Polished Approach

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This is another strip from my “Best of 2014” entry in the National Cartoonists Society annual awards. (See yesterday’s post.) The NCS requires 12 samples from the calendar year being judged. Whenever I thumb through the old stuff to pick out my favorites, I always am reminded the strips I like sometimes are not the strips you, the reader, favor. So maybe you wonder what I am looking for when I pick out 12 of my favorite strips in a given year. Of course, “funny” is the gold standard. The cartoonist who can be LOL funny every day is going to be a wealthy person, but that is nigh impossible. Even 12 times a year isn’t easy. Second, I look for “fresh.” I look for comic strips with a different and meaningful take on ordinary circumstances. This is, after all, what artists across multiple disciplines strive to do.

204 responses to “Polished Approach”

  1. If you ever have trouble coming up with a dozen representative cartoons to submit to NCS, just ask your Loyal Readersโ„ข for suggestions. I’m sure many of us would not only have opinions but would not be shy about proffering them.

  2. Jackie, I applauded your efforts to not be fubsy.

    It was Dictionary.com Word of the Day, and I couldn’t resist using it in a sentence. And it’s British, don’t you know? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Brother said mom’s out of surgery. Vascular surgeon did balloon angioplasty of largest vein on left side. Smaller veins not able to be treated. If mom’s pain continues amputation is only remaining choice, level to be determined. Dr. also scoped mom’s right leg and will do balloon angio on that side in a week or two. I will be at the hospital after work today. Thanks for your concern and prayers.

  4. Mark I have been worrying a out you all morning and doing laundry in flannel pjs, that’s the kind of thing I do when I am worried or nervous. It’s hard to work in a laundry under remodelling but it is coming along nicely and at least laundry part won’t be long finished.

    About your mom, I have to deliver a sermon here, on a soapbox. I lost my husband to lung cancer and second hand smoke. Your mom may lose her leg and smoking is a main contributor. I am a reformed smoker, quit 50 years ago. Worse kind of evangelist.

    Village, if you smoke, please do what it takes to quit. If a loved one smokes, use tough love and get them to quit. It’s the best Valentine’s gift you can give, your’s and someone else’s heart and lungs.

  5. Fat and squat?

    Hey, I was in a floral design class where the instructor lost it and told a student “You are a squatty, poopy little housewife and you make squatty, poopy little flowers and that’s all you will ever be.”

    He could have saved time if he’d known fubsy. It wasn’t me, I got to be his mini-me and could design pieces to put his name on, so I got to be cool, if straight, with the high style guys.

  6. Jackie, to add to your comments on smoking, if you have pets, you are also poisoning them with your smoking. Doc has put mom on the patch beginning when she gets home, with reduction in actual smoking till she gets the patch and nothing else. As you know, I already had it out with the only possible source of cigarettes outside the family, mom’s neighbor/friend. Brother and I may be changing locks on the doors.

  7. Mark I think you are doing the right thing. I know there are those who’d say it’s her life, let her do what she wants but I think there is a time for intervention. Would we let people jump off bridges or commit suicide if we could stop them?

    There are many forms of self destruction.

  8. Jackie:

    I am a bit beyond those days but way back when, if you had asked me how often I thought of sex, I would have said, “Only when I am awake!”

    Steve Moore

  9. Debbe – Last week was hell. SIXTY-FIVE plus hours. I lurked, but didn’t chime in.

    Grandma is in the hospital. Acute congestive heart failure. She is resting comfortably, and they are working to drain the fluid. She’s had the condition for years, but this is the first time it has put her in the hospital.

    They took her from the nursing home early this morning, and my great-aunt (grandma’s primary contact person) was told she could call back later when she had been evaluated. When she called back, the ER nurse demanded the security code. What? Well, it turns out this hospital’s policy is to leave a security code with someone who is allowed access to her information (the nursing home in this case), and until my aunt provided the code, she got nothing. Of course the nursing home director was in a meeting the first part of the morning. Finally, my aunt got the code, and the hour-by-hour recap. Grandma will be in for at least a few days, depending on the cardiologist’s visit.

    Next week will be interesting, work-wise. Will be a traveling week. All I have to do is teach a new-to-the-company store everything. In four days. I agreed to this madness in a sleep deprived state. Heaven help me.

  10. “Fubsy” = “short and stout”, Jackie, which somehow sounds better than “fat and squat”.

    Or perhaps not. Millionaire Widow Lady and I were at a formal Christmas party where we encountered my Perky Aerobics Instructor. PAI was wearing a beautiful long, low-cut black velvet gown. She was also seven months pregnant. “You look stunning,” I told her, perfectly sincerely, because she did.

    I could immediately tell something was wrong as her face fell. So could her husband. “What’s wrong?” he asked her.

    “Ghost said I look stout,” she said, her lower lip quivering. (The band was making it a bit noisy there.) He immediately explained to her what I had actually said. And I ended up getting a big smile and big hug from her out of it, so it was all good.

  11. Lady Mindy, I have a feeling the newbies will get more out of four days with you than they would two weeks with anyone else in your company.

    Prayers for Grandma. CHF is serious but medsci has made strides in treating it.

  12. Someone described meeting me recently as a voice coming from beneath a giant sunblock hat and there was a tiny woman under the hat so maybe not stout.

    It has been years since I attended formal party. Another life when I had a wardrobe of evening dresses, cocktail clothes and beaded tops, accessories. And I gave parties that required them.

    Not sure I could do better now than casual chic and maybe a church service or a luncheon date?

  13. Ghost – Don’t make me blush! I hope I do okay. I am not just training, I also am doing a rather through evaluation of structure and equipment. My biggest concern will be the bookwork. I forget how many stores are coming online at once (a bunch) – I know good and darn well those servers are maxing their memory, and the sudden surge of new stores is going to crash them (like they did with us). And it is really hard to show someone paperwork with no computer.

