Yay, Old Folks!

Before the operation Andy’s surgeon said Andy would have less trouble recovering than a 21-year-old — older people are more used to aches and pains.

Andy laughed when he told me that.


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More Poems

The book of children’s poems I mentioned yesterday burned in the fire, but Andy and I still remember two of the poems. (I needed to look up the exact wording, of course).

The first poem is Hiding by Dorothy Keeley Aldis:

I’m hiding, I’m hiding
And no one knows where;
For all they can see is my
Toes and my hair

And I just heard my father
Say to my mother –
“But, darling, he must be
Somewhere or other;

Have you looked in the inkwell?”
And Mother said, “Where?”
“In the INKWELL?”said Father. But
I was not there.

Then “Wait!” cried my mother —
“I think that I see
Him under the carpet.” But
It was not me.

“Inside the mirror’s
A pretty good place.”
Said Father and looked, but saw
Only his face.

“We’ve hunted,” sighed Mother,
“As hard as we could
And I am so afraid that we’ve
Lost him for good.”

Then I laughed out aloud
And I wiggled my toes
And Father said —”Look, dear,
I wonder if those

Toes could be Benny’s?
There are ten of them, see?”
And they WERE so surprised to find
Out it was me!

The other is The King’s Breakfast by By A. A. Milne:

The King asked
The Queen, and
The Queen asked
The Dairymaid:
“Could we have some butter for
The Royal slice of bread?”
The Queen asked
The Dairymaid,
The Dairymaid
Said, “Certainly,
I’ll go and tell
The cow
Before she goes to bed.”

The Dairymaid
She curtsied,
And went and told
The Alderney:
“Don’t forget the butter for
The Royal slice of bread.”

The Alderney
Said sleepily:
“You’d better tell
His Majesty
That many people nowadays
Like marmalade

The Dairymaid
Said, “Fancy!”
And went to
Her Majesty.
She curtsied to the Queen, and
She turned a little red:
“Excuse me,
Your Majesty,
For taking of
The liberty,
But marmalade is tasty, if
It’s very

The Queen said
And went to
His Majesty:
“Talking of the butter for
The Royal slice of bread,
Many people
Think that
Is nicer.
Would you like to try a little

The King said,
And then he said,
“Oh, dear me!”
The King sobbed, “Oh, deary me!”
And went back to bed.
He whimpered,
“Could call me
A fussy man;
I only want
A little bit
Of butter for
My bread!”

The Queen said,
“There, there!”
And went to
The Dairymaid.
The Dairymaid
Said, “There, there!”
And went to the shed.
The cow said,
“There, there!
I didn’t really
Mean it;
Here’s milk for his porringer
And butter for his bread.”

The Queen took
The butter
And brought it to
His Majesty;
The King said,
“Butter, eh?”
And bounced out of bed.
“Nobody,” he said,
As he kissed her
“Nobody,” he said,
As he slid down
The banisters,
My darling,
Could call me
A fussy man—
I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!”

They still make us smile after all these years. Can you remember anything that tickled your funny bone 35 or so years ago?


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We Can Relate to That

Poor old Jonathan Bing
Went out in his carriage to visit the King,
But everyone pointed and said, “Look at that!
Jonathan Bing has forgotten his hat!”
(He’d forgotten his hat!)

Poor old Jonathan Bing
Went home and put on a new hat for the King,
But by the palace the soldier said, “Hi!
You can’t see the King; you’ve forgotten your tie!”
(He’d forgotten his tie!)

Poor old Jonathan Bing,
He put on a beautiful tie for the King,
But when he arrived, and Archbishop said, “Ho!
You can’t come to court in pajamas, you know!”

Poor old Jonathan Bing
Went home and addressed a short note to the King:
“If you please will excuse me, I won’t come to tea;
For home’s the best place for all people like me!”
—Betrice Curtis Brown

That poem was in a book of poetry for children that Kaitlin and I used to read. I thought it was funny at the time, and it’s even funnier now because Andy and I have recently had our own Jonathan Bing moments. Have you ever left the house without something important and had to return for it?


