Plumber’s Really Good Friend

I told you when I began showing you this little series on Tuesday that I like it. Having seen it again, I haven’t changed my mind. Not all but most of the gags involve the dry, conversational humor I like to think I’m good at. Anyone who has followed baseball will tell you that if you hit a single every time you come to the plate, well… you’d only be the greatest baseball player who ever lived. Most of these are singles and doubles. I’m not holding these strips up as great, but if you’re at all interested in what the guy who draws this stuff likes, this is it. I like this.

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114 responses to “Plumber’s Really Good Friend”

  1. [Extracted here from the end of yesterday’s run.]
    “David in Austin on 10 Jun 2017 at 6:57 am # 39. … EMB, thanks for the tidbit on the common dandelion. Never realized it was an invasive species. It certainly is prolific for being sterile! Interesting that most common dandelions are clones. I also learned that “Apomixis” is the term for cloning via seeds. So, that must mean that any variation in the species must be due to externally induced modification to the reproductive cells when producing the seeds? I immediately wondered what purpose the pollen serves, since it isn’t used for reproduction. I found some information that suggests while the pollen is not useful to the individual, it is essential for the species. Here’s the abstract for one article/book chapter (I didn’t buy the full text). Thanks again for the excursion.”

    David, That book would be a pretty expensive read, but it was good to learn from the chapter abstract that they now have nailed the dandelion apomixis gene. In ’65, when I and maybe 2 doz. other bio. profs from as many different colleges attended Baker’s week of lectures at UC Chapel Hill, we could not yet nail individual genes. I utilized material from that workshop in teaching Organic Evolution for almost 3 decades. NSF got their money’s worth from that 3 wk. workshop, and from the U OR 8 wk. marine bio summer inst. in Charleston, OR in ’62.


  2. GM Debbe & Mizz Charlotte

    That last strip is typical of my helpers. I think they have a TARDIS.

    “I turn around and they(you) are gone.”
    Some one must know that quote.

  3. Mark, that link took me to Bohemian Rhapsody… I was guessing “Knock on Wood” covered by many over the years. For me, I usually hear it in Donna Summers’ voice.

  4. Mark, on your pun, I thought it had to do with airframe recognition so I failed. Best I had was end of times, cats and dogs playing together. I felt the grey matter stretch though, so thanks.

  5. Morphy, The planes were P-47 Thunderbolt and P-38 Lightning.

    The song line goes, “It’s like thunder, lightning. The way you love me is frightening. You better knock, knock on wood, baby.”

  6. We have had a busy day and I wiped out totally. Dickens and I are on the new king sized bed resting. Dickens only cares that there IS a bed and I am in it.

    Ghost will no longer get shoved out of bed by a ten pound dog. We know because the ones in hotel are just fine for size even shared with Dickens.

    He can report on all the day’s activities, I took pain meds and going to sleep.

  7. Jackie, I got my aerobics yesterday evening assembling and setting up a new queen=sized bed frame. Sweated profusely during the assembly and slept very well last night.

    Actually wouldn’t be hard to assemble with more room and a second pair of hands. It was mostly preassembled, except for fastening the two halves together, then turning it right side up and putting it where it needed to go.

  8. Been meaning to cite 2 oddly funny strips, but am only now getting to it. Let me emphasize that these are already several days old – maybe more than a week – so you may need to look NOW or risk missing out.

    They are Unstrange Phenomena and Perry Bible Fellowship. One size doesn’t always fit all, so you may or may not agree with me on them.

  9. Short nap. Ghost heading “downtown ” which is pretty crowded with the weekend and lake people. Our merchants need that, the spurt of cash they bring.for a few months.

    My deputy sheriff friend Glen is here for weekend to work on house. He is out painting porch and will touch up breezeway and paint the finally finished broom closet out there. We will be able to finally put furniture out there and use as our kitchen entry.

    Soon as porch floor gets repainted with nonskid we can get porch furniture and plants out there to use it.

    Ghost loves to grill and cook outside. He defrosted all kinds of meat, sausage, pork loin, steaks and he and Glen are going to grill it all up for weekend. My contribution will probably be cooking squash and a tomato, onion and cucumber salad.

