Door No. 1, etc.

Digital tools being as they are, this 2008 cartoon would have been an excellent opportunity to draw the first panel and reproduce it three times in the subsequent panels, pasting in dialog and the cat in the final panel. A cartoonist doesn’t want to get lazy and overly dependent on Photoshop, but it would have worked well in this case because of the “wait for it” nature of the gag. In this case, however, I did not. I diligently redrew each panel. I’d like to offer myself as a martyr for artistic integrity, but I’m not sure I qualify. I was using a felt pen which is a speedy medium, and I suspect it simply was easier to knock out each drawing than it would have been to involve a lot of computer chicanery. That can often be the case with me. Oh, that felt-tip pen thing I was going to talk more about. I have not forgotten!

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

165 responses to “Door No. 1, etc.”

  1. Today’s Word of the Day is “katzenjammer”. I thought that might be of some interest to a cartoon-based community such as The Village.

    1. the discomfort and illness experienced as the aftereffects of excessive drinking; hangover.
    2. uneasiness; anguish; distress.
    3. uproar; clamor: His speech produced a public katzenjammer.

    I’ll admit that, had this been multiple choice, I’d have chosen 3, possibly 2, but probably not 1 above.

  2. Thought of another reason to buy a Mustang. Low point of entry vs. Trigger size truck. I still plan to get my knee/knees replaced. It was sometimes hard to swing up on Trigger given my short legs and bad knees. The Mustang is easier.

    The Mustang will fit Ghost, especially with top down. It also fits short people, reason I bought one for my very short daughter. Her short husband also bought a second for him. One size car.

    Third reason, I was on my way to look at buying a Mustang when I rashly bought that last boat. That was mistake. Not keeping boat.

    Fourth reason reminds me of anecdote Ghost told. Something I have never done, hard as that is to believe.

    Fifth reason, the largest commission I ever made selling cars was selling a used Mustang.

    Think I could come up with a hundred if I tried.

  3. What a coincidence! Zorro’s horse was mentioned here yesterday; before seeing that, I began reading “The Mark of Zorro” yesterday. (Also, my husband texted me that katzenjammer link about 90 minites ago…curiouser and curiouser.)

    Jimmy, another strip which I enjoy seems, to my unskilled eye, to use cut-and-paste from previous strips sometimes. I probably wouldn’t notice, except that it seems to repeat the same dozen or so images of a couple of the main characters. Since the way the characters are drawn has changed over the last several years, and the images chosen are older ones, the effect is pretty visually jarring. Thank you for sharing how and why you do things. I enjoy learning about your process as much as I enjoy the product!

  4. Jackie I agree getting in and out of large trucks can be hard to do. My better half even fell out of our truck once while trying to get in. A big ouchie, no I help boost her in. It doesn’t help that the passenger grab handle is broken. Still we love our truck and it has been faithful even when our beloved Subaru had to take a hiatus for repairs.

  5. Wondering why comments since TruckerRon’s link are in italic?

    If anyone doubts the originality of all three of the same frames, above, look for small details… lots of tiny differences, while the overall scene is clearly the same.

  6. When I see comics with the same panel repeated I wonder if the artist did some type of cut and paste or redrew the panel(s). So I look for discrepancies in the panels- in this case the back of Arlo’s hair and the wrinkle in the pant leg tells me each panel was drawn individually.

  7. Let’s try an experiment. If this works, the italics are gone, and that means that TruckerRon failed to close his italics. (And, if it works, that means that there’s a bug in the software running this site; it shouldn’t let an open tag go past the end of the post it’s in.

    JJ, it wouldn’t have occurred to me that you might have used copy and paste, because I’m not an artist, and I don’t think that way. However, once you mentioned it, I saw that the wrinkles don’t quite match, and the lines showing Arlo’s hair are a little different. Still, a good job of copying.

  8. The problem is that TruckerRon’s post contains a “<i />” which is read as a different open and is never closed. (his normal open did have a close.) Hopefully, it let me close it.

  9. I kinda miss my convertible, too. Which of course has nothing to do with no longer driving in parades with short-skirted beauty queens sitting on top of back seat.

  10. Good morning, Villagers. Interesting about the italics. We’ll see if it continues with this.

    Re “duplicate” panels, I noticed a difference in the feet/shoes.

    Re Jackie’s post yesterday “I am on weigh to fitness center.” Was that a Hal pun???!!!

  11. Sideburns, I couldn’t tell if you’d tried to close the regular italics or the funky one (as it was stripped out of your post). I wish I knew how to inject html into the wordpress comment, adding a “</i &gt” to a later post works properly if I edit the page[/i ], but it strips it out when I try to post.

  12. Oh, the reason our names aren’t in italics is because there are in specially formatted paragraphs as opposed to the main/commonly formatted paragraphs which are sharing the malformed unclosed italics tag.

  13. Ghost dear, it turns out the black Mustang is everything I’d want except a convertible. It is a hardtop. I love how it drives though and it is loaded.

    They can do a locate on convertible too.

  14. P.S. my salesman is disabled Afghanistan veteran who got hit with burn injuries and gunshots in ambush while trying to pull his friend out of burning vehicle.

    So I am making sure he gets commission.

  15. The above ‘toon’ is so typical it is the norm.
    Don’t know if I posted this before:
    The definition of a Cat: “A four legged mammal that wants to be on the other side of the door.”

    Get several of your trusted Ford dealers to give you quotes on what a replacement
    for Trigger would cost (not new, but actual miles and service history). Present that to
    your agent – It worked for me once. But then I have been with the same co. almost 60

    Had a small step-stool for MIL in my old truck – with a rope you could retrieve from inside.

