from my world famous explorer friend from Micronesia who said he thought he’d stop by with his top secret expedition boat enroute to ship it. We think he is going to the South Pole? He won’t say. Both touched me in the same way.

    And lots of in-between letters, one of my editors said to forget about “good manners” and ask everyone, we were talking about a cancer fundraiser, not a social event.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  18. I know how you feel, Jackie, I am helping with our yearly Church fundraiser auction to be held this October and I am going around to all the stores around these parts in my cutest clothes and my most winsome smile to talk them into donating stuff. So far my biggest scores have been to get a printer to donate a years worth of stationary and a motorcycle shop to donate a set of leathers. The Man In My Life is thinking about donating a catered dinner for twelve (which of course I am to help him with) and I am working on the local Ford dealership to donate full detailing (wash, wax, vacuum, etc.) They are waiting for the Big Boss to make a decision. It certainly is a vexation of spirit, but it is for a worthwhile cause.

  19. Hope you get a big bid on the catered dinner. We used to do that for our little Episcopal church. Mike and I sold one of our catered dinners (not fancy French like everyone expected) but a chili dinner for $1000 back in the 80’s. For 12 people but helped with building fund, so doctor who won could call it a charitable donation. Recipe begins “First you take the hindquarter of a deer and skin it…….” Actually it was “Chop it fine”, venison stew. We used to cook a lot for charity actually, it is something that people will bid high usually and fun.

    Tip,( if you are not already doing it this way), you are organized. Write up a brief statement of event, what it benefits, how it works, what you would appreciate in donations. Leave a copy when the clerk/employee says owner isn’t there and say you’ll call for an appointment or to verify the donation. Get owners business card and call! When you have that donation given by them, give them a receipt for it then, not later.

    For gift certificates, which is hard to turn down as a business since you are saying you will send them a customer, have blank ones typed up where you then fill in name of business, amount, limits and have authorizing name signed. It saves a lot of returns to the shop/business to pick one up, which they never have ready.

    Good luck, Jackie

  20. Don’t worry, Jackie, I am just a little worker-bee. The woman that is in charge of the event has all that stuff covered. We have already have had a crisis about a bed-and-breakfast that donated a gift certificate for a free day and the people that bought it last year didn’t use it. Of course, we got our money but the B&B didn’t get their paying guest. So she had a brainstorm and got them to donate a half-price weekend, which the buyer would have to pay the whole price and we would give the B&B their cut. I am learning g a lot!
    Weirdly, the local lawn supply store donated a used tiller. I have no idea what we are going to do with that

  21. Ladies, if a set of 12 blank cards/envelopes would be helpful for your fundraisers, I’d be glad to send them your way. (3×5-ish size cards in a clear plastic box) Granted, I may not have any designs that you’re interested in, but the offer is there. Hmm, come to think of it, probably the only ‘water’ ones at the moment involve a brown pelican (he was on the Jetties off Port Canaveral, FL) and the Ponce de Leon lighthouse. Lots of other flowers and birds though. Not a match for a set of leathers, but let me know if it would help. 🙂

  22. Thanks, Llee, we are all set. Our church has been in business for a long time and we have boxes of cards printed with our information and a drawing of the church building. Right before we worker bees go out they give us a package of printed materials to hand out wherever and whenever

  23. Jackie, I have heard of authors auctioning off a character in a novel, etc., to the winning bidder. Perhaps that will stir an idea for you. Maybe you should contact the company that makes the tape with the duck mascot. I’m sure lots of boaters use tape for various things. Have a contest for the most creative uses for the tape.

  24. Lady Mindy, I saw your post at the end of yesterday’s blog about your trip to the vet with two kitties. No, you get a pass on that, as a momentary absence, with the AC on and while still in sight of your car, does not qualify as “unattended”.

    BTW, “Cats in a Car” might be a worthy sequel to “Snakes on a Plane.” Of course, by the time Samuel L. Jackson finished swearing at everything in sight, the kitties would probably be really upset.

    Found that tall-tale movie yet?

  25. Did I mention that I flunked kindergarten because I couldn’t cut and paste? I’ll slip in a serious note. I had a new cancer scare, but apparently I’m ok. I’m glad I’m not the only one who stopped to reflect on the publicity of one death compared to other events in the world, but, although I never met Robin Williams, I’m probably not the only one who feels like I lost a family member. That’s a tribute to the heart that he put into his roles. I too am horrified at the thousands to people dying with ebola, being blown up, starving or worse. The sad fact is that I know none of their names and, terrible as it is, it’s not the same kind of personal loss. Anyway, that’s my attempt at an explanation. I will be out of town tomorrow, but brace yourselves for a discussion of depression, et al. In the mean, talk amongst yourselves.

  26. Good morning Villagers….

    There”s something quite solemn when entering a hen house that is only half full. Even the ones that were due out last night were quiet. Starting cleaning, when I got home at 7:30 pm, I had so much dust on me I looked like Pigpen. Need more dust masks. But I slept like a baby.

    Jackie…didn’t you say you decorated a room in all white?

    As Mr. Williams’ movie, I mentioned “The Fisher King”, but does anyone remember the movie “Birdcage”?

    Jerry, glad to hear that it was just a scare….but glad to know you are on the alert.

    gotta go….

    GR 😉 know how to whistle” 🙂

  27. I have my own theory about obesity, other than my own, that is: It’s our televisions. They’re maladjusted. Since we can’t stand unfilled screen, they’re set so that faces and bodies are wide. All the beautiful people we see on the screen are wide. We’re simply trying to live up to our new model of beautiful.
    And since I have been an occasional editorial writer in Steve’s waterlogged home town, I once expressed this view in a tongue-in-cheek piece. I didn’t bother to read the comments.

  28. Dunno, SF, I am allergic to the NYT.

    Good morning, all. And a fine morning it is. I swear I could smell Fall in the air this morning. I know we’re gonna have some hot ones before it gets here, but it’s coming.

  29. I started to not care anymore when I realized that depending on who you ask, there is either an epidemic of obese children or an epidemic of hungry children. That’s about when you realize that people with pet causes usually make it sound worse than it is.

  30. Llee, thank you so much! All donations, large and small, are a help. As my editor said, “This is cancer we’re working against”, so every thing helps. I think either the pelican or the lighthouse would be wonderful. Put a business card in and a link to your website so people can contact you. We also publish lists of our sponsors/donors and you become one forever!

    My email is and I do read all my mail. Right now I am back to begging boat designers to donate sets of boat plans or books or DVDs, that sort of thing. Interestingly, our boat designers who come love to take part in our sailing and boating games and win prizes and they keep what they win! Isn’t that sweet?

    Who wouldn’t have fun doing a Pirate Poker Run Race while being bombarded by water balloons, water cannons and fake smoke from black powder cannons and guns from shore? No ramming or boarding is allowed, however. Nor potato guns but marshmallows can be used as attack weapons.

    Sailors use tape from old cd’s or movies as “tell tales/tails” to see direction of wind. Thus endeth my knowledge of use?

    Love, Jackie Monies

  31. Jackie: In my (minimal) exposure to boats, when we were in the Caribbean when I was 14 and went on a day sail on a fairly big boat (32′?). All I remember was them telling me to take off my TopSiders when I got on board, going ashore to a bar and skanky girls coming up to us want in to be “cooks”, and getting into a race on the way back with two other boats so similar that I couldn’t tell them apart. Don’t even remember whether we won or lost. Nobody fired anything at us but insults.

  32. Symply read about 1/2 of the NYT article and realized I won’t have time to finish it before my physical therapy appointment. I will read, reflect, and reply later. The information on the “Eastern” coyote hybridization is a good hook.

  33. Lily and others, Sail OK is the antithesis of fake cruise races and yacht club wannabees. Most of our guys are the real deal. But we do not take ourselves seriously except in the educational programs where we teach for free. We do have some beautiful hand built boats that come and have been featured in serious sailing magazines but we put at least one child and one dog on the Judges Committee and have strange categories like “Looks Most Like A Pirate Boat”, No one has to take off their shoes to board boats, if they happen to be wearing them.

    What you went on was probably the extra cost land trip they do on most of the Caribbean ship cruises, they use old retired 12 meter racing yachts for these and put the cruise passengers to “helping” sail them with a fake race to show how it is done.

    A lot of our boats are Lilliputian like you but have “big adventures”.

    Love, Jackie

  34. I think the epidemic of obesity stems largely from the increased availability of inexpensive, easy-to-prepare foods which are typically high-glycemic and loaded with sodium. High-fiber, nutrition-rich foods don’t cost much more money (and are sometimes cheaper) but require more time and effort to prepare. Then throw in the reduced physical activity of people as they begin to bulk up, and then the problem compounds itself.

  35. Jackie: Nope, we were staying at Caneel Bay, the resort on St. John. The day sail was my dad’s idea, he is kind of like me in being unable to sit still long.

    emb: 😛 :p Not clicking on a NYT link. I hate clicking on links, anyway

  36. Your dad and adopted family seem to have good taste it would seem in common.

    Sorry, I assumed a cruise ship side trip. I actually don’t like cruises aboard big ocean liners but the more disabled I get, the more likely that is for vacations except I always refuse to go on side trips and stay aboard doing nothing.

    Love, Jackie

  37. Jackie: Yeah, my dad and The Man In My Life get along great. My dad is always calling them to check up on me, see how I am doing. Unlike my mother, who just wants to talk to me, heaven knows why, since I hate to talk on the phone and she knows it.

  38. @David in Austin,

    Look forward to your thoughts

    @emb and Lilyblack….does this help?

    Should You Fear the Pizzly Bear?

    In New England today, trees cover more land than they have at any time since the colonial era. Roughly 80 percent of the region is now forested, compared with just 30 percent in the late 19th century. Moose and turkey again roam the backwoods. Beavers, long ago driven from the area by trappers seeking pelts, once more dam streams. White-tailed deer are so numerous that they are often considered pests. And an unlikely predator has crept back into the woods, too: what some have called the coywolf. It is both old and new — roughly one-quarter wolf and two-thirds coyote, with the rest being dog.

    The animal comes from an area above the Great Lakes, where wolves and coyotes live — and sometimes breed — together. At one end of this canid continuum, there are wolves with coyote genes in their makeup; at the other, there are coyotes with wolf genes. Another source of genetic ingredients comes from farther north, where the gray wolf, a migrant species originally from Eurasia, resides. “We call it canis soup,” says Bradley White, a scientist at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, referring to the wolf-coyote hybrid population.

    Substitute any disturbance for El Niño, including those linked to human activity, and we have a way to think about other hybrids, like the coywolves or grolar bears or, in fact, ourselves.

    The creation story White and his colleagues have pieced together begins during European colonization, when the Eastern wolf was hunted and poisoned out of existence in its native Northeast. A remnant population — “loyalists” is how White refers to them — migrated to Canada. At the same time, coyotes, native to the Great Plains, began pushing eastward and mated with the refugee wolves. Their descendants in turn bred with coyotes and dogs. The result has been a creature with enough strength to hunt the abundant woodland deer, which it followed into the recovering Eastern forests. Coywolves, or Eastern coyotes, as White prefers to call them, have since pushed south to Virginia and east to Newfoundland. The Eastern coyote is a study in the balancing act required to survive as a medium-size predator in a landscape full of people. It can be as much as 40 percent larger than the Western coyote, with powerful wolflike jaws; it has also inherited the wolf’s more social nature, which allows for pack hunting. (In 2009, a pack of Eastern coyotes attacked and killed a 19-year-old Canadian folk singer named Taylor Mitchell in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.) But it shares with coyotes, some 2,000 of which live within Chicago’s city limits, a remarkable ability to thrive in humanized landscapes.

    “We’re kind of privileged in the last 100 years to watch the birth of this entity,” White told me, “and now the evolution of this entity across this North American landscape that we’ve modified.” Evolutionarily speaking, coyotes diverged from gray wolves one million to two million years ago, and dogs from wolves roughly 15,000 years ago. Yet over the past century, as agriculture moved to the Midwest and California, farmland in the East reverted to woodlands. The rise of fossil fuels reduced the demand for firewood. Forests spread, and deer and other prey proliferated, while human intolerance for wolves kept a potential competitor at bay.

    Thus did humans inadvertently create an ecological niche for a predator in one of the most densely populated regions of the country. In an exceedingly brief period, coyote, wolf and dog genes have been remixed into something new: a predator adapted to a landscape teeming with both prey and another apex predator, us. And this mongrel continues to evolve. Javier Monzon, an evolutionary biologist at Stony Brook University, has found that Eastern coyotes living in areas with the highest densities of deer also carry the greatest number of wolf genes. Another scholar of the Eastern coyote — Roland Kays, a zoologist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh — estimates that the Eastern coyote’s hybrid ancestry has allowed it to expand its range five times as fast as nonhybrid coyotes could have. In the urbanized Northeast, of all places, an abundance of large prey seems to have promoted a predator whose exceptional adaptability has derived, in large part, from the hodgepodge nature of its genome.

    In the mid-20th century, the influential evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr argued that species arise only when individuals become isolated somehow from others of their kind. Since then, the prevailing wisdom among evolutionary biologists has been that interbreeding — the creation of hybrid offspring — is a potentially lineage-ending mistake. Sterility is one known potential outcome. A male donkey that mates with a mare produces a sterile mule, an evolutionary dud. Subspecies of the house mouse have diverged to such an extent that when they mix, they often beget sterile males. Fertile hybrid offspring, meanwhile, may face the problem of maladaption: Because the parent species have usually evolved to exploit different habitats, intermediate hybrids ought to be ill suited to the environs of both parents. Related species are often geographically separate, which prevents intermixing; sister species that share habitats frequently evolve different markings, calls and behaviors through which they distinguish their own kind and avoid crossbreeding.

    The emergence of the Eastern coyote, however, shows how human activity can break down the barriers that separate species. Perhaps the most obvious way in which humanity is altering the natural world is through climate change. The Arctic, where its effects are especially evident, is warming between two and four times as fast as the rest of the planet. Spring thaws now arrive weeks earlier; winter freezes come weeks later. Shrubs are invading once-barren tundra. Animals at high latitudes — where related species tend to have diverged more recently and can therefore interbreed more easily — are shifting their ranges in response to rising temperatures and melting sea ice. As they do, they may encounter cousins and hybridize.

    In Maine, Minnesota and New Brunswick, Canadian lynx have lately produced cubs with the more southerly bobcat. A Southern flying squirrel has pushed north into southern Ontario and begun mating with its larger, boreal cousin. The best-known examples of this process are the polar bear-grizzly hybrids, sometimes referred to as grolar or pizzly bears, four of which have been shot by hunters in recent years; genetic testing indicated that one of them was a second-generation animal. There have been several other sightings of bears suspected of being hybrids, and this spring a mother thought to be one, accompanied by grizzly-looking cubs, was captured (tests are pending). Better management of grizzly hunting may have also contributed to this mixing by enabling males to advance into polar-bear country. “A warming Arctic is not a bad thing for grizzly bears,” says Andrew Derocher, a biologist at the University of Alberta.

    We might regard these developments as unintended consequences of intensifying human activity on the planet. Yet in the past decade or so, scientists have discovered that the genomes of many species — far more than previously thought — contain what seem to be snippets of DNA from other species, suggesting they were shaped not only through divergent evolution but also by occasional hybridization. The small warm- and temperate-water clymene dolphin apparently evolved out of a hybrid mix of two other Atlantic dolphins. A bat native to the Lesser Antilles seems to come from three species — one in Central America, one in South America and one that’s extinct. Even most people carry a small quantity of DNA from archaic humans like Neanderthals; in other words, our species, Homo sapiens, has also been influenced by hybridization.

