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I was attributing a current feeling of restlessness to my “fall melancholia”, but it dawned on me it’s been some time since we went on a road trip. I don’t sit still very well, and this is doubly so when there is too much time in between road trips. “Getting out of town’ and being on the road and going somewhere gives me a thrill. Our usual destinations are: Flagstaff (North), Palm Springs (West), Tucson (South) or Santa Fe (East). Palm Springs is no better than Podunk, for the destination is not as important as the journey.

Someone always does the driving. He isn’t fond of being the passenger and my driving makes him anxious (ADHD and driving don’t mix well). I prefer being the passenger anyway, so this works out well for us both. Being a passenger allows me to get caught up with medical paperwork and return patient phone calls.

Historically I am ‘Map-Master”, the man in charge of the charts. I tell Someone when to take the next exit or how far it is to Podunk.  Alas, my natural talent for direction has been made totally redundant with GPS.  I remain “Tune master”, in charge of the various iphones and ipods – provided there is no ‘Enya and her ilk”.  Thanks to the good folks at “Great Courses”, we often listen to a lectures as we ease on down the road. Road trips are not only necessary for my Wanderlust, but they are educational!  Sometimes Someone is obliged to listen to a medical lecture, provided it is not too dull.

“Road trips” can be a hazardous as they often mean ‘Road food’ viz. fast food meals or snack items purchased at gas stations.  Someone likes Diet Coke, which he consumes in no small quantities. It keeps his engine running but it does make for frequent pit stops.  I am prone to nasty crunchy things like chips or or pretzels, which are continually munched through the miles.  Sometimes Someone packs a picnic box of proper food, but this prudent move is not as much fun as raiding the Shell stations for Doritos.

Once upon a time I  went to a medical conference car-pooling with a woman who showed up for the three hour trip with several grocery bags of food. One bag had all the salty snacks, another all the candies, and another had a bucket of KFC. She also brought along a thermos of coffee and a six pack of soda pop (diet).  During the trip she continually consumed the contents of the bags. At the end of the trip, when we stopped for gas, she looked into the back seat and inquired what happened to all the food.  I told her she ate it all – she did not remember doing so!  I often think of her when I am on a road trip, a reminder for me not to get too carried away with the Pringles.

Anyway, I need to poke Someone to take me somewhere.  Sometime soon.

A friend and blogger buddy gave me some fascinating fabric, and asked me to make him a shirt.  It was a challenge for I combined two patterns (taking the best of both), narrowed down the size (for he is a medium). Then, I wanted to get the fronts ‘just so’ so when closed the pattern is continual.

I am very pleased with this one. It turned out well. 

So I thought I would show it off in lieu of composing something clever.

Do you see the little fish stick up from the inside ?   🙂

I will get back to the Spo-thoughts anon.   And on and on and on.

Every day I go to (bless them!) to read ‘Word of the day’ in order to enhance my lexicon with clever and atypical words.  This week all the words are colours, the types found on paint chip samples at the BEHR stands at ACE hardware.  At first I was excited, but they have all been insipid tints and tones – grayish monstrosities of a uniform ugliness although no two are alike:





If you have ever seen a Spo-shirt – and how can you miss ? –  you know they are not subtle. I go for bright bold colours; the louder the better. No wimpy shades for me. Like an insane choirmaster I want “more” and “louder”. Perhaps it is because I am a “Winter”, but I think the main reason is these sort of colours reflect my zest for Life . I like my colours bold, bright, and strong – like my men.

Since I am on the topic of colour, here is a brief ‘crash coarse’ in colour –

Hue and Colour are interchangeable words.

Now, if you lighten any of them up with white, these are TINTS.

If you darken them, using black, they are SHADES.

And if you use a variety of white and black viz. gray, these are (nasty) TONES.

When I see Ecru, I see red (Jungle Red, two coats). Ecru is my arch-enemy, for it represents all that is bad, brown and dull.  Like Mommie Dearest I want to run around with a coat hanger screaming “No ecru, EVER!!!”

Someone does not care for Spo-shirts. Rather, he likes Tommy Bahama tones.  I confess they are better for him for he is a ‘Spring”.

When we dress, I go for the brights, he for tints and tones (no shades and no rubbish).

All the same, if it were up to me I would give the world a paint job of gold, scarlet, and navy blue, with hot pink and lemon yellow highlights.

And no ecru thank you very much.


This evening after I finished dictating some progress notes and charts I watched on Youtube the scene in “Soylent Green” in which orange dump trucks appear at a riot and start scooping people up and back like dirt piles.  This scene fascinates me. I suppose it is about people reduced to the level of trash, to be tided up like leaves.  I’ve often wondered what happens to the people after they are scooped up; are they recycled or merely released in New Jersey?