    The other area of concern is vendors. Apparently, they used a different system, and ours doesn’t always follow a logical progression. Throw in this new (wretched, awful, disorganized) distributor, and the kerfuffle that is ordering, and I suspect several will bail quickly. My boss’s actual quote (regarding new distributor) “Dont tell them just how bad it is, I need you to come back!” What a pep rally. :-/

  14. Dear Mindy, this sounds really tough. With your quick brain and great sense of humor, I bet you will handle this very well. We in the Village are all thinking of you and wishing you the best of luck. I imagine many Villagers are praying for your grandmother, too, and when you see her please tell her of the love and many prayers your friends are sending her.

  15. “Village, if you smoke, please do what it takes to quit. If a loved one smokes, use tough love and get them to quit. Itโ€™s the best Valentineโ€™s gift you can give, yours [as in his, hers, mine, etc.] and someone elseโ€™s heart and lungs.”

    Amen. I hope one near and dear quit in time, but anytime is better than not quitting. It would qualify as a controlled substance if were introduced anew.

    I should check the radon.

    Peace, emb

  16. Mindy, somebody at corporate needs to load the working software on a laptop you can take to show them how it looks. It doesn’t actually have to connect but you can walk them through the steps with one. Or do screenshots and print out the various screens to show and tell. Maybe if the vendors and staff gang up on the distributor and tell then how its supposed to work they can get organized.

    Good luck to your grandmother. From the pictures you have put on FB, either she has a good sense of humor or the person holding the camera is very entertaining. Prayers for good recovery and a short stay.

  17. Mark, I’d still recommend getting a kit and testing your home. A county average means little if your home happens to be sitting over a strong source of radon. Your county health department should have a kit available for $10 or less.

  18. Haircut appointment for tomorrow. Forecast is for warm and sunny, so mayhap P&PHS will be wearing something appropriately skimpy.

    Well, a guy can dream, anyway. And mayhap I will. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. The Chinese laundry is back operating, I no longer trust minions to wash clothes because I am so tired of ruined clothes and mismatched or stained of not washed and stock piled out of sight, etc. I am an excellent laundress and even better ironer but we aren’t going there now. In fact, I am having to rehash a lot because they sanded all the sheet rock with stacks of folded clothes and baskets still in there and didn’t move them.

    So, Deja vu all over again.

  20. Big date for Valentine’s Ghost? Getting ahead of the rush? Or do you have a set appointment each ??? Weeks like some ladies do?

    Me, I show up and say anyone have time to shampoo and iron my hair? Doesn’t always work of course.

    Taking a big plate of cookies and cupcakes to the police department. Even though they don’t come out where I am, I figure their efforts in town are beneficial and appreciated.

  21. Good morning Villagers…

    Good grief, Indy Mindy, they just keep adding on and adding on responsibilities on you. I do hope you are well compensated for all these nightmares. But being the ‘go getter’ that you are, I have confidence you will succeed. Either that or carry a big hammer ๐Ÿ™‚ I do pray your Grandmother gets better, you sound very close to her. You posted a pic of you and her a while back, she looked happy to be with her granddaughter. Don’t know much about computers, but reading Mark’s post sounds like it could be a good option if you could get corporate to cooperate.

    And Mark, still sending prayers and thoughts for You and your Mother.

    GR ๐Ÿ˜‰ just how fast does your hair grow? Do you go every two weeks for your ‘look’?

    Looks like IN is on the above list on the radon list….and we are living on old excavated coal land. You can still see some of the blackness of coal residue in our driveway. Or does coal have anything to do with radon….TR?

    Jackie, you sound like me…actually I like doing the laundry…my way. But husband is being helpful in keeping my work clothes washed…I am thankful for that.


  22. While eating some breakfast here, I pulled up my egg packer and found thus U-tube link, my packer is a little older, but at the 2 minute mark, the Farmpacker 200 resembles my Farmpacker 4.14…..


    and they better be lifting taking home eggs restriction….for the first time in over 4 years I may have to buy eggs….and I didn’t know about that little code, Mark. Thanks

  23. Jackie, I don’t have a standing appointment with P&PHS, I just text her when I want to know if she has an opening for me.

    Debbe ๐Ÿ˜‰ I only see P&PHS to get my hair cut about every four weeks. But she does tell me it grows faster than any she’s ever seen. (My hair; what did you think?)

  24. Indy Mindy and Mark, prayers for your Grandma and Mom! And Mindy, I’m with Debbe in hopes that you are well recompensed for all your hard work!

    I think I need to get a radon testing kit just to make sure things are good here. I don’t want to have to worry about that, too.

    I usually don’t mind doing laundry, but since the machines are in the (unheated) garage right now I have to put on a coat to go stand and put clothes in the washer or dryer, and if I leave wet clothes overnight I’d swear they have ice crystals the next morning. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Kudos to JJ for today’s A&J – he must have seen the same article as I did on Netflix’s 100 most overlooked films. Here’s the link: http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/best-movies-netflix-streaming-right-now/.

    I’ve now watched half a dozen of them (I have no interest in the zombie/horror/slasher genre, which rules out about 20% of the list), and it is a revelation. One “People Places and Things” is a gem that, if it had a theatrical run, I never noticed.

  26. So not knowing what P&PHS is, I decided to Google it and it came back with a few links to prior posts by Ghost is A&J.com. One was July 4th and the other was mid July. Upon reading it, I realized that I mentioned the story of watching the Auburn Alabama game, which I just repeated a few days ago. Since I probably mentioned it when it happened, I guess that I get redundant. Hopefully I have told the story the same way. Of course as we age, sometimes the stories get a little foggy.

