The Remote Present

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"
There is one good thing about being comic-strip characters: if you’re tired of that icky brown sofa, you easily can change it into an icky green sofa. If you don’t like that, you just change it back. The sofa in A&J, which practically is a character actor in its own right, is an almost identical copy of a sofa I owned in 1984, when I was developing the strip. It was easy to draw, which was a big plus in those days, and it was low, ideal for 360-degree viewing. However, I did not do a lot of complicated camera angles in those days. I drew mostly in profile, which required the least skill, and that included the sofa, for years depicted mostly as a square. As I said, it was easy to draw. Occasionally, I still will draw the sofa from profile, usually with Arlo’s head popping out of the top as he’s watching TV, but when you see that these days you can be sure I was pressed for time.

79 responses to “The Remote Present”

  1. Actually, Bob, it opened last evening. Look back a day.

    Prunella Mountjoy? Really? I won’t even say what image that calls to mind.

  2. Hi, Debbe 😉 Glad to see it appears that things are still rocking along on a somewhat even keel for you and yours.

    And hello to all the other Villagers. Oddly, I missed you guys. 🙂

    p.s. Steve, try not to develop a drinking problem while watching Airplane.

  3. Jackie, I hope you will give some thought to attempting to regulate your daily schedule, meal-wise and food intake-wise. I realize that is often easier said than done, but what you eat is just one part of a successful weight loss plan. And while you are obviously doing well with yours, your metabolism must be as confused as I am after six tequila shots. (Just kidding…I would never shoot a tequila.) A regular meal and sleep schedule can work wonders. Good luck.

  4. Hi Ghost, I agree, along with a regular sleep schedule! I will try to work on all three. My life has been a lot like a roller coaster. I ate that late because I had just rolled in from pedicuring and nails and shopping. I have discovered beef jerry and Diet Coke work as mid’meal rescue snacks and since I get so little sodium works out.

    Thank you for caring. Seriously. Awake and going to eat brunch in kitchen. Love, Jackie

  5. Good morning, Villagers, and hello again! I’ve been dropping in occasionally, but didn’t have anything to say, so I didn’t.

    I do understand Arlo’s frustration with trying to make an Internet star out of Luddie. I can sometimes get still shots of my cats, but if I try for video they immediately stop what they were doing and begin watching me, which makes the whole exercise pointless.

    As to remotes, if I were going to get a universal remote it would be this one:

    A bit pricey maybe, but ever so cool!

    Steve-don’t eat the fish!

  6. Hi, Jean dear. Good to hear from you…I’d wondered about you to the point of concern. As far as having nothing to say, well, that never stops me from posting. 🙂

  7. Good morning everybody. Jimmy, I just want you to know we’re all counting on you. I’m glad to see you back again. And I’m glad we can talk to each other again here.

    Trapper Jean, my smartphone has a remote feature built in. I have programmed in the satellite receiver, tv, Blu-Ray player and stereo so I can work them all with the phone if I want. One ring to rule them all….

    Jackie, you’re not the only one with a variable day. I did my laundry last night, miscalculated how long it would take, and didn’t get to bed to 2am.

  8. Jean, doesn’t stop any of us, I mean we aren’t rocket scientists or Ph.D.’s or doctors or lawyers are we? Ooops, that’s right, some of us are! Well, that doesn’t stop us either and we don’t always exactly have anything educational to say although some do.

    The point of a Village is the care shown for its’ inhabitants, the saying good morning, good night, how are you, how was your day?

    Yes, I missed you all in our hiatus and I miss you all enough to read here every day too, even if I am not posting anything. And when you disappear I worry and wonder. Like, where is Mark?
    Where is Sand? If you are on Facebook I check on you over there if I can.

    Isn’t that strange, isn’t that odd? Isn’t that funny and weird? Isn’t that a Barbara Streisand song? Love, Jackie Monies

  9. Am trying to figure out whether I ought to write a simple will (wife gets all; if she’s already gone, the kids get it equally) or a trust of some kind. One professional, an attorney, says to go the trust route; another professional who spent an entire career in the trusts/estates part of banking, says a will will do, that a trust is unnecessary. Both of them know my financial condition and desire to leave the estate as mentioned above.

    Any villagers out there who can clarify what conditions dictate the choice? At the moment, I favor the will route.

