I dropped my phone and now it’s broken; I cannot make or receive texts or phone calls. As I have no landline, I’ve unwillingly become one of those luddites or oldsters who ‘don’t have a phone’. I told folks on Facebook and I sent an email to Brother #3 to ‘spread the word’ so people won’t worry I’ve been abducted by aliens again. Life without a phone! This is both nerve-wracking and liberating. I’d be willing to go without for awhile, but I need one for work for receiving passcodes to write prescriptions.

Have you ever gone without a phone?

Some demon placed into my head a hankering for Blue Moon ice cream, something I haven’t had since I was ten years old. I tried explaining the color and taste to Someone, who had never heard of such a thing. “What does it taste like?” he asked me. “Like Blue Moon ice cream!” I told him. My search online (prior to dropping the phone) conveys Blue Moon this is mostly a Midwestern delicacy. I have to wait until I travel to Michigan next month to find some.

Have you ever had Blue Moon ice cream?

Today is Father’s Day. When Someone returns home from work this evening we will call papa on his phone and wish him a happy day. Father’s Day was never a big deal in The House of Spo. There were never any dinners or prizes. He likes phone calls and that’s that. This week he received the sad news his eyesight is not going to improve. He sounded resigned to such, saying he is glad this happens at 84 and not at 64. Good for him.

Is Father’s Day a big to-do in your family?

Before the phone went kaputt I was listening to a podcast on The Taiping Rebellion. Do you know of this historical event? Hong Xiuquan, a young man in China in the mid-19th century, had a nervous breakdown after his fourth failure at passing exams to become a civil servant. In his upset he started having dreams and beliefs he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ. He would lead China into a heavenly kingdom on earth, with all the usual sumptuary laws against everything human: eating, drinking, having sex, you name it. The Manchus who were in charge were a bit peeved at this notion, and the resulting fourteen year long civil war ended in 30-50 million people dead. Since my iphone died before I could hear Part 3, I don’t know what happened to Mr. Hong.*

Have you ever slaughtered an entire town in the name of religion?

Today’s final Spo-bit is about the summer solstice. This occurs today local time 830PM. It means there will be less sunshine every day until December 20th and I say good riddance. We have way too much sunshine as it is. When I visit Michigan next month I want a week of nonstop rain, preferably with thunderstorms. I want to sit on the patio porch with Papa while eating blue moon ice cream. Being blind, he doesn’t have a phone and perhaps neither will I. This sounds not bad at all.

How’s the weather where you are?

*I went to The Wiki and had a look-see: he ends badly.

The “Daily Stoic” podcast this morning had for its meditation “What have you learned?”. This was in reference to the past year and the pandemic. The point: in every trying situation there is opportunity to learn something, about yourself or the world. One can grow. A bad event without growth is meaningless pain and sorrow.  So, what have I learned?

People do not change.  This is both a comfort and a sadness. I majored in Microbiology, and I have an appetence for History. I’ve studied every epidemic, pandemic, and plague of history. How we responded to Covid19 was no different than any other time. In a plague, governments first react by denying or downplaying it to protect commerce and their jobs. After the cat’s out of the bag, people go to extremes: they become quite conservative or openly defiant to what needs to be down. Others outside the group/nation are blamed for the bug (usually from the East); religious fervor kicks in and quack remedies arise take precedence over rationale remedies. The plague de jour lightens up and people prematurely drop their guard and the plague surges again.  Note: what next happens is the pathogen lingers on/off for awhile and it never completely goes away.   What varies is if the event gets into our collective memory or not. It will be curious to see if covid19 is forgotten, like the 1918 flu (which was worse) or becomes mythologized like The Great Mortality of 1348. Given the nation’s state to deny what it doesn’t want to believe, I’m voting for the former: years from now folks will say it wasn’t that bad, it was al a hype etc.

I did the right thing.  I did not panic; I did not hoard TP or food. I did defy what the experts and sensible people recommended to do. I did not exploit the situation to my gain at the loss of others. I was resilient with needed changes at work, home, and lifestyle. While I sorely missed the gym, travel, restaurants, etc. I did OK. Now that these are somewhat back to usual, it doesn’t feel like it was any great time lost. 

