N-N-1: The Quarantine Edition

I woke up this morning to find a message from my friend Anju raving about how the most recent N-N-1 was so good. After reading it, I have to enthusiastically agree.

The View from a Drawbridge

For several years now, I’ve participated in a delightful photography/creative writing experiment that was created by two of my favorite bloggers, Anju, who writes This Labyrinth I Roam, and Norm, who writes Classical Gasbag. They thought it would be interesting to see what people all over the world were doing/seeing/experiencing at the same point in time. As Norm explains it, in N-N-1 the first N stands for the number of participants, the second for the number of photos (they should be the same), and the 1 stands for one time.

The subject I chose for this N-N-1 was Quarantine. Our worlds have been turned upside down by COVID-19. What are you and/or your family and/or your community doing to cope during these strange times?

I received a variety of wonderful submissions, showing that we each have different ways of living, which is as it should be, and in…

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N-N-1: The August Edition

Here is another installment of N-N-1, hosted by my fellow instigator, Anju. Great Job!

This Labyrinth I Roam

Our time and space travelling project is continuing to capture real-moments globally, allowing us to see and read about events we can’t currently be there for. And until they invent that teleportation device, we shall live vicariously through the N-N-1 phenomenon.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, go to the N-N-1 collaboration archive to get up to speed on all the cool posts you’ve missed.

Here’s what our global ambassadors have been up to this August.

A Splash Of My Life

“This lil teefer deserves a warm bed and warmer cuddles. After a long, exhausting day at the Ensenada shelter, these pictures give me the determination to do all I can. I hope that they will be out, surrounded by love and care. Soon.” – Princess Butter

The View From A Drawbridge

“I’m beginning to think that the only way to beat the heat in this new global climate change…

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My Crazy Idea

Politics & Recipes

I am sure that all of you who live in the U.S., and probably many who live outside of the U.S, are wondering about our current gun laws and what can be done to limit or end all of the shootings that occur here. The most recent  shooting to gain national attention occurred February 14th in Parkland, Florida.

Wayne LaPierre

I’ve mentioned before that we should listen closely to the students who are giving voice to their concerns, and who are offering solutions to the growing problem of shootings. I echo their opinions. And yet, The NRA, headed by Wayne LaPierre, and President Trump have suggested an  alternative solution. Simply stated, they want to have teachers to carry guns in order to shoot, and presumably kill, people who are intent on killing students and faculty. That sounds simple enough. Or perhaps simplistic is a better word.

Rather than argue about…

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Never too old

Politics & Recipes

It is difficult to give much thought to a topic these days and still be somewhat current. I’m the type of person who needs time. I’ve found that if I rush to take a definitive stand on an issue, it is usually haphazardly thought out and subject to being critically picked apart…often by myself.

I decided a short time ago that I would write something about the recent and overdue upheaval in our country over the issues of sexual predation and monetary inequity visited upon women. I was floundering to find a rock upon which to build my case, when it was presented to me by a pundit, Princeton professor Eddie Glaude Jr., on one of my favored political TV shows.

Roy Moore

But then I got sidetracked and have spent too much time being enraptured by the consideration of things such as political elections in other states; the mental stability…

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Oh dear!

building a
Waiting for a red light to turn green

I took this picture this morning while we were waiting for a traffic light to turn green. It is just the back of an older building, but I like the way it looks. I wouldn’t want to live there, but I think the picture has an artsy-fartsy kind of look.


It is probably just age creeping up on me and slapping me in the face, but I’m starting to worry about myself. Here are  couple of things that have bothered me recently.

  1. A couple of days ago I took a load of dirty laundry to the basement to give it a wash. I put the clothes in the washer, made the proper settings on the machine, closed the lid, and turned on the dryer. And stood there for a few seconds trying to figure out what was wrong with that picture. Yes, I turned on the dryer instead of the washer. It only took a couple of seconds to correct my actions, but still…
  2. This morning I borrowed Cindy’s car to run some errands. I needed my sunglasses, but since I keep them I my car, I had to unlock it to get them. I left and ran my errands. When I returned I remembered that I needed to return my sunglasses to my car, so I unlocked the door, opened it, tossed the keys into the front seat, set the lock and closed the door. As I turned to walk inside I glanced down at my hand and noticed that I was still holding my sunglasses. I had locked my keys in my car. Luckily we have another set, but still…

If you would like to make me feel better, you can tell me about something similar that you have done. You can make a comment, or if you don’t want to share it with the small part of the world that reads Classical Gasbag you can use the form below and only I will know about your embarrassment. Somehow I feel there will only be crickets around this post.


From the Back of the Bus

I bought this book when I was I high school, or maybe when I was in college. I don’t really remember. In the 1960’s Dick Gregory was helping people with a liberal social conscience laugh, and was upsetting those who didn’t. I remember watching him on TV and laughing at his jokes. I couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t change their minds about racial injustice after listening to him. I’m older now. He was strong in the civil rights movement. He was strong in the anti-war movement. He never stopped talking about injustice in the world. He died the same weekend as Jerry Lewis, who was also a fine comedian.

I also remember watching Jerry Lewis and his partner Dean Martin on television when I was young. They brought me many laughs. But at some point I grew out of my love for the type of humor Jerry Lewis brought. I never outgrew my love for Dick Gregory’s humor.

Past and Present

I have tried to keep my political opinions out of this blog. But since this post also deals with music, I am re-blogging from my seldom used Politics & Recipes blog.

