Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ring Out the Old

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

and days of auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, our friends,

for auld lang syne,

we'll take a cup of kindness yet

for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

and days of auld lang syne.

And here's a hand, our trusty friends

and give us hands o' thine,

We'll take a cup of kindness yet

fooooooor auuuuuuuulllllld laaaaaaaaaaaaang syne.

For everyone who journals, we wish for you peace and contentment, wherever you may go and whatever you may do. May the New year bring you fulfillment.




Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New Life

I wanted to make of this a poem, but poetry comes not easily to me, so prose it shall have to be.

A small, pointed snout and a pair of liquid ebon eyes projects from the darkened enclosure. Sinuously, the mother emerges and advances a short way, peering about, alert for threatening movements. Seeing no danger, she rotates halfway toward her starting point and pauses, watchful and waiting. Two tiny noses then manifest, one above the other and very close together, identical sets of whiskers twiddling madly away. Two little heads emerge, eyes throwing out minuscule points of bright light like an onyx pierced by a moonbeam. Reluctant, anxious, they peer at their mother, hoping for her quick return. Return she does, but only for a moment, retreating and staring back toward them, silently urging them forward, her pelt of ash, earth and foam rippling with the muscles beneath.

Tumbling over each other, the pair advance partway through the small arch, outsize ears wheeling about like wee satellite dishes, before rapidly snaking back through the opening and disappearing anew into the impenetrable interior of the enclosure. The proud but exasperated mother peers briefly at the humans watching the tableau before trailing after the kits.

Long moments pass, as we wait and wonder what will happen next.

Mother reappears, halting just outside the opening, glancing back and seeming to make a come-hither motion with her head. She shifts forward and back, forward and back, and one tiny head comes into view, senses sampling the surroundings. Quickly the mother moves to the diminutive charcoal-colored kit and leans against the young one’s haunch before it can vanish once more. Pressing against it, pushing it from the doorway, urging it forward, she directs it toward the food and water that has been temporarily situated to provide a private place for the young ones to eat and drink.

After the first kit had been encouraged to stay at the small food bowl and eat, mother returned to her abode and brought forth the sibling, prodding it forward as she had the other. The first greeted the second, and they set about examining the dishes and the small shreds of soft cheese to which their sensitive noses quickly led them.

Their mother’s milk had dried up a week ago, and she had been bringing seeds and small chunks of nuts to them to accustom them to their new diet, but now it is time for them to learn new ways and establish their own homes. They will find empty enclosures and abundant nest material with which to furnish them, and set up housekeeping (with some help) for themselves. They were reluctant to be parted from their mother and ousted from their home, but all young ones must eventually make their own way in the world ... it is the way of maturity and life.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Post-Christmas Props

It's time to break out the eggnog again, more visitors have been by.

Hello once more to Bedazzzled1. Stop by her journal Bedazzled and say hi. Also say hi to Don. His journal The High Watch may be intriguing to you.

(Honey, the mice have been into the eggnog again. How do they do that?)


Wednesday, December 21, 2005


As nearly as historians have been able to determine, roughly 2005 years ago, a Child was born. Whether you believe that He was a true son of God, or whether you believe that He was an ordinary human teacher, preacher and prophet, it is undeniable that He existed, and that He is the most famous person ever to have lived, not only in terms of recognition but also in sheer span of time. No other person has had such enormous impact on so many people over such a voluminous stretch of years.

It is for this reason that we celebrate the moment of His birth. His nativity led to the birth of a religion that has undergone many changes and fostered many variations, but Christians remain united in their belief that Jesus is the Savior. Whether He truly is or no, His life commands a certain respect.

No matter how you regard the Bible, whether as literal truth or a beautiful exposition of the human condition, the words of Jesus Christ reveal a Being who had great love and respect for His fellows, and through those words He attempted to teach people how they might reach Heaven. If you live your life according to His precepts, you cannot help but become a caring, sharing, loving person.

So in this season of Jesus’s birth, take some time to read the New Testament and meditate upon the words that He spoke, the concepts that He espoused, and remember the love that He held for us.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bon & Mal's Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

You all know by now what's coming - but first, #4's theme journaler was Albert, in case you're following along. This is puzzle #9 (can't believe we've actually managed to create that many.)

The anagram/fill-in portion features the first name and the screen name of this week's theme journaler.

This puzzle is sponsored by Bayer Corporation, producers of the fine OTC tablets Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine (sparkling ORIGINAL flavor). When your head is throbbing in sync with your pulse, and no air can pass through your nasal passages, there is no better product for obtaining temporary relief.

Next Sunday there will be no puzzle, in honor of Christmas Sunday. All of you will be celebrating in your own special ways, and so will we, in our quiet fashion.






And, as ever,

peace on earth, good will to all Creator's creatures.

Bonnie & Malcolm Mott


Saturday, December 17, 2005

More Props

Hello and welcome, Tammy. It's nice to meet you. Hey, friends and neighbors, check out her journal The Daily Warrior and say hi.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Props Are Eternal

We'd like to welcome a new visitor to our small property. Her name is Maryanne and she owns 3 journals: My Feelings Are Real, Inside the Gilded Cage and Dark Side of the Moon. Please go visit and say hi to her.

We'd also like to acknowledge and greet another freshly minted visitor: (until we learn his name) he shall be referred to as RedsneakzHis journal is called Separation Anxiety. Go discover why he thinks his blog is worthless.

Good props come in threes, so we urge you to visit Carlos at his journal (damn, Carlos, you have to teach me how to upend the ?; I've no idea) where you'll find some intriguing musings.


Points of Light

We're going to echo Lori over at Purple Snapdragons. There used to be, back in the late '50s and '60s, a Bishop from Rochester named Fulton J. Sheen who broadcast  a religious program from a local studio. He signed off every show with "If everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be."

Light your own candle today.

