Monday, June 13, 2022

Green and Bear It

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Kathy, garden, backyard, flowers, Pride Month, LGBTQ+, cord-cutting, TV, TIVO, grieving, Trixie Mattel
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Although the honor was not sought, three months ago I received a field promotion (literally) to Head Gardener at the Jarlsberg Estate. This is a task for which I was entirely unprepared, although I'd done grunt work in the gardens for years under expert supervision.

I've been doing my best to tend to everything and I've been surprised and delighted at the number of bushes, grasses, and flowers that have bloomed and blossomed because Kathy knew to plant things that rather magically come back year after year even if an idiot is left in charge. 

Mind you, I don't know the names of almost any of these colorful visitors but bit by bit I'm learning about them. And while I've never been an enthusiastic gardener, I've always appreciated Kathy's landscaping...and darned if I'm not getting a bit of satisfaction (and sunlight and exercise) by trying to keep everything from going to hell.

So far, so good - and it cheers me every time I look out on all of these colors.


Speaking of colors, we've all been seeing a lot of rainbows in popular media lately in honor of Pride Month. And hopefully to no one's surprise here, I'm fully supportive of the occasion and the folks this month is all about. As the cliche goes, some of my best friends (and best readers) are members of the LGBTQ+ community, and almost all of them have walked a hard road to get to where we are today.

To be clear, I'm not celebrating drag queens in kids' classrooms (although I'm a fan of drag queen / country music artist Trixie Mattel, who says his/her performances are only for the over-18 crowd) nor do I support making a public spectacle of private sexual behavior no matter what team you're playing for. 

But I'm pushing 70 and just lost the love of my life. And I think true commitment to another person, body and soul, is a rare and beautiful thing. So I just want everybody to be who they are, to love who they want, and to treat others with caring and respect. That's something anyone can be proud of during Pride Month.


This week (Wednesday to be exact) sees another big change coming to the Jarlsberg household: I'm cutting the cable. Despite having NO premium channels, my most recent bill came in at $192 (and adding insult to injury, the provider is adding another $2.99/month charge to send your bill on paper).

I'm done watching network or cable news from anyone (I get my news from the Wall Street Journal and the Scott Adams podcast) and I haven't watched a network entertainment show in years. Kathy and I greatly enjoyed "Jeopardy!" because we turned it into a drinking game and exercise in improv comedy, but it would be sad just to watch by myself.

Mind you, I'm not going cold turkey on television - I've got subscriptions to Amazon Prime and Netflix, I've discovered that I get the various networks (and more) live and in high-def using a small indoor TV antenna, and while playing around with my "smart" LG television last night I discovered something called "LG channels" which supplies 179 streaming channels for free (albeit with commercials, like broadcast TV).

My new service package will keep my landline phone (yes, I'm the last holdout), increase my Internet speed by a factor of five, and save me about $120 a month. And if I'm unable to TIVO Democrat kangaroo court proceedings, well, I'll just have to live with it.


Bobo the Hobo said...

The estate looks marvelous! And congrats on cutting the cable to the tune of $2,304.00 annual savings!

Anonymous said...

Nice yard and plants. I'm sure your wife is happy you are keeping the place looking good.

You aren't quite the last holdout on landline - we still have ours, but with a just over $50 charge (and this with no long distance), it is grating on my last nerve. The reason why we have held onto it this long are a lot of our family still use it to get in touch, many of them still remember our land line by memory, not cell phone.

Bruce Bleu said...

Let me "chime in" on this matter... the plant names you are seeking are George, (upper left), Mary, (below George), Isabella (just go counter-clockwise), Verne, Thomas, Hubert, Jim, and Doris. My favorite "drag queen" is and always will be Shirley Muldowney.
My favorite LG channel is 520 because it has Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Rod said...

I pretty much agree with you about GLBTWhatever, and know several such good persons; but with the major caviat that I do NOT like this "IN YOUR FACE" / "LOOK AT ME"/ showing off, promoting it to children; & cheating sports rules about gender. If someone does that close-up in my face & space; they're going to get hurt. I have $; I can hire attorneys; I thought my life was in danger; That was an assault, I'm as insane as anyone. But not a VICTIM. I don't do "victim" well.

AS for your carrying on in the flower beds and dropping cable. Those are GOOD MOVES. I'd drop satellite feed today. Well no, very busy today, we're supposed to be pouring concrete soon. Tomorrow. No that's busy too. THIS WEEK! How about this week? That's if it was only up to me. I watch low single-digit % of that programming; and refuse to be lied to.

BTW not big deal but I didn't get your usual e-mail about new post. Did I miss a change?

Lee The Voice said...

Glad you got a hobby. Gardening is soothing. you'll learn a lot about plants, flowers, etc. Just as long as Johnny O. doesn't start pushing up daises.

Elbarto said...

Still got rabbit ears on my TV and with the aid of a Roku get lots of free streaming channels, too.