  10. David, Nancy K, and others, I have loved hearing about your dogs! Thinking about them has me smiling right now…thank you! All life is fascinating (I just spent a little time watching a bee on a heuchera and a black swallowtail laying eggs on dill), but our animals companions can be extra special.

    Steve, that is such a shock about Adam West. I sort of imagined him going on forever. For many of us, he will.

  11. I’m back from “downtown”, much of which seemed to be closed for the afternoon, unless it was a purveyor of fast food. I needed power strips because, as all men who have been involved in furniture moving know, the wall electrical outlets are never within reach of the relocated table lamps’ and other electrical devices’ power cords. For those wondering, the needed power strips were not acquired, as burger joints do not sell them. Which is why, one supposes, you never hear anyone ask, “Uh, you want fries with that power strip?”

    Terrie the Leggy Domestic Engineer wore denim short-shorts with what I felt was an unnecessarily demure t-shirt, but perhaps that was just me. She has become the Animal Husbandry Engineer as well, since the livestock population seems to be swelling around here. I gave her another job title commensurate her new duties, but I can’t say what it is on this family-friendly forum. 😉

    Perhaps I can revive Jackie sufficiently for her to take a photo of Gypsy and Tramp to post.

  12. Smigz: The shock to me was that he was 88. But when I did the math, of course he was. There have been some celebrity deaths, especially rock stars that I never heard of, or frankly didn’t care for. I let others grieve in their own way and just keep my mouth shut.

    The Batman TV show was like the Saturday wrestling shows in that we KNEW it was farcical and just laughed at it. It seems like some people these day take wrestling and Batman way too seriously. I remember my wife and I were watching the 1960s Batman movie when her brother called and we started watching the movie together and laugh hysterically. We were both going through a tough time and the silly movie helped us both.

  13. Good morning. No one fell out of new bed. Dickens loved it. Wants to know when we check into next hotel and he didn’t realize those beds moved?

    Poor Ghost is still struggling with my ice machine that pumps ice into ice pad strapped to my leg. It stops working in night and he has to engineer it and often refill ice.

    Leg is doing great. I have pretty much abandoned walker and walking around house or holding onto Ghost. I use shopping carts at big stores but do carry it along in car for use.

    Good day to all. Ghost trying to sleep with Dickens cuddling on his leg.

  14. Read new 3 odd something this morning while having ice changed on my leg by Ghost. It is VERY subtle and VERY funny Jimmy. Ghost noticed the lovebirds in tree, I did not. He lived the detail.

    Apparently his aerobics class had zumba too with cute pneumatic Hispanic girls. It is suggestive he says.

    We are downtown buying gas for Bullet and there was a bike run here this weekend. Someone hit a bike on Main Street just now, two ambulances and a police escorts. We are a no helmet state, so often sad end.

  15. We had a beautiful day here in my little corner of the Village. It called for visiting friends, choir practice, church services, and roasting some “tube steaks.” Computers and the Internet came in a poor second on such a gorgeous day.

    Tomorrow the weather will be different, about 20° F cooler. And windier as that front moves in. And wetter!

  16. This morning, Terrie the Petite Housekeeper was helping Jackie pack some clothes and commented that Jackie wears really cute clothing. She then asked if Jackie ever shopped for other people, and when told that she does, asked if Jackie would pick up anything cute she would personally wear in Terrie’s sizes, especially if they were some of the bargains that Jackie is always finding. We had to make a shopping run for construction materials and decided we would stop by a Good Will store where Jackie finds brand new designer clothes at prices not much above what one would pay for cleaning rags. (Apparently wealthy Tulsa socialites donate their castoff and sometimes unworn wardrobes to charity.) We had already decided we would buy Terrie some clothing items even though she had intended to pay for them herself. (We figure that a happy employee is a good employee.) The plan was that Jackie would provide the fashion expertise while Ghost would rate the clothing items on the Ghostly Pulchritude Scale™.

