҉ Welcome to the post Thanksgiving-post, food-induced coma edition of my blog. ҉
It’s lighter, less filling, gluten and dairy free
(unless you count the following cheesy jokes):
What happened after an explosion at a French cheese factory? All that was left was de brie.
What is the name of the country near Iraq that is made entirely of cheese? Curd-istan
What cheese surrounds a medieval castle? Moatzeralla
What do you call a hunk of cheddar that isn’t yours? Nacho Cheese!
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Department of Name Your Poison
It’s the day after. Is it Black Friday for you? Or National Buy Nothing Day? It’s your choice. I sentimentally and intellectually dread the former  and support the latter, particularly the organizers’  suggestions for playful activities to challenge the “entrenched values of capitalism” and shine a spotlight on consumers’ addictions to immediate gratification.
You could camp out in front of the Apple Store with a bajillion greedy, self-centered selfish over-consuming zombies other gadget fans who would trample their own arthritis-stricken grandmother if it meant they could be one of the first to have the hottest techno toy eagerly await the release of the latest I-yi-yi gadget, but it might be more fun to annoy them by participating in a Buy Nothing Day Zombie Walk:
“The cheerful dead wander around malls, marveling at the blank, comatose expressions on the faces of shoppers. The zombies are happy to be among their own kind, but slightly contemptuous of those who have not yet begun to rot.”
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Making Ursula Proud of Me
Last week Ursula K. LeGuin gave a kickass speech at the National Book Awards ceremony. She was there to receive an award for distinguished contribution to American letters, and in her acceptance speech the not-so-soft-spoken 85 year old LeGuin rebuked literary profiteers and the “corporate fatwa”  which IHHO threaten writers.
“Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity and the practice of an art….Books, you know, they’re not just commodities. The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art.”
One look at my royalty statements for The Mighty Quinn (or any of my works) would affirm that my motivation must be art, not profit. 
Yeah – that’s the ticket.
* * *
Speaking of pathetic royalty statements (an honest-to-goodness segue!), as I ponder my mid life crisis dwindling career options – specifically, should I jump the fiction writers’ ship and if so, is there a less soul-sucking way to remain a part of the Creative Arts ® ? – I find myself considering a foray into movie making.
Yep, like every other writer (established or wannabe) moiself is writing a screenplay. Do you think Hollywood (or Bollywood?)  is ready for the tale of a gigolo with a heart of gold, who services his lonely clients without asking for payment?
I’m thinking of calling it, Free Willy.
Just say the safe word, ma’am, and I’ll put on the orca suit.
* * *
May your Friday be every color of the rainbow, and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Shopping, for me, is a chore, not a recreational pursuit. The idea of voluntarily shopping on one of the busiest shopping days of the year…. I just don’t get it, whomever you are, People Who Do Such Things.
“If you talked into your hair dryer and said you were communicating with someone in outer space, they’d put you away. But take away the hair dryer, and you’re praying.” –Sam Harris
I seeing miss my sweet, witty, intelligent, compassionate, bawdy, hugs & sloppy kisses friend, HUL. She gets back here (she used to live in Oregon) to visit when she can, and although it seems like there’s no distance between us when we phone or email or text, she lives 1300 miles away. And she is having surgery today. I will be thinking of her, and talking to her after the surgery as I’ve talked to her before and after her cancer diagnosis, commiserating about the shitty situation and brainstorming treatment options, colorfully cursing the brusque and clueless medical personnel she’s encountered and lavishly praising the smart, kind and competent ones.
Or singing her favorite soccer team’s fight song….or performing any of the rituals many human beings once somehow (and, sadly, still) thought might cause the gods/spirits/cosmic energies to look upon them with favor and cure their maladies.
What the heck. I could pick one of those things, or cover the bases and do ’em all, as they have an equal likelihood of affecting the outcome of HUL’s surgery and subsequent prognosis.
HUL, righteously religion-free babe that she is, is not asking me, or anyone, to pray for her.
Not even moi?
Her first surgery will be done in a Catholic-run hospital. HUL told me the only activity resembling praying that she might do is to beseech the friend who’s picking her up after surgery to refrain from vandalizing crucifixes and the like, should said friend spot any Catholibilia  in HUL’s room.
