Friday, August 19, 2022

Two Arms! Two Arms!

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Kathy, grieving, grief, group hug, Busty Ross, monkeypox
As always, you can click the cartoon for a bigger size!
The Truth in Cartooning Law requires me to disclose that I made this cartoon at a time when I genuinely needed a group hug and didn't have access to one. Although if a group had been here, by the time we'd have finished checking each other for infectious pustules the whole hugging mood would have passed.

Frankly, I've recently had a string of bad days, which is to be expected but isn't much fun. I need to be getting out and about and interacting with human beings, because the only thing that can partially fill the void in my life is More Life...but apparently, you have to go looking for that sort of thing rather than waiting for it to show up (unless the FBI thinks you've got a closet full of allegedly top secret documents). But being a real Olympic-class introvert, it's hard for me to get out there and interact with others. 

One bright spot worth mentioning is that work on my writing project is going well. The project relies heavily on custom artwork and I've found an artist who knows how to draw "funny" and is great to work with. I get a fresh shipment of drawings every few days and they're reliably delightful. So I'm really looking forward to sharing it with you when it's ready.

And just to pad things out, here's a cartoon I put on Facebook recently...

And that's all I've got. I'll meet everyone in the comments section for my much-needed virtual group hug!


M. Mitchell Marmel said...

In case you missed it, The Babylon Bee knocked it out of the park again!

MMM-Bob says "Check it out!"

Hyzenthlay said...

Here's a big, virtual hug from someone who actually does remember about Mike the headless chicken! πŸ€—
Hang in there! We're praying for you!

Mike aka Proof said...

"Form troopers" - Very nice! I did Nazi that coming!

Edam Wensleydale said...

@Mike: Can't we let bygones Zyklon B?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Excellent!

@Hyzenthlay- Thanks for the hug and good wishes. And wow, I just looked at the email I sent out (the one with Mike the Headless Chicken) and I hadn't changed the subject header from last time and I had one or more glaring typos in there. Even Marty Feldman would think twice about bringing my brain back to a lab at the moment.

@Mike aka Proof- I believe the new agents will wear insignias that say IRSS. Which would be funnier if I could figure out how to write "SS" in a Germanic font.

@Edam Wensleydale- Well, I gas we can.

Rick Wiedman said...

Hi Stilt!

Friend's wife died at about the same time yours did. He sends pix of flowers he grows and finds in Redlands, kahleefornia each day. They are always good and I look forward to them every day.

I feel the same way about your artwork.

Thank you and my best to the both of you.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

How's this?

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Larger version:

Jee said...

Here’s my part of the group hug, along with continued daily prayers: πŸ’Œ from a fellow introvert.

Jee said...

I have a chicken story, too. My brother-in-law got tired of one of his nasty roosters and wrung its neck to put an end to him. Next day the rooster was alive, running around with a bent neck. The rooster was renamed Lazarus.

MeliZen said...

Good morning!
I'm sorry your mood is blue - may the change in seasons help - goodness knows the political shenanigans won't -
HUGS from our household to yours!

Dan said...

Add a hug from me. A gruff, no-nonsense, manly, short-duration hug of course, but sincere.

Dan said...

Oh, and I, as well, remember Mike the Headless Chicken. Had his own blog IIRC. Just checked--he has a Wikipedia page
and there's a festival, too, Fruita, CO June 2nd & 3rd 2023.

FlyBoy said...

There is some good news from the last few days: Liz Cheney and Brian Stelter both got their walking papers!

Best of wishes Stilt.

Maoz said...

Big, big virtual hug, Stilt, for you and Daughter J. And since this is virtual, why stop at "two arms!"? Let's make it a daily double -- "Four arms! Fore arms!" [Sorry my level of comic aptitude in nowhere near Stilton-degree; can't figure out how to work in "Upper arms!"]

Stephanie A. Richer said...

Hug you?! I don't know where you've been! Ewww ...
Oh, c'mere, ya big lug! {{}}

Buck said...

Come on Silt, that hugging stuff is for kids and puppies... How's about I bring some fun-loving Rottweilers over and we have your much needed hug-it-out love-fest!!!!

If that's a terrible idea, then I'll bring my 15 year old Balvenie sherry cask single malt and a couple of lasses from the Swedish bikini team... if that can't hug some love and happiness into your life, then I'm going back for the Rottweilers...

Semper Fidelis, Buck

DWB said...

To help change from self-focus to other focus, find and join a charitable group.i.e. Rotarians, Lions, Civitans, Masons, Elks,church groups, etc. The fellowship of a bunch of people getting together to help others gives everyone a 'feel good' feeling, in addition to relieving others necessity. Occasionally you'll get feedback like "I didn't know what I'd ever do until......"

Anonymous said...

Form Troopers its funny because it is true.

Carrying a firearm demands far more responsibility. If it taken and/or stolen from you, the officer becomes responsible for its loss. I don't think the administration has taken this into account. How do they recruit someone who is supposed to be enforcing the tax code and ready to harm someone who attacks them for who they are and what they represent.

Bruce Bleu said...

OK, did you feel THAT? Oh, I thought you said "virtual group SLUG!"

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your brother needs lessons on how to ring a chicken's neck! Maybe he can practice on politicians!