    The other story was when I got attacked by bunch of bees this summer. I still have the pictures of how swollen my hand got. One thing that I didnโ€™t mention was going to the Urgent Care and the receptionist was very rude to me, eventually asking that I pay the co-pay before seeing the Doctor. I have learned that this is pretty standard, but when you are in pain, you really donโ€™t want to hear that. So when I saw the nurse, she starts taking my vitals, including my weight. When I got off the scale, she asked how tall that I was and I responded โ€œ8 foot 7! Where is the Doctor and what difference does my weight matterโ€

    Fortunately the Doctor was very kind. Obviously my blood pressure had spiked and she told me to try to relax as she could not administer the shot. After some deep breathing and me making fun of the crabby way I acted, it dropped quickly back to normal levels.

  27. Debbe: According to Wiki The highest average radon concentrations in the United States are found in Iowa and in the Appalachian Mountain areas in southeastern Pennsylvania. Some of the highest readings ever have been recorded in the Irish town of Mallow, County Cork, prompting local fears regarding lung cancer. Iowa has the highest average radon concentrations in the United States due to significant glaciation that ground the granitic rocks from the Canadian Shield and deposited it as soils making up the rich Iowa farmland. Many cities within the state, such as Iowa City, have passed requirements for radon-resistant construction in new homes.
    So, given that radon is most highly emitted from igneous rocks (granite, for instance) but is also found in many sedimentary rocks as well (limestone, for instance, has particles of igneous rocks in it), you cannot predict where it will be. The only folks who probably have no need to test are those with open crawl spaces under their floors or those living in upper floors of buildings. The issue is whether it has a direct path into a tightly-insulated, poorly ventilated home.

  28. CXP, You reminded me of a saying an old and dear departed friend had, “I hope that God takes “IT’ out of my mind before He takes “IT” out of my body!” His prayers were answered several years ago. Mine were not answered.

    God bless us every one.

  29. Just got off phone with my seed company I love. They are in southeast Indiana and it is 20s. I.am in the 60s and sunshine here. Going to garden tomorrow and plant brocolli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, onions and sugar snap peas and potatoes. Maybe more things if I find them. Love dirt.

  30. Mark – *We* didn’t get a laptop with the software; they aren’t either. (I said the same thing – our lottery terminal comes back online much earlier than most states, and the new company knew nothing about it until a week before going live.) Luckily, those of us who survived our changeover know what to look for now.

    A friend will come check on kitties. Neither one would last in a kennel.

    Grandma is not doing so well. There is a lot of fluid around her heart, and it is wearing her out. She seems to be in okay spirits and coherent. Hopefully will know more tomorrow. If life cooperates, I plan on visiting her before I leave for the week. Please spare a good thought or two for my aunt as well: her step-mother (my grandma), her son-in-law, and a granddaughter are all in the hospital, and her own mother (Marie) is battling a reoccurring infection in her leg. She spent her day off going from hospital to hospital.

  31. A quick grin before I go to bed. Last night, I couldn’t find my phone. I called it using my back up phone. I must mention my default ringer is “Scotland the Brave” on the bagpipes. It is loud. I heard both the phone and a loud thump from the porch. I had left the phone on a blanket on the footrest of my rocker. If I had to guess, Thunder had been sleeping on said blanket. I open the door to the porch to see poor Thunder back up to the door, all poofed out, tail straight up, legs splayed, eyes wide as the bagpipes played. Her expression was priceless. I tried to feel bad for scaring her silly, but she looked so much like a cartoon cat, I couldn’t help but laugh.

  32. “Back up phone.” There’s a phrase one doesn’t hear too often. But being a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy, I have one, too. Good for you, Lady Mindy.

  33. Mindy I am laughing out loud at your description of Thunder but more at Scotland the Brave blasting. I love pipes, I love kilts, I love Scots and the accents and the country and SOMEBODY is going to go with me to the Edinburgh Tattoo so I can just die in pipe heaven if need be. I even belong to a bagpipe group so I can watch and listen to bagpipe porn.

    Scotland the Brave. I have to do that.

  34. Trucker, I think Sir Isaac Newton would have been impressed. I also think he would have liked the performance of two “stewardesses”. I know I did.

    I believe the effect you mentioned is a consequence of centrifugal forces generated by the parabolic flight path the “Vomit Comet” has to fly to produce free-fall conditions (not technically “zero gravity”) inside the cabin. If any aeronautical engineers would like to correct me on that, please feel free to do so.

    The choreography is one of the really impressive things about that video, since the free-fall segment of the repeated parabolic arcs the aircraft flies lasts less than 30 seconds, and they had to work around that. The other is that no barfed.

  35. I wish I lived closer to a viable town than I do. Got to Lowe’s while it was still daylight. Didn’t matter, it was too late, no one was still there that could do more than right g up a sale after the scanning gun scanned it. But I met another sweet assistant manager, got the light fixture to replace the broken one and some very pricey crown molding that must have been misplaced in bin.

    Oh well, tomorrow I call and try to do the two special orders over the phone. And plantation shutters have gone sky high in 20 years. I have seventeen 60 inch windows in sunroom. Yikes, that is about $7,500 more? Yikes. I must look for do it yourself if they still exist.

  36. Anonymous, look for a Habitat for Humanity Restore. Builders donate leftover items from projects which are then sold for money to fund Habitat for Humanity homebuilding projects. They also take donations of unused items from individuals too. So its a win-win for everybody concerned.

  37. I have a small guest bedroom in the garden area that won’t take long to put furniture into. I could put a few more and we could have a real Village, I live in a totally unrestricted area. No zoning, no building codes, no limit on animals or people. How do you think I get by with 70 tents in back yard and hundreds of guests? Boatstock.

    That would mean I’d have to get the bathroom and shower house bult. Mark I bought all the parts for it at Restore. Yes, I am a fan and there is one in Muskogee and I think Tahlequah but the pickings are slim. I bet Birmingham has a good one. My younger daughter has an app for all locations, as well as Salvation Army and Goodwills. The kid we pulled a trailer for and bought mantels and architectural findings 3000 miles from home.

