Friday, April 30, 2021



Sixty's talk about his beloved big bamboo put me in a mood for some vintage Cheech and Chong. Their second album, called "Big Bambu," hit the record shelves in 1972, just around the time I hit middle school. It was perfect puerile fodder for imitation. I used to know these skits by heart and could recite them doing all the voices. Good times. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Trooper York's word of the day


  1. relating to, living in, or suited for both land and water.
    "an amphibious vehicle" · 
    • (of a military operation) involving forces landed from the sea.
      "an amphibious assault"
    • Having the ability to use either hand.
    • “Left hand, right hand, it doesn’t matter. I’m amphibious.” – former NC State basketball player Charles Shackleford.
  2. When better educations are got, State will provide them.

  3. Since Trooper no longer has his hands full I assume he can use either hand.

Betty Rubble is a Dirty Girl


Betty likes to drink.

Betty likes to have fun.

One time Betty went to the Bed Rock Inn and had a couple of shots of tequila and passed out.

The next time she did the same thing and she passed out again.

When she came in the next day the bartender asked "So do you want some tequila."

Betty said "No when I drink tequila my pussy hurts the next day."

Betty Rubble is a Dirty Girl.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Grazing at the old Grit place

 I took some pictures of things growing in my yard. Stop by and help yourself:

First up - alliums - these are the flowering sort:

The flowers are similar to the flowers on onions, garlic and ramps, only huge. That makes sense seeing as how they are all in the same family:

Next, bamboo shoots - these are the stobs sent forth by the giant Japanese bamboo I planted 10 years ago - they grow very rapidly and I have to cut them out of the ground every day otherwise I will trip over the ones that grow in my running track:

Next, green or spring onions - I mentioned that they are numerous in my yard - yet another allium, prolific and pungent:

CL mentioned poke weed - as I have written here over the years, I grow bumper crops of that plant in my yard - I would not advise consuming any portion of these plants - they are very toxic:

Today's picture of the bamboo shoots - they will be four feet tall within days, then thirty feet tall within a month.

Appropriate music from our family friend.

Speaking of grazing.

Euell Gibbons eats a pine tree. I read his book. I shop in stores, thanks.


I just went out back to take some more pictures:

The stobs have grown taller since this morning:

This rhizome burst through the surface since I was out there cutting them out this morning:

This is what the sprouts in my next door neighbor's yard look like right now. They will be gone next time he mows:

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

On Remembering Egypt, Saltless Manna, Open Boxes, and Glimpses of More


The closing of the comment box at Althouse happened within a week of Chip Ahoy’s last entry on his blog; and both events left me with a strong sense of sadness, ending, exodus and loss.  

The online presence of a number of commenters whose stories and opinions I’d been reading for years (more than ten for some of them) was suddenly gone.  What followed was a lot of missing.  Missing that included recall of some of the familiar memes and themes presented in the past; along with some recognizable moments in the present that appeared to tie in to the known interests, issues and concerns others had expressed.  Among them, an Egyptian Cat, a Food Story (with pics) on Salt,  a Recall of Butter Moments, along with other Signs and Wonders.

From there, thoughts on Egypt and Leave-taking brought me back to the story of the Israelite’s Exodus, where they reached the desert part of their journey and started to remember with longing some of the good left behind, to include memories of the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic they’d enjoyed while enslaved. This happened while they were experiencing the ongoing and everyday sameness of  daily provision received in the seemingly miraculous form of manna. The story, recorded in Numbers 11, is intriguing.  Even though Moses and Yahweh both start off on the same page,  Moses reaches the end of his rope first, and lets fly with the ancient  version of  “Just kill me now if this is how it’s going to go!”, while Yahweh responds to the grumbling, discouragement and lack of trust with “What? You think my arm is too short?” When all is said and done, a solution (albeit with consequences) involving a different kind of provision is found, and the journey continues on toward the Promise of Something More in the face of loss and change.  

I experienced something similar this week after coming across the addition of an emailed comment on a recent Althouse post.  It was written by someone whose opinions I’d come to regard as thoughtful and thought-provoking over the years. And finding it brought back a sense of familiar connection; while also providing meat from the sky with the recommendation of a new book out, written by a 95 year old German theologian, entitled Resurrected to Eternity:  On Dying and Rising.   