Anonymous said...

Now I guess we know what Roland the headless Thompson Gunner had for supper!

Anonymous said...

You and your daughter have my deep and genuine sympathies, Good Sir. Today marks the eighth month since I lost my 60 year soul mate. I'm at a complete loss too.

Really enraged

Long-time fan said...

Stilt, I’m going to keep gently reminding you….. Join your local ymca and start exercising regularly. It will kick-start the healing process for your body and your mind. It got me out of a very dark place 2 times in my life and I KNOW it would help you immensely.
Please try it, Stilt. We want you around for a long time to come.

ruralbob said...

As an introvert myself, I fully understand where you are coming from. Needing people while having a true aversion to them can be a real dilemma. I hope you have a dog - if not, go out and get one!

Anonymous said...

You need a diversion. I was going to suggest sending threatening e-mails to out of state politicians, but the few recent examples I've seen lately haven't ended up well for the sender. It seems there are Federal-level laws about such things.

Oh weird, you'll find something, I'm sure.

Patrick said...

I hear you on the introvert stuff. Though I usually end up as “the life of a party” when I go, given the choice between a party or staying home, I’d always preferred the latter. Drove Kim nuts because I was always being dragged away from her at social gatherings that I didn’t want to be at...

And you’re spot on on the social bit. It is an emotional salve for those of us in the club no one wants to be in. I found that just painting a sometimes-hard-to-maintain smile on my face and saying “hello” or “good [insert appropriate time of day here]” to the random strangers I encountered at even just the supermarket returned smiles and greetings that oddly made me feel better, less empty. I always thought it psycho-babble, but what you project actually does become who you are. The hard part was maintaining the happy facade when in places where Kim had her myriad medical and chemo appointments, on the route to St. Joe’s hospital, in the emergency room there where I had to take my eldest daughter when she got COVID a short time after Kim’s passing… it was hard to maintain in places that triggered strong memories, and generally when alone - but, in time, I overcame those as well.

Cousin, if you haven’t already, find a grief support group in your area that also has a social element - for instance, the New Hope Center for Grief Support that I belong to has a “Fresh Start” subgroup that focuses on getting us out and about - bowling, pickle ball, line dancing, virtual and physical movie nights and “happy hours”; dances, etc. The counseling these organizations provide is helpful and healing, but the “safety” of being in a socializing group of fellow widows really helps to get you used to being out and about and really helps to fill the void. Most of these groups will also accommodate Daughter J.

As a result of my psychological self-tinkering, much of which you followed on my blog, I am much closer to the whole person I was before Kim passed away. As in my favorite analogy, the hard edges of the cut made into the glass of my life have rounded a bit, and thinking about Kim and our life together now brings significantly more smiles than tears. I hope the same comes about for you regarding Kathy.

You don’t “move on”. You don’t forget. But you can move forward. I hope this helps you, Stilt. I know all to well where you are, and I think, by your comments here, that you’re on the right track.

TrickyRicky said...

@Anon 6:24AM- Yay, another Warren Zevon fan!

TrickyRicky said...

Stilton, consider yourself hugged! August is a blue month for me too, with many family members having passed in the past. Hug daughter J, have a bit of the Clan and lose yourself in your work. This too shall pass.

Joe Drypowda said...

HUG !!

Bill the Cat said...

More hugs from over here.

VideomanSS said...

Heavy duty hugs Stilton! We always look forward to hearing/seeing from you. Days are always brighter when you are on the scene.

mamafrog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mamafrog said...

Here's my hugs for both of you, not that it's worth much now, lol. I'm going seriously crazy, and I'm not sure drugs are helping anymore.

Honestly Stilt, I spent the first year hiding. I lie, year and a half, as I was still taking care of my BIL after his surgery. That gave me some purpose, but I know I had crazy moments because of legal crap. Trying to get a death certificate and marriage certificate to fix social security was interesting to do in this antiquated state. Hubs didn't have any "real" property (we poor) but we weren't his brother's legal guardian either, so that caused all sorts of jolly fun and games! His sister finally decided it was her righteous duty to care for him, after 20 years of basically ignoring his existence, and he died the next year in her care (cancer). I am thankful I didn't have to deal with that too, though. Did I mention I don't really like some of hub's family? My overly self righteous and wacko religious brother in law in particular, his sister isn't too bad at least.

So yeah, life sucks and you look for the tiny victories and just carry on. Some days you just crawl into bed, pull the covers over your head and stay there. Some days the little victories are the precious things you can live for. I think it helped having dogs, floor poop is no fun to clean up and they really enjoyed getting fed, ya know? I also lived with my son and he kind of liked eating too so I really had to do that. Neither one of us needs to eat that much takeout, lol.

Now it's constant cat crap and I'm not sure I'm going to survive my mother's brand of crazy. Some day I may get to just do what I want again, sit on the computer all day doing dumb shit and watching stupid videos and stuffing my face with snacks! Hey, we all need hobbies!

Jerryskids said...


Mike said...

Stilt, you and daughter J are in my prayers every day. I’m not big on hugs, but I’ll pretend to extend manly emotions from one recent, sorely hurting widower to another.


Boligat said...