My countrymen are deplorable. The human reactions/behaviors mentioned in the first point are understandable but this time around we (the USA anyway) were so over-the-top and ill mannered in their reactions. I was abhorred and ashamed of the Ignorance and Hate that arose. Mind! That stuff was always there, it merely came out and in great amounts. While I feel I did the right thing, the nation did not – and they were so proud of it too. I do not see this mending anytime soon if ever. I feel I was born in a country of people, and now it has become a kennel of mad dogs.

The saying ‘It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good’ remains true. It is a comfort that while we really bungled the situation, we learned things we would not have learned otherwise.  So-called truisms were found to be false. People can work from home – myself included.  The covid19 vaccine was made in a novel way that opens up brave new world exciting treatments for other wee beasties that are certain to arise. Papers are already coming forth on the positive and negative effects of isolation on human psychology, these will teach us something about ourselves as a species. I hope we can learn from this.

Stoicism works – again.  Thems who prescribe to this philosophy see Life not knee-deep in buttercups and daisies but full up with obstacles, hardships, and problems – none of a divine nature. Regardless, if we endure and do the right thing and persevere, we will get through this somehow.  Again.

Gratitude. Technically I didn’t ‘learn this’ but it was heightened during the hard times. I continually reminded myself of the many things for which I am grateful. I had many assets to get me through the past fourteen months.  What I am more grateful for was the support and love of others. That includes you, my darlings. You are dears – all well over four feet.  I am glad you are there as we trek into the future, into the unknown. We will do the right thing, we will learn, and we will be together.

Spo-fans and various relations are sending words my way, worried about the heat here in Arizona. It is rawther hot here with lows in the mid-30s and highs in the mid-40s. * This is not new; it happens every year, although admittedly not so early. Normally these ardent temperatures start in early July. Global warming I suppose, although right wing know-it-alls will deny it so. Meanwhile the water supply is drying up and no one is listening to the Cassandras.

Regardless, it is bloody hot and no good for dog walks. In these ardent months, Harper and I must go out about 5AM, before The Sunbane commences.** Mid-day walks are right out until October – too hot for paws! – and our evening walks are delayed until after sunset. Even then it remains quite hot and Harper-hound quickly shows signs of not liking this. Panting soon commences and back home we go – just a quick walk to the post-box and back.

We’ve stayed our distance from other walkers for over a year, and I think Harper has grown wary of being near other dogs. . Perhaps in her dotage she is not interested in other dogs anymore. She remains very interested in sniffs. She still has her favorites, which she inhales like a scotch expert inspecting a rare single-malt whisky.

Someone is looking for some extra exercise this season, so he sometimes joins us on our morning strolls. Fascinating! Harper loses complete interest in me when she senses he will be walking with us. He can’t stray behind or worse, decide to branch off to fetch the mail or go home prematurely. Harper won’t have this, but goes after him. It is rather sweet; it seems to uphold my theory in her eyes I am not the other owner, but The Other Dog.

The HOA, in their infinite wisdom, put down new stones along the gulley designed for flood water. These red pebble-sized rocks are just the right size and shape to cause Harper pain when she walks on them. At one point on her favorite trail she has no choice but to step onto them. She does slowly, looking pained, until she is again on the sidewalk. Ouch indeed.

Dog walks now end with me taking Harper off the leash on the driveway while I go around the back to discard the waste-bags and turn on/off the sprinkling system. She doesn’t go with me, but waits impatiently at the start of the walkway that leads up to the front door, stomping her little last season Pradas shoes at me, wanting in for the obligatory post-walk treat. After receiving it, she runs off and eats this out of sight – usually in the bedroom on the bed and on my side. There goes dignity. She is a happy dog this way, so I don’t push her off.

When you love them, they drive you crazy, because they know they can.

*Celsius. I am at heart a scientist. Thems with complaints wanting Fahrenheit may email The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections. Be advised they don’t check their email right away. Sometimes not for months.

