More Snow–and Then Some

Weather contrasts: Tropical Storm Karen and Winter Storm Atlas

I’m getting it with both barrels today.

First, more snow–my fault, of course, for liking snow. I had to go to the supermarket and stock up for the week. It was still snowing when I got back, so I went outside for my cigar. Somehow that made the snow turn into heavy rain and now we have a slush storm.

And in the adjacent apartment, they’re doing some kind of major construction project, providing us in our apartment with a symphony of loud hammering, loud drilling, and lots of banging around. If you’ve ever tried to write with heavy construction noises as your background music, you’ll know what I’m up against. But Patty has it worse: she’s trying to do our taxes. It sounds like they’re testing helicopter engines in the adjacent kitchen. I was going to write my Newswithviews this afternoon: dream on.

I think I’ll just post another hymn, and then try to go back to reading Sebastian Gorka’s book, which I’m reviewing for Chalcedon.

I hope I don’t go mad. They’ve just started with the power drills again.

Quick Note: What Happened to the Hymn?

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Every day, the first thing I post here is a hymn.

Today, for the first time ever, the daily hymn has no views. Zip, zero, nada. This is so unusual, I just have to ask about it. I mean, what’s not to like about He Leadeth Me?

Reminder to new arrivals: we’re always glad to post hymn requests. So if you have a hymn you’d like to share, just let us know.

Our Global Warming Snow and Ice

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We’ve been trying for a week to get Patty’s car out of the ice. Unable to drive, she’s been getting cabin fever. Our neighbor, Josh, shoveled some away the other day and said he thought we might be able to move it today.

Well, I tried. The car got stuck again. I shoveled some more, and then some more–and voila! She finally broke loose. I took it around the block and parked it on the street so Patty could drive us to the supermarket.

Coming home, I suggested we park on the street again, so she could walk on the sidewalk instead of an uneven expanse of frozen snow, and then I’d return the car to our regular parking space–but no, she didn’t think we had to go to all that trouble.

It turned out that we should have. She parked the car all right, but couldn’t manage walking the terrain. She had to try to, though. I followed close behind, so I could catch her if she fell. The ice there is very tricky and I fell there the other day.

So of course she did fall, and off to the side where I couldn’t reach her. “I told you to fall backwards,” I helpfully reminded her. Getting her back on her feet, amid all that slippery ice, was no treat.

She’s going to be sore tomorrow, but she’s all right now.

I’ve loved snow all my life, but too much is too much.

‘Now That’s a Question!’ (2017)

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As a writer, I get asked a lot of questions. A lot of dumb things are said to me, by a lot of people.

Here’s the most insulting question I’ve ever been asked:

Now That’s a Question!

No, it wasn’t “How long did it take you to write that?” Although that particular question is always asked. Always. And I’d estimate about 95% of the people I talk to say they’d write a book, too, if they had more time.

But this is the one that takes the cake (in case you don’t have time to click on the original post from 2017):

“When’s it gonna be a TV movie?”

[Exit, screaming]

Byron’s TV Listings

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G’day! Here are some of Quokka University’s TV listings for the weekend. I am so distracted by that ad for TNT Popcorn! Gotta go get some–read on without me.

7:30  02  The Leopold Hogmouth Show

Leopold’s rivalry with Jackie Gleason causes him to break out in unsightly spots. Jackie Gleason: Art Carney. Mrs. Dooby: Dame Judith Anderson

03  You Stink at Chess!–Educational

Self-proclaimed world chess champion Otto Blotto berates beginners for their lack of skill, denounces the International Chess Federation, and tries to raise money for his presidential campaign. Studio audience is all stuffed animals.

07  Saddle Sores

Gunslinger Myron Klinker (Adlai Stevenson) gets his comeuppance from a defective Whoopee Cushion. Meanwhile, back at the saloon, Miss Doppelganger sings “I’m in the Mood for Cat Food.” Sheriff Patel: Olaf Stapleton.

11  Movie  “My Dandruff Is a National Disgrace” (1971)

The Dirt Brothers, touring the Australian Outback with their traveling flea circus, come up short when Dingy’s dandruff overflows the wagon, necessitating an emergency stopover at a town called Death to Strangers. Dingy, Dusty, and Dumpy Dirt. Big Al: John Gielgud. Mad Scientist: Sir Kenneth Clark.