    I note, before I submit this, that this site does not think the above “will will” will be acceptable; I wonder how its electrons like three of the same word in a row!

  10. I’m another person glad to see the site back up. I was also glad to find out about the Arlo & Janis Fans site on Facebook and signed up so maybe next time I’ll get the word more quickly. But . . . I don’t visit there every day either.

    Very glad to now have the chance to return the happy birthday wishes to Old Bear for our mutual birthday. There’s a chart online ( that shows the percentage of US birthdays. July August and September birthdays are pretty common (my guess is they fall 9 months after the winter holidays). July 4, however is pretty uncommon, and my guess is that OB-GYNs do not like to work that holiday so they induce patients who will likely go into labor that day (that’s the guess of the person who wrote the article, too). My father was an OB-GYN and refused to induce for convenience. He said it doubled the incidence of complications, and although that percentage was pretty small, he didn’t think that convenience was a good reason for doubling it.

    This time of year I have lots of work for organizations I belong to (collecting dues and other money, producing chapter yearbooks, preparing for fall workshops) so I’d better get back to it. Plus, it’s time to go fix lunch. Oh, and Mark, my laundry is going as we speak.

    Great to be able to visit the Village again! See y’all later.

  11. Crud ex-prof, I set up a trust with my inheritance when my mom died, put everything in it, the houses, properties, assets, stocks, bank accounts. I have access to it and can use the money, spend the money, borrow against the money, whatever I want to do. I have always been a proponent of trusts, I quote Benjamin Franklin, “If one would know a man’s character, share an inheritance with him.”

    Even my boats, my car, everything is in that trust, nothing was left out. it has tax advantages but in my case, I am an only child but have children. The controversy and distrust, ill feelings had already begun and were in evidence. Money does strange things and brings out character flaws vividly. I worked with one of best trust attorneys in America, a woman, who was named top trust attorney in Oklahoma by I think U.S. News and World Report or its’ equivalent.

    My grandchildren are well provided for with educations. The money passes to third generation through administrators and trustees who will protect me if I become ill or disabled, provide for my care and expenses. It protects both me in my life and my descendants in my death. It is unbreakable and detailed. I would consider one that protected your wife for the remainder of hers, should you predecease her, protecting assets and seeing she has care needed.

    Enough said and seriousness. I am going to recreate! Love, Jackie

  12. Ah, too true, Jackie. I have seen the comity of more families destroyed by bickering over inheritances than I care to count.

    From Jimmy’s old neck of the woods (sands?) one year after Katrina, is a somewhat startling indication of just how ubiquitous “FEMA trailers” were at one time.

    I was offered one (a trailer, not a Rolls) after the storm but was fortunate enough to have other options and therefore was spared having to inhale formaldehyde fumes for a few months.

  13. I had previously seen that report, sand. My first thought was that someone is so brain-dead they do not understand the difference between Yellowstone and Disneyland, nor between an Audio-Animatronics bear and a real one. (I suspect the story is apocryphal, however.)

  14. Grrr…. Had a somewhat lengthy response to C ex-p’s will question, but couldn’t get it to post. Copied it, tried backing up and pasting it without success, and now the copy is gone too.

    Sand: My sister-in-law works at a state park on the coast in Georgia. Her response to the bear story was her own tale of visitors who yelled at them because their website did not warn that there might be bugs.

  15. C ex-p: new version of lost comment – if you have a simple family and situation (we do and it sounds like you do too), a simple will is probably enough. We followed our attorney’s advice and did a “life estate” deed on our house to make things easier for our niece and nephews but still protect us. Check with your state’s laws, of course.

    Everyone else – regardless of age, health, and how much you own: make sure you have the paperwork done designating power of attorney for regular and especially for healthcare issues should you need help. We dilly-dallied on this, in large part because the choices are less clear when you don’t have children (or other close family members that you expect to outlive). I feel much better now that we have this done!

  16. C-E-P,

    No will or trust from my father. I was the beneficiary for the insurance, which paid for burial and then was split between all kids. Also had quitclaim deed from his surviving second wife who transferred her rights to my Grandmother’s house (which was my father’s verbal desire). We sold and again divided evenly between the kids. There wasn’t a large enough estate to cause any disputes, but we trusted each other anyway.