Yaaaaay!!!! Busty is baaaaaack! That's a good sign Stilt.

KenElder said...

Grandma used to say "CHEER UP, THINGS COULD BE WORSE!" So I cheered up and sure enough things got worse.....LOL!!!! You are one of the funniest guys I know and if humor helps people get through rough patches you will make it....
Ken Elder

Shelly said...

Here's my virtual hug. And if you want a real one, I don't live very far from you in Plano.

Sue in Oregon said...

{HUG} ;-). Feel better now? Feel better now!!!!
Since you didn’t mention your ‘Psychotic’ nerve I hope that it is also better.

Fish Out of Water said...

@ M. Michell : The YouTube link is a riot. However those who escape the State of Assorted Nuts bring with them the mindset of what has destroyed a good place to live. kind of like a burst appendix spreading its poison through the rest of the body.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Fish: Sad but true. It's up to us normal people to act as antibodies. :)

jayjay said...

Sending you bunches of healing hugs.

Paul Donohue said...

Stilt, you will have all of the virtual hugs and kisses that I can possibly send as well as my continued prayers for you and Daughter J.

I've been thinking about those 87,000 armed IRS agents. Remember Obamacare? How it was held to be legal because of the $250 "tax" for those who weren't insured?

Well I'm convinced that the next thing we'll see is legislation or an executive order requiring federal registration of all firearms and an annual "tax" on each firearm to be paid through the IRS. If you fail to make your payments or if they suspect that you have unregistered forearms all they have to do is send out a couple (or ten} armed IRS agents to search for and confiscate your firearms as well as arresting you for not having registered them.

That's the only logical reason that I can see for hiring 87,000 new armed agents.

I'd ship you some brownies but we'd probably both get arrested.

M. Mitchell Marmel, thanks for the YouTube.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Rick Wiedman- I wish Kathy's gardens were producing flowers that I could share here, but between the heat and the drought things are just too pooped to pop. I'm hoping for a bit of Autumn color.

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Nailed it!

@Jee- Some people think introverts are antisocial or people-haters. Not true! It just means that interacting with other people can be more draining for us and we need to find a safe place to recharge! And yikes regarding your story of Lazarus!

@MeliZen- Thank you so much.I'm simultaneously looking forward to the change in seasons and dreading it. Everything started going to Hell on September 3rd, so I'll soon be living in some dark echoes from a year ago. So thanks for those hugs - I'll use them gently and keep them someplace safe!

@Dan- Yeah, I'm talking more the "attaboy" pat-pat-pat hug than anything likely to spread monkeypox. Regarding Mike the Headless Chicken, there's also a darn good political satire novel (not for the easily offended!) inspired by Mike. Although in this case, "CLUMP," the hero(?) is a human with no head.

@FlyBoy- I'm not paying close attention to the news, but I still cheered up when hearing that those two are hitting the bricks.

@Maoz- Your comic aptitude is just fine! Mine, on the other hand, is wrapped in thick cotton wool these days.

@Stephanie A. Richer- I chuckled at your joke about "I don't know where you've been," because I'm like the dullest guy of all time. When I donate blood, they ask me all kinds of questions about international travel, having sex with men, trading money or drugs for sex, taking recreational drugs, sharing needles and on and on. And I think to myself "Damn, some people are really living a much more complicated life than I am..."

TheOldMan said...

When I was little tyke, whenever my mother would say that things are bad, I would say "Ca pourrait etre pire, ca pourrait etre la guerre!" Ok well she was French so in English "It could be worse, it could be the war!" She grew up in France during the war so that usually brought a smile. School town was bombed, SS officers lived in her family's house, cousin was in a slave labor camp building V1/V2 rockets, little heat in the winter, and so on.

In this case though, losing the love of your life so soon, well I don't think anything could be worse. Maybe just taking a walk around the block every day would help?

Thank you for bringing back Busty Ross even for a short guest appearance.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Buck- All of those ideas sound fine! Although Daughter J would prefer the dogs to the Swedish swimsuit models. Dogs aren't as likely to steal her inheritance.

@DWB- Excellent advice and I've just done a "cut and paste" of your comment onto my list of things to think about doing. Thanks!

@Anonymous- And I'd like to see some actual stats about how many "auditors" trade gunfire with taxpayers each year. It really makes me think that they're gearing up for something the general public might not react to happily.

@Bruce Bleu- Like the Covid "fist-bump" the "monkeypox punch" is now CDC approved.

@Anonymous- Warren Zevon! He RAWKS!

@Anonymous- I'm so sorry about your loss. Obviously I'm not great at dispensing advice, but I sure have empathy flowing your way. This whole thing sucks, doesn't it? I'm just sneaking up on the 6th month mark, when the professionals start saying "well you really should be quite a bit better now so let's start looking into medical explanations." Which, coincidentally, will be about the same calendar day I start punching medical professionals in the nose. At a bit over 5 months, I feel that I'm just beginning my grief journey. For the initial months, I think I was in a state of shock which helped carry me through the days. As that wears off, I frequently find the days harder. It sounds like you're facing much the same situation and I hope and pray that you'll find some peace and comfort.

@Long-time fan- Excellent advice, and yesterday I told my therapist that I was going to try to get out to the YMCA (we used to take exercise classes there) and working on that mind-body thing. Thanks!