As an aside, tonight I noticed a Youtube ‘link’ to a clip titled “Soylent Green is Obama Care”.  I get rather tired of people associating The President with every evil and fault. I want the President to announce tomorrow’s high and low tides just to see people scream how Obama is ruining the ocean.

Back to the movie. Overall I don’t much care for it. I could never take it seriously, thanks to Mr. Heston. He is forever associated with cheesy “Ape” movies and awful acting poses in “The Ten Commandments”.  “Soylent Green” is where I first heard #6 by Beethoven, which is a mixed blessing: I am grateful to the film for making me aware of this splendid symphony, but now it is associated with dying. Hearing “The Pastoral” always makes me hungry.

I feel sorry for the haggard priest, who has to bear the brunt of all those people in his church. I realize this is an indirect criticism of the RC’s stance on birth control: they don’t allow no contraception and look what’s it got them.

I have a vague memory there were some young girls called ‘living furniture’, which must have been scandalous when it came out, but it sounds rather quaint nowadays.

I should probably ask the good folks at Netflix to send me a full copy of “Soylent Green” and see how accurate my memory is on the movie.  I think it came out around the same time as “Brother Sun and Sister Moon’.  As a boy I got the movies confused, goodness knows how.  Perhaps because even though one is set in the 13th century and the other one in 2022, they both look quite ‘70s’ to me.

Spo-fans may have noticed I haven’t posted in a few days. A combination of work load and ‘nothing to say or report” has left me with nothing to say. In contrast, Someone is writing splendid blog entries on a regular basis. It seems The Muses are focusing on him – the fickle dames! – and leaving me bereft. They are always keen on ‘the new guy in town” This leaves me with The Norns, who are droopy as always.  September is their ‘high season’ of course, matching my tendency to go down in the doldrums at this time of year.  All they inspire are compositions about my various body aches, hardly stunning blog material.

It’s been raining this week; inclement weather paradoxically cheers me up. Last night there was a marvelous thunder and lightning show. I felt back in the Midwest, which was a comfort.

I am avoiding on-line news sites for they are getting too painful to read.  I feel bad for both Romney and Obama, for whoever wins the election will be despised by 50% of the nation. This bitter half will be hell bent on making sure the current president fails, even if it brings down the nation.

On a lighter note:

The Personal Trainer wants me to get ‘straps’ for weight training. These are wrap around the wrist devices to assist in picking up heavy objects without losing your grip.  “Buying some straps’ sounds like a trip to Mr. Leather rather than to Sports Authority.

Last weekend we had chums over for dinner and did a ‘double blind’ taste test on some whiskies. It turns out my friend and I both preferred the ‘cheaper stuff’ to the “Reserve”, which makes us cheap dates indeed.

Monday is my parent’s 52nd wedding anniversary.  Not only have they managed to stay together for over half a century, they still genuinely love each other.  They’ve had 52 years, 4 sons, 6 grandchildren, and they keep on ticking.  They never had ‘hard times’, and – can you imagine? – they never had a major fight. They are unique. The Spo propensity to mate for life (like pigeons) has been passed down to the four boys, who all seem to be doing well in their marriages.

Despite my upbringing and professional training, it remains a puzzlement and a wonder to me how people do this viz. live together for decades without driving each other to drink or distraction.  You realize after five years together you had better comes to terms with your partner’s idiosyncratic and annoying traits, for they are not going to go away.

Perhaps it was easier when life expectancy was only fifty years; or when laws forbade you from separating.

I think the jury is still out on the ‘success’ of gay couples: will we see more or less long time relationships when compared to straight ones? Perhaps the gay community hasn’t been ‘out long enough’ to determine this. Maybe the comparison is not valid: perhaps we aren’t as ‘married’ to the notion of life long relationships.  It seems I know more gay male couples who are ‘open’ rather than monogamous.  I wonder if openness will ultimately help or hinder long term relationships/marriages.

Darned if I have any answers.

What I do know is my parents are two fortunate people indeed. I wish them a happy anniversary and many more.

That got your attention, didn’t it?  I confess there are none to tell*.  What is unspeakable is my current weight. I was disappointed but not surprised to discover this morning I have not lost any weight. I could delude myself this is due to muscle gain, but let’s not be foolish: I am eating too much.  Either that or my metabolism has slowed enough I can now exist on a refugee diet.  I suppose if I ate little or nothing for the rest of the year I might loose a pound or two. I take comfort a patient came into my office yesterday and exclaimed I looked both trimmer and more muscular. She wanted valium so her motives were suspect.

In the end, overwhelmed with guilt, grief about the chores I am not going to do today, the expensive whiskies keep purchasing (no rubbish), and the general ghastliness of the USA, I turn to blogger/text buddies for comfort.  It’s a nasty country but it can’t be too bad with Jim A and Sean B. in it.  Kindness and Benny Hill-like bawdy banter have a calming effect on my Psyche. I am going to stop reading CNN and Facebook politics, read some sci-fi, and if anyone wants a snort of Collingwood they are free to drop by.