  38. Here in Camarillo, Old Bear, Friday is expected to have a high of 81 and a low of 51, and Saturday it’s expected to be 78. That’s just one of the many reasons I live out here. I do hope, however that those of you in colder climates are enjoying the winter weather.

  39. Good morning Villagers…..

    TR…thanks for that info…I was curious.

    Indy Mindy, poor Thunder, I don’t know the bagpipe music, but I would probably have the same reaction…..like Claude the cat….hanging from the ceiling.

    Old Bear, that’s the temp here tonight…about 6 degrees, with a high of 19 tomorrow….aauugghh.

    Needless to say, I am dreading tomorrow in getting out for work.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day.

  40. Ah yes, Scotland the Brave! I use that particular ringtone as my alarm clock when I need to be up early. I hope Thunder has sufficiently recovered.

    Mindy, I hope Grandma keeps doing better.

  41. Nope: “French Cuirassiers Questioning a peasant outside a country farmhouse by Edouard Detaille. French Cuirassiers of Napoleons Army, obtain information from a peasant outside a country farm house.” Sure look like the Brit. horse guards to me. Wonder what the history behind those present-day units is. Peace, emb

  42. It is beautiful, sunny and 55.here. wearing a soft cuddly fleece Buffalo plaid red and black lumberjack shirt over a red scoop neck tee, skinny blue jeans, red ballet slippers and a black crocheted newsboy cap, accentuated by an Ann Klein black leather bag.

    Thought I’d do a fashion report to go with the weather. Even Debbe is sick of Carthardts.

  43. Actual headline from Bloomberg Business article: “Whole Foods May Put Tattoo Parlors Inside New Millennial-Focused Stores”

    Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    Has that bubble not burst yet?

  44. Does this mean I have to hold off on that tasteful tattoo on my butt? Nothing on.my body not supplied by nature and two pierced ears, one hole per ear.

    And would one drape their body parts from rest of customers? Or would they not work in open area as they do the massages in grocery stores? I remember back twenty five years ago being shocked at massages in grocery.

  45. Which bubble? Whole Foods or tattoos? I’m sick of the shows about people uglifying themselves with tattoos and I don’t even watch them! Never mind the folks piercing everything but ears. How do they get through an airport metal detector?

    Today’s fashion report for the at-home worker: Green plaid flannel LLBean shirt, Levi’s cargo pants, Crocs since I’m indoors. Mom’s doing well so far. Complaining less about her foot and the color is moving back toward normal.

    Mindy, glad your Grandmother is doing better. Hope she is well enough to be out of the hospital soon.

  46. When I was young I was fascinated by an uncle’s tattoos. They were new and brightly colored renderings of the Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote. Today they’re just ugly purplish blobs.

    Nope, not a fan of tats. Or of body piercings.

  47. Never understood tattoos and never will. I bite my tongue but sometimes I can’t help but judge, especially the ones with the silver dollar earlobes. Those make me turn away.

    However I have a “smile” on my left buttock from my hip replacement… In our new house I have more mirrors and can’t help get a view of it every day. I look at it with amazement. Now if tattoos gave you the same discoloration and water retention that my “smile” created, no one would get tattoos.

  48. Did they do a smiley face or the scar left a smiling indention? My current minions have things like on tongues I can see. No idea what is on parts I can’t see. Last girl had a diamond stud through her cheek, described process, think I’d have glued on a fake. It was real, not a glue on. What is it? I have a family member, a cousin twice removed he supposedly makes over 300 thousand as a body artist.

    Hey, I like the way you two dress. I get catalogs from LL Bean, Lands End and REI and a few others. My favorite men’s clothes providers. It must be the kind of men I know.

    I counted and I have about 60 pairs of print stretch leggings, 30 pairs of assorted skinny jeans and that doesn’t include exercise or sports ones. I could scare up a skirt and maybe a dress but nothing more formal except for those crocheted tunics Ghost instigated me buying. Lots of sweaters and tunics, tees and ruanas.

    This is actually interesting. We know what Debbe wears and Trapper likes jeans, emb likes turtlenecks and plush shirts if I remember right, loon likes topless. Seriously, what does Village like to wear?

  49. Query for eMb: My resident multi-lined ground squirrel [“chipmunk” to me] – at least one of them – has apparently decided to come out and forage in our feeders. Normally, the little suckers don’t show up until approximately springtime, but no one would confuse today with springtime…the wind chill is close to zero, and will be -25 tonight, with an actual expected low of -4F. Currently, the northern zephyrs are fairly constant at 20-25 mph.

    For most of the year, they continually stuff their pouches with all the seeds they can fit in, run off, unload, and repeat until dark. I suppose, then, that they do not hibernate, else a lot of seeds would go uneaten. Or, do they sleep off the cold weather, but wake up for feeding now and then?

    Apparel: nothing of interest to anyone interested in clothing. I do wear flannel shirts for most of the year, more so as I’ve aged. It’s just a matter of trying to keep a bit warmer. Footwear is approved-for-diabetics shoes – just one pair – for outdoors, but fleece-lined leather slippers when indoors. The latter are wearing out, as parts of the innermost soles are exposed! Otherwise, standard garb is used. Aren’t you glad you asked?

  50. There is a channel on Pandora called Scotland the brave. One of my good friends is named Sutherland and I just discovered there is a clan Sutherland. No idea it was Scottish, he probably knows.

    There is a version on YouTube of Scotland the Brave being played by about a hundred marching regiments all at once. Now that is loud.

  51. Jackie, my brother’s got good taste. The LL Bean shirts came from him as Christmas presents and have been very well appreciated. Their shirts are available in the larger-than-normal sizes and fit me very well. I’ve always liked flannel, but I am definitely a hard-to-fit guy.

  52. Just talking to Glenn, my resident deputy and carpenter plumber who has same problem. He was unloading crown moldings for kitchen out of my van and he said I could open a department store with my clothes. I have too many and I am sorting them. I am forgetting EVER moving them again unless I give them away. Forget seasonal, they are sorted, I will just walk and pick an outfit out.