Peace to all.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Why You Should Speak Clearly and Listen Closely

As published first in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

As next published in our local ad rag, two days later:


As much as we like to have fun with Village Fair, it is well known for the quality of the meat that is sold there, and it truly is freshly cut, and is priced reasonably for a place that is not much bigger than a hole-in-the-wall. People come from a wide surrounding area, even the people with real money who live in the Town of Pittsford, to avail themselves of the three butchers who barely have room to sqeeze past each other. If you ever pass through the small town of East Rochester, drive down the main drag  and look to the north to spot it. Then stop in and get yourself some mighty good meat. Tell 'em Malcolm sent ya.


Now for something completely different, yet eerily reminiscent. We received in the mail a notice from Time Warner Cable (companion corporate scum of aol) that a settlement in a lawsuit is pending (it's been going on since 1998 and NO ONE EVER TOLD US SUBSCRIBERS UNTIL NOW) in regard to the fact that Time Warner was selling subscriber information without our knowledge or consent.

Now that a settlement is near, we are finally informed that we can either -

Submit  a Claim Form

Exclude Ourselves


Go to a Hearing (Yeah. Right.)


Do Nothing (Oh yeah. This is an option.)

And of course there is a deadline.

We could object by writing to the Court (actually, the Court plus a Class Counsel plus a Defense Counsel.) Do you suppose this would get us anywhere at all?

We could exclude ourselves from the settlement, hire a lawyer, and rapidly expend our small competence, thereby putting ourselves in peril of penury. This option is made more difficult in that we must actively "opt out" by letter, by a deadline. 

What do we, the aggrieved consumers receive in return for the sale of our private information?

One free month of any Time Warner Cable service that we don't already have, or two free Movies on Demand.

Either option forces us to upgrade to their set-top rental box and pay extra for the privilege. We begin to see a similarity between the business attitudes and practices of the sister companies - in short, screw the consumer.

Meanwhile, what do the lawyers, guardians of our precious rights receive? O lucky lawyers! Attorneys' fees and expenses in the amount of $5,000,000, plus $2500 each for two Class Representatives, AND the costs of administering the settlement. After 7 years spent in litigation, the very idea reeks of rank bribery.

We have finally discovered a position on which we and George W. Bush can totally agree. Pursue tort reform rapidly and vigorously. (Whatever happened to tort reform, anyway?)

Ah well. Peace.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Bon & Mal's (Slightly Late) Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

We've just finished the daily round of emails and journal readings, and now it's time to unveil the latest puzzle. It has been brought to our attention that perhaps our instructions are not thorough enough, so we've made an attempt to offer some actual clues (this is specific to last week's puzzle, not this week's.)

Every row across and every column down can contain only one each of the 9 listed letters. In addition, each block of 9 boxes can contain only one of the listed letters. By a process of elimination, you'll discover that a particular space can only contain one letter.   If you really want to try it, here are some tips for last week's puzzle - the grid can be coded like this -   

     A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I










In box #8, in column A, there is an O. No more Os can be placed in column A or in the bottom left-hand block of 9 boxes. In box #6, in column C, there is another O. No more Os can be placed in column C or in the center left-hand block. There is only one box left in which the third O can be placed - box #1 in column B. The same applies to the F in box E6 and the F in box F7. Eventually, you'll find more boxes where only one letter is the proper one.  

 This week's anagram/fill-in features the first name of a journaler and the initials of the condition with which she lives.


I have been assured by Bonnie (chief tester and troubleshooter) that this is easy - she rated it at most **. (Why isn't there a star symbol on this keyboard?)  

We hope you enjoy our efforts.  


Sunday, December 11, 2005


We have been tagged by two wonderful people, Christina and Louie, so we’d better do this or we’ll be the recipients of bad karma forever and ever, amen.

We are requested to list ten things that make us deliriously happy, and then we must force five others to do the same. A second request is that we do this individually. (Sorry, Christina, but we’ve been together so long, we tend to be pleased by the same things.)

1. The love that we hold for each other

2. Mal's 'burgers / Bonnie's pot roast

3. The incomparable splendor of a starry night in June

4. Gamboling mice

5. A comfortable retirement

6. Dividends

7. The soft sound of rain on the roof, knowing we are safe inside / The lonely sound of a faraway train

8. Puzzles

9. Life

10. The knowledge that, through journaling, we have discovered some wonderful, sharing people

Now don’t pass around a meme asking us to list 10 things for which we’re thankful, because we’ll just reprint this list.

Now - Lori, Marti, Vicki, Deanna and Celeste - you’re it.

Yes, you’ve been tagged.


Thursday, December 8, 2005

Pages From an Unkept Journal



We have occasionally tangentially referred to the fact that back in the ‘80s, our yard was literally crawling with wildlife. We have no backyard - there is perhaps a 5-foot strip of earth that separates the back of our home from a series of wooded ravines that are home to an amazing quantity and variety of animals. When abundant food is made available, they will flock to it, and we have virtual albums filled with memories of that time.

It began in the early ‘80s - at the time I was temporarily unemployed, and had decided to mow the lawn on this particular day. Our utility shed is located on the side of the ravine, and it was necessary for me to go 12' down the hill to retrieve or stow the ‘mower. As I returned up the hill from putting the ‘mower away, my foot caught in a small depression and I fell, twisting my left ankle as I toppled forward. I may have lost consciousness for a few moments, but when I surfaced through a haze of pain, I witnessed, as if by a miracle, a large flock of perhaps 40 sparrows foraging in the middle of the lawn, paying me no attention whatsoever. It was a vision that took my breath away, simply because I had never before experienced such an occurrence so close at hand. The plain little birds completely ignored me and I was privileged to witness them as they conducted the important business of winnowing the mown grass for tidbits and occasionally squabbling with one another, hopping up and down and chirping excitedly.

I lay where I was, stretched flat upon the ground, ankle throbbing, waiting for the pain to recede, watching, until a passing car startled the flock. A chorus of cheeping ensued as the sparrows fled to a neighboring roof, paused, then once again took flight, disappearing for good. Still slightly mazed from having watched the prolonged and marvelous tableau, I managed to stand and hobble into the house. I lay down and thought, "Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were a common occurrence?"

Many peanuts and 25-lb. bags of sunflower seeds later, dream became reality. We began to keep a life list and recorded 56 varieties of feathered visitors, and every species of small (and sometimes large) animal that inhabits a woodland eventually made its way into our welcoming yard.

