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The Blog

A friend is developing his own web pages, but doesn't want to call it a blog. I have resisted calling this a blog, but it is what it is. Because marketing! July 14.

Things I Learned This Week

It's another slow week. That doesn't mean I didn't learn anything– just not as much. I also suspect that this information won't be hanging around very long.

  • For some reason, I've been seeing a lot of references to hectares recently. I have no idea why (although the conspiracy theorist part of me figures it's a plot on the part of the globalist financial community to destabilize American real estate by confusing people who want to buy 5 acre estates in Estonia). A hectare is just less than 2.5 acres, or almost exactly the size of a rugby pitch. That doesn't help, though.
  • It used to be when Bastille Day was a pretty big day when I was a kid. A revolution for freedom. Lafayette, let them eat cake, A Tale of Two Cities, the guillotine. Now, nothing. I don't think I've seen any references to Bastille Day this year. Maybe we're doing something else to celebrate July 14.
  • Speaking of things French, the French military showed off the soldier of the future in a parade. The guy was on a hovercraft and flew above the crowd. I bet that really ticked somebody off, and we'll have to have one next year for the American parade of tanks.
  • Cows are being pitched as emotional support animals. Among other qualities they are non-judgmental That may be true, but I'd like to be there when someone tries to get their therapy cow on an airplane. Speaking of which, whatever happened to the whole brou-ha-ha about odd therapy animals on planes, like snakes and alpacas?



There are many ways to have a relaxing vacation.


Fred the Flower

It's the problems we never think of.

Fred the Flower

Fortnightly T-Shirts

Sometimes it's a mug, sometimes a meme, sometimes it's funny. But the price is always right.

T-shirts you just can't buy.

Poetry Corner

All the little black dresses

The return of poetry to this page. It's been too long. Revised.

High noon in August.

A little black dress seems an odd choice

for the time of year and day,

Apparel associated with elegant evenings,

Quiet assignations in dark restaurants

Or loud, high-energy parties.

Not with noon,

Not with unforgiving sunshine,

Not with the corner of M and New Jersey

In Washington, DC.

But here they are–

Black hair, black dresses, black sunglasses

Striding confidently


Along the sidewalks of M and New Jersey.

The purses and clutches and mobile phone covers provide

the only spot of color in a noir world.

The dresses all stop

Four inches above the knee,

Apparently a requirement

For a little black dress.

The nearest woman removes her sunglasses

As she enters the drugstore.

She is of Oriental descent,

A meaningless observation

When the goal of the little black dress,

Like the tuxedo,

Is uniformity and anonymity.

The woman disappears

Into aisles of cough drops, yogurt

And lawn chairs that populate

The modern drug store.

She is trim, young, and confident.

I am none of these things.

As I stand at the corner of M and New Jersey

In my faded khakis and unfashionable shirt,

I think about our differences–

She on the ascent, me on the decline,

A life ahead, life more behind than ahead,

Promise, fulfillment.

On the whole, I prefer where I am,

Goals reached, self realized, content and at peace,

Yet free to strike out on another path

Maybe freer to do so

Than the young women

with their black hair and black sunglasses

and black dresses

can barely think to dream.

...the spirits are about to speak

they said it

Oh great, I'm being heckled by my hero.

Steve Earle


My brother-in-law Harvey's academic-politics cartoon: SNAF-U

My sister Mary Pat's occasional musings: LaBrea Rambles

Suzanne's blog: The Tabard Inn

More quirky cartoons at The Oatmeal

Earlier We Said

From July 10.

Alternate Lyrics

If you buy into alternate universes, and listen to a lot of music, then this is for you. Some lyrics that are popular in alternate universes have seeped through to ours. Like there's a bathroom on the right is an almost-universal reading of CCR's Bad Moon Rising. Some hearings are more individualized. I seem to be the only person who wonders why Sting and The Police are singing I'm a pool hall ace in Every Breath You Take.

Well, I've got a new candidate. While driving around the other day, the radio played Billy Idol'sMony, Mony. During the chorus, I heard the backup singers singing either Whack-a-Mole-y or Guacamole, What you hear probably depends on whether you're a fan of carnival games or Mexican food. Either way, I'm pretty sure they're both wrong.

Conspiracy Theorist

We have been inundated with stories about the crisis on the border with Mexico. From manageable levels, there are suddenly hundreds of thousands of refugees seeking asylum in the United States. How did this happen, that numbers grew geometically from just a few months ago?

It's simple. All the refugees are actually actors. I'm told on good authority that you can't get good service in a restaurant in New York or Los Angeles because the restaurants lack waitstaff and table busers. The all been shipped across the border to play migrants from Honduras and other Central American countries.

The only question is who is paying them.

Dream Status

We all have dreams. Some of us leave them behind, a dream that will never be realized. Some get superseded by events–the love of our lives marries another, or we age out of a dream–-I doubt a 65-year-old is not going to win gold in the luge at the winter Olympics. Or maybe we've been plugging along on a dream, do a little here, a little there, and so on.

Whatever the dream, it's time to do a status check. Where is our dream. Even if we think our dream has died, it helps to check–what is its status? If it died, what is the dream that replaced it?

That's one of the things I liked about Houston and Texas in general–I found a lot of support for dreams (and it wasn't just me). I was encouraged to chase them. When a dream gets chased, one of two things happen. You achieve your dreams. Or you don't. If the first, people congratulate you and are happy for you. If the second, folk commiserate, then ask, What's next? What are you going to do now? And help you with that.


TomatoPlanet!! is a random collection of writing, cartoons, and things that strike my fancy. © 2003-2019, John McCarthy

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