For those interested in knowing ……….

We had a delightful weekend in Niagara-on-the-lake, where we took in several shows and had a couple of great meals. There’s been little time else.  I did have a moment to pop into the Christmas store and purchase this charming little ornament:


I have moved from ‘merely curious’ to ‘acolyte’ for I have my first Dr. Who item !

We drove to Toronto to meet with Ron T. of “Retired in Delaware” and his chum Pat (or local host). Ever since our arrival Ron has continually taken photographs. I defer you to his blog for all the visuals. We are stepping out this evening to go to a fair, complete with rides. This will be my first amusement park-ride in forty years. I hope they have a tilt-o-whirl, which was my favorite ride once upon a time. I wonder if it will feel as exciting as I remember it. I will either find it boring/disappointing or it will make me ill. Growing up and growing old is sometimes like that.

It should be amusing to walk around a fairgrounds. This is not what I normally envision doing when I come to Toronto. I think this makes it rather special, doing something this off-beat. Afterwards Someone and I will go for a more traditional item: a beer on Church St. Tomorrow we pick up Laurent and William for a ride to Stratford.

Ah, the gaiety!

8It’s around midnight local time in London, Ontario. I’m wide awake. Alas, my brain thinks it is 8PM; it refuses to shut down. A sense of excitement is another factor keeping me awake. I hoped the (local) beer I had with my dinner would act as a hypnotic but no such luck.  

On the positive, I get to write this entry. It doesn’t help with sleep but it makes staying up more interesting. **

Tomorrow we drive to Niagara-on-the-lake where we have the usual activities of sampling the local wines and seeing a couple of shows. There is a splendid Irish pub in NOTL with several lovely whiskies, but this works swifter than any sword at putting me asleep in the deep. So: no pre-theater nips! I am determined to stay awake at the theater, even it means drinking espresso. It is dreadfully disappointing to anticipate a yearly event only to nod off as soon as it starts.

That is about all the news other than our flight was OK and we listened to several interesting podcast lectures on the way to our hotel. Ironically one was on the latest treatments of insomnia. There is a new sleeping pill on the market, based on oxerin receptor antagonism. I suspect there will be several phones messages from the insomniacs when I get back to work, wanting or demanding to try it. Sleep is a funny thing. In general we deprive ourselves of sufficient sleep yet we become obsessed about getting enough of it. 

I will be content with seven hours of sleep and a snooze prior to the 2PM  “kick-off”. Pass the caffeine pills, prop me up in Aisle F, and please poke me in the ribs if I start to nod off. 

** Someone is already asleep and orbiting the moons of Jupiter. Lucky man! He can fall away anywhere. He’s usually out in ten minutes.


A Proper Stratford, Ontario Swan. Please don’t feed it buns and things. 


Hi-ho hi-ho it’s off to Canada I (we) go!

We fly to Detroit where we pick up the car and drive to London (Ontario), which is stop #1 in our quest to see sights, attend the theatre, visit chums/family, and generally have a lovely holiday. 
As is the wont, I don’t know how much time or internet I will have in the next week, so I will play it by ear. I suspect my comments on other blogs will be spartan as my time will be consumed by theatre, eating, drinking, and soaking up the Canadian sunshine.  


Urs Truly

When I started blogging I was given the advice ‘Don’t read the comments’  if I was going to post something racy, controversial, religious, or political.*  In my six years of scribbling  I’ve received only a few ‘negative’ comments and I don’t remember getting any downright excretive ones.  So I don’t follow this advice.  Quite the contrary, I love comments. I enjoy hearing what Spo-fans think and say.

On the other hand “Don’t read the comments” is very good advice for reading comments on on-line news-sites.  CNN, Yahoo, Huff-post – even Youtube – all have them.  I quickly learned DO NOT READ THEM for the seething cesspool therein is enough to evoke chest pains.   The comments from the jokesters are merely painful. The anonymous commenters are beyond the pale in name-calling and nastiness.  Interestingly I don’t see overt anti-Semitism or African-American based tirades, but ‘anything goes’ when it comes to LGBT folks and Hispanics AKA the ‘g-d wetbacks illegals’ (or worse).

