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I apologize for the lull in postings. Upon returning to work I found the usual pile of papers and problems I see for being away for a week. There is nothing bad about it, it is merely time-consuming to get caught up.


Last weekend I was amazed I could not fit into my recently crafted Spo-shirt. Did it shrink?  This morning I got on the scale. To my horror I weighed 82kg, which is not good. This is the highest I’ve weighed in ages. I was 79kg at the start of the year. That’s diet that is. Time to diet – and just in time for Lent.

Despite being a doctor (and a closet nutritionist) I struggle with the all so common problem of willpower when it comes to food. When it comes to weight struggles, there is nothing unique about me. I rationalize. I allow myself exceptions to an austere intake. If food is there, I will eat it. I succumb to late night cravings.

So what’s to be done?  The answers are simple: I need to eat less, cut out bad foods, and exercise more. This is hardly glamorous or quick but it is the formula with the most data for working best in the long run.

Having made this pact with myself, the demons of diet are already flying in to lead me astray. At work some villain brought in bun-like objects as it is Shrove Tuesday or something. There is a container of leftover valentine candy. Their pink and white and yellow front have sinister sayings on them such as “EAT ME” and “YOU WANT THIS”. Oh the pain.

In March I may blog about my dieting efforts from time to time – much to the chagrin of The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections, who see such entries as poison at the box-office. But I know I will do better if I am held accountable by others.

Back to the usual zany and erudite entries anon…..

Spo-fans are perhaps wondering if I feel any different for being married. Answer: not really.  Perhaps it is the allergies that are getting in the way. We’ve been hiking this week, exposing myself to desert winds and now I have a rather frequent cough and sniffles. I should probably just stay put at poolside and let the apricity of the February sunshine hit my tight chest and loosen things up. I have no lack of things to read and I haven’t touched my cryptic crosswords. That sounds a plan, that and an allergy pill.

The end of a Palm Spring holiday always makes me a bit pensive about where life is going to go afterwards. I don’t think I will get into any today, as it is early and I have not had my tea.  Besides the drive home is 4-5 hours* and there is nothing to do on the road but think deep thoughts about Life, The Universe, and Everything.

When on holiday I like to buy things; it is part of the vacation pleasure. These items are usually knick-knacks rather than major purchases.

I did not buy much this week however. I have some books and a new pill box, made of wood (bah to plastic!). Someone set severe limits on my desire to purchase yet another mug. Our kitchen bins are overflowing with coffee mugs already. However, we are out of soap at home, so I bought these lovelies:


I can not remember the last time I purchased any soap. At the end of a hotel stay  I wrap up the barely-used hotel-provided cakes and bring them home. I haven’t traveled much lately for we are fresh out. Now we have enough soap to clean The Aegean Stables. The bars are colorful, bulky, and produce a lovely lather – like my men. They all have interesting aromas so the nose gets a treat as well as my dirty backside.

After a year of utilitarian bathing these dear little soap cakes will make bathing a treat. I might even do so more than my usual once a month routine.


*Five hours if I drive; four hours if Someone does the driving.

First of all I want to thank Spo-fans far and wide, young and old, gay and straight (and thems in-between) for the congratulations posted on yesterday’s entry. You all are dears.

Now, what to post?

Curious things around the house!

Note: to appreciate this one, you should read the recent “Urspo gets plunged”.

Shawn, AKA Fearsome Beard, AKA as The Best Man, gave us a wedding gift.



Now what could this be? 


He’s not telling ! 


Behold ! A plunger! For the wedding night! 


Fearsome, always the thoughtful one, gave us two so we won’t fight. 

As a bonus, they came with tiaras, labeled “His” and “His”. 


You can title this one. Words fail me. 


Yes, you read that right. Someone and I got hitched today.

Last month we passed year #20, which got us thinking about our upcoming Palm Springs holiday. Do let’s get married, we said, while we were there. It seemed timely and our friends would be there as witnesses. There was also an element of doing so before Hair Furor tries to say we can’t. So we did.

