Time Out

It might not come as a surprise to you, but I’ve been out a bit myself lately. I’m in the second week of a vacation/work vacation, in the latter portion alas. The strips running in newspapers this week and next, and on GoComics, are “best-of” repeats, chosen and recolored by myself. This week’s strips are from 2012, and next week’s will be from 2008. I hope you enjoy seeing them again.

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

171 responses to “Time Out”

  1. “Insecure Janis”, from back in the day when she seemed to be as much warden as wife. And when, as Jackie and I have discussed on more than one occasion, she was really not very likable. Fortunately, she seems to have gotten over that.

  2. Mark et al., Jackie and her oncologist agreed this morning to defer her chemo treatment until next week. Her lab values were good, and she felt OK, but they both felt her fractured molar should be removed ASAP. So she will be having that done tomorrow morning. That will also allow her to be pre-medicated this weekend prior to her next chemo treatment and hopefully minimize the chance of a repeat of last week’s issues.

  3. True Grit Update: I believe I mentioned previously how Jackie’s new F150 pickup came to be named “True Grit” and how, because of its name, we planned to get it the personalized tag “WWJWD”, for “What Would John Wayne Do”. Even though the local tag office told us WWJWD had not been issued at the time we applied for it, it had apparently been issued to someone else by the time our application got there.

    I had put down a second choice on the application of “WWJWD1”, and that is what we received. Only then did I realize that what we got was actually cooler than WWJWD…if you read it as “What Would’ve John Wayne D-ONE”.

  4. Thanks Ghost. With the problems Jackie’s been having I was concerned something else might go wrong. Glad it didn’t. Good luck on the tooth extraction, Jackie.

  5. Mark:

    I was referring to Jimmy’s wording: “The strips running in newspapers this week and next, and on GoComics, are “best-of” repeats, chosen and recolored by myself. This week’s strips are from 2012, and next week’s will be from 2008.”

    I just checked GoComics, and that strip also has 2014, not 2012.

  6. The only finishing touch I can think of for True Grit would possibly be a bumper sticker that reads “I brake for shapely females wearing tight leggings.” Unless Jackie has something to say about that, of course. 🙂

    Headed to the oral surgeon’s office.

  7. Jackie came through the molar extraction with a hitch. She was alert and talkative (now there’s a switch 🙂 ) in recovery, if a bit goofy from the happy juice they gave her for the procedure. We’re back at the hotel, and she’s in bed sleeping it off.

  8. c x-p: I know she’s doing that in today’s strip, but Sand says, “Polishing the old silver gag, never fails …”, implying, I think, that it’s a gag commonly used, maybe even outside the comics page.


  9. In Texas and cowboy states the only silver polishing joke so know is polishing the silver belt buckles worn with jeans.

    Belt buckle polishing involves dancing very slowly very close with much bodily contact

  10. Decorah North claims to have an egg as of Fe 25th. Plain Decorah seems to claim three of ’em. Found this by going to the new chat places and reading.

    I, and, I suppose, eMb, are now more educated about silver jokes….

  11. Jackie

    Tonight in rough out boots, jeans, plaid shirt and a rough out leather jacket with that gray grizzled beard he looks more like a real deal rancher than most anyone you see locally. A tall, lean, clean cowboy with no horse!

    I am trying to get caught up – I am 20 days behind and spinning my wheels.
    Just had to say “Horse” has to be the name of Ghost’s next vehicle – then he will HAVE
    a horse.

  12. So it’s about “slow dancing” + Ag buckles.

    Didn’t even know that was a loop to be out of. Such a complex world of “many things, sailing ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings,” and now downloads, cell phones, drones, MP3s, and surveillance webcams.


  13. Back at the 13th- “A Grave Matter:

    It has been my contention for quite awhile that gravity has been increasing.
    I blame it on the stopping of Atomic Testing – those born before the cessation
    notice it more than those born after. Isn’t harder to get out of a chair? up from the
    floor? And just look what it has done to my chest!

  14. My earlier post about Jackie’s molar extraction should have read “without a hitch”, of course. I blame sleep deprivation.

    In fact, if I weren’t so sleepy right now, I’d reveal the details of a mishap I had last week that led to a couple of bloody, yet not serious, wounds on my body. As a teaser, I will say that it was a freak shopping cart accident.

