Reasoning and Railing

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Today, from 2004, a companion strip to yesterday’s new-year’s ruminations. What kind of house do Arlo and Janis live in? Sometimes, it has a small deck out back, evidently in need of repair. It definitely has a patio somewhere in the backyard. It is clapboard sided, with a garage. It is federal blue, sort of, and has a short flight of steps up to a nominal landing in front. It has a TV room that opens to the kitchen via an open archway. It is two-story, with an unfinished attic. Beyond that, you know about as much as I.

90 responses to “Reasoning and Railing”

  1. Good morning all. I got up early for me an hour ago, had breakfast and insulin, blood sugars controlled. I can’t eat things like ice cream, beef, things I have been off. I try and I get sick. Our bodies adjust to a new reality. Mine is no matter if you likeD prime rib and burnt ends in past, forget eating them now.

    An interesting lesson I seem to be learning is you don’t have to eat it just because you bought it. I am learning to send it back, pack it up, feed it to dog. I may never eat it but putting it in a box keeps me from eating it and placates my soul.

    I remember some very wise advice I got at about age 17, “Honey, with your looks you don’t have to drink it just because some man bought you a drink.” Sazarach Bar, New Orleans, 1961. Funny I no longer drink, have ALWAYS adopted that philosophy. Learning to control food, another thing.

  2. One of the first things I learned about OTR trucking was that the portions served at truck stop restaurants were too big. To keep me from becoming too big I had to learn to ask for a box when the food was served. I’d put the excess in it and put it in a cooler in my truck. I had a little 12V “lunchbox” heater and plenty of foil to wrap the portions as needed.

    That was much better than trying to find a good spot on the engine to heat the food; diesel engines are too big (no convenient spots) and run much cooler than a car’s engine.

  3. “Federal blue” is a color I had not heard of before, so I Googled Federal Blue Color and looked at images. My monitor was awash in multiple shades of blue. Oh Well.

    I do know what a railing is, so I am good there. 🙂

  4. “Anonymous” – RE: yesterday. Thanks, I had already thought about seeing the Whooping Cranes out of Rockport this Spring. Stayed at the Hoopes House there, once, great B & B in an old house, facing the coast. She teaches general biology and ecology; we walked all around Enchanted Rock, north of Fredericksburg, on New Year’s. She pointed out the various scat we saw and how you could see it was from on omnivore, carnivore or herbivore. Also we walked all around a big city park in San Marcos along the river, it was closed from being all messed up after a flood and we crossed yellow closed-caution tape to get in – most romantic. I had us a pretty full holiday schedule of things to do, now I find out if we can just hang around and do nothing.

  5. Yes, that was for John in Richmond who is dating but David in Austin you could surprise your date of 32 years with a bird watching trip. Definitely upscale from a tent!

    Ghost, you sure pick some easy women, even if we discount for your infinite charm and good looks. My first date after Mike died had to fly 8000 miles to meet me. Not easy to say it wasn’t fun, go home. And yes, Debbe you do grieve their death as they die. I had a year of grieving and five months trying to find myself. That self keeps evolving and I am looking forward to who I will be another year.

    Yes, Jerry, the hot sauce was funny but you told me to ignore you. I enjoy your cats.

    Thanks Mark for the Kitty Buffet. You can see lots of mud on porch. Martha Stewart hasn’t made it home yet!

  6. John in Richmond (the joke about me is Jackie has so many Johns we have to put town, country) I have to spend two weeks in Port Aransas, Texas from March 21 to April 3 building three Saturday Night Specials for my cancer fundraiser fleet. And yes, I am building them at the Farley Boat Works there with hopefully some volunteers besides me! If it wasn’t such a hike from Lighthouse Inn to the island I would stay there but I have to be at boat shop early each day so I will stay close by shop.

    Rockport is once again alive and thriving, good to see that.

    Sounds like you are doing fine with romantic. Romance isn’t dependent on props, it’s in your heart.

  7. It is funny how some people will search and search for inconsistencies over the storyline of their favorite sitcoms or watch a movie and say “That isn’t real!” or “that couldn’t happen!” Considering how long you have written this strip, there have been few instances of this.

    Of course A & J paradells our lives so much, we tend to believe that they are real!

