And so it comes back to this, eh.

Why did I change in the first place? Comments and permanent links. Felt like the right thing to do, too - why, everyone’s blog is on some sort of platform, and there are all these nifty themes you can use and make yours different, and tweak them however you like and . . . and I never quite tweaked them as much as I liked. It never felt like my page. Going back over the blogs of 2008 (transferring the contents to .pdfs, which are presumably eternal) reminded me how much I loved to design these things, and how much I miss being proud of a particular design.

So, to hell with that, then. It was fun, and convenient, but I miss the canvas. Bear with me while I sort things out, code-wise; it'll take some doing to make everything feel like it used to. But it already feels better.

More brilliant weather. Warm and sunny all weekend - so let’s put up the Halloween decorations! I should note that my general opinion of Halloween decorations on the property is “No, thank you,” but I am alone in this. I don’t know. It’s just not that big a thing with me. A paper Ben Franklin skeleton in the window the week before, okay. But like I said, I am alone in this, so we got out the big orange tub of stuff, checked to make sure the lights worked - one strand was dead, and you’d think of all holidays, dead Halloween lights would continue to burn, but no. Chinese quality control! So lax it’s almost scaaaary! Oh, the cliches. They never stop and they never change. There was a series of Halloween plaques for sale at the grocery store, the usual boo-haha about cats and pointy hats and brooms and the like, and next to them was one - in orange - that said FOLLOW YOUR BLISS.

Okay, when Halloween gets redefined as a means of following your bliss, we’re deep in gassyland, unless it’s a typo, and people are supposed to be lured by their disembodied foreskins into a realm of horror and fear. FOLLOW YOUR BRIS? That’s what you wanted it to say? But the factory already made 10,000. They’ve been shipped. No, I can’t call back the container vessel. Yes, you have to sign for them.

So I plugged in the lights and was reminded that the socket died. Now I really have to call the electrician, because that’s three, and we need them for exterior lighting. That’s another thing we never had as a kid. No one did. Maybe office parks or hotels, but houses? Streetlights, and maybe a 60-watt burning on a pole, but most of those broke after a while, and half of them were always tilted, rusty, dark all night.

The electrician will not come immediately, though. In fact, why do I need one at all? This seems like the sort of thing I can do myself. Tomorrow, that is. Let me read some instructions on the internet and get a tester and do the most important thing, which is shut off power to the entire house, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to feel safe any other way.

ANYWAY. Since I can’t fix it now, give up, right? No. I strung an electrical cord around the house to another outlet, but it looks like it’s handling a lot. Not that much - the gazebo lights, that’s all - but adding all this other stuff might cause it to “Spaz” or “go on the fritz” or whatever the precise terminology is. So I connected it to a buried outlet back by the Oak Island Water Feature, which powers the fountain.

So there’s about half a mile of cord, I estimate. Pretty proud of myself. I have mastered electricital thingamapoppers! Yup, swapping out light fixtures oughta be a breeze compared to this.

Pray for me.

Watching “Village of the Damned” last night. There’s a shot of George Sander’s dog:

I was startled. Called over my daughter.

“It’s Jasper’s great grandfather,” Natalie said.

Really: that’s Jasper. It’s the ears. I feel bad because Sanders had just fallen over dead, and then we saw everyone else in the village fall over, and I assumed the dog was dead, too. Turns out everyone just fainted. The dog’s fine. He’s not exactly Jasper; a bit too light. But he’s quite close.

This . . .

. . . and this . . .



. . . and surely this.



I suppose it's a familiar sensation for people who have particular breeds - or perhaps you just don't notice it, because that might look like your dog but it is obviously not your dog. In the case of a mutt with particular features, though, it's a jolt.

His name was Bruno, and this was his only role.

Well, we've a great week coming up here at the Bleat, with yet another new site and additions to old favorites. And! Dig this: I'm about one, two nights away from finishing the novel, Autumn Solitaire. (Or whatever it's called. I don't know. That has a noirish tinge, doesn't it?) This one took me six months, which was twice as long as the other one; unforgiveable. Anyway, the big revelations are out of the way; we know the identity of all the bad people. One more horrible, horrible scene, then the last scene to tie it up and restore Order. Then I'm taking the rest of the year off.

Joe Ohio as usual for Monday, and Matchbook Museum - a new batch of restaurants. We're up to 63 now - but start here. See you around!

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