    What that freak* was doing with a shopping cart, I’ll never know.

    *With apologies to George Carlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8pwV056d0Y

  15. Looks like another night in Tulsa. Jackie is doing well from the tooth extraction, but unfortunately the antibiotic they put her on prior to the procedure seems to being a number on her gastric tract. We decided it would not be much fun for either of us to travel until her stomach settles down. And I can print more price labels for the boutique while we’re here.

  16. Sideburns, wouldn’t what you take depend on what symptoms you’re having? If it’s diarrhea, Prilosec won’t help, Imodium would be better. If it’s heartburn, etc, Prilosec is a winner.

  17. Sideburns, sometimes an antibiotic will disrupt the digestive flora in the intestinal tract and cause diarrhea. There is even a code for it, so it must be a pretty common thing.

  18. Antibiotics are chemicals, usually secreted in nature by bacteria or fungi, that kill or inhibit competing microbes, or synthetic compounds of the same sort. Sulfa is not an antibiotic. The sulfa drugs came out shortly before the first antibiotics, I think.

    One problem with antibiotics, and also other drugs, is evolution. Often, genetic variations in some individual disease organisms or other species we don’t like enable a few individuals to survive the antibiotic, other drug, or poison we have used against them. These resistant individuals give rise to succeeding generations, and pretty soon, the weapon has become useless.

    Another problem was mentioned above: the chemicals we use often kill other beneficial organisms, such as essential bacteria in our gut.


  19. The first time I had sulfa, I had a nasty boil caused by MRSA, and it worked great. The second time it was for a bladder infection. It worked, but not completely, so they gave me a different drug to finish the work. (That way, anything that survived had to be resistant to both, which is highly unlikely.) Once that was done, I had a bladder stone removed by laser lithotripsy the day before Rosh Hashonah.

  20. i had a sinus infection that wouldn’t clear, and being allergic to penicillin, the doctor had to give me another antibiotic. I can’t think of the name right now, but after I took it for a few days I was completely covered with purple blotches and my skin was turning red. Back to the clinic and I looked so bad the nurse took pictures of the blotches. And they prescribed a different drug which worked fine without problems. Neither the professionals nor you know how your body will react till you try it. It might be a life saver or it might knock you on your backside.

  21. Sulfa, Penicillin Shell Fish….All give me hives. There are a few other food items that do not cooperate with my lower GI like sour cream, peanuts and to a lesser extent, red meat, but I enjoy these foods. I am literally watching what I eat. I need to get a new scale as I bought a cheap one that seems to spit out random numbers.

    My “Watch what I eat diet”? Basically eating a lighter lunch with salads or Slim Fast along with cucumbers. The key is that there is SO much candy at the office. I just say NO! Then when I get home, I’ll eat a handful of mixed nuts and then try not to stuff myself for dinner. I have more work to do on that end. But after a low calorie dessert, no more food until morning. This worked for my 6 years ago when I lost 30 lbs in about 3 months. I won’t bore you with the day to day weight loss, but I am sure that I will “brag” when I get closer to my goal.

    I am walking a marathon again in early April. All that extra weight is not good to be carrying around.

  22. Mark in Ttown- I think this reaction is pretty common, especially with antibiotics which attack a greater variety of germs and are called broad spectrum drugs. They kill more germs, including the beneficial microbes in our guts, which often leads to diarrhea and other intestinal distress. Erythromycin is an old drug that was famous for this reaction and was called a gut-killer by medical practitioners when I was young.

    Nowadays, if there is a drug that I know will upset my gut, I start taking pro-biotics at the same time as I take the drug and for a little while after I quit taking the drug and feel much less distress. Luckily I have rarely had to take antibiotics. Some people have to take them more frequently – for instance, my husband has had knee replacement and has been told to take a prophylactic dose every time he gets his teeth cleaned or otherwise worked on.

    More people have allergies to sulfa drugs and penicillin than to any other medications. I wonder if it might be because they have been around longer so people have been exposed to them longer. I know that some people do not break out when exposed to poison ivy (I didn’t, the first few times I accidentally encountered it) but that increased exposure is more likely to result in an allergic reaction (again, that was my experience).