  8. What? Next you’ll tell me no Santa or Easter bunny. “I’ll believe in you, if you’ll believe in me.”

    Mark, that was the most beautiful writing on loss and death I have ever read. Thank you.

  9. Jackie, that was a “fix-up” date; I didn’t pick her. I’d never met her before. And I’m certainly not bragging…she turned out to be Bat-Guano Crazy Lady.

  10. Ghost, and I feel guilty for laughing at you. I met my late husband on a blind date “go as my protection from his frat brother” to help a friend. That only lasted 48 years, a lifetime commitment totally unexpected. He was romantic in those days.

    The laughing at rose petals and champagne was from all those years in floral and liquor industry. The coolest thing I heard done was taking top off toilet tank and filling it with several dozen roses, putting petals in the commode.

    The salesman came unannounced to deliver my new pickup. He was sorely disappointed to find me wearing gray knit pajamas. I told him it was too cold for the Marilyn uniform. It is out parked, I need to put clo t he’s on and drive it down to insurance office. I know, I could call, but I need to go see ATT about security cameras as well. And phone is dead.

  11. There were several comments I could have made regarding the rose petals in the toilet bowl, but I managed to resist posting any of them.

    You’re welcome.

  12. At my sister-in-law’s funeral, my brother introduced one of his wife’s friends to my son as “someone that I once went on a blind date with.” My SIL earned a degree in working with the blind because of this friend (who is blind) and my brother took her to dinner once (with my SIL’s permission) because the friend was feeling depressed.

    When my son recounted the story after the funeral, my wife rolled her eyes and said to my son: “Be careful, Dan, that warped sense of humor is hereditary” At that comment, my daughter-in-law rolled her eyes in agreement.

  13. The petals in toilet bowl must have caught on because for a long time REALLY upscale hotels and restaurants did that in their public ladies rooms. The bathroom attendant had to sprinkle some with each flush. Like and post on your Facebook page if you remember that. Hey, that’s funny. I should do that, throw some petals in mine and take photo. Post.

  14. One of the milder scenarios that came to mind was the groom’s reaction to going into the honeymoon suite’s bathroom after his bride had just come out and finding the toilet bowl full of rose petals.

  15. Jackie, your suggestions for a romantic weekend remind me of an incident involving my ex and I. We went to a nice hotel and got a room with a large whirlpool tub. Went out and loaded up on things for the weekend, including lots of little votive candles. Filled tub, lit candles, turned off lights and got in tub to enjoy relaxing soak. About 15 minutes into this scene, the smoke alarm starts going off because of the candles. We both hop out, wet, and rush around putting out most of the candles in hopes the alarm will stop before somebody orders an evacuation. The alarm stops, nobody comes knocking and now we really need to soak in the tub to relax!

  16. Everytime a fire alarm has caused an evacuation of a hotel I have been wearing little, even in northern climates.
    Since my late husband didn’t do hot tubs I have discovered those on my own this past year. I just haul bath salts, bath oils and body washes. And by myself.

    And where would one find a virgin in today’s world? The second coming had best be another medium.

    I am awake but still in pain. Time for warmer temperate climate where the weather suits my clothes. I kicked out enough cats I squeezed in canopy bed with animals for that nap.

  17. Jackie, virgin-shortage is not a new problem…

    The day before the scheduled March of the Virgins through the streets of Tenochtitlan, the chief adviser of Moctezuma II told him, “Majesty, you will have to cancel the parade. One of the girls is sick, and the other one refuses to march by herself.”

  18. I would think that these days, the problem would be finding one willing to admit it. Society and the media has made a joke of it, and I find that very wrong.

  19. Mark, I concur. As a father of 4 girls, one of them married, her sisters with different forms and levels of autism, I feel like I am at war with society and the media at times. What passes as “adult” very often is merely sophomoric and truly moronic.

  20. And I as a woman agree, a woman’s choices should be her own but never seem to be. Trucker, I have totally fear for autistic girls who are often sexuall y abused b e cause they cannot discern between what they see on television and movies, are told by their peers. All autistic suffer from relationship issues and the females are talked about less but suffer the most, becoming victims of cruel and abusive peers usually. Not the kind of thing we normally talk about here but we should somewhere.

    It takes courage as an adult to talk about this. Think of the children.

