Thursday, November 30, 2023

It's a CRIME-ing Shame!

For that small number of folks who may be wondering why I've gone so silent for a while,  I should let you know that Esther and I have been the victims of TWO completely unrelated crimes... that have since bizarrely connected in ways too complex for me to go into here!

No loss of life, limb, and (maybe?) property, and we probably won't discuss it further here... unless some of you are detectives, police, Batman, or Super Goof!  So, let the speculation run rampant - but, I must emphasize, WE ARE OKAY!!!

This "adventure" began on November 17, 2023, and is still disruptively with us into this morning (November 30, 2023)!  

There IS an end in sight, but we just can't seem to reach it yet, as new twists and layers continue to pile on!

I want to apologize to everyone whose communications and Blog comments I've been forced to ignore, as we continue to work through this ongoing situation!  We'll be back, because you can't keep a good Blog - or good Blogger - down!  

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving 2023 - and Happy 6th Birthday to Averi!

For Thanksgiving 2017, Esther and I gave far more than our standard amount of thanks - for, on that day, in that year, our darling granddaughter AVERI was born!  

And as the calendar works, six years later, her birthday falls on Thanksgiving once again - and so we happily summon up a metric ton of of additional thanks for the wonderful presence in our lives that she has become!  

And still more thanks for Cici and Logan who followed! 

As for Thanksgiving, I'm remined of the time last year, where I showed Averi the great Warner Bros. cartoon "Tom Turk and Daffy" - in which Porky Pig as a pilgrim hunted a frantic turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.  

In her kindergarten class, she had to "disguise" a drawing of a turkey with crayons, paper scraps, etc. lest he be found on Thanksgiving.  Since this was akin to Daffy Duck hiding the turkey from hunter Porky, I showed her the cartoon. 

And, while she laughed at all the antics, she questioned why Porky didn't just buy a turkey at the store like we did!  

You just GOTTA LOVE HER!  

Tuesday, November 7, 2023


One week out from Halloween, 2023, I offer the following observations - and hope they aren't as true everywhere, as they our in my little corner of the world. 

Halloween just ain't what it used to be! 

For most Halloweens in the 21st Century, there's been a steady decline, and a trickling to almost nothing, in the number of trick-or-treaters 'round here!  It's been particularly so since 2020 and COVID, when I was forced to put this sign upon my door.  

This year, Esther and I actually wondered if we should even buy (what has now become our customary) ONE BAG of candy!  Recent tradition prevailed, though, and figuring that some of it would eventually go to Averi and Cici, we chose a bag of candies that "their favorite Yeh-Yeh" (that's me) would also not mind eating over time.  

Over the course of the entire day only ONE GROUP of three girls rang the doorbell, to whom were doled-out a small portion of the underutilized candy! That doling being exclusive of Snickers and Twix, the clear choice of  "Averi and Cici's favorite Yeh-Yeh" (that's still me) to be eaten over time.  

Esther said there was another ring that went unanswered because I was upstairs offloading the soggy contents of the washing machine to the clothes dryer and didn't hear it. If so, I feel bad, but my point remains unchanged!  

That being... Kids just don't trick-or-treat anymore.  

I guess it's just another sign of the unpleasant world we now live in!  (And, say... didn't I begin my last post with that exact same sentence?)

The fear, suspicion, and outright distrust that has gripped our society during the period of 9-11 through the more recent near-decade of toxic politics, post-COVID adjustments, and new wars springing up in what we'd finally begun to regard as reasonably "stable" areas of the world (pretty much this whole damned 21st Century) have, if not outright killed this fun tradition, at least sent it into what looks to be a long hibernation!  

Trick-or-treating is well on its way toward becoming as antiquated and insignificant an activity as... oh, say... giving someone a hotfoot - but without the required matches and resultant foot pain!  

The saving grace to this is that it looks to be ONLY trick-or-treating that is receding into life's great rearview mirror - NOT Halloween itself, which continues to be celebrated in the form of parties, both in schools and private homes, where children can wear their costumes and get candy from persons they know and trust.  ...That MAY actually be a good thing!  

Spooky decorations still abound in our community, though I am personally loathe to decorate the outside of my house for any season or occasion - the work (only to be undone so soon that it's not worth it) and an aversion  to any outdoor efforts in the late fall and winter months are prime factors.  

Still I enjoy and am happy for the (oft-overdone, but nice) decor of others.  Alas, such houses vastly outnumber the actual trick-or-treaters visiting them. 

Averi and Cici, who live in a town just south of us, did have a great time trick-or-treating - and, by accounts, there seemed to be an overall higher level of activity but contained to a very small and specific area.  

No, that's not THEIR house behind them!

Nor is that one - but no lack of creativity here! That's for sure!  

Though, while far from finished, I can't help but wonder if  trick-or-treating isn't something a number of today's kids do simply because they see it on TV!  ...More than they do in real-life! 