Fifteen years ago, following my younger brother’s death from blood clots and anaphylactic shock after taking a newly approved antibiotic (one later given three black box FDA warnings), I was left looking for a way to process that death and loss.  At that point, the religious teachings I’d received and held in the past left me with more questions than answers.  And that prompted me to set aside the boxed set of what I thought I knew and believed, and start looking for more.  I started by reading collected accounts of Near Death Experiences from a variety of people with different backgrounds and religious beliefs.  Then, with the impending death of my mom coming down the pike, I expanded that reading to books about death written by doctors, nurses and hospice workers, which meshed with some of the mysteries and oddities I encountered with her, including her conversations with deceased loved ones just prior to the start of morphine and her passing.  

All of this to say, I ordered the book in the hope it might hold a helpful thought or two to consider, and possibly add to the collection of beliefs, experiences and hopes I now hold. If it doesn’t, I’ll set it out as meat for another to try by leaving it in the Little Library Box near the studio.  

The expression on the face of the embalmed Egyptian cat below, who appears to be looking for the next box to jump into in the Great Beyond, portrays how I’ve often felt in my own search for more on that subject. 

Ramping Up Spring


Wild ramps thrive in Wisconsin if you know where to look. I had the good fortune to be shown that healthy patch above. Ramps appear early, and the Indians showed the settlers the health benefits of eating the plant after a long hard winter. Ramps are sometimes called wild leeks and have a distinct garlicky flavor. I've used them in potato ramp soup, sautéed with butter and used whole uncooked leaves as a tasty hors d'oeuvre that riffed on bagna cauda

Wild ramps are apparently hard to cultivate, but I'm giving it a shot. I brought back a couple whole plants; hopefully they will survive.

More on wild ramps here

Monday, April 26, 2021

Jane Jetson is a dirty girl!

Trooper has his hands full at the present time so I am posting this from Future Trooper. He is hoping that in the future his hands will be as full as Jane's.

Every space opera requires top notch musical accompaniment.

More News From the World Of Scients

So, ya think you're safe?

Ya had the shot(s).

Ya can go out and be with people.


In the latest in our series of posts for Mama, we bring you the real news about the shots.

Turns out they more dangerous than advertised. Just as legalizing marijuana has proven it's not just a harmless little high, so too is the latest on the "vaccines".

It's been found that mRNA vaccines, such as  Pfizer and Moderna, could trigger Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, and other neurological and cognitive degenerative diseases.

Add that to the fact that over 50 percent of  the new cases of the Brown Bilharzia involve people who have already been vaccinated and you have a real indictment of the push for the shots.

You heard it here first.


 As promised, I'm going to try to keep an opera theme going, even if it tangential. 

I've loved that movie since I was a kid. I read the Gaston Leroux novel and paid respect to the Opera House when I first went to Paris. But I wasn't really into opera then.

Lon Chaney, Sr. was a gifted actor in his day -- probably the best actor in his day. If they had given out Oscars then, he'd have had a couple few.  

I recall Chip Ahoy's reaction to Chaney's life story here. I don't recall who hear was first interested in ASL, Chip or Sixty. They both posted on it. They both knew it. How fascinating. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Blossom By Blossom

For winter's rains and ruins are over,
    And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
    The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remember'd is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
    Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

                 --A.G. Swinburne, Chorus from Atalanta in Calydon, 1865

Saturday, April 24, 2021



The aria works for me on several levels:

It's Mozart -- who doesn't like Mozart?

The Italian libretto uses the 2nd person plural: voi che sapete...(ye who know). This looks like the second person singular (formal) in French: vous qui savez (you, sir, who know): French uses its second person plural vous form to address single people formally, while Italian reserves that pronoun -- voi = vous-- for addressing more than one person (second person plural). Italians use their third person (pronouns Lei and Lui) and corresponding verbs to address someone formally. 