One of the most memorable scenes that we were privileged to have witnessed is a little tale we like to refer to as


Among the many visitors to our little (and we do mean little, the lot is about 30' across and 90' deep) yard were a doe and her two fawns. They came, we supposed, for the millet and sunflower seeds, although we had always thought of deer as eaters of vegetation and bark. They would frequently come in the early dusk, when the neighborhood had quieted from the bustle of the day. We stepped out the door one late summer evening to enjoy the cooling air and saw the trio, noses buried in the pile of seed. We stood motionless as they glanced in our direction, their legs flexing in preparation for flight. Deciding that we were no threat, they returned to the seed as we eased very slowly down onto our steps. We sat watching as the deer devoured the seed.

From the corners of our eyes, we witnessed one of the numerous neighborhood cats, Blackie, little more than a kitten, creeping into the yard, eyes glued to the deer. It stalked forward, low to the ground, carefully and slowly stretching out each front leg and easing its body along behind. We watched, amazed that this small feline apparently believed itself to be capable of taking down one of the large creatures.

The doe finally took notice of this and she and the fawns raised their black muzzles, comically coated with pale millet seeds. They watched Blackie as he began to flank them, hoping, perhaps, to leap upon one of them from behind. Slowly their heads rotated as the cat maneuvered into position and then crept gingerly forward.

The doe waited, watchful, until the cat was perhaps two feet from her. Then, almost carelessly, she stretched out her hind leg and flicked her hoof in the direction of the cat, not quite connecting with its nose. The cat looked shocked, taken aback at the irreverence with which it had been treated, and, as the doe watched it, slunk slowly away, glancing back over its shoulder to make sure the deer weren’t about to follow it. The deer placidly returned to their meal and the cat presumably went in search of something smaller and easier to stalk. The cervines eventually devoured whatever seed there was, raised their heads and considered us for some moments, then ghosted into the woods, quickly disappearing down the hill and into the heavier growth. It was a most satisfactory experience.



Tuesday, December 6, 2005

A Candle in the Darkness

The mournful howl of a hound could not have sounded quite as bleak as the lonely wail of the ship’s horn as it disturbed the silence of the moonless night. The coast, the pilot knew, was not far off - the ominous cliffs, the chunks of stone lying partly submerged in the ocean below, torn from the bedrock of the planet by ages of slashing wind and sundering waves - mortal danger lying in wait to waylay the unwary and unsuspecting. The pilot could hear the ragged battering of the water against the rocks, but his gaze could not penetrate the darkness, and the dim lamp reflected bleakly back from the dense wall of mist that parted only reluctantly to allow the small ship passage. The pilot sounded the horn anew, a desperate plea for help muted and swallowed by the clouded air and the frothing seas.For a timeless moment, nothing - nothing whatever. Then -




  < Design borrowed from Nightmare Mom


A brilliant blade of white sliced through the gloom, momentarily disappearing before returning to slash another swath through the fog. A deep, vibrant blast reverberated through the mist, the voice of Leviathan answering the call of the dolphin. A warmth suffused the pilot’s heart, and he sounded his horn once more in thanks before steering away from the treacherous rocks, sailing out into safer and friendlier waters.

Those who suffer afflictions of the mind, body or spirit are akin to that little ship - sometimes sailing through a perilous environment with nothing to light the way. If they are lucky, they find the lighthouse that they need to escort them to safety. There are a number of harbors into which Bonnie and I have sailed, safe havens inhabited by friendly souls who welcome newcomers into their midst with gladness and respect. We would like, in a belated fashion, to give thanks to and for you friendly souls - the rockers on the porch, the conservative couple, the investor with the marvelous sense of humor, the food and ferret lovers, the tellers of porch tales and guitar players, the revvers, the sufferer of idiot coworkers and flamingo lover, the peach tree poetess, the conqueror of polio, the blonde who would live at the beach, the mother in Michigan, the mom and lover of HP, the Opera Queen, and others whom we may have forgotten. You have been, and are, there for us, and we for you.

Thank you.


Sunday, December 4, 2005

Bon & Mal's (Slightly Late) Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

Well, at least in three time zones it isn't midnight yet, so we're getting this in under the wire. (Sigh) We're finding that puzzles and journaling are in an ongoing battle to see which can be more time-consuming. There must be more hours in the day hidden away somewhere. Maybe if we teleported to a planet with a longer rotational period ...

Well, anyway, here is the 7th edition of the puzzle for all those who wait with bated breath to discover which journaler will be revealed this time around. The journaler revealed in the third puzzle was LeAnn - now you know.

Here it is -

This week's anagram/fill-in contains not only her first name and screen name, but, as a bonus, the full name of her (and our) favorite pet. (Honey, are our mice squinting at me?)

We have promised a couple of people that we will produce our small tale of 'the cat who would stalk a deer', and we will get around to it, we promise. (No! We will! Really!)

Well, that's it for now, friends. The afternoon sleep period got taken up by other things, so we're off. Good night and pleasant dreams.

(Dammit, I forgot again.) These puzzles are absolutely not sponsored by any advertiser except any we might choose. Ignore any unsightly ad that you may see at the top of the journal and instead buy Maxwell House Coffee. It's nourishing, it's non-narcotic, it's delicious and it's highly recommended by 9 out of 10 puzzle constructors.


Fun and Games with You- Know-Who

Hey, friends and neighbors. Check this out:


Lawsuit Accuses AOL of Illegal Billing

 Email this Story

Dec 2, 5:05 PM (ET)


BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A lawsuit seeking to potentially cover hundreds of thousands of America Online Inc. subscribers accuses the Time Warner Inc. (TWX) unit of illegally billing customers by creating secondary accounts for them without their consent.

The lawsuit, filed last month in St. Clair County Circuit Court on behalf of 10 AOL customers in six states, claims the company confused and deceived customers about the charges, stalled them from canceling unauthorized accounts and refused to return questioned fees.

"AOL exploits its subscribers' confidential billing information to unlawfully generate additional revenue by charging subscribers for additional membership accounts that they neither order nor request," the lawsuit alleges, calling the scheme "common, uniform and continuing."

