No Last Names, Please!

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The original “Car Talk” sequence from 1991 ran for five days; here are the final two installments. We’ll miss you, Tom! Someone mentioned that there’ve been other “Car Talk” comic strips within A&J. I think I do recall one strip in which it was mentioned, but I can’t remember any specifics. Whatever it was, it wasn’t as much fun as the cartoons we’ve been seeing this week. I’m glad many of you have enjoyed it, and it’s on to something else next week.

141 responses to “No Last Names, Please!”

  1. Ghost, back to previous comments about Veterans. My British friends all seem to be Vets themselves. Some have become American citizens, so not sure they will qualify for anything? But many maintain their British citizenships and commute to America and work here on some type of visa or just reside here part-time.

    It is the small boat thing, their customers are here, so they come here. Or at least some of them are here.

    But I know they have commented to me on our VA mess and how they stop on streets and talk to homeless Vets, give them money or food. This is sad.

    Love, Jackie

  2. The other appearance was January 15, 2005 – the Car Talk site links all their appearances in the comics, and the strip from the goComics archive is available. It’s a good one, more Janis as she became than Janis as she was.

  3. I really like the lesson in drawing in these two strips although I still cannot draw. Arlo has essentially the same expression in panel 4 of the 1st strip as he does in panel 3 of the 2nd. The only difference is a small crease running from the top of the nose in #2 that gives him an annoyed look. Amazing. Everything else is exactly the same. Very nice.

  4. Debbe, I thought the album was being released today, but various sites I have looked at are showing 11/10 as the release date. Whatever, as soon as I can lay hands on it I’m buying it. Echoes is my favorite Pink Floyd album, so I am looking forward to this one. As far as it being mostly instrumental, go to Amazon and watch the interview with Gilmour/Mason and they explain a lot about how this came to be.

    Jackie/Ghost, yes there are state veteran’s homes and the VA is building assisted living facilities. But as noted, they have limited capacity and are difficult to get into. My dad was a WWII vet, developed dementia and was becoming a danger to himself and possibly others, but my mom was unable to get him into the local VA long-term care, nor could they afford a private nursing home. Fortunately for my mom, he passed rather quickly after being discharged home following the initial treatment for his illness.

  5. Again, mistakenly posted this at the end of yesterday’s page.
    emeritus minnesota biologist on 07 Nov 2014 at 11:49 am #

    Trucker: “I’ve been confronted by several fools who demand to know why we’re mollycoddling people who have sinned and brought the condemnation of God upon themselves! My theology doesn’t include mental illness as a result of sin.”

    As a biol. prof, I ran into this sort of “reasoning” often, against scientific findings of course, but also to avoid responsibility for the common good. Often, as your quote suggests, these folks are ardent “Christians.” Pardon my cynicism, but I expect this sort of thing will increase in the coming decades, perhaps eventually being government sponsored.

    For unknown reasons, I am on the mailing list of a small church college whose newsletters contain columns by Ph.D.’s and such denouncing any sort of public safety net for the “undeserving poor.”* Whether or not faculty can achieve tenure there, I don’t know. I understand that at J. Falwell’s college they cannot; if you stray from the “received” viewpoint, goodby.

    *[There must be such a category, because the late 20th century’s most popular president expressed concern for the “deserving poor.” I expect the only members some would admit into that pigeonhole are veterans, and they might have to pass an ideological test. I’d fail.]

    Peace, emb

  6. The little Italian-American man seemed so happy and was asked how he was able to be married for 47 years. He said “I treat my woman right and make her happy. For our 25th anniversary I take her to Italy!”

    “Oh that’s great. What do you plan to do for your 50th?”

    “I go back to Italy and pick her up!”

  7. It’s fun to look back fondly at the years when so much of the strip’s humor was derived from Janis’s jealousy issues. At the time I remember it started wearing thin after a while. Jimmy once mentioned on this blog that it stemmed from his wife at the time who exhibited similar behavior.

  8. sandcastler™, le sage ne pas uriner dans le trèfle.

    I pay an extra fee each year for a “veteran’s tag” for my vehicle, not because I want people who see me on the road know that I am a veteran (although I certainly don’t mind that, and have in fact gotten a lot of much appreciated “thank you for your service” acknowledgements), but because the additional amount goes to help support our modern and very pleasant state veteran homes.

  9. Back from Tulsa run with mom to cardiologist. She is fine for 93 or almost any age but he will run tests to make sure, as she hasn’t had any in awhile. He says he is sure what happened was a temporary lack of blood flow to brain, caused by her climbing stairs to condo in Texas. No more stairs.

    We had a brunchy lunch about 2 p.m. and I ran by my favorite nursery in the world, Southwood Nursery. Giant courtyard full of beautiful pansies of all shapes, sizes, colors, varieties, tables and tables and tables of them. I restrained myself and only bought two flats, yellows and purples and a few lavender, both viola types, which bloom and last better.

    What I love about this nursery is they grow almost all their own stock they sell and they meticulously groom their products. Anything damaged is pulled, any faded blooms are snipped off. it is what all nurseries should be. Heck, any business could copy them for service and quality.

    Tomorrow I go cheer myself up with purple and yellow mums, pansies, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths, plus some hostas and liriope for additional greens. Woe to any workmen, dogs or cats that get in the beds! Think I will put down some kind of noxious mulch to keep them out.

