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I am not the first one who’s wondered if most of the mankind’s misery and machinations have fear at their base.*  At first glance it looks like greed drives us the most to do what we do, but look beyond the greed and you find insecurity. Most of insecurity is based on fear – fear of starvation; fear of loss; fear of the unknown; fear of the other. And most of fear – located at the ninth level as it were – is the fear of death.  Why do people fear death? Because they realize (more unconscious than not) their lives are mere parodies of what living should be. They long to quit that nasty job/marriage/town and channel Auntie Mame and live, live, LIVE!  Alas it takes courage, insight, and self-restraint to transform this way. People are also haunted by vanity viz. ‘what would THEY think” if they scuttled something so long invested? There is also some sense of Time running out and it isn’t worth changing.

Everyone knows the universal approach to the fear of death viz. hopes and beliefs of an afterlife. This often makes Life not much of an amusement park as a mere waiting room in which to keep quiet lest your number is suddenly called and you are caught with your shoes off and feet up on the community coffee table.

I think if we all lived a certain length of time, say 80 years, we would be less prone to fear of upsetting the status quo. We might kvetch 80 years of life is too short but what there is would be less fearful in my opinion. I see this in patients with terminal illness. They are far more likely than others to say “F-ck it” to the rubbish in their lives and get going on their bucket lists for knowing the amount of grains of sand left in their hourglasses.**

We are hardwired to be fearful. Our ancestors survived to make us because they backed off from strange unfamiliar things rather than running towards them curious to get a closer look at that cute looking saber-toothed tiger. Happily there are no more saber-toothed tigers but our monkey brains won’t buy it.  Nearly everything outside our comfort zone is deemed the equivalent of Attack of Triffids. It is not possible to have no fear (thems who say otherwise are liars or not to be trusted). I try to get my patients  forget ‘no fear’ but to master it. Fear (anxiety) makes a good servant but a lousy master. Most of time if they can stop ourselves from doing a 180 when facing Fear and stop to deal with it we would be better off.  Some of us may be have the courage to realize we are dying and go live Life more fully.

 

 

*Not all. Sometimes I think people are nasty simply because they are. I remember a long drawn out discussion in a history class about why the Athenians created an empire in contrary to their democratic principles. After a long-winded process someone raised his hand (oh the embarrassment!) and said ‘Because they could, that’s why”.

**Oh, that’s lovely!

There is a lot of fear running around these days. I thought I would do a series on the topic. It is not clear how many will happen. Here is the first installment.  

As I’ve aged in my profession I give out more direct succinct advice. Once upon a time I would hardly do any. This is an erroneous hangover from my days doing psychoanalysis when I kept silent for the analysand to figure things out for his or herself. Nowadays I’m more wise and/or impatient and perhaps a tad testy so I give blunt feedback. After all I am not doing psychoanalysis but fifteen med-checks. I need to get as much out as possible. 

People often come in with complaints about their awful job or unhappy marriage or how miserable they are living here in Arizona. Most of the time they aren’t really wanting asking me to fix this but to agree with them and say how awful that is. These days I respond more often than not with the modest proposal they scuttle it. “You don’t need Prozac, you need a jobectomy” I tell them or ‘How about moving back to Midwest?” or even “You’d feel happier and live longer if you two separated”. Their emotions immediately convey the joyful sense of this just before their fearful brains kick in with all the ‘Yes, but’ anxieties that keep things status quo. I always acknowledge get rid of the tedious job/mate and house would be very difficult and scary and costly.  This often seems to merely agitate but it isn’t always my job to cheerlead especially when what they are doing is folly.  

One of the sad truths about human psychology is we are more willing to keep something bad than admit it’s a wash. Worse, the more time/energy/money that’s been poured into something makes it even more anxious to stop something. Not everyone will have the insight, courage, and self-restraint to fix things given the fear of the unknown. “What do you fear?” and “What would you do if you had no fear?” are questions often asked. It at least plants seeds some of which may actually germinate and grow into action.

I feel like The Whether Man In  the book “The Phantom Tollbooth’.  He’s in greets people as they arrive to The Land of Expectations, where first stop on their journey to somewhere else. He points out most people never go beyond Expectations but it’s his job to try to nudge them on.  

