Saturday, February 15, 2020

Update on Abby

The vet's office called this morning with the lab report on Abby's tumor. It was a histo-something-or-other and was benign. She is good to go but won't have the stitches removed until Feb. 24th. If she licks them too much in the meantime and the area around them begins to redden, the area could get infected. The vet recommended that we buy one of those cone-shaped Elizabethan-type collar thingies if that happens. We are hoping it will not be necessary.

With apologies in advance to Yorkshire Pudding, who will be offended, the resemblance is truly remarkable.

The doggie model is not Abby, it is an Australian kelpie, which prompts me to give a shout out to all readers from the Land of Oz.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Betelgeuse may explode soon

...according to a man named Eric Mack in this article on February 11th and also in this one on February 3rd.

So if you read at least one of the articles you'll know where to look.

Not here:

That's Beetlejuice, not Betelgeuse.

Here's Betelgeuse:

I do apologize to readers in the Southern Hemisphere who see a completely different night sky.

If Betelgeuse does explode into a supernova as astronomers are predicting, nothing will be left of it eventually but stardust.

Speaking of which, here's Nat King Cole singing that very song (3:21).

Betelgeuse may explode, but Nat King Cole's voice goes on forever.

Thank you, Nat, and thank you, Gordon Jenkins Orchestra, and thank you, Hoagy Carmichael.

That last guy? All he did was compose the song.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The saga of Abby continues

Do you remember our little 13-lb. dog, a Chihuahua/Terrier mix named Señorita Juanita Rosita Lolita Conchita Margarita Abigail, Abby for short?

Last month she began licking and biting her right leg, usually upon returning indoors from her trips to the back yard. Our vet thought she might have an allergy or possibly an obsessive-compulsive disorder, gave her some pills, and asked to see her again in about 10 days.

A small growth appeared.

It grew rapidly and changed from pink to red to brownish in just a couple of weeks.

We took her back to see her favorite vet, Dr. Jeff, who couldn't decide if she had a "lick granuloma" or a "round cell tumor" but he agreed that it needed to be removed.

Yesterday she had the operation and received eight stitches.

The patient is recovering and doing nicely. We dropped her off at 9am and picked her up at 4 pm. She was pretty woozy and whimpery last evening but was willing to pose for a glamour shot today.

I also managed to get a shot of her chest and legs showing that she (a) is pretty in pink, (b) had her right foreleg shaved for the procedure, and (c) also had her left foreleg shaved so that an IV tube could be inserted during the procedure.

The removed mass has been sent to a lab for analysis. We are hoping it wasn't malignant or, in the event it was, that Dr. Jeff was able to get good margins around it and nothing is left to trouble Abby further.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

I'm melting! I'm melting!

In fact, I've completely disappeared.

Not her.

Our three inches of snow that fell yesterday morning.

It's completely gone today.

It was pretty while it lasted.

Nothing gold can stay, Robert Frost said. Apparently nothing white either.

Heraclitus said something to the effect that no man ever steps into the same river twice because the river has changed and the man has changed, and the only permanent thing is change. In Greek, of course.

As somebody once said to somebody else, in Latin yet, Sic transit gloria mundi.

It makes one stop and think.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

With apologies to Beatrice Lillie, Lady Peel

...there are no fairies at the bottom of our garden, none at all. In summer there are blackberries, but today, February 8, 2020, there are -- wait for it -- snowflakes!

Lots and lots of snowflakes.

You may enlarge the photographs below of our back yard (British, garden) and see for yourself.

Our blogger friend Yorkshire Pudding in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England reported today that England has had absolutely no snow this year and it is most 'unwinterly' (a meteorological term he invented for the occasion) to say the least. Well, until today, neither has Georgia, which is why I am positively giddy about being able to post about it to all of you in the wider world.

As luck would have it, it also has been snowing in our front yard today. Here's the view earlier this morning from our front door. You are looking at -- mirabile dictu -- our neighbor's house across the street.

Speaking of Beatrice Lillie, Lady Peel, she was a personage of another era. Here is a photograph of her taken, as it happens, on my seventh birthday (March 18, 1948) by the world-famous photographer Yousuf Karsh, a survivor of the Armenian genocide earlier in the twentieth century. According to what I read, over 20 photos by Karsh appeared on the cover of Life magazine, itself another relic of a bygone era.

Beatrice Lillie, friend of Noel Coward and Cole Porter, is indeed an artifact from days gone by. She was, according to something I read a long time ago, "a comic actress and satirist who parodied the flowery performing style of even earlier decades when arias, declamations, recitations, and poetry readings were all the rage". If she looks the slightest bit familiar to you, maybe you remember seeing her in the role of the villainous Mrs. Meers, laundress and white slaver, in the 1967 technicolor movie Thoroughly Modern Millie, the version that starred Julie Andrews.

I think I remember hearing Bea Lillie perform “I brought my harp to the party, but nobody asked me to play; the others were jolly and hearty, but I wasn’t feeling so gay” way back in the dark ages, but I couldn’t find it on Youtube. (I couldn’t find Helen Hayes reciting “The White Magnolia” either, but that has nothing to do with this post.) So if you have been dying to hear Beatrice Lillie perform, here she is doing -- and this will bring this post full circle -- “There Are Fairies at the Bottom of our Garden” (2:32) on an old 78-rpm vinyl recording.

I know this post will irritate Yorkshire Pudding for several reasons, but it simply can't be helped.

It is still snowing, four hours later, and here's a picture of our patio table to prove it:

Cheerio, ta-ta for now, and other phrases people like Noel Coward, Cole Porter, and Beatrice Lillie were always saying.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Madame Speaker, I yield the remainder of my time to the gentleman from Stratford-upon-Avon

It is too early in the morning to think straight, my mind is not yet fully alert and running on all cylinders, and Graham Edwards who lives on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in the remotest part of Scotland called my last post arcane.


Therefore, today I am letting another aspiring writer have the floor. From the site Mental Floss, here is a delightfully informative article:

21 Phrases You Use Without Realizing You're Quoting Shakespeare


I shall be resting in the drawing room all day so that the healing virtue of silence can renew my befuddled and frenzied mind, because I am of the wrong gender to get me to a nunnery.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

And another thing

A scant 7,980 years from now — just a few months after the great Y10K scare when the whole world becomes apprehensive and apoplectic over the prospect of having to change to a 5-digit year electronically when the year 9999 is unexpectedly followed by the year 10,000 — someone much like me will begin to figure out when the next palindromic date will occur, it having been over 900 years since the last one occurred on September 9, 9090 (or, as we say in our nerd circles, 09099090 in the U.S. and Europe, 90900909 in Asia).

Let me save that someone the trouble.

The first worldwide palindromic date of the 11th millennium will occur on October 10th, 10101 (that is, 101010101).

Another great mystery solved.

This is my 1,810th post since this blog began on September 28, 2007. People born in the year 1810 include P.T. Barnum and Frédéric Chopin, but the year was not as good a year for famous births as 1809, which ushered into the world Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allan Poe, Felix Mendelssohn, Nicolai Gogol, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Cyrus McCormick, Kit Carson, Charles Darwin, William Gladstone, and Louis Braille.