I’ve sometimes wondered if and when I would marry. Once upon a time I had a cliche version in my mind but by adolescence I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I sensed if I did get someday get hitched it would be with someone and somewhere of which I will have no idea. The Fates (always ones for wry humor) made it with Someone, in Palm Springs, and with a bunch of blogger buddies. Ron, Pat, Shawn (Mr. Fearsome Beard himself!), and Tim and Larry were our groomsmen –  or Greek chorus depending upon your point of view. We kept the announcement a secret as we didn’t want anyone to feel obliged to get us anything.* My parents, brothers, and cousins all sent their congratulations; I told them a few days ago so they wouldn’t get the news via social media.

The ceremony took place in a California court house. It was pleasant, brief, and touching, like my men. We wore matching bowties and boutonnieres. Our wedding rings are from Vancouver, with Pacific Northwest Raven motifs.  Neither one of us broke down into hysterics.**   We didn’t say vows, although I had the following ready:

“And do you, Someone, promise to make whatever mutually satisfactory accommodations necessary to reduce tensions and arrive at whatever previously agreed-upon goals both parties have harmoniously set in the appropriate planning sessions?”


The mighty groomsmen. Well over four feet.  There was Fearsome Beard  (The Best Man), Tim and Larry (our witnesses), Ron T. (the best wedding photographer we’ve ever had), and Pat the foreign dignitary from Canada (the dear!) 

As a bonus, I became witness to a young couple who were getting married right after us. Adrienna and Oscar, bless them! They have no formal clothes, rings, or witnesses. I filled in when they asked and I took their photos.

Seeing other people’s wedding photos is a bit boring for thems who did not attend, so I will be brief. Happily, everyone took photos (Ron videoed it all from start to end). No doubt others will post their own versions of this connubial Roshomon.


Oh, there is a lot more to tell, but perhaps a wedding should be a private thing not for the internet. Or not. I have enough blog-fodder for several more entries!


*I told Mr. Fearsome ahead of time as well, so he would not leave Palm Springs as he had planned which was just before the time of the ceremony. Fatefully he became our Best Man. He also made a sweet wedding parcel. I will post it in a future entry of “Curious Things Around the House”.

**Someone got a bit weepy.

Indolent holidays ought to be ideal for thinking deep thoughts but apparently not in Palm Springs. Perhaps it is the fault of the libations. Urs Truly gets distracted easily; it is difficult to conjure up deep philosophical ponders while surrounded by gentleman is various stages of dress.

I may have just brought the wrong books. “Plato’s Republic” may be postponed for another time and place. It is a good and thoughtful read but not here. It is sort of like wearing a three piece business suit when all around are speedos.

The second tome on my person is on the history of poison, both in its chemical and botanical forms and how throughout history mankind used them for malevolent and blameless intentions. No one seems to want to talk to me. I fear someone wanting to make idle conversation with me sees the cover and deduces I’m up to no good, plotting something devilish.

Yesterday we formed a party to go to the local bookstore. I need another ‘to read’ book like a hole in the head but I like to support local bookstores.  I bought a novel by Ethan Mordden, the title of which escapes me. This is more apropos for Palm Springs reading. It is light; it’s queer; it has a recognizable name – all just right to lure unsuspecting fellow lodgers into conversation and so on.

As I write this I realize my hymn to transcendent thinking as devolved into how to pick up guys using books. Oh the embarrassment. I think Plato covers this sort of degeneracy in a later chapter but I haven’t gotten that far.

Wickedness. Profligate past times. Randy ronyons of the worst type.  If there is any of this around me I am not aware or at least not invited. The resort we are staying is having a turning of the guard today as the weekend holiday guests are packing up to flyaway home to make room for the next set of savants.

The cold and damp weekend curtailed any outdoor escapades. As mentioned if there were any indoor sports I didn’t get my ticket.  It was all for the best for Urs Truly was a bit temulant yesterday and in no shape to do so. Yesterday Larry made lovely cosmos. I signed my own death warrant drinking such before noon and sure enough I was cold as a mackerel by nine. Oh the embarrassment.

