More Cat in the Sack

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Today, another sleeping-cat Sunday from the archives of Arlo & Janis. And more about wine. Prohibition understandably was hard on vintners. Many vineyards ripped out vines of grapes more suitable for wine and replaced them with grapes good for eating or for juices and jams, such as Concord grapes. This practically destroyed a long-established wine industry in the Ozarks and in New York. These regions relied heavily upon “my” grape, the Norton, said to be the only native North American grape that will produce a decent dry wine. Just now are the Norton wines really coming back in Missouri and Arkansas. My favorite prohibition story, true or not, is about desperate grape growers who would ship their produce to consumers with instructions such as, “Do not mash these grapes into juice, add yeast and store for several months in a cool dark place. It will turn into wine!”

245 responses to “More Cat in the Sack”

  1. About 30 years ago, I bought a wine-making kit for my brother-in-law. He loved it! I cannot remember if I was ever able to share in the results but… about a year ago, his daughter found some that he had put away in the basement. I understand that the bottle was quite drinkable! At least, she had a fine ole time remembering her dad and drinking it in his honor. It may have gotten somewhat maudlin…

  2. Jerry in FL: I know what you were saying… don’t necessarily always agree, but the comments have been hilarious! Always glad for your input – keep ’em coming!

  3. Good morning, Villagers. Yeah, The Man In My Life says that it is no harder putting me to bed than his boys when they were young. I have seen a pic that The Boss Of My Life took of him carrying me up the stairs. It loks a lot more like The Taming of the Shrew than Gone With the Wind

  4. Ah yes, Prohibition. We are so lucky that we now have a Federal government and state governments that don’t intrude into to our lives by deciding what is best for us and attempting to make all the most important decisions for us.

  5. Heh, to a dyed-in-the-wool Francophile like me, today’s 9CWL was laugh-out-loud funny.

    I am the Designated Cood tonight, since I was off at a party last night. Not really a party as in Whoopdido! but a Church get together to welcome new members. Since I was asked to be n the Greeting Committee, I kinda had to show up. At least there was wine! Not very good wine, but wine. You know the saying, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”

  6. Heh, to a dyed-in-the-wool Francophile like me, today’s 9CWL was laugh-out-loud funny.

    I am the Designated Cood tonight, since I was off at a party last night. Not really a party as in Whoopdido! but a Church get together to welcome new members. Since I was asked to be n the Greeting Committee, I kinda had to show up. At least there was wine! Not very good wine, but wine. You know the saying, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”

  7. Thanks for the concern, Ghost. The really bad stuff yesterday was north of Phoenix, and we’re in Tucson. (Southern Arizona, should we happen to have any geographically challenged village folk.) We had just over an inch from that storm at our house. Two years ago, July 4, 2012 was when we got more than 4 inches in just over an hour and the big wash behind our house ran out of its banks. We’re well above it, but it did get into one house on the street on the other side. Granted, the ” Do not enter when flooded” signs on the road out here in our desert look really funny most of the time—but you’d better take them seriously.

  8. NK, that’s good. I was hoping that you (and my cousin who lives in your fair city) didn’t get as much rainfall as Phoenix did. I saw an online report that a location in north Phoenix recorded one inch of rain in only 14 minutes. I’ve haven’t heard back from my cousin yet, but I suspect her house was OK, also.

  9. Why, Lily? Did Martine take off her clothes and burst into a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise?

    “A rousing”…get it? Huh? Huh? ::Makes elbow poking motions::

  10. I’ve brewed my own beer for close to 25 years now. I brew less than I used to because I consume less and, like rusty said, there are now so many great beers available. I still make 3-4 batches a year. I have also brewed some truly great meads and ciders.
    I have seriously considered making a wine, not so much that I care for wine as just for the experience of doing it.

  11. Dear emb, to see any yesterday’s posts, scroll down a bit from this “Leave a Reply” box at the end of today’s. Under “Recent Posts” click on the title, like “Cat in the Sack”.

  12. Ghost: Nash’s original title for that doggerel was “Reflections On Ice-Breaking.” ( “The _other_ thing about epigrams … is
    that when they’re done a-right, further comment is superfluous.”) I fully admit I have never thought of it any other way. Sounds like that awful old song.”Baby, It’s Cold Out There,” which always makes me want to hurl

  13. So your interpretation of “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” is “People will begin to socialize at a meeting more quickly around a punch bowl than they will around a candy bowl”?

    A slightly different interpretation would be “A man who woos a woman with candy and flowers and gifts may eventually bed her, but he will likely do so much sooner if he gets her drunk.”

    I’ve attended a lot of meetings, but never one where candy in a bowl was used as a social lubricant. Though perhaps that was a common thing in Ogden Nash’s day.

  14. Believe me, it is common enough that I encountered it last night. The first thirty minutes of our little get together was facilitated by nothing more than cookies and candies and nuts. Then they brought out the wine. One bottle for twelve people! I thought of that little epigram over and over, and not for the first time, either. Anyway, see the dictionary. “Icebreaking” in a non-nautical sense means “something intended to relieve mutual shyness at a gathering of strangers,” not, “getting the poor girl drunk so she will be less able to resist your seductive ploys.” :p

  15. However, I also found the dictionary definition: “icebreaker (n) a thing that serves to relieve inhibitions or tension between people”

    OK, I’m done now. 🙂

  16. I think everyone is afraid to discuss Arlo without pants. To me, it was a telling point that Janis did not have a change in expression between looking at her computer and having Arlo, wearing only a towel, behind her. Perhaps he knew she’d give a “cold shower” response. There was no pokie in the towel. But, like most men, he was ever the optimist and had to ask the question.

  17. Also (wish there was an “edit” capability), notice that although recently discussed, Jimmy did not use a simple cut and paste for Janis at the table with the computer. You can tell he drew all three panels separately. The white space between her right arm and the chair decreases each frame. Also, there is a small change in the amount of white space between Janis’s shoulder and hair in each panel. Finally, there are differences in the way the computer is drawn between frames. The missing vertical line in frame 3 is the most noticeable, but the thicknesses vary on the CPU and screen portions in all three frames.