It seems that every European language -- whether derived from Latin or not -- chose a particular way to address strangers but especially royalty. The Germans took over their third person plural for this purpose: Wissen Sie (literally "They who know" is used to address one person; Greeks, like the French, use their second person plural; We, like the Italians use our third person singular verb form which you can see in vestigial English: "Does his majesty wish" (third person, singular). Anything but the familiar tu, du, thou's to address royals. If you think this is confusing, try holding all these in your head when playing polyglot.

The word nozze in Italian is intriguing. Where does it come from? The closest English cognate is nuptials. 

Back to the aria itself. I should see "The Marriage of Figaro" before I die. I am a perfect candidate for enjoying opera, especially Italian. I have a good working knowledge of the language. Back when when I first studied it as my first foreign language at UW Madison, it was just me and a bunch of female music students in that class. Good times! I was just a local bumpkin -- not even matriculated -- trying to show off for those young women. That worked out well. But I always thought opera too highbrow for the likes of me. My sad loss. 


 Overheard at Lem's: 

Some Seppo said...

We ate Imperial in the 60's. My guess is because it was cheaper than butter, not because of the Sturgeon General's fishy data.

My parents drove over the border to Illinois back then (we lived near Madison) to buy "colored oleo" which was yellow margarine. At the time, it was illegal to sell margarine that looked like butter in Wisconsin. Oleo margarine was especially high in trans fats because of the way it was made: Hydrogenating vegetable oil using a supported heterogenous catalyst essentially guaranteed it. 

Remember all the margarine commercials back then? 

And this was my personal favorite:

I learned my French accent from that guy and also from LeBeau on "Hogan's Heroes."

Friday, April 23, 2021

Cooking with No True Scotsman!

 So the doc said "No salt for you!" and I have been following that advice. But being the inquisitive type I decided to investigate further. I have an extremely simple diet, potatoes, eggs, meat, water and some fruit juice. Simple, right? What can go wrong?

Here's what - if one, and by "one", I mean me, purchases store-bought processed potatoes and meat then one is consuming whatever the processor of said products decides to dump in there. By carefully reading the nutritional info on the back of the package I gained some insight into how they make that stuff, which looks like they start with a salt lick, cover it with rock salt, dump on some table salt, then add Himalayan pink salt to taste. What I am saying is - that stuff, even without additional salt added by the consumer after it is cooked, is killing me, the consumer.

So, what to do? Being cheap, and having some of those food products already on hand, I figured I would see if I could remedy the issue - first I boiled the meat:

It was processed beef so I boiled it for a while I drained off the water, let it cool, then put it in the refrigerator. Guess what - that worked - the sodium was water soluble, the broth carried away the salt and now the meat is edible.

The taters, well, they are a different story:

They are Ore-Ida brand frozen french fries and even after soaking, draining, rinse, repeat, I cooked them and they are still too salty. Hmm. Well, I can sort this out next time I go to the store. But boy, don't they look stylish sitting in the bottom of a bowl of water? I can answer that - no, no they do not.

After lunch I did go to the store, and what do you know - there are generic brands of fries that contain no sodium whatsoever! Who knew! So I bought some of those and they are next up in the queue for lunch. 

There you have it - meager food, purchased by a cheap bastard, who will now buy even cheaper food. Livin' the dream, I tell ya!

Up next - low sodium haggis! 
Be sure to follow my blog for more recipes. 
One final warning, kids, don't try this at home! That's an order!

We have been having hard frosts for the last couple of days but these flars are hanging in there for now:

Didn't they purdy!

Play it loud and proud.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021


 It turned cold here, and windy, and I decided to stay inside and not work. I watched television and I saw a terrible movie with Tommy Lee Jones in it. He was in "No Country for Old Men" and others which I have enjoyed and this one which I did not. While reading about the old lefty I learned he owns the rights to a book by Cormac McCarthy's entitled "Blood Meridian" and I had never heard of that one. And so I looked it up. And it turns out that "Cormac" is not his given name and he uses the polysyndeton style of writing and I am using it and I find it annoying and tiresome. And so I will try to stop. And I might succeed. 

And before I do I have to admit I found that style funny in a Monty Python movie, to wit:

"And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, 'O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large chalupas."

