Not Again!

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"
I want to wish you all a happy and prosperous 2015. There’s just something about those multiples of 5, isn’t there? They just have to be special. I want to thank all of you who read Arlo & Janis, whether in the newspapers or online. You make my life as I know it possible. You probably don’t think of it that way, but I do. I will continue to do the best I can. Also, I thank those of you who come here to my own Web site. I’m tempted to say, “the usual gang of idiots,” but I don’t want to offend those of you who were not readers of “Mad Magazine” in your youth. As for the Web site, I think I can promise this will be the year of bigger and better. Please stick around.

203 responses to “Not Again!”

  1. I think I’ve posted this before, but my favorite Neil Gaiman quote rings in the New year:

    “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”


  2. Happy New Year to the A&J family. Mr. Jimmy, thank you for another wonderful year.

    To completely change the subject, todays’s Outback Bowl is between a site favorite, Auburn, and my alma mater, Wisonsin. Go Bucky!

  3. Mr Jimmy, I’d hate to start a day without seeing what you saw when you peeked at us through the windows. Makes the day Symply start off right and with just the correct amount of Fargone twist to make me feel like we were together thinking them up. Here’s to you and a great 2015 too!

  4. LOVE the changing of the copyright! Or should it be copyWRITE? I’m sure one of the “usual gang of idiots” will explain why…or NOT.

    Don’t worry about possibly offending any of us. We are your friends and we have similar warped senses of humor.

    Watching the Rose Parade, makes me think of my Mom. When Purdue went in 2001, my wife insisted that I go and take our son who was a HS Senior. While waiting a Detroit radio newsman was interviewing people (the LA Auto Show was about the same time) and I told him about my Mom & how I wish she was watching it with me. A few minutes later my brother (with a borrowed cell phone) called me. He was standing less than a block away. I told him Mom brought us together to watch the parade with her. Interesting fact is that I assumed that there would be a strong aroma to the parade. There really wasn’t…. except for the occasional horse!

    Happy New Year and God Bless each of you and your families. Praying for health and happiness.

  5. I’m sure you meant “the usual gang of idiots” in the best possible way, as it did in Mad magazine. For those who never look back (at least to “yesterday’s” blog)…

    Ghostly Observation #1 – It is better to have a Happy New Year than not. So, Happy New Year everyone.

    And yes, this danged place does have a way of becoming part of one’s life, doesn’t it?

  6. How about “the same rowdy crowd that was here last night is back again”? It’s from a David Bromberg song called “Sharon” available on fine YouTube everywhere. Since Arlo & Janis uncannily track our lives, I figure you must remember Bromberg, one of the finest small venue performers I’ve ever seen. He can play anything with a string on it, including your shoes.

    War Eagle!

  7. Not much of a football fan but I do like the bands. Every December Winter Park sponsors a parade and “Battle of the Bands” featuring the marching bands from the colleges that will be playing later that day in the Russell Athletic Bowl in neighboring Orlando. It’s a lot of fun even if you have no connection to either of the schools. Wisconsin was here a few years ago and put on our favorite show so far.

  8. Ruth Anne, One of the things that I miss are the halftime shows at the Orange Bowl and the Rose. I also remember admiring the Cowgirls kicking in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl and Cowboy games (before the Cheerleaders), That was a more innocent time.

    Sometimes wish they could simulcast it so if you didn’t want to see the talking heads, you could enjoy the show.

    Watching the Purdue band in the Rose Parade gave me chills.

  9. A happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015 to all! I don’t comment often, but A&J are one of my favorite online families and I come here every day. Keep up the great work.

  10. Happy New Year, on this page too.

    Idiots? Been called worse, so will take it as a compliment.

    Watching NHL Winter Classic while pot roast is roasting and apple pie baking.

    Later all.

  11. I see no one here has mentioned New Year’s resolutions. Good! As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t believed in ’em, I don’t make ’em. If you decide some action is important enough to undertake, you should implement it at the decision point, not on some arbitrary date. And it’s totally a coincidence that today is the day I have gone back to strictly tracking my food intake under my Weight Watchers plan. 🙂

    I really didn’t bust my diet, holiday-style, but what with spending so much time looking after my Mom in recent months, I did get off track with my eating and had little time for proper exercise. I gained seven pounds over a period of time during which I should had lost four, so I consider it a net gain of eleven. But don’t worry…I’ll soon be bragging about losing those eleven. 🙂

  12. TruckerRon, I’m so sorry for your loss. Even when you know what is coming, you are never truly ready. Prayers for you and your family.

    And thank you, Jimmy…when I count up my blessings, you are one of them! (And the denizens of the Village are a bunch more!)

    A peaceful, healthy, and joyful New Year to all! May you come closer to being the person your dog thinks you are!

  13. Nobody has mentioned black-eyed peas! I just finished a bowl of black-eyed peas cooked with ham hock. Hope everyone has a pleasant holiday.

  14. Jackie, around here rounding up the “unusual suspects” might be more accurate. 🙂

    Gee, David, I didn’t think anyone needed to mention black eyed peas on New Years’s Day. (I almost made a bad joke about The Black Eyed Peas hip-hop group, but I resisted.) I hope you also had some cabbage. Remember, the rule is black eyed peas = luck and cabbage = money in the new year. Oh, and corn bread, because…black eyed peas and cabbage.

  15. Oops, the “Anonymous” above was me posting this:

    TruckerRon, I’m so sorry for your loss. Even when you know what is coming, you are never truly ready. Prayers for you and your family.
    And thank you, Jimmy…when I count up my blessings, you are one of them! (And the denizens of the Village are a bunch more!)
    A peaceful, healthy, and joyful New Year to all! May you come closer to being the person your dog thinks you are!

  16. Daughter and I went to my mom and aunt’s favorite restauranr where they ate lunch everyday-and had their own reserved table, Do not ask how this is done in a seat yourself Southern meat and three establishment! I wanted to give their wait. ress one last tip from mom but she was off today.
    cWe had blackeyed peas, turnip greens, cabbage, ham hocks, corn bread, fried catfish and baked corn casserole plus the best and only pecan pie cobbler I have ever eaten. There were more things but we didn’t eat them and a salad bar and drink all included for 7.99. Only in the South!