    To me, the fact that I had to look so closely to decide that the artwork for each panel was original is a testament to Jimmy’s artistic skills. Of course, the ability to convey a mood or feeling with just a small twist of line is the real key. Happy to be able to follow A & J!

  18. I haven’t talked about today’s A&J because it didn’t register with me as either relevant or funny. I mean, it wasn’t offensive or anything, but… is just one of the reasons I will never get married. Ew

    And it’s “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” 😛 :p

  19. Munchkin, with your particular combination of foodiness and drinkiness, you might have mixed emotions about something I have just discovered the existence of…Deep Fried Tequila Shots.

  20. To my sorrow I have left some wounded birds afield, fair and fowl alike, only to give thanks for my great fortune in finding one whose beauty and grace sooths my spirits daily. Deep huh?

  21. I believe I have figured out why my life has seemed calmer and happier since I stopped watching television…it is because I no longer have to suffer the presence of members of “the chattering class” on TV “news” shows. They were somewhat tolerable when they came only one or two per show, but over time the count increased to three, four, five or more. By which point many of them were all chattering at the same time. And then they started trying to outshout each other. Somehow, it all seemed to became the journalistic equivalent of professional wrestling.

    It is little wonder that my life is more tranquil now.

  22. Amen, Munchkin. I like peace and quiet, too.

    Like TR, I have been using Hulu to watch a couple of shows, like The Last Ship, until it started to feel I was watching Star Trek reruns. I tried the free trial of Hulu Plus, but cancelled it in about three days, as it seemed the difference in content between the free and paid versions was not worth the price of admission.

    One series I came to late in the season last year, but used Hulu to watch the last two-thirds or so of the episodes, was The Blacklist. Spader’s character creeps me out, but in a good way, and the plot lines haven’t been too far-fetched, so I’ll definitely be watching the new season. Another one I caught just the first episode of that looked worth watching on demand was Halt and Catch Fire.

  23. I suppose my first clue that I had too many cable channels was that with 300 of them to watch, the best thing on to watch at any given time was usually a rerun of The Big Bang Theory.

    Jackie, I know you said you were swearing off TV for the time being, but I hope you didn’t swear off of us, too.

  24. Lilyblack – EXCELLENT taste. 🙂 Episode where Booth falls into the crime scene and later gets wheeled around on a gurney wearing only boxers and socks … sigh.

    Early day and I couldn’t fall asleep for anything last night. Hopefully all of employees are on the mend; everyone seems to be sick right now. One of my assistants spend several hours in ER on Tuesday. My other assistant stopped in with a friend who works at a local hospital a couple hours before her shift began – Assistant one said, “Good you are here, please have your friend take me to the ER,” and she left. She ended up being severely dehydrated and her sugar was north of 400. My two third shift guys seem to be swapping a bug back and forth, and my last employee is on heavy restrictions from workman’s comp and has ALSO been ill.

    I also have no idea how the two assistants are going to get along when I’m off next week; not only do they not get along, the one who *should* know when something is off, doesn’t, and the other realizes when something is wrong, but doesn’t know how to fix it. If you all hear a loud scream early on the morning of the 31st, just know it’s me discovering the extent of the disaster. Off to work.

  25. Seems we have some mildly lecherous females on board here.

    I love mildly lecherous females.

    For today’s real-time cartoon, I was going to repeat the old comedy bit about “how can a cat be finicky about what it eats when it licks its own butt”, but I don’t feel like doing that much typing.

    I’m about to be on my way to take my Mom to a clinic for a medical appointment. One of the providers there and I have a relationship that is currently on hiatus. That won’t be awkward at all.

    Passez une bonne journée.

  26. Sent an email earlier to Jackie, no reply yet. Hopefully she’s just busy working on the upcoming Sail Oklahoma event. Slow news day in Austin, thankfully.

  27. Speaking of indictments, whichever government official authorized the confirmation of our failed rescue of American hostages in Syria should be indicted. You should never, never, never publicly reveal or even confirm anything of intelligence value and/or anything that can get our people or their HUMINT resources killed.

    I won’t be holding my breath while waiting for news of that indictment, however.

  28. If the former you-know-who, now probably in an undisclosed foreign country, never got indicted, then no one higher than the governor of Texas will be. BTW, we in Florida need to know how to do that.

  29. “Traditionally, of course, the grand jury was seen as the major bar to prosecutorial overreaching. The effectiveness of this approach may be seen in the longstanding aphorism that a good prosecutor can persuade a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.*

    “* The phrase, made famous in Tom Wolfe’s novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, apparently originates with New York City federal judge Sol Wachtler in a lunchtime interview with a reporter from the New York Daily News. Barry Popik, “Indict a ham sandwich,” Big Apple (July 15, 2004)”

  30. Samwise Gangee battled Shelob the spider with the Phial of Galadriel and Sting. I battled her little sister today with slightly more *ahem* modern weapons: bottle of glass cleaner and an aluminium baseball bat. This thing was huge, and knew I was engaging it in battle. Even after I bashed it to bits, I spent an agonizing forty-five minutes waiting for my clerk to come in and clean up the mess. (One small perk of being the boss.) I was loath to turn my back to it, half convinced it was going to pull a Terminator me and reform when my back was turned. (It was that damn big.)

    Debbe – Hope you stayed relatively dry today. In other news that surprised exactly no one, the roof of the store still leaks.

  31. I care about the people they hurt, and certainly not the politicians. Most politicians are like cockroaches…shine a light on them and they just scurry off to a different dark place to hide. We’ll never be rid of those.

    But it’s gotten so bad now that a very partisan and left-of-center writer I follow recently said, “**** ALL these *******s.”

    Come on, Lady Mindy; it wasn’t really THAT big, was it? And glass cleaner? What, did you shine up the bat before taking it to the ginormous arachnid? 🙂 Next time, use WD-40. The solvent in it should have a pretty immediate and adverse affect on the eight-legged horrors. Works on wasps, too. And cockroaches. Just not on politicians.