**Does anyone know of the literary reference? I would be wowed to know.

This week’s Wednesday’s Ws are back to my own. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections tell me they enjoyed their turn but didn’t feel a great need to repeat it anytime soon.

What’s top of my mindmy innards. Something I ate perhaps – or is it anxiety? Whatever the cause, something has raised a ruckus to make in me what the French call abdominal abominable. Someone reports having nothing similar, so it wasn’t the crockpot tikka masala as suspected. I am sticking with the sage advice to avoid curried snacks.

Where I’ve been –  Lams Supermarket. Travel Penguin (the dear!) recently informed me of this local Asian market for me to try. “Local” is a stretch as it is located on the other side of town. It was worth the drive. It is full up with all sorts of lovely items, all from Asia, many I want to try. Besides noodles from every land, there are all sorts of vegetables and spices I have never heard of. I bought my first jar of Kimchi. They sell jackfruit, something I am hoping to try some day. They are huge things, like the eggs of some sort of dragon. I need to research how to work with one before I tackle eating one of these monsters.

Where I’m going –  into my journals. I am trying find the name of a certain Mexican restaurant I want to revisit when I am next in Palm Springs. The trip isn’t until November but I am already dreaming of what I want to do there, particularly the restaurants. I also need to learn of the restaurants survived the pandemic. I’ve learned not to become too attached to eateries in Palm Springs; they are ephemeral.

What I’m watching the plants in the backyard. With temperatures now regularly over 40C, the potted plants need daily watering – sometimes two times a day. I am already losing things to the ardent heat. I may have to bring some indoors if they are to survive until autumn.

What I’m reading –  A letter. I recently received one in the post. It is a proper letter on 81/2 x 11 paper, about three pages long. I cannot remember the last time I received one. I am reading it slowly, as letters ought to be read, preferably with a nice hot cup of tea while sitting at the table reading in peace and quiet. Letters should not be skimmed like email. What a pleasure! It feels like a blast from the past, when people took time to write and communicate their thoughts.

What I’m listening to ‘The Greatest Showman’ soundtrack. I only recently saw the movie and I liked it a lot I especially liked the songs. There were enough tunes for me to buy it for my iPhone.

What I’m eatingStone soup. Last weekend I applied my cooking skills to create a soup out all the leftovers I could find in the fridge that needed attention ASAP or risk being thrown out. It was made with carrots, celery, and onions all a bit past their prime, as well as some leftover broth and bullion. Orzo was added at the end. For the meat I used the leftover SPAM from a pasta dish, diced into spoon-sized pieces. It wasn’t too bad. Come to think of it, this isn’t stone soup, it is spam soup.

Who I’m paying attention to The post. Speaking of the post, last week I ordered some socks, bright and bold, with gay colors the way I like them. Jolly good fun to wear some whimsical hosiery! It is always nice to get something in the post that isn’t junk mail or a bill.

What I’m planning – A night on my own. Someone is beginning to work again at the theatre, which leaves me ‘home alone’ this Saturday night. It will be my first in over a year. I plan on listening to podcasts and medical lectures do some sewing, as I cook a meal I want he won’t particularly like.

“Nothing in life is to be feared but understood”- Marie Curie.

Once in a while I get an email from a Spo-fan (or somebody like one) wanting to hear about anxiety, more specifically, what to do about it. I spend a lot of my working day addressing this issue. You would think the patients who are most challenging to work with would be the folks with mania or psychosis or depression. It is not so. It is the anxious ones that are the most challenging to work with as they are often literally and figuratively in a panic, seeing things as urgent if not catastrophic. It is a challenge not succumb to their anxieties.

So here are some tips for thems dealing with anxiety.
Pay attention, people pay me big bucks for this sort of stuff.