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Vexed

Last night I attended The Santa Fe Opera production “Dr. Atomic” which was about the detonation of the atomic bomb. It was a profound piece.  We got to hear the scientists and military men realizing what they were doing would not only change war but the world. There is a Great History Course “ The World was never the same: Events that changed history”. The lecture series relates events that changed things for good or bad. The opera made me think of my own personal “The World was never the same”.  Here’s a few of them: 

Being gay – I remember the moment: I was six years old. I was doodling. The pictures I was drawing became more erotic and I found myself becoming aroused by their contents. I had no words at the time for what I was experiencing.  I remember feeling amazed, puzzled, and disturbed. I felt something click as if something had just fallen apart. I was not on the course I/the world thought I would take. 

Father’s sciatica  I was my high school days when Father developed a slipped disc which made him bedridden. He was in a lot of pain. Eventually this was fixed via surgery. Up until then I saw my ageless parents as all-doing and all-powerful and they would always be there. It was then I realized they were mortal; they would not always be around to guide or save me. 

Death of Grandfather  – He died suddenly in an car accident in 1976. I make it as the end of childhood; it was my first  encounter with death of a family member. 

Going to medical school  Urs Truly had all sorts of career notions: drawing for Walt Disney; music (organ);  English (whether history or literature).  I haven’t regretted my choice to emulate my pediatrician, but I sometimes wonder what life would be like if I had become a professor or musician. 

Ronald Reagan – I grew up in a Republican family. However, Mr. Reagan flipped the switch in me. I wanted to vote for what was best for the most people, not what is best just for me. The GOP wasn’t offering it at the time, so I went Independent than Democrat. I’ve been a bleeding heart liberal ever since. I am willing to vote GOP again if and when they ever offer a candidate who would do well for the average Joe. Fat chance of that. 

Meeting Someone – I figured I would live a life as  a roue with jet set living and spontaneous events and a series of lovers. in 1997 while I was away on one of these bachelor holidays and when I wasn’t looking to do so I met Someone.  Ah love. 🙂

Blogging – The decision to write on line is no small turning point in my life. Not only has it allowed me to scratch that itch to be a ‘great writer’ it opened up a network of friends. What an amazing journey this has been. 

Trying whisky – I think it was in my 40s I tried some of the brown stuff for the first time to see what all the fuss was about. This one isn’t so profound but there it is. 

Reaching 50 – I suppose this changing point isn’t as fateful as the others as if one waits long enough 50 happens.  However it changed my life from ‘making it’ to ‘finishing it’. This is the part of life Jungian psychology focuses upon. As Mary Oliver wrote: 

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? 

Indeed.  

I would enjoy hearing from you an event in your life that changed you so the world was never the same. 

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My apologies to the Spo-fans for I’ve been busy as a bee.  I writing from the faraway kingdom of Santa Fe, Land of turquoise, where I soon attend one of two operas at The Santa Fe Opera. Tonight’s opera is ‘Dr. Atomic’, which is about the development of the first atomic bomb. It starts at 830PM and goes for nearly four hours. I just hope I can stay awake. Nothing sucks more than waiting a year to go to The Santa Fe Opera only to sleep through it. I just awoke from my disco-opera nap to a cup of coffee (nasty) and I hope for the best.  It’s only 20C here which feels delicious after a week of sweltering 45C. 

Speaking of bees, Spo-fans may recall a nest of them moved into our back grill area. Some nice bee-man came on Wednesday last and killed the bastards. Apparently he first tried to move them (good luck) but these bees – apparently Africanized – weren’t having it. So they were smashed to hell and good riddance. 

It looks like we won’t have to replace the refrigerator after all for some nice fridge-man (no relation to bee-man) came on Thursday. He says  with the right parts it can be fixed. The bad news is we are going into 3 weeks now sans icebox but the good news is this may be fixed next week.  Fingers crossed.  Meanwhile the water-fellow came on Tuesday or something and he fixed the osmosis system so at least we have proper water the type that doesn’t leave an oil slick on the tea cups. 

Alas I don’t have anything erudite or witty to write but it is hoped The Muses put out during my stroll about town while I fill up my souvenir bags with unnecessary plastic objects and real simulated Native American jewelry.  

Please keep reading. I promise to put out real soon. 

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Our Inn is just around the corner from the Santa Fe Spirits Pub. Can you imagine ?