    Bet you aren’t surprised I am pro choice but that extends to pro choice to control what happens to your body. None of us are mentally equipped to deal with sexuality ntelligently at any age, certainly not at age girl children are often forced to deal with it, just babies who can produce babies. Here in America, not some far distant foreign land.

  21. David there is no reason not to be romantic with your wife –
    It may get you another 32 years.

    Ole was crying at the table – Leana asks what was the matter.
    Ole Says”Remember when your dad said if I did not marry you he would send me to
    jail for 25 years”?
    Leana says “yes”
    Ole says ” I would be a free man now”

    Furnace heats air for conditioning (warming) air
    Boiler heats water for hydronic heating or
    makes steam heat.

    I would just like to get potatoes from our potato plants
    at least more than what we put in ground – the soil is too heavy
    around here- get bigger better spuds at market for less money and work.

    There is a joke with the punch line – “my great grand daughter is too young
    to stand on her own”

  22. And for those with heating issues, a thought. If your heat comes from a heat exchanger, when the weather is very cold your heat is not going to work well because there is not enough outside heat to be carried back into the house. That’s why many have supplemental electric/gas heat units added. So if you have one of these and aren’t getting enough heat, turn on the supplemental heat till the weather gets somewhat warmer.

  23. About virginity: Did a search. Several sites contain reliable info. Some may tell you what’s moral and not. )We were conventional, at her insistence [‘All men are prancing, leering billygoats’], and I’m glad we were.) This one tells you what the facts are and that you shouldn’t let peers pressure you and such.

    Unfortunately, when you do a search on virginity and hymen, you also get porn sites. They can be pretty gross, and may be virus ridden.

    Good Ole and Lena joke. We all know of too many marriages where one or both parties feel like that.

    Peace, emb

  24. Without looking I can tell you they work. Another method I have used are plastic garbage cans, you cut a door in and open and close it to harvest new potatoes. If you can estimate how far roots go, whether tom a toes, potatoes, any vegetable use recycled plastic or metal barrels with drain holes cut in sides and bottoms. You then can put rock, broken concrete, etc. In bottom with ordinary cheap soil and put top with really good composted potting soils you buy. I have a friend down in Pensacola that does his entire garden like this. He calls it the Fat Boy Garden because he can do all his work standing up and low maintenance.

    Last idiot minions dumped all my hundreds and hundreds of $$$ of potting soil down in ditch. They were supposed to retrieve it. Didn’t but I don’t garden in native Okie clays.

  25. Mark
    Plant potato eye in ground in center of old tire.
    As plant grows add straw and tires. Black tires add heat so you can start early
    Can get to 5-7 tires tall.
    Harvest by removing tires and spreading straw.
    No digging.

    Haven’t done it but know people that have.

  26. Ex used a simple method to grow tomatoes last year. Buy planting soil, plants, and tomato cages. Take a screwdriver and poke holes in the bottom third of the bags of soil. Open bag and roll top down to level of soil. Put the bags where you want to grow your tomatoes. Take out enough soil to plant your plants, then cover the roots. Insert the tomato cage. Then just water as needed. Serves same purpose as grow bag.

  27. Can;t stack the tires down here. City considers them a health hazard because mosquitoes breed in standing water in them. Although you might be able to convince them otherwise when filled with growing medium.

  28. Presumably you could grow those potato/eggplant hybrids in straw or leaf litter. We did the latter quite successfully with potatoes in the ’70s or ’80s. Nice clean potatoes, no digging. We quit because yellowjackets built a nest in the leaf litter, and potatoes from the store were just as good. I expect yellowjackets might also happily nest in straw.

    Lost a half-uncle I never met [some years older than Mom, who was the oldest of 6 full siblings] to multiple wasp or yellowjacket stings. Didn’t die right away, but never fully recovered.

    Peace, emb

  29. I haven’t tried the hay bale method yet but a lot of people swear by it. I had some straw bales aging out in garden area and I noticed minions had disposed of them. You dig out holes and put composted soil in holes.

    What my minions know about gardening could be put on the head of the proverbial pin.even with instructions.

    If I get a warm day I need to get out there and throw some bulbs in the ground. Weird weather, there are daffodils up they didn’t manage to dig up.

