In the Footsteps of Little Billy

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This old Sunday has run here before, but that was a few years ago. And I like it. There is big news today in my old hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Harper Lee’s new old novel “Go Set a Watchman” is being released. Apparently, a lot of people already are restless, because the real-life Atticus Finch, Lee’s father, wasn’t Gregory Peck after all. I am looking forward to reading the book, and I’m reserving judgment until then. Things have been kind of slow around the Web site this summer, but be sure to check in next week. Arlo & Janis turns 30 on July 29, and I expect we’ll have a modest party. And did I mention it’s hot?

196 responses to “In the Footsteps of Little Billy”

  1. “…restless”, indeed. Most of the authors of the reports about and the reviews of the new book (and the writers of the comments thereto) I’ve read seem to be of the opinion that their corn flakes have been peed into.

  2. I have a lot of trepidation about Go Set A Watchman… I feel if Harper Lee really wanted us to see it she would have published it years ago. And yes, apparently Atticus Finch wasn’t the saintly figure we thought he was.
    On another note, would love Jimmy’s reaction to the return of Bloom County after 25 years. Other than Peanuts and A&J, no strip was a bigger part of my life than Bloom County.

  3. I haven’t made a decision yet about Watchman. I love To Kill A Mockingbird and don’t really want anything to spoil that, even if it is another book by Harper Lee. And I do agree with Jim that if she had wanted us to read the book, Lee would have published it long ago.

    On the other hand, I am thrilled…THRILLED!…over the return of Bloom County: The New Adventures Of Opus And Binkley. What’s in your Closet of Anxieties?

  4. Dang it Jean, I have been scooped, as Milo would say! My Facebook friends had been keeping me up on the momentous event but I was holding out for the great unveil.

  5. Don’t plan to read that book, only read the first because school required it. But, from what has appeared in the local press, the “new” book was written before Mockingbird and for whatever reason was not picked up. So Mockingbird was written but the whole experience put Ms. Lee off the publishing business. That was long ago and people/times change. I see no reason she could not change her mind and let this one go to press now. And judging it against Mockingbird would be like judging today’s version of A&J against the way Jimmy did it in 1985. Unfair and incorrect. Take Watchman for what it is, a first effort that is getting a second chance.

  6. Is it 30 years already? It seems just last month that Phil and I, a newly-married couple, first met Arlo and Janis in the Detroit Free Press and have been sharing their lives ever since. Thank you, Jimmy!

  7. What a coincidence! Did you realize that is the day Windows 10 makes it’s debut. Perhaps we can get a little icon to go in the tray to announce the event. Sounds good to me.

  8. I have to comment on today’s strip in the papers. My wife has recently picked up adult coloring books just to keep her mind busy (along with word-finds and cross-stitch). Some of the designs are very complex and colorful when done. It seems to have become a “senior” fad. And JJ peeked again.

  9. Ten years ago we were cleaning up after Hurricane Dennis as we were told that we hadn’t seen anything yet. Who would have guessed that we would go all this time with no storms?

  10. Jerry: It looks like it is our turn rather than yours! Here is SE Ohio, it rained 5.5 inches last night. The parking lot was flooded and our cars got water in them. We have been sweeping mud and wet vacuuming the cars. And we did not have it as bad as a lot!
    Expecting another severe storm tonight. Ah me…

  11. We do have our regularly scheduled afternoon thunderstorms but we’ve gone with a different kind of grass and don’t have to worry with the fungus any more. We’re surrounded by trees which block some of the wind and give us shade from the sun. Sorry to hear about the weather there. One of these days it will be our turn again.

  12. Today’s strip about the adult coloring books reminded me of this publisher’s offerings. I posted the same link shortly before Jimmy closed the comments, so I will repost here:

    Besides the patterns, they also have ones for classic art, various world art styles and for children.

    I really like the retro, reminds me of myself, and pays tribute to another great comic artist and his work.

  13. To Set a Watchman was written first and submitted to the publishers. A wise editor had her use the same setting (but 30 years earlier) and characters to tell the story in To Kill a Mockingbird. Now, all these years later, a busybody has unearthed the first story and persuaded Lee (I think she’s 89 now) to let it be published.

    Academically it’s interesting to see how the publication/editing process makes a difference in the quality of a story. Those who think she’s somehow written a new story in the intervening years will be disappointed.

    I’ll be skipping Watchman.

  14. Sorry you are having a heat wave, Jimmy. I am very happy with our weather here in the southern Rocky Mts – this has been the wettest and coolest spring and summer in, most likely, a generation. Even the burned out mountains are looking lively and green. Lakes, rivers and streams that were all but dry in March are now filling up, some rivers even flooding. I went camping near Durango CO over the weekend and the grasses in the meadows were hip deep and wildflowers were beating each other about the stamina for access to the sun.
    My wife and I have a couple of those mandala coloring books but I prefer painting (watercolor, not walls).

