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Cold Enough to Freeze the Nuts Off a Steel Bridge

Good Morning My Confidants


And yes, it’s another really cold Saturday, and, “Aaarrgghhh!” that’s a “no” to going to a coffee shop this morning—our Saturday morning tradition. I have really been wanting to go to Oddly Correct for some of their incredible Ethiopian coffee, even if it’s only for the beans.

Too cold to sit inside so most cafés, because they are necessarily small and there is no real way to keep the cold out. So why endanger ourselves and our health to be out on a day where it’s -0°?


But I can be sad about it. At least a few minutes. That’s the thing. Looking at the bright side or for a Silver Lining doesn’t mean to pretend there isn’t anything going on that we don’t like. As I said recently, the First Noble Truth tells us that in life, there is “suffering.” But the Eight-Fold Noble Path teaches us that pretending the “bad” doesn’t exist is the worst thing we can possibly do. The Second Noble Truth teaches that we are the main cause in our suffering because we are constant grasping the temporary and pushing away what we don’t like (which ironically, is always going to be temporary). This leads to disaster as we try and cover up these feelings of dissatisfaction.




Aaarrgghhh!” that’s a “no” to going to a coffee shop this morning because it’s—as I said in Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf—colder than a well-digger’s butt in the Klondike, colder than a nun’s buns in a steel chastity belt, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, cold as a witch’s tit in a brass bra [with apologies to my many wonderful pagan friends], cold as a polar bear’s picnic, cold as a mother-in-law’s kiss [with apologies to both of them, who are as amazing and lovely as can be!]. In other words, it’s cold out there, and I am trying to make light of it and laugh.


Because while we have to keep jumping my car—looks like we need a new battery—and it would have been nice to replace it…it can wait. Tomorrow is going to be a tropical 35°, and the Three Bears will have our day together (no one has to work) and we’ll make a nice day of it.


I am not ignoring what I don’t like. I am acknowledging that I am not happy about the temperature and what I’m not going to be able to do today. That is intelligent.


Now I acknowledge that nothing is permanent, all is temporary, and I know there will be sunnier, warmer days. Sooner than I can imagine the crocus will be popping up from the earth, the forsythia will be bursting into glorious gold. This summer I’ll be skinny-dipping at Camp Gaea with those I love.

Because the Wheel of the Year is turning, turning as it has for 4.5 billion years (with those years being our current definition of year) and that for some very complicated mathematical reason means about 3.1 billion orbits, don’t ask me to explain,* suffice to say it’s longer than I have been around. And the Wheel is going to keep on turning for the rest of my life—however long that is, only “God” is supposed to know—and it will keep turning long after I’m gone, and it’s a miracle that could have possibly (although I don’t like to imagine that) mean we are the only planet in the Universe that had all the trillions to one things happen that needs to happen for their to be a planet anything at all like our own.


(did you follow that? I have edited it a couple of time, and I’m getting a kick how few periods there are in the paragraph)


The thing is that right now I am having delicious coffee with Noah—a Christmas gift from my dear friend Will—and low Point but also delicious breakfast burritos AND….


Speaking of low Points!!


It’s Saturday morning and that means my new Weigh-In which Noah just did for me this morning and I am down again! Three point six pounds (3.6)! That means in two weeks, I am down six point eight (-6.8!). Now that’s a number I don’t mind being behind a zero!


That leaves us with our day ahead of us and while that might not mean endless possibilities, it sure comes close.


Who knows? Maybe we’ll take the tree down. It’s past Epiphany—which I don’t remember that that means—which seems to be the traditional day one takes down their tree, however it will be down before February 1st and I have already taken off almost all the decorations, and every other decoration in the house has been boxed away and taken to the shed.


That would be a welcome sight for RBear when he gets home from a long day at work!


Maybe we’ll do an inventory of the freezers—Noah used to do that but it isn’t easy to do by yourself—so that we stop buying food we don’t need and but what we do so that we aren’t in the middle of making a meal and realize we don’t have any mushrooms after all (when were sure we did!).


HEY!!! I’ve ditched 6.8 pounds! That’s a lot of pounds! Pick up a five-pound bag of something and a couple bags of sugar and cart them around for ten minutes and you’ll see!


To paraphrase a Yazz song I loved from 1988, “The only way is down, baby! For you and me now!”


And hey! This song could join my list of “Ben’s Anthem Songs”! Look at some of these lyrics!

We've been broken down

To the lowest turn

Bein' on the bottom line

Sure ain't no fun

But if we should be evicted, huh-huh

From our homes

We'll just move somewhere else

And still carry on


Oh, (hold on) hold on….

The only way is up! Baby!

For you and me now

The only way is up, Baby!

For you and me now

Oh, yeah-ha-ha


Now we may not know, huh-huh

Where our next meal is coming from

But with you by my side

I'll face what is to come

Oh boy, I want to thank you

Yeah, for loving me this way

Things may be a little hard now

But we'll find a brighter day


The only way is up! Baby!

For you and me now

The only way is up, Baby!

For you and me now

Oh, yeah-ha-ha

(Woo, woo-ooh-hoo) the only way is up **


What are your anthem songs? Maybe you can share one or two with me?


In the meantime,

Remember…the only way is up!

(or down if that is a good thing, like with my weight!)


BG “Gentle Ben” Thomas

Jan 20, 2024, Entry #020


* You can, if you want to see the math about the Earth’s orbits around the sun, check it out right here:

** © “The Only Way is Up,” Victoria Titilayo Akintola, Tijs M. Verwest, Martijn Garritsen (used for non-commercial use only)


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Outstanding about the weight removal!! I think taking out the tree and making R smile after he built you the perfect bed would be really nice.


Congrats on your loss,Ben, and hoping many more to go.

Replying to

Thank you, my friend!


Heart's "Dog and Butterfly" has always been my inspiration/anthem song.

Replying to

Loave that album


Congrats on the downage!


Whoop whoop..down is good!! I'm so very glad you are writing so well n on the road to feeling better!

Replying to

Thank you, April!

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