    I am looking for an outdoor heater and simple gas grill with black grill or grill plate that operate off natural gas, not bottled gas. Everything seems to be stainless steel, fancy smancy and run on a bottle of gas. We have moved to reclaiming my kitchen patio with new rock patio, walks and my fish pond fountain that has languished for 20 years. This is for that patio, it’s about as large as a big den or living dining room combined. There is water, natural gas and electricity out there and a eight foot privacy fence surrounding.

  30. At those prices no wonder most restaurants don’t do outside patio seating! I used to have natural gas grills and lights down in Houston and New Orleans but not heaters. I bought those from my gas company there. I was going to call Oklahoma Natural Gas tomorrow but I hate being put on hold.

    The kind of grill I am looking for resembles the kind they put at campsites like state and national parks. No chrome, lots of iron looking metal and a black or brown top. Very low tech.

  31. Finishing hanging, folding, sorting, storing laundry. Saved out clean sheets, blanket, comforter, etc to make bed in morning. Martha may check in?

    Nothing strengthens your resolution like spending days doing the work you have paid someone else to do. I am getting dressed early in morning and starting my day by hiring the trio connected to $$ General. She is assistant manager and I knew her mother in her fabric and quilt shop since I moved here. In this area that’s a recommendation. LOL

    So I go to county offices to see district attorney. Helps I have a deputy and two of their uncles who will testify on charges.

    Oh and put new truck on insurance and register it. And buy ATT cameras. Maybe sign up for alarms too.

  32. Note to self, learn to iron again, at least the pillowcases. Downtown Abbey servants actually “serve”. Today they hide the evidence. Hal changed that word. In today’s world is no one supposed to be a servant? Guess not, my bunch seems to think I want to adopt them like I do the stray cats.

    I’m not that lonely yet. Those are the words from a country song.

    About clothes. Almost anything that remains will fit me so that is not an issue. Question is would I wear it or am I just archiving it for a little longer? Same thing on anything else I own. Wait Jimmy did a bunch of strips on this didn’t he? Thought so, just about this time of year too.

  33. Good morning Villagers…

    JJ has been getting deep in his commentary from yesterday to the retro above. Slid it right in there didn’t you? Love the ‘fence’ giving in…..another ‘bump’ in life.

    David, sorry about the mix up, should pay closer attention, might have to start taking notes 🙂

    Mark, will have to go back and reread the article I sped read until the final paragraph, and life goes on.

    Steve and Jean, yes it could have been worse….and I thought worse too. Like a new furnace. And you are right, I’ve not seen the bill, so I don’t know what was wrong….my husband keeps this house running….and he does a wonderful job.

    Well, two sewn belts done and about a half a dozen or more to go. Getting little eggs from the girls. Told the Boss I had to dry off two cages of hens because of water leaks, they were saturated. He said, ‘I’m not paying you to dry off hens, but I do appreciate your concern.”

    And another auger (same one we had trouble with a couple of weeks ago) came out. The Boss had me follow him to watch where he could pin point the trouble. He used a hooked rod and pulled on the auger to see if it was caught in the feeding tubes, motors….and I’m thinking….you’re nuts if you think I’m going to play with augers….like your eggs, you don’t pay me enough 🙂 that’s what I thought, but didn’t say.

    Jackie, you iron pillow cases???? I haven’t had an iron in my hand in many, many, years….since Mom owned the bridal shop. Ever try ironing a bridal gown when the steamer would not get the wrinkles out….swore I’d never iron again.

    Jerry… can be very addictive….I know, I remember when I first discover that site… should see my screen saver 🙂

    If it’s Wednesday, Happy Hump Day….

  34. Good morning Debbe. I finally did it, stayed up until you got up for work. I hate wrinkled anything. What the heck are they making bed linens out of nowadays? They look worse than my dish rags.

    I am enjoying Janis’s walk. Funny.

    Raining all night here. Finally going to bed, have to move a cat and dog. Good night.

  35. That’s an Elvis cat, but I’ve never seen him do that. Elvis had a female orange cat that used to visit, but I haven’t seen her recently.

  36. Debbe, when I was a young kid I learned to iron anything. We ironed sheets, table clothes, my grandfather’s underwear, jeans, work clothes, aprons, sunbonnets, Granny’s underwear and slips, dresses, my can can petticoats, all starched.