    Anyway, when you are big and tall you don’t have options short petite do it seems.

  53. c x-p: ‘My resident multi-lined ground squirrel [“chipmunk” to me] โ€“ at least one of them โ€“ has apparently decided to come out and forage in our feeders.’

    Cannot remember just where you live, but am thinking that it’s farther east than any ground squirrel other than Tamias striatus, the Eastern Chipmunk. Unlike most ground squirrels in Spermophilus and related genera, they do store food underground. They are also light hibernators, and do come out occasionally in winter and forage. Not at all surprising that they visit your feeder.

    Peace, emb

  54. I wear a lot of flannel, too..to keep warm. I never used to have a “keep warm” problem. I guess it comes with age (I will be 67 tomorrow). I also have some shirts that are not flannel but are much warmer than flannel. Several layers in each garment. This coming Sunday we will be going to church with temps around zero and wind chills way below. Please, eMb, keep your lousy weather in Minn. Debbe and I and others here can do without it. Thanks.

    Steve Moore

  55. We have literally not had winter here. My stone Mason who is building a second concrete river bed through middle of my property going north south to meet the one that runs east west to drain the flash flooding that now goes around my house is trying to get concrete dry. He says we may get sleet or snow this weekend. Last I looked it was going to be 60s?

    Does anyone besides Ghost wear ties? To work, to church or socially?

    The idea of casual pants less Friday is appealing in some cases but not all.

  56. c x-p: She wrote that article in ’99, presumably as an undergrad or grad student at the U. Mich. Mus. of Zool. She is now a volunteer at Friends of the Rouge River Watershed [or such], in Dearborn, MI. Infer she may have another source of support.


    Sam, As I used to write in my monthly stargazer columns, ‘the management is not responsible for the weather’.

    Peace, emb

  57. Jimmy, I can relate to today’s original strip. I played with Lincoln Logs when small, and Legos when bigger. One is a major slip hazard and the other is a cheap and easy substitute for caltrops.

    And anyone with cats has had the experience of stepping on something uncomfortable too. Bottle caps, nail files, what-have-you.

  58. Happy Birthday Sam. You make three of us who have had birthdays in February and it’s not even halfway through the month. That gives me an idea, wonder how the birthdays distribute through the months here in the Village. No dates, please. Just months. (don’t want to give id thieves any help)

  59. One of my friends just left wunderground weather. Something about company being sold and contracts not renewed but he rapidly got a new job with a creative company. He isn’t weather, he’s computer geek, a really funny and crazy one. He said it was fun to work for them. I think it was idea he might have to cut the beautiful long hair and beard. He acts and is one of the best re-enacts I have ever seen, does so many periods, I say his costume trunk must be size of a freight car.

  60. Exhausted and need to make my bed, take med and go to bed. I just can’t do work to midnight or all night. Of course I am lugging heavy clothes around and reaching and hanging them high overhead with a torn rotator cuff on right arm. Left is torn but right is completely torn. No surgery until January 2017.

    Made immense progress. You cannot find your clothes when someone mixes them up so badly. And don’t get me on whoever washed my black clothes with a mop! I do all my own laundry from now on unless my right arm falls off.

  61. Jackie, I believe I read last year that TWC has divested itself of its digital assets, including weather.com and Weather Underground, selling them to IBM.

  62. Yes, that is who my friend said. They were supposed to be also doing dress codes and hair and beard codes but I an sure that isn’t only reason a lot left. He dresses quite well, if casually but it is the magnificent hair, beard and mustaches he wears in his period acting roles. I think it’s a family tradition, his mom passed away but I’ve seen photos of her in costume too. I know him for his boat building but his wit is amazing. And this is all without pay so you’d have to be fascinated with history as well as costuming and acting.

  63. Thanks, eMb. If it reappears, I’ll make a point of looking at the lines more closely. I suspect we have the smaller one – the chipmunk.
    I had also checked on google.com in the meantime for information.

    Happy birthday, to Sam and anyone else to whom that is an appropriate greeting today. Sometimes I wish I were as young as you again but, then, I’d still have my knee replacements ahead of me – not wonderful.

  64. Cat woke up and is down terrorizing the small couch at end of bed. I hope my minions show up late today. I am going back to bed. Hope the rest of cat pack is cuddled in one of the cat houses. I may have to do laundry to stay warm as the central heat in that part of house is toasty. The one that keeps going out is the one in my half, always has. I keep thinking of my employee in Texas whose washer went out and she couldn’t afford to repair or replace it because her oil exec husband was out of work.

    So, she wore her mink to the laundrymat to stay warm while she did clothes. We said sell mink, get washer. She said she couldn’t, her mama would find out. A southerner would understand that. Wonder how oil execs are faring about now?

  65. Not well, I suspect, if they were counting on their stock options to keep them warm.

    P&PHS was dressed rather modestly the other day. Of course, for her that meant black skinny jeans and a filmy black shawl thing over a blouse that was dรฉcolletรฉ to the point of being not quite proper. In other words, just right for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ She never disappoints. As I’ve mentioned, she had lost some weight over the past year, a bit too much for my taste. Now she looks just right, having put just the right amount of “Pneumatic” back into “P&PHS”.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday, Indiana Sam. Wish you could have been there to see P&PHS’s cleavage. ๐Ÿ™‚

  66. From what I see on the Idiot Boxโ„ข this morning, something called Cupid’s Undie Race is taking place in a number of cities. (It’s a fund-raiser for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. )


    It’s just what it sounds like, and in some of those cities it is VERY cold. Leading me to wonder if a more accurate name might not be “The Pokie Mile”.

  67. Happy Birthday Sam!

    This is from a friend who posted it on Groundhog Day: Feast Day of St. Marmot ~ Patron saint of those of us who would prefer to sleep all the way though the cold dreary winter and wake up thin.

