Monday, September 30, 2013

Déjà vu

(from the French, literally “already seen,” the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past.)

If ever you are in the hospital because you have been passing clots of blood profusely out through your rectum, so many and so often that you think you might be about to die from what is called “bleeding out,” and if after several days you slowly begin to recover to the point that the doctors can move you from a clear liquid diet to a bland diet and eventually to a high-fiber diet, pray with all your might, even if you are an atheist, that the last meal the kitchen brings you prior to your being discharged will not include a bowl containing black cherry gelatin with blueberries in it.

I’m just sayin’....

I do not think we will be speaking more about my hospital stay. I have heard, though, that it is common for people who have had problems with their innards to give their visitors an organ recital.

Just to keep the record intact, here’s one for you (2:22).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

My new Best Friends Forever no particular order, are:

* Nurses Eva (from Jamaica) and Vickie and Joy (from the Philippines) and Penny (from Kenya) and Matt;

* Nursing Techs Lillian (from Kenya, Luo tribe), Cleo (from Kenya, Kikuyu tribe), Juliet (from Bangladesh), and Jamie;

* Lab Techs Vincent and Jamie (a different one) and Lindsey and Pam and Melissa (about to be a grandmother for the first time -- twins, a boy and a girl);

* The whole crew in the GI lab including two Nicoles and two anesthesiologists (Doctors H. and B.) and a few others I didn’t have time to get to know;

* Doctors K. and H. and M. and another Dr. K. (from India) and his physician’s assistant Dennis;

* All the volunteers who wheeled me around.

I’m sure I have left out some names.

I knew I was going to have a grand adventure the first night I arrived when I was greeted with the following board on the wall of my room:

I am not even kidding. That is an unretouched, non-photoshopped, original photograph.


My nurse was Thelma and my tech was Louise.

I decided not to give them my car keys.

Thelma didn’t need car keys as she was a trip all by herself. Seventy-two years old and come out of retirement to do some more nursing two nights a week. Wife of a retired Wesleyan Methodist minister. Sharper than a tack.

I went to the Emergency Room at noon on Sunday, Sep. 22, was admitted a few hours later, and was discharged in mid-afternoon on Saturday, Sep 28. I had lost a lot of blood before I was admitted and more afterward. I had an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, and a CT angiogram; and I received two units of blood while there. The diagnosis was gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), duodenitis (inflammation of the duodenum or small intestine), diverticulosis (not -itis, but -osis) in the lower intestine.

I also have anemia temporarily while my hemoglobin levels return, it is hoped, to normal (the hemoglobin should be 14 and mine is 8.7).

They say I will be fine; I just have to stop having so much fun.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

So two cannibals are talking to each other...

...and one of them says, “I hate my mother-in-law,” and the other one says, “Then just eat rice.”

*pa-dum-pum* (rim shot on the snare drum)

I have not had access to a computer for nearly a week. The reason will be revealed before you finish reading this post.

But thank you for being concerned enough about me to wonder in the comments section of the preceding post where I was.

Where was I?

I’ll tell you where I was.

Since noon last Sunday until a couple of hours ago I have been in the hospital/in hospital/at hospital (pick your favorite).

*collective gasp or bored yawning, as the case may be*

More to come.

(P.S. -- I began blogging six years ago today.)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Oh, be careful, little ears, what you hear

Blogger tells me I have 1260 posts and 126 followers. My quickly-disappearing mathematics skills are still intact enough to be able to determine that this blog has -- let’s see, divide by 5, carry the 7 -- one follower for every ten posts.

I think the time has come for you to do some of the heavy lifting. Out of all 1260 posts at rhymeswithplague, tell me which 10 you would like to have associated with your own exalted self. I know, I know, this assignment will require you to do quite a bit of reading over the next few days, but my faith in you is complete.

And no fair picking the last 10 posts.

This should separate the sheep from the goats.

No, no, Blogger, I said “separate the sheep from the goats.”

Still not right.

Readers, Blogger is having a problem with her hearing, so I don’t think I would be able to trust anything she tells me about your choices.

I'm just going to have to cancel the assignment.

Friday, September 20, 2013

If you have something in the middle of a whole lot of nothing, what have you got?

I want to talk today about French Polynesia.