  15. Quiconque célèbre le quatorze de Juillet doit donner le salut traditionnel Français:

    “Nous nous rendons!”

    (Je préfère le quatrième de Juillet moi-même.)

  16. Whoever celebrates the Fourteenth of July must give the traditional French greeting:

    “We surrender!”

    (I prefer the Fourth of July myself.)

    Oddly enough, most online translators botch reflexive verbs in French like “surrender” (which has its origin in the French “se rendre.”)

    I was waiting to hear about A&J’s 30th. I am even happier that it has been with us all the way through and enjoyable the whole ride. Our Humble Author knows his audience.

  17. I was in Paris during the Bastille Day celebration in 1971 as a member of Young Americans in Concert. The girls in our group, having been pinched a few times by the local men, informed us that if we tried to do the same we wouldn’t live long enough to treasure the memory.

  18. Ghost, I am still irritated at the asinine fatuity of pronouncements by “scientists” that recant all sorts of things they had previously pronounced “settled.” Is Pluto a planet? Is that a brontosaurus? I await the latest word from the Oracles of Scientific Bloviation.

  19. Bad news Trapper Jesn, there is speculation that Bloom County may be a one-off like the one Watterson did. Let it not be trur! I need a second strip to read and lovr.

  20. Wasn’t it “Don’t trust some one over 30”?

    How can Pluto not be a planet (unless a dog) if it has a moon?/moons?

    Don’t remember where it said a planet had to be a certain size.
    Will they down grade Mercury if they find a bigger rock out there?

    What a bout the Gas Giants – If the core is small in proportion will they be demoted?
    Astronomy is getting to be as reliable as statistics.

  21. Evan: “Ghost, I am still irritated at the asinine fatuity of pronouncements by “scientists” that recant all sorts of things they had previously pronounced “settled.” Is Pluto a planet? Is that a brontosaurus? I await the latest word from the Oracles of Scientific Bloviation.

    Please don’t confuse classification and nomenclature with scientific investigation. And also don’t confuse media hype with scientific significance, as well as hype by some scientists themselves. Whatever you call Pluto will not change its behavior nor the importance of what we find there. [There would have been less fuss if Disney had named the dog Mephisto, and speelczech does not recognize Mephisto. But it recognizes speelczech.]

    Historically, it is likely that jostling among Kuiper Belt objects sent Pluto inward, where its interaction with Neptune led to its being locked into a 2:3 orbit with Neptune, one that brings it closer to Sol than Neptune for part of its long year. There is at least one KB object that is larger than Pluto. It may well have moons also. Should we add planets to the known 8 as we discover large KB objects, with or without moons. Several asteroids, mostly in the belt btw Mars and Jupiter have moons. The largest of the asteroids, Ceres, is as spherical as Pluto, and it was initially considered the 8th planet.

    The to-do over Brontosaurus, at least in part, resulted from an error in assigning the wrong skull to a body skeleton by a wealthy but prolific collector with minimal formal scientific training. We bloviate some, but not as routinely as many in other occupations, and most of us realize science can never provide certain answers about anything significant. We also, mostly, realize that neither can any other mortals.

    Peace, emb

  22. Good morning Villagers…

    Jerry, thank you for your encouraging compliment yesterday. I know Indy Mindy appreciates it too. And it’s like Mark said, and I also said to Evan….it’s not any different any place else. Same old bull###$, just different day 🙂

    Indy Mindy…..that downpour looks as bad as what we got here a couple of weeks ago, when it got up to the hen house, the creek went out of it’s banks.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day

  23. GR 😉 George Harrison….I knew he had cancer, and when he passed on, I cried. I still have the magazine with his pic on the cover. I have the 2 cd “All Things Mus Pass”, and one of my favorites on it is “Isn’t it a Pity”…..some people in this little community have gnomes in their front yard…when I see them I think of the album cover.

    Funny thing, yesterday I was singing “My Sweet Lord” at work…coincidence?


  24. BTW. I do enjoy the tribute to Bill Keane and the Family Circus. Between Dagwood, Beetle Bailey and Family Circus, these were my must reads every day. The morning paper had Peanuts, so I was not familiar with Sparky until they started showing up on TV.

    We had 7 kids in our family with one girl, so my Mom really identified with Thel.

  25. EMB, thanks for your response to that previous post. You did a much better job than I would have. I was going to suggest that rather than “bloviation” these were more examples of the internal error correction by which science lurches forward…


  26. Rusty, since JJ has shattered so many newspaper cartoon taboos, perhaps, just perhaps, A&J might decide to go to a nude beach for the anniversary.

    If anyone could pull it off, he could.

  27. Rusty:

    I think that was a one-shot not to go anywhere, just to show Janis’s naughty streak. She was eager, but I think there was no follow-up. Some strips stick in the male mind more than others.

