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

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

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

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


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

Greetings from Palm Springs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



St. Valentine ’s Day is not celebrated in the House of Spo other than Urs Truly buying sweeties for the candy dish.

Someday I should write an entry on “Cupid and Psyche” which is one of my favorite myths. It is a great story how Eros marries Mind (after many ordeals) to produce conscious state of being.


As a Valentine I offer Spo-fans this poem; it is one of my favorites:

Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart. I give you an onion. It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. It promises light like the careful undressing of love. Here. It will blind you with tears like a lover. It will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief. I am trying to be truthful. Not a cute card or a kissogram. I give you an onion. Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips, possessive and faithful as we are, for as long as we are. Take it. Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring, if you like. Lethal. Its scent will cling to your fingers, cling to your knife.

Blobby! Erik! I did it! I remembered to do ’12 on 12′!  It only took eleven years but I did it!

Spo-fans unfamiliar with ’12 on 12′ it is simple: twelve photos are taken throughout the day on the twelfth of the month.  12 February falls on Sunday this year, which is tidy-up and stay-at-home day.

This makes the photographs rather unexciting.


It is warm enough to open the front door and let in some air. 



Sunday is laundry and iron the shirts. Oh the pain. 



If I sit on the ottoman in the walk-in closet, Harper comes a-running with pleasures anticipated and eyes that ask: are we going for a walk? 



Here we are on patrol. Walks fall into two categories: ‘movement’ walks and ‘stop and sniff the shrubberies’ walks.  Today’s stroll was definitely in the latter camp. 



Sunday is crockpot cooking day. I am making beef vindaloo. Eight hours to go!



Oh my goodness! Guests are coming this weekend and we don’t have enough booze! Here is my shopping endeavor.  Details upon request. 



Oh-oh. This is not good. Not good at all. The pool has turned an emerald green. Someone will drain it this week and replenish with new water. 



While tidying up the backyard I was amazed to find these lovelies hanging on the neglected vines. I thought they were dead.  Homegrown tomatoes in February?



The Vindaloo was OK. 


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Every Sunday night I pack The Most Difficult Case with the weekend’s homework papers, chart notes, and clean tea cups and things. 



When in doubt, get horizontal.



I plan the workday wardrobe the night before so I don’t have to think about it at 530AM. Shall I pick one from the upper or the lower rack? 



The annual winter holiday is only a week away and there is work to be done! The first task is always make a new shirt. Imagine showing up in Palm Springs with last year’s creations! Oh the scandal; there would be talk.*

I completed sewing on the buttons of this lovely, shirt #102 or something, which I christened ‘Turtle Shirt”.  It was suggested to me to create a camisa using warm colours, pastels, and subtle earth-tones. Ha. Fat chance of that. I go for color, bold, loud, and cool – like my men.  I think this is one of my ‘loudest’ shirts. I just hope it doesn’t cause too many headaches.

This year’s drama personae include DougT and Leon AKA the Wild One, with Larry H. and Tim C. They are all fine fellows, many of them ex-bloggers, and all well over four feet. Larry and Tim have never been to CA, so they should be dazzled by the chatoyance of Palm Springs.
Other fine fellows, also well over four feet but who are blogging still, will make cameo appearances: Ron T and his intrepid sidekick Pat, and (the dear!) Fearsome Beard will appear to provide dignity and gravitas to an otherwise party of depravity.

Throughout the week I will slowly gather items vital for a proper and successful winter holiday.  The bricolage of ragtags include:

Books and Kindle

Shirts for days

Bottles of proper gin and scotch (no rubbish)

Cryptic Crossword puzzles and a sharpened pencil
Whatever my angst about preparing for the debacle, I need not worry about the wardrobe. The last time I looked I have approximately fifty Spo-shirts from which to choose. I need only bring these and a bathing suit. Come to think of it I don’t really need the bathing suit.  That’s one less thing to bring and makes room for another bottle of bourbon.


*Actually there is always talk. Lots of it. A week in Palm Springs with chums is quite the chinwag.