It has a flag* and everything:

...and according to wikipedia, some important atolls, islands, and island groups in French Polynesia are Ahē, Bora Bora, Hiva ’Oa, Huahine, Mai’ao, Maupiti, Meheti’a, Mo’orea, Nuku Hiva, Raiatea, Taha’a, Tahiti, Tetiaroa, Tupua’i, and Tūpai.

I kid you not.

Island paradises all, probably.

The capital of French Polynesia is Papeetē on the island of Tahiti, but the largest city, according to wikipedia, is Fa’a’a....

Say what?



Then why have I, the legendary rhymeswithplague, never heard of it?

Chalk it up to a faulty education, I suppose.

Clicking on Fa’a’a in that wikipedia article took me to another article entitled Faaa.

Faaa, without the accompanying apostrophes.

The mind, it reels.

And asks continually, why? Why? WHY?

But no explanation is ever forthcoming.

I am interested in history and exploration, and the following paragraph was my favorite part of the article:

“European communication began in 1521 when the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, sailing in the service of the Spanish Crown, sighted Puka-Puka in the Tuāmotu-Gambier Archipelago. Dutchman Jakob Roggeveen came across Bora Bora in the Society Islands in 1722, and the British explorer Samuel Wallis visited Tahiti in 1767. The French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville visited Tahiti in 1768, while the British explorer James Cook visited in 1769. In 1772 The Spanish Viceroy of Peru Don Manuel de Amat ordered a number of expeditions to Tahiti under the command of Domingo de Bonechea who was the first European to explore all of the main islands beyond Tahiti. A short-lived Spanish settlement was created in 1774. Some maps still bear the name Isla de Amat for Tahiti, which was named after Viceroy Amat in the 18th century. Christian missions began with Spanish priests who stayed in Tahiti for a year. Protestants from the London Missionary Society settled permanently in Polynesia in 1797.”

Unless it was this photograph of the building that houses the seat of government, the Assemblée de la Polynésie française or, as the islanders call it, Te âpoora’a rahi o te fenua Māòhi:

(2007 image by veromortillet used in accordance with GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

Hey, except for the sign out front it could be an A-frame in Sevierville, Tennessee:

(2007 image by Brian Stansberry used in accordance with GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

But it isn’t.

No, French Polynesia boasts scenes like this:

(2007 image by PHG under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

...and this:

(2006 photo by Scott Williams used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

...and this:

(2005 image used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

They sure beat mowing the lawn on a hot afternoon.

Ah, French Polynesia, the land of James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific; the land (though not exactly) of French planter Emile De Becque (as portrayed by Ezio Pinza) singing “Some Enchanted Evening” to U.S. Navy Nurse Ensign Nellie Forbush (as portrayed by Mary Martin) ; the place called home by the likes of painter Paul Gauguin, Tarita Teriipia (third wife of actor Marlon Brando), Cheyenne Brando (daughter of Marlon and Tarita), Tuki Brando (Cheyenne’s son, a model who is “currently the face of Versace menswear” according to wikipedia), and writer Robert Louis Stevenson.

But perhaps you are a winter person, a lover of ice and snow, bobsledding, skiing, one-horse open sleighs. For you we will now all link arms and join in a round of a grand old wintertime song:

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa’a’a Fa’a’a Fa’a’a!
'Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa’a’a Fa’a’a Fa’a’a!

So, I ask again: If you have something in the middle of a whole lot of nothing, what have you got?

Possible answers:

A. French Polynesia
B. Another fascinating post from rhymeswithplague.

The correct answer is B.

*This post was inspired yesterday afternoon when I found the flag of French Polynesia in that little Feedjit Live Traffic Feed thingy over in the sidebar after someone from Mahina (the third largest city in French Polynesia after -- class? -- Fa’a’a and Papeetē) visited my blog. That flag became the 163rd flag in my little collection of flags of the nations of the world that have visited my blog.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Anybody who likes The Eagles is okay by me

There is a news item out of Charlotte, North Carolina, today about
a woman who stabbed her roommate because he wouldn’t stop listening to music by The Eagles.

Shame, shame on her.

I like The Eagles.

Very much.

I think everybody should listen to The Eagles.

