The Torch Is Past

November 9, 1989


It’s not unusual for me to skip a day or two posting to the blog lately, but I have a really good excuse for missing yesterday. Hurricane Zeta knocked out power to my neighborhood, and it remained out for almost 24 hours. That’s not bad. Hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps a million and more, are still without. Actually, it was Tropical Storm Zeta when it arrived on my doorstep, but this nasty little cyclone exceeded expectations everywhere it went. It was predicted to be a Category 1 storm when it came ashore south of New Orleans. Instead it was a distinct Category 2. It was expected to peter out rather quickly once it advanced inland, becoming a mere tropical depression almost immediately. That did not happen. It maintained tropical storm-force winds across the southeast, well into northwest Georgia. I can’t complain. I lost one already-dicey windowpane and spent much of Thursday picking up sticks in the yard. I’m good with that. A late-October hurricane is not unheard of, but they’re not common either. And there are 30 more days left in hurricane season. Don’t bet against 2020!


50 thoughts on “The Torch Is Past”

  1. Glad you made it through with nothing worse than that, Jimmy. Let’s hope that is all that comes ashore for the rest of the year. I can recall some late season storms moving through Tuscaloosa due to hurricanes. The tornadoes are bad enough. I’ve been enjoying your Indiana Arlo series as well.

    Reply
  2. So I signed up another marathon on Sunday near Cleveland. Forecast is 46°at the start but winds pushing down to 40° at the finish. It may be similar to Boston in 2017, but hopefully not as bad. I wish that it was remnants from Zeta as usually there is wind and rain but the temperature is warmer. I can drop out at the halfway point. We will see. Kind of disappointing.

    I am glad that you are safe Jimmy and glad that you have power.

    Reply
  3. Oklahoma and others had an ice storm knocking down lines apparently. We didn’t, just cold rain. There were photos of electric company volunteers half coming here, half to Gulf Coast.

    Apparently ice storm and hurricanes don’t often occur together.

    Reply
  4. We had the remnants of Zeta yesterday and last night and then it sucked in colder air from the north. It’s been steady snow here in coastal MA (inland too) all morning. It’s barely sticking but I can’t remember when we last had snow in October! Crazy weather. I feel bad for you folks in Louisiana and surrounding states getting hit with one hurricane after another. You can’t catch a break.

    Reply
  5. Jackie– family and friends in OKC have been without power for a few (4, think so far) days. At least it is warming up a bit. One sister moved into her RV with propane heat and a generator during the outage. The other sister has a small generator connected to the fridge and the furnace.

    Reply
  6. I was about to post something similar to what Bonnie from Gloucester said, being in the same general area, but she beat me to it, so I’ll go on to the other thing I was going to say, which is about the strip:

    My grandfather, living near Harvard Square in Cambridge, absolutely loved burning leaves. He missed it dreadfully when Cambridge outlawed outdoor fires, so when he visited us on my (other side of my family) grandmother’s farm in Virginia, we had bags of leaves for him to burn. After he died, we started having the Fred Stone Memorial Leaf Fire on the Friday evening after Thanksgiving (weather permitting). No idea if it’s happening this year…

    Reply
  7. My late mother and her sisters loved to burn leaves and dead branches. We had lots of both since most of giant pecans were at least 100 years old. They would get together and spend a couple weeks together in the fall picking up pecans and cleaning the yard of more than one acre surrounding the farm house.

    I called home late one fall day and cousin/child answering phone said “Aunt Polly and Aunt Blondell are on the cookhouse shed raking leaves off for Aunt Kit and Aunt Erie to burn.” The youngest was late 60s and oldest mid 80s. The cookhouse is at least 180 years old and very derelict and flameable.

    The pyramaniacs are all deceased now but I miss them.all. Yes, the cartoon made me think of them.

    Reply
  8. Ghost — Yesterday at a major grocery store I beheld a young lady whose appearance took my breath away. Everyone else had been wearing sweaters or jackets just an hour before, but here she was, about 6 feet tall, lightly tanned, hair in a ponytail, and wearing her requisite mask, a barely modest black sports bra, black spandex shorts, and running shoes. Could you estimate percentages for me? BTW, the shorts resembled these (I hope this opens!):
     
    https://i0.wp.com/ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1NAlLKFXXXXaHXVXXq6xXFXXXd/Low-Waist-Womens-Nylon-Stretch-font-b-Metallic-b-font-font-b-Dance-b-font-font.jpg

    Reply
    • Based on the photo of the shorts and the description of the sports bra, I’d estimate the young lady in question was at least 75% naked. It’s hard to actually do the math without the empirical evidence in front of me. 🙂 Even without it, I’d hazard a guess that the YLIQ could definitely put the “treat” into “trick-or-treat”.