    Love, Jackie

  10. Jackie, with this thing you obviously have about growing things, I’m about to decide you may be an on-going one-woman carbon dioxide mitigation program. A few more like you, and perhaps we could turn this greenhouse effect thing around. 🙂

  11. The world was intended to be covered in growing things. Think about some of our current desert areas, they once were green and verdant, full of figs and gardens of fruits and flowers. History and archeology tells us that. We have learned nothing and just keep on destroying our environment.

    That is why I loved Ladybird (not the dog but I loved her too) “Everyone should plawnt a shrub” (I can’t do a Texas accent but I can still hear her!

    When I drive and see the Texas wildflowers blanketing the roads and pastures, I know I am seeing Ladybird’s legacy.

    There is something I learned too as a competition floral designer, to appreciate ephemeral beauty. And be able to tear it all down in a short time and walk away without tears or pain.

    But I get REALLY PO’d when I see tractor mowers tearing through the roadsides of flowers here in Oklahoma!

    Love, Jackie

  12. My state started a road-side wild flower project some years ago, which is ongoing. One of the few things that can add beauty to boring stretches of asphalt.

  13. I know I have mentioned this before, I actually have two college degrees of sorts. My second was in Agricultural Business Administration with a minor in horticulture (after I couldn’t get into vet school- women weren’t wanted in the 60’s) I do love plants, flowers, vegetables, the whole world is dependent on living plants. Becoming a florist was somewhat accidental because I really love dirt digging and plants, seeds.

    That was one thing that drew me here to A and J, Janis’ love of gardening, Arlo helping her in yard, the boats, the beach, the cooking and food, watching the birds, Ludwig the cat. Gene was just incidental, I could take him or leave him but now he is grown I enjoy him and Mary Lou and the shrimp.

    Maybe I am Everyman for Jimmy’s art and writing?

    Love, Jackie

  14. Jackie, I saw a truck in front of me today that made me think of you. The lettering read: Jackie of All Trades, Furniture and Interior Design. Don’t know if you have done furniture or Interior Design for pay, but the Jackie of All Trades struck me as a good description of you.

  15. Just worked with a lot of interior decorators on model homes and home tours! My youngest is a good amateur decorator. We had a running joke for years when we’d buy something we had no idea what we intended to do with?

    “We will just place it decoratively!” That was a takeoff on a decorator we once heard say that.

    We did do a lot of “styling” for photo shoots that involved furniture and accessories, as well as for shows. Hard to do flowers without something to hold them up!

    Love, Jackie

  16. My license plate, for the first time, has a fee-supported Black Capped Chickadee* on it. Coincides with a new Prius. Fee goes to the MDNR for wildlife habitat and such. Good people they, who get a bad rap from ignorant sorts much like those Trucker and I discussed previously.

    *Other choices were mostly big game or waterfowl. I guessed the BCC would be neglected.

  17. Excellent article, Mark. As a WWII war orphan who the VA helped support and educate, I feel we owe those who came back just as much as we owe those who gave their lives. In many cases it seems all about the same. Many do not ever get their lives back, even though they may be among the living.

    I often hand out small sums of money to those I see begging. I wish I could do more but it seems too that just by stopping and recognizing them, they connect with someone. To most of us they are treated as invisible men.

    Wish Jimmy would run some of the retro strips on Veterans.

    Got to get some sleep, my sleep in not easy to come by right now.
    I can always load a dishwasher in morning!

    Love, Jackie

  18. emb, looked up pictures of the plates you spoke of. I like the Chickadee one too. But as one of Jimmy’s villagers, wouldn’t the Common Loon have been more appropriate? Have a pleasant evening.

  19. ???????????????????
    I hope that looks right on your screens. I’ve not tried that text before… and while I spoke the language, I didn’t have half a lifetime to devote to learning to read and write it!

  20. We believe you, Trucker Ron. 😉 It’s so much more impressive this way anyway, because we’re filling it in with our imaginations.

    On the topic of veterans, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Starbucks, where I rarely make a point to go but had to stop in with someone tonight after a concert, is currently raising money for veterans’ issues.

    Besides putting up some nice signs about service and honor and tributes to our veterans, they will donate a certain amount of money to an initiative called Onward Veterans with every Starbucks gift card people buy. I guess this just goes through Veteran’s Day? Not sure, but like I said, I was pleasantly surprised.

  21. Good morning Villagers….

    You know, I linked up to a French to English translation page and I still don’t even know what you three are talking about….sage, shirts, clover, alfalfa??????

    And Jackie, you are right, the earth should be covered in growing things.

    Thanks Mark, I will check out your link later….no time this a.m., too busy trying to figure out what the heck all this French was about 🙂

    Ya’ll have a blessed Caterday

    GR 😉

  22. Sand, you said your mother was French Canadian?

    Where did Ghost become fluent? I keep thinking Ghost is some CIA spook (or equivalent) like the character in Reds who got to be friends with the government benefits clerk.

    OK, so I don’t think you look like him but that you are a younger version and I could write a book about you taking care of your mama and going to church and being such a super nice, sweet guy while living a life of absolute unbelievable contrast. Meanwhile, touching base with us through a shared comic strip.

    Hey, I just got up, am half asleep still and it beats the heck out of the current plot in 9CL. Still needs work! Mine. I gave up on 9CL ever making sense again.

    Love, Jackie

  23. Meanwhile, over on The Dark Side, the usual mixed bag, comment-wise.

    Meanwhile, over on 9CL, everyone, Allies and Axis, seems to be in line for a chance to kill Martine. Imagine that. Why do I suspect Jackie would cheerfully join that line if she could?

