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This fine little object is my work buddy. I’m certain it has a precise if not too imaginative name, but I call it ‘The Clicking Device”.

In the bad old days (last month) if I were to write a prescription of a ‘controlled substance” nature, I had to either print it out on special paper or fax it to pharmacy, for I could not send it over the internet. All day long The Wonder Receptionist would print things for me to sign. Afterwards she would call the patients to come in to the office and pick them up. Even the most stable of patients had to trek in once a month to pick up prescriptions. A drag for all. Now that I have the software. I get to send such substance- scripts over the ether.

As they say in Monty Python “And there was much rejoicing”.

The Clicking Device is the grand finale in a procedure with more passwords than a Dan Brown novel. After I finish writing the prescription and entering the codes and passwords I press The Clicking Device. It magically reveals a randomly generated six-digit number which I enter and Bob’s your uncle! off it goes to CVS or Walgreens etc.

Someone assures me such random code generating devices are quite common when he was in banking. If some nasty hacker got into my medical system he could not finalize the prescription without the latest number.

I am mildly amused to see what number comes up when TCD is pressed. There are six numerals, 0-9, so any specific number has a one in a million chance of showing up. An as exercise in mathematics I plan to figure out the odds of getting a number with some meaning. These include: numbers with all with one digit (say all 7s) or today’s date or my birthday or a sequence such as 456789 – that sort of number.  I also fancy figuring out how long it will take to see one of these numbers pops up.

With practice I now can pull up a patient’s chart, renew the Rx, and send it out in less than thirty seconds. However, I need to be careful because if I bungle the electronic health record has apoplexy; it does not like mistakes. It shuts down and I have to wait The Clicking Device generates a new number, which feels a very long time indeed when you are trying to renew a dozen scripts before the next patient shows up.

It all reminds me of the cartoon with the caption “Give Alice some pencils and she will stay happy for ours”.



Last week when we got married we gave each other matching gold rings. We had them made by a Pacific Northwest Native American artist in Vancouver. On them is engraved “Raven Stealing the Light”. I am thrilled to have it of course, but it frightens the dickens out of me as I may lose it.  This fear is not unfounded. I tend to lose everything in time. I’ve had several rings in my life and they all have disappeared. Someone is quite severe with me about this; I am to mind my ring’s whereabouts. They were quite expensive and would not be easily replaced.

A week later it is still around. So far so good.

I have always worn a hematite ring on my left hand, so wearing a ring is old hat. Ironically it is Someone who is having troubles keeping it on (he’s worn a ring for awhile but on the right hand rather). Today he misplaced his for an hour but I said nothing.

I suppose I could keep it on 24-7 but I find I don’t like to shower with it on, lest the soapy water loosen it from my person. I take it off at night and I always place it in the shallow ring bowl on the dresser.

I went to the gym to lift weights. Fearing it would be scratched or marred from handing the barbells, I took it off and put it in the zipped pocket pouch of my gym bag. I was rather nervous to do so; after a week it felt odd to be without it.

Today I discovered my golden band has writing on the inside. I suspect it is the signature of the goldsmith but I wonder if the fine script is Haida for “One ring to rule them all” or something sinister. Perhaps it wants to slip off my finger and find its way back to Vancouver.  It’s a morbid thought but it could happen. Funny how my golden ring doesn’t conjure up emotions of wedded bliss so much as visions of Mordor.


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. 


My cousins (the dears!) sent me this bowl from their late mother’s estate. It was our grandfather’s. I have not seen it since the 70s. I had forgotten all about it but when it came out of the box I instantly remembered it. A flood of memories came out of the bowl like a genie from its lamp.

I can still see Grandfather’s den with its wooden panels and artifacts. These could have been from anywhere, but I imagined them from someplace magical like Oz or Narnia or Middle-Earth. As you sat in Grandfather’s large red leather chair to your right on the light stand stood this shiny bowl. It is of the Art Deco style, made of stainless steel perhaps. I never knew the story where he got it. I was more intrigued to know its contents, for in it was candy.



There was nothing exquisite about the sweets. Grandfather went for the ‘old lady’ types of candy, such as jelly beans, spice drops, and little chocolate dots with white spots which cracked when you bit down on them. As I never saw anyone buy or put candy into the bowl, there was a belief the sweets just appeared by magic. It was from this mysterious bowl I first encountered candy corn. I thought candy corn strictly a Halloween thing but finding some in the bowl in May seemed a sort of miracle, like finding a snowdrift in the heat of August.

Back then the sweets were oh so delicious. Did they make better tasting candy then I wonder or is it a false memory, coloured by time?

My cousins tactually packed the bowl with a bag of gumdrops.



It is quite a delight to hold it again, extract a sweet, and remember…..