Last night while everyone else was no doubt calling out for food and the men who deliver such things, I was calling for a plumber. The loo backed up. Our fabulous resort room is chock-full of amenities but has no plunger.  I wondered the premises in search of help. The hot tub was full of fellows discussing philosophy or something. They saw my vexation and asked what was the matter. I explained my predicament. They advised in chorus for me to “Call 69”. This was a puzzlement; such calls in Palm Springs normally don’t produce plumbing products*. Sure enough: the after-hour emergency instructions said to dial 69. I sheepishly picked up the phone and did just that. I immediately got a nice sounding man who didn’t first ask for my credit card number but inquired into my problem. I explained the situation; I needed to get plunged, real bad. The man seemed puzzled by this request as if he had never heard of such or this was not the type of emergency he was prepared to hear. He instructed me to go back to my room, leave the door open, and he would be there right away.  Normally such instructions elicit palpitations of anticipation but not this time. I worried some other fellow would see the open door as an invitation to enter for a game of Uno. How does one explain to said gentleman-caller I am waiting for the plumber or somebody like him and he can’t come in?  These sort of etiquette problem was generally skipped over in the Emily Post books. Happily this awkward what-if did not materialize. The man showed up with a large plunger, the type I wanted at the moment. He came in and we plunged and plunged (he gave; I received) and hey presto! we were done quick as a quarter-note! He was soon out the door and on to his next job. It was over so fast but I was satisfied.

This morning I realized my hero had left his tool behind, either from worry I may need it again or in his euphoria he had forgotten it. Since I didn’t catch his name I am not sure how to return it. I suppose I could go around the resort and knock on doors and ask were you the man who plunged me last night? Or perhaps not. I hope not I don’t have to call 69 any time soon.  At least not for this reason.


*Well, not the type I was interested in having at the moment.

Greetings from Palm Springs.

It’s a cold morning what with gray skies and temperatures in the 50s. Would I had packed better. I sit at the breakfast tables, which are out of doors, where I am shivering a bit in my sweatshirt. The tea pot is a comfort and I am tempting to crawl into it.
In my chilled state I look out onto the pool area on a fascinating vision. There are two gentleman during their matutinal exercises. One fellow wears only a small bathing suit and the other wears nothing at all.  The former is standing in the middle of the lawn doing the most extraordinary yoga poses. His bare chest is well muscled and his thighs are chisled. His moves are like ballet. The latter has the a less stellar physique. However he is swimming in a regular rhythm back and forth back and forth which is mesmerizing.

The two men, absorbed in their activities, make a satisfying portrait.

Neither one however is making me feel any warmer. I am not certain which one makes me feel colder, the one on the lawn or the man in the water. I had to call it quits and move my morning tea cup back into the room (#44) and try to warm myself up.

I don’t know when I became such a baby when it comes to the cold. Perhaps ten years of living with temps above 90 does that to a person; it thins the blood. Maybe it is age. Tots seem impervious to cold but elders loose heat at their extremities at an alarming clip. I keep thinking to retire to Canada but if a cool day is enough to evoke such shivers then I should think again.

It promises warmer weather this week and sunshine too. Until then I am in a layers and hot beverages. Perhaps I will do some indoor yoga, provided I can bend over in all my clothing.

Walking the dog

Harper, sensing trouble, has kept to her kennel. I daresay she knows we are leaving on a trip and she is going to doggie-day care. Perhaps it is the weather that has made her morose. After a week of continuous sunshine we woke this morning to pouring-down rain. She hates the rain.

This morning we managed to get in a walk before the incessant rain began. Dog walks are usually a peripatetic stop-and-sniff affair, but when it began to sprinkle she picked up the pace and made a bee-line for home. At least we got in a trot prior to going to the pound. Harper went right back to bed which roused Someone from his slumber. Wet dogs do that.

I will miss our daily dog walks when I am in California. I like the evening walks best for they settle my digestion. Harper senses this and becomes excited when we clear the table. Evening strolls are shorter than the the morning ones.  It doesn’t seem to matter; Harper likes walks of any length.  Most of the time I sense she only wants a walk so she can get to the end: a treat.  Harper likes her treats; like the walks, they come in two types. We have beefy-sticks and ersatz bacon strips. Both are eaten with relish.