John the Econ said...

Consider yourself hugged.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@ruralbob- It really is an oxymoron; needing people while also needing a safe space away from people. But at the moment, I know the greater priority has to be on forcing myself to get out there. And Daughter J's dog, Ladybug, lives here with me for now but will move to the apartment (VERY nearby, happily) once the clutter from moving has been put away. At that point, I may well get a dog to keep me company here.

@Anonymous- Weird hobbies are certainly on my list of things to think about. Elaborate hoaxes, deceptive websites, mischief, monkey business, and (just for Uncle Joe) some malarkey.

@Patrick- So similar. Almost no one I know believes I'm an introvert because when they see me at parties I'm bold, voluble, and keep 'em laughing like I was a hired comedian. What they DON'T notice is how long I hide in the bathroom between appearances. It's tiring!

I got out to do some chores today and was doing alright until I got to the grocery store. Too many triggers. I did the shopping for the family and so every item I looked at went through a mental filter of "will Kathy like this?" That filter is still operational, so I'm stressed and exhausted by the time I get home. And when I visit "hospital-y" locations, well, it's overwhelming.

I haven't joined any kind of grief support group yet, but after the last few days (which spanked me pretty hard) I'll be looking into it. I've already collected some names and locations today. I very greatly respect and depend upon your advice.

I look forward to a time (please, God, soon...) when I can have more of those smiling moments and memories. That's the only way I can have Kathy with me in a positive way, even a little, and I need that with the same urgency tht a body needs water or oxygen to survive.

Thanks for the ongoing advice. I'm trying to follow your footsteps and it's encouraging to see that they stretch out way past where I am now.

@TrickyRicky- My, aren't you the excitable boy! And sorry that August is a month of suck for you. And you're still in my prayers so I'll add in a request for mood enhancement, too.

@Joe Drypowda- YEAH! I felt that one! Thanks!

@Bill the Cat- Thank you.

@VideomanSS- Days are certainly brighter for ME when I can share stuff with my friends here. I physically need to make people laugh and so that was how Kathy and I passed the days, weeks, and years. She would sometimes complain that she thought she had too many wrinkles. "Wrinkles?" says I, "Those are laugh lines! They're my fault!" And she would indeed laugh again. (Sigh...)

@mamafrog- Trust me, your hugs are still gold-standard quality! And I sure hear what you're saying about how all of this feels...and how important the little victories are. Thankfully a few pop up from time to nice online notes from friends.

@Jerryskids- And right back atcha!

@Mike- So sorry for your pain, Mike, because I pretty much know what it feels like. And hugs or even feelings can be hard right now (they are for me) but connection still counts. And brother, we've got that.

@Boligat- I finally gave her permission to take off the black veil on casual Friday, too!

@Mesquite Country- When I look at the plants staring thirstily at me from Kathy's gardens, I feel guilty. Oh, I try to explain, but they don't get it. I've kept most things alive, but everything is looking pretty burnt and exhausted. I think I heard that we may get some rain this weekend - I sure hope so. And I hope YOU get some too!

@KenElder- For my sense of humor to help ME, I need to bounce it off someone else. Kathy was perfect for that. And I'll keep trying to throw out humor for other folks, too.

@Shelly- Oh my goodness, how the neighbors would talk! (grin) Thanks!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Sue in Oregon- I'm glad to report that my psychotic nerve and my hip are much improved, which is a great relief. I didn't know if I was in real trouble or just having a bunch of discomfort for a few days. Turns out to be the latter (knocking on wood).

@Fish Out of Water- I frankly hate to see Californians moving into my Texas community. Please, people, leave your liberal policies at the border when you make your escape!

@M. Mitchell Marmel- That should be easy, I'm anti nearly every body!

@jayjay- Bunches of thank yous!

@Paul Donohue- We're of similar minds here. They're not talking about giving these jokers adding machines, they're talking about giving them GUNS - and making sure they're willing to use deadly force. That doesn't sound like traditional tax collection to me.

And my oh my, I'd love to try one of those brownies about now. But since both of us are too pretty to be safe in prison, it's best if you enjoy them for both of us!

@TheOldMan- Regarding war, I'm afraid my attitude (for me only) is "bring it on!" I don't wish ill on the world but if the whole shebang went "boom," I'd certainly feel no worse and likely (and briefly) better. Taking a walk around the block DOES help and I need to do more of that. And I think the Texas heat is at least THINKING of breaking, so maybe it will be possible.

@John the Econ- Thanks!

McChuck said...

I've clicked on the cartoon, but Busty hasn't gotten a size larger!

Anonymous said...

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, Stilt...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@McChuck- You don't mess with perfection.

@Anonymous- That's been my motto, but yesterday it was a little too ambitious so I had to default to "one minute at a time." So far, I'm doing better than that today.

Mad Jack said...

Sometimes life just sucks. I'm talking industrial strength suckage.

I live alone and enjoy it, but it's not for everyone.

Force yourself to get a little exercise. You'll feel somewhat better afterwards.

Now me, I don't have any hugs. But I'll stand you to a drink or two.

Geoff King said...

