Men and Women – The Fish Pond Rorschach Test

I have known Camera Girl for about forty-eight years.  We met on a beach while each of us was skipping out on our respective high schools.  Physical attraction was the initial force that brought us together but over the years, we have interacted to the point where, we know each other as well as a man and a woman possibly can.  And yet our motivations, methods and objectives are, if anything, even closer to being diametrically opposed now than they were at the beginning.

I like to think that I base my plans on a somewhat analytical approach to accomplishing my objectives.  So, let’s say Camera Girl tells me that she wants a fish pond.  Before committing to such a project, I would first look at the pros and cons of such a goal.  I would ask my client what are the objectives?  How many fish and what type are desired?  What’s the budget for construction and maintenance?

Then I would look at the various options for constructing the pond.  Should it be a liner or a solid shell?  Should I build it or hire a contractor?  Where should it be set up with respect to the sun?  What safety considerations need to be weighed?  When does it need to be completed by?  What additional items (like a bench or some plants) are also required?  What modifications will need to be made to the property (power line, water line) to accommodate the pond?  And finally, how will the pond be impacted on by the surrounding wildlife?

Camera Girl, on the other hand, cleans out an old muck bucket that she has lying round the yard, buys a dozen “shiners” at PetSmart and tells me she wants me to buy a “solar” fountain on for $12.98.

I find this very disconcerting.  I explain to her that the “shiners” will probably die in the bucket over the course of the summer, the fountain is a piece of crappy plastic that will probably stop working after a few weeks and she’ll have to replace fish and water every few weeks.

This perturbs her not the least.  Our granddaughter will be coming over tomorrow and they like looking at the fish in the bucket for a few minutes every day.  And none of my arguments address this goal.

For she knows that if I were to undertake this epic project by the method that I favor, it would involve weeks of planning and months of installation.  Just digging the hole would take a week or two.  So, from her point of view my method has no upside.  A pond that was finished in September is worse than no pond at all.  The weeks when our granddaughter would be without the fish to interact with would be an epic failure.  Because by September she’ll be entering kindergarten and no longer around to enjoy the mega-pond that I would create.

So, shaking my head and grumbling under my breath I look up this magnificent “fountain” and find a plethora of companies selling this same crappy plastic fountain and select the one that will deliver it for a total of $7.53.  This is my consolation.  I paid five bucks less for a piece of junk that probably won’t last through June.

But when all is said and done.  She has logic on her side.  That muck bucket pond is almost an optimized solution to the mission.  A little girl will sprinkle some fish food into it and watch the fish come up to get it.  And even if the fountain stops working and even if the racoons and the herons eat all of the fish on a weekly basis it will have served its purpose.

But my pond would be much better.

A Splendid Mother’s Day Post

Kudos to Menagerie over at Conservative Treehouse for a truly great post on motherhood.  Just reading it I decided I better be nicer to Camera Girl today  Happy Mother’s Day to all the real moms out there.  You deserve it.


Motherhood. Contrary to ridiculous claims otherwise, it starts with being a woman. Which starts with XX chromosomes and can never be changed.

It didn’t take God long at all in his creation process to get to the male, female, mother, and father part. I can see nothing confusing in his words.

The Means of Production – Part 1

So, what to write about tonight?  Tucker?  Elon?  The Biden Crime Family’s Congressional investigation?  Trump and his various legal problems.  The Republican presidential contenders?  Dementia Joe’s sinking ratings?  The crime-drenched cities?  The invasion at the southern border?  The collapsing banks?  Stagflation?  The Ukraine War?  Bud Light’s ongoing sales freefall?

Meh.  Just not in the mood.  Maybe it’s the crazy local things I’m involved in.  Maybe it’s too much same old, same old.

Well for whatever reason, let’s talk about something different.

I was reading recently about a studio that has been producing family friendly movies.  Mostly Christian movies but not exclusively.  Let’s call them Christian friendly.  They recently had a hit with a movie called the Jesus Revolution, “a feel-good movie about hippies who returned to Christ during the 1970s, starring former “Cheers” and “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer – has grossed more than $52 million since its debut just a few weeks ago, making it the most successful film released by studio heavyweight Lionsgate since 2019.”