*Well, not here anyway. Spo-fans desperate for dirt may e-mail me privately and I promise to tell all.  Alas, it will mostly embellishments. 

When I was a boy, my grandmother was gravely disappointed to discover I was not being taught Latin. She saw this deficit as more than a hole in my education; it was a sign my generation was going to pot. I am now at a her age and it’s my turn to worry about today’s youth. She was worried about Latin: I worry about more basic things like American History.

As an aside, I recently read few of us (despite America’s zeal for Christian values) actually ‘know’ the Bible.  Apparently less than 10% of Americans can name all Ten Commandments.  I can. Didn’t anyone else go to Sunday school?

Someone can recite all the books of the Old Testament.  We both seem to know a lot of history. I thought this was standard education, but we seem to be anomalies.

I regularly encounter examples of Americans cluelessness about history. Last week, while in a cafe, a young man asked me what was it I was reading. At first I feared he meant the book itself; perhaps he had never seen an actual book before. To my relief, his question was about the book’s topic “The Civil War of 1812” . I explained it was a commemoration history for the bicentennial of the War of 1812.  He asked who fought in it. I told him it was a complicated theatre of USA vs. England – with Native Americans and Canada thrown into the mix. The war was started to determine who would rule  North America.  I could see from his blank facial expression this was all going in one ear and out the other.   I in turn asked him if he knew how and when the National Anthem was composed; this fact is often the one item about the 1812 war that Americans know.  He did not.  I sensed I was not eliciting shame or stirring his interest, but boring him.

Knowing the state capitols – at least the state names – is a barometer I use when bear-baiting other’s knowledge base. When young people ask me “Do you have any questions, sir?” I reply “Yes, I do: what is the capitol of North Dakota?”  They usually don’t know.

I stopped asking when the last lad looked shocked and asked “Where’s that?”.

Mea maxima culpa. 

We are in the time of Virgo (8/21 to 9/20 or so). Virgo is ruled by the planet Mercury. I forget “why” but Virgo men are more prone than their peers in desiring perfectionism.  So it is the season for improvements. This is as good an explanation as any for my sudden surge to tidy up the house. I can think of a lot of things around the house in disarray that want attention.  I start making a list of things to do and become overwhelmed by the Augean-stable nature of the tasks so I make a cup of tea and decide I better go and do some reading.

Contemplating the state of the house leads to an agitated gloom worthy of Henrik.  It feels like every drawer needs sorting out. In the laundry room we have a bowl of keys. Nobody knows what locks these keys are supposed to open, but we don’t dare throw them out in case they are vital at opening something.  My system for papers is to file them into folders and stuff them into drawers.  Rearranging things gives me the illusion I am actually tidying up.  What I really want to tackle are the ‘big projects’,but they take too much time and money.  A patient of mine recently went into hysterics over his move into a much smaller apartment: this is forcing him to give up most of his accumulated possessions. I thought him a most fortunate fellow.

Speaking of Henrik, I received an e-mail from a Spo-fan (no doubt a Virgo) who tells me I can get rid of a ghost by politely asking it to leave, but I don’t really want him to go. I find his presence rather flattering in the same way one is charmed when a cardinal visits the bird feeder.

I don’t want an exorcist but a handy-man to paint the bedroom, repot the palm tree, and repair the hole in the laundry room roof, now two years old.

I have two email addresses: one is for ‘blogging’, the other for family and professional use.  The later is with Medscape.  Medscape recently sent a ‘reminder’ it is going out of the e-mail business and I had better act accordingly – now.  I must have missed the original eviction notice as this was news to me.  I need pack my bags toots suite and vacate the premises.  What a nuisance.

I have had the same address for many years, if not for decades.  I need to inform everyone of my change of address. I dislike mass e-mails but I may have to make an exception, for there are a lot of people tell.  I take comfort in the hopes certain spam won’t follow me to the new address.


My chief concern is moving files to somewhere else. Interesting! The first folder to worry me wasn’t “Saved letters” but “Poetry”.  This file contains the poems I have sent to others or posted on my blog.  There are nearly hundred poems.  Over the weekend I started to forward them to my new e-mail address to download them into a new file therein.


It got me thinking – what happens when this email service goes belly up?* The notion of files going from ISP to ISP like a techno-hermit crab isn’t appealing.  I better make a ‘back up’ copy or two.


I’ve decided create a blog page, titled “Poems”.  This allows Spo-fans the choice to read them or not.  I will post ~ daily until they are all posted.  I can post new ones, whenever I find one worthy of the Spo-approval for proper poetry.


*It is Yahoo! which isn’t likely to go kaputt, but one can never can tell. 

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September 2012

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