If you’re wondering what the Bleat banners have been about: this os the back yard of my wife’s cousin. They live up in the hinter-beyond, and had a birthday party Saturday, the day we took Gnat to the airport. You can live well out there, if you don’t mind the isolation - but her cousin commutes daily to the cities, which she says is a mere half-hour. From the city to your own small lake. The party was a welcome return to the world of adults and other people who have things to say, and I ended up having a great conversation about Paraguay Nazis and WW1. I think. I was working on five hours of sleep.

So, nothing on the phone after she left. The next morning, a text was on my lockscreen when I woke:

check check one two

And then, the flood! Pictures and texts and thoughts. It started with some pictures from the host on WhatsApp.



Already part of the organization.

Outside the airport? Mall? Deep Space Nine gambling table?

Betim! It’s a city of a 400K+ by Belo Horizonte, or “Pretty Flat” as I called it to be surly. Its wikipedia entry notes that it has a large refinery and the world’s biggest Fiat plant, and daughter wasn’t exactly buoyed by the knowledge before she left. But the backyard of the place she’s staying . . . well, I think she’ll be fine.

She snapped a picture of this, knowing I’d like it:

Then they went to see the Incredibles 2 at the Mall, and had Coke. As I tweeted at the time, the culture shock must be snapping her head around.

The mall had a food court with a stand whose sign said . . .

An alien planet! My little girl is in terra incognita!

Of course, it must be different, because of the language. And the different look of the world - she said the stores aren’t lit at night, there’s just street lights, so it’s dim and deserted compared to American commercial areas. Then she said she was going to watch Brazilian Netflix, and we said farewell.

It was great. Buoyed our mood and hearts, and I’m sure everything will be upside down in three months for everyone - that’s what the Rotary Experts said, anyway. There’s an initial high that gives way to homesickness and the feeling that you’re here FOREVER, and then you get used to it, and then you’re miserable because you have to leave.

All I know is that the worst, for us, seems over, because Goff in so many ways is better than About to Goff. (A combination of “gone” and “off,” if you missed it; “she’s gone” seems too drastic, “she’s off” seems too mild.) I am not, as I expected, stunned to inaction and depression. The worst part was getting there. For now. Talk to me at Christmas.

What matters is self-care, as they say on the internet, and that means some thing that may sound really stupid. Such as: I am going to a different Target. I’m serious. The old one has too many memories, and there’s one of equal stature about the same distance away in another direction. It’s a small thing, but it matters. It’s different.

And, of course, avatar rebranding. I’m sorry, Reddy, but it’s time. I’ve been Reddy for a long, long time - happy and cheerful and ready to help, and his touch means certain death! I’ve always had a replacement in the wings. You’ll know it when it happens.

Sounds silly, I know. You’re a grown man, wondering about your online avatar, as if that makes a difference. But it does. It’s symbolic of the change. It's a somewhat more . . . intense avatar, one with more purpose than Reddy.

And the purpose is clear. To save. Ah, but what? You'll have to wait.




It's possible that this one has WB animators, Paul Frees, and Thurl Ravenscroft.

That'll do - short stuff on Thursday in the summer, as usual. The last entry this year for Patriotica before a brand new feature debuts - and it's a beauty


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