Fire and Flagstone

The occasional Saturday post here isn’t out of the question, but I thought I’d go ahead and wrap up the chiminea sequence. I’ve mentioned several times in the past that I occasionally draw with felt-tip pens, but I don’t like them as much as my old pen nibs and India ink. This series from 2002 was drawn with a felt-tip pen, I have noticed, and I think it worked in this case. For once, I was able to loosen up and take advantage of the pen’s sketchy quality. It depicts well the screwball action.

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

85 responses to “Fire and Flagstone”

  1. I am Too old it made. Me think of Orsan Wells and War of the Worlds radio broadcast for Halloween

    This is Jackie. By the way learning to use Ghost phone.

  2. Well it actually feels like fall. We turned the furnace on for an hour of so last night, but slept with it off.

    We also enjoy playing with our 20 month old Grandson. He LOVES the song “Wheels on the Bus” and particularly laughs when Grandpa says “MOVE ON BACK!” So my wife and I made a video, singing the song and my son videoed him watching our video. It was so hilarious. At the end he is staring at the phone going HI HI Grandpa! We felt so bad. He thought that we were facetiming him.

  3. To Serve Man was published in 1950 in a magazine. Written by Damon Knight it was the inspiration for the Twilight Zone episode of the same name. Several of the episodes came fro old Sci-Fi stories from the pulps. Probably what made the show great. That and good directing and creative effects for the time.

  4. I think it was Gremlins 2 where I saw this. There is a catastrophic failure in a lab in a high-rise building. Amid all the running people comes one guy holding a book over his head and shouting “It’s a cookbook. It’s a cookbook!”.

  5. This evening, just before cooking, I saw that our antique mantel clock had stopped at 4:52 when the real time was then 5:52. OK, that exact 1-hour difference can happen without notifying “Twilight Zone” or Guinness. I decided to check the other pendulum clock of much more recent vintage, and found that it, too, had stopped – and also at 4:52!! That must be distinctly against the odds. Of course, I do not know if both were a.m. or both p.m. or one of each.
    The clocks, both by Seth Thomas, are quite enjoyable pieces, though I do forget to wind them now and then.

    Mark/TT: I don’t get the point; maybe I’m just slow today.

  6. Once, years ago on a scouting trip, we witnessed something similar to the chiminea catastrophe.

    It was at the campsite of another troop. Fortunately, the fire was contained to their campsite and did not spread to the forest.

    Quite a few tents didn’t survive, though.

  7. c x-p, your clocks have an innate intelligence. While they begrudgingly allow for daylight savings time during the summer, they are well aware of the absurdity for moving an ‘extra’ hour anywhere after the autumnal equinox. Because there is no more extra daylight to be had in a day of less than 12hours sunlight. They have agreed on the silliness involved, and staged a revolt.

  8. wow, a flurry of activity in the village square.

    The Simpsons celebrate Halloween each year with a special ‘Treehouse of Horror’ episode. Aliens are often included in the stock joke material. I think it may have been in the fourth season or so the played an homage to ‘How to Serve Man’. It’s the surprise reveal/plot twist that makes it so popular. And though it would now be called a spoiler, simply saying “it’s a cookbook.” in a stressful, mysterious situation makes for a good callback.

  9. To tmdaviss, many thanks for the instructions! I will try this out and am very glad to learn how to do it.

    Dear Llee, you are an angel to do the re-posting for me! Thank you ever so much. I will, however make a point of learning to do it myself; it’s about time I learned to do this.

  10. This is the “real” Ghost.

    Early this afternoon, we got back from Tulsa. I was checking some of Ray’s (our great handyman) electrical work, when Jackie and Misti (our great part-time housekeeper) began yelling for David, Ray’s helper. He had taken off after lunch, so Ray and I went charging around to that side of the house to see what was the ruckus. Jackie told us that about 15 of her cats had cornered a baby rabbit in a drainage ditch, where it was hiding under some vines, and they wanted us to rescue it.