    Polar bears and grizzlies appear to have hybridized before. Descendants from past intermixing live off the southeastern coast of Alaska, on the Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof Islands. The ABC bears, as they’re called, look outwardly like brown bears, but their mitochondrial DNA comes from polar bears, as does a portion of their X-chromosome. No one agrees when exactly the ancestors of these bears — one an omnivore, the other a carnivore that specializes in eating seals — bred. But it seems to have happened only occasionally, which suggests to some that natural climatic fluctuations, in the form of advancing and retreating glaciers, pushed the bears together, encouraging intermixture.

    The widespread evidence of intermixing has spurred a reassessment of the notion that hybrids are born failures. In its place a more nuanced view has taken hold: While hybridization can certainly be destructive, it may also expedite adaptation. New creatures may emerge seemingly overnight from cross-species mating. “Long after speciation, even nonsister species can actually exchange genes, some of which are useful,” James Mallet, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard, told me.

    Indeed, today’s hybrids may signify more than just the erosion of biodiversity. They may signal a kind of resilience in the face of sudden environmental change.

    In 1973, two biologists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, began studying four species of finches on Daphne Major, a volcanic island in the Galápagos. Each species had a different beak size, which determined how well it could eat seeds of various sizes. The finches recognized their own kind through song, but some individuals learned the incorrect song, either because they lived close to another species or because they ended up in the wrong nest when young. Every year, some of these individuals ended up mating outside their species, producing a small number of hybrids. These hybrids failed to survive long enough to mate.

    Then in the early 1980s the ecology of the island shifted, following an extreme El Niño that brought torrential rain. Hybrid offspring from a large-beaked finch (Geospiza fortis) and a finch with a more pointed beak (Geospiza scandens) flourished and bred with both parental species. Over the years that followed, the genetic exchange pulled the mean beak size of the two parental species — which remained distinct — closer together.

    At the time, scientists thought that because genetic diversity came from spontaneous mutations and because useful variants arose only after thousands of generations, evolution had to proceed slowly. But as the Grants watched the finches’ beaks change over a few generations, they realized that the process of hybridization could speed up evolution. The birds were exchanging genetic traits that had been, in effect, already field-tested.

    Nearly a decade ago, after a drought, the Grants began to see speciation in real time. The population of a finch called Geospizamagnirostris crashed, and a single remaining pair of descendants from a hybrid that came from nearby Santa Cruz Island years earlier were at last able to multiply. “They had more eco-space, if you like,” Peter Grant told me by email. “They and their offspring prospered.”

    The Grants, who tell these stories in their new book, “40 Years of Evolution,” saw hybridization help species adjust to new conditions. Before the extreme El Niño modified the island’s ecology, hybrids there did not live long enough to reproduce. But afterward they thrived and became important conduits of genetic exchange for their parental species, accelerating their adaptation. The ecological context determined whether the hybrids succeeded or failed.

    Substitute any disturbance for El Niño, including those linked to human activity, and we have a way to think about other hybrids, like the coywolves or grolar bears or, in fact, ourselves. Some argue that Homo sapiens left Africa when its northern deserts were passable — that is, at a moment when the climate changed. We bumped into long-lost relatives in Eurasia, the equivalent of today’s polar bears in the grolar bears’ story, and mated.

    We may, in turn, have adapted to Eurasian conditions by borrowing genes from these “locals.” Everyone except sub-Saharan Africans carry a small quantity of Neanderthal DNA that includes traits possibly important for survival in Eurasian environments — immune-system and skin-pigmentation genes, among others. And our current genome warehouses DNA from archaic humans that have otherwise disappeared. A recent study estimated that, in the same way that coywolves can be said to store wolf DNA that might have otherwise vanished from the Northeast, one-fifth of the Neanderthal genome endures, dispersed throughout humanity.

    Recent genetic analysis has highlighted, to a degree that is impossible to ignore, the fact that the barriers between species have never been impermeable. As Brendan Kelly, the chief scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, told me: “The dirty secret of biology is that the fundamental unit of science — i.e., species — in fact can’t be adequately defined.” Clearly, there are powerful forces that drive life-forms to differentiate, to speciate. If not, sameness would prevail on earth. But just as clearly, evolutionary pressures push not only toward fission, as Peter and Rosemary Grant put it, but also sometimes toward fusion.

    That realization is more than one of scientific clarity; it goes to the heart of conservation efforts, offering new ways to think about what we’re trying to conserve. If two or more once-distinct species completely collapse into a hybrid swarm, that’s a net loss, an outcome to be avoided. But as with the Eastern coyote, hybrids can also yield a net gain. Or as happened among the Galápagos finches, hybrids can facilitate genetic exchange and help parental species adapt to challenges.

    Conservationists have long sought to preserve the genetic diversity of animals, in order to avoid inbreeding as well as to maintain the capacity for future adaptation. New, though, is the recognition that some potential genetic diversity may exist in close relatives, in genomes once considered inaccessible. Indeed, the Grants speculate that families of closely related species like the Galápagos finches, which can adapt rapidly by interbreeding, may endure better than lone species.

    Several scientists told me that, in some cases, conservation efforts might include families of species and subspecies across a diverse landscape, mongrels included. The “canis soup” in Canada may deserve to be considered as more than just a sideshow, but also as a fount of innovation that helps the greater family adapt, even if it’s adapting to us.

    Last fall, I visited the home of one hybrid swarm, the sort that scientists worry about. Enos Lake is small, just over 43 acres, or 40 percent the size of the reservoir in Central Park, nestled in the fir-covered hills of Vancouver Island. Two stickleback fishes once lived there — one pencil-thin and adapted to open water, the other thicker and suited to water near the shore. In the 1990s, however, the two species, which had probably been distinct for thousands of years, mysteriously converged. A single hybrid population now prevails. When scientists warn of the danger posed by hybridization, this is what they mean: speciation in reverse, the loss of biodiversity.

    The day of my visit, Eric Taylor, a zoologist at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, who first described the stickleback collapse, was collecting fish to document the extent of the swarm. We paddled out in a red canoe to retrieve traps he baited with cheddar cheese the night before. “Holy smackin’ dipsticks!” he said when we pulled up traps full of fingerling sticklebacks. But when we drew in traps that were mostly crayfish, he said, “If you fall in unconscious, they’d pick you clean in an hour.”

    These small crustaceans are presumed to have triggered the stickleback collapse. They’re native to the coastal mainland but probably not Vancouver Island; humans most likely carried them there. They devoured much of the vegetation in Enos Lake, turning its bottom into bare, boot-sucking mud. What had been two stickleback species became one.

    A few years ago, one of Taylor’s graduate students tested a possible explanation for what happened. In order to attract females, male sticklebacks build nests from plant material on the lake bottom. Using fish from a pair of species native to a lake nearby, Taylor’s student tested how the presence of crayfish interfered with this ritual. Males that lived away from the shore, he found, became anxious in the presence of crayfish. Their nest-building suffered. The females wandered off and mated with the less-troubled species closer to shore. Anxiety, it seemed, could break down the barrier between sister species that live alongside one another.

    Scientists have observed versions of this phenomenon — called flexible mate choice — in other animals. The Central American tungara frog, which selects mates based on croaks, is more likely to choose one from a different species when it also hears the cries of a predator frog. During extreme weather, females of various monogamous bird species tend to cheat more. For two spadefoot toad species whose ranges overlap in the American Southwest, the water levels in seasonal ponds affect their mating habits. In experiments, hybridization begins when the water runs low.

    One lesson of hybridization might be anthropomorphized thus: When times are tough, it’s better to mate with someone — even the wrong one — than with no one at all.

    “This is a behavior that breaks all the rules of evolution,” says Karin Pfennig, a biologist at the University of North Carolina who studies the spadefoots. Yet it evinces a kind of pragmatism when it comes to reproduction, which might be anthropomorphized thus: When times are tough, it’s better to mate with someone — even the wrong one — than with no one at all.

    Humans are increasing the stresses on wildlife in myriad ways. Oil spills and agricultural runoff, each linked to fish hybridization, are not uncommon. Hunting and habitat alteration, of the sort that spurred coyote and wolf to mate in Canada, abound. Then, of course, there’s climate change. The list goes on, which leads to the following conclusion: One way we affect animals is by inadvertently enlarging their circles of sexual consideration, to the point that it even includes other species.

    Along the eastern coast of Australia, where a warm ocean current has expanded southward in recent years, scientists have found shark hybrids, first- and second-generation offspring from an Australian blacktip species adapted to tropical waters and a wider-ranging blacktip. Offspring from the Antarctic blue whale, the largest animal ever, and its smaller, warmer-water pygmy cousin recently showed up in Antarctic waters south of Africa.

    Stranger still has been the appearance of first- and second-generation hybrid offspring from Antarctic minke whales and minke whales in the North Atlantic. The two whales’ feeding ranges lie thousands of miles apart, near the top and bottom of the globe. The northern minke whale diverged from the southern minke some five million years ago — roughly when what became the human lineage diverged from that of chimpanzees. But southern minke whales were found to be crossing the Equator in the late 1990s.

    It’s possible, of course, that this sort of interbreeding has always occurred and that we’re detecting it only now because we possess the tools to do so. But newly minted hybrids may also be a sign of warming temperatures, overfishing, whaling, shifts in the food web and so on.

    By no means should we regard hybrids as an ecological panacea. The flexibility they can provide depends on the continued existence of at least two parental species, after all — hardly a given for many creatures. But the growing evidence of productive hybridization does seem to call for a reconsideration of how we think about species. In some respects, the emerging view is closer to Charles Darwin’s original thinking than to the one we have been living with for nearly a century. Darwin dedicated a chapter to “hybridism” in his book “On the Origin of Species.” And he was vague on how to define species, referring to “the vain search for the undiscovered and undiscoverable essence of the term.” He seemed, that is, to see varieties and species as existing on a loose continuum.

    Then in the early- and mid-20th century, the concept of species hardened. Botanists could never ignore hybridization — it occurs between plants too frequently — but interbreeding among animals became the “grossest blunder in sexual preference which we can conceive of,” as one author wrote in 1930.

    Looking back, Michael Arnold, a geneticist at the University of Georgia, and long a gadfly to the species orthodoxy, attributes this attitude to worries about miscegenation. Anxiety over racial “purity” perhaps affected how we thought about nature. If this is the case, biology is finally shedding the lingering influence of pseudoscience.

    “Biodiversity has developed in a web of life rather than a tree of life,” Arnold told me. That interconnectedness lends strength. “It’s sort of cool that evolution is really messy.”

    The scientists I spoke to expressed often a combination of anxiety and awe as they talked about watching animal life respond to multiple pressures with a plasticity they’re only now coming to appreciate. The abiding question is: Will hybridization further erode biodiversity, preserve it, augment it — or some combination of all three?

  39. SF: Thanks.

    In Western Europe and other enlightened places, the TIMES would be considered a moderate to conservative paper.

    Dead in 50? If I live that long, I’ll be the world’s oldest person, but I have grandkids, and also am concerned for others not closely related. They fall into various categories: my neighbors, widows and orphans, the least of these, the stranger in our midst, and such.

    Peace, emb

  40. Got no kids, got no near relations that aren’t older than me except my half-brother and sister, whom I barely know, and I don’t wanna get that old, anyway. If they develop long green tentacles, the NYT would…never mind. Peace, as you say. Got a party to go to, hooray, hooray! If the margarita machine doen’t break, you will see a very happy Lily in a few.

  41. Off topic, but I’ve been busy with real life issues. “Ranching” (two cows) is not easy from a wheelchair. Had an escapee that took three weeks to find then catch. Here are my thoughts on that, posted to my FB friends. I thought there might be a few here that would find them relevant. If you’d prefer to not read something religious, stop now.
    God answers prayer, though not always when or how we’d prefer. To some it will seem trivial, but I’ve been praying for the location and capture of our escaped feeder calf. He’s been in the woods for three weeks! I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one that has been praying…
    Today, God answered with “Yes, now.” It is truly a blessing when that happens.
    I will admit that it is hard to keep praying, and believing, when there seems to be no answer. We’ve been praying for a kidney transplant for the past six years. So far, the answer there has been “wait (or maybe no).” I may or may not ever get a compatible kidney. It doesn’t mean I won’t stop asking. Sometimes I may question, does God care? Why is waiting so hard?
    I tell myself that my health and life circumstances have put me in a place where I can help people with similar health issues. It isn’t a death sentence to discover you have kidney problems and need to do dialysis. It does change a lot, but I am living proof that despite the changes a good life is possible. Maybe I can offer encouragement to someone else with different circumstances, but still suffering. There are blessings.
    I have a lovely, faithful wife who has stood by me for 33 years. I have two beautiful daughters, successful in their life choices with two Godly husbands. I have a home, I have financial security, and I have access to medical technology that keeps me as close to healthy as possible.
    Most of all, I have a savior that cares about me, that watches over me, and shares my life. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes good things happen. Sometimes God chooses to answer prayers for finding and catching a lost cow.

  42. The only thing about the New York Times that I like is the science section on Tuesdays. I am not interested in their political views or reporting. The truth is, I have no desire to tell anyone else how to run their lives, and I don’t want anyone telling me how to run mine—and that seems to be the essence of modern liberalism in this country.

    The Progressive era that began in the early 20th century was based on the fallacy that scientists would soon be able to tell everyone everything they needed to know about everything. Our economy would be directed by financial experts, everyone would have a job, and we would all be happy! Unfortunately humanity is far more complex than people thought. Centralized planning has failed everywhere that it has been tried because of that simple fact.

  43. David,

    A blogger who writes [above], “. . . and also am concerned for others not closely related. They fall into various categories: my neighbors, widows and orphans, the least of these, the stranger in our midst, and such” can hardly object to another’s sincere statement of his own response to the spiritual world as he sees it.

    I do object to some who tell me I am going to Hell because I don’t accept their particular take on the Transcendent, and to those who distort science and slander scientists in order to push their own religious agenda. I’ve been attacked/bullied personally in that quarrel.

    I also object to scientists who condemn all religion as unprovable hogwash, often without the slightest idea of theological ideas and subtleties. Personally, I have no trouble integrating scientific understanding of the natural world with a deep faith in the Transcendent. I am also willing to live with uncertainty in both areas.

    Peace, emb

  44. Well the water is all gone, now comes the bill for the clean up. Royal Oak lost to firetrucks and Warren lost 10 police cars. When I think of how much water I drove thru, I am thankful that my 2014 Focus is still running.

    I just got home from Virginia, tonight, right in the teeth of the %÷+!@! Woodward Dream Cruise. At nearly the same spot, I got off Woodward, except tonight I got lost. Tomorrow is trash day and I would NOT want to be a garbageman. The cruise features old cars and cloggs up the neighborhood as about a million people show up(truly, I’m not making that up)

  45. David in Austin: Beautiful! My partner is also in dialysis and has other heath issues. He is somewhat older than you (I’m sure) and sometimes it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks! He has been in dialysis since April and I think he is just recently coming to terms with it.

    But I am, and have been, thankful that dialysis is available. He is not a candidate for a transplant. I am just thankful for every day I am able to be with him.

    You are an inspiration…

  46. David in Austin, your sincere and heartfelt essay is very meaningful. Your many friends here are glad to know what is going on in your life. I am very glad that so many positive things are in your life, and you have an amazingly good attitude. I fear that I wouldn’t do so well in your situation.