The emotion of anxiety is part of our physiology; it is there for a reason. We are the descendants of those who got tense and vigilant when they encountered something or someone dangerous or unfamiliar. The folks who shrugged off that funny-sounding noise from behind ended up as prey, not as parents. Our inner brains remain wired to react to new things/others with anxious trepidation. Alas, Babylon! These inner-brain parts don’t discriminate. An angry tiger pushes the same buttons as does an angry boss. Thus, it is normal to have anxiety; it pops up before our frontal cortexes kick in with a more relational reaction “hey, this isn’t a tiger! Cool it down there!” In summary: anxiety is not the enemy. Anxiety is a team member, one you really don’t want to live without. Anxiety is just not a good team leader. Anxiety makes a good servant but a lousy boss. I tell my patients to quit looking at anxiety as maleficent alien life form or an omnipotent enemy.

You may not be able to stop becoming anxious when something happens, but you can do something about how you react to it. Anxiety can feel intense, overwhelming, and ponderous, but it is nevertheless a treatable condition. What I mean by this is getting anxiety (acute and chronic types) down to a dull roar. Thems who are anxious often want anxiety not to be happening at all. They see it as a black/white on/off emotion: either not there or at a 10+ level. For those with chronic anxiety, approach it like any other chronic condition. One learns to live with it and not let it dominate your life. C.G. Jung said when you try to eradicate something it just comes back to dominate you worse than ever.

Emerson said “always do what your are afraid to do” – good advice for thems who are anxious. It is understandable that when faced with something that evokes anxiety we want to do a 180 and avoid it. If we persevere and practice what we fear, we realize ‘it wasn’t that bad’. This builds familiarity and confidence – and anxiety ameliorates. This needs to be done in steps called ‘desensitization’. I am presently working with a patient who has developed an anxiety to drive. She is practicing merely driving around the block in her familiar neighborhood, knowing if she becomes anxious she is only a few minutes from home. As she grows OK with this she will go out longer and farther, and eventually to highway driving (during a quiet time of the day).

I’ve trained myself whenever I get anxious about doing something, I pause to remember literally everything I like doing now started this way. Give it a try, knowing I will bungle/be anxious but survive and perhaps keep going.

Most folks tell me their anxiety is about the ‘what-ifs’ of life and the consequences of these scenarios.** At the heart of it all is fear of the unknown.

When patients tell me they are ‘frozen with anxiety’ I give them my spiel to pick a direction and start. “But how do I know if it’s the right thing and what happens if it fails?” You don’t really. How do you know anything about the future, no matter how you try to control for it by avoiding anxiety-evoking actions? If you want to improve your life you have to embrace uncertainty and allow anxiety to be. It’s not comfortable. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. In this paradox the tyrant anxiety diminishes and becomes no longer the master. This is the true notion of head shrinking.

*These words are often interchangeable. To straw split, worry is the mental matter and anxiety is mental with physical components. I may worry did I leave the stove on; if I am having palpitations, tremors, dyspnea along with the worry, this is anxiety.

**Counseling/therapy often works with these ‘worse-case’ scenarios. How likely they are to happen, and how bad would it be really if it did happen. Often that anxious matter (like going to a party of strangers) may be not comfortable but hardly the ‘everyone will look at me/laugh at me/judge me” and I will be wiped out” that is feared.

The Wheel of Time has many gears, and one if them turns weekly to get back to another mundane Monday morning. I see Mondays not as a downer, but as a blessing, for I am:

a) alive

b) in relative good health

c) employed

d) serene, for there is nothing especially unpredictable scheduled at work but ‘more of the same’ which I always manage to get through somehow.

e) drinking solar tea.

It is hard to think of cosmic or witty things upon which to write on a Monday. Here’s the morning brew…….

Today is Flag Day; it is also National Bourbon Day (or so I read online). 

We have a flag but we haven’t gotten around to erecting a pole upon which to fly it. The street over one from us has many homes that continuously fly the flag. They do this 24/7 or they hang their flags against their garage door. I have a vague recollection from my scouting days one is supposed to take down the flag at sunset as flying the flag at night was disrespectful.  As a boy, Father always flew the flag on Flag Day, although I think he did so out of vanity/peer pressure more than patriotism viz. what would the neighbors think if he didn’t.  I would like a flagpole, but I would like to fly various flags, including the ones from the USA, Canada, Arizona, Michigan, The Rainbow flag, and House Harkonnon. The HOA probably would object to all but the first, so no fun that.

