Why I Look Different Than I Did A Month Ago


Hello again, Gentle Reader(s?)! Yes, It’s me, back for another go at writing something.

Today, I would like to fill you in on some recent conversations I have been having with various friends, neighbors, associates, and countrymen (countrypersons?).

It all started when Judy and I were with some friends and someone noticed that my face looks different than usual…

Friend: “what happened to your face?”

Me: “Why? What’s wrong with my face?”

F: “You appear to be growing a beard.”

M: “What are you talking about?”

F: “You have a beard, or, at least, sort of a beard.”

M: “I do?”

F: “yeah! Look at your reflection in the window!”

M: “Holy Spicoli! Oh man!”

Yes, I was quite taken aback by my appearance. But even more so because I hadn’t realized what had happened…

I stood there in silence as I thought back over the past couple of weeks, trying to figure out what happened. Thinking and talking to myself, I went over all of the things and events and non-events that had taken place, meals I had eaten or not eaten, the hot showers that I had not taken because we have been out of hot water for the past three weeks, the cold showers that I HAD taken because we have been out of hot water for the past three weeks, the junk phone calls I have received, the real phone calls I have received – every aspect of my life – searching my memory for anything that might possibly correspond to the date that the unusual (for me, anyway) growth on my face may have begun.

I could think of nothing. At all.

And then…

Judy said something that I couldn’t quite make out and I responded, “Huh?”

And that’s when it hit me!

I made my excuse to our friends…

M: “Well, it’s my hearing aids.”

F: “What’s your hearing aids?”

M: “The reason I have whiskers. It’s because of my hearing aids.”

F: “That’s ridiculous! How could your hearing aids cause you to grow a beard?”

M: “Well, it’s like this… When I’m wearing my hearing aids, I can hear EVERYTHING that’s going on around me or within me. Dog talking to me, flowers in the garden talking to me, ants crawling on the sidewalk, every breath I take, my heartbeat, blood circulating through my veins, me in my “outside” voice, me breathing – everything.”

F: “So?”

M: “I can hear my whiskers growing…

“…For the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been wearing my hearing aids. That being the case, I haven’t heard my whiskers growing. That being the case, I haven’t thought about shaving.

“And THAT being the case, I look like I do now.”

And that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

Until next time, Gentle Reader(s?)…



Life Lessons 1… Showers

Our water heater has been on the blink for 6 days. It will either be next Tuesday when it will be replaced, or a week after that.
Lessons learned:
1 – Cold showers don’t last very long.
2 – I don’t have to worry about Judy using up all the cold water.
3 – …


Hello again Gentle Reader(s?),

If you read the title of this post, you may believe that I am going to speak, or write, about words. Or, at least with words. At least.

Well, you may be surprised to discover that you believe, at least, somewhat correctly. 

Yes, I am going to use words in this particular post to describe things called “words”. Words that speak of things. Wordy things. 

Words are the things that make up a spoken language. Spoken Language is something that allows human persons to communicate clearly amongst themselves when utilizing their inherant things called “vocal cords”.

Language and vocal cords, of course, are mutually beneficial concepts which greatly enhance the intended use of each of their intended functions: Making audible sounds and making those sounds intelligible to another human within hearing range.

Think of it this way…

Without  vocal cords, spoken language would not be very useful. At all. And without spoken language, made up of  words, vocal cords wouldn’t have a lot to say. Oh, you might get an occasional “Ugh” or “Mmphf” or “Ahhhhh”, but beyond that they would spend a lot of time wondering why they were there at all. 

Let’s create, using words, an example of that of which, using words, I speak…

Let’s say that my wife, Judy (a name is a word, too), discovers that we are out of toilet paper and she knows that I am about to head out the door to visit the grocery store. In her mind, she knows that she wants to ask me to buy some toilet paper. Her thought is processed and, eventually, gets to her vocal cords.

This is where spoken language enters the picture.

She calls out to me and, using words, says something like, “Oh Bill, my love, please purchase some toilet paper while you are at the store. Not the kind you got last time because I didn’t like that, but the kind I always get when I purchase toilet paper. You know, the extra super hyper soft tripple layered kind with little pillow things woven in. Get that, please.”