  16. I’m proud of you. I always check for slight differences in these 3-of-a-kind panels, and appreciate you not being lazy. Anyone can copy, but it takes talent to make them so similar.

  17. With my back I can’t get in and out of small vehicles. I have trouble with my wife’s old Crown Vic. The Crown Vic is going up for sale next month anyway. I bought her a new Kia Sedona mini van for the birthday in December. It is the perfect height to get in and out of. I will admit my truck can be difficult at times. I fell yesterday but I think it was just before attempting to get in. Had my hands full and somehow next thing I remember was hitting the ground. Can was on the wrong side to stop myself. I really hate falling, yet I do it so often these days you would think I enjoyed it. Hope you get things sorted with the crooks on your truck Jackie. Insurance companies will do all they can to not pay and don;t get me started on health insurance companies.

  18. Yes, this has changed how I feel about insurance companies who now view their customers as adversaries, not clients they serve.

    One reason I am looking to buy the Mustang is to remove as many bad memories as I can. If I simply replace Trigger I will be reminded daily of this fiasco (and boats) so I am hoping Mustang will erase some of the baGuage. I was emotionally tied to Trigger.

    Do you all think Tornado is a good name for a fast black car?

  19. Unless you plan to drive in circles – or in all directions at once – a better name might be “Derecho”. [Purist that I am, I note it has 3 syllables and not 4….]

  20. I have been accused of driving in circles for years. On one trip last year I drove all day for hours and hundreds of miles only to end up about an hour from where I started that morning and behind myself.

  21. My Facebook friends have made me aware there is an inauguration tomorrow with comments about drinking games.

    Sir Ghost, isn’t there anything you’d rather do than watch television tomorrow? I have no plans to watch it.

  22. At work, I am always tempted to open closed doors to meetings, just to see what the heck is going on in there.

    Maybe I’m a little paranoid instead of only curious.

  23. Curmudgeonly, Thank You! I have the same three syllable beef over the word erudite. I hear it many times these days. I think an author of young adult fiction made it popular. I may be the strange one, but I learned to say er-eh-dight, or over pronounce as eh-roo-dight. But air-ee-you-dight drives me right up the nearest wall. I used to laugh at a woman who would physically cringe at the word ‘moist’, because I just didn’t get it. Now I do. I don’t laugh at her anymore.

  24. TruckerRon has prodigious mystical powers of typesetting. His sorcery of unknown HTML commands to invoke a persistent italics has thwarted three attempts at correction? Looks like everyone is writing through a babblefish. hat-tip Douglas Adams.

    I have a Van Halen-David Lee Roth spoken lyric in my head.

    Tell us How You Do… (it)
    [C’mon Dave, give me a break]
    One break, Coming UP!

    Not a big Roth fan, and wish Eddie had handled fame better, but that trio could JAM. Dave was just an ugly frontman, though headbangers like to tout his vocal ability. I thought it was all soundboard magic by a technician.

    Maybe original author has command privilege, TruckerRon can you help us out and undo this voodoo you doo soo well?

  25. Ruth Anne, its a word that doesn’t come up often I grant. But learning the toothpick in the top of the cake trick, when I was maybe six, is what I always associate with moist cakes. I had no idea how forbidden it was until my forties. I’m not shy so I asked.

    What I received was the glare usually reserved for obscene comments, and a refusal to explain. So I don’t ask anymore. I’m a creative guy, so can jump to all kinds of conclusions, but I will not look for confirmation. My best guess is the word was criticized in a humorous movie, by a comedienne, or author I’m not familiar with. Because I’ve seen it in a diverse sampling of reasonable women.

  26. You BROKE it, You bought it.

    On moist: The fact that most of the younger women who dislike the word so strongly, had no shyness wearing the word JUICY in bright colors across their glutial region perplexed me even more.

  27. There IS something new under the sun! {namely, new-to-me knowledge of “moist”}

    This is absolutely the first time I have ever heard of any aversion to the word by anyone!

    My impression of “moist” seems to focus on cookies being moist (thus, bendable somewhat) as opposed to crackers or snaps which simply break. I despise something which looks moist but isn’t, as a dried-out brownie. That is quite a disappointment to my oral cavity. Secondly, cooked meats need a little fat to be “moist” (and flavorful). A piece thereof without fat can be boiled up in tons of water, but the water won’t make it moist in my book. In contrast, the MBH seems to like skinless, fatless, essentially-boiled white meat chicken – to me that is also tasteless; much like chewing balsawood, only not nearly as flavorful.

    Morph, I’m in the EH-roo-dite pronunciation camp. How do you feel about AIR-yoo-dite?

  28. Mark joins the fray! And becomes frayed. But never afraid.

    cx-p, that’s how my Mirriam-Webster’s has it too. I think that’s the link to the 4-sill ah bull version so I try to avoid it myself. Trying to stuff a ‘Y’ and a ‘U’ in my mouth at the same time makes me feel like a Japanese child meeting the word ‘rule’ for the first time. Still can’t get a Spanish ‘R’ to r-r-r-roll, it’s like my tongue has corners. The French ‘H’ only works if i have a cold.

  29. The sill ah bull was supposed to be a joke. It’s my mnemonic for spelling to get both l’s, but I forgot to hit the punchline.

    Now I need a mnemonic for mnemonic.

  30. Bringing this up while you guys are working on other problems is tactless, but I need help badly. GoComics simply will not update. I sign in, it will bring up my Favorites, but every strip is stuck on Jan. 10. I subscribe to the site and have for years; sad that they treat me like this (I know, I shouldn’t take this personally.) One of the Villagers said here last week or so, to delete the cookies, and I found the setting okay but couldn’t do it just for that one site. If I delete all my cookies, my daily newspaper, and other sites I rely on, won’t recognize me; for that matter, the comics site won’t recognize me either; as a subscriber. Feeling down in the dumps over this. Can you please give me some guidance?