That’s all for the flag; let’s move onto bourbon.  All bourbon is whisky but not all whisky is bourbon. To be a bourbon, the majority of the grain used in the mash must be corn; the majority of bourbon is made in the faraway Land of Kentucky. Although it is the official day to have some, I shan’t, as it’s too darned hot. We have entered the ‘burning season’ here in Arizona, with outside temperatures in the 40s (Celsius) and the inside ones not much cooler. If I am going to have the proverbial snort, I want one with massive amounts of ice.  It’s also Monday; not a day I usually indulge.

Speaking of Inndulge, yesterday Someone and I made a reservation for a Palm Springs holiday! It will be our first proper week-long holiday since 2019. I must contact chums known to enjoy the place and entice them to attend.

That’s all for Monday; my glass of tea is empty.

It’s rawther hot, hitting highs between 40 and 47C. Above 42C it doesn’t matter; it is just bloody hot and the mantra ‘it’s a dry heat’ is of no comfort. Mad dogs and Englishman go out in the mid-day sun but not I, not if I can help it. Even the pool isn’t much help given the blazing sunshine; one tans in five minutes.

Sunday is ‘slow cooker day’ at La Casa de Spo. It is sometimes a challenge to find something Someone will like. Today I am doing chicken tikka masala. I like Indian cuisine, the spicier the better. Some say tikka masala is not proper Indian food, along the line chop suey is not proper Chinese cuisine. I like tikka anyway and it makes for good leftovers eating.

Last Friday The Bosses fired the two most recent incarnations of The Best Medical Recipients. People come and go so quickly here. Keeping the post filled is more difficult than that of Professor of defense against the dark arts at Hogwarts. I understand why one of the incarnations was let go, but not the other. She came to me last Friday in tears to say she was going – now – and she wanted to say I was the best doctor she’s ever worked with as I was so nice (to her and others). I will miss that one. I wonder who will be working on Monday. I’ve learned not to get too fond of them as they don’t stay, usually sacked.

Spo-fans know I enjoy finding fancy and fustian words. I recently learned of the word ‘spuddle”. It is a verb, apparently from the 1600s, which means to work ineffectively; to be extremely busy whilst achieving nothing. What a word! It needs a revival. Try using it in an email today.

Now I must walk the dog. In ardent weather, walks must be done very early in the morning and again after the sun sets as the pavement is too hot for old paws. I don’t care much for it either. Happily there is plenty of solar tea at hand. In this weather it cooks in only a few hours.

The other day I heard a podcast of a group of nerds* in a disquisition about ‘guilty pleasures’, applied to old sci-fi movies. They started by trying to define what a guilty pleasure is. I don’t recall their agreed-upon definition, other than it is sort of like a triple-cheeseburger: you know it’s not good for you, others would disapprove, and there is even an element of unhealthiness to it, but dammit it tastes good.  It is something you don’t eat every day (or confess doing so) but jolly good fun to indulge in once in a while. 

This got me thinking. What are my guilty pleasures and do I dare share them online lest Dame Public Opinion disapprove or Spo-fans cancel in disgust and disapproval?  One approach is to dismiss the word ‘guilt. As the late Anne Marie would say, I don’t get a f-k what others think!”  I am too Midwestern in my roots to take that approach (worse luck!) but I will be brave and share some of my worst guilty pleasures and face the condemnation. 

Club Sandwiches. They are not lo-cal; they are not high-class. What they are though is delicious. They combine the crispness of toast (oh the carbs!) with the coolness of sliced tomato and lettuce and cold cuts with oh so tasty mayo. And it has bacon – so what’s not to love? They are usually served with a pile of equally guilt-ridden fries – and plenty of ketchup or mayo-based sauce in which to dip these triangular lovelies. The cut sandwiches allow me to eat 1-3 and save the others for later. Did you know CLUB may stand for ‘Chicken Lettuce Underneath Bacon sandwich?  Maybe. 