The lawsuit, seeking class-action status, mirrors more than a dozen other actions that have been pending in state and federal courts throughout the country, said Stuart Talley, a Sacramento, Calif., attorney representing the plaintiffs in the Illinois lawsuit. All of the federal cases were consolidated in California two years ago, Talley said.

Nicholas Graham, an AOL spokesman, said the Dulles, Va.-based company considers the Illinois lawsuit "a legal rehash that has as much legal value as refiling your personal income taxes from four years ago."

"The important thing is that we deny the allegations now as we've done several times, and we will defend this case as we have other cases accordingly," he said, noting that AOL "takes extraordinary efforts to resolve any issues the members raise." 

"We have safeguards in place now that prevent unauthorized charges, and we have credit and refund policies that do justice to the consumer," he said.

The lawsuit also names ICT Group Inc. (ICTG), a Newtown, Pa.-based outsourcing company AOL retained to respond to customer complaints and billing matters. Messages with ICT seeking comment were not immediately returned Friday.

Plaintiffs include an Illinoisan, two Californians, three Tennesseans, a West Virginian, two Alabamans and a New Yorker.

No hearing date has been set on the Illinois case, which accuses AOL of violating Illinois' Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

The latest lawsuit alleges that AOL misrepresented that subscribers may add up to seven different screen names to a membership account for free. But AOL "in many instances" spun off those screen names into additional membership accounts without the subscribers' knowledge, then charged and collected a separate monthly fee for each account.

The company requires members to pay charges and fees by credit card, electronic withdrawals from their bank accounts or by adding to their telephone bills, giving subscribers no opportunity to review a bill before making a payment, the lawsuit claims.

To maintain its customer base, according to the lawsuit, AOL has instructed customer-service contractors such as ICT to prevent AOL subscribers from canceling their accounts "at all costs" and to resist giving refunds. Customers who complain are offered at least one month of free AOL Internet service instead of refunds or credits, while "unsatisfied customers who insist on canceling or terminating their AOL memberships are obstructed and delayed from doing so," the lawsuit claims.

New York-based Time Warner - the world's largest media company - has been holding exploratory talks with companies including Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) about a potential investment in or sale of AOL, which has become a hot property because of its booming advertising sales and ability to draw in large audiences online.

AOL long was seen as a drag on Time Warner due to the steady decline of the dial-up Internet access business. But in recent months AOL successfully has been revamping its business model, moving away from the subscription business and selling more online advertising.


aol Diaspora ... and more props

Gabreael of the journal Gabreael's Body, Mind, & Spirit has stopped by to kindly offer a complete (for the moment) list of journalers who have fully or (like us) partially moved away from aol  and on to other hosters. We will post it both here and in The aol Diaspora so that as many as possible can see it and judge for themselves what the numbers who have left amount to. aol  has informed journalers that this travesty has always been in their business plan and we should simmer down and get used to it. They don't understand their subscribers well, is what we derive from their comments. Oh well.

J-BLOGGERS 1rst ed. December 4, 2005

<li><a href="">Alex</a></li>

<li><a href="">AlbGlinka</a></li>

<li><a href="">Alh</a></li>

<li><a href="">Amy (Diva)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Amy (Central)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Andrea</a></li>

<li><a href="">Angel (Pixie Dust)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Angel (Pleasures)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Angelia (Secrets)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Angelia (Dark Moons)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Anna</a></li>

<li><a href="">Ari</a></li>

<li><a href="">Antonette</a></li>

<li><a href="">Armandt</a></li>

<li><a href="">Astaryth</a></li>

<li><a href="">Ayn</a></li>

<li><a href="">Barbara</a></li>

<li><a href="">Becky</a></li>

<li><a href="">Bedazzzled</a></li>

<li><a href="">Beth</a></li>

<li><a href="">Boiseladie</a></li>

<li><a href="">Bon and Mal</a></li>

<li><a href="">Bookncoffee</a></li>

<li><a href="">Bosox</a></li>

<li><a href="">Bram</a></li>

<li><a href="">Brandy</a></li>

<li><a href="">Brenden</a></li>

<li><a href="">Candace (Searching)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Candace (Kicking)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Carly</a></li>

<li><a href="">Cat</a></li>

<li><a href="">Chance</a></li>

<li><a href="">Charles</a></li>

<li><a href="">Cheryl</a></li>

<li><a href="">Chris</a></li>

<li><a href="">Christina</a></li>

<li><a href="">Chuck</a></li>

<li><a href="">Colleen</a></li>

<li><a href="">Courtenay</a></li>

<li><a href="">Chris</a></li>

<li><a href="">Cole</a></li>

<li><a href="">Coy</a></li>

<li><a href="">Cynthia</a></li>

<li><a href="">Dalene</a></li>

<li><a href="">Darla</a></li>

<li><a href="">Dawn Allynn</a></li>

<li><a href="">Deb</a></li>

<li><a href="">Debbie</a></li>

<li><a href="">Deslily</a></li>

<li><a href="">Diva</a></li>

<li><a href="">Donna</a></li>

<li><a href="">Emily</a></li>

<li><a href="">Felicia</a></li>

<li><a href="">Flava</a></li>

<li><a href="">Floralilia Freely</a></li>

<li><a href="">Floralilia Wisdom</a></li>

<li><a href="">Gabreael</a></li>

<li><a href="">Gail</a></li>

<li><a href="">Gannet Girl</a></li>

<li><a href="">Gator</a></li>

<li><a href="">Gem</a></li>

<li><a href="">Gigi</a></li>

<li><a href="">Heather</a></li>

<li><a href="">Holly</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jacki</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jaime</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jamilyn</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jeff</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jean Marie</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jen</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jenn</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jennifer</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jessie</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jim</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jimmy</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jlandvoices</a></li>