Spo-fans are asking – nay, demanding! – I write about BBQ sauce. Here it goes……

People have been barbequing since the caveman days. Alongside this ageless cuisine is the passion for some sort of sauce to go along with the mastodon steaks. Newer Spo-fans may not know Urs Truly has a long time hobby of making and collecting BBQ sauces.  I remember as a boy my father used a BBQ sauce called Woody’s*.   When it came to taste I thought it beat ketchup by a country mile. Even then I was in pursuit of ‘proper’ sauce.  I am not certain how it got into my head at a tender age  BBQ should be made, not bought** but there it is. Don Quixote-like I have been on a search for the ultimate sauce ever since.

To my childish disappointment I learned BBQ sauce isn’t some complex ineffable substance of many ingredients (usually) but a simple balance of four elements. These four ersatz Archetypes are: heat, sweet, spice, and tang. Sounds like a law firm, don’t it?  Nearly all sauces are a mixture of these for elements.

Heat < peppers, hot sauces

Sweet < honey, molasses, brown/white sugar, and syrups.

Spice < lots of lovelies

Tang < ‘umami’ things like Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, tomato products.

I have recipes to go with spicy cuisine, to ‘cover up a cheap cut of meat’, for thems who don’t like the taste of tomatoes (oh the pain!). After decades of experiments with complicated many-ingredient sauces, I learned the ones best are simple, balanced, and easy – like my men.

Mind! People get awfully queer about BBQ sauce. Go on line and boost you have ‘the best” and brace yourself for a backlash with all the subtlety of negative Youtube comments. States and regions boast their sauce is the best and don’t question it.

What “Best BBQ sauce” turns out to mean is in the same league as asking what is the ‘best wine”. The answer: it depends. I enjoy white and roses for summer sipping but when I have a hearty stew at Christmas time I want something red, tannic, and strong – like my men.

One of my first attempts in my quest for the best resulted in one a perfect harmony of the four elements. In a way this was a disappointment.  It felt like starting off on an adventure to locate Blackbeard’s treasure only to find it at the first island stop.

Over the years and trials I’ve kept a dozen recipes but here are my three favorites. For the Spo-fans interested in making some of them I suggest you follow the recipe precisely, and then alter the next batch to taste.

 

#1 – Urspo BBQ Sauce – My favorite and best for the right balance of heat, sweat, spicy, and tang. 

2 cups ketchup    (l use Hunt’s; it has a bit more umami than does Heinz).

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

2T Molasses

2T Dijon mustard

1.5 T  Tabasco sauce

1 T c hili powder

½ t  freshly ground pepper.

2 t  liquid smoke

1 T horseradish – optional 

Mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Heat =until bubbling. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for half an hour.
To sweeten it: add more molasses.
To make it hotter: add more Tabasco or replace it with a hotter sauce (I like Melinda’s).
To give it more tang: increase the Worcestershire.

For Someone, I often add 1T horseradish for he loves it so.

 

#2 – South Carolina Mustard Sauce – this one has no tomato. 

1 cup of yellow mustard 

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 t. black pepper

1 T. chili powder

1/2 t. cayenne pepper

1/2 t. salt

1 T. butter

Whisk together in a saucepan all ingredients but the butter.  Bring to a slight boil; turn off heat. Stir in the butter. Let cool to room temperature.

 

#3 – Zin Sauce – this one is not ‘hot; it has a dominant tangy/umami taste for thems not wanting something too hot/spicy. 

1 cup of zinfandel wine

2 small cans of tomato paste

1 t cumin

1 t crush bay leaf

1 t pepper

1 t paprika 

1 t dry mustard

3.5 t chili powder

2 t sugar

1 t salt 

Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for thirty minutes. Turn off heat;  give 10 minutes more to cool down.

Spo-fans are quite welcome to share with me their favorite recipes.

 

*I don’t know if this BBQ sauce still exists. The images from the internet look nothing like the Woody’s bottle I recall from the 60s. I would be keen to get hold of some if only to see if it resembles anything from my childhood.

 

**Someone likes a store-bought sauce named Stubb’s BBQ. I find it near blasphemy to have corn syrup in my sauce.  It is a sweetener that adds no flavor but sweet.  No fun this.