    I’ve developed an allergy to Bactrim, a sulfa drug. I’ve taken it 3 times during my life. The first couple of times were for bladder infections, then a couple of years ago I was prescribed it when I oozed a couple of drops of pus from a stitch after surgery. That time I broke out in a rash and now it’s on my chart as an allergy. I have taken a couple of medications for blood pressure and hypothyroid for many years and have never developed an allergy to them. I wonder if antibiotics are more likely than other medications to lead to allergic reactions?

  23. As a person with CHF, and a diabetic, I’ve had a couple of strange reactions to the newer medications for blood sugar control. With Janumet, a combination of Januvia and Metformin, I developed an intolerance for gluten which vanished once I quit taking it. More recently, I tried a once-a-week injectable which kicked my heart into hyperdrive (120 bpm while resting!) and concerned me that it might not just stress my heart, but that if I did anything strenuous my heart rate would go out of range and make the device in my chest fire its defibrillator.

  24. Back in Eufaula…for about 48 hours. Yep, they have Jackie back on a Monday schedule for her chemo, so we will be leaving about 5 PM Sunday to go back to Tulsa. As I told a couple of folks, this wasn’t a fun week, but at least it was a very long one.

    She got over her gastric reaction to the penicillin and seems to be feeling very well now. We even stopped and did some shopping on the way back. She wouldn’t let me buy any more miniskirts (something about how I already had us overstocked with miniskirts, although I’m not sure such a thing is possible). She did let me pick out some shorts (some of them lacy) and some skimpy tops that are best described as the top half of a skimpy sundress. And then, praise the Lord, we found some actual skimpy sundresses. You may be seeing a trend here.

    Just doing my part to keep Eufaula females skimpily clad.

  25. Anyone have an opinion about the possibility of our food supply being toxic? Some researchers seem to think it’s a distinct possibility.

    That is a serious question, not a joke. Although I eat as I should and exercise, I am regaining weight and feel tired most of the time.

    Fortunately, my blood tests show that everything but PSA is excellent. My blood pressure and pulse rate are also excellent.

  26. “Una Voce Poco Fa” & “Granada” also sung by Garanca are among the nest versions I’ve heard, too. Same site – just look at the listings.

  27. Morning Jackie, and everyone else! Hi Ghost Sweetie!

    The one time I was given sulfa I broke out into a sort of sunburn-looking rash, so my doctor changed the medication and it cleared off. I’ve stayed away from sulfa since then.

  28. Llee:

    Yes. It’s normal.

    I am considering becoming a vegetarian.

    For years, I have read that all forms of meat – even fish – are bad for humans.

    It might be time to test that claim.

  29. Rick:
    I have been Veggi for about 4 years. I also eliminated as much sugar as possible. PSA went from 5.5 to 3.O, I lost 40 pounds in 9 months. My Gleason is scale was at 6. I have not had a new Biopsy in 4 years. I consider it inoperable, ain’t no way you gonna cut dem der nerves. . I have looked into radiation but those side effects only a little better.

  30. Rick in Shermantown – you don’t say how old you are, but if you are 60 or older, you may need more vitamin B12. This vitamin is essential for red blood cell formation. Not enough vitamin B12 in your system can lead to not enough oxygen, so feelings of tiredness and even in extreme conditions some numbness or tingling in the extremities.

    Vitamin B12 is not hard to get in your diet if you eat meat and leafy green vegetables. The problem is that as we get older, sometimes the part of our gut that absorbs this vitamin does not do as good a job. About 2% of us older people develop this condition, which is more likely to affect women than men, probably because they are smaller. It is an autoimmune thing, so if you have another autoimmune condition such as hypothyroid (which I do) or arthritis, etc., you are more likely to develop another one.

    Luckily, it is easily corrected by getting a monthly shot of vitamin B12. First, I would try increasing your intake of vitamin B12 foods or taking a supplement. If after a couple of months that doesn’t seem to help, ask your doctor to give you a shot. The B12 shot is not expensive and if you don’t need it, it will not cause any harm, but will be excreted. The results for me were immediate – I felt better by the next day. The feeling lasted for a few months, but then I needed another shot. Now I give myself a shot every month and I’m doing fine.