    Love, Jackie

  17. We always have black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. But this year will just have veggies/dip and maybe a ham/salami with cheese sandwich.

    Had stove top popcorn last night, so might do a repeat tonight. Not healthy. Cook in bacon grease,butter, olive oil with a splash of water as the heat cooks the kernels. Then I spray butter the cooked popcorn. And take my statin drug…

  18. Son # 2+wife and mini-dachshund just left for home after feeding son # 1+wife and me pork covered w/ spiced apples + 2x baked potatoes and peas [not black eyed]. Wife # 1 had baked brownies. I had my first w/coffee and my 2nd w/ van. ice cream. We will have fix it yourself light suppers.

    Will pick up a smoked goldie at Morey’s en route home tomorrow. They have two tables outside for summer use: The Tables Down at Morey’s. Once took a Kodachrome of sons’ mother there. [Speelczech recognizes neither goldie nor Kodachrome.]

    Light snow this morning, but likely not enough to make driving difficult.

    Peace, emb

  19. emb – I had to read that a couple times to figure out how many people you dined with. Glad you enjoyed dinner. Go for a third brownie, warmed, with ice cream, coffee, AND caramel sauce for me, will you?

  20. Happiest of New Year’s to all. Been a difficult holiday season for us (mom in hospital, 3 stents later home and grumpy). I have SO enjoyed this week with A&J and friends. Has made me smile numerous times, so thanks. I needed that. I shall now go back behind the curtain and enjoy the show.

  21. OK, Lady Mindy, how about a cute guy who is fluent in ASL?

    Actually, for several months while my sister was on a ventilator in the hospital, about 75% of our communication was by ASL. I got a book and a set of flash cards, and we both picked up on some key phrases pretty quickly. (Not that I have any allusions I could carry on much of a conversation with an ASL-fluent deaf person or an ASL translator.) I hope to have time to work on it some more in the near future.

  22. Ruth Anne and Steve, I too miss the days when they used to show the band routines. Your simulcast idea is a great one.

    JJ: Sorry about Auburn’s loss today.

    During the Rose Parade, I heard one of the airheads refer to the Clemson Tide. Really.

  23. Cold and rainy night and day here. Yet it is only 41 and miserable cold. Why is that? This always happens in LA so I brought my faux fur coat. Need my knee boots to go with it. Like rubber. Foul weather gear.

    Sorry about Auburn JJ.Goodnight Village.

    Love, Jackie

  24. Happy New Year All

    Watch the Rose Parade on RFD-TV no air heads.

    Watched 8 Soccer games simultaneously compliments of Premiere League on NBCS.

    Alfred E. was my hero

  25. If you take my DTS, cut off the trunk, cut the fuel mileage in half, give it a rough ride and make it difficult to get in and out and you’ve got an SUV. No thanks. I’ll drive it until they make a decent car again. It seems that Oregon has re-invented the game of football. I’m glad that Urban Meyer has to play them next.

  26. JJ,
    From your fellow alumnus, thanks for making all of us smile, and, even though our wonderful team didn’t get the job done in the Outback Bowl, IT”S STILL GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!! WAR EAGLE !!! GO BIG BLUE !!! Keep up the great work with Arlo and Janis and all the rest of the gang.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone. May God bless us everyone.

  27. Good morning Villagers…..

    Thank you JJ for the well wishes and back at ya.

    Posted my New Year’s greetings on the previous page, but I’ll post today’s greeting with “Hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Day’”.

    Thanks for the tune Mark…will listen to it later, I’ve got work clothes in the dryer and we have to leave a little earlier than usual this morning.

    Llee, what kind and how many chickens do you have? The 75,000 plus we have keep the hen house warm….it was 69 degrees in there yesterday morning. I made my rounds and came in and checked the temp and it was 70…..I jokingly said I must have made the temp go up one degree by getting the old girls stirred up.

    Oh, and I’m seriously thinking about getting those foot warmers that Llee posted. I wasn’t in the packing room much last winter as my sister-in-law did the packing, and I mostly stayed in the hen house….where it was much warmer. My SIL was sent to the other hen house as one lady quit coming in, and it does take two people to run both places.

    I hear freezing rain on my skylight….today’s high 38, tomorrow’s high 57, then it’s back down to 38 on Sunday, and the high on Monday is 28….sheeessshhh…..

    Speaking of Mad Magazine, Spy vs Spy was brought up last night in conversation…loved that comic.

    ya’ll have a blessed Friday

    GR 😉


  28. I don’t have chickens, Debbe. Not now. This was back in Florida on the homestead. Grandma would often add warm oatmeal to the girls’ feed during winter. 🙂 When her family moved to Florida from Canada (from England earlier) her dad built a house 20×60’…and 40′ was for chickens! They were one source of income for the family. By the time I came along she only had a dozen or so chickens in a smaller area, and sometimes put a “fresh eggs for sale” sign out by the road.

    Wait, have I told y’all that story before? Sorry!

  29. Nice morning to be a graduate of (The) Ohio State University.

    Unfortunately, thanks to NyQuil (yep, flu), all I saw was part of the first quarter and thirty seconds of the third.

  30. Debbe 😉 You nailed it with one, hon. Although I must point out I’m not as “fluffy” as that cat. Proportionately.

    If I worked your schedule, I’d have no sense of humor at all.

    If your team won, congratulations. If your team lost, condolences and the reminder that there’s always next year. If you don’t have a team, you probably wonder what’s all the fuss.

  31. As the person who in high school and college had a subscription to MAD magazine I am quite happy to be counted in “the usual gang of idiots”!

    Last night we had baked chicken with rice and blackeyed peas. I would have cooked collard greens, but I’m the only one that eats them, and I can’t eat that many. 🙁 My late MIL would make baked ham, sweet potatoes, rice, peas, collard greens with ham hock, and corn bread. Everything was good, but I sure do miss her collards.