    Meanwhile, in my kitchen, it smells wonderful. I put a 4# boneless ham in the slow cooker before I retired last night, and it is currently cooling on the sideboard, soon to be sliced into sandwich meat and thicker ham steaks, then packaged and tucked away in the larder for future use. Next up today…Italian meat sauce, also to be tucked away for future use, one involving pasta.

    Jackie, I’d tell you what I do, but we are not allowed to say.

  24. BTW, the cost of 4 pounds of pre-cooked, pre-sliced sandwich meat ham…about $30.00. Cost of the 4 pound ham I cooked and will slice…$10.00. Frugality makes a good sauce for any food.

  25. Mark: “. . . wouldn’t the Common Loon have been more appropriate?”

    Yep, and more commonly chosen. That’s why I chose the BCC. Peace, emb

  26. Come on, Ghost. I told you from the beginning you were our “Mystery Man”, “Tree Top Flier” does fit you I think.

    Long, long time ago we had a friend who was doing Cuba runs, smuggling people out. Got caught and ended up in a Cuban prison for awhile, got out. He never seemed to be actually employed but stayed in touch annually with my mom and stepdad.

    What do you do with retired people like that? I briefly worked for one in the floral wholesale industry. Floral industry? CIA? Well, lots of drugs and drug smuggling going on in that field, so perhaps? He briefly freaked when I asked him how he’d gotten out? No one was supposed to find out. It is like they are given a new identity.

    Love, Jackie

  27. Mark, thank you for posting that. I read every word. Such an honest look at the problems facing our veterans. I asked myself, how can anyone survive war and not face these?

  28. My “dirt man” who is so sweet and gentle, a big gnarled teddy bear of a man is a ex-Marine, is a Viet Nam vet who was a prisoner of war. We talk a little now that he trusts me enough to open up, about night terrors and the horrors he cannot put behind him of things he did. He knows I know about that war but that isn’t what he wants to talk about.

    He loves my yard and my house, the trees, the quiet, the solitude.
    He says it is like a park and it brings him peace. I know he loves to sit out on my deck by the boat shop under the trees and eat lunch.

    My home is hardly palatial, although others say the same about the yard. If I ever get it rebuilt and replanted it should be even more tranquil, a big butterfly and bird retreat. That was one of the things I picked up on from Mark’s article, the connection to the outdoors and nature, animals, to bring peace of sorts.

    Interestingly, long ago I had a customer, a hospital/half way house/retreat that treated mental health patients through horticulture, plants and growing things. I may not be only one who finds therapy in plants and dirt?

    Love, Jackie

  29. gigged? Actually, I don’t recognize the worded spelled either, but no red line so it’s probably in the little red Oxford American.

  30. gig [n.] is there w/ 4 meanings. None of them are verbs. One noun = a spear, another a single engagement to perform [or give a talk]. I do those; if gig is a verb, have I gigged my listeners? Will my pastor gig me tomorrow morning? She usually hugs me, but that’s different. I sometimes do sermons; those are gigs [unpaid].

  31. Ex-Prof, the expression is “Gig ‘Em Aggies” which is combined with a rude gesture involving the little finger and the index finger extended and the two middle fingers closed onto the palm of hand.

  32. Ooops, wrong Texas college tradition. The two fingered salute is used at the University of Texas while yelling “Hook “Em Horns”
    I believe!

    The Aggie “Gig ‘Em Aggies” is the thumb extended upward in a closed fist and did originate from gigging frogs, which is a common way to hunt for frogs, with a frog gig, a pointed spear like thingy.

    Love, Jackie

  33. Daughter went to Texas A and M and never went to a single football game. Son in law went to University of Texas and did not go to a game either, so far as I know. He also went to Oklahoma State University and is an avid fan of their team.

  34. Let’s hope eMb (8:05) has never gigged his listeners…literally. I guess an argument could be made for a speaker gigging listeners in a figurative sense, though.

  35. Gigged!!! Didn’t mean to set you all off. I also spend time on, a German music and film site that I am certain is not on the A&J crowds browser bookmarks.

    Jackie, good catch on your part about the hand signals. It almost cost you your “Daughters of the Republic of Texas” membership.

    Peace my fellow travelers.

  36. Thanks, all: Learn something new every day, though I’d heard of gigging frogs. Didn’t learn anything new / intercollegiate sports, except for more details. Peace, emb

  37. I have attempted to speed read myself back to today but I give up. I did notice a comment from Ruth Anne and I agree. That situation was suspicious. At this point I move that the subject be dropped as we are giving this person some satisfaction by continuing the discussion. Debbe, I appreciate your comment and I am glad that travel by other relatives caused a delay in funeral plans and I was able to attend. Trucker, the situation regarding the poor and homeless has been a problem for at least the last two thousand years and if I had the answer to it then I suppose I would start my own religion. Just what we need! In no particular order of my travels in the beautiful state of Alabama, I will mention here that I greatly enjoyed our visit to Talladega raceway where I was able to take a s-l-o-w lap on the low part of the track, accompanied of course by the proper official. I also enjoyed the museum where I saw the car that I saw Tiny Lund drive to victory in my only Daytona 500 race. More later about Helen Keller, eating lunch in a cave, etc.

  38. Here it is Sunday morning AGAIN as Forrest Gump would say. I got up unwillingly due to small dog licking my face and meowing cats, especially the one who had spent night outside in the laundry room with large elderly dog. I have garlic cheese biscuits in oven for mama, honey dew, orange juice, coffee and am getting ready to scramble her some bacon-cheese eggs.