    Just giving you something else to consider. If you want to Google it – search for pernicious anemia.

  31. Anon:

    Nearly three years ago, I eliminated nearly all carbs and sugar from my diet, and I went from 212 to 175 in about seven months. About six months ago, even though I was not doing anything differently, I started a slow, inexorable climb. Now, I am about 190. I guess it’s not bad for being nearly 65 and standing 6’1″, but it frustrates me no end that I can’t lose the weight.

    In February 2017, my PSA was 5.5. This past Wednesday, the PSA was 8.8. The doctor is concerned and wants me to have a biopsy, especially because I have not had one since 2005.

    You present a good case for being a vegetarian.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it.

  32. Judy:

    I’m glad you mentioned B12. You reminded me that one of my friends started have B12 shots when he turned 70 two years ago, and he said that he feels much improved.

    When I saw my physician this past Wednesday, he asked if I was still taking a B12 supplement. When I said that I wasn’t, he didn’t say anything about resuming the daily vitamins or about shots. I will send an email to him about it.

    Overall, I guess that I am doing fairly well. I don’t take any medications at all so far. Perhaps the B12 in conjunction with the fish, fruit, and vegetables that I eat will take care of the tiredness.

    As I said to Anon, thanks for taking the time to write to me. I really appreciate it.

  33. Rick – glad I could make a contribution. I agree, sounds to me as if you are doing fairly well. Keep up the good work, and I hope you get to where you want to be.

  34. Dear c xp, thanks for your concern. I’m glad to say we Derry-ites came to no harm from this bad storm. We are far enough from the coast, maybe thirty miles? So no flooding, no high winds, no damage at all, and our power stayed on. Sorry for others who didn’t fare so well.

  35. Remember, Mark, that Major Burns left the show because the writers never allowed him to grow or develop into a real person. After a while Larry Linville had done everything with the character that the writers would let him so he left instead of repeating himself.

  36. With Sundays offering Jimmy has gone beyond window peeking and into predictive cartooning. Awoke to rain and a meowing cat long before I opened this gem.

  37. Sideburns, no complaint with Linville, just didn’t like the character. I was glad when Gary Burghoff left too. In his case it was because I did like the character and felt the writers were getting downright mean and nasty in the way Radar was being treated the last couple of years he was with the show.

  38. Today’s strip reminds me of this book by Robert Heinlein, The Door Into Summer: Pete usually used his own door except when he could bully me into opening a people door for him, which he preferred. But he would not use his door when there was snow on the ground.

    While still a kitten, all fluff and buzzes, Pete had worked out a simple philosophy. I was in charge of quarters, rations, and weather; he was in charge of everything else. But he held me especially responsible for weather. Connecticut winters are good only for Christmas cards; regularly that winter Pete would check his own door, refuse to go out it because of that unpleasant white stuff beyond it (he was no fool), then badger me to open a people door.

    He had a fixed conviction that at least one of them must lead into summer weather. Each time this meant that I had to go around with him to each of eleven doors, hold it open while he satisfied himself that it was winter out that way, too, then go on to the next door, while his criticisms of my mismanagement grew more bitter with each disappointment.

    Then he would stay indoors until hydraulic pressure utterly forced him outside. […]

    But he never gave up his search for the Door into Summer.

  39. I think we just had an earthquake here. The whole building shook and creaked and it is not windy out right now. Guess I’ll find out when the late news comes on tonight.

  40. Oh my goodness, Mark. Your area isn’t usually prone to quakes, is it? Hope to find out there’s no damage.

    I loved the story you just told, it’s perfect! It’s an excerpt from the Heinlein book, I take it? We’ve never had a cat that did that, but it’s so imaginative, and could explain a lot of cat behavior. Is there more about this cat, or in the same vein?

    I used to read science fiction, but I think before R. Heinlein came along — does that sound probable? Remember I am a lot older than most of you kids.

  41. I was right: http://www.newson6.com/story/37643610/earthquake-ripples-across-green-country Apparently Green Country is what they call the multi-county area that includes Tulsa.

    Glad you liked it Charlotte. I think Heinlein’s work started getting published in the science fiction pulps of the late 1930’s or early 1940’s. And yes, it’s actually from the opening of the book. The cat is a major character in it, and cats figure in many of Heinlein’s books. The tribbles in the original Star Trek are thought by some to be based on a creature called the Martian flatcat from a Heinlein book called the Rolling Stones (no connection to the band, which came later).