    We ended up getting her a sundress; several pairs of shorts, including some tap shorts that could have come straight from a Berkeley Busby musical; a really cute bustier with spaghetti straps; a hand embroidered strapless peplum; an almost backless black top with rhinestone trim, like one of Jackie’s she had admired; and several miniskirts, a couple of which I initially thought were handkerchiefs. We plan to dole these out to her one a day for a while. I am still trying to decide if I should request each item be modeled for me, although from what I’ve seen so far, Terrie may suggest that herself. 🙂

    Hanging with Jackie is never dull.

  17. Sad and tragic news here. Miss Charlotte’s grandson who was the wonderful loving and brilliant grandchild that I would expect she’d have, killed in a accidental fall and just buried.

    Here is his obituary, Tom Hilchey.

    Miss Charlotte Ghost and I are so sad for you. We send our love and sympathy. What a loss to the world with his death. I wish I could have met him.

  18. Miss Charlotte, I am terribly sorry for and saddened by the death of your grandson. The tragic loss of someone so filled with promise diminishes us all.

  19. Dearest Ghost, and Jackie, thank you for your comforting words of sympathy. It has been a horrible shock to our family and to Tom’s many friends, college classmates, and fellow soccer players. I have been wanting to share this sorrowful news with you Villagers but don’t have the computer skills so I am thankful that you spotted this on Facebook and have passed it on.

    It was just a senseless fall from a second floor balcony, where he was chatting with friends. They were not fooling around and doing silly things, the kids have assured my daughter Amy Christian and her husband Duncan Hilchey.

    Tom was a healthy and athletic 20 year old. When the doctors determined there was no hope of recovery from the head injury, Amy and Duncan made the decision to donate his organs to people who needed them. He was kept on life support and flown to Pittsburg, where everything could be done as suitably and quickly as possible. The transplants have all been done and the remains have gone to Johns Hopkins where they will help medical students learn, I believe. So there has been no funeral. Amy and Duncan hosted two visiting hours last Tuesday and Wednesday. I couldn’t make the trip but my children kept me updated by phone, Email, and FaceBook.
    It’s late, more tomorrow. Much love to my friends at A&J . “Miss Charlotte”

  20. Must tell you, that Tom’s obituary appeared in the Ithaca Journal on Sunday, June 5, and a second story the next day which was nice, and a third story the day after that, a really fine one with a better picture. Would our kindhearted Jackie, or perhaps Mark in TTown, post a link to those stories as well? I would be so pleased.

    With a sad heart, Thank you.


  21. Miss Charlotte we will find them and do so in morning. I did read them but posted just the one.

    I read your son in laws post, Dana. I was so glad I was reading some of my “feed” and spotted it.

    What an amazing young man. I have a friend at Emory in their grad school administration. I would suspect he knew Tom. No one would have not been aware of someone so outstanding.

  22. So sorry, Miss Charlotte. My niece was killed in a fall at age 23, many years ago. It is so unnatural and senseless and tragic—so much promise cut off. I too send my love and sympathy.

  23. Charlotte there are no words to express at this time. Just know that many loved Tom and your entire family and I pray for peace for everyone. I will also pray for those who were given the gift of life from the organs that were donated. Not only will your love and memories carry on, but so will a physical part of him.


  24. Charlotte, Tom sounds like such a fine young man. We mourn his passing with you. Amy’s and Duncan’s decision to let his organs and remains help others is the most loving and generous action I can imagine. Thank you for sharing this with us, and bless you all.

  25. Good morning all. Ghost and I are supposed to take day off and recreate (except I have laundry going, I am still behind). He and Dickens are over snuggling and snoozing.

    At 3.45 last night Dickens, puppies and two senior dogs exploded barking at something in yard. It is so nice having a large armed man to check out things like that. I am often victim of random thieves.

    Jackie is wondering about appropriate attire to wear for a date at the gun range? We are taking Black Jack out of garage and driving him. Need to run through wash and clean up.

    Off to look at several gun ranges and clubs north of me, try some new Vietnamese restaurant, check out an oriental grocery and mess around up in Tulsas ethnic neighborhood.