  32. GR6: I do remember what the fuss was all about… but for my own health’s sake I have had to give up my addiction to sports coverage.

    Trapper Jean: As much as I loved my mother-in-law, I do not miss her cooking. My father-in-law had had two heart attacks in the 1960s, the result: their cooking was extremely lean and bland. I don’t miss the overcooked hamburger steaks, and I was quite tired of having mashed potatoes and peas as the side.

    I am very thankful that my wife has learned to cook a much wider variety of food and not overcook the meat in an attempt to get rid of excess fat.

  33. Speaking of health, CDC declared 12/30/14 that influenza has reached epidemic status. Reports are that a relatively high percentage of early cases required hospital care and critical care.

    Did everyone who can get your flu shot?

    This is the time of year I begin to think of all the food service and temp agency employees who cannot afford to take a sick day, or may even endanger their job if they do so, and therefore go to work with the flu.

  34. Nodak Wayne, egg prices are higher here in AL than they were last year. Since California has rammed their law down everybody’s else’s throats without regard to economic consequences in other states, maybe the rest of us need to enact special agricultural ordinances respecting California-grown products. Let’s see, we keep getting lots of bacterially contaminated food from California so we need special inspection rules for those products to protect our citizens.

  35. It’s all good. To the Gubmint, especially in California, “feelings” are now more important than facts, economic reality or human beings, even the feelings of “bio-engineered egg-laying machines”.

    Meanwhile, one is left to ponder whether or not homeless veterans living in cardboard boxes have enough room inside them to “move around and stretch their wings”.

  36. Ghost – I’m with you on that thought. There has been a push from several groups in Florida to require large companies to provide paid sick leave. The strongest opposition has come from the theme parks and restaurant industry (notably Darden) so of course it won’t happen. Too often these same companies provide little or no health insurance, frequently by keeping many of their workers at part-time status.

    Somehow there are small local independent businesses that manage to do the right thing – maybe because they don’t have stockholders or because their “CEO” is working alongside the little guys and not collecting a six figure bonus. Meanwhile, I get my flu shot every year, wash my hands a lot, and try not to think about the very scary potential side effects of this short-sighted attitude.

  37. There is a hilarious story making the rounds on the InterWebNet concerning one of the items included in the Hasbro’s “Play-Doh’s Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Playset” that many children received for Christmas. But for once, I will let good taste dictate and say nothing further.

  38. Except to note that Hasbro has announced on their FB page that they “are in the process of updating all future Play-Doh products with a different tool.” You really can’t make this stuff up.

  39. Ruth Anne: “Too often these same companies provide little or no health insurance, frequently by keeping many of their workers at part-time status.”

    That has been driven by the insanely increasing costs of health insurance brought on by the “Affordable” Care Act. People do what they must to survive economically; sometimes the only option is to cut benefits by reducing people to part-time status. When the only other option is to close your doors…

    We really need to revisit the ACA and rewrite or replace it with measures that reduce the pressures that result in increasing prices.

  40. TruckerRon:

    What do you think about repealing the ACA and replacing it with nothing?

    Would that help or hurt the people? The economy?

    Some people say that what we had before was better than this monstrosity.

  41. TruckerRon: Insurance costs have been increasing insanely since long before the ACA. School boards have been using those costs as an excuse for not giving raises or for cutting benefits for decades. The whole system is a mess, greed drives too much of it and the people who might be able to fix it are insulated from reality. (For example – state legislators in Florida can get family coverage for a monthly payment that is about half of what a teacher at my school would pay every two weeks to cover one other person, either spouse or child.)

  42. My opinion is that the ACA should be repealed and replaced with a package of smaller bills, each dealing with one aspect of health care so that there’s time for Congress to read, understand and debate each one. That way, you can change or remove one thing that doesn’t work without tipping over the entire rickety apple-cart.

  43. I agree that the ACA should be repealed and replaced with a package of smaller bills. Also I submit that all bills should be limited to 18 typed pages since that’s the approximate length of the US Constitution. The idea that trillions of dollars in the annual budget should be handled by just 13 (I think) omnibus spending bills of thousands of pages is insane.

  44. And, once upon a time, the only health insurance was for catastrophic events. The idea that all healthcare activities should go through the hands of an insurance company is stupid… imagine having to get pre-approval for new wiper blades from AAA or getting your house painted from State Farm!

  45. Ruth Anne:

    I had read the same thing about medical insurance premiums.

    Lately, what I have read is that the increases were leveling off several years before the ACA.

  46. Final question to everyone:

    Is the idea of medical coverage for everyone Constitutional?

    Is making others pay for others Constitutional?

  47. Healthcare has one major flaw; it is measured based on inputs not outputs. We measure only what we give the patient, not if the patient has a positive outcome.

  48. Donna Douglass, (Ellie Mae Clampett) died yesterday. Changing of the guard in our entertainment lives. Seems like more and more of the icons of my youth are disappearing.

  49. Ghost, I made only one resolution this year, and it was just making a formal statement of something I was already planning: gain an average of one pound per month this year.

    When I was being prepped for my colonoscopy last month, I told the tech that my weight was gross. After he failed to understand it three times, I took pity and told him that I weighed 144 pounds. (Some people have no sense of humor and no imagination.) Being that I’m 5’7″, that’s badly underweight. On New Year’s Eve, I was up to 150, probably mostly water weight gained back after the prep had sucked a lot of it out of me. 162 won’t be quite up to what I want, but close enough to be acceptable.

    And, Jerry Pournelle will probably be back home in a week or two, although he’ll still need more help than his wife Roberta can give him. He’s typing again, with one or two fingers, and the mind’s all there so we have much hope for the future.

  50. Well, sideburns, now if we could just come up with a way to transfer body weight…

    If you have the opportunity, tell Dr. Pournelle one of of many fans sends best wishes.