  31. Ricardo Mantalban speaking on the Johnny Carson show opined that
    unless you spoke a second language before you were 10 you would always
    speak with an accent; because the muscles in the mouth are set by then.
    Must work for dialect and regionalisms too.

  32. Charlotte, you already tried what I would have suggested. But I didn’t want to leave you without a response. And you are much too genteel with your talk of tact. 😉

    I’ve juggled problems over the last year, and on the advice of the knowledged [maybe], dump cookies frequently. Means I have gotten a lot more familiar with my keyboard, logging in all the time.

    My interpretation is we either experienced a disturbance in the website/browser balance across all of interwebnetlink during the last year. When EVERY maker changed their operating system. Or we are about to have the wise gurus sell us our new browser/HTML standard to fix everything.

  33. If you stare at the italics long enough, then go to a different tab, every other page looks so strict. Like Nurse Ratched is in charge of the ward.

    Old Bear, I liked your endless loop definition of a cat. Mine, however prefers to straddle the threshold of a held-open door. And will stare you right in the eye while doing it. He loses eventually, but likes to see how long it takes. I consider it my patience barometer. Useful information for the rest of my day.

  34. I have been trying to post an article from mentalfloss about a scientific study done by a group of lingual scientists on word aversion which covered moist. There were about a dozen articles on the study and this was best, June 2015.

    Do not read the slang or urban definitions, those are weird and gross.

    The scientists are interesting. WordPress has kicked me out endlessly. See if you can google.

  35. Jackie I wondered if it was a hotlink that was keeping you out.

    Thought you might have wanted to correct my soft Corinthian leather. Thought I remembered it was a favored feature of yours. Suspected I had it wrong. When wiki told me better, I thought you’d be disappointed.

    Was about to call out–

    Can you hear me Major Tom?

    When I see your comment, and Charlotte’s, and Domaucan’s, and others, I wonder why things seem broken?

  36. Interesting, I guess it doesn’t like me either…


  37. Yeah, I don’t think it’s the age of the finger. I think it’s the bungle in the code. I don’t like it when people try to lay fault on the user. If the code worked, any user could work the code.

    Jimmy, it’s strange. Your retro comic today, while humorous, did not spark. As soon as I read it was done with the felt-tip, I immediately saw the constant line weight. Not until you point it out do I know *why* it is flat. Until then, it just registers as ‘blah’. Then a funny thing happens. Once I know the why, I can dismiss it, and see the other differences pointed out above.

    I think the individually drawn frames is recognized, even if unconsciously, and reinforces the tedious passage of time as if you’d had Arlo gasp in frustration, but more subtle. Maybe some flavor of additional effort bleeds through the drawing, and we taste it. I changed senses trying to describe the je ne sais quoi of line art. Not what we see, but what we interpret before thought. OK, too deep. And that opinion was unenhanced by pharmaceuticals.

    When frames are identical, as noted several times, we all see it for what it is. We are trained to spot patterns, it’s the differences that slipp wright buy, al tha thyme.

  38. Different thought on what I see but don’t always understand. I firmly believe your hand lettered balloons give more tone than a typeface can. But I also know that if you quizzed me on which is which, I would be qrong half the time. I’d be wrong, as well.

  39. Y’all I have been fighting car dealer websites all night. I am once again annoyed with my local dealer. They are so sleepy at times. They know I sold cars. They know I am computer literate. Why do they bother to lie? Again.

    So, I found a hard top and a convertible Mustang at good end of year discounts but in Tulsa, the exact one I would buy. Guess I am going to Tulsa tomorrow.

  40. Jackie, might get a verbal verification on VIN over the phone before you drive. Yours is not the first time I’ve read bait and switch. An old tactic brought into the 21st C. with a shell game/three card monte twist.

  41. Jackie:
    Most car dealers like politicians – you know they are lying when their lips move.
    Some would rather lie than tell the truth even if the truth were easier.
    There is a dealer near here like that that I would not even drive by
    but it is the only way into town.

    When it is 20 below mine have a second and a half
    at 20 above they have a little over 3 seconds. And they do not go out in groups;
    it is one at a time.

  42. Charlotte, this is the FIRST time I have ever felt semi-qualified to help on a computer problem…hope this works.

    You can specify which sites can use cookies and which not; it is not an all-or-nothing deal. My son taught me that.

    Go to the “tools” icon – looks like an 8-petalled flower – and click to see its menu. Click on “internet options” to open a window elsewhere (hereon, at the upper left). Click on “privacy” tab. Under “settings”, click on “sites”. On that last, you will find a place to list sites you allow to use cookies and to remove sites using cookies if there are any shown. Save what you list/delete by whatever means is provided. Close windows.

    Anyone: If I have erred in the above, tell Charlotte the correct way to do it.

  43. Jackie I missed a punctuation
    Most car dealers are like politicians –

    There were 3 dealers near here that I liked – great guys – all lost their affiliation
    during the bail-out, each from a different “Big Three”.

    One fought Dodge over a territory infringement a while back and won. I guess no surprize
    He said when he figured it out he was loosing money on each new-car sale. The city he was
    in would not allow Used Car lot in town so he retired.

    Another gets by on used cars, consignments, and repairs – His dealership was with Ford for
    100 years.

    The other is still doing OK, sells trailers, lots of used trucks, and networks with other dealers
    to sell new(?). The thing is, they will find what you are looking for. And I am not what you call
    a regular – It was 20 years between purchases. (Though they were my servicing dealer for many years.)

    GM Debbe where-ever you are.
    Greetings Mizz Charlotte.

