Category Archives: Uncategorized

Our Anniversary: No. 42

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Tomorrow is our 42nd wedding anniversary, and we’re gonna have crab cakes… and maybe rest. Some rest would be real nice, along about now.

It was on August 8, forty-two years ago, that Patty and I eloped to Elkton, Maryland, and tied the knot. Why did we elope? Well, gee, which would any rational person honestly rather do–organize a wedding, or go fishing? We went fishing. Think of all the agita we spared ourselves. To say nothing of all the money we saved my parents.

I think we’ll skip the nooze tomorrow, if you don’t mind.


Do You Really Want Me to Write About This S***?

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I was going to post some nooze this afternoon, honest. But as I scanned the headlines trying to decide which items to use, it seemed infinitely more desirable to publish another picture of a Baluchitherium. Biggest land mammal that ever lived–and King Ryons couldn’t have rescued his city without one.

Really, the news today is total dreck. Nothing but one jidrool after another flapping his jaw, her jaw, and spewing out political pornography. It’s supposed to make us want them to rule our country. Presuming we’re as hopelessly insane as they are.

Now I know there are no Baluchitheriums living on the earth today, despite how dearly I would love to see one. My hope is that God has stored them someplace safe, somewhere in the vastness of Creation, and that someday He will let me see them. In the sweet by and by.

*Sigh. Now it’s going on two o’clock. I’ve already had my bike ride and it’s too hot to do another one. Will anybody mind if I go outside and try to start writing the next chapter of my book?

You Mean There’s Still Half a Day to Go?

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So far today–blog posts, pick up laundry, take care of the recycling, lug huge bottles of spring water up the stairs to the water cooler, compose Newswithviews column, type it up and send it in… and I haven’t done any work on my book yet, there are still some things to blog… and it’s already quarter after one! It feels more like quarter to five.

Oh–and somebody sent me this enormous cardboard box full of packing peanuts and bubble wrap, containing… calendars. It’s already August; if you don’t have a calendar by now, forget about it. Now all this junk has to be disposed of.

Whoever said that life gets easier, once you’re seventy, was desperately mad.

Space Aliens Have Taken Over My Town

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This won’t be easy to explain, but I’m going to try.

In a movie I was watching last night, a character had occasion to pass by his local American Legion hall. That reminded me that my town’s American Legion hall, with its front yard adorned with real howitzers carefully modified so as not to shoot, is no more. Gone. Vanished. Torn down, paved over, not a trace of it left.

It has joined our Italian-American Club, our woodland, our spring of cool, pure, delicious water, our local farms, our Dairy Queen, and so much else, more than I can bear to list, in oblivion.

Now, you can’t just take away all these amenities from a small town without turning it into some kind of gulag. All the buildings that have replaced the real places are tall, featureless cubes.

This is why I think the powers that be in my home town are from another world. Because they can only imitate human life without having any feeling for it. That’s why the yards are so small on all the new houses, and no one ever comes outdoors.

To replace what they’ve torn down and paved over, our reigning space aliens plug in things and events they think ought to be part of small-town life, periodically blocking off Main Street so they can have a Classic Car Night or a Winter Solstice Festival or some other kind of celebration of something that you never heard of. These would be all right, I suppose, if they had grown here over time. But these are just plugged in. It’s not the same as a farm whose owners, once upon a time,  fought in our War for Independence. It doesn’t make up for the little field of wild tulips they’ve destroyed.

So overnight these artsy Special Events spring up out of nowhere, because entities from Mars or Diomega Orionis IV think this is what a small town in America ought to look like.

At best they mean well, and are trying to install homey touches to replace what they’ve bulldozed away. At worst it’s entertainment for them. They watch us and go tee-hee.

Those old places were real; they belonged here.

The new ones aren’t, and don’t.

Oh, Boy! Time to Do the Drain!