  32. I am the one at the office who is called on to deal with arachnids (“Get Susie! She’s not afraid of the things.”) since nobody wants to bother The Boss Of Our Lives. I usually just get the broom and sweep them out the back door. Once when it was a Black Widow, I put an empty jalapeno jar over it, (her?) slid a piece of cardboard under it, and flushed her. Usually I like spiders, they kill flies and mosquitoes and lamp bugs, but I draw the line at black widows and brown recluses. Curiously, though we treat an average of ten brown recluse bites a year, I have never seen a live one.

  33. Lady Mindy, Raid roach spray also works well and you don’t have to be so close. We’d get spiders 5-6″ across (not just the daddy-long-legs kind neither, more like a Shelob version of brown recluse), kept a can in several areas of the old homestead so I wouldn’t have to go far. As long as I hit it at least once, the spider was a goner.

    Y’all know those old drop ceilings, made of Styrofoam or something? Raid melts it. Oh well, got rid of the spider! If they stay outside I am happy to admire them. Come into my house- well, another story.

  34. Ghost and Llee – It was a blitz attack, and I went with first available weapons. It was like Llee described, 5″-6″ (NOT fully stretched out), and bulbous in back. Bleh! The store is lousy with spiders, mostly icky yellow/white/greenish things. Quick, but okay to kill with a shoe. I wouldn’t have tried it with this one today – it would have ran up my leg. Llee, thanks for the tip about raid and ceiling tiles; mine have a hard enough time staying in one piece as it is.

    There is another one I am fighting with at the new place – fortunately, it was between screen and window, and I was able to force it to go out and not into the porch area with me (Not that it didn’t try.) Had it actually made it in, I would have surrendered the porch until I had more firepower.

  35. Oh, and I have a standing policy that if something has eight or more legs, I reserve the right to kill it if said bug gets too close to my personal bubble.

  36. I’m normally calm around spiders and willing to transport them to a safe place PROVIDING I see them first at a distance. Those that suddenly crawl across myself or through my personal space are doomed.

  37. Luckily, smaller school districts like ours seem to be immune to the insanity, at least for the time being. I brought this up to The Boss Of My Life who happens (ahem!) to be the supervising physician for our school district, and she said such things must merely be okayed by the school nurse.

  38. I’m back. At last. My internet died during a thunderstorm Monday afternoon. Fried both the modem and the router. Modem belonged to Comcast, so I got a free swap. Router all mine, so was the replacement cost.
    Having A&J and village withdrawal! Boy, I missed you all!

  39. Mindy from Indy, good thing to kill spiders/insects is mix up liquid soap with water in a spray bottle. Spray the critter with it. The soap mix coats the body and covers up its breathing apparatus, killing it without noxious fumes which are as harmful to you as to it. Worked great on a black widow at our guardhouse. Do not use on the running type though as they are faster than you.

  40. If the kid had carried sunscreen to school in a spray bottle, I suppose she’d have been suspended for the year under some “zero tolerance” policy regarding “guns”. Loved the part where they said they feared that children might “ingest” the sunscreen. One is tempted to observe that if 10-year-olds drink sunscreen from the bottle it would merely be Darwinism in action, but if one said that that it could be considered snarky, so one will not.

  41. ….and a Good Early Morning Villagers…

    My husband and I are in battle for classic U tube its….non one, and I mean No One. should ever cut off ‘Layla before the piano ensemble….I left him, but without adamantly stating that no one cuts off the piano solo in “Layla”…I kno2…old tune, but still a classic.

    I’vs noticed you haven’t posted lately Mark…I’m just now getting into Petty’s new release….

    ..and wirhPetty’s new release, my far:

    So I guess….tag

    Going back to bed….

    Now to get some much needed sleep…………………………..

  42. Good morning, all. Good morning, so far. My usual eight miles and our usual rounds this morning, no ER or OR to play with 🙁 And 9CWL was so funny today I laughed out loud for about a minute. I mean, I had tears in my eyes!
    Today’s A&J. Hmm, you gotta believe JJ reads our comments sometimes.

  43. Mindy from Indy, I tried killing a spider with body glitter spray. Now it won’t stop stripping and I have to call it Cinnamon. 😉

    “A spokeswoman for the North East Independent School District”-one wonders what her official title/position is, and why she was hired if she’s nutty enough to think that a kid is going to drink sunscreen.

  44. Spider’s!!! ACCKKK!!!! One bit me on the arm several times once, and each spot puffed up real bad and stayed around for a month. Don’t risk that anymore. Any spider near me is dead, dead, dead from smushing. I love them outside because they control other nasties, but don’t come near me I will make you smush.

  45. Some 35-40 years ago, I taught in FL and had a “pet” wolf spider which lived above the front door where the door frame didn’t seal to the concrete block wall. It lived quite comfortably there, helped along by the occasional live cockroach I’d toss into its web area. “Farquhar”, as I called him/her/it, got fat by being a good hunter in a good spot; enjoyed watching the show.

    While I enjoyed Farquhar, others of our acquaintances liked neither spiders nor cockroaches. Arachnids have always interested me, but I join in the general dislike of roaches. We found that the FL dislike of roaches was so prevalent that many folks refused to refer to them as “roaches” or as “cockroaches”. New names were invented: “croton bugs” & “palmetto bugs” were two of the commonest, with “water bugs” trailing. I’m fairly sure there are actual “water bugs” which are not roaches – so that name would be wrong – but I wonder if there are actually things called “croton bugs” or “palmetto bugs” aside from those FL roaches. I suppose I could use Google, but I haven’t.

    Now, I’m trying to imagine a cockroach covered with body glitter spray, thanks to Trapper Jean!

  46. EMB,

    We did have “palmetto bugs” in the Gulf Coast area of Texas. They are bigger than normal cockroaches. M understanding is that the Eurcotis floridana is the larger variety, the one we called palmetto bugs. The smaller, American cockroach is Periplanta americana.

  47. Ce-p – Most people in Florida use cockroach and palmetto bug interchangeably. However, to some of us whose families have been here for multiple generations (and yes, we do exist), roach refers to regular American cockroaches and their German cousins. Palmetto bugs are the usually larger and much stinkier Florida woods cockroach, sometimes called a palmetto beetle.

    I’ve never really minded wolf spiders – anything that eats roaches is OK by me. Golden orb spiders in the woods are rather pretty. But the little ones that are hard to ID quickly, those I don’t trust.