    Yes, I do prefer jeans, so today I’m wearing boot-cut jeans, slippers, and my pink Loodie shirt!

  68. Ghost you didn’t notice there were some males running? We all know about what cold does to them. No pokies.

    Do not give up your day job, Jackie. And don’t trade words with your betters.

    Ghost, does the hairdresser cut hair well? And would you patronize someone for their looks alone?

    Kitchen can be cooked in again. Going to make asparagii omelet with Multigrain toast and locally sourced orange marmalade, although lord knows where they grew those oranges in central Oklahoma?

  69. Mostly flannel shirts & blue jeans.
    Summer short sleeve cotton.
    2 pair Mason (brand) boots alternate days.
    Another pair for nice.
    Western boots for dress.

    Work is supplied button up short sleeve shirt &
    my Chino type pants.

    Ties for Church- weddings & funerals.

  70. Jackie: ‘We all know about what cold does to them. No pokies.’ Not true. Elaine and I were in the BSU bleachers one cool day when a male in a tee came out from the entrance from under the bleachers. She looked at him and said, quietly, to me, ‘Are you cold, or just glad to see me?’ Our pokies are just smaller than some. Vive la difference! Erectile tissue is such fun.

    Peace, emb

  71. She’s an excellent hair cutter, Jackie. The eye candy is just a bonus.

    And I wouldn’t walk around with a bad haircut if she worked in the nude. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    emb, I suspect Jackie may have been referring to the Dreaded Cold Weather Male Shrinkage Phenomenon. But perhaps not.

  72. Thank you, Old Bear! That is a wonderful song – and a wonderful performer!

    My daughter was fortunate to meet him once in FL. She was singing at high school music competition and he had kind words for her performance. Classy guy!

  73. At work I dress in business casual – no suits, but nice slacks and tops. I always look forward to Fridays for then I can dress in (nice) jeans!

    Home? PJs, sweats or jeans! I like my comfort.

  74. Ghost wins, correct answer. Since I never seem to have flat breasts I didn’t realize it was a phenomenon?

    Yes, I figured the hair mattered. Mine does.

    Actually the reason I asked about attire was I suspect we have all shifted into what is casual but I also suspect we fall into the neat casual category. Most of the people I see locally are so sloppy I would think them homeless in a big city. Tulsa has a bit more class but you have to remember I am a displaced Texan from upscale Houston and Dallas.

    Even though we shouldn’t, I still judge people by at least neatness and presentable appearance.

    Just finished brunch, it was delicious and the orange marmalade was really good, from Rogers, Arkansas. I bought it along with organic honey from my local feed and seed store. The label seems to say since 1934?

  75. I hope 1934 was not the sell-by date.

    Having a late lunch, surfing the tube. Judging by the little bit of a movie (“Charlie’s Angels”) I just ran across, business attire for Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Lui seems to be mostly bikinis and outfits with exposed midriffs, short skirts, and minimal undergarments.

  76. I am picky about orange marmalade, excessively so in honesty. I used to make and sell jellies, jams, marmalades, competes and butters, anything with sugar, fruit, veggies, nuts, wines. Over 150 different flavors. It has to be better than Smuckers for me to eat it.
    My only flavors I make consistently anymore are strawberry, red raspberry and peach and since I don’t eat it often I doubt I’d make any more.

    My company was called Jellies by Jam (which are my initials) My biggest sellers were probably jalapeรฑo which I did more than one type of and basil concord grape of all things.

  77. Watching the TV series of Victory at Sea is one of my memories from grade school days; loved the music and action shots. Had to view at friend Richard’s house, as we had no TV in those days. Only recently have made contact with Richard, known as a triathlete of note in his age category. He was diagnosed with some kind of cancer in his spine (or spinal fluid, if that is possible) and was just officially confirmed as being in remission. A number of us grade school mates are praying.

    Asked my son for the VaS set on disc a couple years ago at Christmas time. It was still enjoyable, though I could tell some of the shots were used more than once! Rodgers’ music still moves me.

    The Berry College bald eagles had 2 eggs ready to hatch as of a few days ago, but they had not hatched as of last evening. I have not checked on them today. The site can easily be googled.

  78. c ex-p, I like the Victory at Sea show as well, but it ran before my time. I saw segments as 16 mm film while in the Navy because they had it as part of their film library for training. Even though I have been out of active service since 1977, it just occurred to me how ironic it is that I began my active service after specialty school in Hawaii, then was transferred to Japan, and actually ended my sea service in the Philippines, flying home to the States from Clark Air Base. I got my copy of the series on DVD out of a Wal-mart bargain bin for around $5. Still looks and sounds good after all these years.

  79. ‘Since I never seem to have flat breasts I didnโ€™t realize it was a phenomenon.’ Janis obviously varies some / her overall weight, but Arlo seems to ‘like them, whatever I weigh.’ Wonderful line, and oh so true.

    One of the Page 3 girls several YA varied, presumably w/ her 29-day cycle, but what most would consider admirable all month. The Sun commented on it. Haven’t looked there for ages, expect she may have ‘retired’ from P.3.

    Haven’t looked at OF since I got home from Peak. Spelling is important.


    Peace, emb

  80. We all have our crosses to bear. Even skinny to point of looking like Ethel Kennedy in her prime I was still busty comparatively. At 110 pounds I was still a 36 DD. I began wearing a bra at age 8 or 9 and was mortified and hated being different. At age twelve I discovered I had become beautiful but I have never until recently come to terms with the issue. I hated my body and took revenge by not taking care of it, back and forth.

  81. Anon.: We do sad things to ourselves but mostly, at one adolescent moment or another, were guilty of reinforcing that tendency in others, when we didn’t distinguish btw. pretty or stylish or chic vs. truly beautiful.

    Peace, emb

  82. I was born in April.

    During my trucking days, as now, I wore either flannel or linen shirts (never torn or stained ones!), Dickies work pants, and either tennis shoes (dry weather, no unloading freight days) or my steel-toed, slip-resistant work boots.