Using language, made up of words, she has made her request quite clear and distinct. I would have no problem deciphering her desire for comfortable toilet paper. 

But what if there were no such thing as words? What if spoken language was limited to a few grunts and unintelligible sounds emanating from her nearly useless vocal cords?

Let’s see what would happen…

Let’s say that my wife, Grblmphf (remember, a name is a word, too), discovers that we are out of toilet paper and she knows that I am about to head out the door to visit the grocery store. In her mind, she knows that she wants to ask me to buy some toilet paper. Her thought is processed and, eventually, gets to her vocal cords. But, alas, there is no language for her to speak because there are no words available for utilization in putting her desire into, well, words.

All she can say is, “Ugh mmphf ahh enh.”

I think you can see the dilemma here. I know that she is thinking something. It has to do with me, or she wouldn’t have tried to say something to me. My mind rushes to try to figure out exactly what she is attempting to put accross to me as I walk out the door to head to the grocery store. Hmmm…

She is addressing me. Or maybe the dog. No, it has to be me because the dog is in the back yard urinating on the formerly lush lawn. 

Maybe she is trying to inform me that the dog is urinating on the lawn. No, that can’t be it because she knows that I know that the dog is urinating on the lawn.

Hmmm… I’m on my way to the grocery store, so maybe that’s what she’s trying to get across to me. She wants me to drive carefully! 

No, that can’t be it. She knows that I drive carefully all of the time.

Maybe she wants me to get something at the store. YES!!! That has to be it!

Hmmm… What could she want me to get? What are we out of? What is important enough to make her grunt at me? 

I proceed to the store and take shot in the dark. 

Thirteen hours later, I return from the grocery store, having spent $7,346.72 on one each of everything in the store. 

Except toilet paper. (I actually put some into one of the 17 shopping carts I utilized, but when I went up to pay for everything, my credit card came up 27.00 short, so I had to put the toilet paper back in order to buy everything else.) I figure I am covered…  I am not…

I try to explain myself, “Uhn gmphf ooog mlmp,” but to no avail. She isn’t having a word of it. Mostly because words do not exist. 

Can you see how important words are? Without words, we could have no spoken language. Without spoken language, we would have to rely on the few sounds our, otherwise useless, vocal cords could make. Relying on those sounds, we would have to spend much of our lives trying to read everybody else’s mind. And without the ability to read everybody else’s mind, we would all go broke at the grocery store.  

So, Gentle Reader(s?), be grateful for words. 

Until next time, using words, speak kindly to everybody with whom you come into contact. Use grunts if you have to…


PS – I had Judy read this. When she was done, I asked her what she thought. Her reply?

“I have no words…”

Conversations With Judy: Episode 29: When To NOT Utilize Your Sense Of Humor

Well, hello again Gentle Reader(s?)… It’s time for another foray into the world of “How To Live A Successful Life”.  

In this episode, we (I) will be discussing the proper neglect of the use of a sense of humor. And I will be doing so through the example that I have most recently set for myself…

Permit me to provide a bit of background, here.

Judy and I are in the process of designing (Judy’s part) and building “just one more house – honest. I promise”. 

*Some of you may remember that our house burned down September 16, 2010 and that Judy designed the new one. Well, as it happened, she really loved doing that and she got the bug to do it just once more, hopefully before we die. 

She has been working on it for about three years, drawing, changing, changing, changing, changing, upgrading, changing, changing and changing on, pretty much, a weekly basis over that entire period of time. She has finally got it right. 

Over the past several months, we have submitted the plans to the contractor and the architect to have them drawn up numerous times. And, oddly enough, they have returned to us the finished plans an equal number of times for our inspection. Equally oddly enough, Judy has made a few changes and corrections. The last set of plans required  changes/corrections to about twelve items. the first two items on the list appear here:


**Some of you may remember that I have a way of being joyfully light-hearted in just about any situation (I make stupid, though always hilarious, comments and jokes). This situation presented, to me, anyway, a good opportunity to, once again, employ my never-miss sense of humor, particularly in light of the fact that we had met with both the contractor and architect on many occasions and they have gotten used to me. 