    Anyone want to come for breakfast? I am having a diet Coke and my tranquilizer!

    Remembered I had stuck two Cokes in freezer and not taken them out. This was at about 5 a.m. so figured no use getting up, they had already exploded. Which they HAD. Also a quote from Forrest Gump!

    Have to start paging Mama for breakfast. Good morning and lets have a nice day Village!

    Love, Jackie

  39. On today’s real-time strip: men are such mushy sentimentalists; that’s why we love you so. And you can be distracted with a touch…also why we love you. Not that we’d ever take advantage of it or anything.

  40. Invitation for all to lunch. Slow cooker pork roast, rice and gravy, green beans and Yukon gold potatoes from garden and bacon corn bread.

    I need slow cooker lessons from Ghost or somebody. I have never used them before and am trying to learn to do stuff in them to cut down on cooking time/stress. Not sure it is working! I put on pork for 8 hours yesterday to be ready last night. I ate some and served Mama some, didn’t seem tender enough so I cooked it some more overnight and then continued it this morning, so the darn thing has been cooking for over 12 hours!

    No wait, that is 24 hour pork roast!

    Green beans are getting pulled out of garden and we may get one more chance at the pole beans before next week’s cold weather hits us. I will say we have gotten our money’s worth in enjoyment out of the garden so far. I am eye balling another bed but I have to go measure off space for the guest house to fit in before I take it all up in garden!

    Ok, so I can buy vegetable futures for what I spend on this but my Mama is 93 years old. How much enjoyment can I offer? Her doctors say to not let her up in any deer stands now.

    Love, Jackie

  41. Denise! Stop outing us like that. 🙂

    On the bright side, Edda on 9CL is wearing a bikini that leaves her 97% naked. (Of course I did the math. What do you think?)

  42. Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets, like that at West Point, has a system of demerits that can be awarded to cadets for not meeting proper standards. The slang term for getting a demerit at A&M was “getting gigged” (like a frog) and giving one out was “gigging” someone. As the term was in popular use on campus, it was eventually applied to cheering on the team. When the Aggies look to “gig” their opponents, it is more akin to that done to the poor frogs…

    Regarding le Français: my French teacher never allowed English to be spoken in class. It is a surprise to me how much is still on active duty… so much so that when there are subtitles on a French film, I can spot inaccuracies in the translation. Example: when the angry young lady tells her date to “Mangez merde!”, it is not accurate to translate that as “Shut up!” 😉

    And yeah, for the rest, I cheat. “Je triche!” 🙂

  43. Jackie, I do pork loins in my slow cooker in 8 hours on low setting. Even a corned beef brisket, a cut not known for its tenderness, comes out fork-tender in that length of time. Unless your cooker is malf’ing, I can’t understand why any cut of pork would take much longer than that to cook.

    Any one who has been in any of the uniformed services should know what a “gig line” is. Hint: Has nothing to do with catching frogs.

  44. Jackie feeds her workmen if they are here, as is my rock guy. It is a trick I learned a long time ago. If they are there/here, feed them and do NOT let them go out for lunch! You will save money and employee time in the long run.

    I stick any leftovers in fridge and housekeeper and mama eat on them. Housekeeper is worse cook in the world. Workmen leave and go eat elsewhere to escape her cooking, unless it is leftovers!

    Back when I was in business of capturing large corporate buyers I used Southern hospitality to good advantage. I picked them up at the airport, drove them to the hotel I put them up in, drove them to my showroom where we fed them any necessary meals, whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner. Turned it into a big party type experience. And private.

    In the Dallas gift market you are lucky to get 30 minutes time from a large corporate buyer. I put my showroom elsewhere and often had them stay 10 or more hours. Or a couple days. This is unheard of, actually.

    Cooking is a handy thing. Southern women are always shoving food at someone! I just ate cornbread and diet Coke for lunch!

    Love, Jackie

  45. Afternoon Villagers and Giggers.

    GR6, I still check my gig line when dressing. I agree on meat timed in slow cooker. We do ribs in the cooker too. I put a foil liner in the crook to hold the rubbed ribs, add liquid smoke under the liner. Saves on having a smoker.

  46. ‘Example: when the angry young lady tells her date to “Mangez merde!”, it is not accurate to translate that as “Shut up!” ‘ OK, this is obvious censorship. But it can happen innocently.

    When the KJV translators translated the Greek ‘Woman at the well’ story into English, they translated the Greek word for word ‘. . . is not your husband’ [I don’t pretend to know what the Greek words were] into the English ‘. . . is not your husband’. So what can possibly be wrong with that?

    The word order is not normal Greek. In Greek, the noun normally precedes the adjective: ‘not husband your.’ E.g., as in French ‘le train bleu’ rather than ‘the blue train.’ But to emphasize an adjective’s importance, they put it before the noun. The KJV translators either didn’t know this, or knew not what to do about it. Today, we might write ‘not YOUR husband’ to emphasize that this divorcee or widow is sleeping with someone ELSE’S husband.

    Neither is breaking Torah, by the way. A married man is not forbidden to sleep with an unmarried non-virgin, nor is she forbidden to sleep with a married man. The story is not about a slut; it’s about the ‘living water.’ This non-Jew, BTW, a woman, is the first person [we are told] to whom J. states that he is the Messiah [if he really did]. Maybe I’ve recounted this before. It’s from a talk by an ELCA pastor or prof.

