Sunday Stealing – Surveys

L.L. Bean

This week’s Sunday Stealing is Surveys. But isn’t it Saturday? Why yes it is.

Before that, I want to do some light kvetching. There’s a walkway between our house and the neighbor’s. Two Wednesdays ago, there was a bunch of trash on the ground. I figured it might have blown over – it has been occasionally windy – and it would be picked up by Thursday night with the city garbage pickup on Friday morning.

But it was still there Friday afternoon when I took this picture. Fortunately, it was disposed of by Saturday morning, but now there are TWO shopping carts, one from Whole Foods, the nearest one of which is four miles away. Since there are at least four apartments  in the building, I don’t know who to ask, and there’s enough turnover there that I don’t know anyone there presently.

I can’t talk to the absentee landlord because he is a piece of work.  He scraped my wife’s vehicle with his rusty pickup truck last month, white paint from our car on his rust bucket. Moreover, there are two witnesses to this. 

Where were we?
  1. . How long was your last phone conversation?
About a half hour, with my baby sister.

2. Have you ever dyed your hair?
Not ever.

3. What do you have on your feet?
Slippers. It’s always slippers if I’m at home. Maybe socks if I’ve been out covered by slippers.

4. Do people ever mispronounce your name?
It’s a pretty easy name.  Still I’ve been called Robert and, most often George; I think it’s the consonant thing. When I was waiting to read at the Ironweed marathon reading, I heard the announcer say, Next up:, Roger Breen” or something that wasn’t my name.

5. Where did you get the shirt you are wearing?
My wife bought it from L.L. Bean, which was the Final JEOPARDY response in the game I lost; I was the only one to get it right, taking me from third to second place.

6. Does any part of your body hurt right now?
My feet. My knees, which are bone-on-bone. The left one is particularly exhausting.

7. Do you drink hard liquor?
Very seldom. But I have a LOT in my house for guests. But we don’t havce a lot of guests, mostly because we have a demented cat.

8. Have you ever read a book in one sitting?
Other than children’s books, perhaps many years ago. 
9. Do you like cats?  Why or why not?
As noted, our male cat is demented. The female cat is skittish but nice. I tend to be pleasant to the neighbor cats. There was a calico cat on the front porch this week and I talked nicely to it. Related: there was a dead mouse on the walkway to our sidewalk this Wednesday; I kicked it onto our lawn, intending to pick it up on Thursday night for trash night, but it was gone. Friday morning, there was that dead creatrure on our front porch and ANOTHER dead mouse on the back porch,  presents, I believe, from the calico cat, who was in our backyard. Oh, cat, you SHOULDN’T have – really, you shouldn’t.

10. Do you like the ocean?
Sure. Looking out from the San Diego area is particularly lovely.

11. Ever think you might have seen a UFO?

12. Do you type fast?
Not at all.

13. How long are you usually in the shower for?
Ten minutes, maximum.

14. Chinese food or Mexican food?
Yes. But I’ve had Mexican food recently, whereas it’s been possibly pre-COVID since I had Chinese food.

15. Do you read and believe your horoscope?
A friend of mine got me a very detailed horoscope probably four decades ago or more. It took into account my time of birth, the location, etc. It seemed pretty accurate It’s around here SOMEWHERE, but it certainly has not informed the way I lived my life 

A Sedingerian ARA post

the rules of curling

Kelly Sedinger asked a slew of questions for Ask Roger Anything. And he’s not even from New Jersey. (An old SNL reference.) This makes this a Sedingerian post. Or a Sedingeresque post. You decide.

What do you think of Spam? The actual food product! (I’m still stunned at how beloved it is in Hawaii; you can get Spam at McDonald’s there!)

When my then-girlfriend/now wife went there in 1995 with her parents, she reported the same phenomenon. By the way, I ended up going to New Orleans for work at the same time.

I’m sure I used to eat Spam when I was a kid, maybe in my twenties. As I recall, I liked it. But I’m not sure I’ve had it in the past four decades. I’ll have to try it again.

BTW, from the SPAM FAQ: The true root of the island’s love for SPAM® products goes back to World War II, when the luncheon meat was served to GIs. By the end of the war, SPAM® products were adopted into local culture, with Fried SPAM® Classic and rice becoming a popular meal. The unique flavor quickly found its way into other Hawaiian cuisine, from SPAM® Fried Wontons to SPAM® Musubi, and SPAM® products became a fixture for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Today you’ll find SPAM® dishes served everywhere from convenience stores to restaurants, reflecting a demand that is unmatched by any place in the world.”


For whatever reason, you are required to spend one week someplace that’s no more than an hour away from home. Where are you going?

There’s a timeshare in western Massachusetts that we’ve been to perhaps 25 times in the past quarter of a century. It was initially my parents-in-law’s place, but we’ve taken it over in the place few years.