BTW, considering what's being celebrated, wouldn't it be more appropriate to call June "shame month?"

Anonymous said...

Try the Epoch Times for fair news coverage,
you won't be disappointed.


jhsilcox said...

Something very therapeutic about working in soil. My enjoyment comes in the vegetable garden. Occasional failures keeps me grounded (excuse the pun) in the fact that I'm largely lucky when I get a fair crop of whatever.

Thanks for the update.


Anonymous said...

"The love that cannot be named has become the love that just won't shut up."

- Oscar Wilde, world famous gay guy.

What people do with other consenting adults in the dark is of no concern to me. But I don't have to hear about it 24 hours a day, and it doesn't have a damned thing to do with kids. That part has more to do with disgusting election year politics than it does anything else.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Bobo the Hobo- The savings aren't quite that high as I still have to pay for Internet and phone service. But I definitely come out more than $1000 ahead. Which, with current inflationary trends, will allow me to buy a loaf of bread at year's end.

@Anonymous- 90% of the few phone calls I still receive are spam and robo-callers, so I really should cut the landline, too. But I detest getting calls on my smartphone so am dragging my feet on making the shift.

@BruceBleu- Thanks for naming everything in my garden - that will come in handy when I'm giving them their daily pep talks.

@Rod- Regarding LGBTQ+ matters, I don't like the "in your face" stuff either, the political agenda, grooming activities, or confusing promiscuity with freedom. But these are fringe behaviors (and all are also common in the straight community). Actually, all of these affronts are already handled by my broader rule that no one should act like an asshole.

Regarding cable TV, the last straw for me (other than price) was my completely losing faith with all news sources including Fox News. They're all aggravation machines now, by design, to keep us hooked. And I have enough free-range aggravation that it would just be stupid to pay to get more.

@McChuck- Obviously, I disagree. What I do agree with is that the Left is actively trying to destroy our culture, morality, and existence as a nation however they can. And sometimes they'll try to use LGBTQ+ issues as a weapon, just like any other blunt object they can lay their hands on. But the Gay folks I know include loving, quietly married couples (and conservatives) whose goal is to live the American Dream rather than subvert it. I can't be against that.

@Lee the Voice- I may have to do a "pushing up daisies" gag for Johnny now...

She’s A Beauty said...

Your frog's twin brother resides in our backyard soil. Please pass along a heartfelt "Ribbit" from the North Coast...

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to say that The Kathy Memorial Garden is looking quite fine. I would bet Kathy is looking down and saying you are doing a lovely job and would be thrilled you are finding some enjoyment from it. There is such joy in the beauty of those ephemeral flowers…..keep digging!
Can't say we could cut cable in this household, as the old man is addicted to old western series and movies. He's trying to watch them all for fear they will soon be canceled too. You know too many guns, too much killing and fighting of and with Indians, PETA issues with horses and livestock, drinking and debauchery, women's rights and no cursing and good acting…..ok have to go and study my gender dictionary since I get so confused and can barely understand reading the paper anymore
Pray for America to survive.

Boligat said...

I don't have any satellite coverage. I don't have cable either. I do use an antenna and the free stuff my "smart" t.v. pulls from my wifi. It's a little irritating to use, but . . . it's free.

I'm of the opinion that if the gay community won't stand up to the loud mouths in their group, then I don't have much use for them. Sorry.

I hate gardening. Period. I mow the lawn and do the trimming, but the garden is my wife's domain . . . and she is trying to get me interested. She says I need a hobby, but it has to be a hobby she approves of. I wouldn't mind if she asked me to do something and then, when I finish, patted me on the back and left me alone. But, she doesn't. Switch and bait. Keep adding more and more and more. Even that I wouldn't mind, if she just laid out a plan for the season and left me alone to get it done on my timetable and in my own way. But, she doesn't. She would make a really good leftist . . . which she is. *sigh*

Mikey said...

Happy to hear you are gardening, one of my favorite things, and I have always found it amazing. You put this tiny little seed in the ground, keep it watered, and then this amazingly beautiful plant appears. Great stuff, and I always found it relaxing. Try some tomatoes next, the rewards are even greater.
The LGBTQWTF*** stuff is just over the top for me. I truly don't care what people do, who they love, etc., but I don't need or appreciate the constant, "in your face" approach. Enough already, just go about your lives, I won't interfere.
As for TV, we cut back to basic cable, mainly so my wife can still watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and the local weather forecast. For streaming service, try Acorn, we get it with the firestick, great programming from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and other foreign providers. Good shows, well written and many with truly funny plots.

Stay well, and keep up your blog, have appreciated it for a long time.

mamafrog said...

@Bruce Bleu Darn it all, I thought I had copyrighted that naming system, lol!! You should hear the names I call things that upset me, outside plants, in the garden, cats, dogs, car, yada, yada, yada.

