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One advantage of a weekend trip ‘back home’ is it provides a lot of blog-fodder. Here’s one.

With family gathering for the weekend Brother #4 grew quite excited at the prospect of having a ‘Boy’s night’ and not just to watch a silly old game but to play Dungeons & Dragons. He promised[bribed] his brothers and some nephews if they came he would provide them plenty of food and drink. We could see this meant a lot to him, so on Saturday night we braced ourselves and attended. 

Brother #4 may be Dungeon-master but he is also Grill-master. Indeed! He is quite the wizard when it comes to the Weber. He had several smokers and grills going as he practice his art. We ate smoked baby-back ribs with a sublime sauce, along with a truly most-excellent sockeye salmon which had been brined in gin and juniper berries. In contrast to this five-star cooking he served Pabst Blue Ribbon, which is fit for trolls and little else.

For thems unfamiliar with Dungeons & Dragons it is a fantasy game in which the players create characters who band together usually to go on a quest. Dungeon-master (A.K.A Brother #4) created a world in which said characters run around. The making of such a world with all its details takes a lot of time and effort. It is no good for anyone for the characters to be killed off early in the game as this means all of DM’s work goes down the swanny.  

Dungeon-Master with his PBR -ready for gaming.

I haven’t played D&D since I was 17 and I was walking into a game already in action. It felt like walking into Act III of a Verdi opera. I hadn’t the foggiest what was going on but my fellow players A.K.A. my relations helped me with the moves. They told me when to throw the dice, which told me if the hobgoblin captain missed hitting me over the head or I had successfully enchanted the troll to run off or I had wet my tunic.*

A group of Spos excited to see each other full up on ribs and PBR AND without Ritalin talk with excitement all at once and over each other. We joke and give each other contradictory advice (‘Open the chest! No throw your axe! etc.) I soon learned paying attention to the game was totally unnecessary; I merely had to wait until someone poked me in the ribs for me to roll the 20-sided die and then I was told if I had died or done what I was supposed to do. 

This went on for hours.

Our goal was to storm an outpost in order to dismantle it. There we got into an altercation with a dark elf, a hobgoblin (who smelled terrible), and several goblins or something like them. A fracas which normally takes a few minutes to do on film or in real life is drawn out in slow motion as we took turns throwing die while drinking beer and eating cheesy popcorn out of The Magical Bowl of Junk Food. There wasn’t a ‘no cellphones” policy so we had to continually focus our Halfling thief back into the game. 

A few of us nearly died. Some of us secretly hoped for just that as it meant we could go home.  

In the fantasy fracas fight we managed to kill the bad guys and NOT die which earned us experience points and a few bits of booty. Dungeon-master assured us there are many more adventures ahead but the players had had enough. Brother #4 did not make his saving throw against Brother #3’s Spell of Limits-setting so the game was done. The Step-nephew then got paged – his wife had started her contractions so it was off to the House of Healing for him after hugs and congratulations from the brothers for a job well done in all areas. 

I don’t know when I will summoned again to don my long sword and short bow but I am at the ready. Next time I will host and we will have proper libations – no rubbish and no Orcs.  

*I am told Dwarf Clerics do this often in melees. 

I woke this morning at 315AM from a dream resembling a painting by Hieronymous Bosch. I am scheduled this morning to fly to Michigan Land of Perpetual Snow and Ice.  I am visiting Brother #3 for a weekend of board games and good scotch (no rubbish). The flight leaves at 6AM. Someone did my travel arrangements.  I prefer ‘civilized flying’ which consists of first class arrangements none before 10AM. Alas, today is not such. I am among the hoi polloi.

Spos like each other and like gregarious seagulls they tend to congregate when they can.  My Progenitors (AKA Mother and Father) got wind of my visit as did Brother #4; it sounds like this weekend won’t be the quiet sitting by the fireplace drinking Speyside and playing Parcheesi endeavor so much as going to and from Spo Houses and/or relations dropping in. Several Spos are under 10 and a few of us are young dogs so it looks to be a cacophonous callithump. Would I brought Adderall. The itinerary as changed as often as the weather. I don’t have to worry as do as I am told.  

The weekend will be pleasant (albeit impetuous) but it will be nice to find some quiet time for a nap. My work week was rawwther strenuous and I didn’t get much sleep. * Someone and I agreed he would not attend the Spo-mysteries but he would stay home to work and mind the dog. This all fell through at the last minute and it was too late to get him his own ticket to Spo-land. Rather than stay home knitting bones he is driving to Palm Springs today. When I am asked I will stick with the original explanation of his absence he is working lest my relations find it peculiar he isn’t here but California. I hope he gets some sleep himself for he’s more overworked than I am. 

