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“Well that was a real boner-killer” said the email sent from The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections. This is a discreet reference to my last entry. Vikings have little use for self-exploration (or even personal hygiene) and they are not concerned with time management. They like to point out they go the entire winter doing almost nothing at all as there is nothing to do. This philosophy explains the overflowing trash bins in The Board Room.  I was instructed to write something funny pronto or face their wrath or group hugs. Being embraced by a bunch of unwashed Norsemen (and women) reeking of herring isn’t inspiring towards humor. I will try my best under pressured circumstances.

It is said behind all humor something awful lurks. Someone or something has a mistap or misfortune and yet we find it funny. A man slips on a banana peel; a woman’s wig fall down in a violent sneeze. This puzzling paradox of tragedy = comedy goes double when it comes to the calamity of cats.

I am currently reviewing the rules of the card game ‘Exploding Kittens’. Its basic concept is if you draw an exploding kitten card, you explode, you are dead, and you are out of the game. I find the name alone hilarious. Cats can be standoffish and prissy; they can be downright – ‘catty’ yet there is something inherently funny about them when they freak out or blow up.*  I am not alone on this perverse pleasure. I see the internet is full up of ‘crazy cat’ videos in which pussykins is up to no good only to get its comeuppance resulting in hilarity and mirth for millions and millions of viewers.

Dogs just don’t have the same clout. Exploding dogs elicits no humor but depression and threats to report the comedian the ASPCA. Perhaps it’s because we see dogs as sort of dummies to start with. Their dopey running into mirrors or closed screens or falling off slippery counters isn’t funny per se but understandable viz. they are clods. Cats conjure in us schadenfreude when we see them hoist on its own petard as it were. Apart from the psychobabble explanations perhaps the tessitura of a cat screech is just more amusing; it beats the yowl of a dog by a country mile on the laugh track meter. One of my favorite expressions is “a howl resembling an orchestra of scorched cats”; it doesn’t work with birds or dogs.

I suppose there isn’t anymore to say on the subject. I’m quite tired and I should go to bed. I wanted to get something up and out before TBDHSR themselves start howling like an orchestra of scorched cats.

I promise something better soon. 🙂


*I have never seen an actual exploding kitten other than on Monty Python who routinely blew up pussycats allegedly hidden away in the background of their sketches. One never saw the cats literally blow up, only hear their howls as they went up in smoke.



Thank you all for the blog-day salutations; I was glad to hear from everyone.

After last night’s boisterous birthday party held in the Great Halls of Heorot III* things are now quiet. As it is a ‘new year” here at Spo-reflections I think about ‘new year resolutions’ and goals for the next twelve months, but dammit this is a blog not a science project. I have enough goals already.* With few exceptions The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections doesn’t give a danegeld what I write or do provided the product rakes in visits and comments.

It’s a slow Saturday here at Casa de Spo. It is not good to sit for long periods of time. This is not a problem today: Harper seems to be on the wrong side of every door today. .

The washer machine is going allegro non troppo. The clothes are done – for now. I am looking around for other things that want washing. Presently I doing the gym shoes which I hear going thump thump thump in the wash cycle . Someone questions my habit to continually wash my treaders on the grounds frequent washing will wear them out. Gym-shoes I believe are quite disgusting and need cleaning on a regular basis. I also put toothbrushes and sponges into the dishwasher.

I think I will go now to “Show tunes”. Someone is working so I will be by myself. I don’t mind really. I sit at the bar with my boulevardier and read. This isn’t as serene as it sounds. Sometimes I am hit upon by intoxicated young Hispanic gentleman (no this is not amusing).  Kat, my future-ex-wife, does a good job shooing them off and making sure my drink doesn’t get drained.  She is a dear.

With paperwork and chores done I am looking forward to reading blogs this evening. I can think of no better evening arrangement. Someone gets home about ten I think. He will be tired and he will want to go to sleep right away. He probably won’t notice my industrious housekeeping but then he won’t notice the shoes hanging up to dry either.