  44. Old Bear, hadn’t considered the meteorological weather. My barometer was more self referential. If I’m smiling during the stare down there is a good day ahead. If my cat can get to me, I better make an adjustment before the first real issue of the day raises it’s head. My cat will always come back when hungry.

    Hadn’t thought it through, maybe sphygmomanometer is a better metaphor, but I had to copypaste that. Never learned a mnemonic. Got mnemonic right that time.

    But having a feedback loop for my demeanor is very useful.

    Just occurred to me, I consider my cat a better feedback tool than another person. And the cat has no discernible facial expression. Oh crap, does that mean it’s time for a ‘relationship check’? Think I’ll just try ‘touching base’ a couple extra times. Don’t want to jump to far ahead.

  45. Curmudgeonly, hat doffed. Descriptions and labels can be frustratingly different across brands. But the ideas behind them are very similar. Well done.

    One time I had picked up the slang of ‘hamburger’ for the icon in Android(?) for their settings menu. It shares an appearance to a one-color version of an old Burger King logo. The person I was trying to help didn’t see it that way, and became very frustrated before I clued in and started saying ‘three lines’.

    But the guidance of idea is right on.

  46. Denis Istomin, a name I did not recognize; 30 year old tennis player from Uzbekistan; who in earlier years topped out at 33rd in the world, currently ranked 117th; a wild card entry at the Australian Open; made it to the second round being matched against last year’s champion, Nº 2 in the world Novak Djokovic; kept him on the court for four hours and fifty minutes; before defeating the champion and sending him to the locker room so he could stay and give interviews.

    I was surprised.

  47. Old Bear:

    I am also a ferroequinologist.

    Have you visited the B&O museum in Baltimore?

    I haven’t made it there yet, but I hope to do so this summer.

  48. Old Bear: While it is true that many people do not lose their accent, I know of many folks that do not. I co-worker was born in Ireland and came to the US after college. I met him when he had been here 20 years and he spoke with a Southern accent.(He lived in Virginia) My brothers and I grew up in Fort Wayne but 4 of them moved to Central Indiana and all have a bit of a twang to their voices. A good friend of mine hosts a radio show and she sounds like a typical Midwestern, even though she is from Rhode Island. When she goes back to visit for a week or so, she will occasionally read something on air and forget her accent and start to giggle and explain that she spoke that way for 25 years. Someone called in and told her he had not been back to New England for a long time and would she please introduce the next song in her Rhode Island accent. She would also do her St. Patrick’s Day broadcast with an Irish accent. She is gifted.

  49. Two former students, not related and at different times [at least 5 yr. apart] went from BSU to jobs in MS. Both have what to me are moderate S. accents. But one reported that, even after a decade or more living and working in MS, colleagues there said she spoke like a Yankee. Both prof. biologists, she wildlife cons., he Ole Miss prof.

    Relatively few locals recognize what’s left of my Newyorkese.


  50. I am a good example of a hard to place accent. I do not sound like anyone from the deep Delta South nor do I sound like Texas or Oklahoma. I talk Southern but not placeable.

  51. Of course, when I am in deep South they think Yankee and when I am in West or North they think Southern but can’t place where. That is partly result of living many places and partly result of being taught universal English, to learn to speak like the man on the six o’clock news.

    Remember on Are You Being Served? The young clerk wanted to learn elocution to speak posh?

  52. Ghost, you are a good friend and a good man. She is lucky to have you. Take care, I know you will take care of your friend.

    Wish I really knew you. I have felt for three years that I was missing knowing an extraordinary person. You are special.

  53. Just saw an online quiz (about Southern manners) that asked which side a gentleman should walk when with a lady. As most here surely know, the correct answer is between her and the street. The real question is why?
    Of course, it is to shield her from any splashing water or mud from passing coaches!

  54. When dating my last date the answer was the side he could hear from since he was totally deaf in one ear. He would joke to pay attention to which side he was walking on since that was how he tuned people out.

  55. GR6, safe travels. You seem to bring cheer wherever you go. A rare talent. Your friend will be happy to have you. Glad you could do it for them. We’ll be looking forward to anything you share.

  56. David, that’s a reason I find etiquette should be more pliable. I prefer to escort a woman from what ever side lends itself to the occasion. A young woman shared her prize tickets won from a radio spot to a local music festival. We were in the standing area of the main stage, and everyone had fun during the opener, milling around, exchanging pleasantries.

    When they dropped the banner serving as a curtain, the surge began. Later she was miffed that I had stood behind her the entire show. She felt ‘left alone’. I asked if she noticed she was the only one out of several hundred nearby that wasn’t touching five other people. I had thought I was doing the favor of enforcing a personal space for her.

    Our styles didn’t mesh, and we moved on.

  57. Well Direct TV just left after getting satellite reinstalled. For better or worse I have let the bug eyed monster back in my home. But not in bedroom or kitchen. Those two are gone so no watching all night or during meals. Thank you, no snakes crawling through dinner or O’Reilly in bed.

    Got up to have a toasted cheese sandwich and glass of tea, along with meds. Came back to find Spotty, one of the feral cats from Alabama, asleep right in middle on bottom sheet. He refuses to move over and is purring at my hip.

    Didn’t take much to go from feral to house cat. And middle of my bed.

  58. I was thinking, while it might be interesting to debate O’Reilly across a pub table on even ground where he doesn’t control the mic; I wouldn’t want him near my bedroom either.

    Jackie, sorry girl, but assuming you are home. WHY ARE YOU GETTING BACK IN BED?

    Everyone deserves time to relax, just thought you needed a nudge.