Stilt, I'm supremely jealous of your gorgeous yard, Kathy was a frickin' genius about what to do there. My home at son's is...weedy and doggy and don't have the energy to do anything in our raging heat. I did pull a few weeds right after the last storms but they were annoying me. Mom's yard is just not a place I like. It has grass but she constantly cuts back any trees that might shade it so just not a place I want to be. That is one of her mania's right now.
She has a tiny front porch that is unusable most of the day and I hate looking at the neighbors so don't go there either. Actually, right now I've got the AC cranked to something I'm comfy with and that's where I stay unless I actually have to drag my butt out of the house. And since mom refuses to eat at home that's at least twice a day.

Anonymous said...

We have never had cable, for last several years opted for ROKU. America First, OAN, One America, The Blaze, Prager U, WVW, and many other channels, most are free (Blaze is subscription). Fox Nation is another worth the subscription just for Tucker’s interviews and his newscast without commercials.
Love your column, so sorry for your loss, your marriage a great example to a world of selfishness.

John25mm said...

Glad you are finding some joy in life both in the gardening (which I'm sure Kathy is looking on with happiness that it's going well and you are finding some joy in something.) and being able to bitch and moan about the cable company.
As to homosexual issue I have a couple of couples (say that three times fast) that are homosexuals (I hate the term gays or lesbians) that have both been couples for over twenty years each. Pretty good record regardless of your preferences. In one couple the one I met first was an NCO in a unit I was in in the Army and someone said something disparaging about the whole lifestyle and my response was alone the lines of "If you could meet her Soldiers standards of personnel and equipment readiness then I wouldn't care if the whole damn unit was homosexual." Okay I might not have been as politically correct as what I wrote but you get the idea.
As to the other I was very happy when SC put into law recognizing/allowing same sex marriage. The reason being how would you like being in a relationship with someone for years but was in a car accident and not expected to make it and the family of the injured person didn't except same sex relationships and forbid the partner from seeing their love for the last time. To me that is horribly wrong.
As to the religious aspect some say buried deep in the Bible are verses that say it's wrong but until you can honestly say you are a hundred percent on the top Ten you might not want to dig too deep finding something that supports your feelings/hatred. Remember Jesus says we are to love one another as yourself. Nothing in there about only loving them if they fit your definition of right and wrong. Remember you are the one who will judge in the end and maybe you might want to ask God for a little more forgiveness and strength to see the world through their eyes and experiences. If your child needed blood or an organ to live would you reject it because for some reason you knew it came from a homosexual?

Bob L. said...

Thanks for sharing your garden.

Dan said...

Pretty yard. Very nice. She done good. Looks like you’ll do a fine job of keeping the tradition.

I’ve kept the same landline number here since we moved to this house in ’92. Sure the landline gets a lot of spam calls, but I rarely answer it except for caller IDs I recognize. If it’s important they’ll leave a voicemail or call back.

We have cell phones, but I don’t carry mine around or pay it much attention. Mostly use it as a radio to listen to Chris Plante or listen to music. Do carry it for Doctor visits so I can call my wife to pick me up when the appointment is over. My sister has learned don’t text me since I rarely check text messages and even more rarely reply to them (I’ll call —on my landline-- or e-mail instead). Plus, the landline has the added "benefit" of going out during heavy rains.

As for dumping cable, if The Five and Gutfeld! were available on line, I’d be ready and willing to cut the cord.

Dave said...

Lovely yard, and wishing you much joy and solace working the beauty in her memory.

Extortionate cable/landline?!? Good to hear you're weaning yourself off it all. FWIW, here in Israel we have high-speed broadband, at reasonable prices (different tiering/ISPs/regs than in the States, and expecting 5-G fiber this month) so seeing those kinds of prices for what you were getting is, frankly, eyewatering.

Haven't had, watched, or needed a "TV" for ages - anything we're interested in is already online.

Be well, my funny friend.

Joe Drypowda said...

Top of the line garden and pictures! Thanks for the update, prayers always!

Anonymous said...

Kathy Would Be proud Of Your Gardening!! It’s Beautiful!
Wish I could Cut The cable out Here in Washington, need the landline for heart monitor. Ours with no premium stations is $213.00 a month!
Keep Up the good work! Joni Miller

Murphy(AZ) said...

The more I consider cutting the cable, the more I realize I won't miss anything if I do. Cut away, Stilt. and bon voyage!

John the Econ said...

You garden looks fantastic. Actually, I'm rather envious as beyond daffodils we can't plant much interesting at ground level as the local fauna treats nearly anything planted as a salad bar. We have to settle for some colorful hanging baskets and deck plants.

Pride Month: My problem with it isn't the non-cisness of it, but the people and organizations falling over themselves to promote their pride-ness. I think they do the cause more harm that good. I'm just tired of the phony virtue signalling.

