When Shadows Crawl

Wasn’t the beach fun? Don’t you miss the beach? Lying in the sun with a cold beverage, working on a sexy tan, taking the occasional briny dip, clinging to that special someone as you float weightlessly together. Then, the dermatologist is saying, “We’d better remove that and have it looked at.” And it’s a lot hotter than it used to be. And the sand! Where was all this sand before!? And cool sheets are so much more enticing than sticky salt water. Things change. Of course, I’m talking about Arlo and Janis!

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100 responses to “When Shadows Crawl”

  1. My eldest daughter is on the beach in San Diego this week. She worked at Comic Con for a friend of hers and is taking a few days of well earned vacation now. She is loving it!

    And now that we have the officers of the Ghost Sweetie Fan Club set, when and where are we having our first official meeting?

  2. Janis looks quite P&P in the third panel, doesn’t she? I’d made an appointment with P&PHS for Tuesday but had to cancel it to return to OK Land. So now I have one next Tuesday with Adorable Andrea. Who knew getting a haircut could be so complicated? Of course, as my Pappy used to say, anything involving good-looking women has the potential for getting complicated.

  3. Not too old for the beach yet…use lots of sunscreen though! Here in OZ, it’s pretty tough to find any less than spf50… ????

    Helps that I can see it from my house…


  4. When I watched the movie Cast Away, I remember them serving Crab Legs at his coming home party. I would think that if I were on a deserted island for four years (with or without Wilson) I probably would not want to hang out at the beach anymore.

  5. I recently had a “that” removed from my face.

    The report was that I caught it just in time.

    Now, we are watching another spot on my face.

  6. Mark, you nailed the problem. People are becoming so afraid to offend that they no longer dare to identify evil people as evil, or mentally ill people as mentally ill. If evil is not confronted, it wins. If mentally ill people are not treated, they end up harming themselves and others. Shying away from problems, sweeping them under a carpet, does no one any good.

  7. Ghost,

    Posted this for you a bit ago, but on yesterday’s comic…

    Ghost, if you like aliens you should read Footfall. Similar plot device as Lucifer’s Hammer with herd-beast aliens added. Same authors, so some of the same astronomy & physic applies.

    I’m rereading all the Known Space and Puppeteer novels from Nivens now. If you know that universe, from what I know of you from this blog, I’ve thought of you as someone like Gil the ARM. Hopefully you are busier chasing organleggers and not caught on mother hunts!

    If you like Niven, read the “World out of Time” series which includes Integral Trees and Smoke Ring if you haven’t. It’s a different universe than Known Space and doesn’t have FTL space travel.

    Jackie, hope the biopsy goes well and the result is easily treatable!

  8. Steve,

    If I’d spent four years alone on the beach, I might not be able to get comfortable anywhere else. Like Brooks in Shawshank, after a certain amount of time one might become “institutionalized.”

  9. TR: She has no fear of offending because she firmly believes that anyone who disagrees with her is clearly wrong. She’s one of those “my mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts” types. Sadly, it has lead to often strained relationships with her sons, my nephews.

  10. Thanks, David, but I’ve read all of those. In fact, as far as I’m aware, I’ve read everything that Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle have written, either solo or in collaboration. I guess you could say I’m a fan.

  11. Jackie Update: She has an appointment in Tulsa Tuesday morning for a needle biopsy. The board certified surgical oncologist who will be handling her case seems both well qualified and much beloved by the patients who have rated her on-line. Her undergrad degree is from Ole Miss and her MD is from University of Mississippi Medical Center; her advanced training was with the Baptist Medical System in Alabama: and her fellowship was at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. We visited with Jackie’s attorney in Tulsa today (who is one of those relatively rare MD/JDs), and she will check out the doc for us locally merely as a double-check, although Jackie is happy with what we know about the surgeon already.

  12. Re 7-28-17 cartoon: It would be a little hard for me to prove which of Jackie’s cats was responsible for the tracks on Bullet. The last headcount I made, one evening when the Endless Kitty Buffet was in full swing, was sixteen.

  13. A LOT of those cats came from Alabama from Marks mama before she passed away! The remainder were all throw away cats sent here by various people. Several were inherited from my deceased pet sitter.

    Honestly if they had all stayed or lived it would be far worse but they’d all be fixed. That’s first thing I do, get all donations operated on. My vet counts on me for several truck payments a year.