  42. By the way Charlotte, you can get that book in the Amazon Kindle format for under $7. I know, because after rereading that quote, I searched out the book and bought it to read again.

  43. TruckerRon:

    I was on Metformin during 2015 until I put my Type Two diabetes into remission.

    It should no longer be a concern.

  44. I first came across the joke about March 4th being the only date that is also a command in one of the daily A&J strips.

    If I remember correctly, Arlo was telling it to young Gene, who promptly rolled his eyes at the dad joke.

  45. Except that “Green Country” isn’t very green right now…other than the businesses with lawn services that have spray painted their brown grass green.

    I don’t remember seeing that much if at all in The Deep South, perhaps because the grass doesn’t stay brown all that long down there.

    Hey, Jean dear. Always good to know you haven’t gone Tango Uniform. 🙂

  46. Charlotte: “I used to read science fiction, but I think before R. Heinlein came along—does that sound probable? Remember I am a lot older than most of you kids.”

    I’m 88, began reading Astounding Science Fiction in the ’40s, was pretty much done w/ it in the late ’40s. Think Heinlein was aboard then, also Simak [a Minnesotan, it turns out, spoke at BSU once, nice guy], and Asimov, etc. Got into it again in ’70s or so, mostly Ursula LeGuin, my senior by 3 wks. Best writer of the lot. We [3 team teachers you’ve heard about here before] use a couple of her Hainish novels 2-3 x each in Honors 100. She died just months ago.

    I was at BUMC today from before 0900-after 1500. Had communion at 2 services, ate myself silly, learned a lot about 1 thing and another, and made a useful comment or two. Don’t claim all this got me any closer to “Heaven”. Am not worried about the hereafter as such, but think someone might be waiting there. Daughter just called [actually, I called / msgs and emails from her. She’s just engaged, in mid 50s.

    Napped 3 hr after I got home, had a minuscule supper, decaf. Peace,

  47. Here is Jackie alive and happy. I was so thrilled to not have seizures especially since hospital had gone on new system with no training

  48. As Jackie mentioned above, she did remarkably well with her Taxol infusion today, especially considering the issues she had last time. The technique used this time (steroid pre-medication on Saturday and Sunday, and infusing at a much slower rate on Monday) was obviously a winner.

    As she also mentioned, the oncology office went live on a new electronic medical records system on Friday…with no training. They did have vendor reps on site today, but it was obvious there were no happy campers among the office staff. Having suffered through a number of automation/conversion projects over the years, they certainly had my sympathy…especially his RN, who came in just before we left with our appointment card for next week. She felt her ability to render care to her patients was so compromised by the problems they were encountering with then new system that she was on the very verge of bursting out crying and, I’m pretty sure, was having an anxiety attack.

    What to do? Well, I quoted her the Emo Phillips joke (“A computer beat me at chess but it was no match for me at kick-boxing.”), wrapped my arms around her and gave her one of my patented Ghost hugs, and told her it would be OK. It calmed her down, and she was at least trying to smile when we left.

  49. My hugs are PD, but I’ve heard no complaints.

    Is the pt. of today’s [M 5 Mar.] comic panel 4 that they used to do it most mornings? BTW, the one about tooth marks wouldn’t have passed a few decades back.


  50. I think the point was that, in earlier years, such enjoyable activity occurred so often that no single event rated special mention.

  51. Well explained curmugeon. Not when but how often. Normal becoming special.

    Oh boy, the famous hickory dickory dock cadtoon!!! Someone explain this one, i seem to not be all here today Ghost says.

  52. Jackie: More likely a different nursery rhyme. That clock is not striking 1, there’s moonlight, and Ludwig is getting out a violin.

    Hey Diddle Diddle,
    The cat and the fiddle,
    The cow jumped over the moon.
    The little dog laughed,
    To see such sport,
    And the dish ran away with the spoon.


  53. Ghost Sweetie, no, not tango uniform, just tired, and most weekends over with my granddaughter (I do love saying that!) and it ain’t easy making comments from the app on my Kindle. Remember, I’m technologically challenged! 😉

  54. Home again tired out, all of us. Dickens is asleep on my leg under cover and Ghost says he is too tired to come to bed.