    I very much hope that your new kidney comes along very soon! Surely you have waited long enough. Wishing you all good things; you are a good person and deserve the best.

  47. David in Austin, thank you for your testimony. I hope and pray that you will continue to have success with dialysis and that your prayer for a kidney will be answered in the affirmative. I can tell that you know His grace is sufficient. I too am praying for a small blessing: my younger daughter just gave birth to our eighth grandchild (and all is well!) but we brought her cat (who has lived with us in the past) home to stay with us once more. However, we have another cat to whom this older cat has never been introduced. Needless to say, neither one is very happy at the moment. My little prayer is that the two of them can learn to tolerate each other as quickly as possible!

  48. I just got home and have not read today’s comments yet, but I just learned that Robin Williams had Parkinson’s Disease, as I do also. I have to digest this for awhile, but this now makes his death very significant indeed for me. Tomorrow. Have a good evening.

  49. David, thank you for a beautiful essay. Whenever I think of those waiting for a kidney I think of Erma Bombeck, who managed to find humor and faith while waiting and brought laughter and joy to so many. Unwilling to use celebrity to move up the line for a kidney she continued dialysis to the end. With her death I felt I had lost a good friend and I cried.

    I hope that when I go some small part of this disease ridden body of mine can be salvaged and still prove useful to someone who is also waiting. Maybe my body has some knowledge that has helped others through research and maybe it may continue to be used.

    Organ donation should be checked by all on their licenses and told to their families and medical personnel. We should not care what happens to our empty shells unless they can be used for another.

    Thank you for reminding us.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  50. For a lighter view point on finding lost cows, and to amuse Ghost, I will recount a brief version of a cow hunt. In Louisiana it is against the law to allow loose cattle and if anyone hits your cow you are liable for damages or injury or even death. Serious issue.

    I was sound asleep in a very brief and sheer pair of shorty pajamas when I got abruptly awakened by my young cousin that the Angus bull was loose and running down the road. I ran outside not dressed and took off down the gravel road chasing said bull.

    The Seven Up delivery truck came along and volunteered help. Why wouldn’t he? A blonde chasing a bull in a nighty? So, I jumped on the running board and we took off on the chase.

    Naturally, my husband Mike was coming to visit for the first time and we passed him going toward the farm in his car. Who wouldn’t marry a woman who chased bulls in a sheer underwear on a Seven Up truck?

    We did catch the bull and Mike married me. We have been married 48 years now, despite many problems worse than the bull.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  51. Royal Oak is finally dry. I just got back from Virginia tonight and realized how lucky I was to be still driving my 2014 Focus. Royal Oak lost to fire engines. Warren lost 10 police cars.
    I had to drive through the neighborhood as the irritating Woodward Dream Cruise is this weekend and we are already experiencing gridlock. Tomorrow is trash day and tonight is a garbage picker’s paradise. I will have to leave wotkearly tomorrow afternoon as I need to cross Woodward before the million or so people start really gathering in earnest. I often go to Northern Michigan to avoid it, but I am singing at church and we are saving our money for our trip to Italy next month.

  52. Steve, I can relate to floods having lived through several. Houston is very flood prone due to too much concrete and too much torrential rains that can’t run off. I am spending all these months and $$$ to solve the fact my house is squarely in a flash flood runoff in the country, so it is my problem.

    I love Michigan and we try to come up each year. Mike’s cancer will prevent it this year because we can’t hit the foliage right. I hope things recover for you all and we will try and bring a few dollars in tourism as soon as we can! I love the Upper P too and can’t blame you for heading out of town.

    We have followed you and hope our other friends in Michigan have not fared as badly perhaps.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  53. Jackie, I read your post with terrible feelings. I have not signed my donor card, in fact I have put on there and told all my friends that I forbid it. All I know is that I once helped with organ harvesting from a beautiful sixteen year old girl who was brain dead. They took all they wanted and then just opened the aorta clamp, turned away, and let her bleed out. All I know is I wept over her and vowed that would never,never happen to me. And so I still feel, though I feel guilty about it. But I am used to that, as I am almost a catholic.

  54. Late to the party today. For me, anyway. Started the day early so I could carry my Mom to an appointment late this afternoon. And then when I had time, no subject seemed to move me to comment. Until Jackie’s post about chasing a bull in “a very brief and sheer pair of shorty pajamas”. (OK, who here didn’t see that coming?)

    That reminded me, of course, of the classic cartoon in which Janis (apparently not for the first time) hears the trash truck, grabs a bag, and charges outside in just a tiny baby doll gown and panties. When she returns, Arlo says, “I’ll bet you’re a legend down at the landfill.”

  55. Lily, think not of the one beautiful child who was lost, but of the several who benefited, or whose lives were saved, by the courageous decision her family made.

  56. Of all the countless Robin Williams quotes and comments, one he made struck me as totally true about Episcopalians. When he was asked about his religion he replied, “I am Episcopalian which is like being Catholic but with only half the guilt.”

    Lily, the best comment I ever heard at a funeral was one of my best friends. The minister had known her all her life and he said “Norma was always a nut but all that is left now is the shell of the nut. She isn’t there and don’t grieve, the nut is in a better place.”

    My friend died of cancer, multiple ones that she fought over and over. But she laughed and made me laugh until the end.

    If you are a Christian and an Episcopalian, then the body is only a shell for the soul. What happens to it with death we only know that the shell is all that is left.

    As a medical personnel I cannot understand how you could not see that.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  57. Dunno, Jackie, but every time I take that donor card out of my billfold I look down and see her beautiful face half obscured by the endotracheal tube and its tapings, her dark blonde bloodstained hair spilled all over the pad, and the back of the surgeon as he turned away from her after opening the clamp. I was overcome with weeping then and I am now. I cannot make myself sign that card. I keep seeing myself with my eyes raped and my chest and belly left open. I have talked to The Boss Of My Life about it, and she, no transplant surgeon or a friend to that ilk, didn’t dissuade me. As a matter of a fact, I know quite well that neither she nor The Man In My Life have signed that card. I guess it is just a fact about our little family that there is no sympathy to transplantation.

  58. That is sad, Lily. Without being gruesome, have you not viewed an autopsy as well? What about a funeral home? I can assure you there is nothing lovely about being embalmed to look good in the casket for the viewing.

    Yeah, I am among those who have seen it all I guess and heard the rest. I salute any who are brave enough to sign something that helps another to live and those family members who give for the same reasons.

    Mike always says no one will be able to use anything I have as it will all be “condemned” by then but if they can, let them. I will no longer have any use for it any more! It will all just be cremated and burned that is left over.

    Sorry, I have strong viewpoints too often!

    Love, Jackie Monies

  59. Sure, Jackie, I have seen several autopsies as well as a lot of final surgeries. But autopsies are not all the same thing. They take samples, close you back up, and let the funeral home in. I have left it in my will that I am not to be embalmed but just to be cremated. There will be no funeral, either, as I have that in my will also. No memorial ceremony, either. I have it in mind that a final Viking funeral would be kinda grand. But at least it won’t be that horrible thing where they take what they want and throw the rest away, an abandoned husk. That is my horror.

  60. David/Austin: Sounds as if you’ve got a pretty good handle on things. Another person I’ve known for more than 65 years has no kidneys and also no bladder, thanks to cancer, so a transplant wouldn’t help. I pray for her daily. In the meantime, she lives only because of dialysis…who knows but that she may last longer than many with two functioning kidneys. Indeed, so may you. Glad you’re keeping the faith and being patient while awaiting answers.

  61. Good morning Villagers…..

    …..too deep a many subjects for me, I say.

    Except, I can relate to David and Jackie…we too had to chase one down the country road late one night on a four wheeler and fully clothed… her back though.

    Bryan….love the movie Birdcage…too funny.

    Jerry, I heard also that Mr. Williams was in the beginning stages of Parkinson’s…

    David…keep the faith, we need it. Could you keep me in your prayers…I need them right now…under heavy duty and stress at work.

    gotta go….there’s 16,000 cages to clean, all that’s left are feathers and chicken poop.

    Simply….how long did you have to hold down your finger to scroll and copy? 🙂 Thanks, ’cause I couldn’t link to your link.

    …..and GR 😉 you never answered my question 🙂

  62. Lily, transplant donation is a personal decision. Tbere is no reason to explain or rationalize your choice, to anyone. I’m sure the recovery surgery is horrific. I know how intimidating it was to see the OR setup for my first (living family) transplant.

    I struggle about praying for a transplant, because I know that it means someone has to die. I’ve madw my prayer somewhat more specific. That prayer is that if someone who has chosen to be a donor happens to have an accident that they are able to donate and that a kidney will be a match for me. I am appreciative that some decide to be donors, electing that sacrifice to improve someone else’s life. That has nothing to do with anyone’s decision about donation. I have no right to ask about their choice. I would ask that everyone consider donation and make a choice. It would be a shame if possible donor organs were lost simply because some never considered making that choice.

  63. I am going out to plant seeds for fall flowers. Planting seeds is restoring of my faith and a time to think and meditate. A seed that comes up and sprouts is symbolic, it is the renewal of life from the old and the return from the earth to the living world.

    David, during Mike’s chemo and the month he spent in the hospital his kidney(s) failed and they were able to do emergency surgery and keep them draining and working until he was strong enough to have additional surgery. Would they have used one of mine if needed, nope, I doubt it. Too many chances for mine to stop working every day of my life. Would I have given it? Yes, he has everything else.

    Jerry I have another internet friend in Florida who is in early Parkinson’s. I got to meet him last fall, so funny and strong I thought. A Viet Nam vet and helicopter pilot he worked up until the FAA took his license away. He has a wonderful full size poodle who he is training to be his assistance dog but was previously his duck hunting partner. So far I saw demonstrated the dog’s ability to go pick up a bag with his adult beverage inside!

    So many of us here are “walking wounded” I think, finding comfort in Jimmy’s humor and art. That is JJ’s purpose in life I think although he may be like my Thai potter friend who I noticed put special marks on only certain pieces he felt deserved them. I was told my another friend that those marks were a form of “prayer marks”, so I asked him about them. He said they prayed over every piece, prayed that it might sell!

    Good bye until tonight, too much to do,

    Love, Jackie Monies

  64. As David said, organ donation is both a personal decision and a decision one does not have to justify to anyone else. My sister had chosen to be a donor, but her body was so ravaged by what she went through in her losing, eight-month battle to live that none of her organs were deemed to be usable for transplantation. I’ll never know, but I believe that the knowledge that some part of her was still living and helping someone else to live would have somewhat eased the sorrow of her passing for me.

    But that chapter is closed, and now I must concern myself with the living.

  65. As Lily to my west said yesterday, today has brought a lovely, unseasonably cool morning to the Deep South. Must be another sign of global warming. (Relax, everyone, that’s just a joke.)

    Debbe 😉 The answer to your question is, “I know how to do a lot of things, hon.” 😉 And I know you’ve had happier paydays, but Happy Payday.

  66. Good morning, all. A beautiful morning for my run, here, with just a hint of cool in it. Rounds are over and only one ER visit, but that was just to a patient of ours having trouble with a port. I told The Boss Of My Life about our conversation last night, and asked her how many times she had asked the family of a brain-dead person for transplant permission. She said, none, in thirty years of training and active practice. But, she added, a general surgeon doesn’t get put in that position very often. Usually our patients are on the road to recovery or so sick that their organs wouldn’t do anyone any good. The only brain-dead patient with intact organs I have seen since I came to work for her got helicoptered to Tyler and died the next day. I have not a clue if anybody was asked but I do know her family was pretty hysterical. If she was a donor, nobody said anything about it.

  67. Unintentionally at first, but then with intent, I have not turned on my television for the past nine days. I still follow that news which I consider important on the InterWebNet, but I have eliminated that which passes for news and entertainment on the idiot box. I have to say that, as of today, I seem to be a better and much happier person for that.

  68. Ghost, I am in for an iced tea break, no sugar, lots of lemon and watered down. I do NOT watch any network or cable news shows which just irritate the fool out of me, as we say in the south. I made that decision a LONG time ago and I have been far happier person. I read the internet news and pick and choose what I read.

    One daughter is a news junkie, no make that both of them! Mike is too so I go in the office and shut the door, try to not hear it.

    My mom runs a television all night long so I need to go get ear plugs to drown her out. I was out planting fall herbs and flower seeds on the decks and she had door open and t.v. blasting while she picked green beans! I asked her if Brownie her dog enjoyed the news, as she was out on porch barking her head off.

    No peace for those of us trying to not know! I know but reading is far less offensive than the news casters and their repetitive blither.

    Getting off soap box and going back to the flower seeds.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  69. OK, this is a personal comment, I am not unsympathetic to the plight of others. But for one full week all the television stations in Houston, TX reenacted my kidnapping at least three times a day.
    It continued to be a “news story” for longer than that.

    But I am grateful for one thing I think of every time I walk thru the room and Fox news is on. I am so grateful it did not happen in the current news atmosphere because it would have been nonstop, over and over and over. The kind of sensational news they thrive on. I don’t think I could have survived it.

    Thank God I have never been on Fox or CNN.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  70. I’m with y’all. I never watch TV News, and usually just use the TV to play old movies and TV shows I like, such as Buffy and Angel and Bones. I get my news form Wikipedia and Facebook

  71. You have my sympathy, Jackie. I suppose it goes back even further than the days of bloody spectacles in the Roman Colosseum, but I still fail to grasp how one person’s tragedy can be regarded as someone else’s entertainment.

    Not that the InterWebNet is without warts. It still somewhat astonishes me how many people in the Blogosphere or Twitterland are willing (nay, eager) to jump into (with both feet) on one side or the other of a situation about which they have absolutely no firsthand knowledge and blatherate. But as Jackie says, at least such is easier to filter out on the InterWebNet.

  72. “The legendary humorist, cowboy, trick roper, newspaper columnist and movie star Will Rogers and noted pilot Wiley Post died on this date in 1935 in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska. Rogers was 55; Post was just 36. ” I told you those things were death traps!

  73. Dear Ghost, Congratulations on turning off the TV. It’s my choice also and makes my days and nights peaceful and untroubled. To our dear Jackie Monies, you are a wonder of nature and a remarkable person. To think that you can put up with other people keeping the TV on so much … it would drive me bonkers. I live alone and have the radio on all day, with classical music; I can pick and choose what I feel like hearing, between FM and Internet radio. The music is beautiful and I feel in touch with the composers and the performers; it’s a good feeling.

    I made the choice long ago to be an organ donor, but more recently have decided to donate my body to a medical school. Our very best friends (he was Best Man at our wedding) did this; he died a few years ago, she is still alive; they were very open about it. Then when the first husband of our daughter Alice was dealing with a malignant brain tumor, he made the same decision and it was carried through, so we were familiar with it all. My late husband Chris did the same thing and his body went to the Harvard Medical School. His ashes came back a year later … by Parcel Post! … and I still have the box in the house; it’s comforting to have it where I can see it.

    I’ve done all the paperwork and given copies to the children. The medical school at Dartmouth College wants everything intact, so no organ donation; but at my age maybe that’s best.

  74. In 1935, 34,494 people died in motor vehicle accidents. (There were 33,561 fatalities in 2012.) Now those things are really deathtraps.

  75. Taking a break from gardening to cool down, we are supposed to have rain tomorrow and I want to get as many herb pots planted as I can which requires adding dirt and fertilizer and weeding pots. Is that not insane, I have to weed pots?

    Funny comment here, husband walked into kitchen late last night where I was enthralled in sorting and unpacking a new box of seeds from Johnny’s. I love those guys and buy tons of seeds when they have a clearance sale.