  14. Ghost you still have 13 to go to reach our high point.
    But then they got cracked eggs MIL cooked up & all the mice & rats they
    could catch. It dwindled down after chickens went. Now no outside cats.

    GM Debbe – kinda missed you.

  15. At my last place, I noticed paw prints on my vehicles that I parked in the garage. We did have a lot of feral cats in the area and I had suspected they had found an opening and were rummaging through my garbage. They I heard the noise in the attic. Realized that it was a family of raccoons.

    I recently saw a meme on Facebook where the person announces “Tomorrow I will pick my sweet corn!” and a group of raccoons are nearby with smiles on their faces. That literally happened to me the first year that I moved to my large lot in Royal Oak. When the company came out to trap the raccoons in my attic, they used cookies and honey, with little success. I went to my freezer and pulled out a bag of corn that I had frozen and we trapped the family within days. That explained the raccoons attraction to my garage as I would freeze corn on weekends and the disposed of ears would sit in my garbage cans all week.

  16. OB: No ‘not now’ to click. They must know a skinflint when one contacts them.

    Ghost: ‘Her undergrad degree is from Ole Miss.’ She may have had Dr. Paul Lago [one of our prize graduates] for a course. Don’t know if he taught the undergrad intro course, though he had a role model at BSU who insisted on doing that for all 36 years. Paul retired recently; we still exchange emails. Cannot break him, and some others, from addressing me as ‘Dr’. Some do it at Sanford Health Bemidji, where I’d rather they didn’t.


  17. Did I mention that Ghost sweetie is taking me to a dance gala, two straight days? Tonight and tomorrow. It is actually multi nights but if he goes two nights in a row he will have increased his attendance at ballet by twice fold! It is contemporary ballet, the kind of erotic semi nekkid same done without benefit of a pole.

    The kind Edda dances on 9CL. Not your grandmother’s Swan Lake.

  18. David, when Larry and Jerry first pitched Footfall to their publishers, they were told to forget about the aliens and just write about the asteroid. They changed it to a comet and ended up with Lucifer’s Hammer. Later, they went back and wrote the alien invasion story that they’d wanted to in the first place, and got two best sellers instead of one. By the way, the guitar playing biker you find in both was a good friend of mine, the late Frank Gasparik, and a lot of the other characters were real people (mostly SF fans) as well.

  19. Sideburns, nice to know. “Harry Reddington” was one of my favorite characters. I especially liked the use of the relatively new information from Voyager about the “cause” of the braided F Ring in Footfall.

  20. About to head for Tulsa for an evening at the ballet (aka Mostly Nekkid Pole Dancers Performing Without Poles™). I’ll give you my impression of it later.

  21. I wonder if there were discussions on which way the ear piece was placed on the cradle
    (up or down) like which way the TP roll is placed. In a playful cat house – flap to the wall,
    so it does not easily unwind.
    Luann’s mom said compromise – change every time you change the roll.

    GM Debbe

  22. Back from the ballet performance in Tulsa. I’ll report on it tomorrow, as only Ghost can.

    We went to my first visit to The Cheesecake Factory for a late supper. It was much nicer than the one on The Big Bang Theory. The food was very good, even though we ordered from the low-cal “Skinnylicious” portion of their menu. On the other hand, none of the wait staff looked like Penny…but one customer was a reasonable facsimile.

  23. Wide awake. Can’t sleep. Decidedto read the comments. No fair, Mark . I almost laughed out loudover that newspaper article. I would have woke everyone up.

  24. Why August? Did it have anything to do with college breaks? We did, my 51 anniversary would have been this August 13.

    Luckily I am not planning an August wedding but Ghost did accept my offer so we are now engaged. We just don’t want to have to get married.

    We so much enjoy living in sin.

  25. Robert woke up!!!! Really really woke up this time. Mom and Elaine have been over in Delaware for a couple days and though he responded to commands he was pretty much out of it. But now it is like night and day. Today he is “talking” with a notepad/pen, asking and answering questions. One was “Did I miss my birthday?” We’ll do it again! Another was a little more explanation about the crash. Apparently there were about a thousand birds perching on the power line by the time he finished the corn field. As he gained altitude and headed in the direction of the line, the flocks exploded into flight… Everyone’s been doing happy dances. Thanks again for all your support.