Many years ago, I remember watching a few of the movies produced by Christian churches and other organizations.  And although it was refreshing to see entertainment that stressed religious values and themes, they were notable for very simplistic plots and amateurish acting.  I guess the cast was more living the moments of the plot rather than acting them.

““The biggest critique on Christian art of the last thirty plus years, is that it’s not good, or it hasn’t been good,” said Terence Berry, COO of Wedgwood Circle, a nonprofit that connects investors and creators to develop projects that are informed by their Christian faith. “And I do think there have been huge strides made in people creating content for the faith market.””

Move forward twenty years and the producers now out there like Wedgwood and Angel Studios are producing movies that can be viewed by mainstream audiences without eye-rolling.  Berry calls it “a third way.”

““Can you offer stuff that is not perceived as faith market, and that is really well done, and it’s good, true, and beautiful, and it’s speaking to larger questions and it is aligned with your faith,” he asked, “but it is done so in a way that allows other people from outside the faith to engage and like that content?””

In the article the writer mentions that these producers are producing movies and arranging theater distribution using both investor and crowd-funded capital.  And the products include movies, music, books, television, and radio shows.  In fact, there are even animated movies in the works.

So why is this interesting?

I think because Hollywood is melting down.  Other than super hero movies Hollywood has only had a very few actual blockbuster hits in the last ten years.  Tom Cruise in Top Gun is that exception that proves the rule.  And it’s especially relevant because it’s one of the few movies that bucks all the stupid trends that have cost Hollywood its audience.  It’s patriotic.  It doesn’t pound away at woke tropes.  It doesn’t replace entertainment with an agenda.  It doesn’t denigrate its audience.

So, with Hollywood marching into the ocean and at the same time starving audiences for wholesome content.  And with streaming and the lower price of computer-generated imaging making fantasy and other genera movies orders of magnitude cheaper than just a few years ago, this is the perfect time for small production companies to provide people with entertainment choices they sorely lack.

And I think it’s finally, finally beginning to happen.  I’ve watched some short sci-fi movies on YouTube that come close to Hollywood level special effects.  And because of how Hollywood is using “diversity, inclusion and equity” there are many unemployed straight, white, male actors, writers, directors and other creatives that could use work.  In such an environment I think we’ll start seeing more and more breakout productions that owe their success to giving people the entertainment that Hollywood refuses to produce.

But here’s the point.  All of these people trying to produce this content didn’t get into it because they always wanted to build their own movie studios.  They’re doing it because the movie studios told them that the content they wanted was wrong and shouldn’t exist.  So, they had to become movie makers.  Same thing with book authors.  The books we like are so evil that the publishers are retroactively changing the text of old classics like Roald Dahl’s children’s books.  Same for music, same for art.  Same for education.  If we want what we think is right we’re going to have to make it ourselves.  Internalize that and employ it as needed in your life and you’ll start changing things for the better.

If you don’t like the crap on display in woke world then search out something better at the fringes.  And if that doesn’t exist, then do it yourself.  That’s the lesson.

I intend to start looking for some of these movie projects and try them out.  I’ll report back on what I find.

07APR2023 – Quote – Good Friday

Matthew 27:33-60 KJV

33  And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

34  They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

35  And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

36  And sitting down they watched him there;

37  And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

38  Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

39  And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

40  And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41  Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42  He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43  He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

44  The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

45  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

47  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

48  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

49  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

50  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

54  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

55  And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:

56  Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.

57  When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

58  He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59  And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60  And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

26MAR2023 – The Week Begins

Christmas Cooking, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm f\2.8 macro lens

The weekend was replete with good food, happy visitors and talk.  We heard stories about the really old days, over a century ago when our ancestors came to this country and made their fortune and then lost it and then started over again.  It was exciting, pathetic, sad, funny and very familiar.  Familiar because it’s family.  And we heard tidings of some old friends and relatives who are ailing.  But as we age there will always be more of that.  But there were tidings of the next generations venturing out into the world.  That’s always a necessary and welcome development.  And we made plans for upcoming gatherings.  Easter is almost upon us and we’ll be hosting the family which is great.