Thus begins Year #14 at Spo-Reflections.

I promise something better tomorrow.  🙂

*Everyone knows the original Heorot, but what happened to ‘II’ is anyone’s guess. Rumor has it HH2 was destroyed by mythical monsters or was the victim of gentrification. Opinions differ whether  it was razed or converted into a Starbucks.

**I am pleased to say I am doing relatively well with them –  with the exception of daily oatmeal and Spanish lessons. They want work.

“Enough about food!” said the succinct email from They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Denied. Apparently The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections is figuratively fed-up with entries on milk, sweets, and so forth.  That happens when one is watching ones calories. So I close my eyes and reach into the inner-compartment of my mind and pull out the subject of packing.

Finally it is February and one (meaning I) can be openly excited about the pending party at Palm Springs. Some people pack for their holidays ‘at the last minute’.  I do the opposite: I start organizing weeks beforehand. After all some of the fun of going on vacation is the anticipation of such. Here’s a little taste of what went through my mind over the weekend on the topic.


Last year I threw a lavish whisky and cheese party using rare and exquisite specimens from England, France, and Vermont (not a country in itself) . It was quite the success so I am planning  another one. I have to figure out which bottles of booze to bring and which fermented curds to order. I have barely nibbled into the bucket list of going through the entire menu of The Monty Python Cheese Sketch;  I have plenty to choose from. I started scanning the internet looking for proper cheese and imperial tid-bits. I may even order some mustard from (of all places!) Tewkesbury England. Oh the ecstasy. *


Winter holidays are when Spo-shirts shine. I have eight days (two for travel) so that means eight shirts to choose from.  I have picked out the initial eight. “Initial” is a reference to the likelihood I will go through my trousseau several times to come up with the right balance of old favorites and ones not yet debuted. Showing up in last season’s Pradas (as it were) would be quite the faux-pas.


I used to spend a lot of time figuring out which tomes from the ‘to read’ shelf go with me on my holidays. Someone the Rationalist points out our Kindles negates this tradition  but I still like ‘proper’ books read at poolside. They make me look more scholarly (provided I am not reading anything with covers too trashy).  Books still initiate conversations from strangers who happen to be bibliophiles. I find it handy to gaze around or over a large tome in an apercu to have a look-see at the others at the resort.


Inndulge does a lovely job supplying thee boys with basic boozes at happy hour but scotch snobs and thems who drink more sophisticated stuff like Negronis and Boulevardiers are at a loss. I plan bring a few mixers and whiskies (no rubbish). Someone brings a large box of Diet Coke, his DOC (drink of choice). One could argue both sorts of libations can be readily purchased when we are there as CA actually has grocery stores but soda pop (and liquor) prices are cheaper back home.

We have a bit of vanity being seen schlepping all this into the resort. On the other hand it all sends the signal there’s partying to be had in Room #32.

Group of friends alcoholics people at a bar illustration.

* Turophiles with recommendations are free to leave comment on any recommendations for must-try-or-perish types.


The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections recently had their annual first of the year pow-wow in which they set goals (for me), make terms (mostly forgotten), and eat herring (which they do with relish). The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections and I are at odds over the revision of The Mission Statement for the blog. My mission statement is to have an online blank page or canvas for composition to express myself via prose for whatever I or the Muses feel like writing and share it with what readers there may be.  Their mission statement: lure in as many readers and comments as possible in order to pick their pockets.  Obviously it’s a work in progress.