Really miss the witty political banter here. I realize things are not great in the Jarlsberg universe, but some of us come here to share personal beliefs, not to whine about our physical impairments. I have many. Wanna talk about my problems for days?

Dan said...

Deep Thought: If, when accused of a crime you can get a public defender, how come when subject to a tax audit you can't have a free CPA appointed for you?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Dan- You make an excellent point! I also think that such cases should be heard by a jury and, as part of the proceedings, the jurors will have to individually take the financial figures and all the tax forms and try to compute what the defendant actually owed. The IRS would never win a single case except in blatant cases of non-filing.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Mad Jack- I got out for a walk today, so there's a start!

@Geoff King- I hear you and I'm genuinely sorry that my blog has become sporadic posts about my mental health. I absolutely hate it. But it's pretty much that or nothing - I don't have anything else to talk about (so I try to do it sparingly). I catch a little of the news but, having quit cable TV, not much. I've given it up because the only parts that aren't outright lies are spun so hard they might as well be.

Which isn't to say that YOU can't bring up politics here in the comments. I'd welcome that and join right in! Do you think the FBI has gone full Nazi with the photo-op raid on Trump's home? Go ahead and say so and I'm sure you'll get many responses including from me.

I can happily host that but, with rare exceptions, I can't initiate it. Politics isn't my battle right now.

Dan said...

@Stilton--Do you know any politicians you can get to pursue the IRS jury idea? That'd be cool.

Rod said...

@ Stilton: There nothing like reality to sort things out. This is not a pleasant topic nor easy to write either; but it may be useful:

When my mother passed away nothing much happened with the estate because Dad survived her for another year. And on their behalf I had taken good legal steps even before her passing to get their affairs in order; fix a very old and inadequate Will regarding Executor; avoid probate; make transfer of real estate easier. When Dad passed away we were in pretty good shape as a family but STILL: THAT'S when it all started happening and they (we) had missed a few smaller things. Didn't quite have ALL the needed files handy; all accounts set up for path-forward; and not much at all about specific bequeathments of personal property. They had just never addressed it.

So the question to you is: ARE YOU well prepared for your wishes to be honored? To avoid probate? Keep it simple for your daughter et al? It's one of those Important but also Easy to put-off things.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Dan- I don't personally know any politicians. I have some standards. (grin)

@Rod- To the best of my ability I have all the legal mumbo-jumbo in place for my passing (and it was in place before losing Kathy). I use a financial advisor and estate attorney to handle these things. Still, there's an overwhelming amount of STUFF (some might call it junk) slated to go to Daughter J and, when I get a bit stronger, I need to start clearing it out so it won't be as much of a burden. At the moment, I feel like I'm living in my own estate sale!

Anonymous said...

Gee M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gee M said...

I just wanna say that, Johnny Optimism aside, somethings are still not the IRSS, Uncle Joe, and the Holocaust. Yes, I laugh at Mel Brooks and Springtime For Hitler...but I tear up a bit watching millions of Israelis stop their cars and stand in silence on Yom HaShoah. (
I grew up with my friend's parents still wearing the blue tattoo from the camps and the Ghettos...Just sayin'.
On a lighter note...Stilt, consider getting into aquariums...there are so many Craig's List tank setups for sale cheap, fish are beautiful and it's restful listening to the water splashing from the filters; I don't know how far from Houston you are, but there are so many clubs and fish stores of the best fish farms ever is in Goliad.
I would be glad to outline how to do an aquarium for cheap and easy to maintain...yes, I was one of those native Texas tropical fish (there are some wild species) [] and they are proliferous breeders.
I won't go into any tales of suffering right now, but I AM paying a price for all that fun I had as a "yut"...!LOL > Sly reference to 'My Cousin Vinnie'.
Best wishes, stilton...and yes, I'm STILL not a robot.

(I hadda do this over, typos were rampant...)

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous- thank you!

@Gee M- I have friends in Israel and it pisses me off to see the biased reporting over here when missiles are falling on them. Heaven forbid they should try to defend themselves!

Regarding aquariums, I appreciate their soothing qualities but don't see myself setting one up anytime soon. I can't think of where I'd put it, and I'm not looking to add to my list of responsibilities at the moment in case I become indisposed. And I hate to say this but I'm a little uncomfortable around aquariums just now because there were some very nice ones in waiting rooms where Kathy and I frequently found ourselves. Funny/Not funny what become a trigger.

I definitely caught the "My Cousin Vinnie" reference, and it just seems like I NEVER get robot readers anymore. I need to find a mechanical equivalent of Busty Ross to post...

Gee M said...

I feel ya...I lost a close friend in Naw'lins to murder, and I was using a liquid hand soap with too much scent at that time of great this day I get queasy when I smell hand disinfectant 'cause it smells the same. Tramua affects humans in convoluted ways...
G-d bless you, friend, and I know healing will never be a done thing. Just know you have a lot of well wishers out here.

Gabby said...

G'Day Stilt. About 'stuff' to get rid of. My wife is a member of the Cameo Ladies, a local group. At a recent meeting, before we men were banished to the back deck, she made an offer. "Come over any time. I'll give you a piece of paper and a pen. Walk through and note down what you would like. I'll make a copy so the same item isn't 'claimed' twice." If she departs first, it will be a load off my mind.