And now here we are beginning a new week.  Chaos reigns supreme in Dunwich and I expect pandemonium when I arrive at work tomorrow.  But the world we live in is in a permanently catastrophic state and if no other good thing has come of this shambolic existence, it’s that we’ve become less delicate.  Anything less than a megaton of destruction is routinely just shrugged off as “more of the same.”  Well, good.  We’ll continue on and deal with these occurrences, one catastrophe at a time.  Who knows maybe they’ll run out of plagues eventually and we’ll come out on the other side.

And at least there is a bit of humor to the whole thing.  Even the outside world is starting to catch on to just how pathetic Joe Biden and his gang of losers really are.  Even the Saudis, who have never been known for their love of humor have joined in the act.  Saudi tv has a skit where Biden and Harris look-alikes wander around a political soundstage hopelessly lost and stupid.  Imagine when even stone age people like the former headhunters of the Amazon jungles and the New Guinea highlands join in the fun.  Maybe it could become a meme when representatives of every race and ethnicity compete on Rumble to mock Dementia Joe and Magic Bus Kamala.  That would be a true moment of solidarity for the whole human race.  It chokes you up just thinking of it.

But seriously, this is going to go on for a good long time.  As a very smart man said long ago there is a lot of ruin in a nation.  Before the US is degraded to a level where people will do anything about it, it will have to get a lot worse.  So, I intend to do my best to take care of those I love and try somehow to make my immediate surroundings a little less horrible.  And when I have the time, I’ll put up some of my scribblings here as moral support for folks like me.  If you have something to share leave it in the comments and if you have something longer, you’d like to see posted send it to me at the e-mail address listed or just say so in the comments and if it’s something I can support I’ll probably post it up.

Things are a lot worse than they used to be.  But one thing has improved.  We now know the truth about the country we live in.  Tens of millions of people now know that what we were told was a big lie.  And that is a powerful thing.  And I don’t know how, but I’m pretty sure that one day that is going to have a tremendous impact on some critical moment in our history.  A country is made of more than just banks and bureaucracies.  I think there is a component that depends on the trust of people.  And this country has lost that.  It was that characteristic called American exceptionalism.  It was belief in ourselves as being part of something remarkable.  Now we know that’s not true.  And pretty soon the rest of the world is going to find out too.  The day will come when one of Joe Biden’s gang is going to ask us for help and he’s going to get

… nothing.

Guest Contributor – Nostradumbass – 25FEB2023 – Rant on a Rant

A Rant for February Twenty Fifth

I so wanted this post to be true, but the main ingredient for the actions you state require the “parent” to actually be a parent…

just a start on commenting about this post:

If you have children, teach them what you want them to believe.

There are a good amount of teenage and welfare mothers that are teaching their children exactly what they believe, that being it is someone else’s responsibility to provide a home, food, clothing and health care, and it should not involve any costs or labor on their part. I think this lesson is being taught effectively.

Show them how to achieve the things they want.

The lack of principle, the ease of acquiring the largess of American good will is how the children of these mothers is shown.

The problem is now that the people that raised this version of parents were never actually parents to begin with. I’m not saying that this is true for all the current crop of parents, or even that they are the majority of the current generation, but there are enough that are, that they become “models” for the next generation.

The question becomes “Why should I work and bring home less than what the government will give me for doing nothing?”. That seems to be the current model.

A Rant for February Twenty Fifth

Winter has reappeared here in Dunwich.  The estimate is for up to eight inches of snow on Monday night.  Looks like I’ll finally break out the snowblower this winter after all.  But not yet.  Today I look out the window and a light snow is falling.  A fraction of an inch has accumulated and it gives the environs the correct veneer of New England winter to make the picture fit the calendar.

I read the headlines and what do I find?  All the same boring nonsense.  Inflation continues to impoverish us.  The Ukrainian war continues to impoverish us and kill Ukrainians.  Our incompetent federal government continues to impoverish our descendants unto the fourth generation and our monstrous Deep State continues to spy on and entrap Americans in false flag operations of their own manufacturing.  Really, it’s horror and tedium in almost equal measures.