Cable cutting: Welcome to the club. We did it over 7 years ago and never looked back. At the time, our bill was consistently escalating and at the end we were paying around $140 a month for basic cable and Internet. That was for 3 TVs in low-def, and a bit over 100 channels of mostly mind-numbing crap that we never watched. In fact, I was offended by the notion that the Kardashians were actually making money off me even though we never watched their insipid show and countless others.

I bought Roku boxes for the TVs. (now 4 in the house, and another in our camper) I put up a TV antenna and got a Tablo DVR to record the free over-the-air channels. We got Netflix, and later Sling which gets us most of the cable channels we still wanted. We since added Frndly (because Mrs. Econ loves Hallmark Channel and Weather Channel) and basic Hulu. We also subscribe to for baseball. Since we have Amazon Prime, we also get Prime Video. We also get HBOMax because it comes included with my cell phone service. So we're getting access to far more content for about half the price we were paying a half-decade ago, and certainly many times less than we'd be paying today on cable.

Not watching cable news will do wonders for your mental health.

We still have landlines, but they're VOIP from Ooma. (After around $100 for the box, it's around $6/mo for taxes) I dropped my last landline from AT&T about a decade ago. I was keeping it for "redundancy" in case the Internet & VOIP lines went down. But when the line suffered a slow death and then AT&T told me it would be weeks before they could get around to fixing it, I came to the conclusion that this level of "redundancy" wasn't worth another $40/mo.

We've been watching baseball instead of the Democrat's choreographed J6 show, which they will need to keep running until November in vain hopes of making people dismiss >$5 gas and their grocery bills. Even then, I hear that reruns of "Young Sheldon" still beat them.

Nancy Dickerson said...

LOVE that you can appreciate Kathy's flowers and arrangements of the yard. Keep 'em watered. It's Texas, ya know.

Rainbows? Well, I support the idea that folks should be themselves when loving others is involved. Don't need any special colors or arrangements to do that. But whatever floats a boat.

TV hasn't been turned on since my daughter left to go back home in March. But kept the internet high speed that costs me $80 a month. She needed it so she could work here while taking care of me after my back surgery, and the high speed is addictive.

May God bless you and Daughter J with peace and cooler weather.

Burner said...

I cut the cable cord years ago. I have 'net with streaming service and there are about 50 channels (some shopping) from my outdoor antenna.
Still don't watch more than 3 shows on "network" TV.

Maoz said...

Stilt, your garden is beautiful! You may actually have a green thumb you've been hiding under a bushel. (Be careful, bushel-thumb-crouches can result in bushel-thumb-cramps after a while, so I hear.)

But I'm stumped by your post's title. I see plenty of Green, but where is the Bear hiding? Okay, a title of "Green and Frog It" or "Green and Elephant It" would've sounded a little weird. But since when do we shy away from weird at Stilton's Place?!

Oh, maybe the Bear is hiding behind one of the plants? Sort of like the camel on the dollar bill? You know, the one hiding behind the pyramid...
(Actually, I haven't seen US currency up close and personal since like the previous century. Do they even still have the pyramid?)

All the best to you and Daughter J!

Tina M said...

I'm sure Kathy is proud of you. It is looking gorgeous. On really hot days I sometimes put out a beach umbrella to help the flowers survive.

Do you have a cat or dog? There are so many animals in Texas who need help.

Why don't you put your newly liberated funds into metals, coins, seeing as how our political leaders are leading us into a pit?

Best wishes.

Kate said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your sweet comments about pride month. I myself am in the Q+ group, and I sometimes feel like there's not a place for me in conservative communities even though I consider myself to be one. You have a big heart.

Shelly said...

I am an avid gardener and have a lovely patio replete with flowers and plants. It is not on as magnificent scale as Kathy's garden but it suits me. I live in a zero lot line house so my yard running down one side and a little in the back is small so my patio reminds me of a New Orleans courtyard, if you've ever seen one of those. The downside is the water bills this summer keeping those thirsty little guys from withering to death. As mentioned in the comments, it is very therapeutic and calming to me. All the crap going on just vanishes while I'm working out there.

Mike aka Proof said...

The yard and flowers look great! Kathy would be proud of you!
Speaking of "pushing up daisies", I'm reminded of an old episode of the Avengers, where Emma Peel dispatched a baddie, who promptly fell over into a lily pond. When Steed asked what happened to him, she replied calmly, "he's pushing down the lilies".

jayjay said...

Your yard and flowers are lovely. What a beautiful reminder of your Kathy. Nature has a way of healing the soul. I cut the cord to cable about 1 year ago and never looked back.I now have Youtube tv and love it. It appears that you are doing better. Keep the faith.

bill wald said...

I've been a WSJ subscriber for a decade or so. It is the only national daily I "trust" and worth every cent. They work at telling both sides of issues.

Paul Donohue said...