    Peace, emb

  28. I understand the reasons behind the change in the definition of “planet”, but I still think Pluto should have been grandfathered in.

  29. Denise, it’s always bothered me that the decision to classify Pluto as a dwarf planet was pushed through on the last day when there wasn’t even a proper quorum. I’ve always thought that it should be brought up again for a second vote, following the rules this time. That’s not because I think that it wouldn’t pass but because as things now stand, dissenters can rightfully claim that the vote isn’t valid. This would give them a chance to have their say and it would (if passed) eliminate any complaints about irregularities in the original vote.

    I looked at that picture, emb, and I think that the kitten is batting at some steam.

  30. As I recall, one part of the “planet criteria” used to downgrade Pluto’s classification was felt to be problematic and bitterly criticized by some.

    And good point, Denise. One would think that seventy-five years should be sufficient for something to be grandfathered.

  31. Maybe Arlo and Janis will go to the coast and have a sail to celebrate. I don’t think Gus sold the boat, it just hasn’t been mentioned lately.

  32. Attention all BB King fans….AXL (349 Dish) Mr. King is on….gonna record it ’cause I know I will not make it till the end.

    GR 😉 it doesn’t get any better than this 🙂

    Slipped in here and have not read any of the above………………..

    goodnight and sleep dreams my friends

  33. Emb..scrolled a up to see your comment….look really close, you will see a mist coming out of the ‘whatever’ and the cat is ‘batting at it’….look really close,

  34. emd
    My speller did not like Mephisto but Mephistopheles was OK

    If you highlight and check suggestions there is a line to add.
    So you can have any word spelled anyway you want and not get the red underline.
    Or can be erudite on the second go round anyway.

  35. Good morning Villagers….

    …and I was right…never made it thru the BB King concert, woke up and husband and BIL changed the channel on me, got up and went to bed.

    So, GR 😉 , never got stoned while driving a taxi….well, me either 🙂 I think I rode in a taxi just once in my life, and I don’t recall where or when. Could of been one of those dreams too.

    Well, Andrew wrecked the GMC dead truck…totaled it. Head on collision with a local co-op truck, and totaled it out. I know he got a ticket for driving on an expired driver’s license, and I think he got a couple of more. Then he went MIA yesterday. Finally found him at his old house trying to retrieve a couple of tires to put on Rachael’s car, which is not running good. The Boss sent Davey to get him.

    And the drama continues…Ian is broke, his friend is broke, and they don’t even have the money for gas to get Ian back home. What is it about this generation that they don’t think ahead??!! I say it’s too much electronic gadgetry, games, life is not lived thru games and smart phones……………

    My rant is done…..

    Ya’ll have a blessed day

    say, where has Sandcastler been?

  36. Oh, and Jerry, thank you for the well wishes for a good day yesterday. The two teens were busy working when I got there at 7ish, and had been there since 6ish…they had cleaned chicken poop of the beams, and a couple of odds and ends. They wanted to beat the heat. I told them how much I appreciated them and thanked them for their hard work.

    Oh, and neither one of them are quitting…that is good news.

  37. That map was very enlightening, Old Bear.

    Debbe, you folks are in my prayers. Hooray for the teens for showing initiative and forethought, and for not leaving!

  38. Debbe 😉 I almost asked about Ian last night but decided to wait. I’m happy that you have at least heard from him. And I think your thought that electronic devices can too easily become a mechanism of unhealthy escapism is spot on.

    From what you’ve said, I suspect Ian was more “running away from work” than he was “running away from home”. Of course, I realize that to a mother that’s pretty much a distinction without a difference. God bless.

  39. Yes. My mother had most of hers removed when I was a preschooler and had to take thyroid supplements for the rest of her life. I know that there are some nasty side effects if you don’t, but my understanding is that it takes a while for them to show up, and Mom never had any. Don’t worry, it’s just one more pill to get in the habit of taking every day.

  40. My boss had his thyroid removed the last week of May. He was back to work a few weeks later. So far he’s doing okay, but projecting his voice his still pretty hard. He’s hoping the gravelly voice hangs around so he can join an Allman Brothers tribute band and quit the day job. Silver linings, I guess.

    Had to go in an hour earlier than planned today – all because of a meatball sandwich. (Long story.) Worked eleven hours, came home, and mowed the lawn – with my “no battery” lawn mower, as my neighbor’s young daughter calls it. She is amazed by the mower that “doesnt make noise, and doesn’t take “batteries” (Isn’t that what powers everything in a small child’s world? 🙂 ) Anyhow, 4am, was a long time ago. I’m tired. Night all!

    PS – Debbe – A big hug for you!

  41. GR6,

    Thanks again for a great memory about Harry Chapin. He was one of my favorites. I almost cried when he was killed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. His “Cat in the Cradle” is a real classic.

    Blessings and prayers for everyone.