    For my kids, my wife and I have fairly simple wills. The spouse gets any non-joint asset to which she may not already have access. In the event she predeceases, the two daughters get even shares of all remaining assets.

    My durable power of attorney and a medical power of attorney is already established for my wife, with successor to a daughter.

  17. This afternoon, I noted a memorial message on the marquee sign in front of a business formerly owned by a man who died ten years ago yesterday. (The business still carries his name.) He walked outside his house at the height of the storm to check for damage and was pinned to the ground by a falling tree. Due to the storm-delayed emergency response, he died of his injuries on site. His house was one block from my house, and I suspect it happened at about the same time a huge oak tree split my house in two. (I was not there, having chosen, wisely it seems, to shelter with my Mom, my sister and my BIL at his house.)

    Another man died a half block in the other direction from my house when his house blew off its foundation, and he was trapped and crushed in the wreckage. Just two of the many fatal events that occurred somewhere in “the landmass between New Orleans and Mobile”, August 29, 2005. (Damned Weather Channel jackass.)

  18. Ghost, I can hear your voice and the anger and the grief loud and clear. Both emotions are completely justified. I know what my reaction was to the Mississippi Gulf Coast that I loved so much after Camille. It took 20 years to go back and then Katrina took even more away forever and I went back two years later and my stomach still churns at the memory.

    You and others like you are there with it on a daily basis and living it. I do not know how you do it, maybe the same way I live with sorrows in my own life. But I admire you for it and I admire the love and devotion to the coastal life that doesn’t allow you to turn your back and leave. You are braver than I and I love you for that courage. Love, Jackie

  19. And on a bitter-sweet note…

    Pre-Katrina, Millionaire Widow Lady had a condominium in Biloxi just a ways up Beach Boulevard from the Bombay Bicycle Club. During the many pleasant weekends we spent at the condo, we found the BBC an excellent place to replenish carbs and protein. The last time I passed by the location a couple of years ago, it was still a vacant lot. And yes, some of the scars will last forever.

  20. Ghost, the movie’s name is on the next version of the song listed just below the one you linked.

    What happened to your Millionaire Widow Lady? Did she remarry? Die? Get too old? You speak of her fondly. I know one thing I have already discovered, like the Beatles sing, money can’t buy you love. It still takes a lot of work and compromise. Love, Jackie

  21. MWL is no longer living, Jackie.

    It was a point of personal pride that I never let her buy me anything other than token birthday and Christmas gifts. Nonetheless, some of the birthday gifts were memorable. One was a tie, presented in the same way Julia Roberts gave the tie to Richard Gere in “Pretty Woman”. And yes, it was a nice tie. 🙂

  22. Exactly, Ghost. Somehow I expected that to be what you’d say. You didn’t disappoint me. I find it ironic that one of the most ethical men I know is as mysterious as the meme of the most interesting man in the world, like a mystery man. You my friend are honest and honorable and that too is remarkable. Love, Jackie

  23. Good morning Villagers…

    I absolutely love today’s retro……still grinning…

    Talking about estates and such, we have a big problem with our Mom’s and Stepdad’s home. They never set up a trust or anything…..and both died in a nursing home. Now, the evil stepbrother (due to the amount of pot he smokes, not all synapses fire!) has come out…..lawyered up due to the help of a friend. I say let the Medicaid people have it, and if he wants to buy the house…let him. Because a few years back, the basement flooded…badly, and the house is now full of mold.

    My dead head stepbrother never came to Mom’s funeral either. Here’s a good conspiracy theory of his…the trails you see after a jet flies over is the government’s way of controlling the weather….hahahahahha…..see I told you he is brain dead!!

    Yesterday was a good work day…Skittles works good when it’s just him and me. I even took him lunch as he never comes prepared.

    And my luminating cross shines at night….will be taking it to the cemetery soon. Will bring home my Stepdad’s to make sure it still works…may need a new rechargeable battery.

    have a blessed day ya’ll………………..

  24. Ruth Anne:

    Fine, but what’s funny? Could be the yeast, no? Some current cultural thing nerds are not aware of? Maybe this is the start of a series.

    Actually, no rise is bad, but dense bread is often best. The standard breads in the store are fluff. I’m a fan of Ezekiel 4:9, especially their sesame seed loaf. Made of sprouted grains, not flour, kept in the store’s freezer.