  48. The weirdest thing has been happening on posting. I’d write something up and hit send and it would vanish. Vanish and never appear on blog site. I decided I was being moderated and it was going into ether. But then I never got a letter or reprimand, and we send those on our sites unless it is a total scam/spam/troll who gets eleminated.

    So, yes I have been busy trying to keep up with emails, articles, etc. But I had decided to at least say “Hi” morning and night.

    Love, Jackie

  49. It has to be computer. This is my laptop and the desk computer was vaporizing my posting.

    Got a tremendous write up from Small Craft Magazine on their blog and sent out to about 7000 members for our sailing event. I owe one to Messing About in Boats and Duckworks Magazine too. I get way behind with stuff.

    This is a one woman operation actually, as we don’t even have officers or a board. When it happens, we have lots of volunteers though and help. I keep telling everyone we are a three ring circus and the audience sort of dictates, like herding cats.

    I love the cat jokes and both the Cat in A Sack strips are like my cats. I have one who likes to give you baths with a rough tongue too.

    On 9CL Martine stripped off again, I was right, no bra wearer. But where is she putting that gun?

    Wine making jokes are funny too. Foxtrot’s is even funnier with Chateau de Roger.

    Love, Jackie

  50. That was for Mark in TTown. Trapper Jean, there is a leg joke in there somewhere, but I’like let Ghost write it. (Ha!) Who didn’t see Martine’s strip-distraction coming?

  51. Jackie, glad to hear from you. I was starting to worry but figured it was just your boaty activities.
    I see wolf spiders ever so often. They aren’t aggressive but can sometimes bluff weenies like my co-workers. I read somewhee that daddy-long-legs have the most potent poison of the whoe spider tribe, but we don’t have to worry cause of their itty-bitty fangs.

  52. Jackie, I had feared something had happened to you (I am such a worrywart!) Relieved that all is well, and indeed, we all knew you had been extremely busy with your many tasks. Please don’t overdo!

    What a pain, to have posts disappear after all the time spent writing! I HOPE it doesn’t happen any more.

    Lilyblack, I like your sensible attitude toward spiders. I respect most of them, find them interesting but stop short of actually touching them. My mother showed me when I was little that daddy-long-legs are nice and kind of cute; we saw lots of them around our summer cabin in the woods. I’ll admit that here in the North we have fewer and smaller bugs than you Southerners do __ I don’t know how you stand it!

  53. Heh, Charlotte, I’ll start worrying about bugs when I stop worrying about violent men

    The one disease I would worry about is Chagas Disease, and isn’t it ironic that it is spread by Triatominae or kissing bugs? West Nile and all those are scary, but I avoid the back yard around sunset except for the deck which has bug zappers

  54. Martine got naked again? I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you!

    Perhaps I need to revise my read-once-a-week policy for 9CL. Especially if he keeps working this apparent if-I-can’t-figure-out-any-other-way-to-the-advance-the-story-I’ll-have-a-female-character-get-semi-or-completely-naked approach.

    Leg joke, Lady Mindy? I’ll get right to work on it.

  55. OK, I googled the roach family! Apparently, we had been blessed with some of those large 1.5+ inch periplaneta jobs, as well as the smaller 1.2 inch critters and the small German ones (blattella). It was almost funny watching the larger ones attempt to fly while being pursued – that’s when we knew we would catch it. At full steam, I think they flew maybe one foot per second.
    Thanks for the information, y’all.

  56. Charlotte, creepie-crawlies just go with the territory (literally) here in the South. You get used to them. And it makes for job security for employees of the pest control businesses. They treat my place once a month and, other than the occasional deceased “tree roach” that must zip in when a door is opened, I never see any of the critters inside.

  57. Ghost: I know. If I have heard, “Susie get your in the house or out of it. You are letting all the flies in.” And candle bugs, etc. Wonder why they are so desperate to get into the house? All that happens is they die on the window sill

  58. Moving away from creepy-crawlies, how quickly has anyone fallen for a piece of music? My favorite TV music channel is called Soundscapes; it plays peaceful “new age” and world music. This song came on the other night and I fell hard in the first few measures: For the link-clicking adverse, it is called “For Andromeda” by Sean Christopher. I am going to have to download the rest of the album.

    And speaking of outer space, where is Symply Fargone? (And I mean that with the utmost respect. )

  59. Thanks Lilyblack, because I NEEDED another earworm. 😛 Oh, and rest easy, Daddy Long Legs aren’t poisonous (but yes, they can bite you). Mythbusters did that one years ago. Some people might have a mild allergic reaction at the bite site though.

  60. Mindy/Indy:

    “. . . how quickly has anyone fallen for a piece of music?”

    On the spot, often. But my genres often run long, and I may be grabbed in the 3rd or 4th movement [e.g., in Brahms’s 4th symphony, 4th mvmt.]. Haydn’s ‘Lark’ quartet, on the other hand, about 30″ into the 1st movement. Beethoven’s qt. op. 18:5, 3rd mvmt.

    And some things grow on one: I appreciate some G&S songs and particular operettas > I did when I first heard them. PIT’s Cappricio Italien brightens my day every time I hear it, but not for reasons PIT might like. Tom Lehrer? Stanley Holloway?

    . . . bedtime. Peace, emb.

  61. Lilyblack, you sure made me giggle with your ” why are bugs so desperate to get into house … they just die on the windowsill.” Also I am SO impressed at your knowing to use “back yard” as two words … many people, alas, don’t know the difference and don’t care.

    Yes, where the heck is Symply Fargone? I really miss him.

    Oh, a big Thank You to Mark from TTown for reminding us that lightening strikes in storms can ruin our expensive computer equipment. Sorry you had to learn the hard way! Sometimes I unplug everything, sometimes I’m lazy and take a chance on it. (Mark said both the modem and his router got fried. Not sure if I even disconnected those two things — I’d better check this with my computer guru, my very smart son in law.)

  62. Charlotte in NH, you are welcome for the reminder. I have all the electrical power cords attached to surge protectors, but the coax cable which feeds the internet signal does not run through one. Coax cable was attached to wall, then to modem, then by ethernet cable to router. Nothing else in my office was affected, so I believe the surge came through the coax cable by process of elimination.