Note: The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections complained about this entry. They thought it would be misconstrued; certainly they didn’t find it funny. Spo-fans have been warned.

Any complaints about the contents should be sent to TBDHSR c/of the comment section. 

My eleventh year of blogging ought to start with something good and special but I thought I would complain rather. I want to complain about all the complaining on social media. I plan to post my complaints on FB or Twitter but they are certain to conjure complaints.

Before we could instantly complain about everything to everyone with only a few clicks on a keyboard complaining was a local matter that didn’t last long. We might write an angry letter to the editor of the local newspaper but it never went very far. The audience we had for our soapbox was often our nearest and dearest. As recipients of our remonstrances they readily told us to shut the F up and that was that.  We vomited black bile but it didn’t project too far.

Now we have Facebook and Twitter to expand each others’ rancor with copy and paste and link and forward so millions of commiserates can simultaneously bitch and expand on our rants. Perhaps we should pull the plug on this internet thing as a nobel idea gone bad, like New Coke. Did the inventors not know a world wide web is more likely to spread woes than facts?

FB hasn’t been much fun as of late and I blame politics. I used to read about cousin’s birthdays and bad weather in Michigan or see zany photos but nowadays the posts are full of tirades resembling an orchestra of scorched cats.

I don’t follow O3 (the Orangutan in the Oval Office) but apparently he is the king of the complaining Twitter posts.* Huff Post and CNN (no strangers to complaining) regularly post Hair Furor’s tweets which are so bilious they make my eyes cross. I am curious to see if O3 pops a gusset given all his complaining. If he does I shan’t complain about it.

So what’s to be done?  Avoid social media. Don’t read the comments on news websites. Abjure tweets from the oval office. Don’t volunteer to usher Sunday matinees.  Abstain from insurance company so-called help-lines. Stay away from Laura the cash register woman in Aisle 5 at Albertsons.

And above all no complaining.



*I don’t know the proper word for statements placed on twitter. Tweets? I suggest we use ‘Gripes”.  Ex: “I gripped on Twitter about …..”

Cup of tea

How delicious! I have a Sunday with hardly anything to do. I can certainly find things that want attention but none of them are pressing. I should to walk Harper and perhaps finish some prior-authorization forms for work, but that is about all that is required today of Urs Truly. Lovely. I am certainly not going to waste this day watching the silly-old Super Bowl. I don’t care tuppence about the television commercials, and I don’t root for either team. (1)  While the rest of the nation is participating in this orgy of noise and calories I will probably be reading.  A book; quiet; solitude; a cup of tea – I can not imagine anything more salutary. (2)

Last week marked the twentieth anniversary of managing to keep Someone in my life. We both worked that eventful day. so other than an acknowledgment of the event nothing was done about it. (3)  All the same, I find it amazing. Twenty years! Despite coming from stock that have long and happy marriages I still find it incredible anyone manages to stay together – at least Someone manages to stay with me. The irksome habits we had twenty years ago, the ones each thought the other would lose in time, have not gone away and they are still as irksome as ever.  I suspect mine bother him more than vice versa. (4) Sometimes we talk about formally getting hitched but this never materializes along with the doing a budget, writing the wills, and making long term plans/bucket lists. I fear Herr Furor’s GOP ronyons will soon make it illegal anyway.

While S is away today at work I think I will make a list of things we ought to do, starting with the mundane (house repairs) and ending with the profound (wills).  Or maybe not. Perhaps I will be just sit in my virtual inglenook and waste away the day. That does sound delicious – and no Super Bowel high-calorie rubbish either. After all, Palm Springs is a few week away and I need to look my best.


  1. I am told of the teams is The Patriots. I know this as a patient came in last week bedecked in such garb. I don’t know who is the other team. Probably not The Lions.

2. I can think of a few other things,  but there it is.

3. Actually he sent me 18 yellow roses; that was very sweet.

4. It’s his own fault really. If he had asked a few logical questions when he met me he would have put a healthy distance between himself and a man who a) can’t keep his things together and b) wants to give the world a paint-job in bright bold colours.


