Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cartoon Saturday

It's Halloween ... bwa, ha, HAAAAAAAA!!! And now for some really scary stuff ...

From the Department of I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up comes this report from (where else?) Salem, Massachussetts: Witch Wins Protective Order Against Warlock in Salem Court; in the wake of a "debate" in which the target became the media rather than the issues, GOP presidential candidates are clamoring for new rules to govern future "debates;" in Pennsylvania, a robbery victim survived being tased and shoved onto the electrified third rail of a train track by his assailants; 22 refugees died in the Aegean Sea when two boats sank during an attempt to flee from the Middle East to Greece; and the Chinese government reacted furiously when an American naval vessel conducted a "freedom of navigation" sortie past one of the artificial islands the Chinese are constructing to reinforce their claim to large areas of the South China Sea.

Yes,  Dear Readers, today is Halloween, and we wrap up three-week Halloween cartoon blowout with a selection of cartoons featuring everyone's favorite self-made man*, Frankenstein!

The question that sometimes arises ...

The movie doesn't always tell the whole story ...

Bodybuilding ... for real, as my granddaughter Leya would say ...

I don't think there's a block for that on the driver's license application ...

The Bride of Frankenstein ... after six months ...

Who needs a selfie stick? ...

Tattoo removal made easy? ...

Frankenstein's favorite game ...

The unknown sequel: "Mother of Frankenstein" ...

Everyone worries about their diet nowadays ...

It looks as if it's going to be a beautiful day for trick-or-treating here in NoVa, with no rain and temperatures this evening in the low 50's. Later this morning, we'll be cheering on our granddaughter Leya as she takes part in a rock-climbing competition, and later we'll enjoy a big pot of Agnes's wonderful creamy goulash before greeting all the ghosts and goblins in search of their Halloween swag.

Don't forget to turn your clocks back an hour when you go to bed, as Daylight Savings Time ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday morning**. You know you've been looking forward to that extra hour of sleep.

Have a good day, and if you're driving, watch out for the trick-or-treaters. See you back here tomorrow for Poetry Sunday. More thoughts then.


* Well, sort of.

** Not applicable in Arizona, except for the Navajo Nation.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Great Moments in Editing

Yes, Dear Readers, it's that time again ... more Great Moments in Editing!

Just in time for Halloween ...

It's a good thing to have done, but I'd prefer a bit more private setting ...

I'm going for the handouts and free samples ... 

I'll take the French vanilla one ...

Perhaps they go well atop gingerbread houses ...

A Halloween costume for the ... well ... less voluptuous among us ...

This dog ought to be easy to find ...

Yes, everyone needs their ducks cleaned every few years ...

The "massive trees" were named by a real estate agent, no doubt ...

Back to the future? ...

And there we go - the last issue of Great Moments in Editing for the month of October. Be sure to watch this space next Friday for the naming of the November Right Cheek Ass Clown ... and tomorrow for the grand finale Halloween edition of Cartoon Saturday, too. Just sayin'.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

The 30-Day Writing Challenge: A Book I Loved and a Book I Didn't

You already know, Dear Readers, that I am a voracious reader. I'll read just about anything, although I'm especially fond of history, social studies, and current events. On the fiction side, I prefer "good" science fiction and fantasy,* historical fiction, and alternative history**.

The 30-Day Writing Challenge topic I picked for today is "A book you love and one you didn't."

This is not an easy topic, as there are very many books that I can truthfully say I love. On thinking about it, I narrowed the choice to about five, then tossed a few mental coins to make a final decision ...

The book I love is The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. It's a complex and beautifully-written story about two magicians who carry on a competition over many years, waged through their proteges, two young illusionists who find themselves in a swirling mix of magic and illusion, love and hate, that they only dimly realize. Their contest is played out in the context of a magical circus that mysteriously appears and disappears on its own mysterious schedule, and is populated by strange and wonderful people. It's difficult to synopsize the complex plot, but suffice it to say that the ending is all one could wish for. This is a great story.

For the book I didn't love, I've chosen the new one by David Lagercrantz, The Girl in the Spider's Web. It's the sequel to the three-volume "Millenium Series" by Stieg Larsson, and features the further adventures of the Swedish hacker and bizarre character Lisbeth Salander. I really enjoyed the original three books and had high hopes for the new one, but was disappointed. I found the plot to be contrived and the characters to be shallow. So much could have been done with the material and plot hooks left in the original stories, but I just don't think it was well executed. What a bummer ... I hope the next one will be better.