They are soon to call boarding. I am in the last batch to board. I hope my row-mates washed before coming.  Not that it matters for as soon as I get into my seat (35A on the aisle) I hope to fall asleep quick as a quarter note and orbit the moons of Jupiter.  In their defense I got through Delta/TSA quickly. Mercifully there was no shooting. 


*It feels like ages since I read blogs (worse luck!). I hope to remedy this this weekend.

After the laundry is done I hang up the clean things on one end of the clothes rack while I take down the new things from the other end. As a consequence of system Spo-garments get used at the same frequency and things wear out all at once. When this happens everything needs to be replaced at the same time.  This weekend it was time for trousers. I think the trousers collections lasts for 5-7 years but it could be longer. The majority of the time I wear khakis and they are now dog-eared and cuff-torn to to the point they all want replacing. So it is hippity-hop to the trousers shop I go. 

I dislike shopping – to be more accurate I don’t like going to shopping places. When obliged to purchase clothes I try to do this on-line but trousers remain an on-site process. I want to feel the quality of the material (no rubbish) and ascertain sizes and cuts. Someone advised I go to the local mall to give me options of several stores. As a shopper he’s the type that wanders store to store comparing prices and such. I take a different approach: time is more important to me than money. I want to get in and out as quickly as possible and if this means parking at the closest store (preferably at opening time) so be it. I made my list:  two regular khaki; one blue; one black – and another black for Someone who is taking my same size these days.

The mall was unsettling. There were few people. I’ve heard malls are in decline and by the looks of things this is indeed so. I got there at opening 10AM. There is a sense of decay to the place.  Many stores look closed and what was open looked none too appealing. I hit Macy’s. No such luck. I take a 34 W and 32 L. These measurements are either so rare or so common they sell out as there was nothing in that size.  I’d hoped to have some nice salesman swoop down on my going through the bins to ask me if I was being served. They would listen to my woes and somehow solve my problem – but there was no one.  I am not a crook but I thought how easily it would be to stuff my pockets and run in this ghost town.*

At the other end of the mall is JCPenny. I remember this store from my youth. I was surprised to see it still around, thought it had died decades ago.  The men’s shop is on the second floor is right next to the appliances which is unsettling in itself.  JCPenny was also bereft of salespeople. **  Happily I found my five trousers and got in and out relatively quick.

When I got home I found to my horror the trousers were now too long. Dammit they were OK in the store, so what the hell? It is hoped by washing and drying them well they will shrink. I can always do up the cuffs myself.  In the end if it’s a bust I can be comforted in another 5-7 years I can do better.


*I suspect they have cameras for this sort of shenaniganery. Would Mr. Macy had staff to watch me as well. 

**I have a vague memory of going into Mens departments in which were suited gents and tailors who served obsequiously and with the knowledge of how to dress a man.  Those days went out with full service gas more’s the pity. 

Brother #4 et. al. left today after their long weekend. They had a delightful time. The weather was good and they got to see the sights. We had some laughs and a couple of good suppers Now the house is quiet again. I enjoyed their visit but it is nice to have the place to myself again. Even the best of visits are a tad exhausting.  I am looking forward to things going back to normal. I will spend the next few days doing linen laundry and putting back a few things moved or put away for the visit. It feels good to once again walk around in my underwear and play music out loud.

In the festive spirit of their visit I  ate food I normally don’t consume: grilled steak, cake, ice cream (chocolate and vanilla), and lots of (nasty) chips. These were delicious. On the negative after ingesting these delicacies I would immediately want to go to sleep. In the evening we played some board games I don’t quite remember being in. I didn’t win any of them no surprise. It doesn’t help the annual allergies started so I am back on the antihistamines.  I could sleep for days if left alone.  Despite the lethargy I am determined to go to the gym after work today; it will be my first time in a week.

It is only Tuesday but I am already wishing for Friday. I am in much of a rest – and a haircut. I look like a Wild Man from Borneo as we used to say while we were growing up. I have never met any men from Borneo, wild or not, so I don’t know if I truly resemble one. If they look like how I look I am sorry for them.


Ever since The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections burned down the board room I’ve had no place to write. I start entries at various home and work computers, but these prodromal compositions get left behind like the half-consumed cups at home. I think this is my fifth attempt at writing something anything; I am darned determined to publish this one. 

After my ‘scope on Monday I’m still not feeling myself. If I were a Crayola crayon I would be in need of sharpening; if I were a podcast episode I’d be running at 1/2 to 3/4 speed.  Mercifully I can still remember my zip code and my way home from work. Someone says I am ‘somaticizing’ which smacks of temerity as I am the shrink at Casa de Spo not he. 

Speaking of Someone he did a fine job getting the house ready for Brother #4 and family (who arrive soon). He washed all the windows and he cleaned up behind things that haven’t seen daylight in ages. It all looks clean and tidy. I am glad to have my evening/weekends freed up again. 