Therefore, the rest of this post will feature music by The Eagles.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

* "Hotel California" (6:28)

* "You Can’t Hide Your Lyin’ Eyes" (6:25)

There’s lots more, of course, but I think that thirteen minutes of The Eagles should be enough to get you hooked for good.

If you have a roommate, though, hide all the knives.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It’s all downhill from here

And so the long descent begins.

Having reached the heights, there is no place to go but down.

Having conquered the peaks, nothing but valleys remain.

Sara Teasdale said it better than I can, but from a woman’s perspective:

by Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)

I must have passed the crest a while ago
And now I am going down--
Strange to have crossed the crest and not to know,
But the brambles were always catching the hem of my gown.

All the morning I thought how proud I should be
To stand there straight as a queen,
Wrapped in the wind and the sun with the world under me--
But the air was dull, there was little I could have seen.

It was nearly level along the beaten track
And the brambles caught in my gown--
But it’s no use now to think of turning back,
The rest of the way will be only going down.

Every year, as summer begins to wane and an early autumn coolness fills the mornings, a strange thing occurs. Instead of becoming invigorated, I become melancholy. Wistful. Lonely. No, not lonely exactly, because I do have a wife and children and grandchildren.
I don’t know the right word to use to describe my state at this time of year, but when the leaves begin to fall, it happens like clockwork.

Sooner or later I remember, and then it makes sense.

My mother died on the 4th of October, many years ago.

Once I can identify the reason for the feeling, I manage to get on with my life. But until then, I like to read Sara Teasdale.

If this post makes any sense at all, it’s not my fault.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away

Some of my longtime readers may remember the time a couple of years ago when I suspected my hearing might be going because I thought my wife had asked me to get her a “a Q-tip” when what she had really said was “a few chips.”

Well, something similar happened this morning after all this time of doing so well in the auditory department. While looking at Facebook, Mrs. RWP suddenly turned and asked me the oddest question: “Why did the cow buy Dr. Dobson?”

Now I like riddles as much as the next person, but that one made no sense, no sense at all. “What?” I said.

“Why did the cow buy Dr. Dobson?” repeated my wife of, lo, these many years.

(Photo by Daniel Schwen, July 2007. Used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

(Photo by Focus on the Family, November 2007. Used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

My mind was reeling with the possibilities. Not.

“I have no idea,” I said. “Why?”

My wife said, “Because he wanted to get a long little doggie.”

I immediately recognized the punch line of an old joke that I probably read in Boys’ Life magazine when I was nine years old, and my brain -- remarkably agile for its age -- also knew at once that Mrs. RWP had not asked, “Why did the cow buy Dr. Dobson?”

She had asked, “Why did the cowboy get a Dachshund?”

(Photo by Igor Bredikhin, 2006. Used in accordance with GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

Of course! Because he wanted to get a long little doggie! It all suddenly made sense.

My brain also figured out that I probably need to call the Roto-rooter man to come and clean out my ears. Except that it’s probably too late for the Roto-rooter man.

For those of you in other parts of the world who do not understand the joke, the following may help. Cowboys in the American west called (and still call) calves “dogies”; there is even a song from the old cattle drive days called “Whoopee Ti-Yi-Yo, Git Along, Little Dogies” that was recorded by the likes of Roy Rogers, Marty Robbins, and even Walt Disney’s Goofy.

Click here if you think I am lying to you (2:01).

By mentioning Goofy, I bring this post back around to myself.

Have a pleasant day.

Oh, yes, and one other thing...

As the railroad signs used to say, stop, look, and LISTEN.

P.S. -- If you can think of a good answer to the question “Why did the cow buy Dr. Dobson?” I would love to hear it.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Courtroom horror

I don’t want to turn into Johnny One-Note here -- this is not, after all, an anti-abortion website -- but in the comments section of my post “Putting a comma where it doesn’t belong is not some life-ending tragedy” (September 11) , a reader in San Diego who calls herself LightExpectations left a link to a column by a woman named Andrée Seu Peterson that I wanted to give all of you the opportunity to read. Hence, my post today.

Ms. Peterson wrote the piece back in April of this year during the murder trial of Doctor Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia -- admittedly old news now -- but some things are never old news. Some things are as current as the air you breathe (no pun intended).