HUL will not be posting the news of her illness and surgery on any social media sites. She wants to control access to this information and maintain a modicum of privacy. She also wants to avoid the jaw-clenching, energy-sucking vibes produced by People Who Mean Well ® and who express their sentiments, even to those of us whom they know are religion-free, via the hackneyed expression  , I’ll be praying for you.
She and I – and just about every atheist-agnostic-Bright-humanist-skeptic-freethinker on the planet – have commiserated over this phenomenon. We realize the expression is a kneejerk, cultural/social, nicety response, and that not everyone who says “I’ll pray for you” literally intends to do so. It’s similar to the way “How are you?” is used as a greeting – as a substitute or equivalent for Hi or Good morning. If you take that “How are you?” query/greeting at face value and actually talk about how you are,  you may be surprised by the WTF expression from the one who has greeted you and who now acts like they want to leave skidmarks as they flee from your discourse.
When it comes to being on the receiving end of I will be/I am praying for you, Those Of Us Who Think About Such Things mostly grin and bear it, with various degrees of enthusiasm and anemia. Here’s what we’re likely to say (even as this is what we’re likely thinking):
Well-Meaning But Ignorant Person: “I am so sorry to hear about your upcoming hammertoe surgery! I’ll pray for you.”
Us: “Oh, okay. Thanks for thinking of me.” (You’re going to pray…uh…yeah, knock yourself out…but…really…WHY? Am I supposed to thank you for doing…well, nothing…when what I could use is a casserole, or for someone to mow my lawn while my foot is in a cast?)
I know, I know, IKNOWIKNOWIKNOWIKNOW. People “mean well” (I’m trying to remember that great Lily Tomlin quote, something about thank goodness for kids, they never mean well). But those of us who are fond of reality don’t just shelve it in times of crisis. We we know about the efficacy  and therefore futility of prayer, to any one’s deities, for anything, and our bafflement at the announcement of the practice is often hard to disguise.
Skeptics more articulate than moiself have pointed out that while many religious people claim to truly believe that prayer can cure a variety of illnesses and injuries, they only pray for maladies that are generally self-limiting (and thus, they can attribute the cure to miraculous intervention).
I’ve never heard of religious believers petitioning their god to cause the boy with 3rd degree burns to grow new skin overnight (or even over the course of a few months), although I have heard them pray that the boy’s skin grafts will take.
An illness that gets better over time (and most do), a mood that improves, believers can and often do attribute these events to a “miracle” or divine intervention. But hard physical evidence – the burnt, necrotizing flesh, the amputee’s stump– is a slap in the face to the “power” of prayer.
My theory is that deep down inside, even the most fundy believers have reality check neurons (besieged, but not extinct), which occasionally whisper to them, “Now, let’s not get carried away, you know this stuff is just mumbo jumbo.”
How else to explain the fact that, while believers fervently and publicly ask their god to heal the spirit and speed the recovery of the Iraqi war veteran whose leg was blown off by an IED, or of the diabetic who lost a foot to gangrene, they do not pray for their god to regenerate these sufferers’ limbs. In the case of Christian believers, their scriptures are filled with stories of “miraculous” events and healings performed by their god, including restoration of sight to the blind and movement to a paralytic, instantaneous curing of leprosy and healing of a soldier’s amputated ear and so on. Why should the production of new skin or a new leg be so difficult for an omniscient, omnipotent, responsive-to-the-heartfelt-petitions-of-his-flock deity? Especially considering the fact that several species of our fellow animal inhabitants of our planet, including skinks, sea stars, conchs, and crayfish, can regenerate amputated appendages, and (presumably) do this without prayer.
“Oh great and merciful Poseidon, We beseech thee on behalf of our orange sister, that she be made whole again!”
Check out this site, for a more entertaining (and thought-provoking) examination of…well…of why this question is – or should be, to any sentient being – so important: Why Won’t God Heal Amputees.
I get it; all of us who smite even the idea of prayer get it: in times of adversity it’s often hard to know what to do or say. Bad news makes everyone uncomfortable. You hear about someone’s misfortune, you care, you want to do something…but, think about it. That “something” you do, if it’s praying (or just saying that you will pray), is more about making you feel better than about what prayer might actually accomplish. Praying may provide you with the comforting illusion of having done something, but in fact you’ve done Absolutely. Nothing. Of. Substance.
If you really care, do something. Praying, or the secular version – “holding a good thought for you” – doesn’t count. Talk (and thought) is cheap; actions speak louder than – oh, don’t make me type it.