    We have sales meeting at 8 a.m. when it will be 35 degrees! I need warm clothes!

  55. Yep, staff meeting at 0800…just like old times. Even though we have pretty well completed the purchasing of initial stock, Jackie told me today I could add a few more “skimpy tops” to inventory. Taking her at her word, I acquired about 40 of them…which fit into one bag and weighted approximately 6 pounds total.

    Just doing my part to keep Eufaula females skimpily clad.

  56. At 3 a.m. woke up to read today’s A and J. Noticed I had not been using this phone to LIKE IT Gocomics so I sent back to February 16 and clicked loyally.

    Ludwig biting Arlo’s nose got 186 likes, the. Ist I have ever seen.

  57. Okay, folks, I need a hug. The last few days have not been easy. A dear friend and belly dance teacher passed away in January and I offered to help with plans for her memorial which will be in a couple of weeks. My job is to go through her dance costumes and make sure they’re clean and mended and ready for friends and family to take if they want the memory. While it is not a hard job physically neither is it easy because it reminds me that I am not going to see her dance again, and that is hard because she danced with such joy!


    She is the petite blonde in this clip, dancing with her friend and student Fox Gradine, wonderful dancer and photographer extraordinaire. In the bit at the end she is, of course, the one in the middle.

  58. Good morning Jean……

    You are a very endearing lady. My personal opinion…you are overloading yourself.. Ask for help, this is not a one person ‘volunteerism. You write with such enthusiasm about your grandchild, and I feel your friend would not want you to take any time away from that.


  59. debbe, never fear! I have people around to keep me from seriously overdoing. And no, I am not the only volunteer on the memorial service. It just hit me today that she is really not coming back. I can’t avoid that thought any more.

    And llee, yes I do. Wonderful memories!

  60. Below is an email from a beloved former student, who also sits with me in the front pew at BUMC. I’ve much to be grateful for. Peace,

    Interesting article showing our strong relationship with dogs dates back further than previously thought. Thought you might like to read it.


    Jane Doe, Instructor
    Introductory Biology II, Spring 2018

  61. Thank you, Ghost Sweetie. Maybe one of these days I’ll wander out towards Eufalla and collect a Therapeutic Hug in person.

    Gal, thank you. I will.

  62. For those that need it = all of us.

    There is beauty in the sunlight,
    And the soft blue heaven above:
    Oh, the world is full of beauty,
    When the heart is full of love.

  63. Mark: Thanks for the Heinlein quote. I hope his optimism is justified, but seriously doubt that we will spread across the galaxy. As a devout UMC heretic, I’ll say what I’ve said here and elsewhere before, I’m not worried about Heinlein’s salvation. Perhaps Elaine is saying to him now, “Look, in today’s A&J blog, emb thinks it likely that you’re here.”


  64. Just got a notice from my credit union that there is a nationwide problem with processing some debit cards. Seems a fiber optic cable serving the card processor has been damaged, causing problems with the processing and leaving some ATMs offline. So if you’re having problems with a debit card, this is probably why.

  65. Trapper Jean those therapeutic hugs work. I have seen him hug and the results. My friends and employees have told me how he calmed, cheered, encouraged them.

    I know he is a large armed angel.

  66. I found out on Wednesday that a friend that works at the running store that my son and I frequent came up missing. I waiting a day and yesterday I sent out word to some media friends that I have and they got his story out last night. After more than 48 hours, we were all extremely worried.

    This morning I kept my appointment with my tax preparer and told him of my friend so that he would not think it rude of me to look at my phone while he worked. Finally he said “Well are you ready for the result?” Just then I got a text from my son “THEY FOUND HIM!”. At the same time I was told that I was getting a $500 refund (I thought that I would owe $500 or less). Told the tax preparer that I didn’t care about the money, my friend was safe.

    I stopped at the running store to get some new socks and my good friend for the last 20 years told me that he got the call from the missing friend’s Mom. His wife had taken their 3 year child out in the middle of the night and had been driving around Detroit looking for his car. Apparently she was the one that found him, but we both shook our heads at her determination, but wow what a chance she was taking. But frankly we might all have been that desperate.

