Sitting in the waiting room at Mountain View Physical Therapy has been interesting. The majority of the patients have had knee replacements, and are at various stages in their recovery. There is a camaraderie present among them, and the lead-in to conversations is often: “What day is it for you?” (Post-op day)

Each patient is curious about the others welfare, is unfailingly polite and is resolutely positive in their comments.

A major concern in joint replacements is infection. Postoperatively, Robin has a huge sterile bandage over the knee area which measures about 3 in by 12 inches. That stays on for two weeks. Anytime she has dental work or surgery she needs to take prophylactic antibiotics, and this practice continues ad infinitum. Prophylaxis is the name of the game.


Judging by the behavior of some Republican women at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, I have doubts that I’ll like living in the coming matriarchy any better than I did in the outgoing patriarchy.


The ever-growing literature on the influence of the intestinal biome on human behavior is fascinating. If you were too busy to keep up, it has been shown that our thinking processes, our moods, our behavior, and our emotions can all be swayed by what is going on in our gut.

I don’t know why it took researchers so long to figure this out, all they had to do is ask me and I could have started their particular ball rolling. You could begin with A Christmas Carol, where Scrooge sees the ghost of Marley and opines that “there’s more of gravy than of grave about you.” Or the commonly used phrase “Well, my gut reaction would be …” might have given them a clue.

Speaking for myself, whenever my gut flora is leaning toward “stomach flu,” I find that I seek out bathrooms and cannot be moved to any point that is far from one. Also, I cannot think of a time when I had diarrhea that it put me into a good mood.

Even though it took scientists an awfully long time, what they are now learning is of great interest to me. It raises so many questions that really need answering. For instance:

  • If our biome can act as a sort of intelligence, are there smart biomes and biomes that are slower to learn? Could my poor performance on a test be laid to the fact that Bloodyfluxia monocytogenes was at that moment in ascendance in my ileum, and B. monocytogenes is known to be notoriously stupid?
  • Hypothetically if my wife ever informs me that unless my mood changes and I stop behaving like an idiot that she will immediately take off for a week’s vacation to let me work things out, I will respond by holding up a sign that reads: Have pity, it’s my gut flora. She may then respond by handing me a case of Pepto-Bismol.

What will we learn next? Can hardly wait to see.

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy by Julie London


It’s been years now since we’ve been in a blizzard. The sort of heavy snowfall and strong winds where you can’t really see where you’re going so if you have any smarts at all you don’t go anywhere. For the most part, it’s a social drag, trapping you in your home until the weather relents.

Unless … you plan ahead to have a blizzard party. This is always spontaneous, involves some quick phone calls once the weathermen have firmed up their prediction, and then the host quickly rounds up food.

You call up a few of your best friends, the sort you wouldn’t mind having as overnight guests, and they show up in casual clothing with a small bag packed and a toothbrush and you all deliberately allow yourselves to be trapped in your home as the storm rages outside. In fact, the harder the storm, the better the evening.

Back when alcohol was involved in such parties, it was necessary for someone to keep track of the hardest drinkers so that they didn’t wander outside and have to be rescued.

[Bob is noted to be out in the foyer putting a hat on, is coatless, and is holding himself up by clutching a doorknob for balance.]

Where you going, Bob?

Waaal, I thought I’d step out and get some fresh air.

Not a good idea, Bob.

Who asked you, anyway!

You’re going into a closet, Bob.

In Paradise, we haven’t even had what I would call a snowstorm in the nearly ten years we’ve lived here. There was never a night I couldn’t get out to grab a pizza if the mood came over me.

I do have a song in mind to use if it ever happens … but since this isn’t blizzard territory … I think that I’ll play it today.

Ridin’ the Storm Out, by REO Speedwagon


Watched a rare movie last night, streaming on Netflix. No car chases, no superpowers, no nudity, no smoking, and only the smallest pinch of profanity. One of those that makes you glad that the camera was invented. The Wonder is its name. Florence Pugh is its star. Beautiful.


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