Piers Anthony novels. I am almost ashamed to type this.  He’s written scores of sci-fi and fantasy books and they can be mindless fun. Unlike the works of Terry Prachatt, his tales are just silly, almost puerile, admittedly dated, and at times bordering on the erotic/misogynist . Oh the embarrassment. Once in a while I reread one of these rubbish novels and I feel fifteen years old again.

Walt Disney movies. Speaking of kiddie-wink past times, I still enjoy going to The Tube of You and watching clips from the Mouse Movies. What I like to watch are: 

a) any scene involving magic being used.  

and 

b) villains getting their comeuppance. 

May I add a very guilty pleasure Walt Disney movie is “Peter Pan”?  If “Song of the South” is banned for racism, Peter Pan ought to be as well. Go see the song ‘What makes a red man red?” and one has to squirm with its wrongness.  All the same, I adore Captain Hook and always rooted for him over that twerp twinkie Peter Pan. 

Silly Hats. On my bucket list is to own a Top Hat, a proper one, no rubbish. Wearing silly hats is guilty pleasure is hard to indulge in as wearing them at home is too odd-ball yet being out of doors in a large over-the-top Viking helmet (horns included) creates talk. Halloween and Christmas are the few times of the year I can pull off this nonsense without police officers stopping me to ask if I am OK. 

Tiki cocktails. I pride myself in my sophisticated palate for wine, whisky, and what not; I have been called a snob and I can’t deny it. However, if I see such delicacies like “Zombie” or “Scorpion” or “Mai Tai” on the drinks menu, my eyes widen, and my face lights up with joy with the radiance of a brilliant sunrise.  I want plenty of fruit, an umbrella, a swizzle stick – the whole works. Tiki drinks aren’t so much a drink but an event. Besides, they go so well with the Spo-shirts, which is another guilty pleasure of mine, as these are not in fashion.**

Spo-fans: I would be delighted to hear about one or two of your guilty pleasures. I promise not to judge or go ‘ewwww’.  

*What do you call a group of nerds? I went on line to find the right word. What I found was ‘a ham radio club’. 

**They are not my fashion, but my style. Get it right !

I finished a book [1] but I will not rest on my laurels. I immediately went to the shelves where dwell the ‘read me” tomes.  Thanks to Tsundoku, there are plenty to choose from and they vary in style and content. I do not stick with one genera of writing, but bounce around. I just finished reading a non-fiction ‘science’ book and prior to this one it was “Spoon River anthology”, which is fiction/poetry. So, what to read next? I can sense all the books on the bookshelf sitting up in anticipation, wanting me to pick them. “Read me!” they all seem to shout, each pointing out its charms. “I’ve been waiting the longest!” “I’m the newest!” and “I’m a guaranteed laugh!”

Summer time and the reading is easy. What I like to read in the summer are ‘light reads’, preferring to postpone the more lofty tomes to long winter nights. [2] Fiction is preferable to non-fiction and ‘fun’ reads trump ‘should’ reads. The other day I started – and quickly stopped – ‘The Last of the Mohicans’. It was full-up with wordy circumstantial sentences and not suitable for reading poolside. [3] This was also true at last night’s stab at the latest translation of ‘The Poetic Eddas’ (oh the pain). A few people at work have given me copies of things written by contemporary authors; these maybe worth a look-see. They have the advantage I haven’t the foggiest what they are about and I should know after a few chapters if it is a TGR (thumping good read) or off it goes to Bookman’s, the local used book store exchange.

One book on the to-read shelf is a novel by Salman Rushdie. I can’t recall which one it is, maybe the one that got him into hot water? He’s known to be clever so this next- choice possibility is likely ‘quality’ compared to the rubbish novels next to it. His book is a thick one, so it doesn’t look to like a rush job. Summer reads are usually short, easily consumed, and quickly forgotten – like my men. Yes, the more I think about it, Mr. Rushdie’s brilliant book may have to wait until later this year.

I might choose ‘The Anthropocene’ by John Green. It is Mr. Green’s latest, and has the advantage it is a series of essays, so I can read one, fall asleep, and not need to remember the plot and characters. On the downside his reflections are recondite and often depressing – not the best thing for summer reading.