Apparently nobody at these sights does any patrolling or censorship of these vile comments.  I’m one of those who think “Free Speech” does not give you the right to scream mephitic slurs. Perhaps my rancor at comments is more towards the baseness.   Let’s say CNN announces “Virginia may soon see gay marriage”.  You bet your bottom dollar there will be comments about how the sodomites should be stoned/die.  Choice words like ‘f*ggots die” will be seen. The ‘logic’ of some will be appalling.

“If a person can’t communicate properly or say anything nice then the very least he could do is to shut up” says Tom Lehrer.

Alas, I do not always practice what I preach.  Like a person berating a filthy magazine he has thrown into the trash, I creep back to glance again to ascertain if it is still repugnant. 

I must must must stop doing this lest I have a stroke. I remain oddly naïf: I continue to be shocked at the rampant ignorance and poor manners (and bad grammar) floating around on-line in the 21sts century when such things should never happen (written with irony – please don’t phone in).

I think I stop reading the on-line news and stick to benign places like Facebook. Happily there are no political bickering and/or nasty comments there,  right?

*The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections prevents this. They are more draconian than a Board of Education in Texas.

The answer: a lot.

images68OLR1YLFor those bold enough to ask or explore what is in my trousers, you will find I carry many choice items.  I carry a lot, and I need pockets to do so.  I dislike cargo shorts but I confess I like the number of pockets they provide. *

My other essential item is a pocket handkerchief, which is located on the opposite side of  the global waist in the bow starboard pocket. I suspect some Spo-fans find the notion of a handkerchief unnecessary or perhaps disagreeable, preferring paper tissue. My sneeze-rags serve more than my allergies. In the Arizona heat it acts as a sweat towel. I am also the gentleman who feels naked without a handkerchief.  If some maiden is in distress I am ready to whip it out to lend assistance. ***

Keys are carried out of necessity but I would prefer to leave them behind for they form a gibbosity, an unsightly lump in the front of my trousers. But where else are you going to put them? I try to keep as few keys on my key-ring for this very reason. I tend to misplace keys, often. My keys have something large or shiny attached to them for easy finding.  Ron T. will be pleased to know on the keys to the Honda is the square plastic photo of Ron, Someone, and Urs Truly in Western wear.

I regularly take medicines and vitamins so there is usually some sort of pill box on my person. I have several reticules in various sizes, shapes, and colours.  I use one or the other depending on how long I will be away from home.  One is quite darling: it is trapezoid-shaped and has the Wicked Witch of the West on its cover.  This is another gentlemanly endeavor: I have a few Motrin and a Tums with me lest someone (or Someone) has a headache or GERD.

Then there is the wretched cellphone. I like to think I am carrying it out of necessity viz. work lest there is a crisis and I am paged****  Otherwise I would love to leave this remora at home.

Keeping track of wallet, keys, phone, handkerchief, and pill box  is a challenge: I am constantly forgetting one of these items. I remember from medical school lepers conduct something called a ‘VAS” (vital assessment survey) to see if they have been cut or wounded anywhere, as in their numbed state they may not feel a hurt.  I do my own sort of VAS to make certain I haven’t dropped anything. After a day of running around I am amazed I still have a stitch on, as the saying goes.

I am indeed grateful for my pockets.

So, what have you got in your pockets?


* When I am wearing dress slacks or trousers bereft of adequate pocket capacity, I use a bum-bag. I’ve written about that before.   During work days, everything is thrown into my briefcase rather.