    And dresser scarves. A lot of dresser scarves and curtains. Just like in Hooter Villegas and Little House on the Prairie. How charming?

  37. I enjoyed today’s strip very much. Often I answer the question about the weather in the same way. At least in Detroit we can say “How about those Lions” Since they have not won a championship since I was one year old, they are pretty consistent.

    Now if they win the Super Bowl, Hell will freeze over and we are back to the political question!

  38. Well, the furnace guys came out, and about an hour later and a new thermostat and some tinkering with the outside unit and we have heat again. Yay! It only cost us $264, and they *think* the problem is fixed and we shouldn’t have any more problems. sigh…

  39. Hired two new minions whose mama is assistant manager at $$ General and works for my male friend who left Wally World years ago and runs a tight, impeccable store. Her work ethics are good. Will have daughter and niece singly or together with mom as backup. Store is one mile from my house.

    They will be here early in morning to pick up where others stopped.

    In meantime, I am working a,one and very enlightening.

  40. From the song, “My hat it has three corners, (three corners has my hat.)” Carnival of Venice– of course, now I have that echoing through my brain as an ear-worm!

    As far as romancing my wife, for now she thinks it is romantic enough for me to stay OUT of the hospital.

    However, for the year: In May a trip to Sedona, Arizona, then The Grand Canyon. That was followed in July by a trip to Estes Park, Colorado, with very limited distance hikes (longest was about 1/2 mile, with about 200 feet change in elevation, and both crutches). In October we drove to Grand Junction, Colorado to see fall colors and visit my daughter & son-in-law. In November we went deer hunting back in Texas, where she sat with me in the deer stand every morning. I shot a 10-point 200-lb whitetail buck. Over Thanksgiving we traveled back to Colorado, where we rode snowmobiles on the Grand Mesa, watched elk in the valleys near Gateway, Colorado, then soaked in the hot springs pool in Ouray, Colorado. Finally, for our anniversary on New Year’s Eve, we traveled to Memphis and watched the Arkansas Razorbacks thrash the K-State Wildcats in the Liberty Bowl on January 2nd.

    A beach trip is probably next up, but no tent camping. We have a nice camper trailer that we bought so we could travel while I was still on dialysis. It has a sitting area with recliners which was where I did dialysis when we traveled. If Elise didn’t work in tax, we might come down to Port A for the wooden boat build. Not much time available in the spring, though.

    Finally, on container gardening, I use something called an Earthbox. It is a container with a built-in reservoir to be sure plant get consistent water. Google “Earthbox” for more information. It isn’t good for underground produce, but does wonderfully for above ground stuff. Grow bags are a good choice for potatoes, I’m told. Can do it by adding soil or decomposed straw/hay in layers as the plant grows. Since the bags are one use, just cut a hole in the side near the bottom to pull new potatoes. Harvest by dumping the bags and picking up potatoes!

    We have lot’s of saved-up adventuring to catch up on from all the time I was on dialysis. My health still isn’t great, but it is at least better than it was AND I’m not tied to a dialysis machine.

  41. Yep, 3-cornered hat on the ground reminded me. German college drinking song, Carnival of Venice tune. Do current Studenten do this? Probably beer in one hand and ‘mobile device’ in other. At one time, of course, all urban males wore them, British Isles, Continent, 13 colonies.

    Mein Hut der hat drei Ecken,
    Drei Ecken hat mein Hut,
    Und hat er[?] nicht drei Ecken,
    Dann ist es nicht mein Hut.

    Now you can all have ear-worms. Not sure about proper pronoun in line 3. Think the rest is ok. ‘Mein Hut drei Ecken’ should get a proper site.

    Peace, emb

  42. Searched, but only lyrics available had slightly different . Family and I learned the song, decades back, from an Eric Kunz LP of German drinking songs. Kunz and chorus were Austrian.

    Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken,
    drei Ecken hat mein Hut.
    Und hätt‘ er nicht drei Ecken,
    so wär’s auch nicht mein Hut.

    Last line translates roughly, ‘It would not be my hat.’