    He said, “Every time I come in here and see you, you look like a drug dealer sorting out his inventory”. It’s all the little white packets I guess, I have never seen drugs in envelopes.

    I think I look like Janis when she gets her gardening catalogs and all her seeds and she gets on the table with them just raring to put them in the ground! Laughs at herself here……….

    Love, Jackie Monies

  76. Charlotte, when my good friend died last year from leukemia he did same thing, donated to University of Virginia I believe as he had rare cancer and an adverse reaction to stem cell. They sent his ashes back to family, who brought about half here and we had a funeral service in my back yard for him with all our boater friends who took little packets home all over America to help him continue his journey through the waters of the world.

    I took rest of his ashes with me to North Carolina (because I was going there) and mailed ashes out all over the world except to the north and south poles. My friend went to some interesting places and continues a journey for eternity.

    Should Mike not survive his battle with cancer, I plan to do same thing except our daughters want some ashes to bury with them.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  77. A word on kidney donations, one can be a living donor. One of my step grandfathers very good friends was a perfect match and donated a kidney to him. Her wonderful gift has now given him an additional 12 years so far. He was too old for the list, and he still keeps going despite multiple health problems.
    And a final word of obesity. Yes a sedentary life, and high fat diets do contribute greatly to the problem, but there are some of us who take medications that make it much, much more difficult to lose weight and keep it off. Out of 14 pills a day, 5 of mine make weight a real issue. Yes discuss it with your primary care physician, but sometimes it is just unavoidable.

  78. I am all typed, but I am not gonna give a kidney to the first Tom, Dick, or Harriet that asks, so I have asked for privacy. They asked if the could phone me or write me if an extreme need arose but I said no. It would have to be a very good friend or relative.

  79. Spot on, Ursen. That’s why my semi-snarky comment “poor food choices + insufficient exercise = weight gain and/or obesity” the other day was prefaced with “For most people,”.

  80. I had never seriously thought about final arrangements (or even, you know, like most people, dying) prior to the loss of my sister late last year. She chose to be cremated and interred between where our father’s casket is buried and where her husband’s ashes will be interred one day. I now plan to be cremated as well and interred beside them. (I never intended to have an open casket anyway, as I personally consider that unseemly.)

    As for a portion of my ashes, well, if it was good enough for Gordo Cooper and Gene Roddenberry…

  81. I am a donor, and with what is left, I want to be returned to the sea as a reef. I defended from the sea, let me return there and help the environment. -

  82. Oops! That’a me about the reef. Got the tablet I won, and forgot I had no info yet. I should be packing. I blame you all – way more interesting.

  83. Have been in kitchen with my mom, me cutting open lettuce seed packages and making a mix to fling into some of the pots. That is a tedious chore, emptying seed but I keep reminding myself that someone had some tweezers and an magnifying glass to put those 10 tiny seeds in a glassine tiny folded packet inside the sealed foil packages.

    I will note that lettuce seeds are always more than 10 but the dang Wave petunias and Wave violas are rarely more than 15 tiny dots.

    Ghost, if you have a deck you can grow your herbs in pots easily.
    Large parts of the new raised bed gardens are out of ground and looking pretty good on germination, which is the hard part in August.

    Mike says he plans to mix my ashes in with the kitty litter, as it looks the same and will be utilitarian to recycle.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  84. Ursen, I take close to two dozen different meds per day and I fight with them every appointment to try to lose some or explain why they want to add more. Of those, nine say do not drink any form of alcoholic beverage and another seven say not to go out in sunlight, while about a half dozen like steroids contribute to weight problems.

    I fight now when they are trying to prescribe things to counter a side effect of another I am taking. Then I argue, “No more” and they may take away another doctor’s med but give me three of their choosing!

    Bless the insurance agent who studied all my health issues and medication when I turned 65 and found me policies that cover all this stuff. Mike always says I will be at the top of the list when they decide who doesn’t get treated!

    It takes courage to live.

    Love, Jackie

  85. Somewhat similarly to Jackie’s situation, I take seven prescription meds, three as protocol treatment for a medical condition, and the other four to treat various side effects of the first three. To paraphrase what Arlo once said, “Does this in anyway strike anyone as insane?”

    Jackie, Mike’s remark about ashes and kitty litter was mean. Funny, but mean. 🙂

  86. I don’t take anything but a multivitamin. Gummi-vitamins. Okay, laugh, they taste good.

    The man In My Life takes a BP med and Allopurinol for gout. I bought him some Gummi-vitamins for his birthday and try to make sure he takes them, so he won’t get macular degeneration. He forgets I was with him last time he went to the opthalmologist. I don’t wanna drive him around again, and he is almost 70.

    The Boss Of My Life takes no medications except Laphroaig on the rocks.

  87. If you have good health, be grateful and thank your ancestors for good genes. My mom at 93 has incredible good health and our goal is to keep tricking her into taking her flu shot so she doesn’t get pneumonia again. I on the other hand got born with DNA that causes a high percentage of all the autoimmune diseases in the world. Like Lily I expected to die young. Surprise, here I am at 70 still plodding onward.

    I got a cute/funny photo essay from an octogenarian friend but what really struck me was the signature. “Be kinder than necessary to all you meet for all are fighting some kind of battle.”

    Love, Jackie

  88. You’re all a bunch of friggin’ amateurs! Currently, I take 30 pills per day, all but four by prescription, and another one every Saturday morning. (This is down, slightly; there was a time it was 33.) Add on to that checking my blood sugar twice a day and injecting insulin every night at bed time. Of course, the main reason I take so many pills is that I take some of them more than once a day, and in some cases, more than one at a time. And with all this, I’m proud to say that most people guess from my appearance that I’m in my mid-50s, rather than closing in on my 65th birthday as I actually am. I suppose that the fact that my hair hasn’t started to go grey except in my long, luxuriant sideburns, is probably a big factor in that.

    Jackie, my father lived into his mid-80s, and my mother reached 90, so there’s still hope for me.

  89. My Gummi-Vitamins laugh at your prescriptions. 😛

    Jackie, my ancestors pretty much pegged out in their late 50s-early 60s. No cause for alarm, there. I have “ridiculously good health” according to a sometime-friend who is in her 30s and is flabby already, though she is a pretty woman. She complains of all these joint pains and back pains. I tell her to come running with me and quit eating all that junk she eats and she will feel much better. She envied a coat of mine and wanted to borrow it, but I told her no dice unless she ran three miles. But she would rather complain.

  90. Hey, Jackie!

    “Wounded Warrior Project Alumni and their families participated in sailing, cycling and a foam-roller exercise clinic during the second day of the Chicago Air & Water Show event.” 😀

  91. Lily, when I moved here 20 years ago at age 50 I was still running and walking at least four miles per day. Sorry but lack of any cartilage in knees and five types of arthritis killed that! But being from Houston I was still trying to stay mobile. I was running through neighborhood for first time and six people stopped to help because they thought something was wrong! Then I fell in a giant pothole one day and tore ligament in ankle, lay there for a half hour with my giant Newfoundland until I was able to pull myself up with dog’s help and hobble home. I cannot get medical clearance for knee or hip surgery unless perhaps I do it under local anesthesia. I am brave but not that brave!

    So I am probably heading for a wheel chair before I go because heart doctor says he’d rather see me in a chair than with two perfect knees and dead. This from a man who had both his knees done on same day and returned to surgery in four weeks.

    My designer friend from NZ is designing a cruising boat with a front like a landing craft for wheelchair or walker. I told him I wasn’t the only one needing one and he will probably sell a lot.
    But we commissioned it so I can still get aboard.

    Love, Jackie

  92. Yep, don’t know who taught this one but Mike’s sailing partner teaches at the Wooden Boat School in Maine and he is involved with the Wounded Warrior Project. We were supposed to go to Florida and help him build boats with a group and instead Mike had his lung removed.

    There is a program going on to teach sailing, building and boating thru the WW Project.

    Love, Jackie

  93. Jackie, I had some trouble with my right knee till I found out I had patellar chondromalacia. I got fitted for a brace and started leg lifts and squats and now it is fine enough to do ten miles with just the occasional twinge.

  94. Jackie and Lilyblack, et al, this talk of the various ailments reminds me of something George Carlin said. Carlin said “First Richard Pryor had a heart attack, then I had a heart attack. Then Richard set himself on fire, so I had another heart attack!”.

  95. Funny, Mark! I loved Carlin. Actually I like a lot of comics but I think I only understand the old dudes because the young ones speak another language.

    Love, Jackie

  96. If you have never clicked on sideburns’ name I invite you to so. Some of you were obviously head of your class in cutting and pasting. Re organ donations, I also have no organs that anyone would be interested in (No Ghost). I can’t even give my blood away. At the appropriate time my brain will go for Parkinson’s research. I was going to say more about that subject , but my hands are cramping too much so bye for now.

  97. Jackie, I like Ron White and Mitch Hedberg a lot better than George Carlin or Richard Prior. The Boy In My Life watch Ron White on YouTube and die laughing! But of the old guys, Bill Cosby is the best!

  98. Mitch Hedberg quotes:

    I don’t have a girlfriend. But I do know a woman who’d be mad at me for saying that.

    I don’t own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time. If someone wants to get a hold of me, they just say ‘Mitch,’ and I say ‘what?’ and turn my head slightly.

    I haven’t slept for ten days, because that would be too long.

    I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car’s headlights and tell you exactly which way it’s coming.

    I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something.

    I like to play blackjack. I’m not addicted to gambling, I’m addicted to sitting in a semi-circle.

    I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I’m gonna put pins into all the locations that I’ve traveled to. But first, I’m gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won’t fall down.

    The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as a wall.

    With a stop light, green means ‘go’ and yellow means ‘slow down’. With a banana, however, it is quite the opposite. Yellow means ‘go’, green means ‘whoa, slow down’, and red means ‘where the heck did you get that banana?’

    You know, you can’t please all the people all the time… and last night, all those people were at my show.

    I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.

    I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and hook up with them later.

    And my favorite:
    I don’t understand when people show you a photograph and say,”That’s a picture of me when I was younger.” Isn’t every photograph a picture of you when you were younger?

  99. I’ll keep this brief. I’m not that fond of the idea of someone cutting up my brain, but I will make the donation because, in my opinion, it’s the right thing for ME to do. I may have very definite opinions as to what I think that you should do but, for the most part, I should mind my own business and let you make your own personal decision. However, that isn’t always going to happen because when I see someone trying to hurt or kill themselves I’m going to try to help them. Remember years ago in New York when the woman was stabbed and no one called the police? I said then that I would never do that. Without going into details I will say that being a busybody has saved quite a few lives over the years. I still want to talk about depression, but tomorrow is another day.

  100. 6+ gallon blood donor here. (No, not all at one time.) So if no one wants my organs when I’m done with them…well, I guess I’ve sort of done my part already.

  101. Jerry in FL, and you never know when your opportunity to help will come along. Mine came late one night when I heard a car revving its motor repeatedly near the railroad which ran near the side yard of our house. I knew there was a train due within the next half hour so I went to see what was going on. A car (with 4 intoxicated people in it) had tried to get to the bowling alley on the other side of the tracks by driving over the rails where there was no crossing and got stuck. I tried to help push it off, but the front bumper was hung up on the rail with the back of the car lower than the front. After thinking about it, I had the driver get out his jack and I jacked up the front end till the bumper cleared and he could back off. The train came through about 10 minutes later. So I know I saved at least 4 people that night.

  102. Mark, you sure did a fine thing. Good for you — it must have been nerve wracking wondering if the train would come while you worked on the car. What a relief to get them all safe and alive! Hate to think what could have happened. Fast thinking on your part.

  103. Jerry in FL – Part of my job is to listen. It is amazing (to me at least) what information people will give me, even if I don’t know their names. I am someone they see daily, and after a while, they just talk. I believe you weren’t so much being a busybody as you were being a good listener. In this modern “ME-centric” climate, listeners ARE heroes because they paid attention before trouble arose. I often wonder how much of today’s violence could have been prevented if just one person took some interest in a troubled soul. Not that it would eliminate it all – we humans are dedisposed to violence. I think it has something to do with being an apex predator.

    I get my keys to the new place Monday. I really need to buckle down and pack some more. I blame you guys for being so well-rounded, interesting, and welcoming. 🙂

  104. Good morning Villagers…

    Today is another yearly milestone…I turned 61 at 12:10 am….and my body lies over the ocean, no wait, that’s My Bonnie lies over the ocean……..and IU med center will get it when I’m done with it.

    Happy Caterday

    ..and Mark…thanks for the Pink Floyd, and I do remember that Carlin line very well.

    GR 😉 I’m sure you do ;0

  105. Debbe! Happy happy birthday, happy happy birthday, happy happy birthDAY! (Imagine a conga line of chickens going down the hall) 🙂 Hope it is a wonderful year for you!

  106. Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday, Dear Debbe,
    Happy Birthday to you.

    And many happy returns.

    On the day my Dad would reach his, say, 61st birthday, he would, with great dignity, proclaim, “I am now in my 62nd year.” Welcome to your 62nd year. 🙂

  107. Mark: Thanks. I decided not to read the story [De gustibus . . .] but I’m a drawing freak and the illustration took me back to my teens, when I was an SF fan for a few days. Among the disillusionments were a lot of crummy fiction and J.R. Campbell’s falling for ******ics.

  108. Well, along with giving up (at least for now) television viewing, I’ve given up on watching the “The Last Ship” basic-cable series. A couple of weeks ago, the Captain left the ship AGAIN on an away team, I mean, a reconnaissance party, even though he seems to have a number of perfectly competent officers that could have commanded that mission. And this time, he managed to get himself captured by the Romulans, I mean, the Russians. The ones from the other “last ship”.

    This captain is lucky the entire Navy command structure is apparently dead from the plague; else, it seems to me, he’d have already been relieved from command of his DDG. Perhaps his XO will swoop in on a shuttle craft, I mean, a RIB boat and rescue him. But alas, I’ll never know, as my policy is, to paraphrase the current administration, “Don’t watch stupid [stuff].”

  109. Good morning, I am off to buy as much dog and cat supplies as I can push out of Dollar General and then come cook mom her breakfast.

    The jokes were funny, Lily, I did laugh. I learned a LONG time ago to read humor, watch humor and listen to humor. It is therapeutic but Mike says it gets hard to find a movie or television program to watch jointly with me!

    After first round of hepatitis they quit taking my blood as a donor, which is a good thing. They weren’t screening so good back then but doctors said to stop. One of my hepatitis infections may have been from a later transfusion? Who knows?

    That is why Mike jokes no one will want any of my organs for a transfer, they will all be condemned by then.

    A long time ago one of my rheumatologists said that all of us were research subjects, meaning autoimmune and diseases like Jerry’s are so little known they just keep testing and trying things out on us. My current rheumatologist is a research center and I guess I do help out for those coming along later.

    Stay strong and keep laughing, it is better than alternatives.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  110. 🙂 My brother once told me of a lecture he attended as an officer (ok I could have that part wrong) where Star trek was referenced. “Don’t be Captain Kirk, always going off ship and doing things. That is not your job. We want Captain Picards, sending able teams out to do the job while he keeps an eye on the big picture.”

  111. Mindy, I laughed about the convenience store confessions and conversation center because people do same thing with their florists. As a florist you are often in the middle of some crisis in peoples’ lives, whether a death, a marriage, a birth, the dog house, so you learn to listen and keep your mouth shut. Forever.

