We do not percolate. We drip. We consulted with Mr. Coffee and he assured us that percolating takes too long. In the morning when the only thing in life you want is a cup of coffee and maybe a toasted muffin and jam, percolating requires art. Too much art.

Garry sets it up the night before and the first one in the kitchen hits the button and passes out biscuits for the ever-alert canine early warning system.


Following the ritual of the passing out of dog treats, we enter the ritual of answering email. And so the morning passes. Coffee. More coffee. Biscuits. More coffee. Tapping on the keyboard while sipping coffee.

You can deprive me of many things … but please oh please … leave the coffee. Keep the pot “on” and hot. Coffee should always be ready to drink. Pass the half-and-half, please.



This just made me laugh. And since we all need a laugh … Amazing what you can do in 100 words!

draliman on life

Here is my story for Friday Fictioneers, the 100 word challenge hosted by Rochelle. This week’s photo comes from Björn Rudberg.

To read the other stories, click on the blue froggy.

Copyright Björn Rudberg Copyright Björn Rudberg

Chris “Fingers” O’Flaherty shot an evil grin at the hapless shop keeper.

“Not gonna pay up, huh? Time ta die!” He held out his hand and his cohort, Nigel “No Brains” Bingwit, handed him a violin case. Fingers opened it and extracted the contents.

“Eat lead!”


“Ha!” scoffed the shop keeper, suddenly feeling brave. “What ya gonna do, batter me to death with the string section?”

Fingers stared at the violin in his hands. “Bingwit, you moron. You picked up the wrong cases!”

Meanwhile, across town at the weekly rehearsal of the Little Brimptom String Orchestra, it was carnage!

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After months in a cryo-tube, they finally woke me. What a headache! Sheesh. And holy moly, I really had to go to the bathroom, after which I needed not so much a shower as a sandblasting. That cryo gunk is sticky and it gets into places you just wouldn’t … well, maybe you would … believe.


Then there was food. Never in my entire life have I wanted to eat a starship, including the cargo. Talk about an appetite. Not just me. Everyone had just been wakened at the same time and we all felt hollow.

T.S. Eliot was spinning in my head:

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us-if at all-not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

I remembered more of the poem.

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

I hoped the poem was not a predictor of explorations to come. Given the awful condition in which we left Earth, we needed to find a new home. A fertile planet on which crops will grow. Where the battered human race could remember its better self. We had not been superior to cockroaches in a long time.

Finally after eating for what seemed an eternity, we donned our lime green suits — the lightweight ones for worlds that are not hostile, merely unknown — and they opened the doors. We emerged. Into paradise.

Breathtaking. The colors were a bit odd. The plants were all kinds of colors, like a riotous flower garden. The whole planet was a garden. So we named it “Eden” — which I thought was a mistake. We got kicked out of Eden already. What do I know? I don’t make the Big Decisions. Way above my pay grade. I was just along for the ride. Before we got back on board the ship, I had a thought. I dawdled. Picked up the litter we’d left behind. Found a big piece of cardboard.

Must have been a box of some sort, but it would make a pretty good sign. I found a piece of wood to which I could attach it. I had a nail gun in my tool kit and a big marking pen. It hadn’t dried out and worked in the lower gravity of this new planet. New to us, but home to so much other life. Like Earth had been before we stripped her of everything but trash. I put my sign near where we’d landed. Hopefully future expeditions would land in more or less the same spot.

I wrote my message. In my best handwriting. Using huge letters so no one could miss it — or mistake its meaning:



Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – November 16, 2016

The bridge over the Blackstone Canal, peak foliage, October 2016

The bridge over the Blackstone Canal, peak foliage, October 2016

There were a lot of wonderful paths, roads, docks, dams, and other ways to travel these past few months. All of these are favorites, but one of them is my favoritest favorite. You are free to guess which one.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Straight to Rhode Island ...

Past our house and on to Rhode Island …

A sign to make your way

A sign to make your way

A walk on a warm day in October

Walking the little dog on a warm day in October


Walking along the old cemetery wall in the middle of town


Garry under the canopy of changing leaves

Marina - Connecticut- Curleys - Sept 2016

On the dock at the marina – one day in late September 2016


Little bridge across the small canal along the Mumford River – August 2016

72-Aldrich Street-Summer-Solstice-062116_12

Defoliated trees on Route 98 in June, 2016


Defoliated woods on the Summer Solstice, June 2016

They are predicting a little bit of snow for the end of this week, but I don’t expect it to stick to the ground or last past an hour or less. Still, it’s a warning, the proverbial “shot over the bow” telling us that it’s time to get those leaves up, the lawn equipment put away, and shake the mothballs out of the winter coats!


Dam over the Mumford River, August in late afternoon

Cee which way photo challenge