But much beyond that it is a stylistic dead end, sayeth the guy who has sold no books as compared to Mr. McCarthy who has sold many. Some have suggested that "Blood Meridian" is impossible to film, and after reading about it I am thankful - it sounds hideous. And Gore-y.


 Overheard at Lem's:

My cousin recently visited our family plot in Kentucky and noted the same sort of thing - first, many, many children, many of whom never reached their majority, and kind an odd sense of family and communion with those who have gone before. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


 I was kind of thinking that Chip would get up out of that hospital bed and go back to his previous life. Part of me is still in shock that he didn't. When he wrote about being in that bed, how amazing it is, how it automatically adjusts to your weight and inflates and deflates so that you don't get bedsores and how the BP cuff is always on and how your pulse ox is always being read and how the Foley catheter is in place at all times that took me back to the five days I spent in CICU back in 2005. Based on that I figured they would make him right as rain and he would be back to cooking the food that he loved so dearly. I got up, went home, why didn't Chip? I guess there are many things I don't understand about medicine.

Anyway, those beds are way cool and ever since my stay in one I have wanted to get one for my house. I have a feeling they cost more than a Sealy Posturpedic.

One's personal medical history and one's family medical history play roles in all this. Just today I was recounting much of those histories to my own doc, told him how no male in my family has made it to age 73 yet, how all of my predecessors died, what carried them off this mortal coil and that got me to thinking about such things. Morbid, perhaps, but reality, nonetheless. Each and everyone of us reading this blog could tell stories about illnesses, close calls, NDEs, and so on. I know I could. So far no apparitions or spirits or angels or imps of any manner have showed up to usher me one direction or another. Of course, for an old dude such as myself to talk the rheumatiz or arther-itis is just annoying to everyone involved. Organ failure - been there, done that, but like so many things in life, timing is everything. Don't do that all at once. 

Today the doc told me no more salt. "No salt for you!". He must have gotten me confused with Trooper - that's a natural mistake, the resemblance is uncanny. So no more salt for me. So it goes. I am going to miss salt. Salt was one of my major food groups, along with water, bread and meat. Once again, I will adjust.

I am still out there, still trying to outrun the grim reaper, the doc said that I am probably better off running rather than not running, so I will keep doing that.

We have lost a valued member of our blog community. That time comes to us all. It would be nice if we could all leave as big an impression as Chip did - but he was truly exceptional.

One of my brothers drank himself to death.

I can see the Chatham county line from my house.

When they want to run some tests.

Play this one as they carry me away...

This is a bit more somber:

As the years have passed I have become the spitting image of Mr. Natural.

I don't know whether or not I concur, but that seems to sum up what I know.

Also, keep on truckin'.

WKRLEM: What would happen if Elmer Fudd owned Stop and Shop

Trooper York's Word of the Day


  1. serving or intended as an ornament; decorative.
    "an ornamental fountain"

           an oriental with big knockers.

RIP my friend

Many of you have posted moving comments about the passing of our friend Chip Ahoy. He was a one of a kind character and will be really missed by all of us..

When Lem first set up this blog Chip was a frequent commenter. When many of the original contributors went crawling back to pay homage to Mordor it resulted in  Chip became a contributor here. A vital one. So much so that Lem put him in charge when he had to step away the first time. Chip was a prolific poster. Sometimes posting up to three and four posts a day while still posting like crazy at his own blog. He never failed to be interesting by sharing his interests which I think are more accessible then mine. He would post about food, Egypt, his youth in Japan and of course his beloved pop up books. He never failed to be interesting.

Of course he could have a prickly personality at times as all of us here do. His posts began to mention his health issues and the effect it had on his everyday life which we can all relate to as we get older.  In the end as he got sicker he decided to leave. I can understand that as posting all the time can be a lot of pressure. It's not fun when you are not feeling well.

My favorite interaction with him was in a post back in the day when we were making fun of Joe Biden's pretend Catholicism. I posted some ridiculous comments like "Joe Biden is so Catholic that he thinks Padre Pio is when Tony Glynn takes a leak in the outfield." For some reason that struck his fancy and he posted about thirty or forty puns or jokes about obscure Catholic arcane that Joe Biden would screw up. One after another like a machine gun. It was a tour da force I tells ya and very funny.