    Most sites called, or showed it as, a children’s song, accompanied by gestures. Now we know more than we did. Favorite botany prof at Cornell U. often said, ‘The more you know, the better off you are.’ There are, of course, exceptions; he knew that. Peace, emb

  43. Lovely. That much black tells us it’s a female. ‘. . . harfang des neiges’ should mean owl of snow, but harfang doesn’t sound French. Search time. Peace, emb

  44. Apparently ‘harfang’ is Fr. for a large owl, with ‘ear tufts’ or not, and also for snowy owls in particular. ‘Hibou des neiges’ is also used. Lots of new terms / my A&J dictionary.

    The disc of feathers on any owl’s face is essentially an earphone [a feathery pinna] that funnels sound to the bird’s ear openings. Only [most] mammals have a fleshy pinna; in many, it also functions as a radiator for excess body heat [elephants, jackrabbits].

    Peace, emb

  45. I’m one of those nerds that have tried to figure out who lives where in the neighborhood. I believe that the Days have a corner lot. Next is the Bumstead house and then Herb’s house. Janis has met some of the neighbors, but I don’t know where they live. We only know that one of the neighbor ladies is separated from her husband. We never see Arlo’s mailman. I guess that he has an exclusive contract with the Bumsteads. I do wonder if Arlo is in Dagwood’s carpool.

  46. My  memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.

    Also,  my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.


    The memory is the second thing to go,
    I can’t remember what the second thing is.

  47. Good morning Villagers…..

    I love opening up to this retro strip, I still laugh every time I see it. Classic….this I can identify with 🙂 Sometimes, I’m a walking Murphy’s Law.

    We have two days to get those windows closed at the hen house before “The Big Chill” on Sunday (the high tomorrow will be in 50’s)….supposed to get a little snow, but with temps on Sunday night of 11 degrees and winds blowing 10 to 25 miles an hour….I’m already not looking forward to getting out on Monday. So every time I talk to the Boss today, I’ll remind him of those windows.

    Old Bear, you’re not alone….I had to read your post twice to get it 🙂

    Jerry, very good at putting the neighborhood together….forgot about Dagwood’s carpooling. Never hear about carpooling anymore.

    Jackie….look at your label as to where your sheets are manufactured….that will answer your questions.

    AND….Ian called me yesterday. So good to hear his voice. He was on break from his job. We talked awhile, I miss him and he said he missed me too. He is struggling, but is determined to make it. Making minimum wage washing dishes now, but is going to approach the owner about learning ‘the grill’ when one of the chefs quits next month. I’m very proud of him.

    Ya’ll have a blessed PAYDAY…..

    Jean, love your optimism…it only cost…, I’ll squeeze an extra 2 cents out of dime if I could.

    Mark, that was an awesome video of a beautiful creature. My Mom collected owl figurines, one of which was a snow owl.

  48. Debbe: ‘ “The Big Chill” on Sunday (the high tomorrow will be in 50?s)….supposed to get a little snow, but with temps on Sunday night of 11 degrees and winds blowing 10 to 25 miles an hour….I’m already not looking forward to getting out on Monday.’

    Maybe we’re at its northern edge. High of 32 F Wed [I think]. Not sure if that counts as a January thaw. Highs tomorrow and supposed to be single digits below 0 F. Hope it won’t be windy; forgot to note that column.

    Am guessing we won’t see -40 this year. Peace, emb

  49. Jimmy, the daily offering touched close to our hearts. We still miss our cabin in the woods. Spent 11 wonderful years living with deer, fox, raccoons, coyote, turkey, etc. Winter commutes was always fun: private lane to state hiway, to county road, to interstate. Spring flowers. Summer birds and baby turkeys.. Fall leaves. Ahh!

  50. Sand have you lived in Houston long enough to have read and remembered Jef Millar of Houston Chronicle when he wrote his column and first wife? The search for the perfect place in the country? Finding it? Trips with the cats? Selling it?

    Creator of Tank McNamara comic strip for rest of the world.

  51. The last thing I read on here was Ghosts comment at 7.47 p.m. about the nude sunbathing strip. I remember changing sheets to flannel, plus comforter. I remember waking up a few times to find desk light on and went back to sleep. New minions are in sunroom cleaning.. I need to do errands from yesterday today.

  52. Debbe, I have to be optimistic. The last time we had to have the AC unit worked on it had to be replaced. I’m not looking forward to hearing we need a new furnace.

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