TBDHSR was pleased as Punch to see yesterdays’ little lecture on Jung-stuff got enough comments to leave my digits as they are. I allowed to write on BBQ sauce and the Archetypes important to the Feminine. Spo-fans keen on the ‘time I almost got thrown in jail” story should not hold their breath. 

We were invited last night to ‘gay dinner party’ (as my grandmother used to call them) by some bar buddies. There were four couples; they were well over four week.  I was pleased to see our hosts not only had place cards at table but they separated the couples as well. My dinner partner was a fellow from Ireland named Aiden; I hope I didn’t drive him to distraction with all my questions. It was a marvelous party; I couldn’t have liked it more. To finish this oh-so-proper past time I insisted Someone and I write a handwritten thank you note. It made me feel good to see proper manners are not completely dead. 

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This week we see highs of 45C or more. The assurance ‘it’s a dry heat’ carries no weight at these temperatures.  It’s hard enough already to keep my office cool what with its two glass walls facing south/east.  I plan to show up at work in the lightest of clothing – cut offs if I could get away with it. Thank goodness for job security that I can push the envelope as it were.  

The fridge man comes tomorrow to tell us if the LG refrigerator can be repaired. I am familiar enough with ‘sunk cost bias” not to put good money after bad if it’s too bloody expensive. Yesterday we bought a little ‘dorm room’ fridge to tide us over.   The water man (or someone like him) shows latter this week. I would like to have proper water again. Tea made with tap water has some sort of oil slick on top of it most unappetizing. 

If we can get through this water-less, ice-less, bee-infested week (yes they are still in the back) we can get out of town for our annual trek to Santa Fe for the opera.  Let us hope so.  

Spo-fans took umbrage to last week’s blog post “Entries not happening” at the list of no-no topics. I think TBDHSR is shocked in the same way Hair Furor is over the reaction to his Helsinki debacle. Unlike Putin’s Poodle the Board is OK at admitting to a bungle – especially if they smell profit and comments to do so.  This morning I see the sheep skin of forbidden topics was expunged of some of its less controversial concepts. A Spo-fan (the dear!) wants more on Jungian psychology.  Sven, Bjorn, et. al. reluctantly said “Ja”, so here it goes. Please write comments of questions and appreciation, otherwise I will lose my cuticles. 

Psyche has many complexes and archetypes. However they are not ‘equal’ in importance.  Some are very vital while others only become so depending on the situation. Think of your spice rack: the pepper and the paprika are frequently used while fines herbes not so much but oh! when you want it it’s the right one to utilize (especially on scrambled eggs I may add).

There are four main archetypes that make up masculinity . In a balanced masculine well-being  these are a) conscious b) relatively equal in power and c) not darkened by Shadow energy.  One of my long ago teachers Robert Miller wrote a seminal book on the topic “The King, The Warrior, The Magician, and The Lover.”  He said it better than I, so if you want more on the matter, I recommend it. It’s a good read.

The King

The King is the leader; he has the libido (psychic energy) to make the decision. Apart from the cliche of an actual monarch, King energy is seen/needed in Presidents, CEOs, bosses, and team or group leaders.  This is a serious role not to be taken likely. It has a lot of responsibility. Positive King energy involves justice and courage. He also accepts responsiblity when things go bad. Whoever said ‘The Buck stops here” was spot-on. A captain choosing to go down with the ship and the man of the house willing to die assure his family’s survival both channel King energy.  King is often seen as the only element of the masculine psyche, because King energy is Power.  Masculinity is NOT the same as power, despite eons of human existence.  King energy is the one most easily aligned and corrupted by Shadow energy.   We all know Shadow-King energy: the Tyrant, the Dictator, the Baby-Boss.  

The Lover

This archetype is often neglected, considered unnecessary or even doubted as existing in the Male Psyche. Lover is the passion, the zest, the thumos of love, life, and work.  Lover is in touch with the erotic and the sensual. Musicians, artists, and loving spouses and fathers are charged with Lover energy. In my experience gay men are often more comfortable and in touch with The Lover than are straight men, for the latter fear The Lover = Femininity.   

Lover with Shadow makes for playboy lifestyles, unfaithfulness, and vapid sexuality.  James Bond comes to mind, as does the man on dating apps having meaningless multiple sex acts.  Sometime the alliance goes in the opposite way towards suppression of desire, sex, and emotion.  