    Mindy, here is a new version of some New Age music that originally came out before there was such a category.

  63. Mindy from Indy and emb, interesting to speculate. I like your music selections, emb. It’s hard for me to say; I’ve been listening for so many years, mostly on the radio, and so often with my late husband, who loved music and could follow it and analyse it, which I can’t; but we loved to listen together and he would say,”here is where the second theme comes in … now it’s repeated … this is really the end, anything after this is the coda.” And much more of the same. I loved it! And I miss it so much now; but I still love to listen, only without my trusty guide.

    We used to go to concerts in Boston when we could (and no whispering during the performances!) When we would leave the hall and discover that a blizzard had whipped up while we were inside, it got really exciting! But we did make it home all right or I wouldn’t be telling you this.

  64. Mark in TTown, thank you for the helpful information. I have one “power stick” with a surge protector; most of the stuff is plugged in there, including the stereo FM radio, which must be 25 years old; I unplug that in storms also as I don’t want to lose something I listen to all day, every day; it would be a hassle to replace it. And I unplug everything in spite of having the surge protector, think it’s best.

  65. Fastest I’ve fallen for certain tunes would be a few lines in. Those tunes would be some often used for church hymns (in no special order):

    anything sung to what is commonly called (Beethoven’s) “Ode to Joy”;
    ditto, to Ar Hyd y Nos (if my Welsh is correct) often called “All Through the Night”;
    ditto, to “The Ash Grove” (“Let All Things Now Living”);
    ditto, to “Cwm Rhondda” (“Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah”)

    Most, if not all, other favorites took longer, mainly because they were longer works.

  66. Ghost: I am not taking the chance. They might be dumb! And, as I have said, I really don’t like music but some classical and the hymns we are working on. I like to sing but I really don’t like to listen

    Night, night, peoples. Don’t let the bed bugs, or especially the kissing bugs bite!

  67. Lily, that particular dumb band was playing Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 in C Major for Piano and Orchestra. Preconceptions are not always useful.

  68. C-ep, I, too, love all the selections you mentioned. Another favorite which I immediately loved is “Simple Gifts.”

  69. Okay, I guess I didn’t do that right because you can’t click on the link, but it is the YouTube link to Simple Gifts with Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss.

  70. Perhaps my favorite piece of music is the first movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. The haunting quality of it gets to me every time.

    From the sublime to the ridiculous- when I was a little girl, maybe 4 years old, we lived in a neighborhood where the Orkin truck was always in someone’s driveway, and no matter how clean the house was, there were always roaches or Palmetto bugs, or whatever you want to call them. I knew full well how to get up and go to the bathroom by myself, but I would sit on my bed and call for my Mom to come turn the light on because I was positive there were hundreds of bugs on the floor just waiting for my little feet to touch the floor. I still hate roaches, and am on very good terms with the exterminator who comes to the house every month. 🙂

  71. GR6: Thanks. The Mozart is now in my ‘favorites’.

    c x-p: Hymn tunes. Most of the Welsh ones are good. When they do one of the Beethoven ‘Freude’ hymns, I sing the German to the first verse, discretely. Some of my favorites [e.g., ‘What child is this’, ‘How great thou art’, and ‘Amazing grace’] are good tunes and also have special associations that bring back good memories of different sorts. It’s best not to dwell on the specific theology, which can be pretty soupy or shallow, though I tend to avoid those that dwell on blood sacrifice. ‘In the garden’ is fun to sing, but really, ‘. . . none other has ever known’? Self-centered belief systems trouble me.

    Wife, who grew up in a small MC 50 mi. n. of NYC, had a special category, ‘swayers’ [‘In the garden’, ‘His eye is on the sparrow’, and others], to which she would sway side to side, again, discretely.

    BTW, his eye is also on the cowbird, the tapeworm, the spirochete, and the maggot.

  72. That should read, “I sing the German from Beethoven’s 9th instead of the first verse.” I would be sore stressed to try to translate the hymns 1st verse [or much else] into German. Peace, emb.

  73. It’s a pleasure to read these latest comments on music … entertaining and thoughtful. emb, have you ever sung in the chorus for Beethoven’s Ninth? Seems as though you must have, to know the words. Thank you to Trapper Jean and to Ghost for the links, which I will listen to later, as I’m listening now to an opera on Internet radio.

    emb, your thoughts on hymn tunes and words are close to my own feelings. I love to sing the old traditional hymns, and some newer ones as well; it’s uplifting to join in the “joyful noise” and if I don’t agree with some of the theology, it doesn’t matter.

  74. sideburns, there’s a robotics project for someone! Build-a-Dalek. And equip it with a little bug vacuum to suck up those pesky intruders. Or program it to say “Intruder alert! Intruder alert!” when it acquires a target with the zap sound when it gets it.

  75. ” ‘In the garden’ is fun to sing, but really, ‘. . . none other has ever known’? Self-centered belief systems trouble me.” – This is a regular “Special Music” hymn at our church which I am always cast to sing the first verse solo. I have always been told that the speaker is St. Mary ( The Virgin, for the Catholic-minded) and that is how I sing it. I can well believe none other had ever heard that. A “Special Revelation,” our priest tells me.

  76. Charlotte:

    Ages ago [’60s], I sang in a local oratorio series, all in English, surrounded by basses who could read music. Elijah [Mendelssohn], The Creation [Haydn], Messiah [Handel; N.B., not “The” Messiah], and maybe one other. Somewhere I read the words to “Freude, Freude, . . ..”. It’s short and I can pronounce German much better > speak it, and it gave wife something to put up with. We did that sort of thing.

    It would be fun to be in the bass chorus in Carmina Burana. But I’ve never sung either solo or chorus in LVB’s 9th. I sing along with the radio or CD.

    Peace, emb

  77. While I have no sense of rhythm, I do have a uniquely large range. While some of the songs make me reach the high notes (O Holy Night, Ave Maria-Gounod), I have always loved to rumble in the bass section. It makes life easier for my accompanist, who usually has to transpose music for the other cantors. Now if I only could follow her lead….