    Mike used to laugh that when I sold cars I would know everyone’s life story and history by the time they got off the demonstration ride and have sold them a car. That is because good salesmen get people to talk about themselves, not blather about the product. It is what they tell you or you observe about them that allows you to sell anyone anything, not the product or services.

    Going after that pet food and cat litter! That is a “need”.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  112. I haven’t given tv up completely, but I no longer watch or listen to news programs. I do read things on the Interwebz and manage to stay current, but not watching is better for my blood pressure. There are several shows I do watch, but since we fired our cable company I watch them on HULU and NetFlix.

    On comics, I do love Bill Cosby and of course George Carlin. As for others, there’s Jeff Foxworthy (you may be a redneck if…) Bill Engvall, and Eddie Izzard. Eddie is from England, so his comedy has a slightly different tilt to it, and he never fails to make me laugh.

  113. On way to grocery I learned: Today is 37 anniversary of Elvis’ death from Oldies station.

    From emails I learned the six rules of cleavage etiquette. Obviously Kardasians are not on same mailing list. I bet Ghost knows them.

    By observation: most people out and about on Saturday morning in a small town have gray hair and a cane, a brace or a limp but they are still moving.

    The teenagers seemed to be in park in folding chairs and red tee shirts, so some kind of fund raiser? But I saw seniors in front of businesses too, so maybe two fund raisers?

    Not many boats on lake, so fish may not be biting. Or there is no bass tournament or crappie tournament being held.

    Love, Jackie

  114. Good morning, all. It’s a beautiful morning, here, and we are almost done for the weekend

    Favorite thing I had said about me yesterday: I was helping The Man IN My LIfe empty the dishwasher, and he glared at a knife and said, “If I could find a dishwasher that would remove peanut butter, I’d marry it!”
    Me: You’re already married.”
    “Then I’d commit trigamy!”
    “You mean bigamy”
    “No, I’d marry you, too. If I’m going to get in trouble, I’m at least going to have some fun!”

  115. Gotta watch out for those 70-year-old guys, Munchkin. I know. I plan on being one of them some day. 🙂

    Jackie, what is this cleavage etiquette of which you speak? And does it apply to the owner of the cleavage or the observer of the cleavage?

  116. Since they made Jackie laugh, More Mitch Hedberg jokes:

    I like refried beans. That’s why I wanna try fried beans, because maybe they’re just as good and we’re just wasting time. You don’t have to fry them again after all.

    My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana. I said ‘No, but I want a regular banana later, so… yeah.’

    I want to get a vending machine, with fun sized candy bars, and the glass in front is a magnifying glass. You’ll be mad, but it will be too late.

    My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. I don’t really know what’s happening down there. Who is the real hero?

    I wanted to buy a candle holder, but the store didn’t have one. So I got a cake.

    I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn’t work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.

    It’s very dangerous to wave to people you don’t know because what if they don’t have hands? They’ll think you’re cocky.

    Aaand, the one she’ll prolly like best:

    You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don’t want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something.

  117. Ghost, the cleavage etiquette was for the owner of said breasts. That is why I laughed and said the K girls don’t know it.
    Or maybe the butt etiquette either.

    Lily, I love the jokes. I get a lot sent to me by friends and passed on and wonder if there is a joke app and I need one?

    One of the etiquette rules was if you are 60 to 70 you do not go braless or wear pushup bras and low cut blouses. One so you don’t flop when you walk and one so you don’t push the wrinkles up into an unnatural position under your chin.

    Remember Blanche on Golden Girls and all the flat on your back looking up at chin jokes?

    When I was young and buxom I could still pass a pencil test but now I could carry a roll of quarters around I think!

    Love, Jackie Monies

  118. Made me think about humor (especially Southern) and why we enjoy it, which applies to comics as well of course.

    “Southern writers have a reckless abandon when telling all, they just unplug it and let go.”

    In honor of two funny southerners, “Elvis Is Dead and I’m Not Feeling Well Myself” by Lewis Grizzard and Dave Barry who as columnists have to come up with something funny just about every day. Lewis G. can be excused now, as he has passed on.

    Eudora Welty, William Faulkner and Fannie Flagg can be hilarious and Ray Blount, Jr. is funny. The South has a ton of writers who I enjoy and go to

    Love, Jackie Monies

  119. Happy birthday Debbe! Hope you have a great day! Kitty with the chicken hat is adorable! What a face!

    I don’t want to pack! Blacklight has the right idea, she’s off taking a nap.

  120. Happy Birthday and I love the kitty too. Looks like my Garfield. I had three identical ones like this, could not tell who I was taking to vet. He is only one left.

    He sleeps with me, often on my head and weighs about 20#, big feet too.

    Love, Jackie

  121. Happy birthday, Debbe!

    Jackie, how about Margaret Mitchell, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy? I never have been able to get into Faulkner, though Heaven knows I’ve tried.

    Ghost, you can’t work in a kitchen together without a little flirting. BTW, he had his sixty-sixth birthday last month. Maybe his best years are ahead of him?He has framed and hung in the kitchen this drawing of me!

  122. emb: That is Sir John Moore, killed at Corunna in 1809.

    Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
    As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
    Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
    O’er the grave where our hero we buried.
    Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
    From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
    We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
    But we left him alone with his glory.


  123. We used to keep framed prints of people Mike admired like Washington, Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, etc. in our house. I would think easily recognized by any one who took American history. My mom was looking at some in my office and asked if they were members of Mike’s family? I said we wish.

    One of my favorite Southern authors who now does a monthly column for Southern Living is Rick Bragg. He is funny. His southern dialects are right on. He deserves his Pulitzer.

    “Charlie would shout to the old men fishing from the banks.

    “Got the time?”

    “Alabamer time?” the old men would ask. “Or Georgia time?”

    “They have passed on, of course— Charlie, Edna, even Linda. The houseboat is in ruin.”

    “But they are not gone. Nobody is, on Alabama time.”

    Favorite quote for my Alabama and Southern friends. Nobody is gone on Alabama time.

    Love, Jackie

  124. Jackie: Huh. We used to take Southern Living, but nobody ever read it, and The Boss Of My Life quit subscribing, about the time when we quit subscribing to Time, The New Yorker, and The Dallas Morning News. The only things we still subscribe to are Architectural Digest, Texas Monthly, National Geographic, and Smithsonian.

    One thing I do remember from William Faulkner: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” From Requiem For a Nun, I believe

  125. Munchkin, I understand. I can hardly do anything anywhere without a little (OK, a lot of) flirting. Sorry I prematurely aged The Man in Your Life. I could have sworn you had mentioned that he was 70. But of course I plan on being 66 one day, also.

    The cleavage rules reminded me someone I saw in a clinic the last time I took my Mom in to have blood drawn for some lab work…a slender, tall and tanned blonde with long hair, wearing, in no particular order, a very snugly-fitting gray skirt with a hem that ended above mid-thigh; shoes that were what I call “hooker clogs”; and a red, flowing blouse (or at least that’s what a young lady of my acquaintance told me they are called) with enough buttons undone to display the obligatory amount of cleavage. Having met more than a few of her breed, I immediately thought, “Pharmaceutical rep.” Which fact was verified when I finally got around to looking for and finding her name tag.

    What she wore would have been perfect attire for an interesting date, but in a professional setting, not so much. (And no, not all of them dress that way. But a lot do.) I long ago posited that pharmaceutical marketing departments must assume that 1) all physicians are male, and 2) sex sells. While the latter assumption is probably still true, the former one is quite a bit outdated. Although, for all I know, they use hunky male reps to call on female docs.

  126. Huh, maybe that explains theverything cuteness of some of MY vendor reps…. Never put two and two together. Doesn’t work, but I appreciate the effort.????

    Yeah, still dodging the packing boxes.

  127. And I dropped Smithsonian for same reason! Isn’t it nice to be rich enough to be a snob?

    I in turn haven’t looked at Architectural Digest since the late 80’s when one of the houses I did flowers for made the magazine. The rich doctor who bought it when asked by the interior decorator if he wouldn’t like some of the family’s personal possessions incorporated in the show home (it won best home award of course)

    His reply? The family could only bring suitcases from their old home, he wanted house to appear exactly as it did in the magazine. No changes.

    He paid millions for the house and contents, so of course he will leave the house as shown in the magazine on the coffee table.

    This in turn bores me!

    I am getting dirt from weeding flower beds in my keyboard.

  128. And I dropped Smithsonian for same reason! Isn’t it nice to be rich enough to be a snob?

    I in turn haven’t looked at Architectural Digest since the late 80’s when one of the houses I did flowers for made the magazine. The rich doctor who bought it when asked by the interior decorator if he wouldn’t like some of the family’s personal possessions incorporated in the show home (it won best home award of course)

    His reply? The family could only bring suitcases from their old home, he wanted house to appear exactly as it did in the magazine. No changes.

    He paid millions for the house and contents, so of course he will leave the house as shown in the magazine on the coffee table.

    This in turn bores me!

    I am getting dirt from weeding flower beds in my keyboard.

  129. Ghost: I might have posted he was nearly 70. Isn’t 66 nearly 70? 😛
    We get all kinds of overdressed pharm representatives, male and female, and also reps from home nursing services and HMOs who dress similarly.

    Jackie, Our casa is far from decorated looking, but The Boss Of My Life likes to look over furniture and fabrics. I may have mentioned before that The Man In My Life inherited our casa (Its name is the Casa Boris Y Natasha. Long story) from his aunt in the late 80s or early 90s . It is very big (over 3000 square feet, I am told) and has rooms in it with strange names like The Pot Room, the Media Room, the Deco Room, the Slanty Room, the Wine Closet, and the Library (where I hang out a lot, no surprise, right?) Once in a while, The Boss Of My Life gets really tired of a piece of furniture and goes out to the Dallas Decorative Center and buys a very nice replacement. The prices are very shocking to this East Texas girl, but it’s her money, right? My room stays as it is with its double bed, dresser, chest of drawers, and a cute little overstuffed chair ( I rescued it from being set by the curb when The Boss Of My Lie was redecorating the sun room) that just fits me and sits next to my bookcase and a little table to hold drinks, notebooks, and snacks.

  130. Jackie, Elvis, our Bobcat, (big old boy cat) is just short of twenty pounds and looks like he’s still getting longer although he’s five now. Of course he’s orange, very striped and thinks that he’s king of the jungle. We used to occasionally have our differences, but he has learned from positive reinforcement and is just occasionally cranky now. (to be continued when the lightning stops).

  131. American regional papers have some really good columnists. I loved Leon Hale, Houston, TX first in the Houston Post, a paper I read ONLY for Leon’s column. Then he moved to Chronicle and I could read him in good conscience. Just checked to make sure he was alive, he is, but retiring after 65 years doing columns!

    Wow! His books are funny and well written. I always think of his annual trip south to meet spring, going south in Texas until he met Spring which was the mesquite bushes greening out. When I see the tiny mesquite leaves I think of Leon.

    I loved Jeff Millar who wrote for the Chronicle and then did Tank McNamara until his death.

    Dave Barry I began reading in Miami newspaper, Chronicle carried him and Lewis Grizzard, Erma Bombeck. You can tell I have admiration and a thing about columnists.

    Anyone else have favorites?

    Love, Jackie

  132. For humor, Lewis when he was living, Dave now.

    I think I mentioned I once met Lewis at a business meeting in Atlanta where he was our luncheon speaker. He talked just like he wrote. Typical was one of his jokes that day: “I went into a bar and didn’t know it was a gay bar until I ordered a double and they brought me a guy who looked just like me.”

  133. Ghost, I think you are right, Dave Barry is the best humor columnist left but there have been so many who died and I miss them. I got to thinking about this just now and thought about Mike Royko, who may have been funny but was great political writer also.

    Was remembering what he said when they filmed “Continental Divide” which is loosely based on Royko. He said Woodward and Bernstein got Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman to play them in “All the President’s Men” but he got John Belushi!

    Just read a bunch of his quotes and books (also Pulitzer winner) I will not quote him on eating cats because we have so many cat lovers here, me included! It was like Mike’s joke about putting my ashes in the kitty litter– Funny but awful. That was how Royko was. I miss him.

    Love, Jackie

  134. Just in case you think I only read humor, I also often read sports columnists like “Devil Ball” by Jay Busbee, who I was TOTALLY relieved to find out was not the same nor son of the Jay I once dated! I like Forbe’s Motley Fool also but upon consideration, both may be humorous at times.

    Love, Jackie

  135. Lightning was really bad but has stopped. The group has moved on and I will discuss what depression is and is not at another time. Do we have any other Science Channel fans? I have only recently discovered it and it is now one of my favorites.

  136. Husband watches Science Channel and so I often see some by default. He loves “Through the Wormhole” with Morgan Freeman, whose voice I love, and I actually watch this one. On Science Chnannel.

    Love, Jackie

  137. A while back, I cut my cable bill in half by stepping down a tier. Naturally, that eliminated The Science Channel and National Geographic Channel, two that I watched frequently, while leaving dozens of channels available I have never watched and never will. If my no-TV experiment continues to work as well as it has, I’ll cut back to the most basic tier, local broadcast channels only, for their availability in case of an emergency.

  138. I used to read Dave Barry when we still got a paper. I thought he had quit writing for newspapers, but what do I know. I have read one Lewis Grizzard book, called “If I ever Get Back To Georgia I’m Gonna Nail My Feet To The Floor”. It had one joke I made into a homemade birthday card for my father, “I don’t think I’m gonna get married again. I’m just gonna find a woman I hate and buy her a house.” Complete with drawings of ugly women waving signs that read things like “Power!” and a guy handing her a deed and a key! 😀

    Nowdays, no columns, except I read Rush when he shows up in my Facebook feed.

  139. UMMHH-UUH! Two favorites of husband but he is in watching AMC and some reality fiction about railroads and then American Revolution? Spies.

    He fired cable company and I have an ugly satellite dish on roof of porch. His parents were t.v. addicts with one in EVERY room in house. Should have known the addictions are in the DNA. He is avid reader, so not bad, doesn’t smoke or do drugs or drink.

    So boats and t.v. not too bad. His man cave is out in back, two stories and as big as some houses and cleaner than main house.

    No couches but he never sits down!

    Love, Jackie

  140. Like most places, my city has granted cable monopoly to one provider. In my case it is Comcast. Can somebody explain to me why the Feds felt it necessary to break up Bell telephone but allows Comcast to swallow every competing cable service? Meanwhile service and customer service gets worse by the day and the rates climb faster than a Saturn V rocket. I am in favor of forcing cities to open the door to any provider who can serve its people properly. Competition improves things for the public while monopolies result in the poorest possible product at the highest possible price.

  141. That was because he had gone thru several bad divorces. That’s a famous quote from Lewis too.

    Tulsa World doesn’t carry Dave Barry but he is in Parade mag in paper sometimes. I was laughing at him for wanting to title his last book “You Mean He’s Still Alive?”

    We only have one columnist in Tulsa World who is supposed to be humorous and have won Pulitzer but I just read his column today and that seems questionable to me? A lot of his books have been made into movies but I swear I thought he was in his 80’s and was totally shocked to see he is four years younger than me! It is Jay Conley if I spelled that right and I recognized the books and movie titles, so must have written better once?

    Love, Jackie

  142. Comcast is what I have, too, but if you are lucky enough to live in a small Southern city with a local office, they can be not too bad. When I was changing my plan, there was a very nice lady behind the counter who was very helpful. (For a little bit, I think she would have gone out with me, but that’s a SFYAD.) Later, I had a problem involving tiling on just one channel which a friendly and competent young man with telephone support solved for me in about two minutes. And, as I mentioned, if you cut back on channel tiers and dump any premium channels you have, you can trim a good bit of the fat off your bill and still have plenty of things to watch.

