Heading Out

I’m going away on an overnight trip; I’ll be back sometime tomorrow evening. There won’t be any news feed tonight, but I should be back early enough to put one up tomorrow night.

As usual, y’all will be under the gracious care of Miz Dymphna while I’m gone. With only one person to moderate comments, it may take longer for your comment to appear. So please be patient.


In the Wind

I’m heading out for a couple of days. While I’m away, there will be no news feed.

It’s not a funeral this time, but rather a pleasant family event. I’ll be driving a long way to see some people I haven’t seen in a number of years.

Dymphna will be holding the fort. Y’all behave yourselves while I’m gone.

Away From My Desk

I have to go out of town for the funeral of a relative. No, it’s not the relative who was in the terrible car accident last month — he’s still in the rehab place in Richmond, slowly recovering.

This relative was a geezer, only a little older than me, so his death — although a bit early from an actuarial perspective — was not such an awful blow, just a sad occasion. I will be going down there tonight for the service and the reception tomorrow, and will be back sometime tomorrow evening.

So no news feed tonight. Mind your p’s and q’s while I’m gone — don’t throw your empty wine bottles behind the davenport, or stub out your cigarettes in the aspidistra pot.


Out of Town

I’ll be on the road and away from my desk for a couple of days. While I’m gone there will be no news feed, and posting will be light.

Dymphna’s having a lot of fatigue at the moment. She says she’ll do her best with the comments, but no promises.

Song of the Open Road

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

— Walt Whitman

I’m going away overnight, despite the (slightly) wintry weather. There won’t be any news feed tonight. I’ll be back sometime tomorrow.

Allons! the road is before us!

Yikes! Is That Thor I Hear?

Or perhaps I should say “Hark, what Thunder this way comes?”

Not again!

I heard the rumble and looked at the radar. There is one tiny red storm cell just barely to the north of us. It is moving at zero knots and headed ENE – i.e., away from here and making for Washington D.C. Thus, by all that is logical it ought to be on its way.

Rats! Those background noises are increasing.

Obviously that last storm has left me wary. It could indeed rain on their parade ten miles from here and still knock out a junction box – or whatever they’re called – connected to us. I loathe these beta designs for which we are the guinea pigs (is “guinea” racist yet?) and still must pay for their experiments.

Love the rain, hate the ruin…and the Baron is away, getting the car repaired. Double rats!

But now y’all know…if our page seems to be in stasis then either we’re down or y’all have gone to bed because for sure I’m still here…

Note: Obviously I snagged this image from Vlad’s previous post on our weather. Those are some cool mammary clouds in his picture, but these are not those. I’m only seeing gloom, hearing boom!, and fearing doom. Don’t mind me…I used to like storms.

A Cater Corner* Place Holder

Not Eric Holder, thank heavens…

Just a note to let all of y’all know the Baron is away from his desk. The poor man is making the slog into town to get antibiotics for me; it will be a right good while before he returns.

I had a root canal done on a molar yesterday and early this evening the remaining tissue has swelled up something fierce. I really do look like one of those cartoons with an ice pack on my right jaw, tied with a scarf. Not nearly as amusing as those old jokes, but, hey, real life seldom is.

Many of you know how far we live from civilization. As I used to say sometimes, we’re forty miles from the nearest latte. In addition, it’s also the same amount of time from here to the only synagogue around…which was once a church. Cater-corner* from the synagogue is a Catholic church, which backs up against a library and is directly across from some lawyers’ offices. I used to call that whole configuration – synagogue, church, library and lawyers – Holy Moses. Right there you could find any kind of spiritual or legal or literary solace you needed.

But not antibiotics.

*Catty-corner is a directional word, meaning that something is diagonally across from something else.

In case y’all have a different word to indicate “diagonally across the street”, here are some selections from a site I’m too woozy to source. They come from a website called Daily Writing Tips. When the Baron returns he’ll put in the link, but meanwhile here’s the meat:

The word started out as cater-corner. Cater is an English dialect word meaning “to set or move diagonally.”

When the word cater with its meaning of “to set or move diagonally” dropped out of the language, folk etymology got busy and now we have all kinds of “cat” variants for this concept:

  • catty-cornered

  • kitty-corner

  • kitty-cornered

  • catty-corner

  • cat-a-corner
  • kitty-corner

  • kit-a-corner

I’ll bet the French idiomatic phrase for “diagonally across the street” is even more entertaining.


The Baron left y’all reluctantly, believe me. But duty called…

…meanwhile, me icepack is slipping…

The Baron Will Be Back (None Too) Soon

Gentle Readers, all:

Even as I write this, the Baron is wending his way toward Schloss Bodissey. I know you will be glad to see him out of the saddle and back in charge. So will I, friends, so will I.

During his absence I’d planned to post some items I’ve had on “Hold”. Lots of plans. However, my health hasn’t allowed for the basics, much less any extras. Madre de Dios, when he sees the backed up sludge of email…hours of it since I was forced to stop even opening that page.

Besides the usual ‘meh’ I normally employ to describe my health, there are newer, more unpleasant symptoms in the last few days. Since I’m not often easy prey for wandering viruses, I’ve been at a loss to explain myself to myself. So perhaps what I’m experiencing is a version of that new plague being visited upon the U.S., for which Scott Johnson supplies an interesting explanation, given to him by a doctor: [the emphasis is mine]
Continue reading

It Figures…

The Baron has spent hours on the phone talking to the techies and fixers, though to no avail. Finally, he went to do the marketing for me since our vegetable situation was critical…

…and y’all know that Schloss Bodissey is at the Edge of Beyond – or rather, smack dab in the Middle, where there be monsters – so it will be a while before he returns.