Slogging my way through more of Mr. Prachett’s forty-plus books in his ‘The Discworld series” might work. They fulfill the criteria for something light, fun, and mindless – like my men, but I read so many in the spring time it feels wrong for summer to be similar.

There is always the option to jilt the unread and rereading some old favorites or return to a series. For some time I’ve been meaning to read/reread ‘Tales of the City’, which I got only halfway through. I would have to start over from the beginning, so that would be no quick project.

Stinko. All the books on the shelf are serious, lengthy, thoughtful tomes – not the sort for summer. It’s like going to the food panty looking for something to gnosh, only to find only healthy stuff when what you really wanted was a bag of nasty chips. I may have to buy something new. Talk about Tsundoku ! Just don’t tell Someone, or I may have to reenact – again -the iconic Flip Wilson sketch ‘The devil made me buy this dress”.

[1] “The book of the moon”. It was an encyclopedia of everything about the moon, from facts of science to superstitions. The chapter of Moon gods/goddesses was quite lengthy; the moon is quite crowded.

[2] Science fiction is the exception. Sci-fi novels are my winter reads although paradoxically they are read on winter holiday in the bright warm weather of PV or Palm Springs.

[3] Mr. Cooper writes fiction as if it were a painful duty.

“I got nothing” as Blobby sometimes says. I don’t have anything in my week interesting to write upon. So, this week’s Wednesday’s Ws are brought to you courtesy of The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections. The dears suggested they try a turn at this. There are nine questions and eight board members so they all drew lots as to who answer what question. All eight contributed to the last W. This is “Pop Culture Happy Hour” for Vikings.

What’s top of my mind – Sven: A barbarian attack. They always show in spring and it’s June for Thor’s sake, and there’s no signs of them. I guess I am a little disappointed. They were a sort of a spring ritual, like picking daffodils or burning down the east coast. Now what’s going to happen to us without barbarians? Those people were a kind of solution.

Where I’ve been – Bjorn: Muspelheim. It is the only place in the nine realms where one can get a decent rack of ribs.

Where I’m going –   Helga ‘Pippi” Long-stocking: Costco. They brought back the free samples and I’m excited. With careful planning I can get a decent meal out of these. Shopping at Costco on a Saturday morning resembles going into one of history’s more bloody battles but the hot dog/soda combination after check out is worth the pushing and shoving and defenestration.

What I’m watching – Snorri Sturlson the 23rd: Flights to Iceland. It’s been ages since I visited Auntie Huldufolk. All my relatives are on furlough, due to covid19 wiping out the tourist industry. Worse luck! Even the Yule Lads are unemployed. They spend their days playing frisbee golf can you imagine?

What I’m reading –  Slater-Wotan: Read? I do not read. Nor do I write. Both a waste of time. That sort of stuff is for our minion, Urspo. I may not be able to write my name but he writes entries about my fame. So who’s the wiser?

What I’m listening to –  Oscar ‘Bunny’ Jarl: Laura Fygi.

What I’m eating – Walter Cnut Fafner: Lutefisk. At the end of our last raid we divvied up the land, only to realize no one had claimed Essex. Bjorn thought it was Sven’s; Sven thought it was Oscar’s; Oscar only knew it east of Wessex and didn’t give a hoot. In the end we agreed to use Essex for storage for our pickled fish. The taste is lovely but oh the whiff.

Who I’m paying attention to – Herbert: Jessica Alba. She’s got nice legs.

and

What’s making us happy this week – 

Sven: The warm weather.

Bjorn: Imperial tid-bits from America: tobacco: potatoes; and that high-grade narcotic Sven’s so found of.

Helga: Little brown scraps under the tables at Costco. They have a nice crunch.

Snorri: Buns and things.

Slater: Honorificabilitudinitatibus.

Oscar: Hitting people with flat metal objects.

Walter: Rolling down grass hills.

Herbert: Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce garnished with truffle pate, brandy, and a fried egg on top, and Spam. No rubbish.

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Spo-Reflections 2006-2018