So there you are: a book I love and a book I didn't. What are yours? Leave a comment and let me know, or write it up in your own blog. Inquiring minds want to know.

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for more Great Moments in Editing.

More thoughts then.


* By "good" science fiction and fantasy I mean books with interesting plots and believable detail, realistic dialog, and characters I care about. Too many current sci-fi and fantasy authors seem to think that all you need is characters with weird names, and lots of adjectives to cover up the fact that the plot is threadbare. I like George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" (the "Game of Thrones") series and, of course, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, both of which are internally consistent, populated with characters you care about (or detest, like Cersi Lannister), and full of detail that brings the stories to vivid life.

** Check out The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove for a good example.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The 30 Day Writing Challenge: A Vegetable I Don't Like

Today, we continue with my on-again/off-again flirtation with the 30-Day Writing Challenge as I take on topic #10 ... sort of.

Topic #10 is "A fruit you dislike, and why," but I'd rather tell you about a vegetable I dislike, because I don't think there are any fruits I dislike.

Actually, I love vegetables from A to Z ... asparagus to zucchini. I love broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, kohlrabi, green beans*, spinach, onions, eggplant, leeks, carrots, celery**, peas, lima beans ... you get the idea.

There is, however, one vegetable that I have never liked, no matter how hard Agnes tries to convince me otherwise: beets.

Yes, Dear Readers, despite sharing a common initial consonant, Bilbo and beets do not get along well. I don't like the taste or the texture, no matter how hard I've tried to get used to them. Oddly enough, I like borshch (Russian beet soup) with a nice dollop of sour cream floating on it, but beets themselves ... they're all yours.

Good thing so many people don't like Brussels sprouts ... I can use them to fill the spot on my plate that might otherwise be filled with yucky beets.

Have a good day. Eat your vegetables.

More thoughts tomorrow.


* Restaurants call them "haricots verts" in order to charge you double.

** Celery is actually a second-tier veggie ... I can take it or leave it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The 30-Day Writing Challenge: Five Fears

Last week, I took a stab at one version of the 30-Day Writing Challenge that's been going around the Blogosphere with a post dedicated to a quote that I live by. Today, I decided to pick out another topic from the list of 30: Five Fears That You Have.

We live in a scary world, and there are plenty of things to be afraid of ... here are my big five:

1. Anything bad happening to my children or grandchildren. When you're a parent or a grandparent, there is probably nothing more terrible than the thought of your little ones being hurt. Of all the things that scare me, this is definitely the worst.

2. Alzheimer's Disease. My mother passed away in 2001 from complications of Alzheimer's, and the horror of watching her brilliant mind waste away is truly one of the most frightening things I've ever experienced. If something bad happening to the children or grandchildren is my greatest fear, the slow death of Alzheimer's is a close second.

3. The Internal Revenue Service. Nobody likes to pay taxes, but an agency of the government that has the power to impose huge fines for the smallest of mistakes, or to seize anything you own ... that's really scary.

4. The Republican Party. When a political party is dismissive of facts, logic, and compassion, driven by its most extreme elements, and willing to destroy the government to get its way, it ought to scare you as much as it scares me ... and I say that as a long-time Republican driven away by the crazies.

5. Religious Extremists. True Believers, high on self-righteousness and the belief that they, and only they, know the Real Truth and have the right and duty to impose it on the rest of us, are the last of my five fears. ISIS may be scary, but there are plenty of True Believers here at home who would impose their religious strictures and beliefs on the rest of us, too.

I'm a pretty upbeat person most of the time, but there are things that scare me. Now you know what the biggest of them are*.

Be afraid, but be afraid of the right things.

More thoughts tomorrow.


* I'm also afraid of other things, like roller coasters and open-carry gun nuts, but that's a post for another time.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Musical Monday

The reaction to last week's introduction of the Musical Monday theme was overwhelmingly positive, and so I've decided to go ahead and make it a weekly feature ... at least until everyone gets tired of it.

Last week we had two great, mellow songs from one of my favorite groups, The Seekers. This week, we'll change things by turning to a very different entertainer and a song I love for its great sendup of one of the potential horrors of married life ... living next door to the perfect husband.