    Peace, emb

  25. Is Janis now guilty of assault and batter?

    Ruth Anne, the only bread I bake is beer bread, and it’s *supposed* to be dense and crusty. Which, come to think of it, also describes some people I know.

  26. High humidity can affect the rising of the dough before baking. If it didn’t rise, Janis should have started over instead of baking it. She can always make croutons for salad with it, though.

  27. I am going back to my philosophy of never, ever reading what people say over on The Dark Side. In my desperation and despondency from absence of The Village I read a couple of days over there. There is a reason they are TDS.

    What is with some of those people? Every other one thinks it is sexual or should be sexual or could be sexual or ….. or………. Sweet lord, where are their minds? Never mind.

    Afraid to think what some of them are saying about Janis’ loaf of bread! They make Ghost and I look like the chorus from Sound of Music or Annie!

    Off to dentist to have something done with drills and saws and probes. Love, Jackie

  28. for people who get the daily in color, have you noticed, two weeks ago that the syndicate people changed the flesh tone color? just look back a month on and then look at today

  29. Two of my least favorite things are dental work and orthopedic surgery. Both involve instruments and procedures that seem more appropriate for carpentry than medicine.

  30. In my younger days I made bread, and enjoyed the work as well as the bread, but quit when I had three children in four years and just didn’t have the time. Then about ten years ago someone gave me a bread machine and I haven’t bought a loaf of bread since. 🙂

    I’ll try to be better about posting, I promise.

  31. Dunno, Mark. A couple of the guys I served with would have probably made me opt for working with trained monkeys, if I’d had the choice. The monkeys probably figure doing bird patrols for the Army is preferable to working in plants making products for US big box stores.

  32. I can’t say I am particularly sorry to see August come to an end…it’s not my favorite month. It’s the month of the loss of my father and other family members; the month of the loss of my house; the month of Camille and Katrina; the month of the only two real medical problems I’ve ever had; even the month I lost a good job because of the economy, once-upon-a-time.

    August, thou art a heartless…well, you know the rest of that.

  33. Well, I survived dentist and will have the best teeth I have ever had in my life. Some of them are still mine I believe, none are removable and all are paid for. Three things to be grateful for.

    Wait until I get those knees replaced! Actually all the exercise has enabled me to do whatever I want now but I am facing all my demons. Love Jackie

  34. When the kids were younger we could not find the time to make the bread ever week, but only from time to time. Kids ate it so fast it would have been pretty hard to keep up.

    Since the kids have left, my wife and sometime I will make bread on a pretty regular basis. I love the smell and love kneading the bread to take out my frustrations. As we have been going through the house getting rid of things and one of them was the bread machine. My wife’s co-worker was looking for one, so she just gave it to her.

  35. My ex and I both used our bread machine. We would go to S**’s and buy a large bag of bread flour. Then we would premeasure the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar) into loaf quantities and seal this in zipper storage bags. When we wanted bread, we only had to put the liquid ingredients and the yeast into the machine and add one bag of mix. Start machine and go crazy over the smells.

  36. About bread which I no longer bake but once did. I went through brioche, French bread, quick breads, slow breads, bread machines, non-bread machine do it by hand. Fresh brioche is probably my favorite although Jewish Challa bread comes in highly. The advent of better breads beyond the gooey white bread of the South that I grew up with made me switch to buying it and not baking.

    Plus now I know my weakness and my primary weakness is a loaf of fresh baked bread. I love my homemade whole wheat walnut raisin bread and will eat an entire loaf by myself. And I will not keep losing weight or fit into skinny jeans again. And I just filled the top of a floor to ceiling wardrobe with skinny jeans!

    Lordy, I forgot about Hawaiian bread, hot out of an oven and eaten fresh on a beach in the sand, ripping it apart with your hands! Now that is a tropical sensation hard to repeat in Oklahoma. Love, Jackie

  37. So, the Dark Side has idiotic sexual innuendos, whereas we of the Village can convey smell, sensations and eroticism with a loaf of baking bread.

    Well, I have a good imagination!

  38. Jackie, you can do Challah or Brioche with a breadmaker. Let the breadmaker do the kneading and rising, then braid the dough, brush with egg (for Challah) and bake on a baking sheet. Don’t remember about the Brioche exactly, but wife had to teach me to braid the dough strips for the Challah. Good, best when hot. Bet I couldn’t do it now, years out of practice.