  59. Bad headache and vertigo today. Still there unfortunately. Think it is sinus pressure, I know they are bothering me.

    Autoimmune diseases carry a large component of tired blood type symptoms but I don’t usually stop for those. The dizziness gives me pause.

  60. As it should, sorry if I pried. Just enjoyed your lively words following a renewed gym membership. Didn’t want you backsliding already. Recoup and move on. Best wishes.

  61. Rick, in the realm of ‘if you don’t know, then it’s not you’, ferroequinoloy was a new term that brought a smile. My first thought was of motorcycles, then it clicked.

    While I do not have a knowledge base for it, there is a strange attraction to the subject. Railways as trails traversing forgotten geography are a favorite of mine. But really any facet of the subject can keep me cross-referencing through links far longer than it should.

    I appreciate Eisenhower’s (great name for the subject) efforts for our infrastructure. But I think it caused us to believe everyone should have a car. Then when rail was no longer profitable, should became must. The inexpensive long trip, where someone else took care of things, became expensive and your on your own, buddy. Good luck. I do tend to the nostalgic.

    A town I know, at one time had a network of electric trolley lines that serviced passengers and orchard freight over a twenty mile expanse. I have no idea how many miles of rail were involved in the various lines. I know it is a smaller scale than your interest. It serviced the needs of far flung, frankly poor, people at very little or no individual cost. It was supported by the business enterprise that made it possible. When the last line was removed because it made the pavement difficult on a major artery, schoolkids stopped getting a biannual treat of local history.

    Side note, in looking up how broadly Ferroequinologist was used, I came across Gongoozeling. And have to admit I’ve spent an afternoon doing nothing but munching snacks at a picnic table in Sault Ste Marie, wishing my windbreaker was lined.

  62. I feel like an excited kid each time something I’ve ordered is delivered to the house. I don’t like shopping in a store much. Since I seldom do it, I feel frustrated and cranky when I have to; I never know which store might carry what, or where in the store it is. Being able to find things I need online and order them gives me such a sense of freedom. (I’ve always disliked shopping. Dad and I would sit in the car and read while Mom shopped.)

  63. An afterthought on continental travel, a treasured memento my sister keeps.

    My sister landed a position with what had been at the time a very respected Big Eight accounting firm, and moved to the Bay Area straight out of college. The grandmother I’ve described as of lesser health was so thrilled she gave my sister a framed postcard.

    My grandmother had worked the war years in administration at a minor factory involved with the war effort. Which meant she and Grandpa, a farmer, led different lives. From their stories they loved each other, they certainly were devoted through some bad times, and never would have divorced. But they did find recreation in different ways.

    In the postwar years Grandma would take vacation time, and not much money really, and a few of the gals would head west. Back then professional photographers did not feel the need to get permission from every tourist who might appear in a profitable photo. I do not know how often the girls made this trip, but on a subsequent one they hit every postcard stand they could find. A popular card, widely distributed, showed a fiery redhead captured mid-stride exiting one of San Francisco’s famed cable cars.

    Now I only knew my Grandma later, but have often wondered if this hadn’t been pre-war. I’ll have to sneak a peek to refresh my memory next time I’m out to visit. Because the story of traveling freedom restored after the war doesn’t quite jive with that rail-thin woman in the postcard, who by then must have been a very fit version of the eastern farmer’s wife, mother of four.

    A little family crowing, but my point being there was a time before hitchhiking. When it was a simple matter to cross a continent in relative comfort without costing two months salary just in travel. And it was catered.

  64. Y’all can put me down as someone who loves the freedom personal autos bring. Because I live in an area of low population density (about 2,700/sq. mile), our public transit system is woefully inadequate. To get to my little job as a proctor at a community training college takes 91 minutes on the buses + a mile of walking. Add the return trip and I’d be on buses for about 3 hours and hobbling those 2 miles (sciatica from unloading my truck too many times)… and my shift is just 4 hours per day. Or I can drive directly there and back, 20 minutes each way.

    It was all quite different many years ago when I contracted with General Data to update installation manuals for their Oracle team in the Bay Area (Redwood Shores). I lived in a rooming house, traveled on Caltrain for about 10 miles to the San Carlos station and caught an Oracle employee shuttle the rest of the way. I did my grocery shopping by taking a bus back along El Camino Real to a store about a half mile uphill from my rooming house. And I’d fly home every 2 or 3 weeks for a 3-day visit.

    Here in Utah, there’s no question that mass transit doesn’t work for well over 90% of us, but that doesn’t stop the politicians from building things (Bus Rapid Transit project over $160 million) that we don’t and won’t need for decades to come. Some folks enjoy pointing out the nearly empty trains and buses to our visitors.

  65. TruckerRon, I would never give up my personal vehicle either. But it is most useful locally, just like you describe within your radius in Utah. My fear of the unknown, unforeseeable incident 2,000 miles from home — caused by some criminal who will not be held liable for damages — is reflected very well in the experience of two friendly villagers. That fear can, rather was, easily mitigated when it was profitable to provide service to large groups of people traveling in the same direction.

    In your case, and I’m sorry I’ve forgotten which part of Utah you reside, you would happily use your private conveyance to the nearest station. Pay a trustworthy man making a buck to look after your property for an agreed time. Hop on a privately owned, profitable service, by rail or by magic, doesn’t really matter what the infrastructure is. And enjoy the catered service while someone else worries about getting there. When you arrive in a new location, rent a car you haven’t owned yet, or hire another young person who needs money as a driver because having a guide is a good thing.

    This is spreading resources, and profit, where it can do most good for most people; instead of isolated islands of local travel. Trying mass transit in an area where everyone runs in different directions will fail every time, because that’s a poor allocation for resources that does not allow for profit. The first time I rented a car as an adult, I was astonished how cheap it was. In today’s world, in the U.S., the communal trust has evaporated. But if everyone were doing this form of travel, and relied on it. Bad actors would have a tough time of it. To many eyes on the process. Just like your days in the Bay Area.