I thought it would be fun to throw in my own two cents on the suggested changes. 

So I did…


Hmmm… There were no “Haha’s” from Judy…

This was unusual.

Moving ahead twelve days…

Phone rings…

Bill: “Hello.”

Judy (in a sweet voice): “Hi, Bill.”

B (somehow recognizing the ‘falseness’ in the sweetness in her voice): “Uh… Hi Judy.”

J (same sweet voice): I just wanted to let you know, ahead of time, that I’m going to strangle you when I get home tonight.”

B: “Gulp…”

J (ssv): “Would you like to know why?”

B: “OK…”

J (in a somewhat changed tone of voice): “Because the plans for the house were sent to me and they are being submitted to the county.”

B: “Well, that’s a good thing, right?”

J: “Guess what they include…”

I’m just going to leave it right there and let you use your imagination. 

Suffice to say that the use of humor, no matter how funny, may, in rare cases, be wise to avoid. 



Until next (I hope) ti–


Conversations with Judy: Episode 28: A Rose By Any Other Name

Hello, again Gentle Reader(s),

Once, again, it’s time for, yet, another recounting of a conversation with the most amazing female walking the Earth today. Yes, that’s right, my wife, Judy. This particular exchange actually took place several months, maybe even years, but probably months ago…

(Cue the memory sequence music here)

(We join our memory as the music fades, with me exiting the bathroom after a somewhat extended visit and encountering the lovely and, patient, Judy in the – albeit extremely short – bathroom waiting line in the master bedroom…)

Bill: “Oh, hi, my little snooky-wookie-kins! Are you waiting for me?”

Judy: “Why, no, my love, my very own, I am not,” and she goes on, “I am waiting for the bathroom.”

Bill: “Of course, my sweet. It’s all yours.”

Judy enters the bathroom… Judy exits the bathroom… Judy speaks…

J: “How do you do that?”

B “How do I do what?”

J: “The bathroom never smells when you come out. How do you do that?”

B: “Seriously? Really?”

J: “Yeah, really. It never has.”

B: “Well, statistically, there is a very small minority of people, of which I am fortunate to be counted among, who can claim to possess the ‘Mine Doesn’t Stink’ charism.”

J: “Well, as much as I hate to say it, and as ridiculous as it may sound, I have to agree.”

Move ahead about ten days…

Bill exits the bathroom.

Judy enters the bathroom.

Judy exits the bathroom.

J: “I’ve changed my mind.”

Conversations with Judy: Episode 27: An Explosive Situation

Judy just got her first COVID vaccine shot and we are waiting 15 minutes quietly in the car. She just spoke:


Judy: “Are you just sitting there waiting for me to explode?”


Bill: “If I was waiting for you to explode, I would be wearing my raincoat.”

Conversations with Judy: Episode 25: What You Said Is, Apparently, What I Heard

Judy just said something to me and I wasn’t sure I heard her right, so I responded, “OK por butter ba ba mooford?” Is that what you said?




I think she’s giving up on me…

The Domestic Me – The Culinary Somebody Else: Episode Five – Another Coffee Discovery

Hello once again, Gentle Reader(s?)…

Yes, it’s Coffee Moron, here! And I have some truly enlightening news to report! But first, a word, or two, on how I came to discover this information…

Today, early in the morning, I slithered out of bed with a hankering for – you guessed it – the bathroom! Skipping ahead a bit, my next craving was for a – you guessed it again – a haircut! But skipping a bit further ahead (because a haircut is not currently available in my neck of the woods), my next hanker was for a – you probably didn’t guess this – cup of coffee…

Yes, Gentle Reader(s), coffee. 

As you may, or may not, remember from past postings, depending upon how Gentle a Reader you may or may not be, I have been on an adventure of coffee discovery over the past couple of years. I have learned many things (mostly, how to gain ten pounds in a period of two months), some of which have been beneficial to my daily routine, if not to my waistline.  But all of them have affected my life in some way or other. 