Between work and housekeeping there’s been precious little time for anything else, including reading blogs. I feel bad when I am not regularly reading my favorites. After all if people are going to read mine I should keep up reading theirs.  I don’t recall any blogger buddy has ever objurgated me for ‘lack of attendance’ but there it is.  While my Michigan relations are in the pool this weekend I can sit on the back porch and get caught up.  It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good; my lack of time precludes me from Facebook and Twitter etc. so I feel quite relaxed not knowing what That Dangerous Clown is up to these days.* 

So that’s the quick all the news that’s fit to print and otherwise. The niece A.K.A. Warrior Queen will be sleeping in The Blue Room, where Henrik the Ghost usually hangs out when he is in town. I hope she doesn’t upset him too much. I better sign off and make one final round about the place for any missed dust bunnies or half consumed cups. I turn my back only for a moment and the Cup Fairies hit quick.



*No good that’s certain. 


Once in a while all I want to do is close the door and withdraw from the world. Today is one of those days. I wish I had something important or amusing to write but I do not. I had a few ‘back up’ posts but I discovered in my rounds today many of my blogger buddies had ‘written it first’ so to publish my own would look like copy-catting. I am vain that way. 

Earlier today I wrote a piece about my colonoscopy this morning. Then I rewrote it only to erase it entirely. * I’ve felt slow and dimwitted all day, the result of having had no sleep and anesthesia. I am also feeling melancholic for a handful of reasons: I’ve learned of a trouble at work; the politics of the land are appalling; I missed a friend’s birthday. The list is longer than this but you get the gist. 

There is some loneliness happening as well. There are a handful of folks I would love to reach out to me but they are away busy I guess.  My telepathic powers emanating ‘please call or text me for I want to hear from you” must have been damaged while under the influence of the ketamine. 

I hope to feel better after I’ve slept and had a few real meals. I have two days to cheer up before Brother #4 arrives. Hector the yard man comes on Wednesday to tidy up the weeds that have grown quick as triffids in the recent rains. The house is as clean as it has been in a long while; I’m half-tempted to cancel on them jus to keep things tidy for as long as possible.

I was glad to get caught up with blog reads and see nearly  everyone is doing well enough.  

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.


*For thems interested: it went OK. 


The colonoscopy preparation instructions say I am not to eat anything for these next 24 hours, nor am I to drink fluids that are red or purple. I am presently consuming tea (hot and cold) and bright blue and yellow sports drinks. I am working in the yard; I’ve taken some allergy medication. Zylert on an empty stomach has left me tired and buzzed – almost intoxicated.  Curiously I don’t feel too hungry. During the breaks from the chores I thought to go online but food is everywhere: Facebook, blogs, pop up ads you name it, it has food mentioned. This may be a case of ‘Baader-Meinhof’; I want something to eat so I am noticing things I don’t normally see when surf the web. 

Someone is washing the windows while I tend the back yard. I am throwing out the dead plants and replenishing them with herbs and succulents recently bought at HomeDepot.  We are getting the place decent for Brother #3 and family who arrive this Wednesday.  The hot tub – unused for months – has a green tint to it making it unwholesome so it’s being drained at the moment. Last week I gave instructions to the pool man to pay extra attention to the pool. We usually don’t set foot in the cement pond until Memorial Day but Brother #3 is bound to want to go in it. He lives in Michigan and has antifreeze for plasma.

I hope we have things decent in time for their arrival. I have my ‘scope tomorrow morning at 7AM then I have the rest of the day off. I am hoping to spend the day  continuing the tidy up but I suspect I will sleep the entire day away. I’m supposed to raise at 245AM to drink large amounts of nasty concoctions so I’m not going to get any sleep. I will look a fright when I see the GI doctor but then again he will be more concerned with the other end of me. 

“Well that was a real downer” read this morning’s email from The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections. They took umbrage at yesterday’s entry. Apparently they interpreted as literal truth my metaphor about the CEO with an unruly board of directors in need of careful monitoring. Sensing a hostile takeover of a rival board (probably the Picts) they held an emergency board meeting in which it was unanimously voted to burn down the board room. As a consequence I am writing this from my work place.

21 March is the birthday of J.S. Bach, composer extraordinaire and overall stud. In celebration of the day at work I was playing fugues and cantatas . My administrative assistant, who is in his 20s, asked what I was listening to. I explained. He looked at me in that nice way underlines do when they are being too polite to admit they haven’t a clue what you are talking about.  Oh the horror. I explained who was Herr Bach.  Later on I pointed out to him Google’s headline was in the shape of Bach playing the harpsichord – see I am not the only one who knows about him.