    Ray jumped into the ditch, moved the vines with his foot, and said, “That’s no baby rabbit; that’s a rat.” And it was…a large one, with a really long tail. It waddled away toward a wooden fence, and the cats, who had lost interest in it by then (likely due to all the yelling at them Jackie and Misti had done) let it go under the fence, where it became the neighbor’s problem. So, ignobly, ended Operation Baby Bunny Rescue. Happy Halloween.

    Speaking of which, the fun will continue tomorrow afternoon, when Misti comes by to let Jackie and me dress and make her up for a Halloween-themed event. I suggested the character she should go as. I’m sure all of you are totally shocked that it’s Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.* I even contributed the wig. Even more awesome, though, is the fact that Jackie had the costume in her closet. More details later, perhaps.


  11. morphy, I was listening to a Talking Heads greatest hit CD in my car and when I got out I had Life in Wartime stuck in my head. All I could do not to hum it to myself as I was walking around in Sams.

  12. No offense received. My aging laptop has a very firm feel, and only partial response, specifically on the [F5], [5], [T], and [Y] while still very responsive everywhere else. For instance ‘they’ may become ‘the’ or even ‘he’. And HAL won’t even give a red squiggley for it. Of course all the other errors stem from fumblefingers or a brain skipped to a new topic leaving all sense and grammar orphaned in the rain.

    A milliner walks into a dentistry…

  13. This Jackie now. Ghost and I bought makeup for our design project for Misti. Unfortunately it is an outdoor event so she will freeze her buns off in this outfit. I am loaning her extra feathers but they aren’t all that warm. We recommended long black leggings and long sleeved black tee shirt with a scoop neck under the dress and feathered coat. I told Misti that fishnet hose and a black thing would be more than airy tomorrow!

    Ghost and I are going to Tulsa tomorrow night for the Tulsa Symphony. They are performing Tchaikovsky symphony #6. We have an impressive arts selection despite being a rather small town.I totally love having someone to attend things with. Ghost fits in so well with everyone and charms them.

  14. But it did remind me of a playful feature of this site. At least on my machine, this page presents in the font called ‘Trebuchet MS’. Unusual for the capital ‘M’ glyph, presented as an inverted ‘W’ instead of differentiating with vertical sidestrokes. A detail that tickles my funnybone for some enjoyable reason.

    Oh, yeah that reminds me: Tickle, pickle, sickle, Don Rickles and even Maurice Micklewhite all make perfect sense. But the elemental metal and small coin wants to mess with my typing, and again HAL cannot tell the difference.

  15. Ghost, here’s a pumpkin that would collapse most chuckin’ engines. Joel Holland of Sumner WA brought his gargantuan gourd down to Half Moon Bay CA to be officially declared the second largest on record, weighing in at 2,363 lbs. No word on how the pie tastes.

  16. Jimmy the chimnea series is one of your best uses of negative space and the reverse imagery of black or dark inking. Best viewed in black and white, not colorized, of course.I

    Jackie here but Ghost agrees.

  17. This is not a week to look forward to. The sunrises will be later than the ones in early January, which before Daylight Saving Time were the latest sunrises of the year. Then on Sunday the later sunrises return, but the sun will set earlier, which is kind of depressing as I have to drive home from work in the dark.

  18. This is Ghost, setting up a spare tablet for Jackie to use while her phone is hors de combat. Actually, she likes it so much I ordered her one of her own last night.

    Oh, and good morning everyone.

  19. DST is the biggest practical joke we, as a people, play on ourselves. It destroyed the outdoor movie theatre market, plays that depend on sunset (we attend one at Sundance Resort each summer) start ridiculously late, but the outdoor recreation industry loves it. OTOH, each swing of that hour hand results in increased auto/pedestrian accidents as sleepy drivers head to work in the spring or return from work in the fall.

    So, what’s not to like about it?

  20. For the fall/winter season, I especially enjoyed the series dealing with things coming out of the firewood. In one, Janis’ hurried strip, followed by “Aw, it’s just the cutest little lizard”.