I applaud your cable cancellation. I went the same route almost three years ago and I Avery happy with my decision. We have Netflix, Amazon Prime & Discovery+. We also occasionally watch other channels available on Roku. Total cost - less than $20 a month, a huge savings.

Your garden is looking great, especially for Texas in this heat. My gardening skills are limited, perhaps because I've never really developed them. Last year Annie put in a couple of red crepe myrtles and I remember thinking that I'll probably never get to see them in bloom, but they surprised me. They're just over 6 feet tall and already have 10 to 12 full blooms on each.

She also planted a trumpet vine for our hummingbirds. Just about a year ago she got a 6 inch cutting in the mail and rooted it. Today it covers two trellises and overhangs both, covering a space about 7 feet high, spreading out for a width of about 9 feet and coming outward three feet from the trellises. All of that from one little 6 inch cutting in one year. Unfortunately, she can't grow tomatoes.

When my 38 year old daughter was about 13 she told me that she thought that she might be gay. We discussed her feelings and I told her that it was clear that she hadn't made a decision in that regard, that she should think it over carefully and that whatever happened I would still love her. She didn't understand that so I told her that in the restaurant that I was running (a cajun restaurant in NY, if you can believe it) there were a number of gay and lesbian customers who were my friends. When she asked who they were I told her that I would not tell her anymore than I would tell them about our conversation.

As it turned out she was merely thinking things over including her attraction to a female teacher in her school. Today she is very happily married with three children and she is decidedly heterosexual but I would not love her less if she were not.

I guess what I'm saying is that I like or dislike people for who they are and what they do, not what their sexual proclivities are. But I do not appreciate those who flaunt their LGBTQ+ in my face or in my grandchildren's classrooms. Nor do I appreciate heterosexuals who feel the need to brag about their sex lives. You do you and I'll do me - just don't force me to listen to it. Respect for others is definitely a two way street.

p.s. I just opened a 365 count bottle of 81mg aspirin. I'm thinking about starting a pool as to how many will be left. Sounds like something Johnny's nurses would come up with. LOL

Jon said...

Get a free Plex account. I could hook you up with some oldie but goodie TV shows. I might (or might not) have 3 plus terrabytes of digital media. Ever watch It's Like You Know ? Hilarious

TrickyRicky said...

Wow! The grounds of Chateau Jarlsberg look fantastic, great job. I think I won't have my wife, who is an avid gardener look at today's post. She would be jealous....of course she has to put up with 7,200' elevation, soil that is basically decomposed granite, and multitudes of marauding deer and elk.

I congratulate you for cutting the cable. We have DirecTv which irks me to no end, but I'm not sure we can go streaming with our slow and intermittent internet. I will have to investigate the alternatives with a bit more vigor.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

I cut the cable in 2007. Haven't missed it one lick. :)

pkerot said...

You will be just fine without TV. I am 72 and have NEVER owned a TV. Yes it was a decision I made when I was a teenager. Youtube will give you all you want to watch

Anonymous said...

You can transfer your land line to a cell phone. That's what I did when I finally got a cell, five years ago.

Anonymous said...

I hope the flowers bring you many happy memories.

Hyzenthlay said...

Fantastic gardening skills! Kathy would be so proud! You're doing a magnificent job!

Erik said...

@maoz: If you were genuinely asking, I suspect "Green and Bear It" is a play on "Grin and Bear It".

@stilton and others:

I also cut the cable cord many years ago. I was in the kitchen one day getting a snack and I noticed that the flash rate of bright and dark coming from the living room did not change whether there was a commercial on or a program. Combine that with the increasing length of commercials and the insipid garbage at the bottom of the screen when your program was supposedly "on", and I realized television had fully become a tool for dumbing people down.

YouTube is taking a similar approach, but can still be fought, even without ad blockers. The same crass advertisers that show up on YouTube are also on Rumble, but at least the ads are just at the beginning so far. Odysee is the best for me, since their ads pretty much consist of a nag panel inserted into people's homepages.

As for landline phone, I still enjoy my full-sized AT&T answering machine and telephone combo. The power supply started failing many years ago and was getting hot, so I had to buy a dedicated answering machine. The phone part is still fine, though, and I leave the power brick unplugged. However, I am NOT paying for landline service!

I have an ordinary (for the time) flip phone, not a smart phone. It is connected to a device sold by PhoneLabs called Dock-N-Talk ( Your cell phone (of whatever type) connects to their Dock-N-Talk, which plugs into the power and a land line socket in the house. The Dock-N-Talk serves the cell phone to all the old-style phone handsets that are on the same wiring as the socket you plug it into. You hear a dial tone when you pick up the handset, and it relays the key presses to the cell phone when you type them. My cell phone connects via BlueTooth. I would have preferred a hardwired connection, which is supported for certain old cell phones, but I was unable to find one I could buy around here. I just have to remember to plug the cell phone in for recharging. I do not have a data plan for the phone. I buys cards at the store with cash, and apply them to the phone. My actual "mobile" cell phone is so old that it does not have a built-in camera.