  78. To sing The Hallelujua (sp?) Chorus in the bass section one more time! But it’s not going to happen. The voice is gone and I can’t stand up that long. I’ve got the memories though and it was great.

  79. Yes, some of the happiest memories I have are my choir memories:

    Exchanging with other choirs during Christmas

    Doing a guest solo of “Were You There” in a largely black Methodist Episcopal Church

    Going out to nursing homes and doing concerts


    Doing oratorios on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Good Friday

  80. So after work today, dad, sis, and BIL came over to help me move. We only got two trips of stuff moved before the dam broke and several inches of rain fell (and fall still). BIL volunteered to pack books. He failed to grasp the ramifications of moving someone with an English Literature degree – fourteen (19″x12″x10″) boxes of books. The growing look of misery as I drug out more books was highly entertaining. I must admit though, lugging the darned things down three flights of stairs, to the truck, and into the new place wasn’t as entertaining.

  81. Mindy from Indy, your move sounds like all the ones I ever volunteered to help with, except one. That one was a single story house, the rest were upper floor apartments without elevators. I had an older Toyota Van (looked like a 2/3 scale VW bus) so I could load a lot of stuff into it.
    When I finally moved myself to Tennessee we had to rent a truck because of my book collection. Then when I returned to Alabama, the 3 boxes I had left fit into my Dodge Caravan. Never again. Just too much stuff, but I miss those books.

  82. Jerry in FL — aw, that’s a darned shame. We’ve seen that you are making the best of it and are brave about your various problems.

    Lilyblack — those sure are some swell memories. And you’re piling up more all the time … good for you!

    emb — you have had some great musical experiences. There’s so much music out there; none of us can hear or perform all of it.

  83. Yep, the books. One of the reasons I recently mentioned that I probably don’t have another move left in me. My most recently purchased books are electronic, but the ones before them are all made from dead trees.

    Speaking of strippers (it was Jean, not me), I found a really interesting video I trying to decide whether or not to post.

    And Jean dear, if you prefer to ignore my query about why you had body glitter spray on hand, that’s OK. 😉

  84. The oratorio soc. may have done Brahms’s [German] Requiem. I remember singing [English] words that fit, and don’t recall our doing any other requiem. [My favorite is Verdi’s]. In the interest of time [and maybe the talent available*], all of the oratorios we did were actually excerpts, probably about 2/3 of the numbers. In Haydn’s Creation, we didn’t do any of part 3, Adam & Eve in the Garden and Haydn opining that they shouldn’t try to know too much. Compared to pts. 1 and 2, it’s soupy. Conductor actually was a rather set in his ways and beliefs Lutheran, but guess he realized the ending just was not that good.

    *A later conductor, who did Carmina Burana 2-3 times, once did not have a strong tenor, so had a quartet of singers do the tenor solos. Whatever works.

  85. Thanks TR, enjoyed that video – it would be helpful if everyone received those simple instructions. I plan to post it on my Facebook page!

  86. Good morning, Villagers: I awoke to a poem forming in my brain:

    From our the burning asphalt
    As from the spreading snow
    The Road now rises near me
    God calls me and I go.

    My thighs spread inspiration
    Blood fizzes in my veins.
    For all this exultation,
    Who cares for any pains?

    The morning spreads before me
    I see the Sun’s broad face
    I feel its rays adorn me
    It’s I alone I race.

    And when I cross the finish
    and I, perspiring, sway,
    None else can this diminish.
    Begin again, today!

  87. Yes Ghost, do post the video! And the reason I haven’t responded to your query about the glitter body spray is that I haven’t thought of a really good riposte yet, but the truth is I was a regular attendee at Dragon*Con for a number of years, and costuming (while not being a slave Leia) is always a fun thing to do. 😉

    The last formal singing I did was in my high school chorus, where I was a contralto. Not a very good one, perhaps, but it was fun. The rest of my musical career has been mostly singing lullabies or singing with the radio.

    Llee mentioned Dave Brubeck. Most often when Brubeck is thought of people think of Take Five, but this is also a great piece:

  88. No one has mentioned the California earthquake, a 6.0. Well north of San Fran although they say they did have some effects. Although it was shallow the area between the center and San Fran is mostly water so that may have helped. If you have to pick a time for an earthquake 3:20 on Sunday morning is a good time. No deaths reported so far. For the last few months the number of quakes worldwide greater than 2.5 has gone way way down. Let’s hope that this was the big one.

  89. I’m not a runner, but your dawn poem seems to capture what I’ve heard described. Nice job! The news I saw said that three were critically injured and almost 100 injured. Apparently the evaluation of the magnitude of the quake has been bouncing between 6.0 and 6.1. Looks like some damage, fires, etc. but nothing horrific. Maybe that is the big one for a while.

  90. Good afternoon Villagers…….

    It is done, finished, polished, and the big “F” bomb was dropped last night in the hen house. Nothing, and I mean nothing, comes out alive. The first wave of new 20 week old pullets arrive tonight at 10:00ish….some 79,900 new ‘clucks’ will be in-house by Tuesday night. I have to count the number of hens in each cage to make sure there are 5 in the top three tiers, and 4 in the bottom tier….PETA stepped in…..the hen house was designed to hold 100,000 hens, but Boss man said yesterday that PETA decided that some pea sized brain bird needs more room….I sort of agree….it does get crowded….

    Lily…I really liked your poem, nice.


    GR 😉

  91. Jean…did you ever get a sound system in your truck? My radio antenna is broke off now…not like there is anything worth listening to on FM….but anyway, I started dragging out some old cassettes……an old friend from ’89 copied to cassette McCartney’s world tour…I sure have been enjoying the old music.

    And what’s unique, is it is not like the studio recordings. Like Jerry was saying several days ago…you pay all that money, and you don’t want to hear what you bought on record….

    Been able to pull up some of them on U tube…………..


  92. Don’t have one of those, either, Debbe. My MG has this cool smooth plate where you are supposed to install the radio, and The Boss Of My Life doesn’t allow the radio on while she is driving or being driven in The Silver Monster, AKA the Suburban. I do have my iPod for long car trips etc.