The Warrior

If The Lover is often neglected The Warrior is often banished, as society doesn’t feel comfortable with him. True Warrior fights for righteousness and justice and protection of country and family.  History if full of examples of Warriors such as Gandhi and Dr. King Jr.  Victor Lazlo in “Casablanca” is another example of Warrior.  Notice none of these examples are cliche macho, muscle Rocky dudes?  Warrior energy is not about brute strength but the will.   Warrior fights; he doesn’t rule. He works for the King. 

Shadow Warrior is sometimes called the Soldier.  Brutish fighting without quality.  He is the thug and he is violent. He doesn’t know when to choose his battles but sees everything as fight or die. As history is full of men doing poor Warrior stuff it is understandable women are wary of Masculine Warrior.  Warrior is often erroneously equivocated as anger, and it must be squashed or curtailed.  Boys in ‘rough play’ are asked not to do so. In their early attempts at art and writing they are frowned upon not to draw or write such violent things. Society has a lot of repair work to do on this archetype.  Like all archetypes they need space; to deny them is to risk havoc. 

The Magician

OK I hear some of you say. I can see masculinity needs to lead, fight, and love properly, but why the need for hocus-pocus? My first flippant response is Jungian psychology likes things in ‘fours’ so something needed to take the last slot hohoho.  I admit its been a while since I’ve studied the reason why this archetype completes the group (go read Dr. Moore’s book why don’t you).  For sake of getting on with it, I will go with ‘it’s there for a good reason’.  

Shamans, priests, and scientists share Magician energy which is about discovering the Secrets.  They don’t rule and they don’t want to, as they are busy studying and exploring Nature and the Universe.  The other three archetypes are about functioning; this one is about getting in touch with something ‘more’ to make it all meaningful.  King plans; Lover creates; Warrior makes it so – and Magician advises the others with Sage advice on how to do their jobs well and with elan.  Doctors and therapists are strong with Magician energy.  It is no coincidence on the shelf at my office are jars labeled “Eye of Newt” and “Fairy Dust” . My patients are sort of hoping for something just that. When they come to me they are not asking me to boss them or love them but to discover what makes them tick – Magician energy indeed.  As an aside,  the evolution of physician to mere ‘providers’ removes Magician energy from doctors I think not in a good way.

Negative Magician energy shows up in men who manipulate Nature and others for nefarious and self-serving ends. The bad advisor to the duped monarch is a common theme in books and movies – and in life. 

So there you have it.  A man’s path in Self-growth and masculinity requires him to be in touch with all four archetypes in a conscious and balanced psyche. One or two of these will always dominate* but the others can not be neglected. Shadow elements are always there; be mindful they don’t pollute and take over. 

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*I am predominately Lover and Magician, which bodes well in my occupation.  🙂 

satan-display-smartphone-collage-sculpture-russia-july-horned-demon-cellphone-58384649Demons of the worse sort are in a cabal to make life difficult. There’s been a catalog of calamities at La Casa de Spo.  The repairman came on Tuesday. He quickly threw up his hands and said the money needed to repair the LG fridge is bad enough it isn’t worth fixing and we should stronger consider replacing the white elephant. It looks like we have to swallow our wormwood and go by a new one – this time a Maytag thank you very much.  For a week we’ve had no refrigeration. We also don’t have proper drinking water: the reverse osmosis water system gave up the ghost just before the money-hole icebox broke down. We have only Phoenix tap water to drink and there is no ice to cool it.

Both cars needed long overdue tune ups and both cost a pretty penny as well. Hector the Landscape Hombre came by and he did a fine job tidying up the yard but he alerted us we have a sizeable and fairly aggressive bee colony in our backyard. Now we have to get an exterminator.

No ice, no food, no water – and a bee invasion. Oh the pain.

At work The RN (only a few months old at the clinic) gave two months’ notice. As a consequence I shall inherit all her cases. The latest receptionist gave notice as well.  People come and go so quickly here.

I try to be positive. This weekend Someone and I are going out to buy a ‘cube’ fridge to tide us over until we figure out what to do with the LG. At work, it is better to get transfer patients than new ones (less work). At home it’s too hot to go outside anyway so The Swarm isn’t too disrupting.  It’s nice to have clean and operable cars on the eve of some road trips.  I believe the osmosis repairman shows up next week, although I get confused which repairman is coming when and what for.  I look forward to the day having ice and decent drinking water, enough to make a stiff drink – better make that a double.