We'll see what happens come the end of the year. The standard the phones run on is coming to an end. All the new cell phones are using the 4G data connection for voice as well as "data". I have to find a phone that REALLY is not capable of that Google Assistant and "App" garbage.

And, for recommended humor, I recently discovered "Politizoid". I think they have a YouTube channel that has the same content as their Odysee channel, but I try to use Odysee when I can. Politizoid is very talented, and they are good at making content that mimics several different styles, from Dudley Do-Right and Dexter's Lab to the Money For Nothing video and Max Headroom.

Their Odysee homepage is:

TRIGGER WARNING: contains a quote from Obama about how "amused" he is about the protests of Obamacare considering we should be thanking him.
The Money For Nothing video is at:

What I really enjoy, though, are the Joe-Bot videos. They have turned Joe Biden into a Max Headroom-style animation. The very first video did not have a good voice, and they pointed that out by putting "Installing Voice 2.0" at the beginning of the second video.
My favorite, though, is Joe-Bot number 7: Obama Envy.

Erik said...

Oops! Sorry, I was focused on my phone rant and problems.

The garden looks great! The previous owner of this house rented it out, and one of the tenants planted two sets of bulbs. They have been coming up for the 20 years I have been here. Although, one of them got nailed by the lawn guy towards the end of last summer. It came up this year, but promptly fell over. The other set has been shaded out by a bush that I let take over the area.


susan page said...

Matt Walsh has the best take on Gay Pride parades-- grown men displaying perversion as little kids watch on. Shame on anyone who supports this kind of stuff. No more Stilton's Place for me.

Maoz said...

Erik, thanks but actually I got Stilton's pun from the outset. Was just funnin' him back (attempting to, at least).

Fish Out of Water said...

I too am serious lookin to cut the cable off too, keeping only internet. What I need though are streaming services which offer Japanese-language content (news, movies and TV entertainment). When the day comes, I too will keep the landline. Have found when a call dos come in to the landline number, its 99.8% spam/scam.

Anonymous said...

What Susan Page said "Matt Walsh has the best take on Gay Pride parades-- grown men displaying perversion as little kids watch on. Shame on anyone who supports this kind of stuff. ......"

These gender confused people have some very deep emotional issues and are sticking this in your face as they desperately seek approval for a perverted lifestyle. Another cog in the gear to reduce our country to a complete moral wreck and ultimately a destruction of the nuclear family.

As a Christian, I absolutely do not hate these people or judge them as they will be judged by a much higher authority than me as will all of us. God loves me as He loves all.

If you are a Christian, you are now considered an enemy of the state.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@She's a Beauty- Our frog was looking a bit beaten so I recently gave him a fresh coat of Krylon spray paint. We've had that guy for years and like his attitude.

@Anonymous- The "old man" may be on to something. I wouldn't be surprised if traditional westerns aren't banned soon as being culturally reprehensible.

@Boligat- I find the avalanche of "free" programming on my smart TV baffling to navigate. But like you, I like the price.

And I don't love gardening yet, but like being able to do anything that Kathy would want done. In hindsight, I DO wish she'd created a detailed plan for me to follow in the garden!

@Mikey- My Dad used to grow wonderful tomatoes and tried to give me lessons in "pinching the suckers" to get better growth. I may have to give it a try.

@mamafrog- It is one of the joys of this neighborhood that, unlike the nearly sterile yards when we first moved here, there are now mature trees everywhere. And leaving home to eat out at least twice a day? That's got to be getting pretty expensive these days!

@Anonymous- I've used ROKU for years, and may look into some of the shows you've mentioned. For now, I'm avoiding stress-producers, though Dennis Prager is usually a comfortable presence.

@John25mm- Very well put regarding the question of homosexuality. I endorse long term committed relationships and I don't approve of rampant screwing around - whether someone is straight or gay. It was mentioned somewhere above that gays should police their more extreme elements or share the blame, but are we as straights required to do the same? Do I personally need to get Kim Kardashian and her sex tapes under control, or can I just ignore her as a heterosexual trainwreck and get on with my life? I'm not a biblical guy, but there's certainly a lot of universal wisdom there - including that we should "judge not." Which doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't use discretion, but does tell us not to be too confident that we're always capable of accurate judgment.

@Bob L.- My pleasure! Wish I could do it in person!

@Dan- We seem to share technological values. A cell phone is sadly a necessity these days, but that doesn't mean it's not a pain in the rear end.

@Dave- It's nice that I'm not just tending plants, I'm tending the ones that Kathy chose and planted (even if she made me dig the holes). That genuinely makes each new blossom more beautiful and meaningful for me.

@Joe Drypowda- The prayers are very much appreciated.