    But yes, I believe that cable companies’ satisfaction ratings in general rank just above those of Congress…if that. And I do suspect that real competition would help.

  143. We have all the bells and whistles on our cable, but it is a pure waste cause the TV is seldom watched except for televised sports. The Man In My Life and The Boy In My Life spend all Sunday afternoon in there. Me, I work in the yard, play with my dog, and read.

  144. Ghost, I cut the fat off completely and the meat as well. I dumped the tv part of the service, keeping only the internet I need to work from home. I moved to the satellite service, got better programming and lower prices, and to date, no billing problems. If I had any real alternative for internet I would drop that Comcast service as well. But the only other thing I could get is UVerse and my brother has advised very strongly against that. He had it, and dumped it due to poor service.

    As for the cable office, I dealt with one exceptional lady there a couple of times. The rest were just filling space, and the two good experiences were outweighed by the recurring problem and lack of interest in resolving it shown by the rest of the staff.

  145. We have Time Warner cable here, but only TV. We still have ADSL because our local phone company still believes in “nine nines” uptime and TWC doesn’t. BTW, has anybody else ever noticed that the TWC logo looks like the Eye of Horus? I wonder if Simon Illyan had anything to do with it…

  146. Good morning Villagers….

    Thanks for the birthday wishes… was another day in paradise 🙂

    Jean….I had that song in my head yesterday 🙂

    Gal….energy!! I fake it, till I make it, your closing remark reminded me of this tune:

    Lily…you got a pot room? 🙂 (you saw that one coming, didn’t you GR 😉 )

    I got a pleasant surprise last night, Andrew and his girlfriend stopped in (remember, he moved out a couple of weeks ago)…anyhoo…..I went out to the front porch because I knew it was his weekend with Brooklynne Rose….and she come flying out of the back seat, up the stairs, and jumped into my arms….with lots of hugs and kisses and I loves yous. That made my day.

    Raining here….that’s going to make cleaning cages a little more stickier…arrrggghhhhh……

    ya’ll have a blessed day………………..

  147. Well, they ain’t CCR, but they ain’t bad.

    Debbe 😉 I get up and go to work facing the possibility that my day will be filled with chicken $#!+. You get up and go to work facing the certainty that yours will be. And yet, almost always, you maintain your grace and humor. I admire you for that, hon. 🙂

    Oh, and I hope you took your BP meds today…

  148. Good morning, all. A little cloudy but a nice change. Did wind sprints till I puked this morning, but that is kinda the point.
    Debbe, *I* don’t have a Pot Room, our casa has a Pot Room, which is full of pots and pans and a genormous punchbowl all wrapped up in a sheepskin. It was named by My Adopted Twin Brother when he was small, and the name was retained, as The Man In My Life is fond of saying, “to give visitors some innocent mirth.” It also holds the food processor and other counter-top items that The Man In My Life refuses to countenance in his kitchen. I go into it ever morning to get out Oscar Osterizer to make my smoothie, but it has to be back in its place, washed and dried, by the time The Man In My Life comes downstairs. Which isn’t hard, since that is long after we have left for the hospital and the office.

  149. Jackie, I asked The Man In My Life about Mike Royko last night, and he said the only things he remembered about him was that his office was the only one at the Chicago Tribune where smoking was allowed, and a quote: “As Slats Grobnik says, if work is so great, how come they got to pay you to do it?” Too bad he smoked, he could have still been with us

  150. Think he died of a heart attack following a brain aneurysm, Lily, but I agree on the smoking.

    Having quit cold turkey so that Mike would marry me, I am not sympathetic to those who say you cannot quit. Mike says when they autopsy me they will find some smoke still there, as I never exhaled which he noticed. Along with all the spray paint manufactured by Design Master and Floralife when I spent years inhaling that stuff as a show designer every weekend. Coughed up colored mucus for years afterward!

    I am in baking frozen biscuits for my mama. She and my late Granny would be horrified, horrified I say! They used nothing but canned ones, whack-a-can!

    Love, Jackie

  151. Smoking hits all the blood vessels, Jackie: brain, heart, what-have-you. Coincidence? The Man In My Life quit smoking the day before his wedding to The Boss Of My Life. I guess that happens a lot?

  152. How do I adopt you, Lily? I need a neat freak again, I had to give it up when I became old and infirm and my housekeeper sure isn’t one! I thought having been a nurse and a nun in her past she would be but she isn’t.

    The garden help and dog sitter complain about her too!

    Dogs heard the dog sitter drive by just now and set up a giant howling for her to stop. They know her car’s motor.

    Love, Jackie

  153. As I believe I have said, we got to looking at our bill and decided we could cut the cable tv side out completely, so we did. We kept the Internet side, and for tv subscribed to NetFlix and HULU. That, plus what we watch online gives us everything we want at a fraction of the cost. The main annoyance now is that several online sites, such as USA and FOX, now require viewers to specify their cable suppliers in order to watch a program on their computer. I have several shows I can’t watch now until the full season comes out on dvd and I can get it from NetFlix and watch the whole season at once.

    I don’t read Dave Barry nearly often enough, and I still miss Erma Bombeck and Lewis Grizzard.

  154. There was so much smoke in the college newspaper offices where I worked while I smoked that you could just inhale the air or cut it in chunks and chew it.

    It is ironic that Mike has lung cancer and I did not.

    Love, Jackie

  155. Me a neat freak? Hahahahaha! The girl that just got reamed for putting a pair of red socks in with the whites so everything came out pink? The girl whose room gets inspected once a week to make me get clothes and shoes off the floor? The girl who left a black barrette in the bathtub and scared Somebody cause they thought it was a spider? Think again. 😀

    Now I gotta go to choir practice. Later!

  156. What the heck, go for broke. I miss Designing Women too. Good Southern humor, most of them gone now.

    Mama is getting homemade pear preserves with her biscuits and fresh cantaloupe. OJ in a wine glass because no clean juice glasses within my short reach. Last time I did that she viewed it with great suspicion, thinking it might be mimosa’s.

    Once I was so notorious for serving beverages with alcohol no one would let their children drink lemonade without asking first.

    Love, Jackie

  157. But you respond well to discipline and correction it would seem, Lily. Maybe I could find a neat freak male roommate? Wait, I have one but age has gotten him too it seems.

    Love, Jackie

  158. With all the talk of Southern comics I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Jerry Clower. I recall one of his stories where he talked of how his mama made homemade biscuits. Now, he said, “when women want to make fresh biscuits they open up a can. It sounds like a war zone with all the popping and banging of those cans opening.”.
    Not the biscuit story but a good sample of his work.

  159. Mark, I love Jerry Clower and have heard him in person long, long ago. The biscuit story is his best and I cannot see a canned biscuit without thinking of him. I still open them the way my Granny did, whack them hard on edge of counter.

    Never saw my mama or granny bake a homemade biscuit. My stepdad came to visit once and I served buttermilk biscuits. He ate them and wanted to know where I’d learned?

    I am told my ancestors owned wooden biscuit bowls but lord knows where they went? Dog or chicken feeders?

    Love, Jackie

  160. Chip-n-Dales? Naw, just talented “male underwear models”. And no, I didn’t go looking for them, just ran across them looking for a birthday song for Debbe and decided to give her (and perhaps others) a little boost to the blood pressure.

    Re Jerry Clower, I served in the Air Force with a guy from Liberty MS, so there really is such a place. I understand Jerry was a fertilizer salesman before he became a comic. Imagine that.

  161. Looked for the biscuit story on youtube, could not find it but I bet someone can. Found a lot of others, all funny. Then I looked on wiki to see if it might link over there?

    He was married to same woman for 47 years, Homerline Wells Clower. You cannot make stuff like that up about the South. My true name is Jackquline, a combination of my father and mother’s names, with Ann in middle for good measure, all run together by family and pronounced JacknenAnn.

    I changed to Jackie at about age 10 or 11 for good reason!

    Love, Jackie

  162. Jackie, I tell a biscuit story on my wife every time I have a new audience (family wedding rehearsals, engagement parties, etc.). It goes generally like this.
    “Some of you may have known my mother (she died when I was 18). If you did, you’d know that cooking was a really important part of what she believed necessary to take care of her family. One of the ways she did that was to cook a full breakfast, EVERY day. She would could homemade buttermilk biscuits, bacon or sausage, and generally fried eggs for my daddy in the morning, no matter what time. We’d have homemade biscuits before school or work, before church on Sunday, before we went fishing on Saturday morning, even at 3:00 am before we left to go deer hunting. She even made homemade biscuits on the mornings they got up to drive 90 miles for dialysis treatments after her kidneys failed.”
    “You can believe we were grateful, too. Getting up, having a hot breakfast, with those delicious homemade buttermilk biscuits was a highlight of the day. It’s still very high on the list of good things I remember about growing up.”

    “My mother had biscuit making down to a science. She never measured anything, at least by the time I started watching her bake biscuits. She had an empty can from tomato sauce that “lived” in the canister with the self-rising flour. The can served as both scoop and biscuit-cutter. She would scoop out some flour, pour in some buttermilk, then add some melted butter from the heavy-duty metal pie pan preheating in the oven. (I was probably 12 years old before I called those round, angled side pans anything but a biscuit pan.) A few stirs, then the sticky dough got turned out onto a sheet of waxed paper with flour. A little more flour, a couple of folds, and the dough was ready to press out and cut. She never used a rolling-pin, just mashed it down gently with her hands. Then she’d cut the inch-thick dough with the can, dipping it in flour to be sure it didn’t stick to the dough. The air pressure in the can would pop the biscuit right out. The hot pan with melted butter would come out of the oven, each biscuit dipped in hot butter, then turned over and nestled into place in the pan. She never measured, but she never wasted anything either. There were always EXACTLY the right number of biscuits to fill the pan minus one. That one was made from the trimmings of the dough around all the other biscuits when they were cut. There might, sometimes, be a small tidbit of raw dough left for the little boy watching.”
    “So did I say that my mama made biscuits EVERY day? It was like the sun, rising in the east. In fact, she made homemade buttermilk biscuits the morning before she died. She had a heart attack one day on the 90-mile drive for her dialysis treatment. You’d better believe that there were hot, homemade buttermilk biscuits that morning, just like any other.”

    “I’m sure most of you are beginning to wonder about the point of my story. You’re probably saying, ‘I’m sure those were some good biscuits, but what does it have to do with this wedding rehearsal?’ Well, the truth is that those biscuits so affected my life that when Elise and I were in college I proposed to her by asking, ‘Would you marry me and make me biscuits every day like my mama did for my daddy?’ She said ‘Yes!’.”

    “It was a moment of joy for both of us, followed by many more through a lot of years of marriage. But you know what? During the past 25 years [30/etc.] she has YET to make me homemade biscuits. NOT ONCE!”

    “The truth is it isn’t the biscuit-making that I was asking for. It was the unwavering, sacrificial love for her husband and family.That’s part of what the biscuits were for my mama, but there are lots of other things that my wife, Lindsey and Sarah’s mom, has done to show her love. The things Elise has done because of my kidney disease you wouldn’t believe! The support for her children is resolute. My hope and prayer for this couple is that they find the ‘biscuits’ in their relationship and have many happy years together.”

  163. Good afternoon, all. We had a nice service with five(!) baptisms. We Episcopalians don’t get that many but once in a blue moon. I sang lead soprano in “I Belong To Jesus” and managed not to come in too soon on the third verse, which is a real feat for me. Or choir director was glaring at me so I waited till he signaled to sing out. Afterwards he said, “Well, Susie, glad to see you were watching me. For once.” Brought me down proper.

    We are on our way to eat brunch, which will be fun. I haven’t eaten since six AM so my insides are making demands.

    Don’t know Jerry Clower. Before my time, maybe? And I haven’t had a biscuit in over a year. It was at the Greenbriar restaurant so I have no idea whether it was made from scratch or not. I ate it with butter only and eschewed the gravy. Big shock, I know

  164. What a beautiful story, David. My mama while no homemade biscuit maker (not even from mixes) always got up and made what my husband called “man killing breakfasts” for all the “men folks” especially on deer hunting days. Sausage, bacon, ham sometimes, pancakes, fried eggs, those canned biscuits.

    I get up and cook for her every day, the things she is used to.
    Forget granola or muesli or a veggie breakfast. Grits, oatmeal plain, not potatoes since we are Southern.

    Did I mention she was still deer hunting when I moved her up here? Blind as a bat or getting that way at 93. She had about 44 deer stands all over our family farm!

    Episcopalians don’t recruit converts well, Lily. Husband says we are declining church as not enough new baptisms, as you pointed out. I once told someone here in Oklahoma that I had to study religion extensively to be confirmed and go to classes. They asked if there was a test? I said I thought so.

    Studying religion doesn’t appeal to a lot of people.

    Love, Jackie

  165. Jackie, I have fond memories of Designing Women, but there were two things that I found impossible to ignore: not only was there an unhealthy dose of male bashing, the writers even made Anthony agree with the women and participate in the bashing.

  166. Yeah, Jackie, Episcopalianism is too intellectual for a lot of people. They like to go with feelings and be told what to do (Here she omits the name of two denominations and feels her priest smiling at her). Our church is growing, though (Christ Church in Tyler). We get a lot of converts from the college students, here. One of them told me that she was jogging by our church and the singing was so beautiful she stopped to listen (she was raised C of C but had lapsed) . She came into the narthex and was kind of hiding behind a door when we (the choir) came out during Recessional and followed me back to the choir rehearsal room. She was embarrassed to be wearing shorts but when she saw me doff my robe and saw I was wearing short culottes, she came over to me and introduced herself. We talked for like thirty minutes and I took her to meet our youth minister. She has been coming to traditional service for over a year now and I am trying to get her to join the choir.

  167. I was kind of thinking that we might get some comments regarding today’s strip. I personally can identify with it as this is one of the most pleasant part of being married. With all the troubles in the world and in our personal lives, a good hug is all we need.

  168. Couldn’t relate to today’s strip, Steve, being single. A cuddle with my puppy is nice, but it doesn’t solve anything. I used to get into bed with The Boss Of My Life when I had nightmares, but I have gotten too embarrassed to do this for a long tome – years!

  169. Dave in Austin – Great story. I believe I am an old southern soul – love, love biscuits. All this darn biscuit talk is making me hungry and I just ate!

    However, I have one question about your story. How does the missus one up you? A great story like that *has* to have a great response. 😉

  170. I’ve not yet read most of today’s posts, but doubt any concern the latest TIP blog, ‘You call that a moustache?’ Ilya Repin lived late 19th-early 20th centuries, so was still active into the USSR period. He was lauded as a ‘socialist realist’, which means he could paint what he saw well, and didn’t rock the boat. Mostly he did portraits, battle scenes, and such, but he could have specialized in still-lifes. Note the treatment of ‘crystal’ glass items.

    You can see lots of well known Russians and Ukrainians here: Glinka, Mussorgsky, Tsar Nickolas II, Tolstoy, etc. Our wooly pair, unfortunately, are unnamed court figures. The site below says it’s his complete works. They are on p. 10, if I remember.

  171. Jackquline – Just for fun, I ran your name through the 1940 census on the LDS site. Perchance, were you then living in the Waynesboro area? If I am imposing, just ignore me.