Walter Cnut Fafner, the only member of The Board with computer skills*, did some research on blog traffic and grammar mistakes and sent his findings via email. It is titled “A disputation on the efficacy of Spo-entries”. I won’t bore you with its 95 critiques. The treatise is profusely illustrated with crude drawings of what happens to incompetent bloggers who write badly. The TBDHSR – greedy gannets that they are – love to rub their unwashed hands together in glee whenever ‘traffic is high’ and they want this to continue.  According to Mr. Fafner ‘I do my best’ when I write on these three topics:


Personal struggles

My sex life

He sent a separate email of a roster of foodstuffs I could use in future entries. It resembles a grocery list for someone who hasn’t been to the store in a while or is expecting a major blizzard.  He also suggested I go out and get some fresh hurts and disappointments upon which to write. Walter’s colleague Sven added some things. He sounds like Mrs. Danvers suggesting I throw myself in front of a bus so I can blog about the aftermath from hospital. As for my sex life, The Board simply said make stuff up.

I suppose I will write on these topics from time to time, especially when I sense TBDHSR is breathing down my neck. Otherwise I plan on pursuing my Mission Statement as described. I wait for t+The Muses or somebody like them to provide my next profound entry. Until then it’s impromptu – and no “Curious Things around the House” entries unless they have jars of pasta sauce.


*The rest of them are notorious Luddites and rather smug about it. They like to point out Vikings managed to ransack Europe quite easily and without the benefit of email, IMs, and social dating apps. They have a point albeit an idiotic one.

This month I’ve gone from 80.6 kilos to 78.9 kilos. It is a comfort to know regular exercise and some self-restraint at the table still works as well as any nonsensical diet regimen.

At home we are taking a break from “Blue Apron” in order to try “Hello Fresh”. The first box arrived yesterday and it seems about the same in style and preparation so I think this is a case of Coke vs. Pepsi. The first HF meal took fewer pots and pans to prepare so that’s a plus.

Last night I dropped my cellphone (again) but this time there was real damage. A recusant vertical fluorescent green light has appeared is taking up 25% of the viewing screen. Not only is it a nuisance but its intensity makes looking at the phone painful to the point of needing sunglasses. I need to cancel Saturday’s appointments to hippity-hop to the Apple shop where I hope some nice service representative (usually just post-puberty) will fix or replace it. I fear I will have to buy a new one, which I admit it my fault but makes me peevish.  Oh the nuisance of it all.

Techless Tuesday is going fair. I still have to have my phone on to get pass codes for prescriptions and to be stand-by for the pager system. Nevertheless I’ve managed to avoid social and news apps with fair success. I don’t think my Tuesday helping of podcasts nullifies the resolution although Someone says it does.

I recently found a list of expressions Benjamin Franklin composed to describe a fellow who is drinking. Mr. Franklin – who was a wicked old screw despite his virtuous façade – does not make it clear if he made these up himself or he merely collected them. Here’s some of my favorites:

“He’s been too free with the creature””
“He’s taken The Elixir of Hippocrates”.
“He’s been to Jericho.”
He’s been among the Philippians.”


“He’s been too free with Sir Richard”

I haven’t had any success locating any facts about Sir Richard. I want to know why the fellow was synonymous with bibulous past-times. The homoerotic subtext of the expression is intriguing. Perhaps Sir Richard wasn’t an actual man at but a euphemism probably for a body part known to become less restrained under the influence of The Elixir of Hippocrates. I must do some ‘field research’ as they say in the business of science.  This evening after work I am going to Jericho myself to have my future ex-wife Kat make me and my pals some Boulevardiers. My chums are not Philippians per se but they are all well over four feet and only a few of them are too free with Sir Richard.



I keep making a Bucket List only to lose them. This obliges me to recreate them.  More puzzling than where they go* is my difficulty remembering what was on them. You would think after several incarnations I could recite them from rote. I hope there isn’t some subconscious shenanigans going on viz. I don’t want to accomplish things in life. Sometimes the simplest explanations are best: I am a ditz.

There is no point in asking assistance from Someone as he doesn’t do Bucket Lists let along remember min. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections wrote they looked through their files without success at finding a copy. They managed to remember a few things though, which they graciously sent along, but these look suspiciously like theirs not mine. Example: I don’t recall ever actually wanting to have set fire to a public building for example. 