  51. The joys of retail:

    My Christmas gift cards were burning a hole in my pocket, so today I cut out of work early to do some shopping. I found what I wanted, and proceeded to the check out. Now this store only has two registers. One lane had a lady with a return, and the other …. one of *those* customers. This little old lady was questioning EVERY element of the transaction. The price, the clerk’s bagging technique, how the store was going to use her zip code, how the stupid card reader was supposed to work … EVERYTHING. Meanwhile, the line was just backing up further and further. She insisted on speaking to a manager THREE times. Finally, she paid for her stuff, and looked like she was ready to leave … only to notice something behind the counter, and demanded to look at it for possible purchase. I thought the other customers were going to shoot her. The clerk was near breaking. Mercifully, MY line was moving again, and I got out of there – leaving the lady to annoy the manager yet again. Poor guy.

  52. Another reason we want to become part of Alabama: if you can’t afford homeowners insurance and/or you live someplace you shouldn’t, like on the beach, don’t worry. The rest of us are paying premiums to an insurance company, not ours, so that you can rebuild your house for the third time. A big we’re number one to all of our red-faced governors.

  53. The short line syndrome. I guarantee that it will never fail. Try it. Get in the shortest line. It will immediately stop moving. Every time.

  54. Jerry in FL, amen to your comments on short line syndrome. Whether cash (what’s that?) registers, traffic lanes or restrooms, the situation you describe always happens.

    sandcastler, among the new healthcare regulations is one that penalizes the hospital for a poor outcome including too many repeat visits for the same problem. It does not take into account the patient’s own responsibility for the continued problem, such as COPD with smoking, infections in patients with IV drug use, etc.

    And these days the insurance companies are also trying to whittle away the reimbursement paid to providers while Medicare payments shrink as the cost of everything the doctors and hospitals need goes higher. I am afraid that if the ACA is not reined in, in about 4-5 years the providers are going to start closing their doors.

  55. A major hospital nationwide will not take Medicare patients already. Many of my specialists are reducing their patient loads and not accepting new patients, especially Medicare ones. I have excellent coverage but hope to keep it.

    Flowers at mom and Mike’s service are truly beautiful and everything going well so far. Florist coordinated it all in red roses, beautiful foliages, natural materials and pods. twigs. I could not have done it better, just lovely.

    Cold and dreary, fog and rain. Stream outside motel is rising and my Houston daughter thought she heard evacuation sirens for motel. Last major flood here put water over roofs, so motel is newly remodeled.

    Kids insisted on Chinese. I knew better but let them find out. This town was catfish capitol of Louisiana for about 50 years but part of them refuse to eat any seafood. Their loss. I had a huge plate of tiny fried oysters and baked sweet potato, in Mike’s memory. NOT in the Chinese restaurant but at Boogalee’s where we ate all the time. I am missing all three of them I lost.

    Love you ALL, intelligent conversation every day.

    Jackie Monies

  56. Dear Jackie, I’m so glad the florist did the flowers so beautifully, just as you wanted. Were there a lot of people? I’m betting a good crowd came through. Hoping for better weather tomorrow. Ooohhh the fried oysters and sweet potato sound heavenly.

    Dear eMb, I’m relieved to hear that you are safely home from the long trip. It seems long to me, anyway. Take it easy now, best wishes for a Happy New Year.

  57. A video that you have to see: astronaut Chris Hadfield actually on the space station does an excellent version of “Space Oddity”. (Ground control to Maj. Tom) Seriously.

  58. GR6
    it is the other way round. Soccer is 90 min. of continuous running. Plus under 10min. Stoppage
    (injury) time. No commercials.
    Limited substitutions, If someone gets a red card – that includes sassing the Ref.- his team plays with 10 men.
    USA Football is 12min. of action in 2 1/2 hours of TV.

    ACA is full of unintended consequences. It would have been cheaper, easier and annoyed
    less people for “big brother” to pay for those with low income or cover (for a fee) those that could not get other coverage. For all the disruption there is only a 10% increase in coverage.

    Every thing goes better with butter.

  59. Old Bear: As I heard it from Rowlf the Dog on the Jimmy Dean Show, “A bit of butter in the batter makes a better batter, but a bit of batter in the butter does not make a better butter.”

  60. Old Bear and TruckerRon, who remembers this line? “Everything’s better with **** ****** on it.”

    Jackie, good to hear you and your family are doing well and that you had a favorite meal in a treasured place. Thank you for the updates and your contributions to the intelligent conversation here.

  61. Good morning Villagers….

    It’s raining, and more rain to come, high today 59 degrees, then it’s all down hell from there with a high on Wednesday of 13…….I’m depressed.

    Thank you Nodak, I’ve heard the United Egg Producers are sticking their noses along with the government into larger cages. We have 5 hens per cage with 4 on the bottom tier. And it does make sense to a remark made in that article, that with larger cages they are more apt to injure themselves. Right now I cannot remember the measurements of the cages. But they do comfortable sleep 5 hens.

    As for the ACA….I pray it is repealed……I can’t even afford it. And I can’t believe some hospitals are refusing Medicare……where is this all going to lead….now I am really depressed.

    Llee….if my math is correct that meant your Grandparents lived in very cramped quarters…20 X 20. But back then, they did have the “stuff” we have, or feel we need to have….like a big sized TV….which we don’t have.

    Simply….thanks for the tune, and Greg’s son sure is tall, didn’t listen, will have to later.

    Jackie, my thoughts are still with you.

    Drama at the hen houses….The Boss called last night, Andrew has been MIA for three days without calling in, and this isn’t the first time. His girlfriend got a little snotty with me yesterday on the phone (she can call me, so why can’t she call The Boss)….seems he is very sick, maybe even pneumonia. Told The Boss about it, and he said for Andrew to get to the doctor and he would pay for it and work something out later, but to get to a doctor. Andrew a few weeks ago went MIA for several days without calling in. The Boss had to do his job and Andrew’s. So The Boss made him work a weekend without pay…..his logic….he had to do Andrew’s job plus his. I don’t blame him. This younger generation just doesn’t get it. It’s called responsibility,

    Thank you for letting me vent…..