    Of course that was a level or two above most truckers, but I was always treated better by customers than the drivers I heard complaining about those same customers.

  83. I am glad some of you are having nice weather. It has been -15F today with a wind chill of about -40F. It might warm up tomorrow to -1F if we are lucky. I don’t care as long as the car starts so I can take my sweetie out for a Valentine’s dinner.

  84. The Baltimore peregrine nest is on the Transamerica bldg., 100 Light St., 35 stories up. The URL below should have that marked. The webcam is pointed roughly S., so you are looking S. at southern downtown Baltimore + some arms of Chesapeake Bay, the main body of which is out of sight to the left. You can see where a major expressway heads SSW and tees over open water. You can drag the map around, and zoom in or out. The scoop about the peregrine pair is below the webcam at the URL about 10 posts above this. The pair reside here year round, since there is plenty of food. Peregrines used to be called ‘duck hawks’ but I’m guessing this pair mostly feeds on ‘Rock Doves / Rock Pigeons’ = the common pests introduced from Eur. in the late 18th or early 19th c., which cost US agriculture a few billion a year. + starlings, I expect, another alien we don’t need. Peace, emb


  85. Happy V Day, Villagers. I was born in April. Wear colored or denim jeans and turtlenecks most of the time (cold most of the time, remember why I moved.?) Dress up for church (although under choir robe 3/4 of year) and various meetings.

  86. Hello Villagers, my computer crashed a few days ago — wouldn’t start, had a failed hard drive. I was lost without A&J, the other comic strips, our Village, news sources, and Facebook. Son-in-law had gone to an event at Fenway Park and wasn’t available. Nancy was trying to keep herself, the goats, and the chickens warm with the wood stove. The computer was six years old and I guess in Computerland that’s a LONG time. I prevailed on an old friend to go to the Best Buy in Manchester, buy what I needed, bring it here and set it up. The dear man came through splendidly — his name is David. Such a nice name.

    So I’m on the new computer now, and it seemed very strange at first; I’m not used to doing this, but I must say that after an hour or two of noodling around it seems fairly simple. I was able to get on this site, anyway, and have greatly enjoyed catching up with what I’ve missed.

    More tomorrow but will say that my February birthday will be here in about a week.

  87. Welcome back Miss Charlotte. How I wish for a real Village with all of us as neighbors so we could check on each other instead of just wondering and worrying.

  88. Good morning Villagers….

    August, a Leo, hear me ROAR……….don’t really believe in all that ‘stuff’ though ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really a quiet, introverted type of lady.

    Miss Charlotte, so glad you got back online. And you ‘conquered’ your new computer.

    Radar shows snow, but it’s not snowing here…someone else is getting it…hahahhahha!!! It will probably start about the time I leave though.

    My Miss Prissies laid and I packed 206 cases of eggs, and quite of few of them were double yokers….sure wish I could bring home a tray of double yolkers….mmmmm, bacon and eggs!

    I gave myself a nickname at work. The other day as I was pushing and pulling the lifter, I noticed the little grunts coming out of me……my gosh, I thought, I sound like Scrat the squirrel that is always chasing that acorn..Ice Age movies. So it was ‘Skittles’ and Scrat yesterday! Skittles did the hauling of the eggs though.

    Wishes of a Happy Valentine’s Day to all…..

  89. Don’t know what’s up with gocomics…..I get server not found, had to come in the backdoor….arloandjanis.com ….I hope it comes up, as I enjoy the Sunday strip.

  90. Jackie, saw a headline on whether.com that said OK had a historic earthquake….did you? Just read the headline, I don’t log onto their videos……

  91. Can’t read today’s strip on Go comics, says not available. If we had earthquake I slept through it or thought they were exploding down at ammo dump. We still make most of bombs 20 miles south of me. And we worry about terrorists? Back to sleep. Cats are rioting.

  92. Now that my birthday is over, I can move on to better things………..happy birthday
    Charlotte (in advance)…………and happy Valentines Day to all!

    Steve Moore

    P. S. Weather this A. M. is much better than the original prediction. We are actually in double digits. Very little wind. I hope Debbe is as lucky.

  93. Happy Valentines day, all.

    This time a year ago I was waiting to go into surgery for my kidney transplant. The kidney is still working well and my health is improving. It was a good day.

    Debbe, my sister lives in Oklahoma City and she said there was a smallish earthquake yesterday. There seems to be a general increase in movement for smaller faults around Oklahoma. There appears to be some correlation with the increase in “fracking” for oil and gas.

  94. Ah, David, but someone will intone, ‘Correlation is not causation,’ and then claim that the quakes are caused by what ‘house’ Mercury was in the day that you were born, or maybe by secret atomic research done by the gubmint.

    BTW, the gubmint runs the Coast Guard, and I can think of situations where I’d be happy if they showed up to help. Locally, also the 911 response people, and I was happy when they showed up at 0100 or so for my 1st angina attack [turned out not to be cardiac, but esophageal, as did my second].

    Peace, emb

  95. Happy Valentines Day to all of you in the Village, whether speakers or lurkers.

    John in Richmond, Texas hasn’t been heard from lately. Maybe his adventure date is keeping him busy in a good way? Good for John.

    Mindy from Indy, hope your grandmother is recovering well. And that you are surviving being the lead trainer.

    Debbe, my brother and his wife get my mother flowers for Valentines and Mother’s Day. And I end up putting the vase on top of the refrigerator because it’s the one spot the cats can’t get to. One can make it, but she’s learned to leave them alone.

  96. Good morning. It is still morning, not noon yet. I am still waiting for my heating repairmen who when last heard from were in Vidalia, LA heading for Natchez Trace Parkway in their camper. They swear they are coming back in time for our spring weather.

    Happy Valentine’s Day. I am often grateful to no longer be a retail florust, candy shop and gift shop owner. Like now.