Might draw the line and keep one of the kerosene lanterns, there's four (or five?) of them - we had a 40 minute blackout yesterday - thunder storm.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Gee M- My gosh, I'm so sorry about your friend! It's amazing how many things become triggers when you lose someone close. And I agree that healing will never be a done thing - my hope is simply that things will get better. The well-wishers (like you) help a lot.

@Gabby- That's a good idea although if I want to actually make a dent in all my stuff I'm going to need to make a lot of new friends! Oh, I could just put out a "free stuff" sign, but once you attract Democrats there's no getting rid of them (grin).

mamafrog said...

Lol, Stilt, some of us of the "other group" (shan't mention the R word right now since I don't want to trigger any flags on the computer in case the F-you-know-who are checking things) love to go looking for free stuff in certain neighborhoods on big trash days. I've found a couple of useful pieces of furniture that way!

All that aside, I'm still trying to clean the mess out of my stuff. Had a scare and wound up in the hospital for a couple of days with an emergency surgery, yay. Fortunately nothing serious though it was a problem that has caused "issh-shews" for several years and I didn't know. Seems that when I had to have my appendix out about five or six years ago it caused a hernia that was constricting things it shouldn't and backing up stuff I wished it hadn't. Puking your guts and everything else up is not the optimal way to lose weight. I went in for pain in one spot and they found the problem some where else, lol. Lovely surgeon, quick surgery, and I was out in three days. I actually do feel a lot better, even. I still need to get on cleaning out the mess as soon as I can lift things again and the weather gets a little cooler, six weeks.

We are even getting the POA done for my mom finally as she is getting worse now. She had a crown at the dentist today and was asleep all afternoon and will hopefully be tonight and get up feeling better in the morning. She doesn't believe in taking any meds, even aspirin, so it hit her pretty good. She was up when I got up this morning and was in the kitchen messing with the cat boxes. When I asked her what she was doing she said I don't know. This went on for 30 minutes until I finally convinced her to leave the kitchen so I could feed the cats.

My daughter got me a noise machine like the one she uses for her baby and it has a lovely rainstorm sound that is even louder than my phone!!! Between my fan and it i don't hear anything at night, even the Raccoon on the roof that was caught on the camera that watches my car, lol.

Gee M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gee M said...

Reason #3 why NOT to get a dog, Stilton
The other 2 might be they like to chat with another dog 6 miles away at 3am, and cleaning up smelly stuff all over the Yard.
Better you should spend your time in the shade observing Mother Nature (you DO live in Texas, after all - even the Devil preferred Georgia.LOL

Mama Frog
That might actually be a small burglar, casing your house..look for telltale signs, like a backpack full of burglar tools, a getaway driver, and a pile of cigarette butts. :)
On a lighter note, I replaced most of my trash can liner yesterday, but left my "re-elect Joe Biden" flyer at the bottom. I will change it when DJT or Ron DeSantis is in the White House. And several others are in the Big House...(is that political enough?)lol

(I wish I could get that darned robot to do my Spellchck!)

Gee M said...

(Is there a punctuation robot?)

John the Econ said...

Been off-grid for a bit, so catching up here.

@Geoff King, I agree with you, but our host is currently not in that headspace at this time. I don't blame him. Current events at this juncture is no place for people who are not up to intellectual speed, as so few of the most vocal these days appear to be.

@Stilton needs a dog.

We lost our dog a few months ago. There were so many healthy aspects of my routine that he was part of that are now gone, like being a reason to get away from my desk and the daily multi-mile walk about the neighborhood. Without Mrs. Econ to be accountable to, my lifestyle would not be very healthy. So I vote for a new dog for @Stilton, for no other reason that for him to be accountable to someone. Other than us, anyway.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@mamafrog- Yikes, I'm sorry you needed surgery and am glad that it's had a good outcome! This is probably a good reminder to me that doctors can, on occasion, actually be useful. Glad the noise machine is helping, too!

@Gee M- I love dogs but am hesitant about adopting a new one. Fortunately, I've got Ladybug (Daughter J's pooch) here with me for now.

@John the Econ- At the moment, the "news" does nothing but anger or depress me and neither of those things is desirable just now. And I'll absolutely cop to some brain fog related to losing Kathy, but the real problem isn't my head so much as my heart.

I'm so sorry about your dog and hope that when the time is right for you you'll get another. For now, I'm pretty well dogged-up but when Ladybug moves to the apartment I'll likely adopt another dog to continue keeping me safe from the Amazon delivery people.

Colby Muenster said...


I hope things are improving in your universe at least a little bit. The news angers and depresses me as well, so I basically stopped watching... even Fox News.

I did want, however, to state for the record that my car loan now identifies as a student loan.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Colby Muenster- I had a string of really bad days recently, though am currently working on a string of days that have sucked somewhat less. And while writing this, I'm honest to gosh wearing electrodes with saline pads tethered to my noggin to run electric current through my brain as an anti-depressant. It's a treatment called tDCS and it leaves little burn marks on my head. Fun!

Part of the reason that the news frustrates me so much now is that I feel impotent to change it, which is too reminiscent of our hospital experience.