I enjoyed Chip's post and valued his contribution. I considered him a great  internet friend if you know what I mean. I am sorry that I didn't get to tell him that. I did email him a few times since he left to ask how he was doing but he never responded. Which is fine. He had enough to deal with. I hope he realized how we all felt about him.

So long Chip. I bet you are showing St Peter how to make an avocado toast that you can turn into a pop up book. You will be missed.

Monday, April 19, 2021

On Clicks and Caladiums, In Memory of ChipAhoy,


The picture above portrays one of the real results of the many enthusiastic recommendations delivered by and received from ChipAhoy, during his time as a commenter, co-contributor and blog host at Levity.   

His recent death on April 1st, leaves those who appreciated him and the seemingly boundless bounty and overflow he offered, with a deep sense of loss.  And that sadness is accompanied by keen appreciation for the many unique contributions he made and the humor and creativity he revealed.   

I wish I could find and post another picture I recall that conveyed even more essence along with his desire to follow his interests, engage with life and make a difference that mattered; but I can't find it, so a description will have to do.  It was a photo he'd taken of the front of the tall tan colored apartment building where he lived in Denver that showed a green rectangle of verdant life filling up and spilling over the edge of a balcony situated in the middle of the building--the balcony that held the garden he'd planted (from seed and bulb) and tended outside his slider door.  It was the only spot of life and color on the face of the building, and it looked like an oasis of an abundance in the middle of a desert of sameness.  At the time I printed it off as a visual example of the positive difference one person can make when they follow their interests and heart.  

There was often a link at the bottom of his posts on the food blog he maintained, "Things Wot I Made Then Ate," that was labeled "magnificate to full glory".  And clicking on that link would lead to more story, pictures and description.  While I'm guessing magnificate to have been one of his words, it captures what could and often did happen through the many clicks that took place to connect with the pictures and stories, pop-ups  and animations, enthusiasms, opinions, and information he shared.  

Whatever rest or invitation the afterlife might hold, it’s my hope and belief the clicks of goodness realized through him and invested in on this side of things will continue to grow, invite wonder, and reveal glory.   I'm planning on planting more caladiums in the swan this summer, and may even use the word magnificate if I come on an occasion that calls for it.

Update:  Here it is!!  Chip's balcony garden,  Aug 20, 2017

Sunday, April 18, 2021

On Blog Connects, Considerations of Unfairness, Boundaries and Borders, Mentions of Heaven and Hell, and The Ways Things Go as Time Moves On


Under the way things go, coming across a mention a year ago at the Althouse blog of a book that had just been published prompted me to order a hard copy.  And that resulted in, How to be an Artist, by Jerry Saltz, arriving to reside in my art studio as part of a stack of books I randomly pick up to read before I begin painting.  It’s also how the photo a-TOP this post came to be here as part of my ongoing Considerations of Unfairness, stirred by a recent post on the subject at Levity.

On the Good Friday before Easter (and the Advent of the Second Great Comment Shutdown at the Motherblog), I happened to sit down in the afternoon (after reading TY’s post on Unfairness as the Word of the Day) to open the Saltz book to a chapter entitled, “Picasso and Matisse at the Border”. In doing so I was exposed to something I hadn’t seen before, which involved the two different approaches to borders revealed by those two artists in their paintings. In Saltz’s words, subjects in Picasso's paintings “don’t run off the canvas. His figures and faces aren’t cut off.  Almost every shape, body, plane, line, breast, anus, face, or form he painted fits within the four sides of the canvas.

His friend and rival, Henri Matisse followed no such classicism. In his paintings "legs and feet go off canvases, heads are cropped willy-nilly, elbows are cut off.  Patterns shoot right past the edges of his work.”

Also mentioned was the painter Eric Fisch (whose work I hadn’t seen before), who describes “heaven” and “hell” compositions like this: “In heaven compositions, things are orderly, homogeneous. Priority is given to the whole over the parts. Hell composition is marked by chaos; it’s emulsifying, broken, textural and it can veer to extremes.”