It turns out I’ve blogged on this misplaced BLs more than once. This allowed me to retrieve lots but the process gave me the grim sensation I am in my own private Groundhog Day. 

So far so good. Naples wasn’t rebuilt in a day but I am making progress. I want to see a fjord and I want to own a top hat. I want to make a bow-tie and finish a log cabin quilt started so long ago I don’t remember when.  When the Bucket List is finally resurrected I think what I will squirrel it away in several places where the Gremlins and Gnomes can’t touch’em. Perhaps a separate page here is a good idea. By now I highly doubt anyone wants to read it but this may be better than yet another bloody blog entry on where is my Bucket List.  🙂 


*I suspect a cabal of Computer Gremlins and Car Key Gnomes. The former knows how to get around my laptop like Russian trolls while the latter excels at moving things about where I can’t find anything. Stirges.

Telephone calls with The Parents have the same scenario: I listen as they report on all their goings-on which is mixed with what my brothers are doing. They have a tendency to report ‘bad news’ interspersed among the mundane which makes the ominous easy to miss. I’ve had decades of training so I tend not to miss these peas among the carrots. I wait for an appropriate pause between Father’s narration on Mother’s cribbage scores and Brother #3’s latest travels to back him up to that quick word-in about starting radiation therapy next week.

“What was that about radiation therapy?” I asked him in the most recent phone call. I then proceeded to play twenty questions with him dragging out of him what the hell is going as he tries to move back to the details of Mother beating him at cribbage. He doesn’t do this out of anxious denial; he just doesn’t see RT as important as being skunked in a card game is.

After we hang up I called Brother #2 “the real doctor in the family” who told me what’s actually happening.* Father had his prostate removed decades ago, in his late 50s. Now in his 80s there was a recent PSA spike.This led to several tests he hadn’t bothered to tell me revealing there a remnant now cancerous. Happily the treacherous residual is small and contained and probably easy enough addressed with high intensity one week’s worth of radiation therapy. Father gets this going next week. Brother #2 says Father is not at all troubled, and he isn’t either. It could be a lot worse.

My parents are not worriers; they always see life as a glass half full even as their glasses are draining. It is the Fraternity of Spo-brothers that do the fretting along the line of ‘Dear me whatever shall we do about Mother/Father?”  Weeks from now I will call Father to get the latest news in a similar process; again my ears will prick up around Item #7 when he slips in he had some post-RT complications that put him and Mother in a pickle.

Brother #2 is in charge of the medical matters while Brothers #3 manages their funds and #4 drops in to play the caretaker and gopher. This leaves Urs Truly to be the fretter.  In every family no matter how many siblings there are there is always the one child who is Chief of Police. 🙂


*We all have hummingbird brains but Brother #2 thought flow isn’t too bad;  he talks more goal oriented than the rest of us.

Heavens! It’s been a few days since I posted anything! Happily this weekend The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections was asleep at the switch so they did not notice. I had a busy weekend doing There’s-work-to-be-done chores. I am pleased to report most of them are accomplished – except read blogs. I will do this after I post. 

1# – While discussing finances with Someone I discovered a major faux-pas. I thought he has been paying The Personal Trainer all this time when he hasn’t. I quickly texted TPT who revealed he’s received no payment since spring 2018. Oh the embarrassment. He was immediately paid and all is well. I didn’t ask why on earth he hadn’t said anything. If I hadn’t discovered this bungle I wonder how long it would go on until (out of anger) he sent an exercise programme guaranteed to break my legs. *

#2 – Last night I discovered the libation Boulevardier.** It is basically a Negroni but instead of using gin it is made with bourbon. Oh the ecstasy! My soul swoons. I got my future-ex-wife Kat (bartender extraordinaire) to make one for me although she hadn’t the foggiest what it was.*** We agreed it was TME (Truly Most Excellent). We were glad to have had this ‘first time’ with each other.  Someone didn’t like it, saying it was better than a Negroni but that’s as far as it goes. 