  47. In keeping with the above post, I will state that as a teen I got to play “The Woman at the Well” in a religious pageant. Then later I got to be Mary Magdalene and even later I got to play Salome in a touring Passion Play until “Jesus” said to get rid of the scene stealing slut!

    Can’t remember why Salome was in a scene with Jesus but I remember the costume which looked a lot like the one worn by Jeannie in “I Dream of Jeannie”.

    There is a pattern there, obviously!

    Love, Jackie

  48. Jackie, I also cooked a bone-in pork roast in my slow cooker last night. I used the 10 hour low setting and it pulled easily off the bone. I chopped some and have added some vinegar based barbeque sauce to have for dinner. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the rest. I baked some sweet potatoes and made cole slaw to accompany my first attempt at barbecue. Alas, my little pole beans I was growing succumbed to the frost we had a few days ago. I’ll try again in the spring. On the other hand, my carrots are almost ready to start harvesting? :).

  49. I’ve often thought that I had more success with a slow cooker than some of my friends because our first one (a wedding present in 1978) was not the more famous brand but one with a feature called “Auto Shift”. It would cook on High for a couple of hours and then shift itself to Low – kind of like in regular stovetop cooking where you bring something to a boil and then lower it to simmer.

    We finally had to replace it a couple of years ago but could not find one with that feature; most of them claim to be programmable but that seems to include only cooking time and keeping warm time. Now we just make the shift ourselves, which cuts into the convenience factor.

    The total time required when you do it this way falls about halfway between what the recipe says for time on entirely High and time entirely on Low.

  50. Man, to have a slow cooker that behaves so well. I received a brand new Hamilton -Beech ginormous slow cooker several years ago now on Christmas. Low is “very hot,” medium is “almost boiling,” and hot is “will burn everything to a crisp in four hours.” I have relegated it to stock/broth cooking.

  51. Ruth Anne, we replaced our cooker three years back. Went with the $29 low end model. Has three manual settings: high, low, and warm. I start things on high for an hour, just set any time in the house, turn to low and go about work. Come dinner time foods ready.

    Today is 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. What a day that was. Had spent my adult life in the struggle against communism, never expected it to end in a whimper. Two years latter the military stood down from alert for first time in over forty years.

    Travel in the former eastern block today and you will see the decaying past. Abandoned collective farm communes, military bases with rotting equipment still in place

  52. Sandcastler, I was one of the escorts for a Boy Scout trip to Berlin for a historical trail a couple of months before the wall came down. We took the duty train from Frankfurt to Berlin. I always maintained the those boys were one of the reasons the wall came down. I usually referred to them as NATO’s secret weapon.

  53. Chris, Boy Scouting in the military community always make for unusal field trips. My first experience on an actual submarine of the line was when we took a troop to visit a British port. Not sure if any scouts ever joined the navy; sure if they did the pinups were a recruiting enticement. Luckly for the Scout Master, the Chaplin wasn’t tagging along that day.

  54. Thanks, sand! Here I was thinking I was the only one automatically checking my gig line [mumble-mumble] years after leaving the service. 🙂

    Yep, two slow cookers, both with three heat settings and the lid clamps and rubber gasket lids so they can be used to transport what you’ve cooked in them, a feature much loved by my all-female staff on the days I decide to feed them lunch.

    Chris, Mikhail Gorbachev said Saturday that tensions between the major powers have pushed the world closer to a new Cold War. I suppose this is what can happen when we start thinking that what goes on in the rest of the world doesn’t really affect us.

  55. GR6, there is now a line of slow cookers that you can daisy chain to save on number of outlets. Think you would need an uber amp breaker.

  56. Disclaimer – I know the following post is going to make me sound like a stark raving nutter. I do not care. You have been warned.

    I need a minion. I accepted moving to a house would involve more personal responsibility. I accepted lawn care, scraping car windows, shoveling snow, even battling bugs. HOWEVER, one small detail boils my blood, and sends me into a private Ed Crankshaft rage at the mere thought of it – trash day. I am 100% certain I took out trash at least once for “trash day” when I lived at home, so the concept is not foreign, but it’s been almost twenty years since I have *had* to have my trash ready for pick up on a specific day. Irrational, I know. But there is a tiny, yet extremely vocal, part of my brain ranting against being told when to put out, where to put, and in what container, and how said container must sit, regarding refuse removal. I am overly harsh to my rubbish bin. I tend to kick it when I finish lugging it to the alley – mainly because I wait until way after dark to drag it out, and cannot see the flat-ish space where it will not fall over AND sit out of the alley. So I wrestle this over-sized hunk of plastic, privately fuming against the dark, weeds, trash, humanity, uneven surfaces, and my procrastination. I have only done this insane ritual twice since moving in. The first time, someone stole one of the bins. Now, I will have to succumb to the will of the evil refuse overlords on a semi-regular basis. This just will not do. I need a minon.

  57. I wrote something about my daughters thinking I should feed my sea of sailors with slow cookers and giving me a passel of them.
    But the wiring/plugs in their dad’s boat shop where I set up food kept blowing out with all the appliances trying to run at once.

    Funny he could run all these big saws and drills, etc. but the toasters and grills and griddles blew the circuits. So, I never really used them.

    The pork butt ended up being good, produced a lot of broth/gravy which was best part eaten on rice more like a soup or stew. There is enough to feed housekeeper, mom and workmen tomorrow if the man delivering the truck load of dirt doesn’t join us for lunch!

    I will try again with another type of meat tomorrow after I go see what I have in freezer.

