Update on NOTEFLIX’s production of “Troubles in the Garden”:  See here Ezmiralda, the Hairy Pig Qween of the Land of Stuffed Animals is consulting with her Soothe-sayer to see if her plan to stay in power is going to work out. The Soothe-sayer has just said   “A Great Power will fail!” and says no more. This infuriates Ezmiralda because she assumes she is the Great Power in question…and then she notices the cards are not even Tarot cards; but an ordinary deck of playing cards – with, inexplicably, Italian writing on them.  Then she realizes the game is, or can be rigged…and perhaps she can turn this to her favor.  More exciting action in next week’s post.


We will dedicate today’s posting to helping you to keep your mind off the awful news of:  Inflation, possible armed conflict at home and abroad, world famine, wildfires killing thousands of thousand year old trees, mass shootings, the ‘Return of  the Monster’, Musk not buying Twitter and things like that.

  • CARDS:  It has been settled for once and for all!  There are NOT more ways to arrange a deck of cards than there are atoms in the Universe.  You can look it up.  Apparently, there has been quite a discussion going on regarding this situation.  There are, however more ways to arrange a deck of cards than there are atoms on the earth.  There are only 80 – and add 67 zeros – ways to arrange a deck of cards; but there are 10 to the 80th power (about a trillion more) atoms in the Universe. ( …Isn’t this better than reading about the weather?)
  • FLORENCE SYNDROME:  A psychosomatic condition involving rapid heartbeat, fainting and confusion allegedly occurring when individuals become exposed to objects, artworks, or phenomena of great beauty and antiquity.  (There is no known cure for this because there is not much of it going around.)

  • EVOLUTION:  There is a theory which postulates because there are no two humans alike, it means we are still evolving.  If that is good reasoning then it means snow is still evolving if it is true that no two snowflakes are alike.  (And another thing about snow, I never understood how Santa could land on my roof if there were no snow on it.  That conundrum probably helped shape my cynical position on the subject of Santa.)
  • A WHALE IN THE ROOM:  Someone sent me a link to a video clip where there were a bunch of children sitting in a gymnasium and all of a sudden a huge whale jumped out of the floor and dived back into it and everybody could see the whale and the water splashing (WHALES can hold 50,000 gallons of water in their mouths, if they want to – so you can imagine the scene) and everybody in the gym was startled.  It was a finely detailed hologram of a WHALE frolicking about.  So, why am I telling you this?  It means that seeing is no longer believing.  I mean if visuals like this can be built, we can show a likeness of anybody doing anything to anybody….forget about WHALES jumping around in your gym.


At this point in our blog, we usually post a few comments from MATHUZALA, our Resident Rodent Guest Columnist…but due to the extreme heat (rats cannot tolerate extreme heat) MATHUZALA is sequestered and cooling off in the third (Abandoned) basement subway level under the 59th Street stop in Manhattan and cannot transmit his weekly piece to us.  There is famously poor internet service down there.  Perhaps things will be better next week – if this climate change thing is reversed by then.


(MATHUZALA does not SPEAK this week.  However, if you want to know what MATHUZALA is up to, you could go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, buy “THE RAT PAPERS” and put your mind at ease.)


Notes From Tuscany:

Oddly, I contracted a case of the FLORENCE SYNDROME, the other night. even though I just learned about it while writing this piece. Do not worry, I am all right now.  Below is a sampling of what caused it.  (Every summer, for a couple of weeks, the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program comes to town, gives Master Classes to Opera students and professionals and then gives concerts demonstrating their handiwork.)






Some quotes:

  • “Think not, is my eleventh commandment; and sleep when you can, is my twelfth.” -H. Melville, “Moby Dick, or The Whale“
  • “…and Heaven have mercy on us all – Presbyterians and Pagans alike – for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.”  (-ibid)

That’s it for this week and fond “Hello”s to Jill and Ned, wherever you are…


  1. Your concern about Santa’s landing reminded me of this:
    My grandsons Philip and Alex insisted on spending Christmas eve and Christmas morning at my house…. Because their apartment had no fireplace and therefore Santa wouldn’t be able to come! Luckily, my house had the necessary infrastructure for Santa’s visit.

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