Anyway, I haven’t experimented with coffee much, lately, and I didn’t experiment this morning, either. It was a typical throw in enough water for three cups, all of which fit into one mug, scoop in three mountainous scoops of grounds, hit the “on” switch, wait for the gurgling noise to stop, pour the result into my mug, add a half gallon of heavy whipping cream and drink. 

But there was a slight difference today, in that we had to go out for a few hours. This, of course, meant that I couldn’t finish my daily serving of coffee (I don’t like to guzzle it down) and I ended up pouring about half of it down the sink.

When we returned to the house, I decided that I really needed to have my full daily allotment of the stuff that waistlines (mine, anyway) are made of, so I went directly to the coffee pot and began to restart the whole process.

Standing there, in front of the coffee maker, I lifted the lid to the thing that holds the filter, reached for it with the intention of tossing the used filter and grounds into the waiting trash can and froze; my mind evaluating the cost of the grounds so perfectly placed within the coffee-filter-holder-thing…

“Hmmm,” I thought, “I wonder what it would be like to just use the same pile of grounds for this new pot…”

Being the adventuresome sort of guy that I am (adventuresome = cheap and, more to the point, lazy), I decided to give it a shot. 

So I did…

Now, for the discovery…

While the resulting concoction was kinda similar to coffee (the water part of the solution looked a little brownish and there was a faint odor of coconut – this was Hawaiian Hazelnut coffee), the flavor was more like heavy whipping cream mixed with nitrogen and brownish-colored water. It wasn’t quite as good as my usual product. 

This, of course, resulted in me having to toss the existing grounds (although, I admit, I toyed with the idea that maybe this was just some sort of aberration and I should give it another shot). this, of course, meant that I had wasted, not only, enough water from our well to make a mug (three cups) of coffee, but also the time that I could have been watching Dr. Zachary Smith nearly destroying the entire Robinson family, along with Major Don West and the beloved family Robot in the next thrilling episode of Lost In Space. 

Please, I implore you, DO NOT TRY THIS. I have already done the hard work, and you really don’t have to. 


You don’t.

Until next time, this is Coffee Moron, wishing you a Happy New Year! Be well!


Conversations With Judy – Episode 26: No Uncertain Terms

A few minutes ago, I happened upon my beloved wife, in whom I am well pleased, sitting at her computer. The screen was filled with a lot of columns with a lot of medical looking terms, many of which I – for reasons unknown to me – did not recognize. I thought it was interesting because a few of them had a medical looking term followed by a mathematical looking symbol – which I DID recognize as your common, everyday household number (Like 1 or 2 or 7,000,023,194,586.01). This intrigued me, so, as I am want to do, I immediately struck up a friendly conversation (of which we have many)…

Bill: “That looks interesting. What is it?”

Judy: “I have my annual physical on Monday, and I’m doing the pre-check-in questionnaire online. This is my medical history page. I’m glad they let you do this because it looks like it will save a lot of time when I go in for my appointment.”

Bill, scanning the displayed medical looking terminology and picking one out for explanation: “Hmmm… That’s pretty cool. So, what’s ‘Stridor?” 

Judy: “It’s kind of a harsh vibrating noise when you breathe.”

B: “Well, you don’t seem to have that, so that’s a good thing, right? What is ‘Polydipsia’?”

J: “Well, it’s when you are always really thirsty.”

B: “You don’t seem to have that problem. Good.” Continuing my perusal, “What’s ‘Menarshay (my pronunciation)?”

J: “You mean ‘Menarche? (Menarkay’ – actual pronunciation) “

B: “Is that how you say it? Yeah, what’s that?”

J: “Well, that’s the age at which a girl has her first period.”

B: “Oh, OK.” I continued, “Well I’ve never had a period, but I’ve had a lot of exclamation points, question marks and far more than my share of commas.”

J: “That would be under Psychiatric Care…”

Conversations With Judy – Episode 24: I’m Amazed

This morning as Judy was getting ready to leave for work…

Bill: “You know, Judy, I’m completely amazed that you don’t get irritated with me when I am being obnoxious.”