And per your point, what makes a student loan different than any other kind of loan? Car, home, business...? Although my theory is that the students won't actually get the $10k knocked off because the Republicans won't let it go through - which may be the Democrats plan. They can buy votes for free if they convince kids that the Republicans took $10k out of their pockets.

JustaJeepGuy said...

Here's an ad referencing Gropey Joe's "college loan bailout plan":

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, just went a week off of news. Was wonderfully refreshing. Only to come home to find that Biden had wiped at least another half-trillion off the books with his totally illegal "loan forgiveness". (Not that this wasn't unexpected; Democrats need a lot of votes bought before November)

Yes, indebted Democrat kids can be bought for cheap. But I think the silent majority is fuming at this. Even some "moderate" Democrats are not pleased. And as more people start to connect it with the ongoing inflation (and this will be very inflationary) people will be ready to take their wrath out on Democrats. Nothing motivates people like their own pocketbooks getting swiped before their eyes.

Yes, I miss my dog. Nobody will love me as much as he did.

@JustaJeepGuy, that video is a hoot. And right on. But it's not just blue-collar people who feel that way. There are lots of us (myself included) who worked their way through school and didn't get the free 4+ year vacation from reality that kids today expect. Years ago Mrs. Econ quit her very high-paying job to go back to school for her MBA. Instead of borrowing to the limit, we went on a "austerity program" which precluded vacations, eating out, new cars, home improvements that cost much more than my sweat, and etc for several years. I feel like this guy who asked Liz Warren about the loan bailout:

Father: "I've saved all my money. [My daughter] doesn't have any student loans. Am I going to get my money back?"

Warren: "Of course not."

Father: "So you're going to pay for people who didn't save any money and those of us who did the right thing get screwed."

Then he speaks of his neighbor who makes more than he does who's daughter racked up the debt while he spent his spare cash on vacations, cars, etc that will get a bailout. He feels like I do, a sucker.

So this is part of the "fundamental transformation" Democrats have been working for: Freebies for deadbeats at the expense of those of us still bothering to work.

Sorry. Done now.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@JustaJeepGuy- Well done!

@John the Econ- There's a lot to be said for just letting the "news" blow by. I catch enough to know vaguely what's happening and that's more than enough.

The college loan plan is indeed infuriating. I paid off my college loans working on assembly lines, working as a landscaper, and waiting tables for $1 an hour. I paid off my daughter's college loans so she could repay me without interest (before forgiving the loan entirely). So yeah, there I am with SUCKER stamped on my forehead, too.

I have spent my life living frugally so as to never be a burden on others and to provide for my family. Punishing me for my responsibility is another insult I don't need.

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, roughly a decade or so ago I noticed that we'd passed the Rubicon where at least 50% of the population of the US was getting a check or some form of aid from government. That's wealth transferred from the roughly 50% (and shrinking) of us who are still working to pay for such largesse.

Over the last decade, the Democrats have firmly and undeniably entrenched themselves as the party of social & economic elites, rent seekers, and welfare recipients scheming to steal from the shrinking pool of people who don't want to be.

Since the Obama era, we're literally living "Atlas Shrugged" in realtime.

Colby Muenster said...


When you told us about the brain electrode treatment, I immediately thought of the Dr. Emmet Brown "mind reading" device. I hope your device works better than his!

Stilton and Mr. Econ,

Yep, the student loan crap is very obviously a ploy to buy votes, and it's illegal as hell for the executive branch to do, and it will eventually get shot down, but... the students that will be upset that "evil Republicans shot it down" would have voted Democrat anyway. If anything, I believe this bullship will help the Republicans by further energizing voters on the right. The Mar-A-Lago raid will do the same thing.

John Galt, come out, come out, wherever you are!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- Very well put, even if depressing. Giving away money and rewarding Exactly The Wrong Things are the only things Democrats are good at...and it's killing our nation.

@Colby Muenster- These days I have a wild mane of flyaway white hair and more than one person has labeled me "Doc Brown." Adding two sponge-covered electrodes to the mix doesn't do much to make me look more sane. Still, I noticed an uptick in mood the same time I started using the device, so I'm going to stick with it for a while. And you only use the device for 20 minutes per day (30 max) so it's not really an inconvenience outside of having a burning forehead and looking more idiotic than usual. (grin)

Patrick said...

@John the Econ: it’s called socialism. And, by the declining number of producers we’re already witnessing how it has failed again and again. But the morons have the hubris to think that no one else has “done it right”, but they somehow are better than them and will…

I read Ayn Rand’s works rather late in life. Immediately afterward, The Øne was elected. I’ve always guiltily felt the two events were connected.

NaCly Dog said...

Piling into the group hug.

Form Troopers wa sbrilliant.

Maoz said...

Stilt, thanks for the Happy Labor Day email. Waving back at ya! Something I've never figured out -- how do they manage to coordinate all those pregnant women to start the birthing process on the same weekend?

Linda Fox said...