    On the subject of cars, does anybody know why in California there have been several attempts to ban black cars? I know they try to ban sugar, plastic bags, etc.

  93. So, Lily, what time is Marquita Ville? I just know you have heard of Jimmy Buffet’s song….”Marqueita Ville”…please tell me you have….or I’ll post it…. 🙂

  94. Sure I’ve heard it. I was even invited to a Jimmy Buffett concert once. Turned it down … long story.
    Margarita Time AKA Cocktail Hour is at 8:00 PM, or otherwise if dictated by the whim ot The Boss Of My Life. As she has often told me, “If you start drinking before seven, you’ll be crying by nine.”

  95. Mark in TTown, thanks for the link to Snopes. I do look at that site once in a while and I smile, as I did just now, at the things many people will believe. I hadn’t heard of the black car item before!

    Lily, I like your poem too. You have many talents!

  96. I suppose at some point that governmental agencies will require automobiles to be so loaded up with anti-emission devices that their emissions will drop to zero…because they won’t run at all.

    I use a version of Lily’s mobile music strategy. I seldom turn on the car radio, but my smart phone, my wireless headset, and a subscription to an internet music service give me access to more music than I could ever listen to.

    Debbe 😉

  97. I suppose at some point that governmental agencies will require automobiles to be so loaded up with anti-emission devices that their emissions will drop to zero…because they won’t run at all.

    I use a version of Lily’s mobile music strategy. I seldom turn on the car radio, but my smart phone, my wireless headset, and a subscription to an internet music service give me access to more music than I could ever listen to.

    Debbe 😉

  98. I just read the Snopes piece and noted that the black car proposal was “Mostly False” which means there was a little bit of truth to it: The idea of requiring a percentage of cars to be “more reflective” was discussed, studied, and dropped as impractical.

  99. I did read one true story of governmental idiocy from California recently. The state is having major drought problems and one county was threatening to fine people who watered their lawns. At the same time, one city in that county was threatening to fine people who didn’t water their lawns because the dead grass was an eyesore.

    I saw this story and thought of you Debbe:

  100. I believe that article has a warning for us humans as well:

    “We fed him too much. He got fat. When he got big, he did not breed as much as he was intended to,” Cockrell said about the breed of rooster. “The fertilization went way down, and our hatch [rate] has been way down.”

    Guys, we need to keep our weight under control!

  101. We have a CD player in the car and a case of CDs for long trips but it would be nice to have a better selection. To that end, my wife bought a small, self powered speaker that can plug into any player (1/8 jack). She has a lot of stuff on her iPod and can easily update it.

    I don’t know how long the speaker will run on a single charge but it seems to run fine for at least 6-8 hours.

  102. Debbe, on the sound system for my truck, not yet. Husband ordered the doohickie that’s supposed to let me use the music downloaded on my smartphone but when it came in it didn’t work so he sent it back and reordered. It’s a good thing I don’t drive a lot or a long way these days. 😉

    Ghost, since my “smart” phone does not have the Internet capability turned on having a music service wouldn’t help me a lot. I repeat, it’s a good thing I don’t drive a lot or a long way these days. 😉

  103. Jean dear, I await details of the explanation of your possession of the glitter body spray with shivering anticipation. 😉

    I will also post the “stripper” video (no nudity involved) when I find the link that gives the best quality and definition and the fewest pauses. It really is worth seeing. Oh, and the music for the performance is “Moar Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” by deadmau5. What could be more fitting than that? 🙂

  104. Here am I back from the hospital, with a nasty stain on my knee got under honorable circumstances in the ER. I have seen The Boss Of My Life glance at it once and am expecting orders to sequester myself in the bathroom till I get it out. *sigh*

  105. ‘Everybody’ is here, gathering rosebuds. Here’s today’s ‘The Writer’s Almanac.’

    Note esp. the items on Leonard Bernstein, Galileo [he should have stayed in Venice, no?], and Woodrow Wilson’s signing of the act creating the Natl. Pk. Service. It would not get through Congress today, and I can envision a future Congress ‘privatizing’ it.

    Peace, emb

    P.S. The female stripper was great. Wife was right: ‘All men are prancing, leering billygoats.’

  106. Lily: No, it’s a quote. Wife didn’t say ‘disgusting’. Peace, emb

    But, re the prancing, leering bit, see today’s

    I didn’t notice the asp at first [It’s ‘Cleopatra dying’], but it’s a splendid piece of bad art, done only to titillate. I suspect he had a buyer quickly, if it wasn’t a contract job to start with.

    Also, I’ve pointed out that the equinox, which will occur at some precise time 22 Sept. this year, begins astronomical fall. Yesterday’s high here was in the low 80s. Today’s is expected to be in the mid 60s. This BTW, is typical. I may have mentioned some time ago that, in mid Aug. 1968[?], we drove N from Redwing through W WI. to Duluth, and passed frozen cornfields. Don’t recall any Aug. frosts lately. Anyway, weatherwise, it’s not fall yet, but leaves are turning here and there, and I don’t expect many more breakfasts on the patio.

  107. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, committed suicide to avoid being taken prisoner by Octavius, who had conquered Anthony, Cleopatra’s lover and Octavius’ rival for supremacy in Rome. Plutarch reports that the Queen wished to die by a serpent’s bite, for the ancient Egyptians believed that this death ensured immortality.

    The artist has not chosen to portray the dramatic climax, nor the decision to commit suicide, nor even the snake bite itself, but the moment in which the tension begins to subside. The serpent has done its deadly work, and the young black servant boy holding the basket of flowers is staring with terror-struck eyes at the snake in it, while a servant woman supports her swooning mistress. On the surface of things, very little seems to be happening in this picture, with everything concentrated on the transition between life and death. All the light falls on the young Queen, bathing her body in warm and sensuous colours. All of life itself seems to be concentrated in the colour of her flesh on the threshold of death, whose advent is suggested by her sinking arm and overcast gaze. The central moment in this painting is one of transition, and this is reflected in the move from light to darkness and in the strong graduation of colours from the background to the foreground.