      Reply
      • I’m not that good at estimating such things, but you’re right about her being a treat to have seen. Ah… to be 40 years younger and in a far more impressive body than I’ve ever had! At my tallest I was never over 5′ 10.5″ or had any particular athletic skills. That’s part of why my yearbook shows me only in the band and as a member of a couple of clubs.

        Reply
    • Jackie, I mean this is the nicest way possible: I am not entirely sure Keith Richards CAN die. I mean . . . he seems to have some major mojo going there, that’s propping him up from the inside. It just might be that he discovered that magic formula we were all looking for in the 60s. Even if they say he’s passed at some point, I just know we’re going to catch sight of him in various back-up bands, a shade among the stacked amps.:-)

      Reply
  9. As a youngster I used to love the smell of burning leaves. Then we had to put them in plastic bags. Now only paper -degradable- bags or in barrels to be picked up by trucks.

    Reply
  10. Glad to hear you made it into the clear, Jimmy.

    I don’t usually bother to rake the leaves due to the size of our yard and for other reasons, but I have been known to gather enough up just to enjoy a burn pile. 😉 Paying (directly or through your taxes) to haul them away makes absolutely no sense to me. Mow them into the lawn if you don’t like to look at them. The nutrients in those leaves are the trees of tomorrow.

    Reply
    • That was my thought. Either add them to your compost heap, or use them to start one. Now that I know better, I wonder why my father (thrifty soul that he was) let the gardener dump all of the grass clippings and other garden waste in the trash, then pay for fertilizer every few years. We had room on the side of the house to compost it, but never did.

      Reply
  11. RIP Sir Thomas Sean Connery
    1930 – 2020
    As I told Jackie, I was thinking of him just days ago due to the current A&J arc and his role as Indiana Jones’s father in the film franchise.

    Reply
  12. What Ghost didn’t say was I had also been thinking of Sean Connery with the the Indy fantasy and how beautifully he had aged. He looked better than anyone I’ve seen in a kilt even in his 80s.

    But I specifically loved he was still so sexy as Indy’s father that he got the girl before Indy. Which is what I mentioned.

    Reply
    • One of my favorite bits of dialogue in any film…
      Indiana Jones: “It’s disgraceful, you’re old enough to be her…her grandfather.”
      Professor Henry Jones: “Well, I’m as human as the next man.”
      Indiana Jones: “Dad, I *was* the next man.”
      Professor Henry Jones: “Oh…ships that pass in the night.”

      Reply
  13. We have had a busy Halloween! We’re one of the few in this area with the usual decorations up… and my daughters chose the top end of a tree I toppled to stand in a bucket and hang little snack bags of treat on: A Halloween Tree! They’ve had to restock it numerous times. When they shut things down at 9 pm they will have fewer than a dozen bags left.

    Reply
  14. Weirdly the Indy Arlo arc made my mind wander to the film noir classics Pulp Fiction and Kiss Me Deadly which feature a glowing golden brief case and a glowing box that hold an unknown force of immense value

    Was this representative of the Ark of the Covenant sought by Indiana Jones in the movie? Only darker and more complex?

    My Halloween reading!

    I was huge Mickey Spillane fan in 1950s hardly appropriate reading age 8-12 when I preferred Spillane to Nancy Drew.

    Reply
    • The film “Repo Man”* featured a 1968 Chevy Malibu with a bright, unearthly, and deadly force that emanated from its trunk when opened.
      *In the interest of full-disclosure, a much-younger-and-much-less-concerned-for-his-personal-safety** Ghost did a stint as an automobile repo man, where he acquired skills that would have transferred well had he decided to pursue a career in Grand Theft Auto. Good times, good times.
      **Some people get more than a little incensed when someone shows up to take away their vehicle. In fairness, the majority of them would surrender it peacefully…it wasn’t like they didn’t know the payments were a 120 or more days past due.