  42. Trucker: Friend and former student had hers removed around age 30, cancer if I remember, has taken thyroid supplements ever since, seem to be no obvious ill effects. She and husband live in Eau Claire, WI, so see them irregularly. Near retirement if not already. One initial complication; she needed complete removal and one of the 4 parathyroid glands was too imbedded in the thyroid. Parathyroid hormone is crucial to life; she went into parathyroid shock but came out and does fine with only 3 parathyroids. I expect your surgeons know of the potential problem; also, thyroidectomy techniques may have improved over the decades.

    Bear: Thanks. Local dictionary apparently thinks parathyroid is only an adjective so rejected parathyroids. It now knows better.

    Peace, emb

  43. Thanks for the link to the article, Mark, and for the experiences shared. My wife is calmer about it all than I am… and hoping life afterwards will be better. The thyroid has to go… it’s alternately dumping too little and too much hormone, making her miserable. There probably is at least one cancerous nodule amongst the 10 that showed up on the echo.

  44. TruckerRon, You are welcome. Prayers for the best possible outcome. Thyroid replacement is pretty cheap with effective generics and pills are small so post-op routine should be easy to follow.

  45. I have stones in the salivary glands and have to take thyroid medication also. Unhappy side effect, at age 66 my hair is beginning to thin a little on top. Just when I thought I would never lose it!

  46. Good morning Villagers…

    Old Bear, that is too funny…..both comments 🙂

    My Dad, for years and years, has combed his hair over his bald spot. I get a chuckle when the wind blows….and there’s that bald spot.

    Indy Mindy…I don’t know how you do it. And then to go home and mow, the humidity is killing me. Don’t forget to hydrate 🙂

    Thanks all for the hugs and prayers, and today is PAYDAY. I somehow suspect Ian will be finding a way to get his paycheck. I think I will have The Boss hold on to it. I spoke to The Boss yesterday regarding Ian’s predicament. he said..”let him sit there and do some thinking, heh, he could have got up early and started walking home” (E’ville is like 80 miles SE of us), I laughed, and told him that Ian could even get a piece of cardboard and write ‘JASPER” on it. So today, I am going to make sure his life insurance is paid up….

    TR, my first cousin had her thyroid removed many years ago. She takes thyroid pills, and is doing just fine. Sorry, I can’t recall details, but it looks as though Mark (the link man 🙂 has come through again…you are good Mark, and I mean that as a compliment.

    gotta ya’ll have a bless day

  47. Just entered today’s high and the relative humidity…it’s supposed to be 93 degrees and if the relative humidity stays at 82 percent…it will feel like 127 degrees to the body:

    ..and Denise, those two boys left work yesterday to put up hay….I’m not going to push them much today. Just want to get that plastic egg in, I put out a colored, plastic Easter egg at the back of the belts (I put two out), and when that egg comes in, I have pulled in that day’s lay.

  48. TR, you may know this already… beware sun. Make sure she wears hat and and all the stuff one should do but often disregards. After surgery (or maybe it is the replacement pills) one is very sensistive to sun/heat. Other than that it isn’t too bad a process.

    Jimmy! 🙂

  49. What a great bear story, sand!

    Mindy, I will henceforward regard meatball sandwiches as suspect.

    Llee, thank you for the information on sun/heat and thyroid replacement medication. I have been on the med for about 25 years and don’t tolerate high temps well (though, honestly, didn’t like hot weather much before that). I never suspected there might be a link. I’ll have to do some research. (Still have my thyroid, it just doesn’t produce much hormone.)

    Debbe, I’m grinning, thinking of you watching for those colored plastic Easter eggs! It sounds like those two boys are are doing some responsible growing up…I bet it has something to do with your influence on them.

  50. Speaking of plastic eggs, whatever happened to the ones that came with pantyhose in them? Which always struck me as rather odd, for some reason.

    Have I mentioned that I consider pantyhose to be an abomination before God and man? I believe that I have.

  51. Many men and women feel that pantyhose are restrictive and obstructive, although, granted, possibly for different reasons. 🙂

    Like many things, though, a personal choice.

  52. Prayers for our grievously wounded Sailor; the families of our four dead Marines; and the safety of all members of our disarmed services.

  53. emb, thanks for the TIP. I got a good laugh out of that. It reminds me of a college joke I read. A college biology professor known for being absent-minded told his students one day that they were to begin studying amphibians. “And as an example, I have brought a frog with me.”. Whereupon he reaches into his coat pocket and produces a wrapped sandwich. He looks at it, then says, “That’s odd. I distinctly remember eating lunch.”.

  54. Ghost: Sure. dump what you want to strain into the hose (doesn’t have to be pantyhose, probably easier if just one leg) and let the juice run out. I never had heard of that, but it should work fine.

    I saw about the bear on FB. I’m with you, Ghost, on icky-looking celery. But I do seem to be a minority on that among my friends.