** Someone does not carry a wallet; he uses a money clip for bills and he discards the coins.

***So far this has not happened, but on more than one occasion Someone needs one, and there it is!

****Like Big Brother, it is always on. Even when I sleep it is pillow-side waiting for a page.


I have four days to get through work and pack for the annual trip to Canada. The Fates always give me a lot to do prior to any holiday departure; I never get out without paying for it. After twenty years there is no exception.  They always plan some outrage.

I am making a list of things to bring along on the trip. On the list are the usual things like a phone charger and magazines for the flight.  Jaunts to Canada include currency, passports, and a roadmap of Ontario.*  I took a photo of what fabric, teas, and booze we have at home lest I buy more of the same.

Every week my friend Eileen reads my tarot cards. This is a week’s reading warns me ‘not to go overboard and spend a lot of money’.  Someone is delighted.  Normally he takes no truck or interest in these weekly readings, but he likes this one. I am not to go around Ontario filling up my suitcase with a hodgepodge of purchases. I confess I am not a great shopper but I enjoy it when on holiday. Canada  has many lovely things to pick up cheap and PM Harper needs the cash. I will limit myself to the purchase of one book, one calendar, and perhaps one bottle of good Canadian whisky. Happily the theatre and plane tickets are already paid for. In his parsimony Someone is not proposing we eat cheaply or badly.  Afterall we will be traveling with chums who do not slum eating at McDonald’s**.

Other than clothing there is not much needed other than some reading material and crossword puzzles. After a lifetime of going to Canada I’ve learned they actually have drug and grocery stores there; one can buy supplies. ***

But first things first. Someone needs to fetch the passports and loonies from the safety deposit box and I have to tuck in all the patients. I wasn’t warned in the cards to pack light, which means I can bring as many shirts as I please.  The weather in Toronto looks to be highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s so I may need to pack a sweatshirt. How lovely.

*Due to roaming charges we turn off our phones in Canada. One week without a cellphone – can you imagine? Could you do it?

**Or in this case, Swiss Chalet.

*** Unlike here, the labels are not in English/Spanish but English/French. Tres bien!

Note: today’s entry’s title is taken from a journal of a passenger on the Mayflower :

“There is an insolent and very profane man on board, who is always harassing the poor people with their sickness,and cursing them daily with grievous execrations.”

In the zenith of the Arizona summer heat we are unable to go a-swimming for the cement-pond is quick sickly. The pool is supposed to be limpid, crisp, and slight shade of blue. Alas,it is cloudy and an emerald green in colour. Houston, we have an algae problem. Recent rains and the continual droppings of the nearby mesquite tree keep adding unwanted bio-items to this glorified petri-dish.

Someone is pool-master. This morning he dumped several gallons of chlorine ‘shock” into the pea soup in hopes of napalming it into normalcy. I hope by day’s end I can get in without turning into “Swamp Thing” or becoming blonde from all the chlorine residue.

As you can tell, pool-ownership is not a passive role but a never-ending source of tasks: water maintenance, skimming off the debris, sweeping, and scrubbing the sides (done with a metal brush, not unlike brushing one’s teeth). I can’t remember the last time I was actually just in the pool enjoying it.

Not to be worrying though. Someone will have it soon back to acceptable standards and Urs Truly plans on making himself a cool cocktail and sit still under the umbrella at the shallow end* with a good book. If it is overcast I may try floating around all day long like a soggy Cheerios loop.

Evening dips remain the best for there is no burning sun and it’s not too hot and I swim sans trunks (that means without). But the pool light must be on. Nothing is more creepy than being in water up to your neck, in the dark, wondering what Southwest creature got in there just before you did. It is an unsettling thought, particularly without a bathing suit.

* The ongoing joke: no matter where I am in the pool, it is the shallow end.



I made this shirt for a chum who has a couple of dachshunds. Dachshunds are curious curs, low and long, with very short legs, sort of like parentheses turned the wrong way. Owners of the breed are very fond of them. I worry though; I fear they are structurally weak. I’ve had enough engineering training to think badger-hounds would be more sturdy if between the bow and stern legs they had installed a third set amid-ship.