But none of that is my topic for the day.  What I want to write about is the practical course of action for our people.  And that is to find the actions that you can take locally and do them.  Don’t think about doing them.  Don’t talk about doing them.  DO THEM!!!!

If you have children, teach them what you want them to believe.  Teach them by doing, not talking.  Show them how to achieve the things they want.  Help them in school.  Warn them about the propaganda they will hear in the classroom.  Help them to figure out their abilities and counsel them on figuring out what trade or profession they should get trained in.

And teach them patience and perseverance.  Keep them from picking up bad habits like wasting their time on frivolous on-line activities.  And socialize them.  Make sure they are comfortable interacting with their peers, the opposite sex and with adults.  Force them out of their comfort zone.    AND TEACH THEM TO WORK!!!!

Get involved in your community.  Find out how things get done.  Find out who runs the local government.  Volunteer for something with which you have some expertise.  Or if that’s not possible volunteer for something that anyone can help with.  Towns and local governments are always looking for help.  Pick something that can make your environment better.  There are committees for school, zoning, budget, infrastructure, etc.  Meet the local Republican committee and find out if they’re useful or useless.  And maybe even run for some very minor local office or position.  But at the very least find out who the people are who want to run your town or district.  And for pity’s sake at least make sure you vote for the ones who are least bad. Get to know what the problems are in your local area and decide if these are things that can be fixed and figure out whether they will make your life unbearable.

So this is me saying grab a hold of your life and your world and make it change in ways that make it better for you and yours.  You can’t fire Joe Biden or end affirmative action or lower the federal deficit.  But you can give your kids a shot at flourishing in whatever environment they’re in.  You can find out who really runs your town.  You can find out what kind of people they are.  You absolutely need to find out who is running your kids’ school and you damn well better find out what their teachers are like.

So, there’s my cabin fever rant for today.  Ahhh, I feel better already.

Of Chatbots and Cheese

So, as I was saying yesterday, the kids and the grandkids came over.  And Camera Girl killed the fatted calf, cooked it and then afterward served cake and ice cream to the stuffed survivors.  I skipped all the meatballs and sauce and made my self three sandwiches; a Reuben, a roast beef, provolone with mayo on “peasant bread” and a free form that included mustard, corned beef, lettuce and sweet gherkins on French bread; all washed down with hot coffee.  Suffice it to say I ate too much but have no regrets about it.  Later on, I had way too much vanilla ice cream and pound cake.  About that I do have regrets.  But c’est la guerre.

Today I faced the new day feeling bilious and groggy.  But all this warm weather of late inspired us to head for the state park for a long walk in the woods.  Seriously, I really want to thank whatever climatic forces are responsible for this winter’s mild weather.  I hereby agree to whatever destruction of the planet occurs and with my blessings.  Walking in the middle of February through this park without snowshoes is an innovation that is well worth finishing off those poor devils living at the Equator.  And since our Lizard Overlords are bringing all those people here anyway, at least I can have the benefits of a warmer climate here in Dunwich without feeling bad about it.  So, after the strengthening and revivifying effects of our hike I am restored to health and looking forward to enjoying the rest of this holiday weekend.

During the festivities yesterday I was able to talk with my eldest grandson and he told me he managed to get on the Dean’s List at the college where he is studying computer science.  Apparently, that requires a 4.0 grade point average.  I was impressed.  He is a lot like me.  Which means that studying for any subject in which he hasn’t any interest, is very difficult.  So that means he is displaying considerable discipline.  I attribute this to his parents spending a lot of time stressing the need for conscientiousness.  So, I am impressed with them too.

We discussed the recent trends in computer science.  We both got a laugh out of the recent vicissitudes of the “metaverse.”  The fact that the geniuses at Facebook didn’t realize that people don’t want to walk around wearing virtual reality headsets all the time is ridiculous.  After all, it’s one thing to wear a headset while flying an F-16.  There it’s a matter of life and death.  But in almost any other instance real life is superior to virtual life.  Think about it.  I can go into a field and throw a real baseball around with my grandsons.  Or we can all stand around wearing VR headsets and pretend to throw around a baseball.  That is so lame as to even defy comparison to other lame things.