  55. NK, I would think they should have been washed first, or at least rinsed thoroughly to get the excess dye and other chemicals out. Where I had heard it was on TV, from a female contestant on a game show. She spoke of using it to strain spaghetti in an emergency.

    I had also heard Benny Hill mention using regular nylons for a strainer too. One of his songs had a line about knowing they were going to have a boiled pudding for dinner because his girlfriend’s mom only had one stocking on.

  56. Yes, Nancy, cleanliness was the issue I had in mind when I said “Colanders?”.

    The whiny “Braad” girl is no longer my choice for most annoying person in TV Commercial Land. Now it’s the obnoxious “credit swagger” woman who seems to think her good “credit score” bestows some type of minor deity-hood on her.

    A word to the wise…or to the not-so-wise who may think the above tactic is a good idea…I’ve known many, many highly experienced loan officers over the years, and I guarantee that if you come on like an a-hole to them, the more canny ones may give you a good interest rate up front, but they will find some way to get even with you on the back end. They know all the tricks. Especially the F&I (Finance & Insurance…or is that Fiction & Imagination?) guys at the car dealerships.

  57. HAHA about the pudding! As far as the washing is concerned, it sounds like you might be thinking of first use as a colander. I was thinking more of taking them off to use them!

  58. I thought that you might be interested in the following story. A young professional man stopped on his way home to have some adult beverages and do a little stress management. He was surprised when an overly made-up young lady plopped down beside him and, in a voice that indicated she was a few drinks ahead of him, she got right to the point. “I’ll do anything you want for $200.00” she said. “Excuse me?” he said. “You heard me. I’ll do anything you want for $200.” “Anything?” he asked. Leaning forward, she said in a slow husky voice ” An-y thing you want.” With a smile he replied “I think that we have a deal.” “Awright” she said. “What do you want me to do?” It was his turn to lean forward and in a loud whisper he said “Paint my house.”

  59. Wife had a “dormitory shirt” [a delightfully short night shirt only: no panties, but don’t bend over to pet the cat] that unbuttoned down the front. It was from Sears or Monkey Wards; the catalog didn’t describe it that way, but I always did. It wore out.

    Peace, emb

  60. Chris used to speak appreciatively of “the ten-foot nightgown” which I think he heard in a joke years ago. I guess the fun of removing the ten foot nightgown is the point of the joke. It was nice to think about it. In actual fact, the two of us wore nothing at all to bed, unless the weather was very cold. It was most enjoyable.

  61. Charlotte: “In actual fact, the two of us wore nothing at all to bed, unless the weather was very cold. It was most enjoyable.”

    We did that too, for decades. but, with age, we decided it was good to have our shoulders warm if they got uncovered, so went for the nightshirts. And maybe we have colder weather and more of it. Life is good, but it was better.

    Peace, emb

  62. emb, you reminded me of my daughters’ favorite Girl Scout Camp song:

    I wear my pink pajamas, in the summer when it’s hot.
    I wear my flannel nighties iIn the winter when it’s not.
    And sometimes in the springtime and sometimes in the fall,
    I jump in between the sheets with nothing on at all.

    Glory, glory, Hallelujah;
    Glory, glory, What’s it to you?
    Balmy breezes blowing through ya,
    With nothing on at all.

  63. Good morning Villagers…..

    Denise, you flatter me. I think it’s the money that motivates them, and the fact that the one teen’s father is strict and said you will help put up hay, and ‘Skittles’ got paid $10 an hour 🙂

    Now me, I was an over indulgent single mother….and it shows. Still no word from Ian and I have his paycheck. I called his friend’s cell phone number only to get that voice mail has not been activated. We shall see what today brings.

    I looked up his name on internet and found out he has a facebook page….but I don’t do facebook. I tried logging in using Ian’s password, only to find out he changed the password five months ago. So, maybe I need to sign up for facebook if the weekend doesn’t bring Ian out.

    Good Lord, it was hot and steamy yesterday….not a good day to wear panty hose 🙂 And yes, I did wear them, but then they came out with thigh highs…..much better. I haven’t had a pair of hose on in probably 15 years.

    When I left the hen house yesterday, it was 95 degrees inside the hen house. I kept all doors closed, fans running and it stayed at about 82 degrees in there with the door to the cooler (it was 48 degrees in there when I got to work) being opened and closed all day long it helped to keep the packing room cooler than the hen house.

    So, back to work I go today, and it’s going to be another scorcher.

    GR 😉

    ya’ll have a blessed Caturday

  64. Debbe, You’re a lot tougher than I am and I hope that you take that as the complement that was intended. What with product recalls and high heat chickens are taking a licking right now.

  65. emb, it was so nice to see a reference to “Monkey Ward”. In our household, too, they and Sears were where we shopped, with an occasional trip to J. C. Penney thrown in (though that was often just to pick up an order from the catalog).