Here are Kid Creole and the Coconuts, asking the musical question, "Why can't you be like Endicott?"

Sorry for the quality of the video clip, but it's the best one I could find of the original song.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Poetry Sunday

Halloween is less than a week away, and what could be more appropriate for Poetry Sunday than this classic, eerie poem by Edgar Allan Poe. With its weird imagery and compelling rhythm structure, it's a wonderful example of the power of language to create a mood of the surreal, and it's one of my favorite poems to read aloud ...

The Raven
by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
     Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
     Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
     This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
     Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
     Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
     ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
     Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
     Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
     With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
     Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
     Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
     Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
     She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
     Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
     Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
     Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
     Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
     Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Happy Halloween ... evermore!

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for a Musical Monday with a bit lighter theme. More thoughts then.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cartoon Saturday

Just one more week to go and we've put October behind us ...

Hurricane Patricia, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded, is hammering the Pacific coast of Mexico with sustained winds of more than 200mph; in Sweden, a man armed with a sword* entered a school and murdered two people before being fatally shot by police; one person was killed and two others injured in a shooting** at Tennessee State University that apparently began with a fight over a dice game; a four year-old girl was shot dead*** in a road rage incident in New Mexico; and useless professional celebrities Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom have given us the first case of a marriage being saved by drugs and hookers.

This is the second of our three-Cartoon Saturday extravaganza in honor of Halloween (coming up just one week from today!). Last week, we featured cartoons about zombies; this week, we turn to horrifying bloodsuckers. No, not payday lenders, the IRS, and loan sharks ... real vampires ...

New from Van Helsing Products, Inc. ...

There's an upside of smart phones if you're a vampire ...

Yes, even vampires need to visit the dentist occasionally ...

Drink plenty of ... oh, I get it ...

Vampire politics can be just as petty and mean-spirited as our own ..

Yes, they need to learn the ropes, too ...

Online dating can save time for the undead ...

Now, here's an interesting question ... where does someone who's undead go for medical care? ...

The insurance company is going to have fun with this claim ... 

Vampire selfies don't usually work out well ...

And there you have it: weekend number two of our Halloween Cartoon Saturday blowout. It's going to be a cooler, cloudier, and wetter weekend here in NoVa after the last few days of glorious fall weather, but what are you going to do? Later on today, we'll be going to the annual "Trunk or Treat" festival at our granddaughter's school (where the children come in costumes and their parents compete to see who has the best Halloween-themed car trunk). And then on Sunday afternoon I'll be emceeing the Fall Showcase at Dance Studio Lioudmila in Alexandria. On the whole, it ought to be a good weekend, gray weather or no.

Be sure to come back next Saturday, when we'll finish off our three weeks of Halloween-themed cartoons with a collection dedicated to one of the most famous monsters of them all ... Frankenstein+.

Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow.


* The NRA was no doubt delighted to note that a gun was not used.

** Ho, hum ... more people killed in shootings. Anything else on TV?

*** Ho, hum ... another child murdered by someone who combined reckless anger with possession of a gun. Yawn.

+ Yes, I know that "Frankenstein" is the name of the doctor who created the monster, and not of the monster himself, but just work with me on this, okay?

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Left Cheek Ass Clown for October, 2015

Yes, Dear Readers, it's time to announce our selection for the

Left Cheek Ass Clown for October, 2015

As you know if you've been reading this blog for long, three things I value are courtesy, common sense, and fair play. When those things are ignored by those who should know better, you get the abysmal state of politics that has made our great nation a laughingstock around the world. With this in mind, the winner of the Left Cheek Ass Clown Award becomes pretty obvious ...

And the award goes to

Just to make things perfectly clear, I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton and do not believe she is qualified to be President. However, the blatantly partisan use of this committee as a tool to undermine Ms Clinton's campaign ... which even Republicans admit is the truth ... is a shameless misuse of government time and resources that could be put to better use solving the multitude of problems the nation is facing. Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy's actions are an embarrassment and a blot on the honor and dignity of the House of Representatives and America's government in general.