    Love, Jackie

  58. Mindy, I have a nice raised refuse/bin holder that sits in front of my house and holds four square cans. It took me 20 years and 48 years of marriage to get one. It is attractive although he never got the door built that covers said cans. I can leave the cans there all the time. They do not recycle here.

    My minion, my housekeeper who I just cut back on days working (?) walks out there across a large expanse with one trash bag per trip. I own several wagons for carrying things to avoid strain in lifting and carrying. They will hold several bales of trash and 350# in weight.

    I pay by the hour, so a trip for each bag from each room does add up, I suppose! See, minions are not always the answer. But I agree, they sure are better than kicking the can.

    No, I do not think you are nuts at all.

    Love, Jackie

  59. Don’t hold back, Lady Mindy. Tell us how you really feel about Trash Day.

    Yeah, I hate lugging the damn things to the curb, too. When I even remember to.

  60. sandcastler™ – While that is an awesome word, I do not fear trash cans – It is more of my contrary nature getting the better of me. Being contrary is a frequent occurrence, but the silliness of rage against the trash can is the kicker. I am going to track down that strip where Arlo turns the trash can *just so* out of spite as proof of solidarity. ?

  61. Mindy, my daughter lives in a town that recycles and charges 50 cents or some ridiculously small amount for nonrecycled refuse. She has become so fanatical about this she recycles in all the categories and will not allow me to empty my car trash at her house when we travel! I swear she probably pays 50 cents a week for her one little “refuse” bag!

    I remember that big dumpster behind the flower shop and all the boxes, bags, flower stems and trash we hauled out there.

    And the perverts who were using it as a drop point for illegal porn!
    And the other perverts who were using it for drug drop/stop.

    We were right next to the convenience store who always seemed to run out of space in their dumpster and used ours too.

    Lordy, what glorious memories of trash!

    Love, Jackie

  62. Damn, GR6 and I were using the same floral dumpster for our dropbox. That is just the kind of foul up that happens on cross agency ops.

  63. I hear you, Mindy! The weekly pressure to collect all garbage from the far corners of the house and get it properly bagged and hauled out before the truck turned the corner!! When I was single I was not a responsible or reliable cog in the trash disposal process. But I subsequently discovered that that’s what husbands, and now sons, are good for. Er, I mean good at.

  64. Usual advice applies: If this information about handguns is of no interest to you, whatever procedure you use on your device to scroll downward will fix that for you.

    Disclaimer: These recommendations are tailored to what I reasonably presuppose to be Jackie’s needs for a self defense weapon, plus what I know about her state of health and what I assume about her physical strength, and they thus may or may not be applicable to other people. (In other words, if you are not Jackie, YMMV.) And since she ruled out the use of a long gun, this is only about handguns.

    Jackie, as I see it, there are three main areas of consideration for a home defense handgun…type, make and caliber.

    Type – As I’m sure you are aware, there are two primary types of handguns suitable for self defense purposes, revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. In years past, the recommendation for a “lady’s gun” or “house gun” would have most likely been a snub-nosed revolver in .38 Special caliber. Although they are compact and simple to operate (and were once considered to be significantly more reliable than pistols), revolvers actually require considerably more practice to fire accurately; are limited in ammunition capacity; and like any mechanical device, are subject to some degree of mechanical failure. Thus I would recommend a pistol as a home defense handgun, for their reliability and simplicity.

    Make – If you have been paying attention in the past, it will come as no surprise that I recommend the brand of handgun that I am most familiar with and primarily use for self defense…a GLOCK. (I’m not yelling…that’s actually the way the company spells it.) It’s a polymer-framed handgun, and all its metal parts (barrel, slide, etc.) are treated with a hardening process that makes them considerably more corrosion-resistant than blued or even stainless steel guns. It is a striker-fired weapon (meaning it has no exposed hammer) and it has very simple controls. There is no external safety to forget to operate, but has multiple internal safeties, the primary one built into the trigger, and the gun will NOT fire unless the trigger is pulled. Quite a few people have, as a test, fired well over 1000 rounds of ammunition through various GLOCK pistols without cleaning them, and there were no failures to operate properly. In short, they are very simple and low maintenance handguns. (And when it does need cleaning, doing so is certainly much simpler than the skills required to pull the correct ropes to make those sail thingies behave the way you want them to.) My primary GLOCK is nineteen years old, and it functions (and looks) like new.

    Caliber – Handguns come in several calibers, ranging from .22 caliber to .50 caliber (caliber being the diameter of the bullet in either inches or millimeters). What needs to be decided is the “Goldilocks” caliber, based on the user and the intended use of the handgun. In the past, I would have probably recommended 9 MM for you as the best tradeoff between effectiveness and low recoil. As ammunition technology has improved, I would now be comfortable recommending a handgun chambered in either 9 MM or .380 ACP for you, with the .380 generally being a lower recoil round you might prefer.

    In 9 MM, I would suggest the GLOCK 26; in .380 ACP, I would suggest the GLOCK 42. (If there are firing ranges or gun stores in your area that provide rental handguns for use, perhaps you could fire both of them to see which suits you better and is more comfortable and controllable for you to shoot.) Both handguns are compact enough to be easily stored, carried in a vehicle, or carried on your person, if legal to do so in you jurisdiction.