  26. Ghost and I are not planning on getting married. We are a tad old for children and are both neutered like the kitties and dogs. We like living together no matter how we term it. It is getting tiresome explaining how we met.

    Say internet and everyone’s hackles go up and alarms sound, like Russian brides. Say we met in a Comic strip and they run for the catch nets!

    I honestly knew Ghost’s father’s cousins when I was in college. They were prominent citizens in Monroe. I am going to say blind date, a true statement.

    On our way to second night of contemporary ballet and second dinner at Cheesecake Factory, we enjoyed it so much. Ghost cleans up beautifully, gorgeous in suit and tie.

  27. Congratulations Jackie & Ghost. Sweetheart and I will hit 57 years on November 12th. We were 19 and 20 when we got married and of course everyone predicted disaster.

  28. Blind date is an excellent description! As far as Ghost goes, we’re all still mostly blind about him (and Tim Taylor’s neighbor, Wilson).


  29. Excellent, Bob! I try for 57 and then my aunt/uncle’s 67 and then a fellow church member’s 76 years (yep, and working on 77). In that last case, she was 18 and he was 25 or 26, so not exactly of extreme youth.
    Our first came 7+ years later – a very safe margin for those who count months.

  30. My parents were 19 (he) and 16 (she, 2 months after HS graduation) when they married. They had me 40 weeks later, and had 37 years together before he died of an SCA at age 56.

    Wife and I married much later (27 for me, 24 for her) and have had 37 years so far. I also had an SCA at age 56, but was saved via CPR and an AED.

  31. Good morning Villagers…..

    My maternal grandparents were married for 51 yeas….they then divorced, can’t tell me they stayed together for the kids. Sad, as they both died lonely.

    My tomato plants (I planted two) are big, big and big…they’ve outgrown the cage wiring, and now I have two tomato bushes…with lots of green ‘maters. Dad’s pear tree is looking good too. Gonna pick a few and bring them in to ripen. Need to find a paper bag, for some reason a paper bag ages fruit faster…don’t know why.

    Mark….thought of you when I came across this:



  32. Re “swim dresses”: I am certainly not philosophically opposed to women wearing garments that resemble a micro-mini-skirted sundress or sleep gown (see below), but like Arlo, I would prefer them to appear on the beach in something more in the nature of a traditional two-piece swimsuit…which one would definitely not expect to see at a baptismal service.


  33. Ghost and I are both fascinated by ancestors and family. Driving to Tulsa I found there were more of his family in the family cemetery in Monroe than Find A Grave reported in his home state of origin. It seems his ancestors came there from Louisiana? Possible.

    The Louisiana ones were there as early as mine, first decade of 1800 and they were burying them.

    Then I discovered one of my most loved teachers was his distant cousin, her maiden name but I may have known that?

    And I was in college with another. It is small world indeed in the South. And Find A Grave.

  34. Very Janis moment. I was hanging some of Ghost’s clothes and saw what I thought was dead leaf. A large live spider which ran up my crocheted sweater inside sleeve!

    I am shrieking “Should I rip all my clothes off?”

    Ghost replied “No, but that’s not my usual answer to that question. I’m hungry and kind of want to get to a restaurant today.”

    Never found spider. We are on way to Rib Crib and National Cheesecake Day and free cheesecake.

  35. Just bought a new gas stove at Lowe’s with five burners. Really nice looking and to replace the not so old abused by prior help one. We went to buy a dryer. Now I think I will buy a new washer and dryer to go in remodeled laundry since only Ghost and I will be using it. Appliances are off limits to others from now on.

    Got a tomato cookbook and a cast iron cookbook at Lowe’s so I have good reading for ideas for the crops. Actually it was the tomato pie on cover that got me.

  36. Have not been exercising like I should. Have regained weight lost last year, and it picked up some hitchhikers too. Exercise room at apartment complex looked pretty good, but when I went to use it, only the weight machines were in good shape.
    So, found a 24/7 gym within a mile of the apartment and took a year’s membership. Stocked with lots of good, well-maintained gear and close enough to offer no excuse for not going. Plan to start tomorrow.