It’s not easy reading, but here’s “Courtroom Horror” by Andrée Seu Peterson. As the column’s subtitle says, “The shocking part of the Kermit Gosnell trial isn’t only what’s illegal.” Ms. Peterson manages to write in an engaging and even whimsical style about a thoroughly non-whimsical subject.

If you really like to read about horror and gore, though, turn to Wikipedia’s article on Kermit Gosnell.

It will keep you up at night.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Into each life some rain must fall

My cyberfriend David Barlow of Ephraim, Utah, -- Putz to you -- had a scary experience on Labor Day weekend when several members of his family went hiking in Little Wild Horse slot canyon.

Slot canyons can be dangerous places, especially when rains cause sudden severe flooding, because there’s no way to escape the water. For example, in Antelope Canyon, Arizona, eleven tourists were killed in 1997 by a flash flood; and in 2008 a couple drowned in Utah despite wearing wet suits.

When Putz’s family were caught in a flash flood in Little Wild Horse slot canyon on Labor Day weekend, they lived to tell about it.

Here are Putz’s own words from his blog, in his own inimitable style:

“my family went on the memorial day [sic] holiday to wild horse slot canyon in goblin valley utah>><>me, my wife karma, tony and his wife, and their kids braydo. owie and hannah with 2 h’s to n’s and two a’s and dan on whos blog you will find all the pictures of this horrific event <><>it was an eight mile hike><>i made it to the beginning of the slot canyons 3 miles and decided to wait>><>well i was happy to talk to all going up and asked all where they traveled from>><>well we had barely fifteen minutes of light rain, so i went and stood in the wash to escape the wetness and i hear this loud noise<><>i had no idea what it was <><>><>was this comming from the center of the earth?? no<><>as i backed away the water 6 feet tall came through the rock so i stepped out of the wash and watched a river being created<><>the two nice single girls asked where my party was><<>I HAD NO IDEA,.,.they decided to wait with me until i knew for sure the fate of my party<><>offered me a beer to calm my nerves ><><>well they tried to talk about trivial things because they were sure i had just LOST my wife in a slot canyon drowning accident<><>4 hours later my party plus two extra children appeared, a four year old and a 6 year old being caarried out by my son and my daughter in law and thre grand kids walking on their own appeared and recounted the stories of having water splash down in gummlets, i mean gimlets and filling up the slot canyon as they ran in the two feet of water screaming to the end with water increasing as they ran<><>i found out that the two kids who were extra were giving their parents a break {one of them had the hand of her father, but he lost the grip when he himself fell in the torrents<>><><>in fact all said they never had so much fun in their life<><>i wonder why danger is also fun< but they said it was,.,.I ACTUALLY HAD FUN ALSO TALKING TO EVERYONE , about 40 people going up and back about their adventures and helping them over the slick rocks.,>”

Here is a post from Putz’s son Daniel’s blog that includes several still photographs and a seven-minute video of Putz’s sons and grandsons sloshing through the canyon and escaping with their lives (7:34).

A few days later, when it had time to sink in, Putz posted again:

“1--//////////////'''SURVIVED________________________________________________________________________________________________A LOST SLOT CANYON FLASH FLOOD________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________MY SIXTY NINE YEAR OLD WIFE SURVIVED A WILD HORSE SLOT CANYON FLASH FLOOD------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------MY 10 YEAR OLD GRANDSON SURVIVED A RAIN INDUCED FLASH FLOOD___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________my SEVEN YEAR OLD GRANDAUGHTTER AND HER MOTHER FOUGHT THE ELEMENTS IN A WILD HORSE SLOT FLOOD FLASH_____________________________________________________________________________________________________MY OLD 30"S AND 40" BOYS SURVIVED GALENTLEY A SLOT CANYON FLASH FLOOD____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________we are all living to tell about it”

What a grand re-entry into blogworld Putz has had after an absence of several months! Scary, yes, but grand nonetheless.

Just reading Putz (admittedly an acquired taste) is a grand adventure in itself. I’m glad he's back, and especially that all of his family are safe.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Only God can make a tree

I got up earlier than usual this morning and put my flag out.

Here is a column by Breeanne Howe entitled “Hope Of A Tree” that appeared on today.

It says, better than I could say it, what I’m feeling today on the anniversary of 9/11.