@Anonymous- Yikes! That's a high cable bill! Although I can certainly see the importance of having the landline for the heart monitor. Especially if you have an event when opening your cable bill!

@Murphy(AZ)- I don't think I'll miss anything by cutting the cable. The few shows I cared about were ones I shared with Kathy and were lost to me anyway. Plus, I've never liked my cable company and will be happy to reduce their revenue!

@John the Econ- We have yard bunnies that tend to snack on the plants but they haven't been out of line this year. Perhaps because we also have bobcats.

Regarding Pride Month, we're on the same page. I dislike all of the virtue-signaling and over-the-top displays. Be proud and be open, but stop shouting about it.

You've made an interesting tech journey with your various devices. Inertia has stayed my hand for a long time but since I'm already in "forced change" mode I may continue to rearrange and/or disconnect various services.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Nancy Dickerson- Texas has really turned up the thermostat lately, so I need to be rigorous about watering everything - especially since there may be water restrictions around here soon (there are most summers). And I too have a tendency to roll my eyes at all the rainbows this month, but on my Facebook feed a good Gay friend posted a picture of a rainbow/pride fashion display in a store and said how much it meant to him personally. This is a guy who's been in a committed relationship for decades who was finally able to marry his significant other. Frankly, it was that post which prompted me to put in a small good word for his community today.

@Burner- When I tried my antenna, I was surprised by how many broadcast channels there are devoted to shopping for what appears to be crap!

@Maoz- You didn't see the bear because it was hiding in my retirement portfolio. As far as US currency goes, I believe it still uses the (ahem) pyramid scheme.

@Tina M- I haven't started sheltering plants with an umbrella yet, but I suppose it's not impossible. Or I could just stand there in the sun and provide myself - it's not like I'm really busy with anything else.

I do have my daughter's dog, Ladybug, here at home and she's been a Godsend. When she moves to Daughter J's apartment (only 2 minutes away), I'll almost certainly claim a rescue dog from a local shelter. Or maybe I'll just go to the shelter and see which dog wants to rescue me?

Regarding precious metals, I already have some (not at my house, for any potential robbers reading) but magically they're NOT going up in value as stocks, bonds, and cash collapse. No, they're dropping too, which doesn't even seem possible. I'm not currently aware of any "safe" investment other than perhaps stockpiling personal goods "just in case."

@Kate- Glad to have you here and you're indeed welcome. Truth be told, a member of the Q+ group who's conservative shares more of my values than a straight liberal.

@Shelly- In the various books and articles I've read about grieving, they all agree on one thing: get outside! And unquestionably it helps. It puts me in closer touch with a bigger world which operates on natural rhythms.

@Mike aka Proof- I loved that show and absolutely had a crush on Emma Peel. Who didn't?

@jayjay- I honestly don't know if I can claim to be doing better. I know that I'm still trying, and hopefully that counts for something.

@bill wald- I don't agree with everything the WSJ writes, but that's one of the reasons I love them. I feel like their news stories are accurate and their editorializing (admittedly conservative) is smart and fair.

@Paul Donohue- I love crepe myrtles because when everything else is withering in the Texas heat (including me), they're happy to sport colorful blooms.

Thank you for sharing your personal story about your daughter, and the great way you handled that situation. I genuinely think that people who know Gay people in person are going to be much more supportive than those people who only have media stereotypes (frequently of misbehavior) to judge by. And I especially agree with you that "flaunting" isn't helping anyone; tolerance and mutual respect are what's called for.

And you made me chuckle with the idea of the "aspirin pool." It calls to mind that when Kathy was first diagnosed and given as little as two weeks to live, she wanted something to read in the hospital and so took "War and Peace." I'm surprised that her oncologist didn't notice and bring her the Cliff's Notes.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jon- I appreciate the offer but can access boatloads of oldie-but-goodie TV shows already. And I've been a Plex user for a long time - it's great to stream films from my computer!

@JustaJeepGuy- Kathy and I got smartphones (cheap ones, from Tracfone) simply to use as emergency devices. And yes, they're good for that and a lot else. But I don't want people calling me when I'm away from home - let alone while driving. And I don't want anonymous spam assaulting me wherever I am. Can I throw in a "Bah, humbug!?"

@TrickyRicky- Kathy gets the credit for the garden. I get credit for not screwing it up yet (grin).

@M. Mitchell Marmel- I strongly expect I'll have that same experience.

@pkerot- I've actively enjoyed TV in my day, but the medium has changed and so have I. You're right that I get more entertainment out of Youtube these days.

@Anonymous- I'm aware I have that option, but I have a lot of "old dog, new tricks" inertia.

@NSF- The flowers do bring me happy memories, though I wish I could remember more specifics about them. Kathy knew their names, their habits, their needs, and more. I just point and say "pretty."