  97. A heating system repairman who vacations in the dead of winter? That makes about as much sense as a retail florist, candy shop and gift shop owner that takes off the week before St. Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, and Easter. Perhaps he needs to give serious consideration to a career change.

  98. They do play slots apparently.

    Can’t feel my toes but ten pounds dog is under my leg which is in fleece pajamas and we are under comforter. I have electric heaters but they are stored somewhere?

    OK, I have managed to not hear a single utterance of presidential candidate the Donald, decided if he becomes president I will accept no responsibility. Had no idea who current Mrs. Donald even was. But just now I saw an article about her and she has a huge pair of assets, real or not, and one photo had a clear prominent display of pokies.

    Why has Ghost not kept us advised of a possible First Lady of such character? And assets.

  99. I most likely already know more about all the prospective nominees for the office of President than I need or care to, without endeavoring to enlarge my knowledge base to encompass their spouses as well.

    Of course, for pokies, I could make an exception. ๐Ÿ™‚

  100. I didn’t even know her name…I had to google “Donald Trump’s wife”. From the images available, I’d say she’s had some “work” done, beyond in just the most obvious places. NTTAWWT, of course. And I certainly wouldn’t underestimate her intelligence because of her looks or surgical history.

    My cursory look didn’t reveal any pokies pics, but why do I have a suspicion there are nude photos out there, just waiting for the proper time to be made public? Oh, wait; because The Donald has already bought them all up?

  101. My one political cheap shot for this site: So for leading candidates the Republicans have the DT’s and the Democrats are leaning on BS. Sounds about right.

  102. Slovenes are not Russian; they are southern Slavs, as in the former Yugoslavia. Yugo = south, in Russian. When Yugoslavia was first formed, it referred to itself as the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, & Slovenes.

  103. Weather! Don’t all of you rush down here. Temp in Baton Rouge, LA 69 degrees @ 4:38PM and may go even higher tomorrow! We’re expecting temps in the 70’s all week!

    God bless us every one.

  104. Ghost, let’s hope Mrs. C doesn’t have any such photos. She could raise millions from people who would pay NOT to see them and outspend Trump.

  105. Remember the link I posted this morning???? Tomorrow, I go to Evansville, and pick up Ian. He has made a mature decision….his roommate does not work, chooses to bring in income in other ways. Ian is on edge, has decided he cannot make it work down there….I’m bringing him home tomorrow early afternoon. The Boss will probably put him back to work, he tried, but he said he cannot do it this way anymore….part time restaurant jobs, two of them a week. Walking to his jobs since he lives in downtown E’ville…

    Happy Valentin’s Day Debbe

  106. Sorry to hear it did not work out for Ian, but GLAD you you have him back at least for a while. It sounds like he tried his best and then did make a good decision. Keep us posted.

  107. Trucker et al.,

    One school I expected to find on that list was not there. Only coeds were photographed, including my late wife, but I believe the photos were only profile silhouettes, and the practice ended about ’49 or ’50. Maybe later, if I learned of it from the alum mag; cannot remember which.

    Rational was the same: poor posture. Never heard about pins, but I never saw the photos. Girls talked about it widely; few seemed much disturbed.

    Somebody got into them, a few women were harassed, perhaps in anonymous notes. The admin. then ended the project, and all the photos were destroyed. Most of the incidents in the article suggest it lasted elsewhere well into and maybe past the ’60s, and didn’t involve just silhouettes.

    Another note: male [I think, but remember only vaguely] and female frosh were examined, separately, on arrival in the phys. ed. bldg. Women, since many who examined them were male physicians or med students, were cautioned to bring a raincoat. One, either in fall ’48 or ’49, I think, brought a clear plastic one.

  108. Dear Debbe, wonderful news that Ian will be back with you, for a while anyway. Away from those big city “temptations” — that will ease your mind, I bet. Hoping that better job ideas will turn up eventually.

  109. Geez, weather this week here in 70s to 79 all week. Cat is barfing in bathroom and I can’t get a minion here while I am actually awake. Dogs may be cooked with heat on in dog house.

  110. Good morning Villagers….

    Mark…all those kitteh photos are so cute. Flowers for your Mother on Valentines Day is special. I once sent Mom roses one time on MY birthday. And yes, I have a cat that can jump up onto the top of the ‘frig and then on top of the cabinet….warmer up there I guess.

    SAM..it snowed all day here, temps rose to a balmy 22 degrees. Roads were bad, 4 wheeled from the snow covered highway to home. Might be about 3 inches out there…but in the 60’s on Friday….Mother Nature, gotta love her.

    Husband spoke with Ian last night and told him things would be different than before when he lived here. I also backed up my husband and told him the same. I do believe Ian has matured somewhat from his experiences down there. Life is tough, and the tough get it done.

    Spoke with Jonathan last night about Ian coming back to work, he said we could use him, that he could help me case while he does maintenance. Plus Ian can do some hen house cleaning. Since this Avian virus restrictions have been in place, no one is allowed to ‘blow’ out their hen houses….the place is so full of hen dust it’s horrible.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day.

  111. oh, I see Mark in TTown gave me a shout out yesterday. It’s narrowing down, the one my same age, also widowed seems very “energetic” towards me and looks very promising. We were actually on Market Square downtown Houston, (good lord, why did I get a jalapeno margarita?) she grabbed me all over, because it was a little cold and before you know it, we were actually dancing around on a street corner just like a Hollywood musical. The first one I crushed hard on eight months ago, 2 1/2 years older, who was wary of “where I was in my life” so soon after widowhood, has increasingly warmed up and after once saying she never saw us being together outside of our meetup.com groups has agreed to go out and “talk about things” , especially since I mentioned the fancy shmancy Perry’s SteakHouse in Sugar Land Town Square. It seems the one I had been regular with through the holidays and who had told me she probably wasn’t going to stay in Houston and would likely find a job elsewhere has let it cool down. That’s fine, helps me narrow it down.

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