I have no idea what brought us down, but there was talk of how long it takes to propagate a new something-or-other. It’s whatever all those little numbers are called. And yes, they shouldn’t let me near a computer given the level of my ignorance.

It was leprechauns in the intertubes, that’s what it was. I almost grabbed one – even had the edge of his coat – but all I have to show for my efforts is a bit of tattered green cloth. Do you think they might be lying about their purported pots of gold? Have you noticed President Obama looks a bit like a leprechaun? He’d never make the height limits, though. I can’t picture him crouched under a toadstool, can you?

In the meantime, a placeholder post to let y’all know we’re not dead. Thanks for the concerned emails, too.

Arthur Heads North & Gates of Vienna Returns from Coventry

Why were we out of business? I have no idea. Henrik did something or other and we’re back. He and the Baron will discuss when the latter returns.

On Fourth of July (tomorrow) Hurricane Arthur should be off the coast of Virginia, bringing assorted weather our way for certain. It had been forecast to remain a Category One but now they’re saying maybe it will move into a Category Two for a brief while during its sojourn past Virginia’s coast. Right now there are lots of passing storms, a breeze mostly from the south, and intermittent sunshine. The temperature has dropped at least fifteen degrees.

We’re about three hours away from the coast – though more like two hours as the crow flies, and hurricanes do use crow flight. In other words, the weatherlies will increase and we’ll get some high winds and rain tomorrow. The rain will be most welcome, the possibility of downed trees not so great. If it is too severe it will delay the Baron’s return until it moves along.

The Baron is having a great time watching the Weather Channel on the TV in his motel room. He gets to see all the forecast models and listen to meteorological geek talk. Why do we like to watch weather so much? How do they keep one channel devoted solely to weather?? Sans TV, I’m watching the live stream from a web camera installed in some inlet in North Carolina; things have picked up in the short time I’ve been watching but the boats there are all safely battened down.

Our beloved Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a part of a long Barrier Reef which runs the length of the North Carolina coast (poking a bit into Virginia), is going to get creamed once again, probably just as Arthur turns into a Category Two. Mandatory evacuations via the state’s ferries is required during one of these super-storms.

The erosion with each new blow means that eventually Ocracoke will disappear, taking a small piece of Britain with it. Hmmm…are Brits like Islam? Bury British bodies on that spot and it becomes a part of Her Majesty’s Empire? The link will show you a few pictures, but I’d recommend doing a Google Image search for more views of the cemetery. We always visited when we were on the Island. To pay our respects, to come smack up against the past, to remind ourselves of our own mortality.

The erosion damage is most apparent on the very thin road that takes one from the mainland to the island. Road crews are always out pushing back the dunes that continue to form as the road washes away. I saw a brief glimpse of it today and the storm is already washing over it. I hope everyone made it off the island – though I have an idea the natives stay home if it’s only a Category Two.

There is a listing of the communities – and a mention of their distinctive “brogue” on this wiki about the Outer Banks. A fascinating place. Yes, it does indeed make me sad to think I will never be well enough to make that long trek again. It’s one of those moments when you wish you could go back to the last time you were there and know at the time you won’t be able to return. But the memories are good ones so maybe it’s just as well I didn’t know…those long bike rides were great fun on the last trip.

Perhaps it’s enough to know our son will continue the tradition since he loves Ocracoke, too.

As for tomorrow, Fourth of July, the annual observance of America’s independence…I think I’ll skip the ceremonies this year. It feels too much like a raw wound at the moment, with little to celebrate.

Whither the Weather

Okay, the Baron is gone searching for some contract work. In his absence, some storms have moved in.

Normally I like the sturm und drang since it provides much-needed rain. And with the B running interference with our internet connection, I just take it in stride when he tells me the connection is out. If the weather is particularly egregious, then he has to talk to the phone company and do things to the gadgets and switches. Oh wait, he does the gadgets first, then he puts in a trouble ticket with the phone company.

His instructions to me, written out and left in three places, concern how to shut down those little doo-hickeys and then how to start them up again and in which order- oh, and how long to wait between knobs. However…

If there’s a general knock-out due to a transformer being hit down the line (actually in our case it’s UP the line, in the nearby mountains), that’s the point where he would call the phone company, but that’s also the point at which he told me, “don’t bother. The techno-talk is annoying at the best of times. If you can call out, get ahold of Vlad so he can notify our readers”.

Strange system. Sometimes it knocks out our phone. Sometimes it leaves the phone alone and takes our internet connection hostage instead. And sometimes the storm rages on and leaves everything intact. This one has a fair amount of lightning in it so I’ll take a pass on standing out in it just to feel the cool. Today the temperature hit 96F with a “feels like” 110. That’s pretty awful, but not near as bad as 13F, with a “feels like” minus 12F.

Speaking of weather: remember that climate alarmist who showed up here not too long ago to frighten us with global warming scary booger stories and y’all jumped on him with science Facts and Figures?

Expect those folks to be sending out great waves of self-satisfied gloats as an early (early by a week) hurricane works its way up the eastern seaboard. Hurricane Arthur will be welcomed here. It’s barely a Category One and it’s wide enough to dump some water inland, lowering the warnings about forest fires.