    TruckerRon, your daughter’s song brought back a lot of memories. My friends and I sang a lot when I was a kid and in my teens. Villagers with kids, grands, and great-grands, do kids still sing silly songs?

    Debbe, I think it’s you. Heck, you inspire us here!

  66. Silly songs my favorite uncle, Vince Ross, taught me almost 3/4 of a century ago:

    How do you spell Chicago? Chicken in the car and the car won’t go, that’s how you spell Chicago.

    How do you spell New Orleans? Knife and a fork and a plate of greens, that’s how you spell New Orleans.
    I’ve taught these to all my grandchildren.

    Blessings and prayers for everyone.

  67. Debbie: Facebook is just like any other social circle – it can be as large or small as you want it to be (by invitation only), a way to keep in touch with friends you rarely see, and a source of support in good times and bad. Added plusses- join the A&J group and you’ll get to put faces to some familiar names or “friend” Jackie M and see pictures of her pretty new boat.

  68. Charlotte, I believe I’m gradually figuring out how you and Chris came to have seven children. 😉

    If I’d ever met someone like you, I probably wouldn’t still be single. 🙂

  69. Glancing at the local gaol’s booking record on my computer last evening, I noticed a face and associated name I’d not seen in years. Very much in line with my previous dealings with the individual, he’d been charged with Domestic Disturbance – 2nd Offense and various other “crimes of ill-temper” and, no surprise here, was wearing a surly facial expression and a “wife beater” shirt.

    Most of the memories his photo triggered, though, were of his father and older brother, both victims of homicides. (Apparently the mook doesn’t fall far from the tree.) And not just run-of-the-mill homicides, but “interesting” ones. The father, a victim of a never-solved murder with all the hallmarks of a professional hit. The brother, a victim of a crime of passion over a woman whose ex-husband beat him to death in front of her house; was convicted of man-slaughter; and jumped his appeal bond to became an international fugitive. A state investigator (and later county sheriff) I knew worked with the Mounties (I guess the “always get their man” thing is more than just a marketing slogan) to find him and return him to serve his term. The investigator/sheriff went on to have his own adventures in later years.

    And yes, I am so going to write one hell of a novel based on stuff I’ve seen, if I ever find the time. 🙂

  70. Dear emb, I couldn’t agree more, with your comment about you and your wife doing the same, until keeping shoulders warm. Yes, life is good, but it was better. Love the Scout Camp song TR sent in!

    Dearest Ghost — awwww — you are too kind. As for the criminals you recognised, you sure do have material for an interesting book.

    Debbe — wish we could help somehow. You are so resourceful, you will find a way — or Ian will, he sounds like a very smart kid.

  71. Charlotte, it is nice when 2 people have the same “thermostat”. I can be naked, on top of the covers and my wife would be under multiple sheets, blankets and comforters and be wearing fuzzy flannel PJs and still be a bit cold.

  72. Gary, that does have to be “worked around”. My feet were always cold. It was a happy day for me that I realised that he didn’t care a bit that I was wearing fuzzy warm socks and most likely, never even noticed.

  73. It use to be she was cold and I was warm – now I am warm and she is hot.

    Back when we heated with wood(strike that)we burned wood for heat – “Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap” was not just a saying.

  74. This has nothing to do with how any are attired or engaged between the sheets.

    I get a weekly email from Sky & Telescope about current news, this week’s dominated of course by the Pluto/Charon flyby. But there was also this item on dark nebulae [not the newly exotic Dark Matter], clouds light-years in diameter of ordinary matter gas and dust that are not lit up by nearby bright stars. It is long, much of it intelligible for lay people, and has internal URLs that you can also browse. I’m posting it mostly to aid you in appreciating the complexity out there, and the richness of what cosmologists study. These clouds are where the next generation of stars and star clusters are being born. Mostly such stars are hidden by the gas and dust around them, but many are known to be there from IR radiation that we can detect.

    There will not be a quiz.

    Peace, emb

  75. Good morning Villagers…..

    Jerry, Denise and Miss Charlotte….thank you, and in turn I come here to be inspired, learn, and laugh. As I have said before….ya’ll just like fam damily 🙂

    TR…..I want you to know, I was humming that song on my way to work and then some at work. Couldn’t remember your daughter’s lyrics though.

    Well, Ian FINALLY called. He’s going to come back today, he thinks. If they can find gas money. I told him I would give his friend $25 dollars for gas. Ian just doesn’t think too far ahead. I hope he has learned something from this little excursion. I also told him I needed a day off…going on day 19 here….and Evan is going to Camp Illiana for a week (it’s a Christian camp..I sent Ian a couple of times and the last time he came home with a girlfriend) So I will play the wait and see game today.

    The Boss has lost his cell phone….and that is a catastrophe because it’s always glued to his ear. Plus he doesn’t have a land line. All he could think of was all his contacts He popped in yesterday, and we discussed the rod conveyor. Going to put another coat of naval jelly on. How in the world did naval jelly come to be? Ian said it comes from your belly button….yeah right.