I am pleased the dachshunds on the shirt ‘line up’ when the fronts are buttoned. I hope the recipient enjoys the shirt. He is a proper gentleman; I fear a silly shirt like this may be not his style. Perhaps he will sense a loss of dignity to appear in public looking so. I may have to persuade him going on dog-walks while wearing this shirt will make him the talk of the town.

I saw a history video this evening about Elizabeth I of England as if she was trying to find a husband on-line.  She has a keen profile on but she doesn’t have any takers.  “NO SUITORS for TUDORS” is the result of her search, for she has checked off:


No Foreigners

No Catholics

No Subjects

No Knights

No Clergy

No Rotters

No Mingers

I know of  the first five types of fellow, but I had to look up the definition of “Rotter” and “Minger”; they immediately joined my lexicon of favorite words. I am looking now for opportunities to insert the terms into my daily conversations. It’s going to be difficult to work them into my daily doings without sounding snobby or judgmental. But I am keen to try!

Alas, I don’t know too many Rotters and fewer Mingers. I should expand my circle of friends to include a few.

“Hello, I’m Spo, and this is my Rotter-friend Ralph”.

Where does one find Rotters? I suppose Mingers are obvious to spot at a party although perhaps they understandably don’t go out much.

I would appreciate if any Spo-fans will ‘come out’ as Rotters. I know of Spo-fans who are sybarites, recalcitrants, and (better yet) snollygosters, but I don’t think any are Mingers, alas and worse luck.

And of course, I don’t want wishy-washy ones. I want proper Rotters/Mingers. No rubbish.

Occasionally I get an email or smoke signal from a Spo-fan wanting follow-up and closure on recent postings.  I am politely chastised for not ‘tying things up’ at it were.

Here are a few tid-bits of closure.

May all sleep this night more easily.




Here are the sugar cookies ‘Southwest style”. I made zuni bears, chiles, white buffalos, and the occasional javelina. Alas I have no scorpions or rattlesnake cookie cutters. They are tasty. Help! I foolishly forgot this is not gingerbread but sugar cookie; I kept sampling the raw cookie dough. If I am gone by midnight from salmonella I’ve asked Someone to tie up this loose string up himself.

In matters of creepypastas and things that go bump in the night: There hasn’t been any sign of a Rake or Hendrik for that matter. However, overnight,  the swimming pool suddenly turned a rancid green which suggests some sort of evil influence. Someone who is more of a rationalist than I feels this is algae growth but I worry it is something  more sinister. Let’s see if a prayer and some chlorine ‘shock’ does for this infernal swamp.

Speaking of putrid smily puddles the latest emanates  from the freezer. A circuit broke down and the freezer hasn’t been working for some days. The thawed fish and meats made an odor bad enough to make me long for the stinky cheese.


I am making some progress with the cold showers, which are quite lower in temperature.  So far I haven’t seen much health benefit.  I suppose I need more time and more chill.


I was surprised there weren’t more comments or gratitude for “The Meaning of Life” entry. Stinko! I give you all the key to the cosmos and no one blinks an eye. I talk about getting naked in the shower and everybody comes along.  The Board would do right if they would let me drop my trousers on line; the traffic would sky rocket.

Since I posted the ‘cats-as-cusine” entry I have heard from a few people about Chinese restaurants and the innuendo of cat-fo0-young on the menu.  I wonder if there is any truth to this urban legend. may have the answer. Perhaps I don’t want to really know.




I’ve used the expression “Away with the fairies” on several occasion which elicits mirth; it is an expression well received and I think it is a keeper. I don’t suppose it will be as useful nor as popular as eating rats at Tewkesbury, but what could?

Please come visit; we will have a chin-wag and sugar cookies and tell ghost stories. Do not bring a bathing suit however.  Bottles of bourbon (no rubbish) are always welcome.





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