I think by now Harper has the lay of the neighborhood that if she should become lost she could make it home from memory. Or so I hope. As the days grow longer the walks do as well; I hope to expand our territory this year.

The veterinarian says Harper could stand to loose some weight so longer walks more frequently should help – as would cutting out the treats. I don’t think she will like this but diets are hard.

Anyway it is off to Petsmart for her and Palm Springs for us.  I hope to catch up on blog reads this weekend.

This blog entry is inspired by the death of Roger, at 3rd and long.

“And I, brother John Clyn, a monk from Kilkenny, have written in this book the notable events which happened in my time, for I saw for myself, or have learned them from men who deserve to be believed.  So that these notable events should not be lost from the memory of future generations, I, seeing these bad things, and die whole world surrounded by evil, wrote down what I heard and investigated; and I leave parchment for my work to be continued, in case any man can escape this pestilence and continue the work I began.”

This quotation is from the time of The Great Mortality, commonly called “The Black Plague” of 1347-352.  This monk saw the world he knew literally dying.  Whole villages were dropping dead and civilization was coming to its end.  He writes with the resignation death would soon come for him. At the end of his entry, he leaves room on the page. I like he is thoughtful so about his readers. I also like the sand-grain-size hope perhaps someone will live to carry on the journal.  This grim bit of history has always fascinated me; perhaps I am haunted by him. How responsible is it for the living to carry on the work of the dead? 

In the decade-plus years of blogging I have seen the end of countless blogs. Most times the authors seem to simply lose interest and stop writing. They do this without word of warning or explanation. I drop by from time to time in hope but I usually stop after six months when I recognize they are not coming back.  Once in a while I know the reason is the author has died. Someone (usually a relative) comes on to write a note to tell the readers the author has died.

Most of the time when I realize a blog is kaput I stop going and these are forgotten. Sometimes while editing my old entries I see a comment that makes me recall an old blogger. I press on the link and I am back to a place I haven’t visited or remembered in years.  There it is, sitting there like a souvenir of a holiday long ago forgotten.

However there are some defunct blogs I have bookmarked for me to revisit from time to time.  These are more like virtual gravestones. I can drop by and read an old entry.  They remind me of saved old letters written by deceased aunts and grandmothers. 

I wonder what would become of Spo-reflections if I were to suddenly die. I fret Spo-fans would be in a lurch as to what happened. I plan to prepare for such an event, for I don’t want people wondering where did I go all of a sudden. The late Roger and his quick demise prompts me to finish my editing. I want my blog published on paper lest I croak or WordPress suddenly pulls up stakes etc.

I don’t plan on dying anytime soon; I hope for years if not decades of scribblings to come. But you never can tell.


The week before the winter holiday is notorious for being jam-packed and fun-filled with excessive work demands and at-home tasks. Paperwork normally put off until weekend must be concluded by Friday evening, prior to my departure.  At home the place is in desperate need of tidying before the out-of-town guests arrive. And then there is the packing. It’s rawther exhausting, this sort of week, but I am used to them.  All the same, they make for long days and no time to do fun things like read and write blogs.*

We pick up Larry and Tim (fine fellows both well over four feet) on Saturday; there will be four of us for the drive to Palm Springs. Someone points out trunk-space will be limited so please pack accordingly. Fat chance of that.  I like to show off my fashion-ware on these week-long callithumps. Imagine showing up and wearing the same shirts? It’s unthinkable. “Oh, I love that shirt, I never tire of seeing it.” Oh the pain!

I tend not to pack light. I want my tech-gadgets, proper tea-things, and a bottle of two of good whisky (no rubbish, no hyphen). Thanks to Kindle, I don’t have as many books to bring. I could get by with two trousers, one long the other short. 

So – tonight after work I will do my preliminary packing to see if all I want to take fits into one carry-on suitcase. Would I had Mary Poppin’s carpet-bag or Dr. Who’s Tardis!  Perhaps I should pack a half-week’s worth of duds and use a laundromat or better yetL a laundry service.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful with a whippersnapper in white who is willing to wash my woolens? **


*This one is being written in piece-meal between appointments and during the no-shows.



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