Do whatever you can to change my mind, folks!  Our great friend Elaine usually has some more optimistic Halloween stories... hope that's still true!  And the rest of you, please give... but just not candy, I have more than enough of that!  


Sunday, November 5, 2023

What's This All A-BOT?

I guess it's just another sign of the unpleasant world we now live in - and, to be sure, it doesn't rate being in the same galaxy as the horrible, stomach-turning things that are going on with war, politics, race, crime, mass-shootings and whatever is dominating today's news cycle...

...But, I gotta vent it because, for a short while, it was turning me off to Blogging - and this humble Blog has been one of my constant joys since it began in 2008.  

As my regulars know, my Blog had been invaded by a BOT and, as Mickey Mouse (good as he is) can't help ME "Outwit THIS Phantom BOT"...

...Where a previous incursion resulted in the loss many of your valued comments (revisit the event HERE), I'll have to take matters into my own non-four fingered gloved hands!  

It seems that this persistent BOT exists to generate SPAM.  NINE spam, or decidedly spam-like, comments between October 30 and November 03, 2023.  

But not the usual type of spam that most bloggers get, for penis enlargement or solar panels (...presumably to keep your newly-enlarged penis warm and cozy).  Those are easily and routinely thwarted by the use of "Comment Moderation".  

While I have no true-fact basis to back this theory, I feel these unwanted comments are the result of some prankster (nay, VANDAL - perhaps even would-be cyber-terrorist) experimenting with some form of AI!  

Why?  Because the comments are actually "tailored" to the subject matter of whatever randomly-targeted-old-post it zeroes-in on.  BUT, those comments are awkwardly phrased as if they were not naturally composed by a human being!  

Yes, I've considered the possibility that the author might be someone for whom English is not a first language... or even a seventh, or seventeenth, but such persons (to their extreme credit, BTW) always manage to address specific points or aspects of the post they're commenting on and, if the Blogger engages any and all legitimate visitors to his or her Blog as *I* do, sometimes a dialogue might even develop.  

In the case of this BOT, the comments are generic, sometimes TOO GENERIC, but often with a hint of something that may relate to the subject matter of the post.  

But, it's always a regurgitation of something I've ALREADY SAID in the post, or a retrieval of other data easily found online, and spat back more structured and formally (yet, still very awkward) than a human being would normally compose!  


In my DVD Review of the Herman and Katnip DVD set, I said: 

"SUMMARY: It's like TOM AND JERRY, but they TALK! Traverse the 1950s with Herman and Katnip, Paramount/Famous Studios answer to MGM's classic Cat vs. Mouse team Tom and Jerry." 

The BOT says: "Herman & Katnip the classic cat and mouse duo resemblance [sic] to Tom & Jerry cartoons."

HEY, BOTTY-BOY, I just said that... got anything original in your AI arsenal?  

In response to my DVD Review of the Sylvester and Hippity Hopper DVD set, the BOT offered: "Classic animated series debuted in 1930 93 years ago became the longest running cartoons of all time became the compilation film and TV series by Warner Bros." 

Um, sounds like some awkward AI processing of wiki-something-or-other to me!  ...AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FREAKIN' POST!  

Then, there are the absurdly generic ones such as:

"I am the fan of classic animated cartoons and comicbooks in popular media throughout the world."

Um, THE fan?  Surely, there must be four or five more than that!  

And, on the same day, but to a completely different post: 

"I am r fan of classic animated cartoons and comicbooks in popular media throughout the world." followed by eighteen different emojis of "expressive round yellow faces", stars, birds, the Masks of Comedy and Tragedy, a movie director's clapboard, a movie camera, a movie projector, a mainframe computer, a laptop computer, and a TV set with antenna rabbit-ears !  


By now I hope I've convinced you that this is NOT the product of a human being!  ...And why I walked-away from this series of strange happenings for a short period to regroup!  But now it's time to do something and directly address this cyber-pest who seems so obsessed with my Blog!



Your comments will NEVER be published, and will never be addressed again after this post and any comments thereto!  

Thanks to Comment Moderation, they've been dead-ended and moved to SPAM!  I've only kept them in spam long enough to transcribe here and show my readers the sheer absurdity you've been directing toward toward this Blog - for reasons known only to you!   

Now, and for all time to come - if need be, they will be marked as SPAM and immediately deleted!  Neither your unwanted nonsense - nor any self-serving or malevolent links embedded therein - will ever be seen or accessed here!  

You've had your fun, now MOVE ON to someone else's Blog that you can perpetually pepper with your pre-adolescent pearls-of-wisdom!  A Blog without Comment Moderation where your dross can gleefully hide undetected amongst years-old-comments and where you can snicker at your own cleverness from afar!

There's nothing CLEVER about what you've done here... and, most importantly, there is no longer any reason for you to continue doing it!  

Leave this Blog for what it was always intended to be, a friendly and respectful place where persons of common interests can come together free of the snark and vitriol found throughout so much of the Internet!  

I'll be in this for the long haul, so please find a better (but I won't presume "more constructive") use of your time!