    Jackie, my thoughts are still with you and yours.

    GR 😉

    ya’ll have a dry Caturday.

  62. One of my daughters works for the Publix grocery store chain, in the Customer Service department. She, at least, has good health care. My other daughter used to work for Red Lobster, which is a Darden property. Their servers get laughably small paychecks and the rest of their salary comes from tips. At the end of the night a percentage of each server’s tips goes into the jar to be divided between the busboys, so the server doesn’t even get all their tips. And yes, they are all part time and get no health coverage. Now she’s working part time for Comfort Suites Hotels, and still has no health coverage. My son works part time for Michael’s craft stores and has gone back to college and has only minimal health coverage through the company, which is good, as he is diabetic and the cost of insulin and supplies gets more expensive every year.

    I keep being told by my Liberal friends that we should have the same government-run health care that Sweden does, and how great that is, but then again the people of Sweden pay some of the highest taxes around, so they should get good health care. Having noticed that our Federal Government can barely tie their own shoelaces, and seeing the complete mess the ACA is, I have little to no confidence in them for anything.

  63. We never had Blue Bonnet in our house, but we did know it was not nice to fool Mother Nature!

    Debbe, have you seen what the fashionable thing is now? Tiny houses-120 square feet or less. It’s called the Tiny House Revolution. People are getting rid of their big houses and “stuff” and moving into smaller, often completely solar powered houses. Just Google tiny houses and you can see all kinds of plans. Some friends of mine built their own house just outside of Asheville, and they love it.

    Ghost Sweetie, yes, I got my flu shot the week before Christmas, and happily the only reaction I had to it was a sunburn type rash for a few days. The last two years I got one I had really bad reactions and almost didn’t get it this year.

  64. Charlotte [I think]: “It seems long to me, anyway.”

    It’s probably 140 mi. or so. Staying pretty much at the speed limit, mostly on cruise, only one sizable town en route, good roads, only moderate traffic, about 3 hr. Usually will do a pit stop on that route, but didn’t want to risk snow. I’m guessing it’s 2″ deep out there now.

    Time to check OF. Peace, emb

  65. Bumper to bumper headed west on I-10 last night and I wondered where they were coming from. Tenn. and Iowa were in the who cares bowl in Jacksonville yesterday. Sorry about that Iowa, thanks for coming, enjoy that little drive home.

  66. Them are some neat photos. Thanks.

    “Will pick up a smoked goldie at Morey’s en route home tomorrow.” That’s what I decided not to bother with en route home yesterday, thereby saving 20-30 min. Depending on one’s route to/from The Cities or other parts S., Morey’s Fish House is a convenient pit stop. Goldies are neat fish, from Canada, I think. Fairly easy to avoid bones; one side one night = 1 supper’s protein, the other side 2 evenings later. Strange inflated ribs result in a stiff backbone. Their swimming style must not involve body-curving as much as in many fishes.

  67. Jean dear, for some reason I thought the phrase “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature” had something to do with birth control pills.

    ACA…ill-conceived, poorly written, terrible implementation…needs critical care. The only measure of success given seems to be that “x million people” have signed up for it, without regard to the actual benefits they have derived from it. The plans for which most people can afford to pay the premiums (even when subsidized) have atrocious annual deductibles and co-pays. The mistake the politicians keep making is the assumption that “medical insurance coverage” automatically means “medical access”, which (as Jackie observed) is actually dependent on the availability of medical providers and medical infrastructure, something the ACA does not address. And some of the ACA’s most onerous (and expensive) features, which somehow got postponed until after the 2014 elections, are just now kicking in. No matter who is pulling the levers in Washington, I don’t think they can put enough lipstick on the ACA pig for it to survive in its present form.

    Lesson Learned: One should be deeply suspicious of any major legislation that passes on a strictly party-line vote (by either party) and wonder, “Was this done for the good of the country or the good of that political party?” Sad, because they could have done much better if they’d truly had the best interests of all our citizens at heart. But if done sensibly (in bits and pieces), it wouldn’t have been the splashy “legacy-maker” that some expected it would be.

  68. A HS buddy of mine has two daughters. The elder has a Ph.D. in one of the humanities, cannot remember which. She also has developed a major medical problem. Some of her research then took her to Italy. She will remain there indefinitely, because they have quality state medical care, ~ Canada I think, and they are handling it there for free. Somehow this strikes me as humane, “the least of these,” and such. I believe she teaches in an Italian Univ.

    Peace, emb

  69. There-high taxes and good medical care.
    Here-high taxes.
    In other countries the idea of medical work is that it is public service with the ideals that expression was intended to mean. In this country you’re a failure if you’re not a millionaire doctor.

  70. Yes ACA is pain, and Medicare can be a joke, but try the VA. Due to disability all my health care is through the VA. There is a major VA facility 15 mins from me, but due to quality issues I drive 2 1/2 hrs away to a slightly smaller facility for better care, some of the care is at a small clinic only 1 hr away. The clinic is part of the facility that is 2 1/2 hrs away and has excellent care. Dealing with the VA itself can be crazy making. I started working on my disability claim in 2005 and went to 100% last year, this big struggle with the VA is despite being hospitalized 7 months while in the military. Sometime look at the timeline and events surrounding the Agent Orange claims of the Vietnam Veterans. VA medical and claims service is widely varying depending on where you are and what group (DAV etc) is helping you.

  71. The lack of the highest standards of medical care for our vets is like Winston landing on his butt and throwing the football back over his head-an embarrassment. Fortunately football is, or is supposed to be, just a game. The health care situation for our vets is a tragedy and a crime.

  72. My thoughts on state-provided universal healthcare:

    1. Ultimately everything has to be paid for by somebody. TANSTAAFL!

    2. If there is a way for anyone to profit from the system—they will.

    3. If there is a way for anyone to gain power from the system—they will.

    4. The quality and availability of care will vary with where you live and how much pull your politicos have. So, don’t be a farmer in Kansas!