  66. If a local businessman wants government to provide a service, that means he has already decided it would not generate a profit.

    That alone defines government wasteful spending.

    If it made sense, some one would make cents [and therefore dollars] doing it.

  67. Of course sometimes the government decides it should be the one running or providing a service… and the original private parties generally don’t fare well in the process. We’ve had that happen with some private bus companies trying to serve the local college students in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. And we see how well cities have coped with the idea of Uber and Lyft, with the existing taxi companies trying to get the cities to regulate those upstarts into bankruptcy.

  68. Two branches to follow; can’t do both. Uber more exciting, so…

    My very liberal minded sister was so excited to share her Uber experiences early on before things started getting dodgy. I found that hilarious. Follow the history. Allow me to act older than I am while I tell you about hiking to school in 20ft snow uphill *both* ways.

    There was a time where any guy who cold harness a horse to an axle held together with baling wire would turn a buck giving rides from A to B for money. There is a reason we tend to call makeshift or underhanded methods ‘hacking’. Bad actors did bad things. Populace cries ‘help me’ big government. Register these bad mans, license them, put regulations and fees on them so we can trust them, make it so they cannot clear a profit and we still hate them.

    It gets so bad we have to create a new service that doesn’t have ANY of those ‘protections’ so that we can afford it.

    Then we are shocked, *SHOCKED* say to see bad activities happening.

    Here’s an idea, let an honest man make an honest buck, and he will treat you with honor. Treat him like a working animal, and he will be a brute.

  69. I have a good friend named Pat Johnson who is on a long train trip across America and blogging about it right now. They are staying in places that are the lodging equivalent of Uber. I think they use Uber or public trave.el when they get somewhere.

    He has impressed us all.

  70. Morphy:

    Here in Shermantown, we used have to horse-drawn and then electric trolleys. Hard to believe, but the rails are still there, buried beneath inches of pavement.

    Speaking of trails traversing forgotten geography, I also enjoy finding out about forgotten railways. You might enjoy looking up Roseby’s Rock.

    We have one such railway just a little ways from my house, way up a hillside, curving around the Forest Rose Cemetery. When my son was little, we explored a bit up there and found “C.W. & Z” carved into the sandstone wall above what was to be the railbed. The C.W. & Z was one of the early railroads here. The initials stood for Canal Winchester & Zanesville. As far as I know, the railroad decided not to use the path around the hilltop that they had carved out.

    This area also used to have many canals. Back then, you could have spent much time Gongoozeling in a grand way.

  71. Actually, I think that circles back to Gene and Mary Lou those two would never intentionally shortchange, poison, or otherwise cause any harm to a customer. But because many other people who they’ve never met have done those things, they lose profit until they meet all the regulations of ‘the man’. Poor white folk. Maybe it has nothing to do with race.

  72. Rick, I don’t remember if the rails were recovered in my example. I would prefer if they were. Reduce reuse and recycle and all that. But it would not be surprising that was not cost effective, and really asphalt is not real great either.

    But you gotta think big scale. The little pollution of asphalt yields a traffic surface that demands *much* less in energy from the vehicles, and costly maintenance on them, than heaving, cracking, caving concrete. Or worse an unpaved road of any style.

    Besides, that crazy looking guy who pulls his spaceship over to stretch his five legs out, in 50,000 years can start a new research arm into the history of what he found.

  73. Change of subject, Oklahoma leads nation with 26% of our drivers uninsured, followed by Florida 24% and then Mississippi with 23%.

    Not due to race or immigration but poverty according to study I just read. They said almost same percentages exist for health insurance not carried as auto insurance. They said states with highest numbers of citizens on Medicaid and poverty duplicate statistics in many categories.

  74. Jackie, I’m not familiar, but always interested. Do those states, like most I know, mandate insurance for all operators under penalty? If so, is insurance cheaper than fines, or how do they work that out?

    At the Australia Open, 2nd event on the 3rd prestigious court, actually may be underway by now, Nº1 in world Andy Murray will likely beat the American Sam Querrey ranked 32nd, seeded 31. Meanwhile Jack Sock [really] may have a better time against a Frenchman I know less about, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga is favored, I’m just being patriotic.

  75. Yes, all three mandate but enforcement is very lax. In looking that number up I found that no one knows how many thousands drive without valid drivers license, much less insurance. One article cited 10,000 tickets issued in OKC alone in a year for no license.

    I would assume they don’t pay tickets or fines either.

    That was probably case in girl who hit me too.

  76. Dear c x-p, I followed your instructions and now it’s pretty much back to what I wanted! I am so thankful! You see, I was very comfortable with Windows 7 and could use Internet Options and other things that I needed. Then my computer crashed and I impatiently decided that if I bought a new computer it would solve all my problems. I asked a kind friend to go to the store for one as my son in law who is my guru was away for a while. Friend Dave brought it in and set it up; we had discussed what I wanted. But I was dismayed to find that the new PC had Windows 10! I’ve had a hard time figuring it out, it has new thing called Microsoft Edge, and everything looks different. On top of that, I acquired an iPad in a raffle and while I love it, it’s so different from Microsoft stuff.

    Figuring it’s good for my brain to learn all this new information. The iPad lives on the kitchen table and I can look at it while eating (I do read books and magazines also). The desktop is in the living room and it has a better keyboard and of course a much bigger screen — good for comic strips.

    I sure was glad to see old familiar Internet Options. I didn’t know how to reach it with the Edge thing! Now my favorite comics all come up on one page AND the clutter is gone too, and they update, no problem. Keep your fingers crossed that it will stay the same overnight! Cause it’s fine today. Thank you a thousand times!