Once, we were there when our then-baby daughter got a splinter, and we couldn’t get it out. So we took her to a doctor in Albany, then returned to the timeshare the same day.

Sports report

Do you understand the rules of curling? I do not. In fact, I’m not convinced the whole thing isn’t an elaborate prank.

I looked at the rules for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. And I STILL don’t understand them.

Favorite obscure sport?

Foot archery, of course. It is something that I could never do.

Food eating contests: your feelings? (I loathe them, but that’s just me.)

It’s fairly revolting, gluttony as sport; it’s on ESPN! And yet I know Joey Chestnut’s name.

What’s one lesson you learned from any one teacher you had as a kid?

My fifth-grade teacher, Miss Oberlik, taught us to count to 19 in Russian. I can still do that.

Milk as a beverage: Yes or no?

Yes and no. Yes, when served with cookies or, I suppose, pastries. No, when on cereal.

Why is my cat such a doofus? (I doubt you can answer this, but it’s been much on our minds of late)

One of my cats is a doofus. When I come in from outdoors, he runs to the door like he wants to go out. About four years ago, he did go out, and he was terrified when he finally returned over an hour later. Many felines are doofi.

Two more questions will be answered forthwith. Or with forth.

Sunday Stealing: Animal Questions

Ogden Nash

This week’s Sunday Stealing is Animal Questions from WTIT: The Blog.


1. If animals could talk, which one do you think would complain the most about their day?

Bee drones. “They don’t do much in the hive as they wait to mate with a queen bee from another colony. That means they are eating resources and taking up space. When the colony starts getting ready for winter, the worker bees, all female, kick the drones out. Sometimes, it’s swift, and I will find their stung dead bodies in the front of the hive.”


2. What do you think cats dream about during their epic naps?

An endless supply of food.


3. If squirrels organized an Olympics, what events would they have?

A decathlon, perhaps augmented. Surely, they can run, long jump, high jump, jump hurdles…


4. Do you think penguins are jealous of birds that can fly?

No, because they feel grounded. After all, they evolved from flighted birds.  Seriously, I worry about penguins because per Smithsonian: “The research suggests that the tuxedo-wearing waddlers might struggle to adapt to and survive the planet’s current rate of global warming.”


5. If animals had their own social media, what kind of posts would we see from them?

I’ve been fascinated by the Simon and Garfunkel song At The Zoo, which I wrote about here. It’d be just as annoying as the human variety.


6. What would be the title of the autobiography of a lazy house cat?

Caterwauling to Right Living


7. If you had to choose an animal to be your personal bodyguard, which one would you pick?
A panther: quick and strong, like the late T’Challa.
Loyal canines
8. Do you think dogs secretly judge us for not being able to sniff out everything they can?

Absolutely not. Dogs have evolved into being people pleasers. They like to be helpful, like Presbyterians.


9. If animals could wear clothes, which would have the best fashion sense?

I suppose I should ask someone from the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals or SINA, who require clothing for “any dog, cat, horse or cow that stands higher than 4 inches or longer than 6 inches.”  Racehorses already wear colors, so I’ll go with them. It wouldn’t be penguins or peacocks who are naturally snazzy. On a serious note, when it’s 110F (43.3C), as it was in Phoenix, AZ, for a month straight, it’s dangerous for dog paws. 


10. If a group of owls started a band, what would their music style be?

The choices are two. One is obvious: a hootenanny. The other is funk; since a gathering of owls is a parliament, I suggest they would emulate Parliament Funkadelic.


11. What do dolphins think when people swim with them?

The serious answer is that the interaction may benefit humans. However, “Dolphins… are wild animals, and human interaction can be detrimental.  Getting into a tank with a dolphin is theoretically no different than getting into a cage with a lion. Dolphins are apex predators and have the capability of killing a shark.”  So, it’s generally a bad idea and unethical, especially when they are in captivity.


12. What do you think squirrels gossip about when they chatter to each other in the trees?
The location of food, dogs, and traffic; the site of the Olympic tryouts.
Pink Floyd
13. If elephants played hide-and-seek, where do you think they’d hide?

In plain sight, trying to pretend to be a wall.


14. What do you imagine a llama would say if you asked it about the meaning of life?

Llamas have attitude, so they’d probably ask why you bother them with such a silly question.


The Lama – Ogden Nash

The one-l lama,
He's a priest.
The two-l llama,
He's a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-l lllama.
15. If you could swap places with any animal for a day, which one would it be, and why?
A cheetah, because being the fastest land animal in the world sounds cool.