@Hyzenthlay- Kathy wouldn't say I was doing a "magnificent" job yet, but she'd grudgingly (and lovingly) allow that I'm doing an adequate job. (grin)

@Erik- I'd never heard of the "Dock-N-Talk" thing and will look into it. Actually, I just DID look into it and didn't understand it, so I'll look into it again when I have more marbles.

@susan page- I'm sorry to see you go, especially because I don't support "that kind of stuff" and said nothing here to suggest I did. Do I have any problem with Gay Pride? No. Do I have a problem with public events in which children are exposed to people wearing dildoes and leather straps with faux horse tails blooming from their ass cheeks? Why yes, I have a tremendous problem with that. Note that I specifically said in my commentary that I was against "making a public spectacle of private sexual behavior." I don't know if you skipped that reference, or if you'd just already made up your mind that I must have suddenly turned into a terrible person. I promise you I haven't, and I hope if you stick around you'll agree.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Maoz- Your intent was clear. Not that my pun-ish titles aren't occasionally pretty obscure.

@Fish Out of Water- Interesting! I'd bet that there are streaming Japanese services available out there - I've never had a reason to look! And here in Plano, Texas we have a very diverse community, which is why our AM radio bands sound like they're picking up shortwave radio.

@Anonymous- I personally try not to get into the theological trenches here (although others are free to do so), so I certainly won't get into who's acting like a Christian and who isn't. That being said, I'm a huge proponent of not hating people so appreciate your stance. I'll also note that the Gay people I know are no more confused about their gender than straight people are. They haven't made a "choice," they've just recognized that they're wired differently.

That being said, I think the situation with "trans" people is WAY more complicated, with choices sometimes being made that are more ideological and cultural than biological. But that's a topic for another day.

There are troublemakers in every group, including the LGBTQ+ crowd. But I know Gay couples who are quiet, faithful, joyful, patriotic spouses who support the same community values that I do. Those are the people I'm happy to support, here or anywhere else.

John25mm said...

To the few on here who have expressed dislike for the homosexual lifestyle I'd like you to think about this especially if you are claiming to be using Cristian philosophy to back up your attitude. Again I ask you remember what Jesus said about loving one another. He didn't say only love them if they share your point of view He said to love them. It doesn't mean you have to agree with their choices but you are to love them. If being homosexual it a choice that they have control over then they need your support more than ever to help them through a very difficult time and not commendation. Remember you are not the judge but God will be and you may get judged just as harshly for hating when there is no reason to. Also let's say it's not a choice but something genetic they have no control over. If that is true you could consider it a form of birth defect because if they hold to to it then they will not have any offspring so their gene line will end with them. Think albino deer, they won't last long. If it is in this sense a birth defect say like being born blind or something else would you hate a person for being born like this? If you do you might want to go back and read the Bible and do some serious reflection on what it is trying to tell you. Regardless may God bless you and give you wisdom and compassion.

Erik said...


About Dock-N-Talk - I checked their website before posting, and noted how teeny-tiny the page looked. Looking more thoroughly today I come to the conclusion that their website is just awful. Their product is pretty good, though. Looking at mine indicates I have had it about ten and a half years. The phone it serves is perhaps almost 20 years old (AT&T speakerphone with built-in answering machine, now burnt up) and the replacement answering machine (General Electric) is about the same age as the phone. I had to download the Dock-N-Talk manual because I have no idea where my physical copy is. I also had a look at the box to see how I hooked it up.

The gist is, the Dock-N-Talk connects to a cell phone over Bluetooth (I suspect you won't be able to find any cell phones that still work over hardwired cables, and the Bluetooth module is sold separately) and serves that cell phone to old-fashioned plain-old-telephone-service (POTS) devices in the house. There are two plugs on the back of the Dock-N-Talk. I just plugged my answering machine into one and the phone cable for my phone into the other, since that's all I needed. If I needed more, I could just plug a phone extension cable from the wall to the back of the Dock-N-Talk. Then everything on that phone line (up to 5 devices, including the other jack) would use that phone line. There is a process for getting your cell phone to connect to the Dock-N-Talk, but that is described in the documentation, along with the password. I haven't had to re-associate the cell phone with the Dock-N-Talk since I first did it ten years ago.

The only problem I have had is likely to be the cellphone's fault. If something causes the cellphone to die, like when I forget to recharge it, rebooting it with the Dock-N-Talk powered up causes it to go into an infinite loop of activating and deactivating the outward-facing screen (it is a flip phone). The solution is to turn off the phone, pull the power from the Dock-N-Talk, and restart the phone. When it is fully booted, and no little animations are playing, I plug the Dock-N-Talk back in. They find each other, and I have a phone again.

JustaJeepGuy said...

@John25mm, I read a book once that was written by a female anthropologist who was studying cannibal cultures. She mentioned one group in (I think) New Guinea that killed any homosexuals they discovered in their clan/group/whatever you call it. If homosexuality were just a choice, they would never have to kill anyone. I have to think that kind of "orientation" comes from nature.