One of the many pleasures of going home last holiday was rummaging through various boxes and drawers trying to find something only to find something else. The Brothers Spo discovered all sorts of sundries and bricolages that haven’t seen daylight in decades. Perhaps you have found similar; ancient things that immediate evoke instant memories when discovered even though you’ve forgotten all about them.

When Brother #2 and I were boys, our grandparents would traveled and when they returned they brought us hats, kimonos, helmets, and other wearing apparel. I remember receiving a bullfight costume from Spain, a Chinese get up that no proper 1960s Communist would be caught wearing, and fezzes from Morrocco.*

My favorite found were the Bavarian hats brought to us from a trip to Munich. We had a look-see in the family photo album and lo! There they was the original! :


Mein Bruder und ich in unseren Hüten.

There is nothing more amusing than donning chapeaus that haven’t seen daylight for nearly fifty years. They gave us great pleasure to wear.

Alas, we couldn’t find the lederhosen, which is a pity, but perhaps for the best. I daresay they wouldn’t fit anymore.


Mein Bruder und ich JETZT in unseren Hüten.  

Viel Spannend!**

*When the fezzes were pulled out of their boxes, the nephew’s eyes widened with the radiance of a brilliant sunrise. They each took one home on the axiom “Fezzes are cool”. I dare say they thought these the best Christmas presents, surpassing all others – including the Spo-shirts I made them.

**That’s German for Jolly good fun !


Visiting the folk’s home has been a frolic, but also full of nostalgia. I can’t open a drawer without finding some lost item or knickknack unseen for decades. I found Brother #3’s baby pillow and #2’s books. While rummaging through the shelf above the stove (looking for some matches) I came across this item:


This little bunny mug was my first ‘big boy’ cup. I must have received it when I was about four. I have not seen it in maybe fifty years. It is one of those things if you asked me directly I would have no memory of such, but upon laying eyes on the cup, I instantly recalled it. I asked Mother if there was some sort of story behind it. Perhaps the cup was an heirloom from some distant relation or had been purposely chosen among a myriad of mugs to be my special sipping mug.  All she could remember was one of her friends (she didn’t know which) gave it to me as a when she mentioned I was old enough to handle such.  She remembered too it was the receptacle out of which I drank cocoa. I would not use anything else.  Sometimes out of whimsy I had some Campbell’s Chicken Noodle (or Star) soup. Then I was too young for tea; she did not remember bunny mug being used for such.

Considering I drop and break everything I own (given enough time), the intact mug is a sort of miracle.

Needless to say I got all warm and runny inside over the notion Mother had saved it.

Throughout the holiday weekend I was Tea-master to wit I continually made tea to serve the troops. They all got china cups and saucers, but I drank from my bunny mug. I was pleased as punch.

Mother thinks I should take the mug back to AZ, but I think not. I like the notion of it staying ‘in the past’, here in MI, waiting for me when I next visit. Using it was a pleasant perk to a splendid Christmas weekend.

Do Spo-fans have a precious childhood object? Do tell.


*Actually she saves nearly everything. She gets this from her Mother’s side . It’s all that Nordic blood, I dare say.  

UPDATE! I found these two bowls. How funny is memory. I remember the mug but don’t recall the bowls. Mother remembers we ate our cereal from them, Brother #2 and I. 




Last night was the annual office holiday party. We did the annual white elephant exchange. The rules of the ritual: pick a prize, open it and decide to keep it or ‘steal’a previously opened prize.  Some of the more coveted or outrageous prizes were stolen a few times (although there was a limit of 3x stolen).

I was #6 in the line.  #5, the wife of the Boss-man, opened this:


It is a metal ‘tree’ with green and red candle votives. My eyes widened. My face was suddenly lit with joy with the radiance of a brilliant sunrise. I could not believe The Fates had delivered such a gift. I stole it in a second. I told this tale:

When I met Someone he had this decoration. He hated it. He explained he got it at a time when he could not afford better trimmings or even a tree. It reminded him of bleak times; he thought it cheap christmas trash.  Before I knew this I fell in love with it. Every holiday I got it out and he would roll his eyes and ask why.  This mild fracas was an annual Christmas tradition.  About five years ago some of the votive candle broke. I was heart broken; Someone smiled a bit.

The white elephant Christmas tree votive was a must-have-or-perish. I host malevolent looks at anyone who dared consider stealing it.

When Someone came home from ushering he asked what I got at the party. I told him to brace himself and close his eyes. I was relieved he didn’t weep or clutch his chest in a heart spasm but laughed out loud and thought it funny; he understood in a flash.

Alas, it is missing a votive candle and it wants cleaning but these are small matters. Synchronicity has us maybe without a tree this year. This cheap little one will do. I hope it brings us tidings of great joy, or at least warm memories of dating twenty years ago.