When HUL told me about her disease we cried and laughed and raged and cried and laughed some more. Here is what I will do for you, I told her, if you will let me, and if you need me to. The list is a work in progress, based in part upon what other kind friends, neighbors and co-workers have done for me in times of need. Like all such lists, it will and should be modified to fit the situation.
* Be there before, during and after surgery  * Bring you healthful meals
“Get well soon, or more spam casseroles will be delivered to your refrigerator.”
* Clean your house, hold your hand, feed your cats (and scoop their litterboxes)
* Donate to reputable, efficacious cancer research funds
* Send you links to really bad jokes and visual puns and baby sloth videos
* Rent you some DVDs for a Daniel Day Lewis film festival  * Encourage you to document what you are going through…
About that last one. Although not a professional author, HUL is a pithy, articulate and entertaining writer, and I’ve urged her to record not only the logistics of her disease but her attitudes and reactions to it as well. However, I have promised to refrain from referring to her dealing with cancer as if she’s on some kind of spiritual excursion.
I just can’t help it: when I heard phrases like, “Tell us what you’ve learned from your journey with pancreatic cancer,” it makes me want to kick Oprah in the ovaries.
* * *
And Now For Something Completely Different
Department of Making It All Better
When I serve a dish containing Brussels sprouts – to anyone, but mostly to MH and moiself – I also serve champagne.
* * *
About Last Week’s Shirt
Receiving slightly less attention than the Rosetta mission’s landing of a probe on a comet was the PR meteor storm created by one of the project scientists. This scientist dude chose “the most important day in spaceflight since Curiosity landed on Mars” – a day when he was slated to be speaking about the project on a worldwide live-stream – to wear a tacky bowling shirt covered in comic book-style images of half-naked women.
Same dude also went on to describe the difficulty of the Rosetta mission: “She’s sexy, but I never said she was easy.”
Read this, for one of the more coherent takes on this brouhaha, including the dude’s  apology, and the (surprise!) internet-troll backlash aimed at those people  who called out the dude on his astounding inappropriateness.
“If you think this is just a bunch of prudes, you’re wrong. It’s not about the prurience. It’s about the atmosphere of denigration….. If you think this isn’t a big deal, well, by itself, it’s not a huge one. But it’s not by itself, is it? This event didn’t happen in a vacuum. It comes when there is still a tremendously leaky pipeline for women from undergraduate science classes to professional scientist. It comes when having a female name on a paper makes it less likely to get published, and cited less. It comes when there is still not even close to parity in hiring and retaining women in the sciences.” (Phil Plait, Astronomer and “science evangelist,” from his Bad Astronomy blog)
Is that your comet probe or are you just excited to see me?
* * *
May your choice of bowling shirts be workplace-appropriate and face-palm-worthy-free, may well-meaning folks have no reason to pray for your recovery, may your cruciferous vegetables always be champagne-escorted, and may the hijinks ensue.
 A Native American practice involving cleansing a person with the smoke of sacred plants.
 The use of food and herbs to reestablish balance, based on a theory of wet/dry, hot/cold humors in the body.
 Yeah, I made that word up, but you know what I mean: crucifixes, rosaries, framed pictures of Jesus and saints and John F. Kennedy….
 and seemingly obligatory Facebook response to bad news.
 Like many a bewildered newcomer to American culture has done, and discovered that the Howareyou supplicant did not really want to hear about your latest triumphs and travails. Or, as one European traveler put it, “Why do Americans ask how you are when they don’t want to know? Why don’t they just say, ‘Hello’?”
 Make sure your help is practical and actually wanted, and not yet another task for the afflicted to manage.
 HUL has friends lined up to help, and graciously deflected that offer…although she’s made me promise to fly out for her “Yay, I’m all better!” or “I need more treatment, so kiss my hair goodbye!” party – whichever one she throws.
 Check out any and all charities to make sure they are legitimate and use funds wisely (Charity Navigator and Givewell are just two of the organizations that provide such evaluations), and fuck the Susan Komen industry ’cause festooning your body with plastic pink crap made in China does not cure breast cancer.
 Do not underestimate the power of watching your favorite movies featuring your favorite, fine-looking actors – ’twas repeated showings of Last of the Mohicans, not the antibiotics, that cured my pneumonia, I truly believe, brothers and sisters (somebody say, Amen!).