#3 – Rather than toss them in the trash I put the poinsettias into pots in the backyard. They will eventually turn green and (lord willing) turn red again by next Christmas.  This is based the presumption they will survive the summer heat. 

#4 – Finally, I am pleased as punch to announce I started the year weighing 80.6 kilos. It is now 79.1 kilos. For thems who don’t know metric, this is a 3lb weight loss. It is a good start. Palm Springs is coming.  Provided Someone doesn’t feed me buns and things I may make an ingress at Inndulge in this years’ Spo-shirts but in last year’s trousers. Wish me luck. 



*I only just discovered another overlooked bungle: Debra (a long time Spo-fan) isn’t just a reader but a blogger buddy!  Oh the embarrassment.  Time for the Aricept.

**It is also a noun for a wealthy, fashionable socialite.

***The waiter at said watering-hole is a young man named Scott. He is well over four feet and he always remembers me despite countless clientele. I thought this due to my charm, physique, and Attic wit. He confessed it’s because ‘your are the guy who always orders the funny-sounding drinks I’ve never heard of’.  So much for his generous tip. 

At every Christmas my brothers and I got some a board game. Later that day we would put it down on a card table and learn it and play. I remember we got many of the classics: Monopoly; Clue; Sorry; Candyland. Board games were hit or miss; some of them were played once or twice and then forgotten on the shelf while others kept going. One never knew which would ‘hold’. I liked board games which is surprising as in my memory I seldom won any of them. I never had a good head for strategy – I still don’t as demonstrated by my continuous losing streak with Someone at Spite& Malice and Cribbage and with the blogger buddies who play Scrabble.*

I didn’t get a board game this Christmas; I haven’t received one in decades. My annual week holiday to Palm Springs is coming up in two months and I’ve taken a fancy getting a board game for the occasion. So I’ve started looking. But which one to try? GAMES magazine tells me they are legion and new ones come out all the time.  So which one to get?

The game should be mostly strategy-based but some luck/chance element is wanted. It should accommodate 2-5 players. I am partial to finding ‘the latest’ but I am not closed to a trying a ‘classic’.  I want something unique or at least not common.   The game can’t be too complicated to learn -we will only have one week to get it going and play for lord’s sake! 

Monopoly being common is right out although parcheesi may do. Card games are fun but  I’ve got plenty and they are not what I’m after here. I want a proper board game with a proper board.  I have two months to research and ask my nearest and dearest what did they like to play.

Spo-fan recommendations would be most appreciated. Have you a childhood or present board game you recommend?  Thank you. 


*I  can not imagine how they find it fun playing Scrabble with me. They always win and I always loose. It is like throwing darts at Jello; there are no satisfying hits.

It is Boxing Day; after years of continually looking it up I still don’t know exactly what one does on this day.  I know what I am doing: I am back at work for three days. Each one should be jam-packed as many folks want their prescriptions filled because the new year commences and either their insurance ends or their deductibles goes up.  

The last week of work tends to have more than usual ‘no-shows’; people forget to come in at this time of year. In my copious spare time I plan to purge my office of saved journals that were squirreled away for later that through waiting long enough have become obsolete. I will also clear out the aged teas and pens. 

At home I will reread my 2018 journal to remember what did and didn’t occur. Every year I remember less and wonder more about what happened to the time. Each year I vow to be better in every way possible and I usually don’t then I repeat. 

Having managed to get up all the holiday decorations in the nick of time I am not in any rush to turn around and take it all down right away.  I am content to keep it up until Epiphany. Someone is superstitious if it isn’t all down by New Year’s Day there will be disaster so he can lead the way for a quick packing. 

That’s all I can think of on this 2018 Boxing Day. I hope to get in one more entry of great depth and/or delight before the year ends. 

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Spo-Reflections 2006-2018