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November 10. Wishing my sister Kitty a happy birthday. Since I'm 99% sure she doesn't read this (why should she be strange?) I've made alternate arrangements to let her know it's her birthday.

Head Games

No, not the song by Foreigner (although that would be a good guess considering today's subject matter). When I was younger, I had music in my head pretty much every moment I was awake. There was nothing specific–something I had recently heard, or an earworm dredged up from who knows where. Sometimes they'd last a day–other times, an hour. But there was always something there.

Now, though, there are large gaps where I used to hear music. I'd like to say that the tunes were replaced by deep thoughts, but you seem like nice people and I would hate to lie to you. Sometimes they're real thoughts, but mostly I seem to enter some sort of dreamy reverie space of daydream and fantasy. Now, hat can be useful for a writer, and for coming up with ideas for presentation on the blog page. omeday I'll actually try to do that. And it's nice to have solid, potentially useful thoughts (when I remember them) as opposed to Yummy, yummy yummy, I've got love in my tummy (the 1910 fruitgum company). But then, I do miss letting the Stones' You Can't Always Get What You Want wander around filling all the synapses in my brain.    top

Proofs for the Existence of God, and that God Likes Rock Music

Keith Richards--He's not deaed yet!

Think of all the musicians who really should be dead–Keith Richards, Eddie VanHalen and Steven Tyler (heck all of Aerosmith), to name three. God helped heal their bodies so they could continue to play.

Of course, you have to wonder why the ones he left got left when you think about all those he called to join that heavenly band, why the ones we still have are left behind, what they did wrong to miss the rock rapture.    top


We don't hear about them much, but there seem to be a lot of protests going on. You probably heard about Hong Kong, but there are or have been protests in Chile, Iraq, Lebanon, Prague (Czech Republic), Sudan, Iraq, Indonesia, Phoenix, Australia, Haiti, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Although each has its own reasons, a large number of protests, especially in democratic nations, seem to be about increasingly restrictive government policies that curb personal liberties and democratic institutions.

I have no idea what it means, but coupled with the youth movements for gun control, women's equality, and a greener world, maybe there's hope for all of us. I know we tried in the late 60s, with waves of protests around the world, but then we got old and tired and just gave up, mostly. I hope this group of committed people stays that way. We'll all be better for it.    top


Ms. T has very specific ideas about the nature of Thanksgiving.


Fred the Flower

Fred takes another stab at writing. A theme for the week.

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

Observations from the front porch couch as evening comes

There's five of them. I can be observant when I want to.


I have to write a poem.

I am not successful.

There are no thoughts.

I am a failure.

I pocket my pen

Recline on the couch,

Watch the world pass,

My strength overcome again.

Dog and Owner.

The man is uncomfortable

Jogging down the street–

Feet lifted too high,

Knees at odd angles.

The dog is happy. He knows

How to trot, jog, run, walk,

Not embarrassed by what is on

The other end of the leash.


Bicyclists wobble down the street.

Their lights flash and warn,

But there are no cars

For them to scare away.


I do not believe it is the new moon.

It holds the shadow of the old moon

Off center in its embrace.

If I believed in simile

I would say the moon is like my life.


In the back of the house

The radio plays

A hit from the Eighties.

I cannot recall the title

Even though constantly played then.

I’ve thankfully forgotten the singer.

I resume ignoring it.

...other people's voices


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

Austin Kleon's blog

More quirky cartoons at The Oatmeal

they said it

Now in the carousel (upper left).

Earlier We Said

In the News

Two headlines: Photoshop could artificially add people to your group shots. response 1: OK, I guess, as long as they're artificial people. response 2: Hey, Siri, have Photoshop add George Clooney to the photo, but put him in the third row. We'll go with humblebrag for George. But if you have a nice photo of Idris Elba where he's sort of squatting, put him in the front row.

This sponsored post has been around a long time, but there was a new headline variation on Yahoo: We can guess your education with only ten question [sic]. response: We don't need any questions to guess your education.

Ad Blitz

A lot of people don't like Daylight Savings Time. At least in the fall, it marks a return to Standard time.

For us here in Virginia, this is a time of endings. Besides daylight savings, it also marks the end of the onslaught of campaign ads. This year was particularly vicious–everyone was a liar. One or two candidates took a stab at civility, but sorta gave up. And what's really sad is that none of the candidates were vying for our vote– the candidates for House of Delegates and Senate were running unopposed, so they didn't run any ads. Our ears (and tempers) were collateral damage.

I worry a little about our representative. In spite of running unopposed, he received only 89 percent of the vote. Which means that one in ten voters who bothered to show up did not bother to vote for the candidate. I smell opportunity here.

The political ads might be gone, but that just means we're moving into Medicare renewal and Christmas ads. And that's a full assault–TV, radio, and mail. 'Tis the time of year I get to empty the junk mail basket once a week instead of twice. Oh, well–I need the exercise.


We have lived in the same place for nearly 15 years. Twice a week, when I'm driving home, I have driven past a Catholic school on the corner. Today, for the first time, I noticed that they have a small pond in front fo the school. It doesn't look new–stones are weathered and the turf is full.

I have no idea what that means, Usually I notice things like that. Scary to think that I've missed that for fifteen years.

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

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