    Ruth, I did try Facebook once….didn’t really get that much out of it. I know my sister stays in contact a lot with her daughters in Indy. One time I got on Ians’ Facebook, and my sister had sent a picture of my Dad when he was in his later teens….Ian looks just like my Dad.

    gotta go…

    ya’ll have a blessed Sunday

  76. I went to Buffalo Wild Wings wants did not care for it all. I remember going to a rib place when my son was in college on a Sunday afternoon. We were able to watch every NFL game and all we had to do was turn the knob on the speaker to listen and watch the game of our choice. That was pretty cool.

    A couple years ago the whole family was at a pizza place and they have the Alabama Auburn game on. That was the year of the missed field goal that was run back for a touchdown. I happened to glance up and started to get really excited and everybody at the table wondered why. Then the whole place erupted!

  77. about sleeping temperatures – until my wife died I never had the weird problem of waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, I finally realized she kept the thermostat higher, so me keeping it lower I got cold and I wound up bunching myself up real tight, so if I’m too warm (lawn mowing too late) ceiling fan on low usually puts me to sleep.

  78. EMB, Thanks for reminding us that we occasionally need to take our heads out of our * and put it in the clouds. As for our house this morning, we put the tv on a music channel, classic rock, and started dancing around the great room. You should have seen Cilla’s eyes. She thinks we’ve gone crazy, and she’s probably right.

  79. And for a Sunday morning I can recommend nothing better than Vince Gill and Patty Loveless at George Jones” funeral. You won’t be sorry.

  80. NASA has a great website called “Astronomy Picture of the Day”
    Every day something for those who like to learn a little something. There’s an archive you can search and yesterday featured a video of the Pluto flyover.

  81. Anyone else been having a problem getting the OF streaming site? It has been a few days now, and all I get is some message about “unsupported video type” or “invalid file path”. Neither means anything to me. I get this whether I attempt to go to the site from my list of favorites or from a new google search; whether from Internet Explorer or from Mozilla Firefox.

  82. What I’m Not Watching On TV Right Now- “Total Divas”, which is apparently a fake reality show about stars of a fake sport. Besides, if I wanted to see a bunch of narcissistic, shallow, self-absorbed posers, I could just walk through the administration offices at work any Monday through Friday.

  83. A fake reality show about stars of a fake sport? Sounds like CSPAN to me. Especially with your description of the participants.

  84. c-x-p, I am not sure what is wrong. The OF site streams fine for me.

    But I did notice that the site uses Flash to stream the video and there have been constant security releases for Flash in the past couple of weeks. It is possible that the site is checking your version of Flash and refusing to work if you are not running the latest.

  85. c x-p: “it comes in fine for me.” I remember now that’s often not true. Often I get a message at the bottom that says something about checking the website. I click the X and I get an colorful moving spectrum that says Windows is seeking to fix the problem, the site flicks off and on, and then OF comes on.

    Peace, emb

  86. My son – the computer pro – visited and did a lot of stuff, including making the OF site available again. He said things which make me believe that Gary may have been on the right path. These are not things I will ever understand in this world (and won’t care about in the next world!) but I’m happy enough to be able to see OF again.
    Thanks to those who offered opinions.

  87. Dear c x-p, lucky you, having a son who can do all that! At my house, it’s catch-as-catch-can, which child or grandchild has what computer knowledge; how far away they live and how often they visit. I had to pay a helpful expert to fix the Flash Player problem I was having, but it was well worth it. I hadn’t been updating it when asked, thinking I didn’t need the updates; it seems that it gets all huffy and useless if you don’t.

    c x-p, how far away from you does your son live, and how often does he visit? I am just nosy and want to know. I’m glad the OF site works for you now.

  88. BTW, do be careful about installing updates; I’ve encountered some that are sneaky attempts to install malware. I’ve learned to always go to the providers’ websites and check to see (a) if there really is a download that I need and (b) to get it directly from them.

  89. He’s about 14-15 miles away. Except that he’s on call for his job 24/7 [and they DO call him at all hours], he tries to get here for Sunday mid-day meals. Sometimes he has the time to stay a while and fix our computers [if necessary], but not often. He is a bachelor so there are no other claims on his time aside from his own shopping, mowing, etc.

    A lot of today’s work was catching up on updates – some places don’t seem to offer them directly to users like me. Son saw that last week, so took data he needed and downloaded them onto a disc at his place this past week then used the disc to fix this laptop today. It would have been many long hours doing the downloads “live” last week.

    The downed crab apple tree from last Monday is now gone, along with some dead branches from our red oak and some all-too-live branches from a weed/tree. I’m pleased the cost wasn’t even near the thousand paid a few years back for an ash removal. However, this week’s removal was not done nearly as well as that ash removal.