Never lost a spouse. That it all happened in such a dreadful time seems unfair, as the normal ways to plow your way through grief are missing, and it’s hard not to give in to despair.
My suggestions, derived from a time when I coped with marital issues, 3 moves in a short period of time, isolation from other people, and coping with a child with multiple disabilities, is this:
- Get out in the sunshine early in the day. If you have no energy, just sit there.
- IF you have the energy, go for a SHORT walk. Try to go little further every couple of days. Take different routes, and smile and say, “hi” to other people on the street. If they respond, talk to them.
- Cut out caffeinated beverages after late afternoon. Get some herbal teas (Celestial Seasonings have some good choices), and drink a cup or two every evening. No booze (or, trick yourself with some decent NA beers).
You can do it. Life does get better, although you will have a wife-sized hole in your heart till you also pass.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Patrick- For those who are pushing for socialism "done right," I'd like to ask them if they're personally willing to work hard for those who choose not to work at all. Or, does "socialism done right" mean you'll compel those other people to work and just take the fruits of their labor? It's been tried before although we used to call it slavery.

@NaCly Dog- The more the merrier. Thank you.

@Maoz- I'm pretty sure the date of Labor Day was chosen to be exactly nine months after "Get Drunk and Screw on New Year's Eve" Day.

@Linda Fox- You've had to deal with some awfully hard challenges and I'm glad you're doing better. Your advice is good, even though at this very moment I should be outdoors instead of sitting at a computer, barely awake at 11am. I'll put a little of the blame on Texas summers, but hopefully when things cool a bit I can be better about getting out. And I don't think I can bring myself to try NA beer, but currently my drink of choice is a white wine spritzer (soda water) and not much of it. Although I treated myself to a little scotch last night; it was my birthday and not much fun turning 70 in an empty house. Say, maybe I can turn that into a mournful country song...

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Stilt, I think you're right about that mournful country song; I sense lots of potential there!

Regarding the socialists, I have seen that there are only two kinds of people who want socialism: the worthless booger-eatin' morons who think they're going to get everything free, and the wannabe tyrants who think they're going to be in charge. Things usually don't work out for either group.

Rod said...

@Stilton: Thanks for that good laugh about setting the date of Labor Day. I don't know how I messed that all these years unless you just invented it.

I do know that Alaska babies born in August have a lot to do with November being when the winter cold really starts getting serious up there. Once in the habit: We have all three August-born kids.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@JustaJeepGuy- In fairness, the booger-eating morons will be the only ones who don't starve. But I agree that all of these pro-socialists think, erroneously, that they'll be in the ruling class. Hey, tyranny needs a lot of mid-level supervisors, right?

@Rod- Here's the thing, my birthday was yesterday (wild coincidence - it was also my twin brother's birthday) and many years ago I counted backwards nine months and figured out that my parents must have had a fun New Year's Eve. It's a short hop to align that number with Labor Day. And gee, I really should make that a Johnny Optimism cartoon.

Interesting about August birthdays in Alaska. It makes sense!

mamafrog said...

@Maoz, you are too funny! My oldest was due on Labor Day in 1979. She did not make, she was late! (All of them were, worse yet.) Number 4 was born almost two weeks late at the very end of August, lol. Both pregnancies were miserable thanks to weather, extremely hot both years and I was "excessively" pregnant. I'm very short and the waddle was strong for this one!

mamafrog said...

@Maoz, and number one was a honeymoon baby, worse yet. Nine days after our nine month anniversary.

John the Econ said...

@Patrick, the older I get, the better socialism looks to me. As I tell the youngins who think that socialism is such an awesome idea, "You can steal every penny of my accumulated and saved wealth. But what you can't take from me is the lifetime of opportunities that I enjoyed in a (relatively) free marketplace that respected my property rights. By striving to socialize (steal) the economy, all you will really be doing is depriving yourself of the opportunities that I enjoyed in life. You will remain poor as everyone is incentivized in a race to the bottom.

Look at what just happened in academia: People who strove to achieve and experienced a rigorous academic regimen and got high-paying jobs are being made to pay for the intellectual slackers who studied phony subjects. Even worse, people who didn't even go to collect, but are now employed in back-breaking manual labor are being made to pay. What does that teach the next generation?

@Stilton, I put it this way: Even slaves were allowed some private property and a portion of their labors for themselves and their families. The effective tax rates for many Americans is already well above 50% of their labor taken to be dispersed for the benefit of others. At what point can those people be considered slaves?

@JustaJeepGuy, I think Bernie Sanders or that Fetterman guy in Pennsylvania are great socialist icons. Total fails at working in the real economy. So much easier to get rich on the backs of the people you claim to be in service of.

I totally get why Sanders and Fetterman do what they do; it beats a normal day job. What I'll never understand is why people keep falling for it.

Happy Birthday, @Stilton.

Coffeypot said...

I miss you, man. I know there's time to adjust to being alone, I sure did when my wife passed. I still am at times. And I know you will make the adjustments in time. But until then, what happened to the interview/recording you were involved in? I'd like to see it.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Coffeypot- Yeah, I miss me too. Regarding the interview, it will air on the Peacock channel (some streaming NBC thing) in mid-October. I'll be more specific when I know. And let me be clear, I was one of many people interviewed so it's definitely not focused on me. Exactly. And as long as I'm doing updates I'll mention that work is coming along nicely on the humorous writing project I'm working on that celebrates a particularly silly side of Kathy. I hope to have that in everyone's hands before year's end!