  77. Morphy:

    ‘Reduce reuse and recycle and all that.’ That’s what NYC did when it tore down the ‘Els’ [elevated railroads] in Manhattan* in the late ’30s. They then sold the scrap iron [or at least a good fraction of it] to Japan, which needed it for some reason.

    *I believe there are still Els where subways come up out of the ground in some other boroughs.


  78. There were still “Els” in NYCity at least into the ’60s, including some in Manhattan…and, of course, in Queens, Kings, and the Bronx.

    For those unfamiliar, “Kings” is the formal county name for the region often called “Brooklyn”. Brooklyn had been a major town/city located in Kings County before Kings County became part of NYCity around 1898. Queens County also joined at that time and Queens County also has some residual town names, now just used for general areas.

    In turn, “Manhattan” is the common name for the more proper “New York County”. I’ll desist and let you look up the Bronx on your own!

    Charlotte, you made my day! Glad I remembered correctly on your behalf. I also have Windows 10 on this laptop and wish I didn’t.

  79. Just got a nice box of seeds from Parks. I too love to order because by the time it arrives I have no idea what is coming and it is big surprise.

    Broke them down into seeds of flowers, herbs and vegetables. This is about fourth order to arrive so I need to sort all that way. Trula is excited, I have turned her into gardener.

    Tulips and bulbs are coming up in beds and I too am getting excited. Bought lilies and clematis, hydrangeas last night. We are planting vines on all the trellis in yard and putting up more so we have places for the vines to limb.

    Next I put on work clothes and go help her clean pots and refill the big planters with potting soil. It was her idiot druggie cousin who dumped my potting soil into Creek to wash down into Lake, along with the bulbs and perennials in the pots.

    This one is a cool kid I really like. She loves to cook and I have big pantry and kitchen and encourage her.

  80. emb, I’ve forgotten where, but in last two years I’ve seen wonderful pictorials of an elevated, rails to park style conversion on Manhattan. Not good with all the neighborhoods, what lies west of SoHo? Or am I entirely lost?

  81. Sorry, anon was me. Don’t remember dumping this time though?

    Curmudgeonly, may be replacing this unit soon. Have been happy I’ve made it this long. Still doing the Windows 10 or Linux debate. What have you disliked in 10? Did you convert from 7 or 8, or is this new and original?

    Understand if you’d rather not, they can be hard to describe. But you had so well I thought you may.

  82. Morphy, here is what you were thinking of:

    I love trains too. Lived near Southern Rail mainline most of my life and watched/listened to trains constantly. Thanks to my service in the Navy, I got to ride trains and trolleys in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Also saw steam engines at work in railyard in Taiwan as switchers.

    Excellent railroad museum with working equipment in Chattanooga, TN called the Tennessee Valley Railroad.

  83. I was able to keep my mechanical watches on the correct time (close enough in 1976-8) by the trains in Osaka and Kobe. During my 2 years there we never had to wait more than a minute past the scheduled time for a train. We never tried to board one during their rush hours, though… I’ve always hated big crowds… and the thought of being forcefully pushed aboard a train never had any appeal for me.

  84. Mark:
    I believe National Model Railroad Assc. is there also.

    Was strange to hear Norwegians speak with 1) British accent – English (not BBC) learned in England.
    2) Texas accent – learned on the oil rigs.

    My dad lost his accent but then he was about 12 and was picked on because of it.
    Grandparents never did loose theirs.

    I know of the B&O Museum but never been there.
    WW&F is a dynamic group of guys

    on left side go to – Online Discussion Forum – get hooked and join us, there are members all over the world.

  85. Thank you, Mark, I think that is what I must have seen. Though a glossy magazine can sure make it look nicer than Wikipedia did. Probably had a little more cooperation from City Hall. While away I had found the same thing and
    To help with my neighborhoods. Realized Chelsea is a bit further Midtown than SoHo. And I still know if you didn’t live there you’re probably not giving directions right. Learned it had been a sixteen year project and opened in stages from 2009-2015.

    Fascinated by trains, haven’t lived near a line. Well I guess I’m splitting hairs, growing up I certainly remember hearing trains. But what springs to mind was the first real house *buying* search. Married a few years, expecting our son, wife thought she’d found a good one to show me, isolated lot with easy arterial access. Now granted the house was interesting. If it wasn’t new construction it was really recent, interesting use of space to avoid looking out at the road and highlight the ‘lake’ out back. She didn’t take it well when I explained I hated mosquitoes as a kid, and that lake looked a little too pondish to me. Then asked what she thought of the rail crossing less than 100 yds down the road, with small children. She demurred, and I said we may want to ask why the light posts are so big and the gates seem so heavy. Was told that far out of town freight ran ‘at speed’. What does that mean? Oh, fifty to sixty miles an hour. I didn’t bother to ask how many times a day. I’d seen Joe Pesci suffer in My Cousin Vinny. Even if I hadn’t worried about kids, I didn’t want to wake up like that. They blow horns at marked crossings, right?

    We bought in a bedroom community subdivision. Still lost, hadn’t asked enough questions, Phase Three included multi-family dwellings. Three, eight unit ‘condominium’ style buildings wedged in the back corner with cheap covered parking. All right in their way, but drove down prices on all the single-family ¼ acre lots. But at least the divorce was long before 2007. It’s not easy finding the silver lining sometimes, but I got there.

  86. Morphy: From my not necessarily great recall: Had 7 on this laptop as purchased and finally gave in to the blandishments for 10…that much I know is so. It strikes me that some things to which I had access with 7 were no longer there or were not easily operable on 10. I cannot give the particulars, but remember being rather displeased.