    5. Whenever the system begins to run out of money—the quality of care will decay, waiting times will increase, and someone other than the patient and the doctor will make the decisions.

    6. The system will run out of money at some point because (a) medical advances are increasing lifespans, (b) geriatric care costs more than most care for the young, and (c) see number 2… the money will be syphoned off by the unscrupulous.

  73. Funeral was most beautiful and restrained, respectful and dignified I have ever seen, attended or serviced. The ministers, the funeral home, the florists and the guests were magnificent.

    It was all I hoped and wanted. Lots of love. Mom’s dogs were in obituary and service mentioned
    Music was Canon in D, How Great thou Art, the Navy hymn and Amazing Grace, beautiful music.

    Pouring rain here. I hope Alabama is safe.

    Love, Jackie

  74. Thank you for letting us know, Jackie. I am a musician, so I particularly appreciate your telling us about the music. It sounds like it was just perfect. Love, Nancy K.

  75. Thank you, Jackie. It did sound magnificent, and I know it was fitting for them. The music was exactly what I would choose for my own service. Well, not the Navy Hymn, but you know. 🙂

    Love, Ghost

  76. The funeral home had never had three floral and event planners, plus catering before. They wanted to keep us all another month to help them and teach them more.

    I am taking both my director and the local florists gifts of thanks. It looked like a multipage spread from a floral wire service guide, only better. I could not have done better for a show and I was so proud of the local designers. It is a challenge to accomplish that anywhere but especially in a small town with all the funerals they had to do.

    I sent the two huge urns of roses to the two local Baptist churches, so I hope it will give them some pleasure and the girls some recognition for what they can do.

    My girls are troopers and while we have done many large weddings, this was the first funeral service we were ever able to do from beginning to end. It was wonderful to do that.

    Love, Jackie

  77. I used Susan Boyle for How Great Thou Art (partly a capella) and Judy Collins for Amazing Grace, singing alone, then joined by chorus, then instrumental only version, Naval band for their hymn.

    Music is important to me. Canon in D was the long one hour version, traditional arrangement with harpsichord, cello, violins. I love harpsichord and also chamber music. And baroque.

    Music in the Village is so diverse, like the diversity of our residents. I enjoy what is suggested.

    Love, Jackie

  78. From someone who remembers the “usuall gang of idiots” thanks for brightening my day with Arlo and Janis. War Eagle and wait till next year Bama!

  79. Went in to tell my husband about the above video, and he asked if I had heard about the plane crash where just the 7 year old girl survived…she must have walked a mile to knock on a door….then I told him about the above video, he heard me playing it. I started to cry…. such a tragedy for that small girl to loose her whole family…….

    He just now brought up Amazing Grace played with bagpipes….that too will tug at your heart….

    I gotta go…..

  80. Jackie, it sounds like everything was just perfect. It was so thoughtful of you to send the roses to local churches for others to enjoy. You are truly a blessing on earth.

  81. Amazing Grace is indeed awesome on the pipes, as is Danny Boy, which I would not be surprised to learn was played at the services for the two murdered NYPD police officers.

  82. We used version with no bagpipes.

    Every first weekend in March the Everglades Challenge (toughest small boat “race” in the world) begins at dawn as the sun breaks the horizon to the wailing of bagpipes. A couple hundred of assorted small craft hit the water from the high water mark and the bagpipes play as they paddle and sail off toward the Keys for 300 miles nonstop.

    Totally surreal’

    I plan to be there again in March.

    Love. Jackie

  83. Ghost: The NYPD police were named Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. Ramos’s funeral was at what sounds like an independent Prot. church. Liu’s was still pending at the sites I just looked at. It’s been a while since NYPD were mostly Irish. Didn’t find any music, but have to get ready for UMC service this a.m. Peace, emb

  84. From “WeaponsMan” on the InterWebNet, who said it well on 1/4/15…

    “We’re away from home, but we’re not. No, we’re not all zen-via-Jackie-Chan. There’s nothing symbolic or paradoxical about that at all, because the thing is, we’re at the folks’ home.

    “Aging parents are Just One Of Those Things™. Everybody our age has got ‘em, and knows the delight you feel when someone has such a good day, she forgets she’s beaten down by endless rounds of dialysis and having to suck generated oxygen through mostly-dead lungs.

    “Everyone our age has got ‘em, and knows the heartache of seeing someone who was strong as Kong getting his ass kicked by a pill-bottle cap.

    “It’s good just to help, it turns out. It does a soul good. And God knows they were there through the kids’ diseases, dead pets, ER visits, romantic rejections, romantic successes (more costly in the long run), professional triumphs and tragedies, and personal ones.

    “God knows there’s a debt owing.

    “It is meet that it be paid.

    “Just one of those things, you know.”

  85. GR6

    Unfortunately we are part of that “legacy” – something I hope they teach in history,
    do they still teach about “Tea Pot Dome”?

    There is a 15min halftime – but yes, when my wife (she is the true soccer fan) leaves the room there is a score. There was one match this morning 7 – nil.

    Amazing Grace – the tune I love and hate. I can not sing it because the “pipes” close.

    We used to have 4 or 5 birds try to get in a nest 8X12X8high voluntarily.

  86. That little girl’s father…an experienced commercial pilot and CFI (that sounds familiar)…I’m sure he did everything he could to save his baby girl, before and after the crash.

    Blonde female MIT student with killer good looks…wasn’t she in several Doonesbury story arcs? 🙂

  87. Loon let the wind out of my sailing tale. 🙁

    GR6, CFI? Sounds like a CSI or NCSI spinoff. Doing a Google search of CFI returns amongst otherwise: flooring installer, forensic interview, and patient positioning for xrays.

  88. “Aging parents” above = mixed feelings, including anger but also forgiveness, and guilt plus gratitude. Others have had much worse folks, and I’ve not been the best parent in the world [wife was much better, but had less reason for ambivalence / her folks].