<li><a href="">Jody</a></li>

<li><a href="">Judi</a></li>

<li><a href="">Judith</a></li>

<li><a href="">Karen</a></li>

<li><a href="">Kari</a></li>

<li><a href="">Kat</a></li>

<li><a href="">Katherine</a></li>

<li><a href="">Kathleen</a></li>

<li><a href="">Kell</a></li>

<li><a href="">Kelly</a></li>

<li><a href="">Kris</a></li>

<li><a href="">Kristal</a></li>

<li><a href="">Laura</a></li>

<li><a href="">Levi</a></li>

<li><a href="">Lily</a></li>

<li><a href="">Lisa (Heart)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Lisa (Truth)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Lori</a></li>

<li><a href="">Loretta</a></li>

<li><a href="">Louie</a></li>

<li><a href="">Lynda</a></li>

<li><a href="">Mara</a></li>

<li><a href="">Marissa</a></li>

<li><a href="">Margo</a></li>

<li><a href="">Mary (Contrary)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Mary (Hunybea)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Mary (Midnight)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Mary (Woods)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Maryanne</a></li>

<li><a href="">Michael (All Things)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Michael (Dream)</a></li>

<li><a href="">Mortimer</a></li>

<li><a href="">Mrs. L.</a></li>

<li><a href="">Nelle</a></li>

<li><a href="">Nikki</a></li>

<li><a href="">Omz</a></li>

<li><a href="">Pam</a></li>

<li><a href="">Patrick</a></li>

<li><a href="">Paul</a></li>

<li><a href="">Peachy</a></li>

<li><a href="">Penny</a></li>

<li><a href="</Poptartcoco</a></li>

<li><a href="">Promise</a></li>

<li><a href="">Rebecca Anne</a></li>

<li><a href="">Red</a></li>

<li><a href="">Remo</a></li>

<li><a href="">Rob</a></li>

<li><a href="">Robbie</a></li>

<li><a href="">Robin</a></li>

<li><a href="">Sarah</a></li>

<li><a href="">Shaz</a></li>

<li><a href="">Shelli</a></li>

<li><a href="">Shelly</a></li>

<li><a href="">Sie</a></li>

<li><a href="">Silk</a></li>

<li><a href="">Smukke</a></li>

<li><a href="">Swt Dlphn</a></li>

<li><a href="">Sylvia</a></li>

<li><a href="">Stacy-Lynn</a></li>

<li><a href="">Steven</a></li>

<li><a href="">Suellen</a></li>

<li><a href="">Suzy</a></li>

<li><a href="">Tawnya</a></li>

<li><a href="">Thebludragoness</a></li>

<li><a href="">Theresa</a></li>

<li><a href="">Tianka</a></li>

<li><a href=" TJ">Tom</a></li>

<li><a href="">Trish</a></li>

<li><a href="">Vicki</a></li>

<li><a href="">Vince</a></li>

<li><a href="">Virginia</a></li>

<li><a href="">Vivian</a></li>

<li><a href="">Wil</a></li>

</h2> <ul>

<li><a href="">JBloggersPleaseCopyFreely</a></li>

</h2> <ul>

An impressive list, no? And growing longer each day. aol, observe what you have wrought, and ponder.

If you wish this list for your own purposes, either go to Gabreael's and take it, or you may cut & paste from here.

The Web, after all, is not aol, it is the world, and we are all part of it.

This is not going to go away, aol. It is going to continue until we paid subscribers obtain satisfaction, or until we become free AIM members and no longer are forced to pay for objectionable, obnoxious advertising atop our journals.


Roch Props

We have another visitor to greet - a fellow Rochestarian. His name is Charles and his journal is called Am I Thinking That? Go say hi and, if you can stand it, read his recent post on violence on the downtown streets.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

A Winter Morning, 4:00 AM

It is curious - the nature of living things seems to be such that the majority prefer patterns to order their existence, pertaining as much to animals as to us humans, as pet owners can attest. There are always exceptions, of course, but in the main, we enjoy and appreciate our rituals and routines. When they are disordered or disturbed, most of us tend to get a touch upset.

 No more perfect example can be found than the uproar over the debacle of aol and the resultant, ongoing furor. Many of us are learning new routines and patterns in a new milieu - some of us may be inspired enough to create our own templates and web pages, just like geeks do. (Oh, come on, Spell Check, geeks is so a word.)(Oh, no, I’m talking to Spell Check - is that a bad sign?)

Routines. Yes. Well, here is our routine. Somewhere between noon and 2:00 pm, we just lower or mute the sound on CNBC and drift off to the realm of Morpheus, waking sporadically and rapidly returning to sleep. Around about 11:00 pm or so, we awaken and begin our ‘morning’ routine, one probably familiar to everyone, save for the fact that I don’t shave. Bonnie watches the news, while I fire up the laptop and crawl onto the Web. We watch a couple of tv shows, and afterwards cook and devour our ‘breakfast’. Then, it’s time to clear out the e-mailbox. This can take a couple of hours, depending on the amount of mail, including adding comments to other journals. By then, the newsletter from the Washington Post has generally been received, or, if not, there’s the My Way news site, catching up on what I missed during ‘breakfast’. Then it’s time to copy sudoku puzzles for Bonnie (from the Chicago Sun Times, the Miami Herald, USA Today, and the Washington Post, for any who can’t get enough of these fiendish things. I’ve drawn a grid and saved it to our files for periodic reprinting; if anyone would like to have a copy, please let us know.)

By this time there are things to watch on tv again, so it’s back and forth between tv and the computer, time spent mainly doing puzzles and jigsaws. We enjoy watching the ‘expert’ guests on CNBC breathlessly hyping this or that stock, particularly CEOs who relish the exposure, but frantically try to avoid imparting to the audience any tidbit that might actually prove useful. Watching Alan Greenspan speak always cracks us up, especially when what he has had to say moves the market appreciably.

Sometimes during the morning (afternoon or early evening to us) we’ll have a smaller meal, leftovers, soup, or a sandwich, and we perform the small domestic duties required to keep our space livable, and of course we keep our mice well supplied with the needs of their existence, and often one or the other of us can be found sitting on the couch stroking one or more of them.

Finally, as I mentioned, somewhere in early afternoon, it’s off to sleep. Such is our routine, and it goes ever on.

