hal_9000_by_ali_radicali-d4f2l2wUrs Truly feels swamped; I’ve had lots of homework to do. This was made worse by the home monitor giving up the ghost so I could not ‘dictate at home’ for the past few days. This piled up work-to-be-done as high as Fafner’s hoarde. Someone spent the past couple of days ‘scouting’ for a replacement. The new one is larger (a good thing) and it has a lot of bells & whistles (a bad thing in my opinion). It allows one to work on several things at once. I can simultaneously dictate, listen to music, and surf the internet. Some dastard at Dell dreamt up this awful thing thinking it would be ‘cool’. Just the notion of four screens at once makes my hummingbird-mind go into palpitations. My cerebrum has a safety device that when it feels threatened by multi-tasking it tells my corpus callosum to disconnect the brain hemispheres and shut down all higher functions except breathing and a thirst for a nice hot cup of tea.

The one thing I need – or want – is the monitor to cooperate with the dictation programme so I can finish my homework. So far no such luck. Someone has tried every combination of plugs-to-cords to no avail. I went to the office on Saturday and worked all day while he talked to vacuous ‘customer service’ people first at Dell, then at Best Buy, and finally at Radio-Shak. He thinks it is ‘right now’; I will try later today.

I have no love for technology and this inconvenience has not helped. I suppose it is folly on my part to hope computers would be intuitive and straight-forward. The Onion has this spot-on.

Provided I get my charts done, I hope I can do something else in what remains of the weekend. I have a shirt to sew. I want to put up some autumn trimmings. I need to get to the gym. Every September I make some infused bourbon for autumn cocktails; time to shop for apples, spices, and a cheap bottle of booze. And – I haven’t read blogs in a week.

If you see some comments today take it as a good sign the monitor is working, the homework is done, and my cerebrum remains whole.

I need to turn off all forms of media news for awhile. Thanks to CNN, Huff, Yahoo, and the like I’m continuously inundated by international and national news of such abhorrence and gloom it is effecting my health. The ostrich-head-in-the-sand approach is perhaps cowardly but I am going to take to drinking or have a stroke if I keep trying to process and make sense of the world’s myriad crisis. It seems everything is going to hell in a hand basket. I could take the Peter Pan approach or crawl into a Hobbit Hole but this is not realistic. I should develop a thicker ‘skin’ but I am more like a tuning fork or (worse) a sponge; my boundaries can be bad this way.  And it’s not like the problems are conveniently ‘over there’ in the Middle East, Ukraine, or North Korea; there is ample amounts of pessimistic and zany news right here in the good ole USA.*

It’s late, I’m tired, and I raving. It’s only 9PM and I am ready to crawl into bed. There I will try to fall asleep hoping there is no atomic bomb, terrorist attack, or other man-made debacle in which to wake up and think twice and crawl back under the covers.


*These might be worse in some ways. The State of Arizona and the American Senate are more likely to have me in an internment camp than foreign governments.

The computer monitor is being difficult. A few days ago the Dell in the office started flickering; in the middle of doing something the screen goes black. At first it was a nuisance; now the flickers are so often and lengthy they render any work on the main computer impossible without going into a seizure. I can’t dictate my homework. This frees up the evening to sew,read,or blog (which is lovely) but there will be hell to pay for not keeping up. We need to get a new monitor – quickly. My gym time has been thwarted for two days in a row. Yesterday I went to the LA Fitness on Camelback, which was so crowded it was impossible to get to the weights and I could not stay. Today, the warning light in the Elantra came on informing me a tire was flat. I did not see a puncture; I filled all four tires with some air but this didn’t turn off the warning light. Nervous that I may come out of the gym to a flat, I drove home while the driving was good. I see tomorrow morning if the light was right or wrong. The car will need to go to the repair shop, either for a faulty light or a flat, an inconvenience either way. Last night while walking the dog we were inundated by mosquitos. I dare say the recent rains/floods brought them on. My calves are covered with bites which itch like hell and prevent both concentration and sleep. The list goes on and on. I will again attempt to attend the gym; I wonder what the demons of sloth have in store to block me going for the third time. Not to be worrying. These are inconveniences, not problems. I’ve had real problems and these are not one of them. Robert Fulghum said it best. One of life’s better coping mechanisms is knowing the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.

I wrote a brilliant blog entry this morning but then I forgot to post it at WordPress; so I am obliged to write a new one.

Lost objects seems to be the theme of the day. I got to work this morning only to realize I forgot my daily pill box.* At the gym there were no workout gloves; I left them at home in the laundry.**

Forgetting things my “M.O.” and I wish it would stop but after 50 years there’s little hope in that. I run around all day losing things and by day’s end I am surprised I have a stitch on. More things are more likely to be lost than less things, but my inner boy-scout can’t seem to give up all I lug around.

Someone is a good sport; if I forget anything and he happens to be in the area he will come by the office and drop it off. The Wonder Receptionist is quite used to this and she finds it amusing. She wonders how a doctor board-certified in two fields can’t remember to pack his own lunch.