The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections has made it crystal clear there are certain topics on which I am not to blog. These ten no-no rules are on a sheep hide, written in blood, hanging in my office, as a constant reminder don’t go there. Some of these topics TBDHSR fears if I put into prose it would lead to the loss of my livelihood while others could cause Spo-fans running away out of sheer boredom.  I think some of their fears overrated and unfounded but they’ve taken a ‘Don’t question me’ approach on this so that’s that.  Sometimes it is not worthwhile to argue with The Bosses, especially when most of them are expert at removing toenails.  Here’s the list to tease and titillate you.

1. Patient gossip. All day long people come to me with all sorts of interesting things, most would make quite amusing reads. I strongly suspect more than a few of my patients regularly read this blog so no way Jose am I going to touch this tar-baby.  

2. My wild and zany escapades through Cupid’s grove. These vignettes are quite dated but they are rawther remarkable and various. Ah youth. The consequence of hanging out my dirty laundry (and International Male clothes items) for all to see would result in WordPress removing my clean rating.  Oh the embarrassment. 

3.  I have great knowledge on English history but this is considered poison at the blog-office by you-know-who.

4. Someone’s previous significant others.   Enough said.

5. The problems of my less than stellar organ systems.  Dammit after a day of listening to everyone else’s ailments, it would be nice to have someone listen to my aches and pains for once – but they won’t let me. 

6. Several rawther disgraceful non-sexual shenanigans from my youth. When I think on them I never can determine whether to laugh or cry. 

7. A treatise on the role of the more important archetypes in Jungian psychology in regards to male psychology. (see #3 above).

8. My various recipes for BBQ sauces.

9. Politics. There is enough pundits on line as it is and TBDHBR fears direct diatribes about Hair Furor will bring to the blog more trolls than a souvenir shop is Oslo.  

10. That time when they tried to throw me in jail. 

Repairmen are much on my mind these days. [1] Yesterday I took a break from my efforts to resuscitate the now-defunct fridge to take a dip in the backyard cement pond. [2] It’s hard to float about the pool in when all around me there are ‘work to be done’ tasks. I hope to hear soon from Hector, the groundskeeper. Hector pops up from time to ask if we need any work done. The answer is always yes. As he does this impromptu (and wants to be paid in cash) the chances Someone is at home with sufficient funds is low; he often tells Hector no, some other time. We agree Hector would get more work out of us if he came regularly but no such luck. We could get a new grounds keeper – one who comes weekly and accepts major credit cards. Alas, getting Someone to change services (or have cash on hand for Hector) is no small task. An obstinate adherence to an obstinate custom is tedious. [3]

Arrangements for repairmen are a complicated endeavor at the House of Spo. It’s easy for me to announce to The Boss Man I ain’t coming in it tomorrow but this has consequences: 20-30 patients suddenly have their long-awaited appointment pulled out from under them, causing lamentations loud enough to resemble an orchestra of scorched cats. Then there is the dreadful anticipation whether or not the fellow will show up at the time expected or at all.  [4]

On the positive note, Aaron The Pool Guy comes regularly like  on Fridays to tend the cement pond. Every time I go into its limpid task-free waters I send up into the cosmos a prayer of thanksgiving for him and his industry.

Let’s see if ‘Mr. Appliance’ sends us an Aaron or another Hector  – or worse, Godot.

You all will be the first to know.

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[1] I use the word repairman rather than repair person as I have never seen a female repairperson. I find this a bit odd as women are very good at rolling up their sleeves to fix messes especially ones made by the men-folk.

[2] It’s been bit ‘cool’ this last week; the pool has gone back to being a bit on the chilly side. It is amazing how a large amount of water takes so long to warm up but dissipates its warmth literally overnight.

[3] My best bud Charles Dickens said this about the bureaucracy that was thwarting fixing Westminster Palace in the 1830s. While members of Parliament endlessly bickered about what to do and how to do it, the building caught fire and burned down. There’s a metaphor here.

[4] This week is probably not a good time to point out to Someone I spent all weekend cleaning the house (and none too well) and I want to hire someone to do this.

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