Putting a comma where it doesn’t belong is not some life-ending tragedy

In the Afro Briefs section of a website called AFRO on September 6, 2013, the headline read “Miami Heat Udonis Haslem & Wife’s, Unusual Wedding Announcement” and apparently no one batted an eye at the unneeded comma.

And when Miami Heat player Udonis Haslem and his wife, Faith Rein, were married recently (after living together for 14 years) , no one -- well, hardly anyone -- batted an eye that their wedding announcement included ... well, here, just read it for yourself.

I’m hoping you are shocked, but perhaps you won’t be.

The thing that shocks me most is not the fact that the couple included information about an abortion in their wedding announcement. It’s that one pro-choice blogger reportedly was appreciative that the couple “discussed their decision like it’s not some life-ending tragedy.”

If abortion is not a life-ending tragedy, then what is it exactly?

There may be an ongoing debate about whether a fetus qualifies as a human being (what is it, reptilian?) or exactly when it becomes a human being (the CCNCW -- current conventional non-Christian wisdom -- seems to be when it is “viable,” capable of surviving outside the womb) , but -- and correct me if I’m wrong -- has there ever been any doubt as to whether it is life? Any at all?

Maybe in the hallowed halls of The New York Times or the locker room of the Miami Heat or the bridal parties of the rich and famous, but not where I live.

There’s no question whatsoever.

An abortion is a life-ending tragedy, period.

Case closed.

Now if we could just get journalism schools to teach people where commas are not needed, life on this planet would be almost perfect.

I hope you caught the lack of sincerity in that last sentence. When everything is said and done, today is still September 11th.

(Photographs above from “Days of Terror” at

(Photographs above from by navexpress)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A sight for sore eyes and a treat for your ears

Turn up your sound and watch the JSU (Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama) Marching Southerners Band’s halftime show at the first home football game of the season, September 7, 2013 (8:41).

This band has everything -- precision marching, twirling tossed rifles, waving flags, awesome drumline, high-kicking ballerinas, and a wall of sound from its 400 members.

Two of my children marched in this band during their college years and graduated from this school. The current director was my son’s roommate and once played Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata on my piano.

And no, I am not biased in the least. Why do you ask?

Monday, September 9, 2013


Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak grew chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.

A dyslexic man walks into a bra....

A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. “But why?” they asked, as they moved off. “Because,” he said, “I can’t stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.”

An invisible man married an invisible woman. Their children were nothing to look at either.

A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says, “A beer please, and one for the road.”

“Doc, I can’t stop singing ‘The Green, Green Grass of Home.’ ” said the patient. “That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome,” said the doctor. “Is it common?” asked the patient. The doctor replied, “Well, It’s Not Unusual.”

Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love, and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent.

I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel.

Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, “I was artificially inseminated this morning.” “I don’t believe you,” says Dolly. Daisy says, “It’s true, no bull!”

A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.”

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other, “Does this taste funny to you?”

(My thanks go out to my old friend and work colleague, Tom H., on whose Facebook page every last one of these has appeared. --RWP)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Is it my imagination or...

does this:

remind you of this?

Oh, good! Then I’m not crazy!

Well, okay, I might be crazy, but that’s a subject for another day....

Update, 7:30 a.m. EDT: Elephant’s Child in Canberra says it is my imagination. Okay, then, does it remind you of this?

Yes? No? That is Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons. It should be duly noted, however, that Lisa’s mother, Marge:

definitely resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa:

P.S. - Your free trivia factoid for today is that the voice of Marge Simpson on The Simpsons is provided by actress Julie Kavner, who played the role of Rhoda Morgenstern’s younger sister, Brenda, on Rhoda starring Valerie Harper, which was a spinoff from The Mary Tyler More Show (as was Phyllis starring Cloris Leachman). I didn’t have to look today’s free trivia factoid up. I knew it already.

Friday, September 6, 2013

September thoughts

It’s a long, long way from May to December.

John Donne may have said in 1624 that no man is an island, but I have come to the conclusion that many people are definitely peninsulas. They try to cut themselves off from the rest of the world, and there is not a dadblamed thing the rest of the world can do about it.

We are all interconnected (especially if you are a United Methodist), but sometimes it feels like just barely. Sometimes the connectedness feels very intrusive. And sometimes it is very welcome.

We are peculiar creatures.