 Nah, I won’t use his name. I don’t think he was evil or even (consciously) misogynistic, just incredibly puerile.
 Every sentient being with an IQ larger than their hat size and their heads out of the sand (and not up their asses) – which I assume is an accurate description for y’all.
Halloween was the harbinger. Now, the rest of the Holidays approach. Or, as some jolly folks like to say, The Season’s Upon Us. Readers of this blog, you know what that means.
Don’t you feel better prepared now, for all the seasonal wretched inanity merriment that is to come? I know I do.
* * *
Speaking of the holidays….
♫ Let Me Hang My Balls On Your Christmas Tree ♫
“I am NOT making this up,” I would protest in vain, when Belle and K insisted I stop singing that Christmas ball song. “Really, it was a holiday favorite from the Dr. Demento show…”
Still and of course, my offspring thought I was making it up. Thanks to that nifty invention of Al Gore, I can prove it to them. The song (actual title, “Christmas Balls” by Ben Light & his Surf Club Boys) made it to Dr. D’s Nifty Fifty for 1972 list, and I have Internet evidence.
Dead Puppies; Pencil Neck Geek, It’s a Gas, the Vatican Rag, Pico and Sepulveda, Shaving Cream.… If you are old/lucky enough, you may remember those songs from the Dr. Demento radio show, which my friends and I were fortunate enough to have discovered in high school. Diligent scholars that we were, no trigonometry study party would be complete without the study break reward – listening to a tape of Dr. D’s latest show.
Dr. D’s show was not merely mindless entertainment. His show helped us equal opportunity humor feminists to discover mentors like Rusty Warren,  the musician-comedian with a New England Conservatory of Music B.A. degree  who showed that the women could hold the stage with men when it came to the risqué humor and witty wordplay found in what were called “novelty songs.”
You know girls, it’s great to live in a democracy today, where freedom is everywhere. But girls, we often take this freedom for granted: freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and freedom of action…. So come on, fellow females of the 20th century! Be glad that you’re an American! Proclaim your freedom! Stand at attention! Pledge Allegiance! And… Bounce your Boobies
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* * *
Department of Also Somewhat Holiday Related
Every week since I gave MH the book for his birthday, MH and I have been doing a hike or two from Portland Hill Walks . PHW is a guidebook that gives tours of Portland’s many parks, nature preserves and neighborhoods. Each walk takes you through a variety of venues, from wooded canyons to its exclusive neighborhoods built atop ancient lava domes peaks, and the book provides historical, cultural and architectural background and idiosyncratic observations (guess who died in this old house?) for each route.
On Tuesday we hiked a loop from the Leach Botanical Gardens to the Willamette National Cemetary. It was somewhat of a coincidence that we did that particular route on Veterans Day, and I found myself reflecting upon – surprise! not favorably – the knee-jerk Soldier Worshiping currently infesting our public and political rhetoric.
Excuse me; we technically don’t have Soldier worshiping because we don’t have soldiers, marines, sailors or even GIs anymore. Like Muslims who cannot mention their religion’s prophet without the appendage His Name Be Praised, we have created this all-encompassing entity:
OBI MAWU is not the moniker of a minor Jedi apprentice from one of the interminable Star Wars sequels prequels. Rather, it is my scrambled acronym for a term we are all too familiar with:
Our Brave Men And Women In Uniform.
Y’all know the drill: whenever addressing an OBI MAWU personally or referring to them in any context, we must also then add, “Thank you for your sacrifice.”
If you don’t give us a better Jedi nickname we’re going back to the sandbox.
I did (and do) think about my father, grandfather, uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, co-workers and others I’ve known who’ve served in the Armed Forces.  My beef is not with (most of) those who choose military life. Here’s the thing that frosts my butt: this blind uniform worship is…so….cheap, not to mention a tad self-aggrandizing (Look at me; I’m like, so considerate! I expressed appreciation your service!).
Thanking someone for their service or their “sacrifice” is expedient, jingoistic lip flapping; it is a feel-good-do-nothing substitute for actually addressing the real concerns – alarming PTSD, suicide and unemployment rates – facing veterans. Also, it has the side effect of elevating military service to that-which-must-be-praised-and-not-questioned, and thus becomes one more factor contributing to our reluctance to have difficult, intricate conversations about the consequences of the USA being willing to act as the world’s night watchmen.