Curious as to what types of compositions Fischl put together and painted,  I looked him up on my phone to find numerous paintings of differently sized men and women in differently sized bathing gear, before landing on the painting posted at the head of this post.  And when I did, I sat there sort of stunned for a moment.  I felt intrigued and amazed, and a smile of wonder started to form as it dawned on me, I’d landed on an unusual and unique representation of unfairness that covered (and uncovered) a whole lot of ground!  Ground that extended beyond the more obvious young to old man comparisons, and the loss of standing, vitality, potency and naivete that life and time (as evidenced by the worn watch?) can bring.  

Painted in 2016, and entitled “Late America” that painting by Fischl was part of a collection supposedly done to invite awareness, or perhaps skewer or provoke a response regarding Trump- era Privilege.   Five years later, when looked at in light of what’s transpired to bring us to 2021, an even later view of America can be considered with a touch of irony .  Making me wonder what can be seen inside the border and what might be standing outside the border?  A female Secret Service agent?  A nippy dog?  A seemingly endless line of  undocumented immigrants awaiting for their chance to clip more hedges, straighten more pool chairs, or serve as paid-under-the-table care givers to children with teddy bears?

I had fun with this painting, enjoying the opportunity to consider the way one artistic representation can serve multiple purposes.  And I wondered, "What do others see happening?  What thoughts and/or feelings might this scene provoke or bring up today with regard to Late America in 2021?"  

Friday, April 16, 2021

WKRLXFM-side band with modulated amplitude

Kids these days can't even cut mask loose.

Or vice versa.

Champion Jack Dupree has expressed my mood precisely.

 King Curtis.

My Cajun roots showin'.

Coffee is for closers!

As you were, lads and lasses.

And upon review, damn, King Curtis sure could play. Did I mention DAMN!

Spring's Here

                             Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
                             Is hung with bloom along the bough,
                             And stands about the woodland ride
                             Wearing white for Eastertide.
                             Now, of my threescore years and ten,
                             Twenty will not come again,
                             And take from seventy springs a score,
                             It only leaves me fifty more.

                             And since to look at things in bloom
                             Fifty springs are little room,
                             About the woodlands I will go
                             To see the cherry hung with snow.

                             A.E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad, 1896


WKRLEM- Chickie said it was Aqualung (Official Music Video)

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Okay, I will take my own advice

 I read that my neighbor Bernie Madoff died. Aw, poor baby. He only stole billions in the largest Ponzi scheme ever. Ponzi himself was probably thinking "I should have dreamed up a bigger scam!"

We are currently living under several scams, the stolen election, the Chink flu and others, such as Climate Catastrophe - what a bunch of bullshit that one is. In 4.5 billion years the climate of this planet has never stayed the same for long. But mindless mask wearing morons think that if they throw their money at politicians then every day will be perfect. My disdain for their idiocy knows no bounds. It's as if they all live in Madison - nothing else can explain that level of imbecility. 

But I have a better scam. Sure, Bernie got billions, the climate boys get trillions, but they need to buy into my new scheme - and this is going to cost quadrillions - make your checks out to cash, please.

If you just send me all of your money I will stop plate tectonics. Think of it - no more continents roaming willy-nilly all over the face of the planet, bumping into one another - nope - I will put an end to all of that random crap. It's going to require that everyone dig deep but think of the utopia that will result - no more volcanoes (I am looking at you St. Vincent and Iceland), no more earthquakes, no more mountain ranges getting loftier, no - the sea will remain where it is and never again will it split North America asunder from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico - that crap will not be permitted. And tsunamis - fugedaboudit!

So there you have it - the scam of all scams. I need some four color posters and maybe a Power Point slide show with bullet points, but I think this will be a winner, given the proper publicity.

Get in on the ground floor, before some sort of geologic uplift causes the ground floor to relocate to higher ground. 

I saw flars on my walkies

 That title alone should trigger the snowflakes.

Some of these were in my yard, some weren't.

This last one is a self portrait:

This here playin' is a purdy as a pitcher of a flar.

Trooper York's Word of the Day


  1. relating to or affecting cattle.
    "bovine tuberculosis"
  1. an animal of the cattle group, which also includes buffaloes and bisons.