  21. For a flavorful pie, I know my aunt used to use a squash other than pumpkin, and was possibly a blend of what seemed most fitting from what was available. I think the theory was all the good flavor is in the spices, that the squash gave body to the filling. But that a bad, unripe, or spoiled one could ruin the flavor easily. I never seemed to have it all together quite as well, so mine comes from a can marked Libby’s. Never had a rave review, but never had leftovers either. It is the dish I didn’t have to think about.

  22. Uhh oh! A small single engine plane is slowly going over lake low and sounding like out of gas or sputtering to stop just overhead. There are one or two small landing strips around here but unlit and not good atnight.

    Ghost is asleep. We went to hear Tulsa Symphony do Tchaikovsky, symphony 6. I will tell you in morning later.

  23. If pie is the thing, and at Thanksgiving it is, I Symply prefer pecan, got the best Fargone recipe up in Maine from a native of Houston….recipe available too best one I’ve ever had and continue to do so….Gayle never liked it until she had mine.

  24. Ghost and I went to wonderful concert this afternoon at St. Johns, music of the Protestant reformation. Musicians played sackbuts, organ and harpsichord. Choir and soloists were chorale and opera trained, some quite renowned. Then salmon dinner great.

  25. Llee, yes that is a good way to go with pumpkin pie. For quite a number of years, I was with a group that would refuse a pat of butter for their dinner roll. Convinced that fat of any kind was a very dangerous thing. They thought I was insane while I would try to tell them they could be more satisfied with less food, if they included some fats. That some vitamins would never be absorbed without eating some fats with them, no matter how large the dose or how much it cost. That certain impolite distresses could be relieved with a little digestive lubrication. And that withholding fats from young children impeded brain development. No, the butter of a flaky crust was an assault. A lard crust may as well have been attempted murder.

    My solution for a more peaceful meal was to dump a can of Libby’s in an appropriate size soufflé dish, bake until satisfied by the caramelized ‘skin’, and serve as a pudding or heavy mousse. Complaints reduced, smiles returned, bellies continued to grow year over year. And I still enjoyed a nice pat of butter on my dinner roll. For dessert we ate our Pumpkin ‘Pie’ with a spoon instead of a fork.

    Fargone, when I was younger I had a hangup over anything baked with nuts. I don’t know why. It was not related to the fats above. I enjoyed shelling peanuts, and cracking through a bowl of assorted nuts. It was fun and tasted great. Roasted nuts were a treat as well, all salty and warm. But cookies, pies, and breads just should not have nuts, in my mistaken young mind. Oh the wasted years…

  26. TR, I thought the ponchos in the photos made it appear about half of the fans were ghosts. (But perhaps that is just me.) Of course, I understand a lot of the seats at NFL games this year seem to be occupied by ghosts…the invisible kind.

  27. Entertaining myself watching Mama Mia, the movie. I love Abba and their happy music. Drinking water and eating ice chips.

    Ghost is taking such good care of me. He is my fully armed guardian angel. My mystery man turned out to be God sent when I needed him most.

    Last night’s concert was the culmination of a month long church services, lectures and music of the Protestant reformation done by their music director and clergy along with speakers and professors from many sources in honor of 500 year anniversary of the Wittenberg declaration by Martin Luther.

    Tonight if I am not ill we are going to same church for a lecture on sackbut music and a concert.

    Ghost played trombone in band in school so he knew about savings but I’d never seen it heard one. There were four in Sunday evensong progrsm, harpsichord and organ plus large chorale and soloists artist.

  28. Ghost lives music too so i love going with him. He cleans up beautifully as he always says. He looks like a prominent citizen from a small town, like a judge, lawyer or doctor.

    This weekend we going to see the ballet Don Quixote and the musical Amadeus. Separately not together.

  29. Finished first chemo and don’t feel too bad. Dull headsche. Just ate a pint of Haagen Dasz butter pecan. It was good. There is strawberry left in freezer in lobby of O need more frozen stuff.