Then we talked about artificial intelligence and of course ChatGPT.  He was generally very excited, not about the present chatbots, but rather about the potential in the near future.  Apparently, the level of sophistication is still growing quickly and whereas currently the behavior merely mimics human thought he was enthusiastic about it becoming closer to human creativity over time.  I warned him that AI’s ability to replace humans in the workforce might someday even allow it to replace computer scientists and he ruefully agreed the potential is there.

It was a very interesting conversation.  I still think of artificial intelligence as a tool.  If I let a chatbot write an essay for me, I’d use the output as a framework from which I’d insert the creative ideas that I wanted to make.  Facts and figures and even sententious musings aren’t thinking.  They’re scenery.  You have to have a point of view.  Sure, you can tell a chatbot the point you’re making but it still sounds like a Wikipedia entry.  I defy a chatbot to rise to my level of outrage.  And since my point of view is currently algorithmically forbidden to chatbots, by definition, I am immune from their competition.

Afterward, Camera Girl joined with the kids going to a middle school theatrical performance and Princess Sack of Potatoes saw her first live play.  And she was enthralled.  Camera Girl just watched her reactions to the performance throughout and said it was amazing.

And I thought, how is an algorithm going to mimic that?  An intelligent and emotional child “learning” about theater; how will the computer scientists mimic that?  The human brain only has about ninety billion neurons.  I’m sure supercomputers can multiply that number of memory slots almost infinitely.  But can we even define what it means to be a human being.  I’m not sure we currently can.  I’m not even sure we’ll ever be able to.  Lots of people are convinced that consciousness is just a level of complexity.  Once we have umpty-ump petaflops of computing power HAL will wake up and take over the world.  I’m far from sure that’s true.  It’s fun to use in science fiction stories but reality may not oblige us.  How do you program the point of view of a four-year-old girl watching a live play for the first time?  Where’s the slider for enthralled?

So, despite living in the pall of the East Palestine mushroom cloud and the other outrages that the Biden dismantling of America subjects us to, I’ve found fresh evidence that human life still contains transcendent beauty.  We are much, much more than the sum of our neurons and other cellular components.  We are capable of fascinating and remarkable behaviors.  Maybe we’re not quite obsolete yet.  Sure, the Lizard Overlords may take away our modern conveniences like gas and oil and force us back into a pre-industrial lifestyle but it will still be as human beings and that is an amazing simulation to be a part of.

Dead Pile and the Angry Polar Bear

Today was a busy day.  Princess Sack of Potatoes wanted to play Dead Pile, and later on, The Angry Polar Bear.  The latter is a very taxing business where I chase her around the house growling and trying to carry her away to the “Ice Flow of Death.”  All that growling takes its toll on my larynx and the dogs go nuts trying to defend her from this seemingly homicidal activity of mine.  But one does what must be done.

As you can tell by the descriptions, death has become a part of her imagination.  Of course, all those who end up in the dead pile are the bad animals, never the good ones.  And the Ice Flow of Death has only ever been fatal for the polar bear and even then, he always seems to be brought back for an encore.  It’s funny how little kids imagine things for which they have very little experience.  Other than a hermit crab, her little world has been untouched by death.  At least as far as she is aware.  She’ll be spared knowledge of actual deaths that have occurred while she was too young to even understand the concept.

Of late Camera Girl has introduced the concept of dog heaven to cover the eventuality of what to tell her when our older dog does die.  And she is very curious about it, “Will Kaylee have anyone to play with?  Will she get her favorite treats?”  All these were manageable reactions.  But then she asked about herself going to heaven.  That was a bridge too far.  We assured her that she wouldn’t be going anywhere for a long, long, long time and she should stop thinking such things.

And that passed.  Now we’re back to the cheerful mayhem of dead pile where bad velociraptor and evil giraffe get their comeuppance but never is heard a discouraging word.  She has introduced some innovations that may be a form of humane treatment or possibly just safety precautions.  Now before any of the bad animals are hurled onto the dead pile, they are first “put to sleep.”  This sounds suspiciously like pet euthanasia.  I hesitate to ask where she got this idea.  Maybe one of her friends had a dog or cat that had to be “put to sleep.”  But we’ll let it slide for now.  Dead pile has been wildly popular but I think the first waning has begun.