      Reply
      • I never knew you had been a repo man. I spent a few years working for ADT Automotive Remarketing, who tried to turn repo’s into a one-stop shop. They had a large network of auto auctions nationwide and started contracting with major banks and auto finance companies to handle repos, cleaning up the cars and selling them off. The idea was to increase the number of cars going through their auctions while relieving these finance companies of the burden of contracting their own repo work. It was ok, but what I like best was getting moved to the skip trace department. These were the folks who often committed outright fraud or took out the loan without the intent of paying it back and then went to extraordinary lengths to hide themselves and the vehicle. Tracking them down was often a real challenge and great mental stimulation for me.

        Reply
  15. When I was working with the Southern states floral and ribbon salesmen trying to manage to teach them to sell and run a sales territory one of my salesmen in Mississippi was a repo man. Literally moonlighting. It paid well, better than working.

    Seven salesmen (half the sales force were given choice of working with me or being fired. Some chose firing. The repo man didn’t wa t to be accountable and decided he’d rather face guns and violence then me.

    Reply
  16. Re 11-2-20 real-time cartoon: Too bad maintaining an album of those “spicy” Polaroid pix Arlo found in a book did not become a family tradition as well. 😉

    Reply
  17. What is everyone doing? Obviously something. I am reading “light” Halloween reading. Decided to read Harry Potter books in order. Ghost had to explain how the free Prime membership works like a crack dealer, giving yiu a couple free books.

    All the rest are $9 each. I told him “Baby, I still have a library card ”

    Actually very entertaining and well written. The dialogue is same as the movies so far, along with plots

    Reply
    • Ah, yes, the Drug Dealer Business Model. Works for them, too, especially these days in Science Fiction. Some self-published SF writers just don’t seem to know how to wrap up a series. I swear I saw one recently with novel #20 being released. Not that I’d mind some of them going on longer than they do. Such as the “Front Line” series by Marko Kloos, or David Drake’s “Lt. Leary” books.

      Reply
    • Ghost, I also meant to ask if you’ve read Drake’s “Bolo” series? I do also like the Lt Leary stories. David Weber has a huge series modeled on Horatio Hornblower– the protagonist even has the same initials, H.H., Honor Harrington. 🙂 Of course, one could never go wrong reading Larry Niven and/or Jerry Pournelle. They have some excellent collaborations.

      Reply
      • Yep, read all of those…except the Harrington series, although I’m a bit familiar with it, and the 1832 series. Loved Niven and Pournelle. Fairly sure I’ve read everything Drake has written.

        Reply
  18. Jackie, I’m reading science fiction. There is one publisher, BAEN, that makes the electronic books they publish available for free download to disabled veterans or those with visual disabilities. I qualify for both– I’m losing vision in one eye due to glaucoma, so having e-books that I can change font size is fantastic. I’ve been reading several different series. Some are alternate history sci-fi, others are space opera, and some fantasy, and some plain old hard-science fiction. I read all the Harry Potter series with my daughters when they were younger. I enjoyed reading the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, with them, too. I’m also reading a lot of the “classics” of fiction. I download a lot of those e-books from Project Gutenberg. I recently reread all the Dicken’s novels and Mark Twain books from Project Gutenberg.

    Reply
    • If you aren’t into science-fiction, another author that does great writing is Tom Clancy. His Techno-thrillers are great. I first read Clancy’s “Red Storm Rising” in paperback while I was on a Return of Forces, Germany (REFORGER) exercise on a battalion infantry staff with the 1st Infantry Division. There’s nothing like reading a novelization of the military action for which you are actively training… reading while riding around in an APC across West Germany (that was a thing at the time). The paperback was at least 3 inches thick and barely fit in my BDU cargo pocket!
      .
      After reading that, I went back to Clancy’s first book, “Hunt for Red October”. One recommendation I would make if reading the Jack Ryan series, step aside first and read “Without Remorse”. It really helps to understand one of the other major characters, John Clark/Kelly. I really hated the movie, “Clear and Present Danger” because it TOTALLY missed the John Clark character.
      .
      (Posting so much today so I can avoid news and social media!) 😀

      Reply
  19. Mr. Johnson, thank you for today’s strip (11/3). It’s peaceful, gracious, beautiful, inspirational, and kind — all in four small panels. I don’t know you did it. It’s the first comic I’ve ever seen that I’d hang on my wall as art — Art of the highest sort. You’ve done us all proud.

    Reply

Leave a Comment