Happy Hallowe’en!

Samhain  – or All Hallow’s Eve – is Urs Truly’s favorite holiday. This year’s entry is a”Curious Things” rather than a “Spo-reflection”. In the House of Spo Hallowe’en candy is a serious subject. I say feh to the usual imperial tid-bits to give out real treats, no rubbish.   There is a a strata of sweets, depending on the beggar before me:


The “A” Candy. 

This is for the munchkins in proper and clever costumes, and who  are gracious and remember to say thank you.  This year’s “A” candy are proper sized chocolate bars.

The “B” Candy.

The “B” sweets are for the hoi polloi and the hobbit-folk in decent enough costumes. They  each will get two parcels of Sour Patch kids.



The “C” Candy.

Children who are a) not in costume or b) brazen or c) just plain impudent get Smarties (cauldron not included. Two are given if the brat is only mildly bad; one if he’s a little brute.



This year there is a bonus bonbon. I had to hide the ‘A” candy chocolate bars as Harper kept eating them – or so Someone said when I questioned the shortcomings. So I squirreled them away only to forget abut them. Meanwhile I came up with another “A” candy – which is now the “A+” candy for tykes with superior costumes or who have’élan’ or come to my door with handsome dads. I’ve put several square of chocolate together tied up in a black pipe-cleaner. Suffer, Martha!



It has been a long time – over a year! – since there was a ‘curious things’ entry. I suppose this is because there is nothing curious in these parts. More likely: I simply forgot to do so.

Yesterday as the refrigerator men were hauling away the old and bringing in the new, I spotted a large marble on the floor. I picked it up and asked the man if he had lost his marble. He was initially taken aback by this question but upon seeing the marble he assured me with a grin it was not. He conjured it had rolled out from underneath the fridge during the moving process. He’s seen this sort of discovery before; the marble must be mine. The glass orb was heavily coated with dust and grime, supporting his hypothesis it had come from under the GE.


I washed off the gunge and found it was a lovely thing. Later, when Someone came home from work, he rationalized it must have been the the boy’s marble, the boy in the family from whom we bought the house. This seemed reasonable so I didn’t argue against it.

My marble metanoia unsettled me. We bought the house (with fridge) ten years ago; the marble had been sitting under it for over a decade. As a boy this sort of discovery would put me into hysterics for I had lot of belief toys had souls. Imagine this poor disconsolate marble, weeping away for over at decade, suffering so from separation anxiety, for his long-gone master.

I thought of contacting the former owners to inform them I found the boy’s marble and would he like it back. Chances are the boy is now in his 20s and hardly interested in marbles, nor would he remember it. His parents would think I had lost my marbles or (worse) think me a perv for wanting to get in touch with their son, the marble a mere pretense to do so.

So I guess I will keep this glass gem although I am not sure what to do with it. On the dresser is a small box for bricolages. The marble can join the other curious but useless knick-knacks I can’t seem to discard.

On second thought perhaps I should roll it under the new fridge and let the next owner find it twenty year’s hence. If marbles could talk . . . .



The old bathroom scale is mercurial in providing my weight.  It’s an old scale; I daresay some of the part aren’t functioning properly. As I get on and off and on again, it provides a series of readings with a rather large standard deviation.  The ritual is I take the average of a few ascents or I pick the lowest reading.

Like a broken clock that is right twice a day (while a slow clock is never correct), by using it as my only scale I get a consistent inconsistency.

Last week Someone came home from Bloodbath and Beyond with this king-size titanic unsinkable Molly Brown new scale. As you can see, it is clear with digital readings in pounds and kilos. To my horror it tells me I am nearly seven pounds heavier than I was last week on the old one. Someone, always the rationalist, thinks this is Thanksgiving weight gain. I found it amazing (and abhorrent) I could have gained seven pounds in one week. Alas, this scale doesn’t have readings swings but is like plain-song la la la one one note, or weight. We are not amused.  I brought up the possibility it was faulty and should be brought back to the store for a refund. Someone states he weighs more too, about seven pounds. So we have been living is fool’s paradise as it were.

As you can see from the photograph, the new scale is more transparent both figuratively and literally. When I step off from the clear plate I leave behind my carbon footprint. I anticipate Mr. Scale will need frequent wipes with Windex.

My saving grace about the seven pound increase is my trousers aren’t tighter. I put on a pair of jeans not worn in months and lo! they are no tighter.  Along the logic in the ‘witch trial’ scene in “Monty Python and The Holy Grail” I’ve concluded I am not fatter but more dense. Carl Sagan states we derive from star-stuff;  I must be slowly translating back into a star – a neutron star.  The thought is comforting especially if it means I will become more bright and cynosure and men can’t resist gravitating towards me.

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