Well it’s late and I need to pack, for every night before going to bed I pack my gym bag, my brief case, and set out my clothes for the morrow. I am far less likely to forget things in the evening; in the morning (before tea) I don’t trust myself.

The brilliant piece I mentioned at the beginning I will retrieve on Wednesday provided I remember to do so.


*Happily I keep a spare box in my briefcase.

** Gym was a bust. I dislike lifting weights sans gloves. Even Dumbo needed his flying feather.


This is my address book.


It is leather-bound with a lovely Celtic pattern on the cover. The inside consists of creamy white pages indexed alphabetically for names and information, which I write using pencil. The inside I replace from time to time. And that time is now.

I hear the murmuring of Spo-fans who are wondering why don’t I use an address book via the laptop, computer, or iPhone? I will tell you why not: the electronic devices are in a cabal to continually screw things up. No matter how I try to coordinate all of them into one uber-address book, things go awry. Addresses get duplicated, lost, or bungled. Even if I could get them into one consistent book obtainable from any device, I just knows they will unravel. And then there is the fears of ‘crashes’.

It is still quicker to merely pull down ‘the little red book’ and – hey presto! – there it is.



Addresses are ephemeral. It seems all my friends and family are like Bedouins who haven’t a permanent place but pull up stakes and move their tents on a regular basis. Hence the pencil entries.
Updating The little red book is often a sad process. Skimming through the old one in anticipation of writing out the new I saw addresses of people now deceased or lost to follow-up or have had a falling away to goodness knows where. Once in a while I run into a name/address I fail to recognize. This was a someone at some point important enough to be penciled in but is now a blank.

On the other hand, I have a handful of scraps of paper and envelopes with return addresses to replace the discards.
Someone proposes we sit down together and try to figure out ‘who’s in’ and ‘who’s out’. I sense it will generate a few emails inquiring after updated information.

It used to be simple: name, address, and telephone number. People now come with several phone numbers, email addresses, and fax numbers to boot. Sometimes I see an inverse correlation to the number of means to assess somebody and their availability.

The only address and phone number I know by heart belong to my parents, who have had the same since 1976.

So,be prepared: some of you may be getting an email, or a phone call, or smoke signal asking for your data.

And,no, there is no ‘little Black book’. I am willing to put into the little red book asterisks next to those deemed ‘easy’. :-)

I had an entry written and ready for posting, but Someone beat me to it. It was on the predicament of Someone and the house calendar, which ‘crashed’ last weekend. Distracted by work, I meant to post it this morning after breakfast, only to discover Someone’s post on the same topic.*  So much for that.

Perhaps it is for the best for blogging about my loved ones (particularly my partner and close relations) is a ticklish business. In my attempts to be witty and entertaining I admit I occasionally embellish and/or insert a few taradiddles. While Spo-fans enjoy them my loved ones often take umbrage. I get emails and/or phone calls remonstrating my inaccuracies if downright libel.

Someone directly delivers his editing and counterpoints. He also has indirect means of voicing disapproval of alleged disgracing his good Henley Street name.  Ouch.

“You’ve been shooting off your mouth, you rat!” is heard not only when watching “The Women” for the umpteenth time.

Like a hobo who picks  through the rubbish cans, I go through the day scanning for scraps of conversation which could be used in creating entries. Brothers routinely add to our telephone calls “By the way don’t put this in your blog” which is foolish, for up until that moment I hadn’t been thinking of blogging, and now I start wondering how to do just that.

Oh! there are a myriad of droll and ribald entries I could compose on the topic “Life with Someone” but that subject is closed. The aftermath would be far worse than anything the Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections could conjure up.

Besides, he blogs too. He promises to squeal on me if I squeal on him !  :-)


- do you blog about your spouse/significant other/partner/nearest and dearest?  Are the ‘forbidden zones” ?


* His is better.


Sister-in-law #3 had her baby early this morning. Brother #3 called to tell me to say the birth went very quickly. There was one contraction, the water broke, it was off to hospital and before they could even set up an epidural –  hey presto! – out popped Nephew #3.* Brother, Sister-in-law and Princess-Goddess are all doing well. My niblings now total five, which is a good number indeed. I am pleased Brother #3 has a son and the Spo name lives on.  They named the munchkin after our father, who is pleased as punch at the honor.

Urs Truly, Brothers #3, and #4 suspect ulterior motives viz. guess who will get the Stobarts and the train collection (seen in the header).

Remembering N#3’s birthday will be easy, for 10 September is our parent’s wedding anniversary.  They have been married fifty-four years. Can you imagine? As an anniversary gift Father got a new grandson with his name attached.**

That sure beats my Hallmark card and telephone call.

Anyway we are all quite happy to welcome the wanderer into the family.  Way to go SIL #3!  Bravo Brother #3!  I am glad Princess-Goddess has a sibling. I very much enjoy mine; I could not imagine a childhood without them.

I now have to come up with a nickname to follow the grand titles Princess-Goddess, Warrior-Queen, Monster #1 and Monster #2.

I am working on “(Fill in the blank)-Master” ; I will wait to see if his temperament suggests anything.