  172. CEP, not at all. Born in 1944 just after dad was killed in Italy filming for battle of Monte Casino. I will be in next census released. I went to boarding school in PA at the Grier School for Girls, went to a lot of cultural “field trips” at State College. It is not too far away. Used to ride the Pennsy a lot to Altoona.

    Just got off phone with daughter about driving thru PA. I said plot a scenic route and keep me off interstate highways!

    Love, Jackie

  173. Wanted to avoid the Penn Tollway and accidentally came upon Shanksville, PA, which is where Flight 93 crashed into a field. The amazing thing was when I was driving up and down the hills from town to the crash site, I could feel the loss of horizon, similar to what happened to plane that day. I visited there the year before the memorial was built, but seeing that field was very unsettling. We were pleased to have made the detour on our way home.

  174. Lilyblack, where my sister and I go to Services, we don’t need a choir because when it’s time to sing, the whole congregation sings. Not only that, what we sing isn’t in English, it’s either in Hebrew or Aramaic.

  175. Sideburns, different strokes. Our whole congregation sings, too, except during the Choral Anthem and the solos, but we are the ones singing the harmony and the ones who can read music and have practiced the hymns. Boy, have we practiced the hymns.. We all agree that it is for all to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. “S/He who sings prays twice” – Charles Wesley

  176. For those of you out there who are science fiction fans, I’d highly recommend “Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie, if you have not already read it. I read it several months ago and thought it was great. Oh yeah, it just won the Hugo for Best Novel, so there’s that, too.

  177. Sideburns, are you Lebanese by any chance? Synagogue? Or maybe Maronite Eastern rite?

    I may have told of my daughter marrying into a Lebanese family and converting from Episcopalian to Roman Catholic (Bishop said he considered her a returning lamb I think?) I TOLD her he was Maronite, he went and asked parents, nope, Roman Catholic.

    They had to get a Papal dispensation for them to be married in the Roman Catholic cathedral. He was Maronite.

    We keep wondering how they intend to finesse my grandson into Roman Catholic, as Maronite Eastern Rite passes with the father apparently? But son in law raised as a Roman Catholic by Italian mother and not baptized I think. Anyway, they got their dispensation and attend Roman Catholic church now.

  178. I wonder how many of us are musical? I play clarinet & bass clarinet in a local volunteer (unpaid) orchestra and am choir director for my congregation. Steve From Royal Oak, MI obviously sings extremely well. Lilyblack sings, but needs to watch her director more carefully. sideburns sings in very old languages. Who else?

  179. Jackie I got my first Rosary a few months back and am contemplating joining the Community of Christ the Sower. I will be made into a Roman yet if it wasn’t for all the Mariolatry.

  180. Ron, I sing, whistle, and play the mountain dulcimer. Love to play and sing church hymns. Eldest daughter is a super musician, sings, plays several instruments. Youngest daughter is musician, plays trumpet.

    Ghost– yes.

  181. That was lovely, Steve from Royal Oak. I also help out with music at my small church, so perhaps music is a common thread as TruckerRon just asked. And TruckerRon, I also grew up in a trucking family; my father started a trucking business in 1936 and it was still going strong 50 years later. We are all out of it now except my brother and his two sons – they are carrying on the family tradition.

  182. Yay!

    Actually, I sing in church, also. (What?)

    I grew up in and am a member of one of those we-got-no-choir-and-everyone-in-the-congregation-sings-every-hymn churches. And no one has shushed me yet. Nor has the church fallen down when I walked in.

  183. No, not Lebanese. My father’s family came from Lithuania and my mother’s from the Ukraine. We’re Conservative Jewish, leaning a tad closer to Orthodox than to Reform, but never kept Kosher. What many people don’t realize is that a number of our prayers are in Aramaic, not Hebrew, the most important one being the Kaddish, which appears in various forms at several places in the weekly services: Among other things, it’s said as a Mourner’s prayer on the anniversary of a parent or relative’s death, although death itself is never mentioned in the prayer. (Our last uncle died in June, at 96; that Saturday Marcia and I made sure to go to services to say Kaddish for him. He’s survived by two children, but neither of them is religious enough to have felt the need so we did it because it wouldn’t have felt right to us if nobody said it for him. We also say it every year for our maternal grandmother because she lived with us when we were young, giving us in effect three parents.)

    I think that what you’re thinking of is Syriac, a form of Aramaic used in the liturgies of several Eastern churches.

  184. TR – lots of things in common! My dad was a trucker… live in southern Ohio but was born in KY and I am “fairly” southern… used to sing in church choirs, but alas, the voice has pretty much gone with age… and – most of all – we all love A & J (and JJ of course)!

  185. This is how my old boss has to feed her cat. He ended up with a medical condition after losing a leg, and he pulled out his old feeding tube, so her husband created this contraption. He has to stay in the tube for a half an hour after eating. He doesn’t mind, he even purrs, but he does get bored.

  186. So instead of the cat having a feeding tube in him, he is in a feeding tube himself! Clever. Glad your friends went to the extra trouble, as the cat is obviously worth it to them.

  187. Lady Mindy, instead of the comment without the link, it might have been fun to post the link without any comment, just to see what everyone said. 🙂

  188. Well actually I am rhythmically challenged. I come in early or late all the time, but somehow God forgives me. My accompanist is a wonderful cheerleader that encourages me and has helped me grow. I came from a very musical family that loves to sing. I really wish that I could have developed my voice more, but then we always hear every note that is off. I did have a lady that gave me the most wonderful compliment and then said “You sing SO much better than when you first started”. Which made me think: “Gee did I stink that bad before?” lol

    I may have told this story here before, but I do have one brother that never really sang that much. I told him that because he enjoyed music, that it was OK if he did not sing. He told me that wasn’t true, that he sings every week. Sometimes he has to in self-defense!

  189. Well, bless their hearts. A loving and ingenious solution to the problem. I hope the cat lives a long, happy life.

    I love hearing good music, and for years have greatly enjoyed singing in an amateur chorus of women and men; never enough of the latter of course! It’s awfully hard to find men to sing regularly with a group; they are out there, but how to lure them to rehearsal! Anyway, I don’t have much of a special voice, BUT I can listen, and follow directions; don’t whisper while the other parts are practising, can read music, and will look at the conductor instead of burying nose in music book. These are very important in a choristor, folks!

  190. We have a Priest that is Professionally trained who will sometimes begin his homily by singing. We have at least 7 men who cantor. 15 yrs ago when I cantored, I was the only man.

    FYI a Cantor is someone who leads the congregation and not a manner in which horses trot/run/

  191. Good bass voice [not yet diminished by age], stay in tune well, but cannot read music. Can do harmony only if surrounded by music-literate basses. Sing to the cat, often G&S. Play CDs and FM radio, no instruments. Have been UMC since before the U got added, am a dedicated non-Trinitarian who is not worried by anyone’s salvation because of the doctrines they hold. James 2:18 [I’ve cited that often.]

    Older son is a UMC pastor, sings well, and plays piano decently, actually owns an upright. Younger son is a credentialed Methodist skeptic, sings in two church choirs [lives in 2 places] and plays French horn in the town band. Both basses. Daughter rarely attends church, but 3 of us were at the same church last Sunday morning. Younger son and wife arrived about 1400, and all had wife’s/mom’s braised beef and Yorkshire pudding at the parsonage for supper. All 3 are good cooks, thanks to wife/mom.

  192. Steve, my daughter persuaded the priest who conducted her wedding in the cathedral (filling in for bishop who was off electing a new pope) to sing her mass. He had beautiful voice but she also had a cantor who sang with the St. Louis opera in the ceremony.

    Sideburns, how lovely that you said Kaddish for your uncle. Being in the wine business for almost 30 years we had many (mostly) Jewish friends and I did know about the Aramaic prayers which is why I guessed synagogue first.

    The Maronite church my son in law’s grandfather attended did their services in Aramaic and they also had a Roman Catholic priest come in as guest (or vice versa? forget which) and they did a joint funeral mass. That was MOST interesting funeral, as I had converted earlier in life to Catholicism but never been confirmed and they did a Latin Roman and an Aramaic Eastern Rite service of death, so I could follow service more or less.

    Anyway, Lily going from Anglican to Roman Catholic and then back to Episcopalian is not a big stretch. Except being raised by a Southern Baptist grandmother, who declared to me that “Hell’s full of Episcopalians!”

    Please know that I truly believe that all religions are the RIGHT RELIGION! This is one area where I believe we are free to practice any form of worship or belief in an almighty or not that we wish.

    Our farm house was used most of my life for prayer meetings and Bible study groups, along with being a voting precinct. Before that it was where my grandmother’s church began, out in our seed house long before I came along. My family gave speakers for the church’s organ as my grandmother loved the church and music so much. She played and sang along to a wheezing old pump organ my entire life.

    Going back to sleep now.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  193. Ghost, you would get the same reaction from me as usual. Lily doesn’t click musical links. Too annoying.

    Charlotte, you are telling me. I am always getting in trouble for not looking at the director. “Susie, watch me!” I don’t whisper though I might giggle every once in a while. Don’t know why y’all have trouble getting male choristers, though. Our choir is over half male.

  194. Dear emb, your musical life skills are very fine. I love hearing a bass voice … so rich and beautiful to the ear. What a nice family you have! You must be very proud of them. I love the French horn too.

  195. Lily, I am so envious of your choir having all those men! Wonder why you have lots when we don’t. Maybe it’s a North/South thing. As for looking at the director, you can do it! Get in the habit of looking down at your music, see a few notes or words ahead, then up at the director — up and down, up and down.

  196. Only time I sing publicly is in church where I am blessedly drowned out by the rest of the people around. One problem I have in a Pentecostal church involves the clapping while singing. Some people can’t walk and chew gum, well I can’t clap while singing and keep time. So I sing and let the others clap.


  197. Mark, I’d gladly welcome any of those guys to my choir. Today at rehearsal we had 5 altos, 8 sopranos, 2 basses and one lonely tenor. Too many of our guys are being asked to fulfill other duties during choir rehearsal time!

  198. Charlotte, maybe so. All I know is that we have a whole lot of men: nine basses & four tenors, against four altos and five sopranos. And they are always there at rehearsal, too. I hear them “And this is where we come in” while we women giggle and gossip

  199. Dang! And I was already trying to rig a waterproof case for my Canon from a Ziplock bag. Anyway, thanks for the vote of confidence, Gal. 😉

    Oh, and “my Canon” being a video camera, of course.

  200. Have a 100 year old piano that neither one of us can play, but it’s been in the family since new and it’s been refurbished so I have to keep it.

  201. Good morning Villagers………….

    Loooonnnggg day yesterday..11 hours. Rained all day, and the condensation was heavy. Hen house was mucky….just a really bad day in all. The Boss and I both were having panic attacks as we couldn’t get much done. The teens were driving me nuts. Came home and took TWO anti-anxiety prescription meds. Still awake at 1ish.

    But, today is another day…..

    GR 😉 thanks for the ‘birthday video’. And thanks for the compliment. I try.

    Now to try and wake my son up….I think I would rather have a tooth pulled.

    Never sang in a choir, but I did do children’s services.

    When I sing at work, they’ll ask me who sings that song…I tell them, and they say “let them sing it”!

    “All by myself, don’t wanna be all by myself” 🙂 Hate that song

    gotta go……teens can only work from 4:30 until 8….school nights.

  202. Just wanted to say “thank you” to everyone. This is an interesting group I keep saying. Because of you, I learn new things, me and my computer! I learned about Jewish funeral customs, the difference between the Eastern Rite and Latin/Roman Catholic churches, the Aramaic and Syraic languages and services, the Chaldean Christians being persecuted in Iran right now, the Anglican order of Jesus the Sower and any number of other interesting and informative subjects.

    Why? Because you all mention something I realize I don’t know about, I go “Wow, that is interesting!” and I look it up and read about it. Same with music, I hear new music and things I’d never hear around here.

    Did I mention I used to love dictionaries, encyclopedias and anthologies, books of quotes? I read them like novels. Now Wikipedia and the internet give me information. And yes, I know Wiki isn’t all that accurate sometimes!

    Thanks again,

    Jackie Monies

  203. Did anyone notice in 9CL that Martine experienced comic strip time lapse and managed to take off her vest or change her top AND get her hair cut or styled?

    So, I am apparently right about the mystery gunman being her old lover, the triple crossing spy/agent whatever. But how did she get out from under Bill without waking him up?

    And will they ever get out of that wheat field? Plus, I have walked in wheat fields and you leave a path where you tromp through and theirs seems to close behind them like water.

    Love, Jackie

  204. Jackie, it must be “cartoon wheat.”

    Since Monday is my day to “catch up” on 9CL, I noticed the same things about it, my first thought being one installment (or more) had been dropped from the sequence. Between Saturday and Monday, Martine not only put up her hair and got partially undressed (granted, she does seem to have a preternatural ability to get undressed quickly), she lost her Luger as well.

    She also seems to have a preternatural ability to walk right up to men pointing rifles at her without suffering harm and/or to wrap them around her little finger by assuming revealing positions while nude. Is the portrayal of her character beginning to strike anyone else as at least vaguely sexist?

  205. On 9CL, I think today’so strip is a flashback during the flashback. Ugh! Okay, enlighten me, I get today’so real time Arlo and Janis is referencing sports, but could someone please explain the rivalry?

  206. That and the gunman who was directly over her and Bill is now some distance away and she walks to him.

    I just figured that Brooke, like everyone else, had lost track of the plot and hadn’t kept a copy of the strip or a story board?

    I have always thought the strip to be sexist and portraying women that way. Look at the occupations, clothing, poses.
    Lately anyway. I miss the nuns and the veterinarian, who at least kept their clothes on. Laughs here.

    Love, Jackie

  207. I thought real time was the Attica riots whose anniversary is now approaching. If so, given situation in St. Louis, not good timing JJ for a riot joke.

    Love, Jackie

  208. Good morning, all. Rough day at the hospital as Mondays tend to be. We had to do a tracheostomy on an 18- year old boy with some kind of cerebral vasculitis that is slowly killing him. Made me think of my friend Tiffany who has something similar but is in remission, thank the Lord! I got to bustle about with trays form the OR and do the prep. All my job so that The Boss Of My Life can step in and do the hard part without having to worry about mundane things. Afterwards, his mom showed me pictures of how he looked before he was stricken. Kind of a surfer dude look, really cute. I promised to bring some before and after pics of my friend Tiffany, who was a cheerleader when I was in High School and of whom I have a picture framed in my room of her doing a perfect jump-twist with her blonde hair blowing in the breeze.

  209. I was thinking of Athens, Georgia. Football season is around the corner, so I assume fit was a football reference. If it is a riot reference, remember, these are several weeks ahead. Howevrr, I am surprised there wasn’t a last second switch out with a rerun.

  210. Lady Mindy, per Google: “In the film Dog Day Afternoon, (1975), Al Pacino’s character, Sonny, who is holding eight bank employees hostage, starts the chant, “Attica! Attica!”, at the massed police outside, evoking the excessive police force used in response to the Attica (prison) riot.”

    Arlo, being Arlo, seizes on Janis’s comment in panel #1 to do his Pacino impression in front of bystanders, so embarrassing her that she runs away.

  211. Debbe – Why does a chicken coop have two doors? Because if it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan. (Thank you Mike Rowe and Dirty Jobs.) Going to actually work on moving stuff now.

  212. You are a better person than I, Lady Mindy. Or at least more motivated. After I made my last move to my present domicile, I decided it would indeed be my last move. I can only hope another Katrina does not come along and smash it, as I fear in the aftermath I would be like one of the pitiful wretches in some of the dystopian novels I’ve been reading lately, scurrying around in the wreckage and trying to survive.