  26. Miss Charlotte, to second what Smigz said, that was an incredibly loving action on the part of Tom’s parents to donate his organs for transplantation. I have a neighbor back in Mississippi awaiting a liver. It did not good when I left for Oklahoma.

  27. Jackie, I found a place called Keo at the intersection of Yale and 91st. It is similar to Pei Wei, but runs more toward Thai. I had a beef yellow curry that was very good.

  28. Ghost and I are going out Thursday night to hear the Righteous Brothers. I have no idea where our seats are, the event is almost sold out but we seem to be sitting together.

    Plan is to go on to see Llee the next day in Carthage, MO if she feels like having us over for a while. I love Carthage and the area around.

  29. Miss Charlotte.. my heart is breaking for you and Tom’s parents, brother and his many friends. Everyone else has stated their caring so well, i have nothing to add. Just… hugs & prayers…

  30. Charlotte: Just sent the message below to the Ithaca Journal site above, but then read the family’s decision to donate Tom’s organs. It is wonderful when people have the good sense and the compassion to do that. Maybe it shouldn’t make a difference to me that he was from Ithaca, but it seems to. WiFi here at Koronis* seems to work reliably only in the evening, but glad to be able to be in touch.

    “Dear Duncan & Amy & grandmother Charlotte [whom I know from the Arlo & Janis blog]. This is dreadful news. There will be prayers tomorrow from the UMC theology workshop here at Koronis Assembly Grounds in Paynesville, MN. My deepest sympathy. [emb][Cornell ’51], Bemidji, MN”

    *There are just 9 of us, from various MN UMCs. My theology says Tom is in good hands and doesn’t need our prayers, but still, maybe the church [small c] needs to pray.


  31. So besides going back in time to hear the Righteous Brothers this Thursday, we are going to eat in one of Route 66 most famous diners, Clanton Cafe in Vinita, Oklahoma. I have never eaten there but they were on Diners, Drive ins and Dives, Southern Living, Gourmet magazine and lots of other magazines and newspapers.

    Here’s link. Read menu about calf fry. Clanton’s Cafe

    319 E Illinois Ave, Vinita, OK 74301
    (918) 256-9053

  32. Miss Charlotte, so sorry for your family’s loss. As a kidney transplant recipient, I am so very grateful for the individuals and family members that choose donating. Please tell his parents how much the kidney I received means to me, my family, and friends. The gift saves lives and changes lives of many more. It is a gift I can never repay.

  33. I tried to donate anything of Mike’s body that could be used but they told me the widespread cancer and chemo, radiation made it unacceptable. So sad when people choose not to donate. So wonderful when they do.

  34. Worried about Debbie so called to check on her. She was out driving her dad around in her jeep for his outing. Spoke to her son. Her computer is down again.

    Virus infections run rampart in her house it seems!

  35. Tell Debbie to download free version of Malwarebytes when she can get online. Free version is not proactive in stopping virus but works well to catch and remove.

  36. Darling Mark, Debbe has no computer savy or skills and Ian has far, far less than he thinks he does in my opinion.
    The two surf that computer endlessly albeit in differing realms of viral contagion.

  37. Jackie, that assessment seems accurate from a distance. It’s why I didn’t chime in on Ian last time around, I think the lad tries to do right more often than not.

    For Debbe’s use I think a Chromebook or Chrome as an Operating System might be most helpful. Geeks don’t like having less control, but these get good reviews for protection and recovery that doesn’t demand specialized user knowledge.

    That would leave Ian without the Gaming setup he would like. Compromise is difficult.

    Economy at my house used to mean a new system around four years time, keep old ones as long as useful for the house at large. But times change, this one is now near seven years old, the spinning hard drive is on borrowed time according to some who give advice, but hasn’t caused problems yet. Think I’ll go check my backup schedule though.

  38. Meant to add, it is difficult to enjoy any form of entertainment on the interwebnets without catching something. It’s not the user. It is the bad actors identifying target rich areas, not individual targets. Being a theatre lover doesn’t blind me to the dangers of midtown Manhattan.