    On the good news side, my VA doc here says my test numbers look good. He has put me in for new sleep study and I hope I will get new machine as mine is quite old now. My A1C dropped from the 12 I had last year to 8.8 and this new doc has added Metformin to my insulin. Previous doctor didnt have time to follow my progress as I moved to Oklahoma.

  37. Good news on the gym Mark but not so good on weight gain. Go back to unfried foods, grilled or sauteed, measure meats, eat more Veg and fruit, stay away from sugars and so many breads, starches and carbs.

    Remember, one fourth meat on plate, two Vegs, one serving of whole grains for the four sections of plate. You can do a dairy and a fruit too. Six items or less per meal.

  38. My wife and I ate out much of last week as she was a Romance Writers Convention and I didn’t feel like cooking. Being our 35th anniversary today, we might go to a Chinese place that we frequent. Neither of us at Chinese food last week and we get to read our fortune at the end of the meal.

    I rarely have called my wife, Marianne by her given name. It has always been Dear. Do you call Ghost by his given name?

  39. Debbe, this is what I got from the inkblot test: You are a Free Spirit! You see things differently from other people. You looked at the inkblots and found images that most people wouldn’t imagine. You saw animals, elaborate scenes, and interesting objects. Your brain is not stuck in the boxes that keep most people’s thoughts the same.

    You probably create art of some kind, whether visual, audio, or written, and you never feel as if you need to do things just because other people are doing them. You march to the beat of your own drummer, and we love it!

    I was going to make a comment or two yesterday but my cat was lying on the keyboard, and he was not inclined to move. Oh well.

    Happy Monday, Villagers!

  40. My result: You are truly an empath! When you looked at these inkblots you saw people, faces, and emotions rather than objects or animals. That’s because your dominant trait is empathy. You connect deeply with others and feel their emotions (as well as your own) in a strong, sometimes overwhelming way.
    Some people are led by their head, others by their gut, but you are led by your heart. Your strongest impulses are to care for and connect with other humans, and it’s easy for you because you pick up on their emotions so easily. The world needs more people like you.

  41. Steve, I do but mostly I call him Baby or Ghost. Last night I found out his family calls him a different name, his middle name. I may have to practice that one awhile.

    His middle name is very Southern and distinguished, naturally.

  42. My ink-blot results: “You should seek professional help. Immediately.”

    I felt this was rather unfair, as most of the blots made me think of female forms, and it wasn’t my fault that the multiple choice answers did not reflect that.

    Actually, I got the same result as Jean dear. Now there’s a real shocker. 🙂

  43. I’m “sensitive”, too. Who’d have thought? There were some when my impulsive [first] analysis indicated something other than were given as choices.

  44. Of course, such a test administered by a psychiatric professional would not be forcing you into 5 specified choices per image, either. But, as far as I know myself, mine was right on the mark, (no pun intended.).

  45. I only looked at a few – because they were all dirty pictures, and none of the
    choices fit.

    As Jeff (from Mutt & Jeff) said after the doc showed him the ink blots and said
    he had a dirty mind –“Me? You are the one with the dirty pictures”

  46. I tried it, before reading some of the Village comments. What I would have described for most of the blots wasn’t available. For some, I picked the choice that I could see the most strongly– one though: “Badgers! We don’t need no stinkin’ Badgers.” Probably I’m more violent/warlike than a mental health professional would like. There were several that looked like weapons or fighting to me.

  47. Debbe’s inkblot test: “You didn’t simply see the first or most obvious image that might come to mind in these inkblots. Your brain looks underneath to see the patterns and the true nature of things. You want to understand at a deep level. Nice job smarty!”

    Is this another way of saying I am cynical?

  48. First inkblot test I’ve seen that was M.C. rather than fill in an answer. It says I’m an empath, which is probably why I like the Family Waiting Desk job at the hospital.

    Reminds me it’s time for bed. Should be there shortly after 7 Tue. Peace,

  49. Mark: I agree that Terry Pratchett would laugh – I certainly did!

    Here’s my contribution – The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir with a Chainsaw.

  50. 2 I am reading

    “Coolidge” with a Chainsaw (About the President) not so good.
    “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” with a Chainsaw (Lynne Truss – about punctuation) very good.

    The last one I finished:
    “Railroads In The Woods” with a Chainsaw (about logging in the Northwest in
    the late 1800’s and early twentieth century — without chainsaws)

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