  90. Good morning Villagers…..

    Jerry, what’s that old adage….dance like no one is watching….just be careful you don’t step on any cat tails 🙂

    Well, Ian has returned…with plans of moving to E’ville. And I am fine with that, but you just don’t give a one week’s notice, and a one week paycheck to up and move without a secured job. We will be doing a lot of talking today.

    Don’t know what The Boss has in mind, but school will be starting soon, Ian will be leaving…and I need someone hired. Marlene at the other hen house needs a co-worker too…Andrew is maintenance and she is in full production with over 200 cases of eggs a day….she is 67 and still going strong. She is an inspiration. She has worked with this family for over 20 years and has seen and heard it all.

    And Ian is my guru when it comes to old Dell here. But, he’ll be home every couple of weekends, that is if he’s not working. I’m going to have him go over this computer with a fine tooth comb and work out some kinks.

    Going to take tomorrow off, visit Mom, and the temp will be around 83 degrees….finally.

    ya’ll have a blessed Monday

  91. Debbe, I’m glad that Ian is rethinking his plans and doing a little prep work. It might be a good idea for him to start accumulating things he’ll need (basic furniture, pots and pans, linens, non-perishables like canned and packaged foods, security deposit and 1-2 months rent) little by little out of his current paychecks before he makes the move. That will take a while but can be worth the extra time. He can job hunt online and ask friends down there to let him know about any openings they hear about. And since lots of opportunities never make it to job postings, putting on a shirt and tie and dropping off resumes in person to places that appeal to him could get him interviews. (When I first moved out on my own, I spent months beforehand accumulating stuff and saving, and it really saved some headaches and heartaches once I moved. I count myself lucky that I was able to do that.)

  92. Debbe, tell Ian to check a website called It is a site that collates online job ads from many sources. You can search by both location and type of position you are looking for. Good luck to both of you.

  93. Trucker Ron, thank you for the good advice. Some idea like that may have made me not do those updates; I’ll remember what you said to do.

    Dear c x-p, glad to hear the details. Putting stuff on a disc — my, that is really high-tech. Good that you see your son quite often and he is knowledgable and willing to help. How nice that the fallen trees are taken care of, that’s off your mind.

  94. Jackie, here’s a model I wondered if your friends at Spyderco showed you. It addresses the question of how do ladies carry a knife when they are wearing garments with no pockets…or tiny swimsuits…or, in some cases apparently, no suit at all. 😉 Seriously, though, it’s an interesting story about how and why it was developed. Good on Sal.

  95. My step-son lost his 10 year old lab to cancer this weekend and we are all very sad. It’s like losing a family member. No, it is losing a member of the family. Speaking of family my mother is home after being in the hospital again. It’s the same old story. She needs to be in a nursing home, but she won’t do it. Life goes on.

  96. Good morning Villagers…

    Ha ah, but not before I bloviate!!!!! (The Village Orphanage Society…I love it 🙂 )

    Denise, I’ve given that advice to Ian. I’m hoping to talk to The Boss before Ian does, and he can give him the same advice. Ian asked me how I started out, well, first of all I started out by going to a business school, lived in a dorm, then moved into an apartment. And yes, I told him, there were days I went without. I’ve started putting towels and hand towels for him, with pillow cases. (Remember, I once worked at a hotel, and if there any marks on the linen, we would give them away, so I have lots of pillow cases and towels.) But I never thought about the groceries. Good Idea.

    Ian badly wants out of the hen house….I just want him to take it slowly. I reactivated my mother’s cell phone to give him. And NO, I am not upgrading it, he will take the flip phone as is, plus I will block texting. I know him….will call my sister today and tell her I will pick it up tomorrow.

    And yes, I am going in today. Good weather, high 84 degrees with a low of 61 tonight.

    Indy Mindy…what say ya??

    Jerry, our pets are our family…I am sorry to hear of your step son’s loss of his best friend.

    gotta go….

    ya’ll have a blessed day

  97. I love today’s real time strip…..all I have to do is sound the letter ‘s’, and my white cat Snowee comes prancing to me. When I come home, I will call out to her, and she’s there in a heartbeat, stands on her hind legs and ‘makes’ me pet her from head down to her tail….then I kiss my husband hello….ya know, there are priorities 🙂

  98. Jerry, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. My BIL and SIL had a lab named Fred who made room for everyone in his big doggy heart, and we were all the better for him. My understanding and good thoughts for your situation with your Mom. I was my Mom’s caregiver for nine years, caring for her in her home between hospitalizations and stints in rehab. She really shouldn’t have been in her home the last six years, but that was the only option she would accept.

    TruckerRon, that is awesome!

    Debbe, that was the way I prepped to move out on my own. Mom was a difficult person to live with, especially after Dad died when I was 14. I knew that once I left I could never stand to go back.

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