12  Tootsie Roll Theater–Drama

When Uncle Tiddly is arrested for sleeping on a park bench, Aunt Widdly swings into action! She recruits a band of teenaged super-heroes to break Tiddly out of jail and force the local high school to stage a musical revue. We cannot tell why this is listed as a drama. Featured songs include “1,000 Barrels of Beer on the Wall” and “Mozambique Tap-Dance Lullaby.” Tiddly: Basil Rathbone. Widdly: Joey Heatherton.

Well, that’s all for now. I’ve got to make tracks before someone asks me how I got in here.

Got My Groceries!

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Well, our larder is replenished. What I did was take a cab out to the Stop & Shop and back–under the circumstances, well worth the cost. Now we’ve got enough food to last us well into next week… in case the snow doesn’t melt.

Benny the cabbie provided pleasant conversation. He’s been driving for Metuchen Cab for 25 years. “I’m sure there are more exciting places to drive a cab,” I said, “but who needs that kind of excitement?” And Benny said, “You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve seen, driving a cab. I could write a book.” Yeah, I’ll bet he could. Things go on in small towns that the local newspaper never gets wind of.

Anyhow, huge load of groceries securied, sun is shining, and I’m bushed. I think I need a cigar.

P.S.–I have just discovered that my neighbor, Josh, took it upon himself to shovel out my car! I could hardly believe my eyes–no way I could’ve done it myself. I used to do those things when I was some years younger–pitch in to get neighbors’ cars shoveled out. Now someone has done it for me.

Bless you, Josh! May the Lord be good to you.

I Still Can’t Do It

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I tried again this morning to get my wife’s car out of the snow, but could get no farther than clearing a path to her door. We’ve had freezing rain, so the snow is half-ice and very, very heavy.

We really need to get out and buy some groceries–but how? We called the cab company, but got no answer. Ditto the free senior citizens’ bus. Crikey! We don’t want to turn into a mini-Donner Party, do we? I love snow, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing: several years’ worth of snow in just one storm.

Yesterday a bunch of tenants next door dug out their cars–but where to dump the snow? Ah–behind and around everybody else’s cars.

Thank Heaven Antonio’s Restaurant delivers!

Robbie Update

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We’ve finally heard from the vet (no one was able to get to the office yesterday). Robbie’s blood work is in. Her numbers are a little better, but she’s not out of the woods yet: we must slightly increase the dosage of her thyroid medicine. She’s 14 years old, and more dramatic treatment is out of the question.

But she still likes to run up the stairs full-tilt after using the litter box, and in most other ways seems her normal self. Fun is still fun, as far as she’s concerned. But she needs to put some weight back on.

Holy smoke–it is quarter to two already?

I wish I had a sled.

I Couldn’t Do It

Shovel Snow Pile High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

Well, the moment of truth has come and gone, and I just couldn’t shovel out Patty’s car: couldn’t even shovel my way to it. We had some freezing rain on top of the snow, and it made the snow very, very heavy.

My wife, my editor, and my neighbor all warned me off taking on this job, so that was a vote of 3-0, the nays have it. I did try, but thought it wise not to try too hard.

I love snow, but this is too much of a good thing. How we’re going to get out to buy groceries is a mystery to me.

Once upon a time, I could’ve done it: twenty years ago or so. Oh, to be 50 again.

Can’t get my blog views up, either. *Sigh*

Teenagers Wanted!

Lazy Billings Teenagers Refuse To Shovel Snow for $10

It has arrived: the moment of truth. The moment I put my boots on and wade out into a foot and a half of snow. The landlord has not plowed our parking lot, nor the driveway, so I’ll have to see what I can do. My wife and my editor have both sternly cautioned me, “Don’t kill yourself out there! People like you, they might keel over…” I chose not to ask for an elaboration of that.

What we need around here, and don’t have, is… teenagers! Half a dozen teens with snow shovels could clear that driveway as quick as boiled asparagus. I know because I was a teenager once. A bunch of us would get together to clear the snow off Tommy’s Pond so everybody in the neighborhood could ice-skate.

Nobody’s going to ask a bunch of 70-somethings to do that.

Really, people need to appreciate teenagers. If they haven’t been turned into chowderheads by public schooling, Hollywood, and social media, they’re bright and lively and a good influence on adults. Good company, too.

Well, dawdle no more. Get out there and shovel.