    Turns out her mom had reason for her personality limitations. Once told us more about a childhood problem than she intended. Wife’s mom had three older brothers. Once we mentioned that we’d left our daughter at home with her two older brothers for an hour or two: “Don’t you EVER leave XX alone with her XYs!” We didn’t explore further, but we’d learned something / why Grandma was difficult.

    My Dad and both wife’s folks died while in another loving [+/-] adult’s care. My widowed Mom had moved to this town when she had her first stroke and was visited in “the Rehab” every day possible by one or another of the five of us until she died 14 mo. later. Daughter usually visited accompanied by another prof’s daughter whose grandma was also in the Rehab. I was one of the other woman’s pallbearers. After my Mom died, Director of Nurses at the Rehab thanked me for the girls’ visits. Apparently, they visited all the receptive patients, spreading much joy.

    Danny Boy [Londonderry Air, music written / an Englishman]: Clancy Bros. and Tommy Makem derided it some on one of their LPs, as something naïve audiences expected of them. They were a robust group. Used to sing some of their jollier songs, + PPM and Stanley Holloway, while on car trips.

  89. “Dumb blonde” stereotype. My major regret in that vein was my niece [only 4 years my junior], = gorgeous brunette. When she graduated HS, my older [by a generation] half brother said she should be a secy. or some such until Mr. Right came along, just as her wonderful mother had done until Bro came along. Niece did, three kids, boy-boy-girl, same order as ours, each one yr. younger / ours.

    Niece was clearly Bachelor’s, Master’s, or even Doctoral potential, but bro had successfully supported a full-time homemaker and three kids, and a woman’s place was in the home. She did, in fact excel at that, but could have done much more.

    Peace, emb

  90. No Sunday Night Football…the horror. Reduced to watching reruns of “Prospectors” on TWC to see if Amanda’s boobs have gotten larger and if the camera crew has devised new ways to get “down blouse” shots of them. It’s amazing out there.

  91. Debbe – Possible eight inches of snow tonight – I might need to borrow those Carhart’s to shovel in the morning. (5am?!) Night all. I’m headed to bed and dreaming of a tropical paradise with no melodramatic employees. Night all!

  92. Mindy from Indy, and a cute guy with an Italian accent? Goodnight and pleasant dreams. If you want warm, move south. We have convenience stores down here too.

  93. I haven’t had the chance to catch up here since October. I made a point of doing so over the holidays. It was depressing to hear about the sick, the dying and the dead. Jackie and TruckerRon, my condolences. The outpouring of support for all involved was most impressive.

    We took both my mother and MIL out for lunch on Boxing day. They are 350 miles away from us so we don’t get down there too often. After reading this blog, I feel like we should try and do it a bit oftener.


  94. Good morning Villagers…..

    Welcome back Gary…do stop in here more often too.

    Indy Mindy, my Carharts are full body, and will be worn every day this week. Wednesday’s night low….zero. We’re not getting any snow though.

    I don’t do well in cold weather that is blowing in today….mentally and physically. I never got around to ordering those insoles either, Llee had posted the link. I have to go hen house supply shopping this afternoon… supplies, I use a lot of Clorox.

    Old Bear, our cages are 64 square inches….I don’t know, would that be 8 inches by 8 inches?

    Jean…I’ve seen those little ‘houses’ on display log cabin style with a little front porch too. This place is 2100 square feet, and right now we need the room….Brother-in-law and nephew-in-law (Jason) are living with us….again. Jason starts a new job today, building a house…..he’s excited.

    GR 😉 I had read the article about the plane crash, and unfortunately some of the comments made below the article….people are such a-holes with rude comments. My prayers go out to that little girl.

    Ya’l stay warm today.

    Jackie, will you be traveling today? If so….stay safe.

    Jerry, stay warm. I’d stay in bed all day if I could. We got a new pillow top mattress, and I love it.

  95. Loon, looks like another generation of blondes is getting set up for more jokes. I wonder if Barbie went to MIT or CalTech?

    After a rainy weekend today is bright and sunny, with temps in the 30s, and I understand that by the middle of the week we are going to be down in the teens. I’m thinking of getting several pairs of flannel lined blue jeans to wear when I walk my dog outside. I had some years ago when I worked in the shipping department of a computer company* and my work station was right in front of the loading bays. Flannel lined jeans, heavy socks and sweaters, and a space heater, and I was still cold!

    *anybody remember DCA and the IRMA board?

  96. I recall reading, many, many years ago, the assertion that women are more tolerant of cold temperatures than men, because the average female body has, proportionately, more insulating fat than the average male body. Oddly, I’ve not heard either of those claims made lately. 🙂

  97. Trapper Jean: I love my flannel-lined jeans, even though I only need them a couple of times a year, usually when visiting relatives north of Florida – much more comfortable and convenient than additional layers. Cold-wimp that I am, if I lived where you live, I might be tempted to get a pair lined with fleece 🙂

  98. -10F now, expected high 0, -9 tonight, +4 tomorrow.

    I sent out the first Barbie URL, suggesting maybe it was time for her to follow Lt. Kije. Now I have to read Mark’s site.

    Peace, emb

  99. Commercials! That reminds me, Liberty Mutual, I have seen the Statue of Liberty twice and I don’t need to see it on tv every 10 minutes.

  100. Trapper Jean and Ruth Anne, I’ve never had flannel- or fleece-lined jeans, but I do love my long johns. The new generations are more comfortable than they used to be: warmer, lighter fabrics that are more stretchy and less binding. This is a good time of year to pick up a pair on clearance and try them out.

  101. Jerry, even worse is that all those neat features Liberty Mutual flogs to benefit people who get into accidents are really just things that raise the premiums of people who don’t have accidents. And even worse is the one with the whiny little girl who totaled the car she named “BRAAAD!”

  102. Severe cold caused a Duluth MN ski resort to close yesterday, Ghost said from the Deep South, where the overnight low temperature just did reach the freezing point.