* In my opinion this hardly constitutes ‘labor’ viz. two quick pushes and out pops the kid. However, SIL #3 didn’t convey any disappointment over the deprivation of the birthing experience.

**  N#3’s middle name is the name of our great(x6)grandfather Spo who fought in the American Revolutionary War.

The Muses haven’t been helpful, nor have any other inspirational archetypes for that matter. I get lots of ideas for entries but none are sufficient to warrant full prose. It’s like having a box of assorted chocolates; they all have a few good bites to them but none of them are long or substantial. It’s hard to turn a chocolate sweetie into a full meal.  I’m not quite sure where are the Muses – or the Graces, or Norns, or the Furies.**  I hope the Muses and/or The Furies and/or The Norns send me something more substantial soon.

Meanwhile here are a few chocolate mocha tid-bits, none of them imperial.



SamsonDestroyTempleI recently reheard the story of Sampson. As a boy  he was conveyed as a strong and wise man. Rereading the story he comes across as – well, to be blunt – stupid. He is duped by more than one woman who more or less tell him they are taking him to the cleaners but he pays no attention and bungles anyway.  It isn’t even clear if he realizes his divine mission until the end when he pulls down the pillars on the Philistines.




A charming young lady on Youtube is teaching me lots of British terms and expressions of which I enjoy using although no one here has a clue as to what I am talking about.   My favorite new are ‘barmy’  and ‘minger’.  Alas she hasn’t confirmed if “sooner I’d eat rats in Tewkesbury” is a proper British expression.


On the home front, the purple batik being fashioned into a shirt just isn’t floating my boat. I am considering collecting the names of any Spo-fan who fancy a shirt, putting the names in a hat, and pull out the lucky winner and there it is.  I may limit the eligibles to thems who don’t got one yet and/or thems I want to have in my gratitude for nefarious reasons.


I’ve planted six acorns I brought home from Canada.  I have them in small clay pots; time will tell if I get any oaklings, if that is the right word. They probably don’t have a chance but I sorely miss oaks and gardening.


The Lovely Neighbor is in town for Hallowe’en, so we will have a proper block party this All Hallow’s Eve. She inspires me to have a more-than-usual fabulous Hallowe’en this year. I am not sure what this entails but I have a month to conjure something up.


Someone is rather cross for the Yahoo calendar mysteriously disappeared with all our events. He is trying to get Yahoo to resurrect it so he doesn’t have to recreate it himself. How frustrating.


Here’s a list of things of which I don’t need more:

Books to read

Bottles of Whisky

Youtube subscriptions

Dictionary Apps


Things that want repair around the house

I hope a more proper entry arrives soon. Today I started one at work and I recall it was stunning for it solved many of Life’s  mysteries, but alas I didn’t save it and now it’s gone.  Stinko.  What a Pillock.


** On the other hand, I know the whereabouts of The Skanks, but we are not talking. What they recently proposed was beyond the pale.

I haven’t done a “Random Thoughts” posting in what seems like ages. I will remedy the title when I remember what number it is. 

InsanityIt’s that time again: time to clean up the links of bloggers who (alas) haven’t blogged in over six months and look to have retired. This is always sad for me as there is no closure. They merely stopped writing , like Mark Twain in mid-sentence in the unpublished sequel to Huckleberry Finn.  Happily, one blogger I thought gone for good has returned.  So there is hope other lost sheep will come around to their senses and keep me/us up to date via their prose.


I lead a dull life, or at least this week: work, paperwork, exercise, and repeat. Someone and I are both being good boys watching our diets and regularly going to exercise.

There are two tentative trips this autumn: one is a weekend to Palm Springs and the other is hosting out of town visitors. I have something to anticipate. I am keen on seeing some fine fellows, both well over four feet.



I am in the process of making a shirt only to realize I have something similar already. It’s a purple batik, still lovely, but as they say in “Monty Python & The Holy Grail”:

“We already got one!”

So I fancy giving it to somebody when it is finished –  but to whom?  I may have a contest, or pull out of a hat a name from “Thems who show interest in it”.  Perhaps I will auction it off to raise $$ for charity (or a good bottle of bourbon).  Maybe I will give it to whoever  ‘puts out’  – although I know a few bloggers I would give it to if they put out. (Oh! Scabrous thought!)

As I write out these nothings, we are having a rare but marvelous thunderstorm.  It’s lovely to hear the rumblings and smell the petrichor.

Someone is already asleep and orbiting the moons of Jupiter. I have the iPhone on randomly generating songs. It is going from Peter Grimes to Peter Gabriel and this is a bit jarring.

I’ve not had a snort in a week; tonight I am going to have some of the lovely whisky Laurent and William gave me when we saw them last month in Canada. They are lovely too.

Postscript – The iphone is playing Storms out of Africa, from Enya’s Watermark album. It takes me back to my salad days of winter holidays with The Best Friend in Key West.

Ah, it is right to mourn the lost hotels of Paris ….

I found this gem while stumbling around YouTube; I thought it spot-on.

However it has one statement at which I take umbrage.

Three guesses what it is!


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September 2014
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Spo-Reflections Years 1&2


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