Such a conversation might include considering the question, should there be a return to a military draft and/or other compulsory national service?  Do you think the Afghan-Iraq follies of the past 10 + – yep, that’s TEN PLUS – years would still be sputtering on if everyone’s Young Men and Women had the potential (and involuntary) chance of becoming the OBI MAWU fighting these wars?
Also, this OBI MAWU veneration feeds the dangerous notion that everyone in the military is theoretically prepared to give “the ultimate sacrifice.” And thus it is unpatriotic to question military service. When we hesitate to truly and vigorously debate the wisdom and morality of the causes for which our armed forces fight, we make another, perhaps not ultimate but no less crucial sacrifice – that of our own individual and national integrity.
* * *
My Proudest Moment
# 1666 in a (hopefully) infinite series
The trigger credit for this particular digression goes to my son K, who sent me a link to an article about Internet reaction to Disney’s releasing the name of the upcoming Star Wars VII movie.
A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away,  I saw The Empire Strikes Back on the first day it was released. I used vacation time and was able to wrangle a day off from work (I think it was a Wednesday), and found a theatre where I could purchase a ticket in advance for one of the first showings of the day. Most of my friends and co-workers were also Star Wars fans, also were eager to see the movie, but were unable to take time off. They planned to see TESB on the weekend, congratulated me on being able to see the movie on its release day, and sternly warned me to NOT drop any spoilers on them.
The theatre was a five screen venue, four screens of which were devoted to back-to-back showings of TESB, beginning in the early afternoon. I stood in line with other eager and elated Star Trek nerds fans, and was able to get into the second showing of TESB.
After the movie was over, I exited the theatre with my fellow moviegoers. We were filled with an amalgam of elation, shock, and anticipation (That was amazing…now we have to wait for the 3rd movie to find out what happens?!), and apparently, from the reactions of the people waiting in line for the next showing, we all sported similar, WTF?! expressions. One boy standing in line with his parents gestured to the people leaving the theatre, tugged at his mother’s sleeve and asked, “What do you think theysaw in there?
The line for the next TESB showing stretched from the theatre entrance around the block to where I’d parked. On my way to my car I walked past a group of four to five college-age guys standing in the line. One of them fixed his troglodyte sights on me, and began to spew the inexcusable/unwarranted , “Hey baby hubba hubba oooga chaka” come-on.
Like any female biped I was familiar with that dynamic, which I typically handled by ignoring the cretins’ catcalls. But that time, on that day? Nah. Couldn’t let it go.
The realities of the situation and my options for response zipped through my mind in a nanosecond: Dude, really? You are of an age where you had to make special arrangements to be here, at this time, and on this day, to see this movie. You are in line for the movie you have long anticipated – the movie I have just seen. I have the knowledge, the power, and you dare to taunt me?
I actually, almost, felt sorry for the guy.
I did an about face and strode back to the line. Smiling seductively, I grabbed Mr.Oo0gaChaka by the collar and pulled him away from his comrades. Standing on tip toe so that my hot hubba hubba baby breath was close to his ear, I whispered the five words I deeply and sincerely hoped would break his heart and shrivel his scrotum:
Darth Vadar is Luke’s father.
Another 180, and I triumphantly marched away, to the soundtrack of…nothing, save for the sweet silence of a justice-filled universe.
The Force is strong in this one.
* * *
May the forces prevailing against oogachaka be strong in you, and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Special kudos to those who remember her immortal line, “Ladies you’re not marching!”
 A degree Warren referred to as the “Bawdy Arts.”
 If you live in or near Portland, you need this book.
 Most (seemed to have) served with pride, honor and integrity. Others…well, twenty years of peacetime desk job service for a lifetime PX discount and free health care – hell yeah!
 Something I would like to see, for the reason/question that follows.
Dateline: Tuesday, on my morning walk. Three blocks from home, I turned a corner and detected the stench of tobacco. Fifty feet ahead of me, holding a lit cigarette in his hand, a boy who looked to be about 14 years old was checking a curbside mailbox. As I crossed to the other side of the street to avoid walking through his smoke, the boy turned around to look at me. He gestured at my Nordic Trekking poles and called out:
“Why are you ski-walking?”
“Because it’s more fun than regular walking,” I replied.