    Currently, I have several icons at the bottom of the screen. Is it sensible that one is still for 7 and another is for 10? I do know I always select the one particular icon, and I believe that was the reason.

    As a result of that displeasure I took to signing in as the superuser instead of merely a user. I still do that, although for some sites on my favorites list, I go back to ordinary user because I have not placed them onto the superuser favorites list. Earlier, I had just left all the superuser stuff to my son, who actually knows computers [he’s been a fulltime pro for 25 years, and part-time pro for a few more years].

  87. Arlo would not be so cavalier were Ludwig not an only cat. You do not want to be defending your food against some intrusive cats used to stealing their dinners from under pit Bulls noses. Some of my rescued cats had very hard lives before they moved in to the Endless Kitty Buffet.

    I am cooking ham and black beans soup tomorrow with Hatch green chile’s and corn bread and salad. I haven’t been cooking much lately.

  88. emb:
    Grandmother lived 1/2 block from 3 Ave. EL – trains running all hours, pretty soon you did not hear them.

    Used to take the Trolley (under the street 3rd rail) down Broadway to 181st St.
    Transfer and go across Washington Bridge to Bronx (over head wire) to dentist.
    At 181st St. were Movie Theaters and a Horn & Hardart – lots of nickles.

    David in Austin:
    Men walked on outside also because of “gardyloo”.

    Windows 10 installed at work – nothing works the way it is supposed to, ALL
    actions are complicated – more strokes, more looking, more rebooting.

  89. c x-p, sounds like you have had an OK time with it. Or like me, you found it hard to describe. My original question was on it’s third paragraph when I went back and asked short like that. If your machine was up for it you probably did well to change. Mine was ‘passed’ by Microsoft’s test, but was old enough that I was concerned.

    My only hands on with Windows 10 was helping a friend over the shoulder style. He had used Win 8.1 so was much more comfortable finding things than I was. His problem though, being extremely frugal. And for me to say that is saying something. Never wanting to pay for MSOffice, but not adventurous enough to try LibreOffice several years ago when I told him to. He has several budgets and lists and things in a database format created in an old Microsoft Works. Windows 10 finally made that not work anymore.

    Aging, for him, has made him less adaptable in a field he used to excel in. That creates a hurdle to work with besides just a new system. If I had worked with him back then, converting these things would have been received better.

    The story is not to say someone has it worse. I just mean that yes, I have seen Windows took some things away. That is definitely true. But there are options to replace and many are free. They will look different, but they will work. Your son sounds like the perfect goto guy if you have things giving you that ‘doink’ sound of failure.

    For your direct question on blend of icons, the best I can say, unseen: Microsoft did not do a smooth job for 7 to 10. And there are things that look old and/or new. But stay with it now, because to go back to 7 is much, much worse. That is hearsay from reading at Some really good people there, with lots of patience.

    When you have your next machine it will be better. Or your son can help decide if saving all your stuff on his machine, and doing a Clean Installation of Win10 would be worth it.

  90. Old Bear, Gardyloo? I seriously thought you made that up. Loo is a bit of a give away. I had heard of the danger involved. A good toss to clear the wall was more likely to fall to the street half of the sidewalk. Though I always thought the splash would still be a gotcha.

    I thought Guard – ya – loo a little to ‘on the nose’ as they say. But low and behold, wiktionary says I’m a sheltered lad.

    Specific to Edinburgh, not just Scots. Though they don’t like my false etymology and claim the French more likely ‘gare l’eau’ as mind the water. (?)

  91. Old Bear, I reread yours, still chuckling over Gardyloo. Now saw rebooting.

    At risk of extending a tedious subject, I had heard complaints of adjustment, loss of media player, loss of obscure things, and Edge not quite ready for prime time.

    But rebooting is news to me. Again, I haven’t suffered the change myself. But wonder if I’m being too supportive of MS’s new big thing. Rebooting is major enough for me to stay away.

    Were these machines converted, or purchased installed? Have you been advised if there is a difference? Or both fail to satisfy?

  92. I should say that I had relearned the beauty of restarting a Windows computer at least once a week, just to settle things down that may be running off on you. It’s one of the things GNU/Linux users point at Redmond, WA and laugh about.

    I’d been told Win10 fixed that, and made it just as stable as any other well maintained system. That that was the beauty of all that anonymous telemetry being sent back and forth to keep things on an even trim. Ongoing constant maintenance.

    But you know I respect hands-on experience over hearsay.

    I suppose an intermittent connection could be an excuse for Microsoft, but I’m not prone to excuses for multi-nationals.

  93. Strange evening, I’ve spent too much time on Melbourne tennis. So here later than usual.
    Ghost Rider 6 is away for a short time. So he hasn’t mentioned.
    Old Bear’s thoughts filled with Iron Horses.
    So, hope I’m good to say:

    Hi’ya Debbe. Hadn’t looked up a song but heard Sam Moore talked about earlier today, so find yourself some Sam & Dave, ‘Soul Man’ and have a good day. The brass will get you going, if I’m thinking of the right song.

  94. Old Bear:

    Thanks for the WW&F tip. My wife and I have not been to Maine in quite a while, and you have given me another reason to return.

    You might enjoy looking at the website for the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway:

  95. Probably the only thing I miss about the job I retired from is having a readily accessible tech guy to answer my questions or solve my problems. The tablet I use much of the time came with Win8.1, which got me used to the format but had its own issues; I switched to 10 when they began to interfere with some things I use regularly. Can’t think of any major problems that I’ve encountered, although it’s possible that dealing with all the weird/annoying updates and “improvements” that the school system threw at us may have made me more flexible 🙂

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