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When I thought we would be without phone service and internet all weekend, I thought at least the situation had a silver lining. I wouldn’t have to deal with the fact that my security service — sucuri.net — said I not only had to update a number of things, but that I had malware in some files at both cheerfulmonk.com and stresstopower.com. Apparently both sites were safe for visitors, but presumably they could stop working if I didn’t do something.

Needless to say, my excuse evaporated when my phone line started working again. So I did the required updates and found the information Sucuri needed to remove the malware. (Malware removal is included in the subscription price.)

Anyway, not a very exciting weekend, but it warms my heart to see that clean bill of health. And to remove that job from the list of things I need to do.

How was your weekend?


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Mysteries of the Universe

Hmm. No internet or dial tone when I got up this morning. I borrowed a cell phone from our downstairs neighbor (Andy takes ours up to the land on the off chance there’s an emergency in a place where he can get reception), and the woman said repair technicians don’t make calls on weekends. She scheduled one for Monday morning. But later I got a call from a technician saying he had fixed it from where he was. Who knows? Anyway, we’re back in business.

And the security service that checks for problems on my websites says I have some malware — I’m trying to give them the information they need to fix it. That took some time on hold from my internet provider, but I may now have what they need. Who knows? All sorts of mysteries of the universe here.

Any mysteries where you are? I am happy to have internet access again. I keep telling Andy life’s too complicated. It’s impossible. But somehow we manage to muddle along.


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Uncle Sucker to the Rescue

Stephen M. Walt, Professor of International Relations at Harvard University, just wrote a great article entitled, Uncle Sucker to the Rescue — Washington is making all its favorite mistakes in (another) Iraq war.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the new U.S. war in Iraq is not going well. The alliance we’ve been trying to assemble to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State (IS) is looking like a lot of other recent U.S.-led coalitions: Uncle Sucker takes the lead and does most of the work while our allies free-ride, engage in mostly symbolic military actions, or actively undermine the common effort. No wonder U.S. President Barack Obama was reluctant to get into this war, and why he keeps warning that it will take longer than the rest of his presidency.

For me, that idea is the best part of the article, but I also agree with Walt that our tendency is to overpromise and underdeliver. The result is (my words now) that we encourage our enemies by looking like idiots.

I’m not going to waste much of my precious time worrying about it, but it is nice to know there are still some intelligent people in the world. Even if they don’t seem to be governing our country.


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Moving Right Along

Yay, laparoscopic surgery! Andy’s incisions didn’t hurt at all yesterday, and even though his innards were uncomfortable, they weren’t intensely painful. He took it easy, took a few little walks, and worked on designing the electronic controllers for the solar heating system.


If he still feels good today he’ll go up to the land. Things are moving along nicely.


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It Went Well

Andy’s surgery went just fine. We got there around 8 and were out about noon. His throat is sore, which they warned him about, but the incision only hurts when he moves. He’s already walked the equivalent of to the shed and back from the house a couple of times.

He doesn’t plan to go up to the land tomorrow, even if he could be guaranteed there are no more trees across the road.

Thank you for all the good wishes. :)


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Great Afternoon/Evening

Andy has continued to work on getting the trees off the road.




And the weather has been glorious, so he came home around 3:30 and we both went up to enjoy the fall colors and have a picnic supper.

We have to get up around 6 this morning in order to get to Santa Fe by 8 for his 9:35 surgery. Hopefully it will all go smoothly.


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How Sleazy

A few days ago I wrote about receiving an email trying to scare me about an ebola pandemic so I might buy some of the company’s survival products. Because of those tactics I’m much less likely to buy from that company.

Yesterday I read about another company, Blue String Ventures, that is also trying to cash in on the ebola concerns. The company bought the domain Ebola.com in 2008, and it’s now trying to sell it for “only” $150,000.

The president of the company told CNBC,

Ebola.com would be a great domain for a pharmaceutical company working on a vaccine or cure, a company selling pandemic or disaster-preparedness supplies, or a medical company wishing to provide information and advertise services. There could be many other applications as well. With so many people concerned about the disease, any advertisement referring people to Ebola.com should get an excellent response.

How sleazy can you get?


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