    And that chicken sedan joke is almost as bad as the one about the giant snail driving the fast car with a big letter “S” painted on its sides. 🙂

  213. Good one Mindy. Jackie, I was telling you about Elvis when the lightning started, but the point was he will come into the bedroom during the night and I will wake up with his head on my pillow and he will be snoring away. Yes, cats do snore.

  214. Okay, I am back from the hospital, showing that poor distracted mother pictures of Tiffany and I in our cheerleader outfits and Tiffany as she looks today. In return I got to look at the album of that poor boy’s babyhood and childhood. At the end, we were both bawling. Funny how families will always open up more to we paramedicals (so to speak) than the real docs and nurses.

    Oh, and, Ghost, I watched “Dog Day Afternoon” once and kept wishing somebody would just shoot Al Pacino’s character. Horrible movie

  215. Lily, it struck me more as someone making a movie that attempted to gin up sympathy for some horrible people, under the guise of them being “anti-heroes” and “anti-establishment”.

  216. Ref putting cameras on police officers to record their actions on the job…good idea. Putting cameras on elected officials and politicians to record their actions on the job…wonderful idea.

  217. Attica riots were in my home state, so I knew / them, but didn’t know the usage. Searched “Attica, Attica, Attica,” learned all about it. I’d heard of Al Pacino and maybe heard of the movie, but I’m way out of that loop.

    Arlo is a ham. I don’t know about Brooke.

  218. Brooke? McEldowney? He is a master cartoonist but is far from being a ham. He is one of the few that does not allow Comments on either 9CWL or Pibgorn. In fact, you cannot view the previous page on Pibgorn. Makes sense since Pib Press will issue in book form. Which I will buy, just like I bought “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Shut up, Brooke, and take my money. And do “Much Ado About Nothing” or “As You Like It” next. Please. I’m begging. Or at least “The Winter’s Tale”. 🙁

  219. I did not imply Brooke is a ham. “I don’t know about so & so” = this person is a puzzle. We all are, but some stand out. I think that Brooke’s take on Shakespeare will work better with the comedies than the tragedies.

    “Looka me, looka me” is > obvious in some folks > others, even though they may be worth the attention.

  220. Nope, Jerry, I never listen to Rush or anybody else on radio. I read his column on Facebook when it comes up in my feed, just like I read the Journal of Anthropology or Glamour or Star Wars or whatever else I am interested in. I read Shakespeare in my quiet time in the evening.

  221. Actually, I do spend a lot of time listening to old music (Mozart is old music, too, right?), but on Spotify. I just can’t share it here as easily as I can on YouTube. And classics are classics, no matter the genre.

  222. The riots in St. Louis/Ferguson, MO are horrible and destructive.
    I know cartoons are drawn and scheduled weeks before they appear but given the serious riots which are protesting excessive force and police brutality in MO it might have been better to switch cartoons.

    Yes, I think it is funny and yes, I knew it referred to an old movie line but was it in good taste to run it? I know I am not always politically correct so who am I to second guess anyone?

    And no, I am not sympathetic to any rioters, in Attica or on the streets.

    And yes, I think 9CL has totally lost it, the plot that is. They can use the excuse that Bill the Cat ate it, like they do on Opus. That might be why he allows no discussion? Who cares what the reader thinks?

    Love, Jackie Monies

  223. Jackie, I think Brooke is tinkering with time. The German soldier mentions Martine Cloquer shooting him in both ears, which is what happened to her former lover. A memory, perhaps?

    And, I heartily agree that today’s A&J is in bad taste. I realize that JJ prolly submitted it weeks ago, but somebody at the syndicate should have caught it. And, sorry, JJ, I don’t think it was in good taste to start off with (I have already mentioned loathing “Dog Day Afternoon”)

  224. My small town bank where my family has banked for about 100 years lost an employee and the branch manager to a crazed teenager holding them hostage and then killing them. It is a town of about 1300 people at best. One hostage was released, the gunman was shot by police and all three died because a teen thought he could take a bank hostage, as he did.

    I doubt this kid ever heard of Al Pacino and this movie but they are certainly watching what is going on in MO right now I’d bet.

    I knew all involved, even the kid’s family who came to America to seek freedom from stuff like this where they were born.

    Not saying we can stop riots or hostage taking with censors but I don’t think we should glorify any of this stuff.

    And I am with Ghost on the Mozart. Found this great Youtube site with 10 hours of Mozart and discovered – WOWZER! I can play it under whatever I am doing and listen to Mozart on piano while answering mail!

    Duh! Duh! Old lady learns to use Youtube maybe?

    Love, Jackie Monies

  225. I used to use YouTube for Mozart all the time before I got my iPod,Jackie. It certainly is very convenient. But, like I say, The Boss Of My Life has it blocked out at work, along with Pinterest and Instagram.

  226. I have to retract that hostage taking teen probably never heard of Al Pacino and Attica. He was the valedictorian of his private school where his family sent him. He was an American citizen and captain of the football team.

    There are times I think we are raising our own terrorists, young and educated and smart enough to do anything but they don’t.

    Love, Jackie

  227. Certainly Jimmy doesn’t need to apologize for today’s publication of a cartoon he drew some time ago. Nor do I think that anyone should have withheld it from release today. There is, after all, quite a bit of difference between a massive prison riot (a prisoner insurrection, actually) and a relatively small number of people using a tragic situation as excuse to loot and burn small businesses in a section of a Midwestern city.

    It would be interesting to know, however, if the editors of any papers in the St. Louis area that carry A&J felt differently and did not print it today.

  228. Lily, check the “sniper’s” uniform. It’s GI green, not Wehrmacht gray. That’s Kronjuwel, the double (triple?) agent who was slugged by Martine and then pulled out of Normandy by the OSI immediately following D-Day, then (what must be a day or two later) shows up back there, tramping around the countryside while the Allies consolidate their beachhead, and the Germans throw Panzer divisions against them, and managing to track down two people (one of whom he now knows is a fellow OSI agent) in the midst of all that to try to shoot them. Sure, that makes sense.

    But I’m sure McEldowney will eventually draw some pretty pictures that will explain it all to us lesser intellects. 🙂

  229. I do agree with you on the loss of plot and REALLY unbelievable “coincidence” in 9CL, I have started reading it just so I can laugh at it and it isn’t supposed to be funny.

    Abrupt change of topic, husband just brought in a box of gardening stuff for me and I had a Janis moment. I buy tomatoes for next year, as tomato seed from the pyramids will probably still germinate. Golden Mama, Green Envy and Red Zebra. Love those names!

    For now, Harmony spinach and Zen salad greens. Wonderland alyssum.

    Since I look for peace in the dirt and green things, it was an appropriate moment to arrive.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  230. Many people adore Chs. Dickens. Brooke’s coincidences don’t come close to the glut of them in ‘David Copperfield’. Maybe other 19th century Brit and American authors are just as bad. I’m not as familiar with literary classics as I am with some other things.

  231. Ghost, I may be ignorant about a lot of things, but comics coloration and WWII equipment are not among them. The average cartoon colorist couldn’t differentiate between khaki and feldgrau if his or her life depended on it, and that sure looks like a German sniper rifle to me.

    There are no insignia on that uniform, but it doesn’t look like something Joe or Willie would be caught in

  232. It does look more like a German rifle than, say, a 1903 Springfield, but he could have picked it up after he got back to Normandy. Also, check out the brown US-style combat boots, the cartridge belt, and the non-coal scuttle helmet. And a clean uniform with no insignia would be more appropriate for an OSI agent than for a dogface.

    And I’m fairly sure McEldowney would be too proud of his coloration skills to entrust it to anyone else.

  233. You are correctamundo, Dearest Munchkin, but not everything McEldowney draws is all that accurately rendered. (Martine’s sidearm is to me more Luger-like than it is an exact representation of a Luger.) And Kronjuwel’s boots appear to be more GI-like than jack boot-like.

  234. Not that the current story arc in 9CL isn’t amusing in its own way. (Heck, I’d tune in every Monday just to see how many times Martine has gotten naked during the previous week if nothing else.) It’s just that I’ve never particularly cared for deus ex machina plot turns in works of fiction. Such seems to me too much like lazy writing.

  235. And Munchkin, if you think Faulkner was tough to read, you should have done critical analysis of his writing in college Honors English.

    By the way, I enjoy conversing (?) with you here.

  236. Good morning Villagers….

    Indy Mindy. sorry, I didn’t get the chicken sedan joke….but flying the coop was good though.

    You know, I did not see any association between yesterday’s real time strip to what’s going on in MO. All I thought of was Pacino’s character ranting up and down in front of the bank with a white hankie.

    Jerry, I thought you meant the group Rush……..good group, interesting story behind their getting together too.

    And right now, it does feel like time is standing still same chickenpoop everyday….

    We’re behind schedule at cleaning chicken coops, and we only have on door. AND it’s going to be 89 degrees today, with temps in the low 90’s the rest of the week.


  237. IT people, why would the wireless network connection icon have a big X on it, when I can obviously go on the net? And the Network panel says all connections in the home group are good.

    I ran the ‘troubleshoot’ option on it, and it came back with ‘what are you looking for I don’t see a problem’.

    Adobe sent an update this morning. It is the only “new” thing on the machine.

    Ideas? Thanks!

  238. I used to read Pibgorn but quit when the plot got all snarled up with whatever it did. I can’t remember now. As to 9CL, I used to like it, then Edda and Angus moved to New York, and the whole thing turned into soft-core porn. As to the current story line, I’ve forgotten what started it and why.

    I read yesterday’s A&J (Attica!) and immediately got the joke, and I’ve never seen the movie. Maybe some people are just a shade too politically correct.

  239. Since we can’t discuss 9CL over there, we can here. Martine had the Luger concealed somewhere on her person. Can we speculate where? Her newly styled hair as a hairpin? Inside her bra? Naw, doesn’t wear one? Clothes show every curve, so?

    About Brooke’s drawing, Lily, I am telling you, it ain’t that accurate on stuff! Especially men. He doesn’t draw men well, not even gay men, which he has a lot in the past. Everyone looks same, reason we are trying to figure out who is who. His men are all feminine looking, even the hunky ones, they are just bigger!

    About coincidental plots, I always loved Oscar Wilde, who made such fun of the genre’ in his plays. There the coincidences and swinging doors and characters popping in and out were done deliberately to ridicule such plot conveniences. He laughed at others by making fun of them and the jokes are still funny today.

    Babies left in valises in train stations and raised as someone else, only to find out they were in love with their own relatives, although I may be making that up? Wish I could quote one about to lose one parent being bad, but two?

    This is just the same blouse on Janis, she likes the spaghetti strap tank tops, not leading up to peaking down blouse and snakes pop out. Nothing to do with Martine of course.

    Love, Jackie

  240. Good morning, Villagers. We are back early o the office as we have a meeting with somebody from the hospital (yuck!). Re: today’s A&J. I have *always* hated spaghetti straps. I mean, since I was a very young teenager and my friends started to wear them. I thought they looked tacky.

  241. Jackie, all I can do is quote Dorothy Sayers to you: “There is all the difference in the world between somebody who cannot draw and somebody who will not draw.” (Unnatural Death}
    I would count Steven Pastis and Bill Amend among those who cannot draw.

  242. I wore a LOT of spaghetti straps as a teenager, it was the age of Sandra Dee. I am racking brain as to what I wore for a bra? I guess we wore strapless bras, as no one went braless in the 50’s and early 60’s. Think Kennedy period for younger readers.

    Ghost, I will see your Faulkner with Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes in the old Spanish, Castilian, in advanced Spanish literature and now I cannot ask for an iron in a foreign country to get the wrinkles out of my pants!

    I did have a lab assistant working for me in college who spoke a version of old Spanish which mystified me and my prof. Boy said he learned it from his grandmother? When I did genealogy on my husband’s family I got answer 40 years later. The Spanish-Portuguese Islenos who kept speaking an archaic language when they came to Louisiana and hid in swamps. Hundreds of years later from when they left Spain originally.

    So, Ghost, is the English and lit why you have fantastic and correct vocab and word usage? Which I admire.

    Love, Jackie

  243. One person’s tacky is another person’s sexy. 🙂 Good morning, Lily.

    And yes, Jackie, since the “snakes” episode, Arlo will probably just be admiring the outside of Janis’s tops, rather trying to peek into them. For a while.

    My vocabulary mostly comes from being a voracious reader all of my life. (Well, all of it so far.) I have found that writing improves my mental processes and organization. As my favorite English professor was wont to tell us, “Confused writing is a reflection of confused thinking.” (English study was sort of an unplanned minor, just because I enjoyed the classes.)

    And yes, strapless bras were worn with spaghetti-strap tops back in the day, as I recall. Although I can recall some that had built-in bras. Don’t ask how I discovered that fact. 😉 And I’ve always found a shapely pair of shoulders to be just as sexy as a shapely pair of breasts. Well, almost.

    Debbe 😉

  244. The thing I remember vaguely about all my advanced Spanish classes was having to do all the discussion and tests in
    Spanish as well, which was really challenging, it required being able to think in Spanish.

    As Mike says, Mount Mulch in the back yard was a tribute to my inability to say even a basic answer in Spanish. The tree cutters for the power line company spoke only Spanish (or so they professed) and I asked them for a load of chopped mulch. I came back from a long trip to find a pile as high as our two story shop where they had dumped every tree they cut!

    I do not say I am fluent in any language, not even English!

    Love, Jackie

  245. Ghost: I think an awful lot of things are tacky, from spaghetti straps to tube tops to low-cut jeans. But, then, I am an old prude, as I am often told. Short skirts are fine and let me show off my best features, but those horrible short shorts are cut so that the first thing anybody looks at isn’t the woman’s legs, but their crotch. I do it to, just in horror. Do they really think that looks good? I am quite sure they do. My friends don’t wear them, with one exception, but we all think she doesn’t have any taste, in clothes or men.

  246. Debbe, I didn’t know of the group Rush, but I’m sure that I would like them. I get a sore throat from all of the yelling if I listen to any other Rush. Another person has been killed in or just outside of Ferguson. In spite of having worked in law enforcement I reserve judgment until all of the facts are known. I can only say that the shooting of an unarmed fleeing felon is justified in certain circumstances and we don’t know enough yet.

  247. I have always teased my maternal grandma about her love of ugly artificial flowers. I have nothing against artificial flowers, I have probably just as many (or more) as my grandma ever did. She had a massive collection of those old, plastic nasty poinsettias, daisies, and such. My new place has one of those black lamp-posts with the posts on either side. I ACTUALLY entertained the thought of a pair of those horrid, hanging fake geranium baskets. I’ve never been a fan of geraniums, they are only pretty for approximately thirty seconds before they start looking awful. I have turned into my grandma.

    And I have yet to move the first box. Wanted to vacuum before bringing anything in, which is really hard to do with no power. Power company finally showed up late in the afternoon, just before the thunderstorms. 🙁 Honestly, I’m not too disappointed, my left knee is killing me. Lugging boxes down all those stairs does not sound too appealing right now.

  248. In April, 1968, shortly after Janis hit New York for the first time, she told writer Nat Hentoff: I never seemed to be able to control my feelings, to keep them down my mother would try to get me to be like everybody else And I never would. But before getting into this band, it tore my life apart. When you feel that much, you have superhorrible downs. I was always victim to myself. Now though, I ve made feeling work for me Maybe I won t last as long as other singers, but I think you can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow. If I hold back, I m no good

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