    As a means of keeping your handgun out of the hands of your “jail-breaking” grandson and to also prevent its theft, there are now small biometric safes that can be kept at bedside or other handy locations that offer secure handgun storage, along with the ability to access them quickly, using your fingerprint to unlock the safe. And as folks like you and I reach a certain age, our Mk I Mod 0 eyeballs can usually use a little help with aiming a handgun, especially in low-light conditions. Both of the GLOCK models lend them themselves to the easy attachment of either external laser sights or small high-intensity flashlights. (Storage safes, laser sights and lights are available at the Mountain of Ganders, the Shop of Bass Professionals, and other similar sporting goods stores.)

    I realize this is very basic information, but I hope you find it helpful. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions as to ammunition selection or anything else.

  65. I am a recycle fanatic. We have trash pickup Wed. am, but I’ve no reason to put it out every week, nor did we before wife died. It usually goes out alternate weeks, when my wonderful cleaning lady comes, or maybe sometimes at 4-wk. intervals. Most of the plant-based organic waste gets composted somehow.

    Most of my neighbor couples put their trash out weekly, often full to overflowing. Local retailers must love them. One of the town’s recycle bins [fiber here, containers there] are two blocks away, on the way to the nearest supermkt. Appliances and such go to the industrial park, far end of town. Run by one of the nicest guys in town. His wife just got reelected mayor, second 2-yr term. She also has a full time job. We hire a city mgr., she chairs the city council, and reps the town, very capably. She is a first in that office.

  66. Good morning Villagers….

    Logged on yesterday and started reading the posts, when there was a knock on the door. My husband’s other nephew, a jack of all trades, came by with one of his six children. He replaced the backboard on my kitchen sink and cabinet top, have a new faucet (the kind that is a high loop), replaced the stairs on the front porch…complete with skid proof stripping….and he came with two movies. I love that young man….he always smiles.

    Watched the Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt movie, “Live, Die, Repeat”…Rotten Tomatoes gave it a four star out of five…..good movie actually…gotta get one of those armor suits 🙂

    Thank you GR 😉 for the song links, been a while since I’ve heard Sheena, and yes, she did get a better hair dresser and clothes designer.

    Indy Mindy…you made me laugh…..I had this vision of you toiling and growling as you took your trash out.

    and it’s Monday….and it’s going to get cold by mid week.

    ya’ll have a blessed day

  67. Thanks, Ghost.

    Yes, I was a retail florist back in 80’s, so pre-internet.

    That florist shop was a source of constant drama and aged me incredibly, not to mention bankrupted me, literally. My favorite one was when we saw the shop being featured on the evening news as the location of the bunko scam perpetuated on a foreign sailor in port as location of house of prostitution.

    Since all my employees were mainly middle aged women and older we took a lot of ribbing on that one!

    I have to figure out how to print your advice now without all the other posts! I asked Mike again last night about learning to shoot where I might hit something and he said “Yes, you should” and I asked him about the revolver I have in my bathroom and he said he had no idea I had one.

    He never comes back there to wake me up much so I doubt he will come at all now!

    I have to go get a case of cat food out of the van, the cats are NOT happy but I gave them some Little Caesar’s which is expensive small cans of dog food. They were eating it. They have kibble, want the good stuff.

    Love, Jackie

  68. My trash collectors had a knack of throwing the lid in with the trash. I gave up replacing the plastic cans because how do you throw out an empty can? The big problem was that the raccoons would make a mess of things, so I built a box with a latch so that I could keep them out.

    My in-laws live in Northern Michigan and had to pay to have someone come out weekly. They gave them a fairly large container that they would roll out to the road every week. Because it is remote and not a lot of people throwing out their trash, the truck is a one man operation. He would stop, use a forktruck type device to pick up the container, empty it and place it back along the road. When my mother-in-law moved, she had to make sure that the company picked up her container or else she would have been charge a ton of money to have it replaced.

  69. Ghost, the gun in my bathroom is one I took away from my 93 year old mom who I thought didn’t need one in her sock drawer since she is often mentally confused. It is a .38 special snub nosed revolver and I think is loaded with illegal bullets.

    I used to carry a semi-automatic pistol long, long ago down in Texas, a small one that I do not remember name of and no longer own. It was a Ruger I think.

    Was just looking at the Academy and Bass Pro ads, we have Dicks and also Gander Mountain here. Everyone is running Christmas ads for guns. I cannot believe I am doing this after living here alone for 20 years until Mike retired and came home a few years ago!

    Now I need to find a good instructor and gun range. I will look on the tabletop embedded business cards down at Runt’s Bar-b-que or ask Runt himself. He is avid gun shooter for game hunting and supports local gun clubs and all the law enforcement officials. I don’t know if he comps all the uniformed police or not but the place is always covered up in holstered guns!

    Safest place to eat bar-b-que in Oklahoma!

    Love, Jackie

  70. The first topic recently I’ve felt motivated to add to, and it’s trash! 🙂

    Since we live just outside the city limits we don’t get their trash pickup, but have to hire our own, and he doesn’t do recycling, and everything has to be in Hefty-style bags. The county did start a recycling service a couple of years ago but only takes aluminum cans, newspaper, and cardboard. Plus, the pickup service is only for city residents, so we have to take our recycling to the center ourselves.

    Oh, Indy Mindy, our trash cans have to be at the end of our driveway, which is up hill, so we either have to carry the bags up to the cans or once a week drag the cans up the hill. Not fun, whichever method we use.

  71. On the subject of guns, I carry a Smith & Wesson .38 Airweight. It fits my hand nicely, doesn’t have a lot of recoil, and can be carried in a purse or a holster without any fuss. When I’m home it resides in a drawer in the kitchen near my desk.

    My older daughter carries a GLOCK .9 because she prefers a semi-auto to a revolver, and Husband carries a GLOCK .45.