We have private thoughts that we don’t want to share with anybody, and private fears that we (in the words of John Keats) may cease to be, and private demons that come to us in the dark of night.

Thank God for Jesus.

I don’t know what this post means, but I’m going to post it anyway.

Maybe someone out there will explain it to me.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I think I felt the earth move

In my last post I showed you a graph from Feedjit that showed that page views of my blog doubled on the day I published a post about Little House on the Prairie. I opined as to how maybe I should write more posts about a certain G-rated, family-friendly television program of yesteryear.

In a comment, reader Carol in Cairns (that’s in Far North Queensland, you know -- oh, you didn’t? well, now you do) pointed out something that should have been obvious if I had done a little checking: “RWP, you did not mention that your previous two posts were about politics and religion ... two conversational taboo topics. I reckon if you go for the third taboo topic you will outdo your LH statistics.”

Well, I hate to disappoint, but I am not going to write about sex.

What I am going to do is write about religion again, because a little bird told me that in certain circles two posts on religion can be substituted for one on sex.

All right, then, let’s begin.

First, this evening at sundown Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) begins, 1 Tishrei 5774. I just know that I’ll still be writing 5773 on my checks for a few more days. (Laugh it up, folks -- these are the jokes.)

Accordingly, here’s an article from the Huffington Post that explains more about Rosh Hashana and also includes a photographic slide-show of no less than fourteen (14) traditional foods eaten at Jewish New Year.

For Jews, Rosh Hashana begins the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of reflection that ends on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

For most Christians and all atheists, it’s just another day in September, and they’ll be eating Big Macs and french fries as usual.

Second, here’s a fascinating article by a former minister that tells you eleven things you might not understand about your minister. A war of sorts erupted in the article’s comments section. The article is a good read even if you (a) don’t have a minister and (b) don’t want one.

If I smoked, I would light up a cigarette now.

Was it as good for you as it was for me?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Double your pleasure, double your fun

A Feedjit day is different from an ordinary day. An ordinary day begins at 12:00:01 a.m. and doesn’t end until the little hand makes two complete revolutions and the final seconds tick off: 11:59:58 p.m., 11:59:59 p.m., 12:00 midnight [Note to youngsters. Revolutions and hands are words that used to be identified with clocks before digital clocks were invented way back before you were even born. --RWP].
A Feedjit day starts around 8 or 9 p.m. where I live and lasts 24 hours until the same time tomorrow night. This strange way of doing things explains why Feedjit’s little charts of page views always appear to be a day off.

Anyway, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that my blog’s page views per day skyrocketed took a quantum leap forward suddenly doubled on the Feedjit day that began shortly after I published the post about Laura Ingalls Wilder on the evening of September 1st and was called September 1st even though it lasted until the evening of September 2nd. Here’s the chart:

And although the page views declined a bit on September 2nd (which ended just a little while ago on the evening of September 3rd), they were still well above what their levels were before I mentioned Laura Ingalls Wilder:

I’m mighty pleased with this turn of events, and it’s all due to you wonderful people out there in the dark my readers. I mean, it’s completely beyond my control, of course. Or maybe not. Perhaps I should write more posts about a certain G-rated, family-friendly television program of yesteryear that featured child actors Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson, who played you-know-who and you-know-who’s sister Mary, respectively.

In fact, I’m so happy I feel like chewing a stick of gum.

Incredible entrepreneurial opportunity for the right person! Act now while there’s still time!

Yesterday I received an email in Russian. Whenever that happens, I always copy it into Google Translate, which provides me with two things: a transliteration of the Cyrillic characters and an English translation. When I found out what I had been sent, I couldn’t wait to show it to you.

1. Russian email:

Subject: Подвал на Майдане Незалежности от владельца!

Подвал на Майдане Незалежности от владельца!

ул. Софиевская 16/16

86 м.кв.

2 мин. пешком до м .Майдан Незалежности

Универсальность использования помещения - помещение идеально подходит под магазин одежды, салон красоты,страховую компанию, коллекторскую компанию, службы доставки, салон массажа или же просто выгодно сдавать в аренду под офис.

Пожарная + охранная сигнализация,проточная вентиляция, кондиционеры, интернет, телефоны, видеонаблюдение

Цена 110 000 $

возможна продажа в кредит

(end of Russian email)

2, Transliteration of the Cyrillic characters:

Subject: Podval na Maydane Nezalezhnosti ot vladel'tsa!