Seven previous investigations into the Benghazi tragedy in which four Americans were killed have found ... nothing. The 9/11 Commission, set up to investigate the murder of 3,000 Americans, wrapped up its work and published a lengthy and detailed report in less than two years. The Long Commission, which investigated the murder of 299 American and French troops in a bombing in Beirut, took just under two months to complete its work and publish a detailed report. The Benghazi committee has been working for more than two years, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars, without finding a thing. But those earlier investigations were more focused on finding the truth and solving problems than on attacking an individual.

As an American, I'm ashamed of this travesty. We deserve better, and Representative Gowdy and his useless crew of slander-focused henchmen should be hanging their heads in shame.

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday.

More thoughts then.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

The 30-Day Writing Challenge: A Quote I Try to Live By

There's a new meme floating around the blogosphere - the 30-Day Writing Challenge*. I first heard about it from fellow blogger John, who has started in with it on his blog, and I figured that, if nothing else, it would give me a few ideas for those days when no particular idea seems to leap out at me.

The Challenge gives you 30 topics, some of which are very interesting and others of which are pretty odd, but the one I thought I'd start with is #17: "A quote you try to live by." Those of you who have been with me for a while ought to know that one: it's Bilbo's First Law:

"Never let anyone else do your thinking for you."

In the current religious, social, and political atmosphere, it's all too easy to happily swallow the half-baked ideas that are shouted at us every day: by extremist preachers, screaming heads of talk radio and extreme TV, shameless advertising moguls, and true believers of all types. Today, more than ever, it's important to think critically and be skeptical. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but nowadays evidence tends to be based less on facts than on that which we really, really believe, whether it can be proven or not. You have to keep an open mind, but you have to be smart about it. As the author Terry Pratchett once wrote,

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

And in the words of science fiction giant Isaac Asimov,

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.”

On this, the first day of my somewhat irregular 30-day writing challenge, keep Bilbo's First Law in mind. I've found it to be a good, easy to remember quote to live by.

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for the ceremonial anointing of the Left Cheek Ass Clown for October.

More thoughts then.


* I don't know how, or if, this relates to National Blog Posting Month (November), which I can never do anyhow, since we're almost always traveling at Thanksgiving time and I can never get all 30 days of posts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How to Buy Wine

Most people don't know how to select a good wine. The standard guidance is "white wine with fish and pork; red wine with beef," but that only goes so far*. There are a lot of white wines out there, like savignon blanc, pinot grigio, riesling, and chablis, and lots of red wines, like cabernet sauvignon, malbec, merlot, and shiraz. And on top of that, there are about 697,023,856 different vineyards and vintners and endless decades of vintages.

Do you know the difference between a 1987 Chateau Frankenstein and a 2005 St Grambinus? Between a red, a white, and a rose´? Cork or screw top?

Here's my system for choosing that fine wine for your next party:

You might think this is a little facetious, but it's not so. I was not always the suave, debonair man of the world you've come to love ... I was once an oeneologically challenged fellow like many of you. In those impressionable days, if a bottle of wine was dusty and had a colorful label with pictures of castles, clusters of grapes, and naked ladies, I'd buy it in a New York minute. Fortunately, I eventually met Agnes, who not only purged my wardrobe of bachelor-bought polyester stuff, but tried gamely to instruct me the fine points of picking out wines. 

But when sent out for wine without supervision, I'll still go for the cool label every time.

Have a good day. Drink responsibly. More thoughts tomorrow.


* And in any case, you should drink what you like, regardless of the color. As long as it doesn't either overpower the meal or get overpowered by it, drink up.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How to be Famous. Not.

What does it take to be famous nowadays?

You can risk your life to protect your fellow passengers by taking down an armed terrorist on a train in France.

You can join Doctors Without Borders and save lives in some of the most dangerous parts of the world.

You can be a firefighter, rushing into a burning building to save trapped children.

Or you could be Lamar Odom, marry a Kardashian, overdose on drugs in a whorehouse, and have the breathless media issuing hourly bulletins on your condition.

Be famous, but be famous in a good way.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Musical Monday

Because it was uncomfortably chilly and gray for most of the weekend, I spent much of the time inside, trying to bring order into the perpetual chaos of my study ... without notable success other than shredding a huge pile of papers and pitching out a bunch of old things I couldn't remember why I was saving. But the upside of all that was that I was able to play my way through much of my music collection while I worked, and remind myself of why I like many of the individual singers and groups that are in my "The Very Best" playlist.