  108. Just to get back to the strip for a moment, it occurs to me that one of the few things JJ hasn’t ever shown is Luddie using somebody’s arm or hand as a salt lick in hot weather. For those of you who don’t know cats, their tongues are like little rasps, but only slightly moist so there’s not really any slobber left behind when they’re done.

  109. According to the San Jose Mercury News, “…California’s earthquake early-warning system, which is still being tested, worked. It gave a UC Berkeley lab 10 seconds of warning.” Wow. Yeah, I know, some warning is better than none at all. But what would YOU do with a 10-second warning? Back in the Cold War days, there were these suggestions about what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.

  110. TruckerRon, all men can’t be disgusting to Lilyblack. She shows great respect for The Boss in Her Life’s husband, The Man in Her Life.

    I don’t think all the depictions of a half-naked Cleopatra were intended to be stimulating. If I recall correctly, the histories say she placed the asp to her breast. Consider this, the nearer the bite is to the heart, the faster the poison works to bring on death.

  111. I’m late today, but Ghost, don’t you know we want VIDEO of the stripper in action! I too wondered what to do during that 10 second warning. Is it like the duck and cover they taught in civil defense in the sixties and early seventies at elementary schools? In my nuclear targeting classes for Uncle Sam’s Army we joked it was time to bend over and kiss your rear goodbye. I guess it would be enough time to jump under the bed and hide.

    Lily, did you get the stain out of your scrubs? Was it demanded? 🙂 Has there ever been a painting of the death of Cleopatra that even had Egyptian women?

  112. OK, by popular demand (well, from enough of you, anyway), a stripper routine worth watching. (Possibly NSFW, depending on where you work). (And Lily, again, this is not a link to a “dumb band”. 🙂 )

    Ignore her skimpy outfit. (You can see skimpier on any public beach. Or in some classic paintings.) Marvel at her athleticism. Admire her performance.

    NOTE: This was the best quality video I could find, but it may pause a few times. If so, be patient; it’s worth the wait. If it gets too annoying, you can of course wait until it nears the end and click the left side of the progress bar below the video and pretty much see it straight through. Some of you may want to watch it again, anyway. Be sure and use “full screen”, too. 😉

    I really think the Olympic Committee should seriously consider making this an Olympic event. (Don’t laugh…women’s beach volleyball is an Olympic event, and believe me, I’ve seen many of those women wearing even less. And being less athletic.) I’m still not sure how she made some of those moves, and I’ve watched the video, ah, more than once.

  113. Just for the record, Lily, she didn’t take “her clothes off”, and she was wearing much more than Cleo in the picture you posted.

  114. Serious earthquake damage suffered by Napa Valley wineries. Much product lost. The horror.

    All kidding aside, a very negative effect on their businesses and many livelihoods there.

  115. Thanks, Nancy. I’ve always said I enjoy seeing someone do anything they are very good at, even if it’s working on the back of a trash truck.

  116. Smartphone=oxymoron. Lily, unless someone else is using your name you can actually write when you put your mind to it. I would like to see that side of you more often.

  117. I can write on my phone (when I remember the darned thing), my laptop, or my computer at work. But The Boss Of My Life has the latter hocussed so that videos won’t work, and laptops and phones are forbidden during office hours. And she isn’t kidding about that last one,let me tell you. She has put more than one employee on probation ffor violating that rule (not me!)

  118. The new neighbors told me a couple of the neighborhood squirrels were quite tame and friendly. I thought okay, but figured the squirrels would ignore me for a while as I would be a new person. I was on the porch enjoying the rain with the screen door wide open. I went back inside for a moment; when I came back out, one of the squirrels was sitting on the threshold. As I was leaving, it came right up to my foot. It was within an inch of my sandle. Blacklight is going to flip out

  119. Heh, well, he may have been tame, but Neesh hasn’t got him on her invitation list. That’s the one thing I have never been able to break her of. She doesn’t chase cats, mice, other dogs, cars, or mailmen/women, but she draws the line at squirrels. My dad says it’s because we spoil her

  120. Huh. Just answered my own question. Googled “pokies” and immediately got a picture of Kaley Cuoco from The Big Bang Theory…wearing a white tank top.

  121. Nope, Lilyblack. A pokie is the bump peeking thru a layer of clothing. The shape of things unknown, as it were. Venus of Urbino is just letting it all show but a pokie makes itself known, involuntarily. Right Ghost?

  122. I remember a law enforcement training class that was intended to show us what to do if someone came up behind us and put a chokehold on us. The “victim” was a young lady wearing a thin shirt. As the guy grabbed her and bent her backwards she must have liked it because she had a noticeable reaction. The class broke up and she was quite embarrassed.

  123. Ok, Lily, I admit that the servants/slaves in the version of ‘Death of Cleopatra’ that you posted appear to be intended as Egyptian women. Pretty sure Cleo is still European, though.

  124. Cleopatra wasn’t of pure Egyptian descent. As Wikipedia reports:

    “Cleopatra was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greek origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s death during the Hellenistic period.”

  125. Yep, Cleopatra was of mainly Greek descent. Not all, of course. That’s why it’s so dumb that Cornel West tries to argue that Cleopatra was black. I mean,, we have busts and coins of hers, and she doesn’t look black to me.

  126. Good morning Villagers……

    GR 😉 , thanks for the soothing song this morning, sat back closed my eyes, and just listened. Rough night, and about 1 hour’s sleep. Good to see you’re getting your ‘pokie’ fix 🙂 , even if it is on the internet!

    Been a very demanding two weeks, we got our first ‘wave’ of hens yesterday morning, had to count hens in each cage, remove the weak ones, and put down roosters…..all in about 87 degree temp with a horrendous humidity and condensation throughout the hen house. Not to mention chicken poop in the slippery aisles,

    And Mark, thanks for that link on the rooster’s fertility….too fat, good equation TR 🙂

    You mean Cleopatra didn’t look like Elizabeth Taylor? Classic movie. Especially the scene in which she arrives in Rome…the pomp, the circumstance, the money it took to film this movie.

    Today’s real time strip was a good one….the one above reminds me of my Step-dad, he loved to startle cats with the thump of his foot.

    Indy Mindy….glad to see you’re getting settled in, and I love the welcoming committee….good luck with Blacklight 🙂


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