  39. See, those guys over on TDS are wannabees. The Village knows what life really is. Hot bread and bare hands eaten on white sand in a string bikini or less. Or anywhere else you’d like to eat it, like the kitchen table.

    I am really bad. Just had a drippy quesadilla made with leftover mushrooms, filet steak, some leftover kidney beans whole and pico, all melted in canola oil spray and real Mexican cheese, fresh avocado from fridge. Actually very healthy, the Adventure Dog got part of the steak too, there wasn’t much to begin with.

    Love, Jackie

  40. I said above “the guys I served with”, because at that time AF regs apparently didn’t permit females in my career field, I guess because we were subject to short-notice, world-wide deployment including into combat zones. (Of course, things are different now.) Just didn’t want anyone to think I was being sexist, and to prove it I’ll say that (1) females can be every bit as capable of doing bone-headed things as males at times, and (2) I would have been more than happy to have had them serve beside me.

    Speaking of deployments, I have a retired SMSgt friend who was deployed overseas a number of times in his career. Once, his detachment got on a transport plane in the States and flew for a long time. When they got off the plane, a briefing officer told them they were at “an undisclosed location to perform a mission for an undisclosed period of time”. My friend looked across the sand desert at the three large pyramids in the distance, and thought, “Well, OK then.”

    Dinner tonight will be, I suppose, leftovers from the lunch I fixed my Mom yesterday…boneless, skinless chicken breasts, marinated in home-made teriyaki marinade and grilled; rice pilaf; and green salad. The latest is that some are dissing green salads for “lack of nutrition”, since most of the ingredients are 80%-90% water. So?

  41. That may have been lunch I ate, guys, my hours get messed up. Y’all have shamed me into doing my laundry and then cleaning kitchen!

    Nothing wrong with green salads, I am sorting lettuce and greens seeds on the desk and listening to Willie Nelson and Cheryl Crowe duets, having moved on to another genre.

    Buy trendy greens seeds which often don’t do anything but make me feel virtuous for planting them. Like purple brocolli, green cauliflower, pak choy, mizuna, red mustards and white turnips and black Russian Kale. No guarantee they ever produce produce.

    Love, Jackie

  42. GR6, sounds like you SSM was at the Juliet site in the Australian outback. Those three “pyramids” were the comic energy collectors.

  43. Comic! Who would believe there are pyramids in the outback? Some “brilliant” intelligence type thought the Soviets would either never notice or that think their satellite had drifted in orbit. Very comic.

  44. sand, the mind-altering drugs the government is delivering via “chemtrails” were undoubtedly supposed to make everyone overlook the pyramids. Unless, of course, that’s a false flag operation to conceal some other and even more nefarious plot, and they were actually supposed to be seen. Meanwhile, be assured that black helicopters are covertly spraying an LSD/fluoride amalgam into the entire country’s water supply, guaranteeing an endless supply of useful idiots with superb dentition to smile at and applaud the Galactic Overlords when they arrive to take charge of the USG, which will then be charged with the confiscation of all that is good and right in our Republic.

    Damn, maybe I’m spending too much time on Teh InterWebnet.

  45. You’re spending too much time doing something! I am listening to Chet Atkins and Friends while opening seed packages.

    However, I have begun to read Terry Pratchett on the genre of science fiction, fantasy and other subjects that was recommended by our resident Village librarian (thank you) and I think some of us have fervid imaginations as well.

    Some of us write better than others too. Who is the administrator of the Village Orphanage?

    Love, Jackie

  46. Watching and listening to the great Chet Atkins, the ultimate guitar man, when suddenly I heard a Ray Stevens song I had never heard. Would Jesus Wear A Rolex?”.


    Chet Atkins wrote this for Ray Stevens to record! Amazing sense of humor. I loved to go to his concerts, Chet Atkins, not Ray Stevens. I saw Ray Stevens in night clubs back in the 1960’s, never in concert.

  47. Good morning Villagers…


    OK, here’s my two cents worth, do any of you remember Way Out Russell? I think the Society of the Village Orphanage has a ‘sibling’….Way out Russel was good…..had us going for quite a while. I often wonder how the three of them, no wait, 4 of them are doing…John, Mindy….and my mind slips into “I cant think right now.”

    gotta go….

    ya’ll have a blessed day.

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