    As we were looking at Facebook, reading other’s expressions of gratitude, I found out a HS classmate had succumbed to ALS. I think he found out less than 2 years ago.

  67. One of the things I recall from my early (< 10 years of age) Sunday School classes was my discovery that the opening tic-tac-toe player ought to start in a corner position. Then, if the opponent plays anywhere but in the center position, the opener can guarantee to win. If the opponent does take the center position at first move, a tie is guaranteed (assuming both play logically). No doubt that the day's lesson wasn't new to me nor was presented in some unique manner.

    How long can the oil change cartoon still accept comments? It has been up since 2/27 .

  68. Shocking awakening at 5.30 a.m. with what seemed another molar fractured and I swallowed it despite my best effort to cough it up.

    Old teeth despite good dentist and good care are old bones with a lot of metal.

  69. I woke up before 0400. Nothing to do w/ CDT; I usually wake up early. Am thinking about writing a piece on Martin Buber’s 1923 concept of “I and Thou” as it applies BETWEEN spp. [e.g., you and “your” dog, or a mahout and “his” elephant], and was surfing for ideas. Ran across this, which is a far cry from Buber, but not totally unrelated.



  70. Heading to new shop to have new flamingo sign installed for Steals our shop. Bucket truck involved n Main Street historic building.

  71. Okay, it’s Sunday. Arrived home late Saturday night, very jet lagged. Guess it is time to admit I am old and have a failing memory.

  72. A man was riding his Harley along a California highway, when suddenly the sky cleared above his head and in a booming voice, the Lord said:
    ‘Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish’
    The biker pulled over and said, ‘Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want.’
    The Lord said,
    ‘Your request is materialistic. Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking; the supports required reaching the bottom of the Pacific, and the concrete and steel it would take!
    It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that could possibly help mankind.’
    The biker thought about it for a long time.
    Finally, he said, ‘Lord, I wish that I and all men could understand women; I want to know how she feels inside, what she’s thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing’s wrong, why she snaps and complains when I try to help, and how I can make a woman truly happy.’
    The Lord replied,
    ‘You want two lanes or four lanes on that bridge?’

  73. The King Features (I think) syndicate sent the same batch of comics to the Seattle PI and other papers… from last Sunday. That wipes out access to half of the comics my family likes.


  74. Regarding today’s A&J: The price of eggs might go up or down, but DST is not this amateur astronomer’s favorite thing. It’s bad enough that I have to wait days at a time for clear skies at night, now when it is clear I get to wait an extra hour for darkness without being able to sleep in an extra hour in the mornings to make up for it.

    One of my friends in the astronomy club has taken to hitting the sack at 7 p.m. and getting up at 3 a.m. to do his stargazing/astrophotography before work. But he’s not married and has no kids…

  75. Trucker, that sure is a problem. Never thought of that before. A question my daughter Alice asked on Facebook was about “The Heavenly G”, an asterism I learned of some years ago from a newspaper column. I think it was by Alan McRobert? Who writes for Sky and Telescope too.
    These are Winter constellations so are probably on their way to below the horizon. I haven’t been out to admire them for a while; not so easy, I’ve slowed down a lot. There’s so much light pollution here anyway, it’s not so enjoyable. Would you believe, quite a few years ago, I saw several of the moons of Jupiter, from my front porch, with binoculars, changing their positions from night to night — as Galileo saw them.

  76. I well believe that you could see that before light pollution in your area… providing you had several nights without clouds and a steady hand. And I’m sure you did!

    Most of the best things in the sky don’t require significant magnification. For example, the Andromeda galaxy is about as big across as 6 full moons, so what you need is a super clear sky without the moon or other bright lights to distract your eyes. Having a large aperture (like 10×80 binoculars) and a tripod to keep it steady is more than enough.

    Sometimes I try to imagine what it would be like to be Galileo seeing Jupiter and Saturn with his homemade telescope, trying to interpret what he was seeing. Today we can still share that wonder.

  77. My favorite book for learning the constellations and asterisms is “The Stars” by H.A. Rey. I found a copy last year and am using it to relearn and find again the constellations I learned about as a Boy Scout 5 decades ago.