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Before it gets blisteringly hot today, I must unclog the bathroom sink. It’s a routine task, done in a space ideally designed for someone four feet tall or less; so for me it’s a kind of hellish yoga. Let’s see if I can manage it in half an hour. (Giggles hysterically)

When I’m done with that, I have to whiz back to the supermarket and buy an extra bag of expensive deluxe cat litter because someone, I ain’t sayin’ who, tripped over the litter box last night while I was cleaning it and dumped the contents all over the floor.

And after that it’ll be way too hot to wrestle my bike into the trunk of my car so I can take it to the shop and have the tire replaced.

I need servants. Any volunteers?

‘Comments Disabled’ (Grrrrrr!)

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If you’re new here, you might be asking yourself, “What is it with this guy? He’s running a comment contest, he says, but he’s got the comments off. You can’t make one!”

Well, folks, that’s just WordPress trying to drive me round the bend. They know I’m afraid to ask them to fix this problem, for fear they’ll replace it with a worse problem. I haven’t forgotten the time they did up my whole blog in light blue letters on a light grey background–impossible to read!

So they’ve decided “Comments Disabled” should be my default position, and every time I make a post, I’ve got to go through several extra steps to allow readers to comment. If I forget, or hit the wrong key, or think a bad thought while I’m doing it, presto! Comments off.

It’s easy to fix, once I’ve been alerted to it.

Please bear with me.

Wiping Out the Cobras: A Parable

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Now who would want to breed cobras?

I haven’t been able to determine whether this is true or not; but the story goes that in the 19th century, when the British ruled India, the colonial government wanted to put a stop to people being killed by cobras. And so, to eliminate the cobras, the government put a bounty on them.

The people soon realized that, as badly as they needed the bounty money, sooner or later all the cobras would be gone. So… they bred them. Set up home cobra hatcheries: that way there’s always a dead cobra to bring in for a bounty.

When the government found out that people were breeding cobras for fun and profit, they canceled the bounty. With no more money to be made from cobras, the people who had boxes of cobras at home released them into the wild. Presto! They had a much worse cobra problem than they had before.

This is the origin of the expression, “cobra effect,” describing how efforts to solve a problem sometimes make the problem worse.

Especially when the government gets involved.

One of *Those Days

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For a change, today is neither boiling hot nor battered by torrential rains and explosive thunderstorms. So I went out and wrote half a dozen pages of The Wind From Heaven, and then decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather by going for a bike ride.

So much for that. Flat tire. Had to walk the bike home a mile in the blazing sun. Totally shot, can’t pump it back up, have to take it to the shop and get a new tire, ka-ching, ka-ching…

“See, Byron? This is why I can’t offer a bike as the prize in a comment contest. Bicycles are false friends. They never pass up and opportunity to do you wrong.”

Oh, yeesh, am I hot! Just pouring sweat in buckets. I want to go home. (“Dude, you are home!”) Where’s the Reset button on this day?

I wonder if it’s safe to use my car…

Prayer Request: Us

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Patty had a very bad night last night–which means I had a bad night, too–so today’s doctor visit had to be rescheduled. This business of several doctors’ appointments a week has not yet born much fruit and is beginning to take its toll. We were really hoping it would help. That first inhaler she got was practically a miracle until it turned around and bit her, and had to be discontinued.

Please pray for us: we need it.

Maybe I can work on my book today, if I don’t crash.


Sloooooowwww Comment Contest

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G’day, Byron the Quokka here! And feeling like a right lemon, with only 11 comments made today, and 409 to go in the comment contest–which I’m supposed to be running better than Lee could do, but look at me!

I’ve told him and told him, time and again, he’s got to sweeten the prize. I had a perfectly good bicycle that could’ve been the prize, but he wouldn’t hear of it–said it wasn’t our bike to give away. He’s got this thing about giving out autographed books as prizes.

Well, crikey! How about one o’ them helmets that makes your wishes come true? That would be a prize worth winning! Although I’ve heard of a spotted quoll who got hold of one of those, and didn’t take it as serious as he should’ve, and wound up wishing himself into a pair of kangaroo ears.

But no, we’re stuck with the bloomin’ books. And people are starting to wonder about me as a contest administrator. Coo! but it’s a thankless job!

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