    We had Vietnamese but I only ate half my soup, rest in room fridge.

    Taking a nap in minutes.

  30. Yes, Jackie’s first chemo treatment has been relatively uneventful, at least so far. As she said, we went to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant for bowls of pho, which was as hot and delicious as usual. What wasn’t quite as hot as usual was “Hot Legs”, the slender, leggy, and pneumatic Vietnamese server who normally wears very short shorts.

    Alas, autumn has apparently arrived in Oklahoma, as Hot Legs was wearing jeans today. Of course, they were snuggly-fitting skinny jeans, so the view was still quite pleasant.

    So, Jackie doing well; good pho; and pleasant scenery, all made it a good day. Out of an abundance of caution, we did decide to overnight in Tulsa. In the unlikely event Jackie develops any problems during the night, we won’t have to worry about getting her transported 30 or 50 miles to one of the two nearest medical centers with an ER. That will certainly make me sleep better.

    UPDATE: So of course as soon as I typed that, she woke up with a small but quickly developed ulceration on her tongue. Not unexpected as a side-effect but still aggravating. Got the ingredients for a salt-and-baking-powder rinse as the infusion nurse suggested. Will call the oncologist for an Rx for something better if it is worse tomorrow. Nurse Ghost is on the case.

  31. Jackie, the concerts sound wonderful; I love to hear brass instruments’ rich sound. Sackbuts are good too in early music, too bad they fell out of fashion.

    I hope you didn’t fall asleep and miss the concert! Here’s hoping that your treatments all go well.

    The Northeast suffered a terrible storm last night. Thank goodness I was not affected too much. Electricity went off, schools were cancelled, lots of damage that I haven’t read about yet. No power or Internet meant I couldn’t use the iPad; couldn’t use electric stove or toaster or coffeemaker. Weather still warm so comfortable inside house. Main worry was my refrigerator, how long would it be off? Only about ten hours as it turned out. The little Sterno stove and cans of “canned heat” I’d kept for times like this provided instant coffee and “frying pan toast” for a nice breakfast.

    You other Villagers in the New England states, how did you weather the storm? Well, I hope. Does anyone live in Vermont?

  32. Yes, I got minor side effects from chemo and missed the sackbut concert. We will have one of the medications that is stuck to my arm out tomorrow afternoon and will be home for Halloween.

    Am not that ill and all my medical personnel are caring and positive people.
    I have told Ghost and Misty to put me in an attractive outfit, with wig and fully accesorized layered outfit before shoving me out the door. We don’t do chemo like this again for three weeks but lots of doctors and tests in between. I am not going to Tulsa or anywhere else looking like cat dragged me in.

    Am to avoid stores like Walmart, groceries but plan to attend as many plays, concerts, churches and art and history exhibits as I can. I have a year and a half of this and I want it to be filled with memorable events and beauty.

  33. Charlotte, glad to read the storm was only an inconvenience.

    Jackie, you are more than inconvenienced. Yet somehow read just as positive. You are amazing.

    Earlier today I was sent advertising from This one included a story written in a style I thought might entertain. I’d like to share, but do not want anyone receiving mailings from there if the don’t enjoy tobacco. It is lengthy. I will try to post as a single uncut. If that fails, then I will split it. I have not asked permission, so give full credit to Chuck Stanion, in the employ of Smoking Pipes. Since it was advertising, I doubt they will mind. If you enjoy tobacco slowly, you may enjoy their other offerings ‘on sale now’ …

  34. Macramé and Time Machines
    Monday, October 30, 2017 by Chuck Stanion

    Wandering through the flea market a while back, I ran across a booth by the name of “Burt’s Macramé Emporium and Time Machines.” Burt himself was humming and smoking a pipe as he meandered about, adjusting displays. Anytime I see a pipe smoker, I’m curious, and I was intrigued by the booth anyway.