  78. Up awake. Ghost is asleep. We have chemotherapy in Tulsa at 9.30 a.m. this morning.

    Sandcastler we BOTH have chemo brain so we relate to your pain. I told Ghost we can add our halves together and have a whole.

  79. Rick, that’s a good one, because exploring and learning the stars does feed my soul. There’s something especially wonderful about resolving a binary or other multiple into its component stars.

  80. DST was a problem when I stargazed, decades back. It’s no problem when I read Sky & Telescope, Amer. Scientist, and Scientific Amer. today. It’s a godsend now that I’m no longer comfortable driving at night.

    A “G-shaped” constellation? Corona Borealis comes to mind. Per S&T’s plastic-coated Star Wheel, it will be above the horizon in the E tonight, and will get higher all spring.


  81. Michael James Bradley: Thanks for that one. It had me laughing out loud.

    I think Boone would have preferred the alcohol inside him instead of applied topically!

  82. c ex-p – Re: your comment about comments

    You piqued my curiosity. I had a vague memory that at one time only 256 comments could be posted, and then nothing further would be accepted. Another vague thought was perhaps this restriction had been lifted. Then I seemed to remember that summer months were those when the most comments piled up.

    So – I did a quick survey of some of the summer months in years past and found that in July of 2014 there were 447 comments on a post dated July 30. However, the last comment was made on August 6, which is only 8 days, so I’m guessing the Villagers were very chatty that month.

    I did not do a search looking for the longest time before Jimmy started another post. I leave that to someone else to investigate. 😀

  83. The site used to close about a week or so after Jimmy’s most recent post. Someone in the Village worked out that the site locked after a certain period of time. It is staying open for comment much longer now. He must have found out how to extend the deadline.

  84. Monday’s “Shoe” is delightful, but I’m afraid Sen. Belfry is not the only one.


    Charlotte: Just noticed you said “asterism”. Corona B. is an official constellation; small but bright. An asterism could be much smaller, or larger, as in the Summer Triangle or Big Dipper.


  85. Dear emb, I have forgotten the official definition of “asterism”, must look it up. I think it’s a group of constellations. Anyhow, the one I spoke spreads gloriously across most of the Southern sky in Winter. I like to begin tracing it with Orion, then to Sirius. It will form a huge Capital G. Up and around through Castor and Pollux, Andromeda, Capella the Goat Star and the kids, three smaller stars nearby. Capella has nothing to do with Capricorn, it’s the name of the star handed down from ancient days. Now memory is failing me but you can find it all on a star map … back to Orion again and his outstretched arms.
    Trucker, I am very fond of the book you speak of, with its clever and well drawn illustrations. It’s by the authors of Curious George, who were man and wife, but she didn’t get credit until more recent editions. I would check it, it’s right here in this room, but it’s out of reach. Tomorrow.

  86. Hello all. A check in as I skim through the older posts. All is well for the most part. Thunder is enjoying life as a 99.99% indoor house kitty. She still demands out on occasion, but her trips outside are brief. She has a completely different personality than Blacklight. Blacklight was reserved, needed to be in the room with me, but not necessarily anywhere next to me. And she always kept her tail down. Thunder’s very snuggly; I wake up wearing her most mornings. She is also very inquisitive. Has to see for herself the latest comings and goings. Her tail is a barometer – A curled question mark when she is off investigating, tail in a high arc we call a dorsal tail when she is on the prowl, and an ever undulating “s” when she is up to no good. Love the tubby tabby to pieces, but I miss my fuzzers.

    Work is still going well. Made one year last week. Not sure where it went, but hey VACATION time at last. My boyfriend swears I have a work harem instead of a work husband. He thinks he’s hysterical that way. And speaking of, we made a year on March 4th. Didn’t get to spend any time together as his schedule is ever changing and somehow always worsening. AND a couple weeks ago, he had an irate customer follow him home and attack him. (He JUST told me this today. I may smack him myself.) So yeah, he is now actively looking for employment elsewhere. I’ve been worried this might happen, this part of Indiana is practically the epicenter of illegal drug use, and that store isn’t in any better area than my old one. Crossing fingers something better comes along quick.

    Off to bed. We both took vacation time to have a rare day together. The hunt is on for a vintage dining table – I just bought chairs yesterday.

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