Peace and good will.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Kathy's Mushrooms

In no fashion do these mushrooms endorse any advertising that may smirch this journal page, placed there by the corporate greedheads at aol.

To The Caregivers

Thank you.

Mere words cannot express the deep and complex emotions that we who are afflicted hold for you who prop us up. The burden is immense, yet you carry it with such grace. Day by day, each and every minute, knowing that there may be no going back, knowing that, if anything, conditions may worsen, you continue on, seldom if ever complaining, to do that which you do so well.

When we suffer the frustration of wavering between the desire for independence and the fact of insufficiency, you let our pain wash over you and flow beyond, allowing it to leave no trace. It is difficult for you, we see, to watch us struggle to accomplish some small task, to forbear from saying, "Here, let me do that ..." because you understand that it is so very important to us to make the effort, even if we fail, for it is imperative that we discover our limitations. It is even more difficult for you, we know, to observe our failures and witness our outpourings of anger at the seeming futility of our attempts. You come to comprehend that it is not you, will never be you, at whom we are angry; we rage at the feelings of betrayal engendered by our weaknesses. Most difficult of all for you must be the moments when we dissolve in bitter tears, unable in any other way to express the anguish that we sometimes undergo. Even though you may experience your own pain and sorrow at watching our struggles, you steel yourself and make sure you are there to hold and comfort us, to help us to our feet when we stumble and fall.

But we also see the gladness and pride in your eyes when we succeed, when we attain a goal, and we delight when you rejoice with us, understanding that we have fought a battle and wrested a victory from the clutches of the bleak demons of despair. In this way we learn what we may do, where our strengths lie, how best we may compensate for the weaknesses that are, and your support helps us to accept, adjust and adapt, to develop an indomitable will to overcome, as much as possible, the boundaries of our new existence.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Something About Malcolm

Bonnie insisted that I transcribe the following vignette, Creator alone knows why:

Mal went to bed somewhere around 6:00 pm and fell into a sound sleep (helped along by a few shots). I knew that he would want me to wake him up for Letterman, because he gets mildly annoyed when I don't (he tries not to show it, but I can tell), so I entered the bedroom and the following conversation took place -

"Honey? .......... Honey?"

One eye cracks open. "Hmmmmmm?"

"Letterman's going to be on. Did you want to watch it?"

"What time is it?"




"Do you think he's going to feature the Second Coming or the resignation of Bush?"

"Probably not."

"Mmmm. ..... Screw it."

"I'll wake you for Countdown."


The eye closes.


Oh, and remember: you can't spell 'a$$hole' without the letters aol.

Monday, November 28, 2005

HTML and Links ... and Belated Props

We can't believe we managed to learn enough html to complete (at long, long last) our links section. These poor old gray-haired heads are spinning. It's a good thing nothing untoward occurred because we'd pass on before we could complete it again. We listed the links in rough order of the first visits to our journal (that we were aware of). A scouring of the archives has shown us that we were remiss in not giving props to two visitors - bedazzzled1 and Kristina. Please go and visit their journals.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Bon & Mal's Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

(Technically this is Monday in NY - we woke up late.) Welcome once again to another edition of the weekly puzzle page. This week marks our 6th 'Sudoku' entry (for anyone who cares.) In case anyone has tried to do these puzzles and found them difficult, we're working on ways to make them easier. We now list the names of the journalers who represented the themes of the first two puzzles: Celeste and Marti. They know who they are and now you will, too. Here's the new entry: 


The name of the journaler will, as always, appear in the puzzle, and this week's fill-in/anagram portion includes her first name and her screen name. We hope you enjoy our efforts, and may you all have a wonderful week.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Props Again

Welcome a new friend into our midst. Her name is Ayn, and she is one of us; she has an infirmity. But, of course, she is so much more than that. Stop by and visit her at Ayn's Multiple World, and view an astonishing array of videos.

Attention aol. Remember those irritating, annoying and obnoxious popups that arose with the welcome screen and interfered with our turning off the computer? Ever since it became necessary to take steps to recover the use of our journal's 'save' button, they are gone! No more aol popups! And we still can't see the ads you have placed in our journal, or in anyone else's journal. It's almost as if aol doesn't exist! Marvelous!


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our sleep schedules seem to have flipped, so for breakfast we're having Thanksgiving dinner. The aggregation of aromas is wafting through the air - turkey, peppers & onions, squash, potatoes - and we just woke up (well, at around 11 pm.)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there in the journaling community - we are very thankful for all of you!


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How To Humiliate a Cat

This is Mikey, our aunt's cat - he's 17, has cataracts, and the sweetest disposition we've ever seen. Bonnie couldn't resist being mischievous, and our aunt took this photo.

No, aol, we didn't forget. Remove the ads or compensate us.


Our Locals Seen

One of the reasons we love Hallowe'en is because our party stores and factory outlets issue cheesy circulars advertising their vast selection of even cheesier costumes. Here are some of our favorites from this year -

Our hands-down favorite has to be the whoopie cushion. Here are a few more -


How do they come up with this stuff??

Here's an ad from our favorite li'l grocery store -

Damn! We missed the first Black Friday specials! If only we had known! (Now all we need do is figure out exactly what a Black Friday Special is. It must really be special, since it's first come, first served.

Lastly, our favorite car commercial guy -

We love Rich Ferrari - he's so earnest in his sales pitch, and, as you can see, his favorite slogan is "You can't stack cars!" delivered in a nasal, whiny voice. A number of commercials have run for months on end repeating this plaintive message. But the most amusing upshot is a commercial for a rival dealership, Joseph Neri Ford, in which a crane can be seen placing one car atop another ... cut to a closeup of the crane operator, revealed to be Joe Neri himself, grinning widely and saying, "Who says you can't?" We love it.

I thought, as I aged, I was through with rebellion ...

Thanks to aol, I'm a reborn hellion.



Monday, November 21, 2005

Some Sunday Thoughts

It's early Monday morning, but here are some thoughts left over from yesterday.

Rochester, try as they may to deny or forestall the inevitable, is a dying city. The population is slowly dwindling, younger singles and couples moving on to more exciting and lucrative territory, leaving behind an aging body of citizens, shrinking the tax base and increasing the schools' deficit. There seems to be no good way to staunch the outflow; the various civic upgrades have had little to no effect.