  103. It was -16C when I left for work this AM (about 3F). I actually wore a hat (OK a toque). I am still just wearing a sweater since it it not yet cold enough to warrant breaking out the parka.

    I do have significant insulation of my own though.

  104. Temps to reach their low on Wednesday and Thursday here and could break a record for the date. That will be the case all over the country I’m sure. Everyone must be wrapping their pipes today. Scenes on tv from the northern states look like the tv shows from Alaska.

  105. Highs here are supposed to be in the single digits below 0 Tue. & Wed. So? This is January, and that’s normal, last 2-3 decades. There’s less snow on the ground than usual, which is rough on native mice, and on hibernators like 13-lined ground squirrels and chipmunks. Our brown Christmas lasted until Sat. and Sun., but there’s only 2-3″ of new snow.

    Peace, emb

  106. Debbe – Try locating a pair of alpaca-wool socks. Toasty toes all day. They aren’t cheap, but worth it.

    Today sucked. Had inventory – that didn’t go well for the third month running. 🙁

    AND as an added bonus, (besides the beer theft), a young male walked in, obviously tweaking on something AND playing with the gun (covered by his jacket) in his waistband as he rambled on about any and everything – most of it violent. (He hadn’t had good luck recently, I’ll leave it at that.) He frequently had both hands inside his jacket, sliding the chamber back and forth.) Now, I will mention here that I have loaded and shot .22, 9mil, and .45 caliber guns before. The sound I was hearing was tinnier than anything I’ve heard before, and with the way he kept hitting it through his jacket, I didn’t figure it was high caliber, if it was even loaded – not that I intended to find out mind you. I kept cool, chatting away with him. He honestly was not doing anything wrong besides creeping the auditor and I out – for almost two hours. Finally, a customer came in, realized something was off, and called for some assistance for us. Why the auditor didn’t, I’ll never know. She was far enough away to send a text for help. I didn’t dare move for a phone because he would have known I called him in, and he WOULD have come back for me later. And again, since he actually never directed any hostility towards anyone directly, there really wasn’t much to be done.

    Point of Note – When the police arrived, they asked him if he had a gun, he said yes. He lifted his jacket to show the gun he had been playing with – BB. However, *had* they patted him down, they would have found the 9mil and drugs. (Information he helpfully told me after everyone left.) Yes, he came back in to regroup and tell me how cool and awesome I was.

    Knowledge is awareness of where you fall on the crazy-scale. Wisdom is knowing how to use this information to your advantage.

  107. Lady Mindy, if he had been working the action of a 9mm pistol or any other semiautomatic handgun, it couldn’t have been loaded, as a round would have been ejected (and probably gone bouncing across the floor) every time he racked the slide. However, you were correct not to assume that. I’ll just say that if he continues such behavior, he will likely be the one who gets shot, and leave it at that.

    On the plus side, he seemed quite taken with you. Did he have an Italian or Irish accent?

  108. Ghost – Exactly my thoughts about the chambering. He’s seen too many movies. The sound actually sounded like thin aluminum. Cap gun came to mind. However, “Treat every hunter as if he were loaded” (Thank you, Bananas At Large.) is my standard M.O. and I did not care to see what he had. And no, no accent. The crazies do seem to love me though. {sigh} [And you are so not funny. I am making and tossing a huge snowball your way. 😛 ]

  109. Dear Mindy from Indy, wow, you really ARE awesome. You are one heck of a strong woman. In my long life, I have never had to deal with anything remotely like the situation you were in, and never expect to (I probably would have passed out from nervousness). Congratulations on keeping your cool.

  110. Debbie

    64 inches sounds like for 1 bird or 2 unless you have smaller birds.
    We had floor birds ( we would get more for our eggs now)
    they were supposed to go in do their work and exit – did not always happen
    during peak laying time. Sometimes hard on the bird on the bottom.

    minus 15 this morning up to minus 1 — 1/2 inch snow this evening

  111. Just for the record, it was in the high 70s to low 80s here today and I for one am not complaining. Not after it’s been in the low 40s to mid-30s the last few nights! One thing I don’t want to have to deal with in Southern California is frost advisories!

  112. Good morning Villagers….

    Indy Mindy. you are one brave woman. Be careful, you mentioned “tweaking”…..there’s a small line between schizophrenia and meth addiction. Read too many horror stories about it, and in this small community, you can tell who are the meth heads. Word does get around. I believe I would call in the cops the next time he comes in….for your safety and your staff.

    Oh, you better get those socks out…..wind chills here tomorrow will minus ten to twenty degrees. Yikes!!!!

    GR 😉 my Carharts are full body, and it seems that three pairs of socks and the rubber mat with several cardboard boxes under it help in keeping my feet warm. The building is not insulated and it will be very difficult to keep the hen house temp even close to 75 degrees. It was 67 degrees when I got in there yesterday. Closed the windows more, we have to be very careful when it comes to airflow…..we have a inlet static pressure guage I monitor, and the happy medium is when the black arrow in the middle of the two red arrows. Right now my windows are about and inch and half open.

    Got into work, started walking my aisles and found not one, not two, but three flippin augers out. It was not a good day. The other lady at the other hen house was alone, my SIL did not return to work. Andrew did not show up……it was a long day.

    Old Bear…now I’m going out there and measure those cages….. 🙂 Some of the bigger hens weigh 3.7 pounds

    Jean, I was going through some jeans here, and came across a pair of jeans that were flannel lined….unfortunately….they weren’t my size. I wear thermals under my jeans. They are very comfy and soft.

    Loon, you sure do come with some good ones…..I’m still laughing about your ‘toy drawer’!

    So, Jerry, did you touch your toes at exercise class yesterday 🙂

    Ya’ll stay warm………………..

    (Jackie must be traveling….be safe, Jackie)

  113. I get A.Word.A.Day by email, so have no URL, but a search will probably get to it. Today’s word is illustrated by a cat photo that should qualify as ‘today’s grin’. Now I’ll go back up and read posts.

    Peace, emb

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