A blast from the past


Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it does not matter. Jack Benny.

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Some people dread birthdays while some rugged souls on the other hand grab the bull by the horns and push back against the encroachment of time. They won’t let mere digits hinder their way of life.

A couple of days ago I attended a birthday celebration hosted by Brigitte Moran’s clan. Her devotees went all out to commemorate Brigitte’s admission to the exclusive Geezer Country Club and give her a fiery send off to the geriatric orbit.

The theme of the party was the groovy 60’s and people were asked to show up in period threads.
I have always maintained that if you wait long enough (50 to 100 years), your dated wardrobe will come back into fashion, and this occasion proved me right. The only problem is that 50 years later your waistline won’t be exactly the same as when you were a young buck. But some people managed to dig out (or buy) vintage clothes and showed up decked with long hair, tinted shades, beads and platform shoes.
At the door I bumped into a tall, dark, longhaired hippy that to my amazement turned out to be Beatnik Herb (Moran). Great duds Herb!

The celebration started with an open bar followed by a sit down dinner.

After dinner an Afro wearing DJ opened the shindig with loud (very loud) throbbing musical pieces. Among the first people on the floor was Flower Child Brigitte who, in spite of a recent hip replacement, behaved like a teenager on Prom night.
She was followed by some (naturally reserved) people who suddenly moved like possessed by Beelzebub.

They say that age is all in your mind. The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body. Unknown author.

For best costume (among the people I know), I recognized Monique Bricca, Herb, Brigitte, Tom Moran (loved those platform shoes) and Sandra Shirkey. I also liked the threads of a cool black dude whose name I don’t know.

To sum it up, it was a funky, outta sight party.

Joyeux Anniversaire again to a groovy chick! S.W.A.K!


PS: To watch photos of this event, click on the “My Photos” link located on the right side of this page. For best viewing, go Full Screen. No more music, sorry.
Click on the 2017 folder and on the arrow at the right top of the folder to watch the slideshow.


The Senate voted 97-0 for an anti-spam bill to stop those annoying things you get on your computer. The senators made it very clear that when you start misleading the American people and start taking their money over false promises, that are our turf, buddy!
Jay Leno

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Friends, Pétanquophiles, countrymen, lend me your ears. I have been “slimed”. More accurately I have been viciously “spammed”!
Last week my blog mailbox was flooded with unsolicited messages that kept piling up at a frightening rate.

“Electronic spamming is the use of electronic messaging systems to repeatedly send unsolicited messages (especially advertising) to the same site.”
It is named after Spam, a luncheon meat, by way of a Monty Python sketch about a menu that includes Spam in every dish.”

Thanks to a trusted friend the problem has been fixed, but this incident is a stark reminder that all is not sugar and spice and everything nice in cyberspace.

For a blogger, noticing an increased readership is heartening but a sharp readership spike can be troubling. It means that somehow, somewhere, you touched a raw nerve and somebody is reacting. This is one of the pitfalls of running a blog. You will sometimes unwittingly offend somebody and I am probably guilty of that.

I don’t pretend to be right on every issue I write about, but I speak from the heart and yes I will sometimes go cross the grain.
But this is still a free country, isn’t? Or is it?

The Big Question is: whom did I offend?
A bored teenager? An antisocial misfit? A miffed pétanque player? A scorned lover? A Russian operative? A Mar-a-Lago minion?
Being an equal opportunity offender, the possibilities are endless.

Email is a very convenient tool, but like atomic energy it can be used in a harmful way.

One more time, be careful out there and don’t blindly click on any unknown link sent to you by well meaning friends.

Spamfully yours,


Computer Syntax


Treat your password like your toothbrush.  Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months.  ~Clifford Stoll

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A computer is like a good butler, but unlike its human counterpart it is extremely fastidious. It absolutely does not allow any error. If you have a poor penmanship and if on top of this you are a sloppy speller, you are bound to have a very difficult relationship with your manservant.

In computer language nothing is inconsequential. A period, a comma, a semi-colon, a forward slash, an uppercase… nothing, absolutely nothing can be overlooked, especially when it comes to passwords.
Like an ornery donkey, your computer will refuse to go anywhere if you cannot correctly provide the right carrot.

A little while ago I had to transfer my web-hosting outfit to another company. What looked like an easy task turned out to be an absolute nightmare. And I have (unfortunately) nobody to blame but myself.

During the migrating process I omitted to insert a semi-colon in some specific area and the computer obstinately refused to obey any of my commands.

The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up, there’s no law against whacking them around a little. ~Eric Porterfield

I was about to whack the beast, when I finally spotted the error. One added keystroke and the problem was resolved, but this incident clearly demonstrates the utmost importance of each character.

In this day and age your email address is your window to the world, and you cannot when asked for it, hurriedly scribble illegible characters on a piece of paper. You need to print everything very carefully and make sure that every symbol is unmistakably correct.

If you want to get along with your computer, treat it the way you want to be treated, with utmost respect.
Some people kneel and appeal to statues made of stone. I prefer to bow respectfully before my gentleman’s gentleman each time its services are required.

Alain 🎩

PS: Never let a computer know you’re in a hurry.