They tried to create an upscale district called "High Falls" to attract the younger set with an entertainment venue; the eateries, microbreweries and clubs have mostly closed, leaving behind an empty shadow. The city hired an outfit to begin ferry runs between Rochester and Toronto; tellingly, the ferry was constructed in Australia and was damaged by running into a pier in NYC before it ever reached Rochester. The outfit running the ferry went bankrupt within 5 months of implementing their plan; the city ended up buying the ferry outright for a ridiculously high sum, and has already spent more than half of the contingency fund during the first quarter of operations. Unless the good people of Toronto begin swarming into Rochester in legions to sample our attractions, this enterprise too seems doomed to failure.

Construction plans continue apace for a glorified underground bus station in the middle of downtown, destroying a series of historic buildings in the process. When the public grew leery of paying millions for what was nothing more than an attempt to provide patronage and give the gentler citizens a method of avoiding having to contemplate the deteriorating downtown area, the planners tossed in a Performing Arts Center and a Community College branch, thus assuring that millions more would be squandered on a facility that, unless we miss our guess, will be little-used and a money pit.

Other ideas have been advanced, in particular the destruction of what was once prime retail and office space, the hub of downtown, in fact, appropriately named Midtown Plaza, now a hollow shell. Some politicians are advocating that there should be erected on that site a casino. We are indifferent to gambling; we refrain because we have better uses to which to put our money, and it is slightly possible that it may be profitable, at least after a number of years of operation. We do wonder, though, why it is that politicians so often promote gambling as a means of salvation.

Saturday, the main headline on the D&C read "Catholics to shut down 11 churches." This is just another omen of the slow, excruciating death of Rochester. Most of the churches were operating at 25% or less of capacity, and the dwindling supply of Priests available to conduct Mass is approaching a crisis point. The parishioners of the churches will be folded into the congregations of those churches that remain open. How sad they must be.

The banner headline at the top of Sunday's local section read "All Saints dissolved by vote."

The Episcopal diocese of Rochester voted to shutter the church and transfer the assets and property to trustees of the diocese. Why did they do this? The diocese refused to pay All Saints $16,000 that it was owed because the diocese disapproved of the decision of the church and the Episcopal Church of the USA to support the 2003 ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire, and to give individual dioceses the right to decide whether to bless same-sex unions.

Turmoil. A city at the brink of chaos, with ever more grandiose plans proposed to resuscitate it. Religions, losing adherents or driving them away. These are grim days, friends.



Sunday, November 20, 2005

Bon & Mal's Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

Here is the fifth installment of the J-land Sudoku puzzle (if you'd like the instructions, you can find them on the Nov. 13th edition.)

This puzzle includes the name of an energetic J-lander, and the fill-in/anagram portion has her name and the name of a piece of equipment with which she is associated (at least two of our visitors will guess this one immediately.)

And now, since Malcolm hasn't had any sleep for about 29 hours, he thinks he'll go try to get some.

May your week be filled with joy.


(Thanx to Lisa for informing us that today's mercenary corporation is kodak. Shame on them! Refuse to buy their implements of image capture!)



Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Fine Whine

This is the season that brings with it every nasty little bacterium, germ and virus that shares our living space. Normally, they don't bother us much, but lately, either because aging has weakened our immunity or because more sick people are transmitting more of the little buggers to others, we have been feeling low and really, really lousy. (We would normally say 'shitty', but we don't want to get into the habit of being obscene, profane or vulgar just because we're on blogspot instead of ... ummm ... what was that ISP again? Oh well.)
Anyway ... if you happen to be sick, you know, if you're sneezing or your nose is dripping, if you're coughing, if you have a sinus headache, STAY HOME. Don't trudge off to the grocery store to breathe on other poor souls, and don't pass your unwelcome little present to your co-workers. And if you must ABSOLUTELY go out, then, please, WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY. Some of our stores now offer moist towelettes (love that phrase) at the grocery cart stand to wipe the handles with, but still, wash your hands.
Thank you for your attention. This has been a public service announcement.

Okay, 1 More Post About THAT

We got this from whipping-boy Journals Editor Joe at Magic Smoke (btw, his definition of magic smoke differs somewhat from ours) and we're guessing he knows and approves of what we did with it (we're tempted to post this every day until the ads disappear):


That was fun - thanx, Joe.

Oh, and if you are not already a customer of verizon wireless , DON'T BECOME ONE! Shame, shame, shame.

(Thanx to Marti for alerting us.)


Friday, November 18, 2005

Death, Taxes and Winter


Winter has come to the Northeast, and we dread the first snow of the season. We'll have to hire someone to clear the driveway this year, an added expense (on top of the gigantic heating bills we expect to bitterly weep over) we'd rather not have. Living on a fixed income means that we must engage in some creative juggling in order to stay on budget, and this year we'll have to be particularly dextrous. Perhaps we should move to Belize and live like monarchs. Yeah, that'd be nice.

Fractured philosophy - "If you let a smile be your umbrella, all you'll receive is a mouthful of rain."



ckays1967 ckays1967 said... mom wants to move to Belize. She is sure that that is where happiness is found.


8:43 PM

Kelly Kelly said...

oh man, tropical sounds good right about now

9:30 PM

Left Behind

We wanted to, we started to, do a post on the splitting of J-land by a chasm called AOL advertising. A large chunk of the community has been pulled away by this 'calamity'.

We, too, as so many others have, began a journal over at blogspot, we're using it mainly as an archival resource and a place in which to pull together a number of previously disjointed posts (well, ok, they're still disjointed, but more coherent than before.) For now, we'll probably be gathering up previously posted puzzles and reposting them there.

But we can't let go of this community. The members of longest standing seem to be the ones most outraged and most determined to turn their backs, and we too felt betrayed, but we have not yet been here long enough to give it up as a bad job. There are good people here, and those of us determined to fight the good fight will stay and continue the bonds we have formed.