    “Welcome!” Burt bellowed as I walked in. He was smoking a mixture I was unfamiliar with, highlighting not-so-subtle notes of burning tires and overheated electrical wiring. “Need some macramé? Dumb question; everybody needs macramé! We got macramé toaster covers, macramé tapestries, macramé curtains; we got macramé hubcap covers right here, got a macramé doghouse over yonder by that macramé canoe, got macramé coasters and doilies and ceiling fan blade covers. Here’s a set of macramé salt-and-pepper shakers—you don’t need to turn them over, just shake them over your food; real time saver. You look like a man who knows his macramé; what’s your pleasure, friend?”

    “I mainly stopped because I saw you smoking, and I like talking with other pipe guys.” I held up my own pipe as evidence of my sincerity. “But I’m interested in your time machines.”

    “Yep, my whole family smokes pipes. My sweet grandmother, rest her soul, taught me how to smoke a pipe when I was yay high. ‘Now when you smoke at school,’ she said, ‘do it only in the restroom, the teachers’ lounge when you can sneak in, or an alley. Not in class, or I’ll hide you with a switch that’ll leave marks your future grandkids in heaven will feel. We’ve been through that already with your cousin Theo.’ We all smoke our own secret mixture, grown right on the family farm—we call it ‘Armageddon.’ You won’t find it in any tobacco store, that’s for sure. Here, have a puff.” He held out the miniature trash fire for my assessment.

    I backed up a step. “No, that’s OK, I could smell it from the midway and it’s a real attention-getter.”

    “You bet it is. Few have the stamina to survive it, and the aroma is like nothing else. I have people stopping me all the time, especially volunteer firefighters, strangely. But listen, brother, you don’t need no time machine; they don’t work anyway. What you need is macramé.”

    “Burt, if I bring one more piece of macramé into the house my wife will have me sleeping in my macramé hammock in the garage. But I do need a time machine.”

    Crestfallen, Burt led me to a corner of the Emporium. “Here we go, we got four of them, built by my cousin Theo completely out of macramé. I don’t know the power source, but this last one started to glow green when he pulled this macramé cord.” I pulled the cord and nothing happened. “You gotta talk into the macramé speaking tube,” said Burt, “and tell it where and when you want to go, but, like I said, it don’t work.”

    “Is Theo around?”

    “Disappeared shortly after he made this last machine. Left quick, too; he only took one pipe, a Kaywoodie Billiard I liked a lot. Damn nice pipe. Ran off with a woman, I reckon. He always had an eye for women and Kaywoodies.”

    I tried everything but failed to activate the time machine. “You say he smoked the same mixture as you? Armageddon?” Burt nodded. “May I borrow your pipe?” I asked.

    I took a puff and immediately became dizzy. It was like transporting to the inner ring of the 7th circle of hell, but I pulled the cord and spoke into the speaking tube, making sure there was plenty of smoke in my breath: “Duke Street, London, 1920s.”

    And I was there, standing in front of the Alfred Dunhill shop. Amazed, I went in and the clerk gave me a strange look, probably because I was in cargo shorts and Nikes. The shop was filled with wonders: Dunhill lighters, pipe racks, sterling silver pipe stands and pipes galore, all for a small fraction of the cost I’m accustomed to.

    I asked to look at pipes and the clerk cheered up, asking about my shape preferences. We talked pipes for a while and he seemed to become more comfortable. Pipes are a universal language. I found two fantastic Dunhill Shell Briar Billiards, and after some confusing conversation about exchange rates, found they were about $8 each, but the clerk was suspicious when I proffered my debit card. “What, good sir, might this be?” “Sorry, man; it’s how we pay for stuff in America. I have cash.” I offered him a crisp $20 bill. He examined it and said, “Sadly, we do not accept American currency dated 2015. Is this some sort of counterfeiting attempt? I fear I must summon the police.” He walked to the street and started shouting for a cop, and I ran. Groups of people stared at me like I’d just escaped from a primate exhibit. With whistles sounding behind me, I found a garbage pile in an alley to hide behind and unthinkingly took a puff of the pipe I felt in my hand, forgetting that it was Burt’s. Vertigo swept over me and I found myself swimming through the space/time continuum once again. I opened my eyes to see I was back in the Macramé Emporium.