Podval na Maydane Nezalezhnosti ot vladel'tsa!

ul. Sofiyevskaya 16/16

86 m.kv.

2 min. peshkom do m .Maydan Nezalezhnosti

ispol'zovaniya pomeshcheniya- pomeshcheniye ideal'no podkhodit pod magazin odezhdy, salon krasoty, strakhovuyu kompaniyu, kollektorskuyu kompaniyu, sluzhby dostavki, salon massazha ili zhe prosto vygodno sdavat' v arendu pod ofis. Pozharnaya

+ okhrannaya signalizatsiya, protochnaya ventilyatsiya, konditsionery, internet, telefony, videonablyudeniye

Tsena 110 000 $

vozmozhna prodazha v kredit

(end of transliteration of the Cyrillic characters)

3. English translation:

Subject: Basement at the Independence Square from the owner!

Basement at the Independence Square from the owner!

Str. Sophia 16/16

86 sq.m.

2 min. walk to the m. Maydan Nezalezhnosti

Universal use space - space is ideal for shop clothing, beauty salon, an insurance company, collection companies, services delivery, massage parlor, or just to rent out an office.

+ Fire alarm system, flow ventilation, air conditioning, internet access, phones, video surveillance

Price $110,000

Available For Loan

(end of English translation)

So any of you who have always wanted a basement at Independence Square, a 2-minute walk to the m. Maydan Nezalezhnosti, for a mere $110,000 American, all you have to do is contact somebody named (email address

A word to the wise: “Cowabunga” is what Chief Thunderthud used to say on The Howdy Doody Show to Buffalo Bob Smith, or maybe it was to Princess Summerfallwinterspring, even though says it is “a yell of exhilaration, mainly used by surfers.” You just can’t trust anybody any more. Consider yourself warned.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Maybe Nellie Oleson was really a sweet girl

My cyberfriend Frances Garrood over there in Jolly Olde Englande has indicated in a post that she is is outraged over...well, here, just read it for yourself:

“I’m Outraged” by Frances Garrood.

I left the following comment (more or less; I have expanded it a little for this post) :

I know just how you feel, but with me it’s Little House on the Prairie. Mrs. RWP and I have been watching reruns of it every evening for several months now, just before reruns of The Waltons.

I know. It’s sad, isn’t it?

This week I decided to look online for some information about the real Laura Ingalls Wilder and Charles and Caroline and Mary and Almanzo and discovered that their names may have been used in the series but not much else in it is true. I am outraged, just like Frances. The last time this happened was when Mrs. RWP and I saw the film made of John Gresham’s book The Firm and the whole second half of the film had Tom Cruise running around Memphis, Tennessee, instead of fleeing all the way to Florida one step ahead of the bad guys, and it was filled with F-bombs galore when not one curse word appeared in Gresham’s book. I understand about literary license and all that, but I prefer that films at least try to resemble the original works. To Kill A Mockingbird did a good job of that, in my opinion.

Even in Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet (which Frances mentioned in her post), Romeo said, “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?” but DID NOT THEN SAY, “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” No, he didn’t. The film may have “stuck faithfully to the original words” but it inexplicably left out a few I was expecting.

That’s the real Charles and Caroline Ingalls in that photo. He doesn’t remind me in the least of Michael Landon.

And here’s the real Mary Ingalls:

She doesn’t look a thing like Melissa Sue Anderson. And although she did attend the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton, Iowa, between 1881 and 1889 and graduated, there is no evidence whatever that she ever married a blind teacher named Adam. She returned home and lived with her parents until their deaths, and then with her younger sister Carrie, and then with her even younger sister Grace. At least they got the names right. Wikipedia reports that Mary was able to contribute to the family income by making fly nets for horses.

And the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder pageant that has been held annually since 1971? Is it held in Walnut Grove, Minnesota?

No, it is not.

DeSmet, South Dakota.

I simply can’t go on.

The rant is ended. Long live the rant.

I will be laboring (<i>British,</i> labouring) under a handicap for the next couple of weeks (<i>British,</i> fortnight)

More about that below. First, though, I want to add an addendum (what else would you do with an addendum?) to my previous post about phone...