This will probably be our last post on this particular subject; we'd like to move on, and Sunday is almost here. To all those who have been left behind, we're glad you're here; keep in touch and we'll all be fine.

To those who have moved on, we bid a fond farewell.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wow! More Props!

In brash defiance of aol's attempt to drive us into a different blogging realm, we are still here, and a new visitor has dropped by our little clearing in the woods. We say hello to Cyndy of the journal CEEGEE AT LARGE! Stop by and greet her.

Be sure, whatever you do, to shun (we repeat: SHUN) the hungry-for-excessive-advertising-space Bank of America. A pox upon their enterprise! (Thanx to Lori and Cyndy for letting us know what nefarious evildoer is attempting to acquire eyeballs at the expense of our journal.)

For those of you who still can see ads, you could try going into Internet Explorer, clicking on TOOLS, clicking on POP-UP BLOCKER, clicking on POP-UP BLOCKER SETTINGS, and checking to see if AOL is allowed. If it is, remove it. It might kill the ads.




Testing rebuild ... success! Here's the info we got from Lisa (see previous entry).


A damaged web browser cache and/or a damaged AOL adapter may cause this issue. Windows networking requires that a network adapter exist for any application that must access the internet. The AOL software uses the AOL adapter to access the internet.

1. Sign off and close the AOL software.

2. On the end of the Windows taskbar next to the clock, click the AOL icon, then click SYSTEM INFORMATION.

NOTE: If the AOL icon is not displayed, click the START button, select PROGRAMS or ALL PROGRAMS, select AMERICA ONLINE, then click AOL SYSTEM INFORMATION.

3. Click the UTILITIES tab.

4. In the BROWSER section, next to CURRENT CACHE, click the CLEAR button until the Current Cache size reads 0 KB.

5. In the AOL UTILITIES section, next to AOL ADAPTER, click the REBUILD button.

6. Click the OK button.

7. Click the CLOSE button.

8. Restart the computer and launch the AOL software again. The AOL Adapter will be rebuilt automatically.


Webutil restores system settings to resolve connection and browsing problems.

1. On the end of the Windows taskbar next to the clock, click the AOL icon, then click SYSTEM INFORMATION.

See NOTE above if icon is not displayed

2.Click the OK button.

3. Click the UTILITIES tab.

4. Under the NETWORK section, next to WEBUTIL, click the OPEN button.The WebUtil tool will now conduct a system check.

5. Click the OK button.

6. Click the CLOSE button.


1. Click the START button, select PROGRAMS or ALL PROGRAMS, then click INTERNET EXPLORER.

2. On the menu bar, click TOOLS, then click INTERNET OPTIONS.

3. Click the PROGRAMS tab.


5. Click the YES button.

6. Click the OK button.

7. Click the OK button to close the Internet Properties window.

8. Click the X in the upper right corner to close the Internet Explorer window.


1. Please close any Web pages that may be open.

2. Follow step 1 just above.

3. On the menu bar, click TOOLS, then clickINTERNET OPTIONS.

4. Click the SECURITY tab.

5. Click the DEFAULT LEVEL button, then click the OK button.

6. Click the X in the upper right corner to close the Internet Explorer window.

We didn't have a Web Utility (this could be because I forgot to sign on to AOL again) so we used Quick Restore. We had to sign in as an existing member but that was a minor inconvenience. If you still can't save entries to your journal normally, this method really works.

P.S. If any of you see ads on our journal, please let us know what corporations are sullying our space. We are going to send them emails expressing our displeasure and our intention to boycott them.





Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Props uber alles

We would like to welcome another visitor to our journal, a young mom with a 2-year old and cabin fever. Go visit Danielle at Danniboo05 and say hi to her.

We would also like to give props to someone who has unknowingly helped us out. Her name is Lisa and her journal is Adventures From Florida. Check out the nice and helpful lady.


The Continuing Crisis

Bonnie and I wanted to assure you, our friends and visitors, that we will continue to post here in this journal; it is, after all, our first, and it has grown on us.

Even though we went through AOLHell yesterday, it wasn't all bad. We'd like to thank "Don" the AOL tech guy, for doing his level best to help (although, for all we know, his real name is Rajneesh Surubindanam or perhaps HAL 9000) and Joe Loong the Journals Editor, who suffered a shitstorm of criticism yesterday, but was unfailingly polite when we presented him with our problem and took the time to help us out,  and we must also thank Christina of "My Journey With MS", who offered us the correct solution, even though we incompletely understood the information that she passed along.

As of this moment, we are still forced to access our journal through a stand-alone browser - if we enter the normal way, we are treated as guests rather than owners. This added step takes slightly more time and is annoying, and should be unnecessary. It is to AOL's everlasting discredit that they did not bother to consider the inconvenience to their paying customers. We are unfortunately paid up for a year, but when that year ends, we will seriously consider using another ISP. We have local ISP's that would, we're sure, be ecstatic to have us as customers.

We are not enamored of having to suffer a thoroughly unpleasant and aggravating experience. Last night we received a "fix" program, but it experienced a "compatibility problem" and stopped responding, so the fix was never completed. We're unhappy about that, also.

Those of you who have Symantec's product installed on your PC do not see the ads, we have discovered, so if you don't like having to endure viewing them, you might consider their firewall and anti-virus programs.


Joe, we just wanted to thank you again for your invaluable help yesterday. You were forced to endure a lot of misdirected criticism (a position that Mal has personally been in) and it had to have been at least a tad uncomfortable. There are those of us who understand that you personally were not responsible for this ill-advised mess, and we want you to know that. We would just like you to pass along to the corporate honchos that J-land is not happy about this state of affairs. It is disrespectful and an affront to those of us who are subscribers.Thanx.

Bon & Mal


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Am I Good, Or What?

Hi. Bonnie here. I'm not above blowing my own horn, so be prepared for a tantara.

You'll remember that in the post A Survey Like None Other the other day, I quoted Dorothy Parker, "What fresh hell is this?"

Well, today in Scott Adams's Dilbert strip, the first panel included this quote. And, on Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight, Keith used the quote.

All I'm saying is,

Scott Adams and Keith Olbermann read our blog!

Good night, and good luck.