Changing up the morning ritual


Daily Quordle #51
⬜🟨⬜🟨⬜ ⬜⬜🟩⬜⬜
⬜🟨🟨⬜🟩 🟨⬜⬜⬜⬜
⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ 🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜
⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ ⬜🟩⬜⬜⬜
🟨🟨⬜⬜⬜ ⬜⬜🟩⬜⬜
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜
⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ ⬜⬜🟩⬜⬜
⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ 🟩🟩🟩🟩⬜
⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

⬜🟩🟩⬜🟩 ⬜⬜🟩🟨🟩
⬜⬜⬜⬜🟨 ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜
⬜⬜⬜⬜🟩 ⬜⬜⬜⬜🟩
⬜🟨⬜🟨🟨 ⬜🟨⬜🟨🟨
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 ⬜⬜🟩🟩🟩
⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ 🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜
⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
I’ve been changing up the morning ritual in the past, lessee, two years. Formerly, I would get up, check the email, and perhaps work on the blog, But at 7 a.m., my wife and I would go downstairs and watch CBS This Morning, now CBS Mornings, to watch “your world in ninety seconds.”

When the headlines were unrelentingly about COVID – the spread of COVID, the death toll of COVID – I sometimes passed on the opportunity to start my day with misery. Presently, I’ve been feeling similarly about Ukraine. I guess I’m more equipped to deal with distress in the evening. Besides, I tend to get enough news from various news outlets during the day.

Instead, I do the daily Wordle. I should note that my wife is MUCH better at this than I am, just as she’s better at Boggle. My daughter is better, too. Wordle has become an odd family bonding experience.

I’ve repeatedly told my wife she’d rule on Wheel of Fortune. We actually have the home game, a consolation prize from when on JEOPARDY! and our comparative scores prove my point. But at least we all still have our Wordle streaks going, unlike some people.

FOUR words

Then I attempt Quordle. The first several times I never got the four words in the nine tries. My mistake was to work it like I played Wordle. I know now to try to expose as many letters by finding three or even four words that hit most of the consonants. I’ve been much more successful.

After wishing my wife goodbye, I go back into the office. The cats want to be fed. I HAD been giving them nourishment at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. But with the stupid time change, if I attend them at 7 and 7, when we “fall back”, they’d be caterwauling to get food at 6 and 6.

This is just one reason that I’m OK with the idea of changing to permanent Daylight Saving Time, even though it’ll be dark on December mornings. I’ve made my feelings about changing the clocks quite clear here. (I’m essentially agreeing with  Marco Rubio; this pains me.)

After finally feeding the felines, I take my blood pressure and my pulse to make sure I’m not dead. THEN I eat. The rest is the usual alternating of email/blogging to music, riding the stationary bike while watching TV (JEOPARDY, 60 Minutes, Finding Your Roots, Trevor Noah, et al), washing the dishes/reading the newspaper to music. This may be altered by a medical appointment, Bible study, grocery shopping, or the eternal “something else,” that unexpected task that sucks up hours in the day.

Lydster: Midnight and Stormy

Aaron Copland

We have two cats. While they are both about seven years old, Midnight, the male black feline, is a few months older than Stormy, the female grayish one. And he is clearly the alpha beast.

This has created a problem of Midnight being overweight, and seeing them at mealtime explained why. Each of them receives a quarter can of wet food. Midnight devours this as though he had never been fed ever before. Left to his own devices, he’d bump Stormy out of the way and eat her food as well. Yes, one could stop him from stealing her food. But how do we slow him down?

Our daughter found this rolly-polly little feeder with a hole near the bottom. It sort of looks likes a tiny version of Arthur’s pet composting device, actually. Midnight’s job is to knock the device around and the kibble would come out of the hole. Meanwhile, someone would take Stormy’s half-eaten bowl of wet food and place it in a location where she could get it but he would not find it.

This is a twice-daily ritual at 7:30 Daylight Saving Time, 6:30 during Standard Time. I feed them in the morning because my wife is off to work. Our daughter feeds them at night, although she sometimes has to be reminded to leave the cave that is her bedroom.

Don’t mess with Midnightus

Midnight is quite hostile to most other human beings. He actually gets along with our contractor. He is civil enough to my daughter’s friend Kay that she can feed them while we’ve been away. But don’t take his tolerance of you as acceptance. My friend Uthaclena made the mistake of petting him, and Midnight’s claws came out. My MIL is terrified of him, as are others.

When we had inspectors visit our home for a loan, our daughter put them both in her room. Stormy wouldn’t hurt anyone, but she is terrified of strangers. One catsitter a few years back was afraid that she somehow escaped the house. Nah, she was just hiding, and she does it well.

Midnight can be quite affectionate to us. He’ll even let me put him up if I scratch under his chin before bolting. Stormy comes to people on her own terms, rubbing her body against my leg. She’ll sit on her laps if SHE feels like it.

We initially got the cats because our daughter wanted them. But my wife and I have grown rather attached to them, in spite of ourselves.

Here’s William Warfield, performing Aaron Copland’s song I Bought Me A Cat, with the composer conducting.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial