The Spoils of Victory

Happy Halloween (Sam and Caleb Comics #5)

Thanks, Grampa Jim, for the excellent costumes.

Thanks, Milwaukee neighbors, for all the Kit Kat Bars.


Caleb at the Fence

From Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Chapter II:

He had had a nice, good, idle time all the while -- plenty of company -- and the fence had three coats of whitewash on it! If he hadn't run out of whitewash he would have bankrupted every boy in the village.

Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it -- namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.


Things You Learn From the World Service

The deputy mayor of New Dehli died after an attack by monkeys.

If you're a devotee of monkey news, as I am, you'll note that this report follows on one from a few years ago in which a supposed half-man, half-monkey was stalking the city.

Aside from the monkey-on-man murder, what's particularly disconcerting is that New Dehli is trying to train larger, fiercer monkeys to combat the smaller macaques. Has no one in India ever seen a science fiction movie? That's a recipe for disaster -- just ask the guy who had the idea to mate the aggressive but industrious bees with the docile but lazy (though certainly stylish) Italian bee.

What if these larger, fiercer monkeys team up with the Rhesus macaques, travel to Cambridge, MA, and wrest control of the telepathic robot-arm technology? Before we know it, this happens.


True Tales of Toddlerhood

Daddy is looking over a bill for a $50 co-payment on Sam's visit to the Emergency Room in September.

Daddy: Sam, you owe Mommy and Daddy fifty dollars.

Sam: (Shaking finger) No! No, no, no!

You Can Call Me Cupcake

The kitten had to go to the Humane Society because it was marking its territory, which apparently included the master bed and the playroom. He's since been adopted, surely to a good home, but we miss the manic bundle of kitten energy that was known to us as Easie E. (The here-and-gone status of the kitten has been more traumatic for the adults than the children, thankfully.)



Lexicon: A work in progress

Sam: Dada. Mama. Papa (Papa Hinshaw). Uh-oh! Bye. Bye-bye. Nana? (May I have a banana?) Day-doo (Thank you). Dey-doh. (There you go.) Wha dat? (What is that?) Dee-dee (Kitty). Whoa! Yay!

Caleb: Dada. Mum. Eeeee! (Kitty, light fixture, or tree, depending on context.) Mmmmm... (I find this delicious or I would like to distract you for a moment). Aggggh! (Amalagamation of the roar sound made by lions and the meow of one's kitty.) Uh! Uh! Uh! (I would like to hold that particular object, and perhaps eat it.) Unga. (Prepare for an open mouth kiss.) Baugh. (Ball.)