Judy: “Oh, but Bill, I DO get irritated with you. Sometimes VERY irritated. I simply refuse to give you the satisfaction of KNOWING I get irritated.”

I this a good thing?

The New Expletive

Hello, again, Gentle Reader(s?),

Yes, it’s time, once again, for you to make a decision on whether or not to continue reading a post from me. I’ll give you a minute to decide…

Still here? OK! We shall proceed.

Let’s take a moment to review this year…

Never mind – let’s not.

All in all, though, a pretty tough year for ALL of us, and it is hard to come up with something positive to say about this year.

But, as some of you may suspect, I try to be positive in any situation (we are currently engulfed by smoke and ashes, just a little less than a mile from the “evacuation warning” perimeter made possible by the Creek Fire, here in the Sierra Mountains).

In my efforts to find something positive to say about the entire year, I have come up with this…

Many of us are familiar with bad words. Some of them are really nasty. You may even remember my previous post on “Alternative Cuss Words“.  And I would venture to guess that you remember that now-famous line, uttered by Ralphie, from the movie, A Christmas Story” (One of my top two favorite films of all time)…

Well, I have, I believe, come up with a new and even BETTER “THE word. The BIG one. The QUEEN MOTHER of dirty words. The 2- – – word.”

Yes, that’s right. Those of us who abhor hearing or reading the “f- – -“, or “s- – -” or “(input your – – – -‘s here) words in everyday speech and correspondence may now have a chance to NOT hear or read those – – – -s.

Think of the possibilities:

“Ooooh twweeeennnntttyyy-nnniiiiinnnnnneteeeeeeennnnn! Only I didn’t say nineteen.”

“Well, we sure 2- – -‘d that up!”

Then, of course, there’s the famous greeting,

“Hey, m- – – – -2- – -“!

See? You can always find something positive in just about any situation. Even if nobody agrees with you…

Really, though, take care, be safe, and look for the positive – even though it’s well hidden, it’s there…



Conversations With Judy – Episode 23: The Stuff That Dreams Aren’t Made Of

Judy woke up this morning and moved. This, naturally, caused me to – vaguely – awaken, also, though I didn’t move much. I just lay there, quietly, facing away from her, staring at the bookcase opposite my side of the bed and wondering what she was going to do next. 

And then, not surprisingly, she did it… 

She spoke.

Judy: “I just had a really uncomfortable dream. But I can’t remember what it was about.” And then she went on, “It’s like the details are quickly approaching a cliff and are about to go over into complete oblivion.”

Bill: “You bad a really convertible cream and you shan’t December fuzz had a clout?”

Judy: “I think you need to turn your not so bad ear to me. I will repeat this one time only.”

I rolled over to face Judy, with an emphasis on my right ear slightly more toward her face.

Judy: “I just had a really uncomfortable dream. But I can’t remember what it was about. It’s like the details are quickly approaching a cliff and are about to go over into complete oblivion.”

Bill: “Do you remember anything that was in the dream?”

She thought, in silence, for a few moments and then said, “Well, there wasn’t a dirigible. And there was no llama.”

B: “There wasn’t?”

J: “Yes, there wasn’t. I don’t think there was a cow or an ice cream cone, either. And I’m certain that it didn’t take place in ancient times or in the ocean or in Mexico.” She paused and then continued, “And there were no stairs or a garage. It didn’t involve a desk.”

B:  “I see… So you are eliminating everything that was NOT in the dream.”

J: “Yes.”

B “And by doing so, whatever is not on the “missing” list has to be in the dream.”

J: “Yes, that’ right.”

B: “And then you can put all things that are in the dream together to form a completed picture of whatever it was that made you so uncomfortable in the first place.”

J: “Yes.”

B: “It’s like a puzzle.”

J: “YES!!! It’s a puzzle!”

B: “How long do you think it might take?”

J: “Who cares? It’s a puzzle! I can work on it when I get home from work each day! This is going to be FUN!”

B: “What’s for breakfast?”