I’d stifled the riposte that sprang to my petty little mind – Why are you smoking? – but as I continued toward home, I found myself wondering, what if I hadn’t? What would have been his reply?
Aka, Department of Causing Your Dental Hygienist to Declare
“In All My Years, I’ve Never Heard That Answer Before.”
For some reason, Sean Connery had entered the rinse-and-spit conversation  between the dental hygienist and moiself. A brief discussion of James Bond movies ensued as we waited for the dentist to finish up with a patient in the adjoining room. The hygienist said she liked the Connery-era films but was not a fan of Roger Moore in the role. I told her I’d never been a much of a Bond movie fan, until the easy-on-the-eyes Daniel Craig was cast in the role.
When the dentist entered the room we exchanged our usual jest-filled chit-chat before he lowered the exam chair and began his inspection of my cheap whiskey and fine Cuban cigar-stained chompers pearly whites. 
“So, how are things going?” he asked. “Any complaints about your teeth?”
I raised myself up on one elbow, grinned at the hygienist and said, “Only that Daniel Craig hasn’t licked them.”
“About those fluoride applications….”
* * *
Department of, If You Have to Ask…
Prologue: So, what do you do?
I’ve never liked that question, when used as part of an introduction or conversation starter, and try not to ask it myself when speaking with a new acquaintance. One of the many things I’ve noticed and enjoyed in my  travels abroad is that Other Peoples of the World ® (i.e., not Americans) don’t care so much what you “do” – they’d rather hear about who you are in terms of where you choose to live, where you’ve been and where you’d like to be (travel-wise), and what you think about _____ (insert favorite political or cultural interest).
Also, there’s the published author thing. If I answer the what-you-do question truthfully, I often receive some chunk of cringe-worthy (and totally unjustified) adulation – “OMG, you’re an AUTHOR!” – accompanied by obsequious expressions of admiration…or, worse, the “Really!? That’s fantastic; you know, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Maybe you’d like to look at some of my story ideas?”
Friend/fellow writer SCM has suggested I answer the WDYD question with, “I’m an editor.” Which would be a deflection but not technically a lie (I do edit my own work).
And now, the anecdote:
Last Saturday MH and I participated in an educational and tree-planting volunteer event at Jackson Bottom Wetlands. Volunteers were divided into six units and given name tags stamped with a picture of our unit’s “mascot” – one of the many animals that can be found at the JB wetlands. MH and I were sorted to unit #2, the Canada Goose group, which I accepted after some mild grumbling about the irony of having the mascot of the #2 group be the planet’s most prolific producer of…well… #2.
“You got a problem with that?”
As we trudged over the muddy wetland trails on our way to the tree-planting area, a woman in our group made small talk with MH and I. She volunteered the fact that she is an OR nurse at a local hospital, then asked, “So, what do you do?”
Using my oft-times-literalist interpretation, I replied, “When?”
She looked at me blankly.
“Well, at this moment I’m volunteering at the….”
“No, I mean, as in work. For money.”
I momentarily considered using my friend’s suggestion, but our fellow volunteer seemed nice and level-headed, and I bailed. “I’m a writer.”
“You know – when you walk into the OR, do the other people there say, ‘I know her!’ ”
“If that woman is famous, then truly, the terrorists have won.”
* * *
Department of Bright Ideas
The Brights are an international internet constituency composed of individuals who have a naturalistic worldview. This is the organization’s logo:
Their motto: “Illuminating and elevating the naturalistic worldview.”
I was stuck for pumpkin-carving inspiration this Halloween, until I got a Bright Idea. I emailed a picture of my creation to the directors of The Brights, along with my best wishes for a “Happy Halloween from a Bright (if not so talented) jack-o-lantern carver.”
“Illuminating the natural world…and the porch, for trick-or-treaters.”
* * *
My Work Here is Done
On Wednesday I received the following email from daughter Belle:
“Happy post-election day! Don’t forget to set your clocks back 40 years in honor of the new senate!”
While we’re on the subject, the following is suitable for a few laughs, even if not quite SFW:
* * *
May your teeth be white and your celebrations Bright, and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 The last of the original James Bond films to star Sean Connery.
Active, reliable, sarcastic, affectionate, bipedal, cynical optimist, writer, freethinker, parent, spouse and friend, I am generous with my handy supply of ADA-approved spearmint gum and sometimes refrain from humming in public.