Politics & Recipes

I haven’t written anything of substance about politics in a long while. There have been a few Tweets, and I’ve re-Tweeted or shared other people’s Tweets that I like, but I have remained pretty much silent for quite some time. I wanted to give our President a chance to settle in.

I hadn’t planned on writing anything today, but I was listening to the original Broadway cast recording of Camelot this morning and things started falling into place.

Our Prez

I know that Camelot is closely tied to the John F. Kennedy presidency, but I also think it speaks to our current administration. I’ll warn you in advance that a new production of the show would need some minor re-writing to bring it up to date, and President Trump would have to play two roles, but other than that I think it could have a run.

Here is an updated…

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Always get a second opinion

Graveyard south of Lafayette

It has been a while since I posted a picture of a grave yard. It seemed appropriate today since I mentioned things dying in this writing.


Early this week Cindy took her car in for an oil change. She took it to the dealership from which she is leasing the car. It is a Bob Rohrman dealership, and I don’t think he will mind seeing his name in this blog since he is all over television in Central Indiana and the Chicago TV markets. Of course they check for other things when you take the car in, and among their findings they told her that the transmission is leaking fluid and one of her tires has a nail in it and that the tire cannot be repaired. Of course, they would be happy to sell her a new tire for $370.

She did not have that extra work done, but rather came home to talk to me about it. I’m glad that she did because I was skeptical of what they told her. For one thing, there is no sign that the transmission is leaking fluid. That is, there are no telltale drops of fluid on the ground under her car. She will be taking it to a mechanic whom she trusts to get a second opinion.

I decide to take her car to the nearest Tire Barn outlet and have them look at the tire. I was sure that if the tire was unrepairable I could get a better deal on the tire than $370. I was right. Tire Barn repaired the tire for the grand sum of $17.86. I have to believe that the Rohrman repair people could have repaired the tire but chose to put one over on the “silly woman,” or they were incompetent. Neither speaks well of their business.

Wednesday was a bad day electronically at our house. First the cooling fan in my laptop died. Then our printer died. And my smart phone started popping up a message the The Process System wasn’t Responding. I needed to solve the printer problem first because Cindy had to printing to do for her business that afternoon, so I went out and bought a new printer.

The laptop was my next priority, so the following morning I took it to Best Buy, where I had purchased it a couple of years earlier. A member of their Geek Squad looked it over and declared that it could be repaired but it would cost at least $200, and it was likely that more problems would be found. It was recommended that I scrap the laptop and buy a new one. I demurred for the moment.

Then I took the laptop to a local computer repair shop. They are repairing the it for less than $100. Always get a second opinion.

Vacation photos

The view from our room
The view from our room

I finally took the time to upload pictures that I took on vacation to an album on Flickr. I took many more pictures than are in the album, but I found myself narrowing the ones that I wanted to display. The picture here isn’t one of them, though I did take it while on vacation.

We drove into Wyoming after visiting Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument. Neither Cindy nor I were aware that we were there on the first day of elk hunting season. It seems that people flock to the towns, book hotel and motel rooms, and use them as their base of operations for hunting. As a result, finding a motel with any vacancies was a chore. We found one finally. I opened the drapes to look at the view, and this is what I saw.

On a brighter note, the clerk in the motel told us about an excellent Mexican restaurant. I was surprised to see the number of families of hunters who were there. I had expected to see mainly men with scraggly beards, dressed in camo, drinking beer and having a good time. There were plenty of them there, but there was also a goodly number of families there as well, talking about hunting.

As far as the album in Flickr, you can find it here.


I hope that you like them.

Lessons that I am learning

President Washibngton in profile
President Washington in profile

This is a picture from our vacation last month. It is a familiar view to anyone who has been to Mt. Rushmore, but I can’t recall seeing anyone else publishing it. I love the front on view of all four presidents that everyone knows, but I also like this one.


Last year, after I finished the NaNoWroiMo challenge I wrote a post about the lessons that I had learned while writing. At least I think I did. I know that I meant to. I’ll have to look for it. Anyway, I decided that this year I would write something during the challenge. So far I have learned three things in the first seven days.

  • I tend to add characters for whom, after their initial introduction, I have no real use. In the first two chapters I have introduced twenty-two characters. There were twenty-three, but I decided to combine two minor characters into one major character. I already had a character die. I’ve changed the name of one character so that I can use him later in another way. I guess that is the same as merging two characters into one. I have at least six other characters that I would like to shed, but unless there is a volcanic eruption or some other cataclysm, I see no good way to eliminate them all without rewriting chunks of my narrative. That means I have to get ahead on my word count so that I can spend time rewriting now rather than later.
  • I should never try to write and listen to music that I love at the same time. I made the mistake yesterday morning of putting on Jerry Jeff Walker and it has cost me dearly. I’m having trouble concentrating on my narrative, especially when Jerry Jeff is singing “We Were Kinda Crazy Then” or “”Couldn’t Do Nothin’ Right” or “My Buddy.” It is impossible for me to think about anything, let alone use a keyboard, when these songs and others are playing. Why did I do that to myself?
  • I have to take better control of my characters! Most of them seem to be giving in to sexual temptation rather than living repressed lives. Granted, most of the physical stuff is happening off-page, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Take it from me, they are all, or practically all, practicing safe sex. Still, I wish that the females would be more demure, but they seem to be he worst of the lot. Or would that be worse of the lot? There are only two sexes, at least in this book, so I’m not sure that one sex could be the worst. Would a grammarian please shed light on that one for me?

So, that’s what I’ve learned so far this year.