  39. Ghost and I think Debbe needs an Android tablet to use, giving Ian his use of the old laptop and his PlayStation to game. It is the computer that is source of infection. We think a tablet should have less viral infection so long as Debbe used it for herself and let’s Ian have computer.

    Anyone else have a better idea?

  40. I circled back on another thought and read yours, Jackie. That would also make sense. With the added benefit of something good for all young men, being left to further your education by your own means. He will learn more about his own system if he is the only user experiencing problems. Reduces finger pointing.

    My thought was to acknowledge what kept me from cloud based protections in the past. If your ISP service is lacking then ChromeOS becomes unusable quickly.

    Your solution works if Debbe is not wed to a physical keyboard, but you both know that learning curve and how it turns out well with use.

    The last item is the common choke point in the house, the router/modem. Not just in the capacity issue of multiple users, but that of the different threats they may pick up all go through the shared doorway.

    This last one is also answered by your solution, *if* the ISP is a wireless carrier and the tablet is it’s own 4G connection to the wider world. However, if it uses local WiFi to save money, we come back to the shared router above.

    I’ve gotten pretty good at outlining problems, solutions work best when the end user decides.

  41. Mark, I saw a cute one a while back when hipsters were making everything old cool again for a limited time only, until everyone remembered why progress happens.

    Any way, it was built exactly like an old high-rise keyboard of a 1940’s or earlier typewriter. The tablet was held, securely propped up as if you were using stout cardstock for paper. I thought it was a great idea on many levels, not the least was raising the level of view to reduce neck fatigue and providing a firm, secure base for charging and prevent dropping. In my imagination, I thought a word processor app that combined a moving carriage, with text that appeared in time with a lurching movement to the left, complete with bell and auxiliary return lever would really have been cool for an afternoon. But all this flies in the face of the primary utility of a tablet, portability. Still pretty neat item if you have the space though.

    To your point though, the keyboard is handy to aid transition for the reluctant. Usually cast aside from inconvenience once the touchscreen is learned better. I still curse at mine.

  42. If you have large fingers, on-screen keyboards are one of the banes of your existence. When you search on Amazon, for example, you can find combination case/keyboards for many different tablets. Since I use mine mostly for reading, I really don’t need one. If I was using it to communicate, I would most likely buy one to save annoyance.

  43. It had been a long while, Mark, so I’m not sure it is same. But certainly suggestive of same idea. I remembered it being taller like older typewriters, and I had the carriage return on the other side in my head. But that must be suggested by today’s QWERTY keyboard, because logic tells me the physical return had to be on the left and too much time has passed for me to recall correctly.

    I used to practice my young version of hunt and peck on my mother’s secretarial that clamped into it’s own carry case for what is laughingly called portability. Laughable by today’s standards I mean. By the time I had a class for it, it was still called typing, but it was an IBM selectric that you couldn’t jam the keys on. And the return KEY had already migrated to the right pinky.

  44. I did see pictures of old typewriters that had been converted into tablet stands, too. Maybe that is what you remember since some of those were adapted to work as keyboards with the tablet.

    I started using a manual typewriter in high school, then was taught to use a teletype in the Navy. In college I took typing and used an IBM Selectric. That paved the way for me to be able to use computer keyboards as they came into use. When I took my medical office courses I was able to finish the program early. I was able to hit 60 wpm with two typing courses left to go.

  45. Food alert! Ghost grilled T-bone steak for dinner which we had with leftovers from lunch, corn from garden, squash from garden, cucumbers from garden, cornbread with bacon and cheese added. Seems there was something else? Tomatoes sliced.

    We have decided either we like same kinds of food or one of us is doing a really good imitation of liking it.

    We have leftovers, grilled sausage and pork chops needing to be eaten. Plus new potatoes, peppers, onions from garden. I am going to do a stir fry of that and get Ghost to pick some large green tomatoes to fry up with some squash slices. Plus more corn.

    Ghost went to Tractor Supply with me, a new experience for him. He found a denim shirt to wear over his weaponry that gives him a farm look.

    If he finds snake in garden he can shoot it. He is adjusting well to country life.

  46. My dinner seemed adequate at the time, but somehow T-bone and fixings makes my mouth water. First time this city boy wandered around in a Tractor Supply, I was amazed at the range of goods in a store not much bigger than a grocery or neighborhood hardware, makes a lot of warehouse stores seem wasteful.

    Mark, on the teletype I noted the height variance in key rows. Was that ergonomics to match a relaxed hand, for speed? Or did those keys have linkages that required a long ‘throw’ and likely resulted in hand stress?

  47. I’m not sure of the reasons, Morphy. There were only 3 rows of keys versus the normal layout. Made switching to use a regular typewriter a learning experience every time you had to do a report on one. If you look up the Model 28 on Wikipedia there is a color advertising folder you can enlarge. Most of the ones we used looked like the one on the far left, with the tape punch built in. The paper tape was the recording medium, punching up to 5 holes per character. Arrangement of the hole punches determined the character. We had to learn to read directly from the punched holes while the tape was coming out of the punch.

  48. Ghost said that was good observation Morphy. I wonder if you noticed the huge variety of pet supplies, gardening, decor items, clothes, toys, even foods?

    Tractor Supply amazes me.

  49. But it was a different code than the already established Braille, because it served a different purpose, and reduplicating digits on a-j did not make sense.

    When I was learning Basic, I wanted to make use of what was barely called graphics, a six-cell character set addressable as an extension from ASCII if you memorized the binary progression. My goal was to create a reasonable representation of rolling a pair of dice for a short Craps game. But I sidelined myself creating a Braille representation using the graphics set. Totally useless as a practical idea, of course. Press as hard as you like, you can’t feel the difference on a CRT display. But it was a practice for calling up and displaying any character I generated from the set available.

    When the movie The Matrix came out people would ask if geeks could really ‘see’ code the way they presented Tank and Dozer doing it. I said no, ‘ but ask a geek of appropriate age about bug-hunting a stack of 80-line cards, and you’ll see their eyes spin.’

  50. Jackie, yeah, I mean there may be bigger ones around Tulsa, if they need to keep inventory on hand between load-ins. But the ones I’ve been to Maximize variety and range by keeping a minimum quantity of each item on hand. I learned more about caring for a horse in my twenties by browsing 3 aisles at Tractor Supply, than I learned from my High School Girlfriend. But I may have been unfairly distracted by the one that would laugh at my dumb jokes. She was definitely more fun to snuggle.

    Oh, also some time back I think we joked about ‘Chicken Poop’, a lip balm guaranteed to stop you from licking your lips too dry. A product I found at TS.

  51. Also, don’t underrate their mechanic’s section. Worth stopping there before hitting the overpriced auto store chains.

    Unfortunately, if country of origin is strictly important to you over price, you may be disappointed the two do not go hand in hand. Hobby Lobby, another strong retailer has a similar difficulty for crafters.

  52. Yesterday I got an unsolicited email from a food site called Well Done. They referenced another site called Extra Crispy. Extra Crispy has, and I am not making this up, a “Bacon Critic”. (Where is lilyblack when I need her to be repulsed by bacon, as well as by sex?) He is New Orleans native, life-long pork fan, and food writer Scott Gold, and he beat out 1500+ other applicants for the position. His first project for Extra Crispy was to find the best bacon in the United States. He, cleverly, entitled the article “The Best Bacon in the United States”.

    There were several categories, but the one I want to mention is Best All-Purpose, No-Frills Supermarket Bacon. The winner is…Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon. Way to go, Lady Mindy!

    In case you are interested, or even if you’re not, the overall winner was Vande Rose Farms Applewood-Smoked Artisan Dry-Cured Bacon. With a name like that, it’s got to be good. And it damn well better be…it’s $79 for a 2.25 pound pack. Jackie says she could buy a whole pig, slaughter it, and cure the bacon for less than that.

  53. Only 1500+ applications? Did they close the mailbox after 3 hours?

    Not to pile on needlessly, ok maybe a bit, glad again I missed out on some prior contributors. I’ve known people with faith reasons, and people of vegan ideals who drool at the smell of bacon just short of crispy. They may look on longingly, but I suppose I have been unfairly privileged that none of them have reacted with raised voice that I might enjoy what they prefer not to. They still share their humus with me.

  54. Long-time citizens of the Village will know I have a slight fondness for sundresses. Well, OK, I have a near-fetish level of appreciation for sundresses. L-TCs will also know I have bemoaned, in recent years, that sundress spottings have become quite rare, even in the Deep South. Alas, I have found them nonexistent in Oklahoma. So, I decided if one cannot find sundresses in the wild, one may cultivate their presence.

    As Jackie has mentioned, she and I have undertaken a joint project to jazz up Terrie the Denim Jeans Cut-Off Shorts Housekeeper. Jackie provides the fashion input, and I provide the sex-appeal input. We had to make another run to Good Will Store Town yesterday, so we stopped in for some more bargains. Somehow, one of those was a strapless sundress so short it came with its own panties. We gave it to Terrie today, and she loved it. Coincidences will never cease, will they?

  55. I do applaud both of you in your tireless efforts in the resurrection of the sun-dress!

    We should all make efforts to see that comforting coolness never goes out of style.

  56. Jackie, leave those poor garden snakes alone! They are deadlier than you know…

    BTW, tonight the sky was very clear (a nice storm dropped the temperature over 20°F and blew all the dust out of our valley’s air) and Saturn was amazingly bright and certainly more than a star. Our planet’s relationship to Saturn has changed over the past few weeks and it clearly has a ring around it at 40x. The last I saw it the image wasn’t as sharp and as Galileo first described it, it had “ears.”

  57. That is hilarious Trucker. Ghost will like it.

    What he isn’t telling you is I am not as tiny as Terrie but not shabby. I wear brief shorts, rompers and sun dresses at my advanced age. Hence the request to shop for Terrie, she likes my clothes.

    Yes, that was definitely shorts with strapless top and skirt, made like a one piece bathing suit.

    Today I told Ghost I was taking some too large clothes to give to my hairdressers church and he asked, “You have clothes suitable for church ladies to wear?”

  58. Trucker:

    1. Hilarious.
    2. That’s Thamnophis sirtalis, two words.
    3. Garter snakes, can in fact, be dangerous. Their saliva is mildly poisonous, or maybe infectious just because it is contaminated with nasty microbes. If you catch one safely, holding it just behind the head so it cannot bite, it will wipe its vent on you, guaranteeing you will stink. If a dog grabs it, it may drop it because of the foul taste. Good critters to let be.


  59. Ghost Sweetie, now that you mention it I do remember reading the bacon article somewhere, and thinking that even if I can’t afford the top of the line bacon, I do buy all-round good stuff. If anyone in The Village should splurge and buy the Vande Rose Farms bacon I might be persuaded to take a taste of it for comparative purposes. Just saying.

  60. I learned how to make bacon, cut pork when I took butchering course in college. Three hours credit for that course and three hours credit for judging livestock while alive and in meat form.

    Made the national collegiate livestock judging team and meat judging team, only female in America that year.

    I pick good meat for Ghost to grill. We are having Smithfield pork loins cut into chops for lunch.

  61. I guess it’s time to get back to something I said I would do a month ago – post links to some of the bands we heard at the Gamble Rogers Music Festival in St. Augustine. (I’ve been distracted by some crochet projects, making dinosaurs for an elementary school classroom.)

    The Grass is Dead, a bluegrass Grateful Dead cover band, really got the crowd on their feet.

  62. Yup happy Flag Day. Go ahead and debate whether or not Betsy Ross designed the first flag. At least it will make you think about our flag and what it means.

  63. When I was in school, Ursen, I was taught that Betsy Ross persuaded the men who asked her to create the first flag to use five-pointed stars instead of six because she could make them by folding the cloth and making one cut, simplifying the task. The basic idea of a blue canton, white stars and red and white stripes had already been worked out.

  64. Off topic of Betsy, but the stars number of points reminded me of a question I’ve never quite satisfied. Five points were used occasionally in history, and I’ve read many arcane reasons that people believe that to be. But recent history has made it (the equidistant style at least) pretty well identifiable with the United States.