Whenever I need cheering up I go my Youtube collection of saved clips from movies guaranteed to make me smile. These tid-bits of comedy are eclectic and they have no rhyme nor reason to them. As the great philosopher Mr. Bo Burnham asks: “What’s funny?” and there is no answer really. There is no accounting for taste.  It’s funny (pun intended) what is funny often rests on human misery, injury, or confusion.

In desperate moods and times desperate measures must be taken. Dry satire and wit is amusing but isn’t strong enough medicine for more serious doldrums. What is needed is pie-in-the-face, drop-your-drawers bawdy humor, full of corny jokes and references to effluvia.

With that said I am not too ashamed to admit “The Three Stooges” do it for me every time. There is something awful (but absolutely hysterical) about Moe slapping Larry. If this sort of thing happened in real life I would be appalled. I am getting the giggles merely thinking about “Disorder in the Court”, a classic farce guaranteed to make me guffaw.

A pie in the puss is a perfect panacea. “What’s up, doc?” has a classic pie-fight for no good reason other than pie-fights are hilarious. This one is particularly choice for it takes place at a snotty cocktail party; the sophistos get their comeuppance.* Speaking of “What’s up, doc?” I start to squeal whenever the large glass plate is brought onto the car chase scene. Everybody instantly knows it is there for only one reason: to be smashed. It is merely a question of when and how. I shan’t spoil it. Go see it.

I think Monty Python has done more good for the treatment of depression than Prozac. There are too many examples from which to choose.  Many if not all the scenes from “Holy Grail” are sufficient to chase away the blues. Take half a sketch of “Castle Anthrax” and a full dose of “The Black Knight” every 8 hours as needed until you cheer up.

My medicine cabinet of movies isn’t all crude and rude. I have some more sophisticated remedies for melancholia. For thems unfamiliar with “Cabaret” this dark and disturbing film has within it a marvelously funny scene of a polite English lesson tea party devolving from pleasant conversation into a discussion on syphilis.

I am curious to hear from Spo-fans ‘what’s funny’ to you and what makes you smile.


*Again it brings up the point why on earth does a hoity-toity cocktail reception happens to have an endless supply of meringue pies on hand.


I recently updated the tunes in the phone only to discover there is a lot of unheard music. There are several songs and albums purchased that became forgotten or unaddressed. When I want some music, I am turning to the tunes I’ve heard countless times before. Oh-oh. What is happening to my vows of ‘new and adventuresome over staid-old” and “open a new door every day”?  I am turning into an old person who slowly narrows down his ways and preferences. Soon I will one of The Ancient Ones who will only eat from three items and wears the same shirt despite having a full larder and wardrobe.

It’s a new month (rabbit!) ; it is a good time to do new and adventuresome things to expand my mind and world. I can start by listening to these un-played lovelies.  Some of them I don’t even recognize, which makes me wonder if Someone bought them or I am losing my memory.

I’ve learned the wisdom of putting down a book if it is not holding my interest, but music is more complicated. New music often makes me bristle slightly out of exposure to something unfamiliar. A few listens allow me to get over the ‘shock’ and focus on the lyrics, form, and nuances.  Music is challenging as I tend to put it on as background to other tasks. Familiar music compliment chores like Gouda and whisky.* In contrast novelty tunes distract and require my full attention. I have to make time to sit still, listen, and not do anything else to truly evaluate a new melody – and when do I have time for that?  I know a music critic who purposely puts on as background the music he is going to inspect. He plays it that way for a few times. Only then does he sits down with it ‘face to face’ as it were to truly listen to it.

There is no lack of tunes in the ITunes for me to inspect. The range is vast from Jethro Tull albums (the early years) to opera (La Rondine). There is even some goddess-diva albums of Kate Bush and Enya to encounter. If I stick to my resolve I won’t have to listen to anything familiar for a month.

After that I can work on reversing the dinner menu which has narrowed down to 3-4 quick dishes or Pei Wei carryout.


*Really. Try it sometime. It is the food of the gods – or at least the demi-gods.

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