And just in time.  It’s rather repetitive.  And it’s time for the princess to begin to read.  We’ll start with the ats (at, bat, cat, fat, skip gat, hat, mat, gnat, pat, sat, forget tat and finish with vat).  And then we’ll do a few more families and it’ll be on to Dr. Seuss.  We’ve got to hurry because before you know it it’ll be September and she’ll be off to kindergarten.  And then she’ll be too old for The Angry Polar Bear and too sophisticated for her old pastimes.

Well, that’s the way it should be.  Her world is opening up.  School and friends and all the joys and sorrows of childhood.  And I have to wonder if she’ll remember all our games and play.  She is a very intelligent child.  Maybe her memories will last.  I hope so.  I feel that my existence is bound up in the memories of those who are close to me.  My children and grandchildren will be the extension of my impact on this world, just as I passed on the existence of my parents and grandparents to them.

It’s a great privilege to get to interact with your descendants.  You can see their traits and sometimes recognize yours and your spouse’s.  You can tell them stories and things about themselves and about their parents and you can share things that you enjoyed when you were young.  Yes, it’s a rare treat.  It’s the payoff for all the hard work you did raising your own kids.

Well, it was a good day.  Busy but good.

photog Opines on Valentine’s Day

Every happily married man has to have an opinion on Valentine’s Day.  And being in that category (most of the time!) my opinion is well known to Camera Girl.  Being a very wise woman, she pretends that Valentine’s Day is of no concern to her.  But that is a façade.  The point is for me to show her that I have a way of making Valentine’s Day a useful ritual within our domain.  In this way she doesn’t have to seem to be dependent on this odd gift receiving dynamic while I can demonstrate my romantic aptitude and at the same time rightly honor her importance in the whole male/female dynamic.

Wow.  That was weird.

Anyway, I’ve long ago given her all the jewelry she needs or even wants.  I usually check to see if she wants any perfume but she’s pretty well stocked there too.  So, this year I said I’d take her out to eat.  And at first, I thought we had a plan.  But at the last minute she changed it.  We were supposed to have the grandkids over for a luncheon of delicatessen food.  But someone got sick so we postponed it.  But apparently Camera Girl was in the mood for pastrami, which, as everyone knows, is the most sensual of the salted cured meats.

So, her idea for Valentine’s Day was pastrami sandwiches at home.  She is a thrifty woman.  And I should be more grateful for that than I am.  So today she served up pastrami on Italian bread with melted Swiss cheese and tons of brown mustard.  There was egg potato salad and dill pickles on the side and a giant mug of very good, hot coffee.  Afterward there was a big slice of apple pie with three big scoops of premium vanilla ice cream.  Now that is what I call a Valentine’s Day celebration.

It reminded me of that scene in the Maltese Falcon where Sam Spade serves corned beef on French bread and coffee with brandy to Brigid O’Shaughnessy as they warily circle each other in their dance of murder and passion.  And after all Camera Girl is a femme fatale.  Her allure has side-tracked me from my intended career as a classical philologist by, as far as I can reckon somewhere on the order of forty five years, give or take.  And there has been many a night that I suspected she was contemplating smothering me in my sleep.  I have no incontrovertible evidence for this.  But for someone who knows her moods all the signs were there.  But I digress.

So, the key to a successful Valentine’s Day gift or celebration is buy-in from the woman.  There has to be an effort by the man to imbue the ritual with some special significance for the pair.  And to do that requires good will on both sides and for an established relationship the desire to break the monotony of a settled routine with something different and in some way exciting.

And exciting doesn’t have to be the Hope Diamond or a trip to Bora Bora.  The excitement is breaking the routine.  It’s talking about different things.  It’s putting a little more of your personality into your presentation than you normally do.  And, of course, it doesn’t hurt if you drag her off to bed to consummate the proceedings properly.  But, just like Sam Spade, remember that she may be hiding a revolver under her side of the bed so sleep with one eye open.  Especially if she has two or three aliases.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day