    My observation has been that it is nearly universally shown ‘standing’ on two points like the letter A holding out it’s arms. Except on Navy uniforms, where it sands on a single point like the letter V.

    Is it like the hull of a ship in the waterline? Is it the Army/Navy rivalry? Do I fixate on things no one else cares about? Questions for the ages.

  65. HAL thinks ‘sands’ makes perfect sense. My keyboard has a reluctant ‘t’, and a slightly more cooperative ‘5’. ‘g’ works fine.

    Stands is the word I wanted, Navy uniforms have stars that point ‘down’ to the cuff. Possibly because arms are never held perfectly straight, and a body in use is more often closer to 36° from vertical than straight up and down?

  66. Smigz and Ruth Anne, origami was a hot topic when mine were elementary aged. Lots of cranes and four-point stars were traded and ‘sold’ in class projects. I was always reminded of Edward James Olmos’s character in Bladerunner. Though now I don’t recall if I ever made that connection to them when they grew older.

    Both developed a love of reading, but Harry Potter led to Dystopian Teen fiction for one, and Classic Fantasy themes, a la Tolkien, for another. I’ll have to ask if they ever delved back to earlier authors. Sometimes book journeys are personal quests that don’t lend to including you parents.

  67. I can crochet pot holders, place mats, square fringed tote bags and some simple afghans.

    Square things.

    Nothing cute or curved. Square more or less .

  68. Ruth Anne, I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, my children were raised between two homes. But near one was an abandoned mini-golf business, complete with not so nice graffiti. I did my due diligence to check it out once, just in case it became important later. I felt totally out of place as an adult. If any one had seen, and asked, “what are you doing?” I honestly don’t know what I would have said.

    It was exactly the kind of place a group of young ruffians should explore and make their home base for a summer of mischief. In my youth, it was an abandoned shack just over the irrigation ditch in that one orchard. You gotta be strong enough to not fall in, kid. if you fall in you’ll be swept away, and we’ll never catch up to you.

    No confirmed knowledge, because nothing bad ever happened. But I’d like to think it was explored. I’d be a little disappointed if I found out they were too good, or too scared, to check it out on their own.

  69. Mark in TTown, it sounds like you were an RM. My late father was one, after the navy he worked for the phone company as a teletype repairman. He also acquired model 15 and 28s and converted them for use as radio teletype on the HAM bands. When I enlisted in the AF, I selected my career field primarily because use of a teletype was part of the description. Tech school had a typing requirement and none of the guys in my class knew how to type. I had had four tears of typing but couldn’t convince the instructors to let me phase out of the class. One of the requirements for passing the school was to be able to type 20 wpm on the tty. I did 60. ;-P

  70. Chris, I was a CTO, an RM with a higher clearance. We were more diversified, too, which is why we had that third letter. In my case the O stood for Operator and we worked with the tty and encoding equipment.

    Morphy, maybe this will help:

    I never thought about the orientation of the stars because they weren’t part of my rank insignia. I was only an E-4 with an eagle and stripes but no stars.

  71. Got clearance today to go back in water at pool to do stretching and walking and non impact water exercises. Plus all the walking I can do.

    Have to find a suit to take along tomorrow on Trip so I can get in motel pool.

    So I can garden without much fear of infecting my knee. I sat down and bent and weeded some this morning. Ordered a red tractor seat to sit and ride on at David’s recommendation. Best idea I have seen. Love the bucket for holding things.

  72. Interestingly I can find no one from the parishes I came from in Louisiana, yet I know many did serve and I thought died?

    However, I went to college in Lafayette, LA in this period and many died and are on list including the highest number of officers of any city. Odd?

    What few realize are the high numbers of civilian American deaths in war, the contract and Federal employees who served over seas in the Pacific theater as support to troops.

  73. Weeded most of large flower bed. Big grasses. Why can’t yard help recognize noxious grass, if not Weeded?

    But it made room for iris and daylilies I need to plant. After I clean beds the moving of plants begins to move to proper light.

    God forbid anything grows roots.

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