Not on all Cylinders

The following is a page from the Standard Oil instruction manual Know Your Car:

ItsAGasGasGasI don’t have a carburetor, and I’ve never seen a car with a throttle on the steering wheel, which should give you some idea of how old this manual is.

Vacuum tank.  Manifold.  Odd little inset of a perfume atomizer.

Heck — stove-pipe damper!

Today was more and less than what I thought it would be.  If I could stop sneezing and coughing, I’d appreciate that more.

Tomorrow, no alarm.  I’m not bothering to set it.

Bonus image:


Please hold…

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Just what it says on the label…


Hey, at least it’s not a mantis shrimp the length of my forearm….

Well, the words here are mine, but I’m thinking about the words belonging to other people.  I get paid to rearrange words, after all — sometimes about medicine, sometimes about music, sometimes about the lives that people have built.

“Fix, pls.”


Hold still….

Sometimes the people bringing me words would say even less than that, if they could.  That’s okay with me; this is what it boils down to anyway. 

Years of ‘fixing’ leads to having a toolbox of solutions, most of which I try to translate for the perplexed, but probably for my clients they remain the equivalent of a magic wand — the other thing people seem able to articulate is “Please do your magic”, and I think ‘If I could really do magic, I would be applying it to a rather different category of problem!’

But hey, here is where we are.  I have a file, a little virtual box of words, that need re-arranging, shaping, maybe not just a trim but swift kickstart to an avalanche that pours boulders down into a ravine, opening a new route up the mountain.  Maybe.

Provided I don’t get buried in rubble while I’m doing it.

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Oh, the golden light of a summer afternoon…

Briefly misread

No, it’s not “Broccoli Ahab”, it’s “Broccoli Raab“.

Thank you.


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