Last night I arranged a weekend trip in April to Michigan to visit Brother #3 and family. This gives me something to look forward to. Nothing is planned so far. I suppose I will spend some time playing games with the niblings. The Progenitors (A.K.A. Mother and Father) will probably feel a bit left out I am not visiting them so they will probably come up for a visit or vice versa. This will lead to other Spos coming by as well.  I do have a nicely knit family this way. I hope to see some daffodils I miss them so.

This week the electronic health records suddenly provided a means to drop templates into progress notes. Hot puppies indeed! This is a godsend.  Usually I have to cut and paste my own creations from Word into the notes. This new system is much quicker and more convenient.  Templates are a tricky thing as one must avoid merely repeating the same note over and over.  In health records this is how mistakes keep going and this is way bad in legal matters.  Even when the patient is more or less the same time after time I must make individual notes.  Often a note that says ‘everything is OK/same’ is more tricky than when things are happening.


Next Monday I go for a colonoscopy. I have patients (mostly men) so terrified of the procedure they have never had one. I don’t mind getting scoped but they are a nuisance. Taking time off and doing the prep are tedious matters for me. My ‘scope is about 3-4 years overdue this way.  Every time I have one of these I rue the day I didn’t go into a specialty with a billable medical procedure. What a racket these GI MDs have! My GI doctor is a nice man well over four feet. This nurse is a bit patronizing that she likes to ‘educate’. I politely remind her again I am not unfamiliar with anatomy despite being only a psychiatrist and not a proper doctor (no I don’t use those words).  I suspect in my chart I am down as a smartypants but apparently not down as a physician.


Someone worked all day both days last weekend. As they say in Sunset Boulevard nobody called and nobody ever came. I had a lot of time to myself; I had the quiet satisfaction of getting a lot done. It’s Monday now and another work week commences. My work calendar conveys it will be a week of the same old same old: new patients are coming in, and a few I haven’t seen in ages are returning for reasons I will soon discover. At home this week I will go to the gym, pick the things up, try to lose weight – and try again.

I can’t quite determine if this is ‘Zen’ or a sign of monotony, Life as an adventure-less tale. It can be both of course and which one depends a great deal on my attitude.

It’s time for Captain Equinox to make his twice a year appearance. I see by the Cosmic Calendar spring officially arrives on Wednesday 3PM local time. I will pause at that moment and say a silent prayer of thanks to the gods or demi-gods we managed to swing around the sun another year. I am rather tired of the dark so Spring is quite welcome.*

The CC also reveals there is nothing of interest for a fortnight until Brother #4 and family arrive for a long weekend. I cannot remember when we last had visitors, although Brother #4 is not so much a visitor but an event.

The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections, fearing a precipitous drop in blog traffic, politely requested I do something outrageous and pronto. I suppose I could shake things by arranging an ‘impromptu’ but that sounds more tiresome than titillating. I lead a dull life. Tune in tomorrow to see if something interesting occurred including the loss of some of my digits.


*Feel free to remind me of this three months hence when I am complaining of the endless light and heat.

Note: This entry puzzled The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections. I had to explain to them “self improvement” and this was an attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor. I don’t think they were entirely assuaged but they gave it the ‘OK to publish’. They asked I add a footnote or something clarifying I am perfectly OK really other than a cold. For rapacious clods they can be awfully fussy.

I am rawther tired at the moment of anything that has to do with self- improvement and growth. All week long at work I try to guide/coax/plead/bitch-slap others (and myself) to be better than they are. I want to devolve for a while. I don’t think I will degenerate to the point of becoming a Sleestak* but just enough to let the higher brain bits (often in overload) to coast for a bit while the lizard parts further down the brainstem get to temporarily rule the roost. This may be sickness talking. I still have a cold and I don’t feel like doing nothing (including prescriptive grammar). It’s amazing how quickly the house falls apart when I get sick. Worse, we both are ill, and House of Spo looks like the untidy realm of two O.B.s (Old bachelors).  Oh the embarrassment.

I have a ponderous pile of journals and medical lectures to read and hear, all on the grounds of improving my professional skills. There is a bigger pile of ‘good books’ next to it. Duolingo sends nagging notices I haven’t done my language lessons in a fortnight. Screw’em all. I just want to watch TV while eating something that has no nutritional value whatsoever.  I don’t think Public Opinion will bang on my door demanding I return to Great Courses lectures and daily oatmeal. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections of course thinks self-growth and improvement as useless as a priest on a raid so there will be no complaints from them.

After work today I am forgoing gym/exercise/vegetables/Proust and anything else ‘good for me” to go home to an early bedtime. Instead of falling asleep listening to a podcast on history or science I will watch “The Land of the Lost”. After all it made me the man I am today.




*Sleestak were once upon a time a highly intelligent and telepathic reptilian race but they devolved into a bunch of mindless hissing bipeds. Once devoted to the arts and science they are now confined to running around in old Saturday morning kiddie shows. Take note.

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