I got re-acquainted with The Seekers, one of my favorite groups, and I thought it might be nice to start the week by sharing some of their great music with you. First up is this song from 1968, "I'll Never Find Another You" ...

and another of my favorites - from 1966, "The Last Thing on My Mind" ...

Having spent the day awash in good music, I think I've decided to start a new periodic feature here at Bilbo's Random Thought Collection - Musical Monday will appear every other week, as of today. If the reaction is positive, I'll make it a weekly spot. Let me know what you think.

Have a good day. Enjoy the music. More thoughts tomorrow.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Poetry Sunday

Well, what else would it be? ...

And Now it's October 
by Barbara Crooker 

the golden hour of the clock of the year. Everything that can run
to fruit has already done so: round apples, oval plums, bottom-heavy
pears, black walnuts and hickory nuts annealed in their shells,
the woodchuck with his overcoat of fat. Flowers that were once bright
as a box of crayons are now seed heads and thistle down. All the feathery
grasses shine in the slanted light. It’s time to bring in the lawn chairs
and wind chimes, time to draw the drapes against the wind, time to hunker
down. Summer’s fruits are preserved in syrup, but nothing can stopper time.
No way to seal it in wax or amber; it slides though our hands like a rope
of silk. At night, the moon’s restless searchlight sweeps across the sky.

"... Summer's fruits are preserved in syrup, but nothing can stopper time.
No way to seal it in wax or amber; it slides though our hands like a rope
of silk."

Oh, that it were not so!

Have a good day and enjoy the rest of this very chilly weekend (chilly at least if you're here in NoVa). More thoughts tomorrow.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cartoon Saturday

Sometimes you'd think the weekend would never get here ...

A group of street artists hired to scrawl Arabic graffiti on sets for the TV series "Homeland" caused a stir when it was realized that the graffiti accused the show of being racist; former NBA star Lamar Odom remains in critical condition in a hospital after being found unresponsive in a Nevada brothel;
Wayne Simmons, a Faux News recurring guest commentator who claimed to have 27 years of experience with the CIA, was arrested after being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he lied about his service; astronomers are puzzled about a strange anomaly that could indicate an alien construction around a star some 1500 light years from earth; and six persons were injured in Houston when a huge section of scaffolding collapsed outside a building under construction.

And we're only halfway through October ... better call up the cartoons quick! Halloween is just two weeks away, and I thought that this year we'd celebrate a bit larger, with three weeks of Halloween-themed Cartoon Saturdays. We'll start our countdown to Halloween with cartoons featuring zombies ...

Don't be afraid ... it's all how you look at them ...

The walking dead insects ... 

Don't get zombie fathers angry ... you wouldn't like them when they're angry ...

Zombie women can be touchy ...

Everybody can find something to complain about ... even zombies ...

Slow and lurchy ... uh ... steady wins the race ...

Just what the doctor ordered ...

It can be tough to be a zombie on a budget ...

Well, how else would you express it? ...

The importance of good pronunciation ...

And there you have it ... the first of our three monster-themed Cartoon Saturdays leading up to Halloween. Next week, we'll suck up to the vampires.

It's going to be a chilly weekend here in NoVa, but at least it's sunny ... should be a good day for raking leaves. Or for a nice long walk, or for sitting out on the deck with a cup of mulled cider and reading ... either of which strikes me as being a better idea.

Have a good day, and come back tomorrow for Poetry Sunday. More thoughts then.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Great Moments in Editing

We're halfway through October, just a week to go until we dishonor the October Left Cheek Ass Clown ... so that means it's time for another collection of Great Moments in Editing ...

As explanations go, I think this one is a bit lacking ...

Our weather here in NoVa is forecast to take a sharp turn over the weekend as temperatures dip into true autumn territory. Our forecasters are usually pretty good ... except when they aren't ...

Truth in advertising? ...

I wonder if this is where they announced the reunion plans ...

I think I can safely guarantee that I'd invest at that price ... except I don't know if I could raise that much by April ...

The blotter at this precinct must be pretty boring reading ...

Well-deserved, in my opinion ...

I think that's a pretty good reason to call the police. But at least you could be sure that the intruder wasn't one of those concealed-carry fanatics ...

Sometimes bottled water starts to look pretty good ...

There you go ... your second of three collections of Great Moments in Editing for this month. Enjoy! And be sure to come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday. More thoughts then.