  72. Must have mentioned that when New Orleans area first got ANY effort for recycling back in the early 70’s I got asked to be on the board (I was a volunteer) since I had a respectable uptown address and mostly it was a lot of “hippies” trying to get things rolling. Houston didn’t have recycling when I moved there but we did donate cans to things like churches, fundraising efforts who sold them.

    Because so many cans got dumped at the marina by Mike’s offices back in yacht days we used to dumpster dive for the cans to donate!

    Do I feel guilty when I indiscriminately throw recyclables away? Yes.

    Love, Jackie

  73. Jean dear, I wasn’t dissing your choice of handguns. Revolvers are fine if you are comfortable with them and can handle them effectively. I’m often asked “what is the best handgun ” (to have), and I always reply, “The one you have with you at the moment when you really, really need a handgun.”

    Yes, Jackie, definitely get some training, both in the use of your weapon and how your state’s laws apply to its use. I see online that Oklahoma requires a firearms safety and handling course be satisfactorily completed prior to applying for a concealed carry permit, so that might be a good approach to take, even you don’t plan to apply for a permit. The OSBI web site even allows you to search for state-certified instructors by OK counties.

  74. Oops:

    ‘One of the town’s recycle sites [fiber here, containers there] IS two blocks away, on the way to the nearest supermkt.’


    ‘Two of the town’s recycle bins [fiber here, containers there] are two blocks away, on the way to the nearest supermkt.’

  75. GR6, the engineer of old no. 488 looked pleased to have a new “fireman” along. I imagine that the operators of no. 488 insisted on having full coverage of flame retardant cotton before allowing Sheena on board.

  76. We had lunch at the Rattlesnake Saloon in Alabama last week. This is not a cave as you usually think of one. Think of a scallop shell half open and this is roughly the shape of the cave. A restaurant has been constructed back in the opening. They claim that no snakes have been found actually in the cave but they had the skins of some that had been found in the area. The experience was memorable for me because I ate a jalapena pepper, fried, by mistake and it took a lot of iced tea to stop the burning. I can eat mildly spicy food but nothing really hot. It was also an exciting experience because you get in and out of this place in the back of a four wheel drive vehicle moving down a trail at high speed on the way in and back up on the way out. Tomorrow-the Coon Dog Cemetary.

  77. It was a long, long time ago I visited the Coon Dog Cemetery. Over 25 years ago probably. There were no signs then but I knew where it was because of either NPR or PBS, one or the other.
    It was off beaten trail then for sure, I wanted directions.

    Saw a group of men outside a old wooden church who looked like hunters (they were) but it was a Sunday. They gave me exact directions and even had dogs buried there.

    I walked through that cemetery reading the messages and I bawled like a kid.

    Love, Jackie

  78. I never thought you were, Ghost Sweetie. Having tried both, and I owned a Walther PK .380 for a while, I just prefer the revolver. Each to their own, as my Granny used to say!

  79. Just so you’ll know, Jean dear, I own four .38 snubbies and two .380 semi-auto “pocket pistols”. I agree with your Granny…whatever works.

    Neither am I a “caliber snob”. The number of bullet calibers it wouldn’t bother me to be shot with is exactly zero. 🙂

  80. Ghost and Jackie and Jean (and various others here, I’m sure), I know almost nothing about guns nor do I care in a personal way, but I always like to learn new stuff, so I read everything that comes up here–it’s usually interesting and often funny. Loved the fact that you’re not a “caliber snob,” Ghost!!!

  81. OF webcam is live again, but still no predictions. I s’pect there may be none for a few months. Still neat to drop in to see bison and such. Peace, emb

  82. I think I observed a different bird on the back feeding site today. As I have no idea where my Peterson’s guide may be, let me reveal what I recall. Maybe a bell will ring in someone’s noggin.

    Size and shape about like a sparrow, but with a lower brow, making its head appear more streamlined. Extended thin bill – insectivore?? – perhaps a half inch or 5/8 inch long. Very notably, it had a bright white patch under the bill all the way down to its figurative belly-button. Other coloring was in tones of black/grey or perhaps dark blue; not brown. There were smallish areas of lighter grey or dirty white amidst those darker regions. No red top knot seen.


  83. Good morning Villagers….

    Today is a tribute to the women and men who served (and still serving I say) to keep our America the land of the free. I salute you. I thank you. I love you.

    Long hard day in the hen laying business….had to work both hen houses…arrrggghhh, had to sew a broken belt (yes, it had to be a bottom belt) that fell into the flippin pit. The other hen house has not been blown or swept out in over a week, and I feel it today in my head.

    But on a lighter note, it’s another day in paradise 🙂 with an ‘Arctic blast’ coming in…55 degrees now, 29 degrees tonight….another arrrggghhhh.

    Very interesting posts on guns GR 😉 , learning a few things.

    Jerry, glad you enjoyed your ride to the saloon…sounds cool. And I have heard and read about the coon dog cemetery….very touching comments left behind on some of the dogs’ headstones.

    Have a blessed day.

    And Jackie….Dollar General is giving 11 percent off on all purchases today 🙂 Yup, a Veteran’s day sale.

    Bryan…..clicked on that link and got some cover page of GoComics…….yeah, I miss Mindy’s rambling here….remember Russel Way Out There?….Shelly was good at that…too funny

  84. Good morning Debbe! Enjoy your important list. My daddy was a veteran of WWII and I also would like to say thank you to all of you out there who have served our country in the military. I appreciate your service.

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