    “See?” said Burt. “It don’t work.” I shook my head like a wet dog to clear my mind. “I want it,” I said. “Fi’teen bucks takes her away,” said Burt. “Sold,” I said. “And I need to purchase some of your tobacco.”

    “Oh, that can’t happen,” said Burt. “A puff or two is OK, but you got to be genetically predisposed to survive it. My family has generations of tolerance built up, but there’s a special ward at the mental hospital for outsiders who’ve tried to smoke more. Poor unfortunates will never be the same. It would be irresponsible to let you have any.”

    “Even just a couple of bowls’ worth?”

    “Sorry, brother. I’d never sleep again.”

    I left without the time machine, knowing it wouldn’t work without Armageddon.

    I thought of the episode only rarely afterward, but a couple of months later I read an interesting article in one of my favorite magazines. Paleontologists had uncovered an almost-complete Tyrannosaurus fossil in Great Britain and were terribly excited. The scientists were puzzled, though, because there was a fossilized Kaywoodie Billiard approximately where the beast’s stomach cavity would have been.

    Poor Theo.

  35. My gosh, Mark. The name did not click, so I did the wiki thing. I’m really close to sure I brushed up against his fiction at some point. I’ll have to get some, I may find a memory in there. itself makes for a quick but interesting read. Russian born, worked for our State Dept. in WWII, cat lover. And had I known, I could have met him before he passed at 80 years, while he lived in Oregon. Bit sketchy with the “Order of the Trapezoid” [intimidating background crescendo music here], but I’ll prefer the allegations stem from jealousy or Red Scare drama. Thanks for the tip!

  36. Ghost is sound asleep and needs it. He is so protective of me.

    When we try to tell people how we met it sounds so odd that Ghost says we should say a senior citizen dating service. I said a blind date night be easier to say. Misti who is working part time for us is reading A and J now and she says I am Janis so much, Ghost is Arlo clearly, even the sense of humor.

    Substitute Dickens for Ludwig and you have our version.

    I need to buy a copy of Janis directing her clothes like the Mickey Mouse Sorcerer in Fantasia to music. Poor Misti is dealing with organizing all of mine!

  37. Made a fast chess pie just before coming to Tulsa this time, made from Ghosts grandmother’s recipe. He said that I nailed it but he hadn’t had any in 50 years. His grandmother was from Tennessee.

    I brought entire pie with us in truck and had a large slice myself. Got to hotel and one of our favorite night managers was on so I have him big piece for snack. He said it was best he’d eaten, better than his sistets. I promised to bring him recipe. Then I gave him last big slice. He is so sweet and kind.

    Spent last hour reading variants of chess pie, buttermilk pie, lemon chess, chocolate chess, maple chess, pineapple chess, butter pies.

    Did anyone know chess pie is Bill Clinton’s favorite pie?

  38. I like chess pie, too. Never had it till I moved to Tennessee. There is a really good one in the Nashville area made by local bakery and sold in stores there. Called Mama Turney’s after the owner’s mother. They also have a fudge pie and a pecan pie. All good, but the chess is the best of them.

  39. Good morning Villagers….

    Jackie, they say it’s hard to keep a good woman down…..making pies at that too. I look forward to your postings…they’re so positive and uplifting. Happy that Nurse GR is with you.

    So., I am sending you a bunch of ‘snuggles and hugs’:

    Miss Charlotte, was worried about you and that storm that ‘bombed’ the northeast. Yeah, had a name for it, check it out. Something about barometric pressure dropping.

    Never had chess pie…need to look it up, I have no idea what is even in it besides pie dough. I don’t eat much pie, especially the fruit pies like apple pie, don’t even try to get me to eat a slice of cherry pie…shudder.

    gotta go….

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