Storm Talkers – #SoCS

It’s Saturday. We’re waiting to see if hurricane Henri is going to pay us a visit, or maybe tropical storm Henri will come in his place. Or maybe we’ll just get a truckload of rain. We had almost 4″ (10cm) of rain on Thursday. In the meantime, David and I will enjoy a cold beverage and try to decipher Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt,

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘ode.’ Find a one- or two-syllable word that rhymes with ‘ode,’ or use the word ‘ode.’ Have fun!”

If we were having a beer, you would be trying to stop me from geeking out.

“Good afternoon my young friend.”

“Good afternoon, David. Note that I didn’t reply with anything indicating your age.”

“Hey guys. What’s up?”

“Hi Cheryl. Give the ol… David a John Howell’s Special and I will have my usual.”

“Coming right up.”

“I meant to tell you, Dan. I haven’t been getting notifications of your new blog posts lately.”

“Join the club.”

“What’s up with that?”

“I don’t know. The Happiness Engineers don’t know, but they assure me they are working hard to figure it out.”

“Do you get notifications from them?”

“Sometimes. Sometimes I just check the thread on GitHub.”


“It’s a place where developers manage their source code.”

“Ok. ‘developers’ – “manage” – ‘source code’ – three strikes, you are out. If we continue this conversation, my head is going to explode.”

“Here you go guys. A glass of bourbon, a snifter of seltzer, a glass of ice and three cherries. Phew, Dan, here’s your beer. And, David, if your head is going to explode, please take it outside.”

“Thank you, Cheryl. Nothing will explode. The conversation is mostly over.”


“Yes, Dan. I do have a question for you.”

“And that would be?”

“Why do you call it code?”


“Well, if I understand your world, the programs you write are written in a language. It’s not really code.”

“That might be a bit pedantic, David. We write programs in a language, but it’s not directly understandable by humans.”

“Will you be wanting another beer, Dan?”

“Probably, why?”

“Cheryl, can I have a napkin?”

“Sure David, here.”

“Can I borrow your pen?”

“Whoa, napkins are free. No pen, no tips. You can use my pen, but it goes when I go.”

“This won’t take long.”

“David, what on earth are you doing?

“Here, Dan. Read this -.. .- -. / .– — ..- .-.. -.. / .-.. .. -.- . / .- / -… . . .-.”

“I can’t, what the heck is this?”

“It’s Morse Code. It’s how I made my living for over ten years. By the way, it means. ‘Dan would like a beer’ – in case you’re interested.”


“Yes, Cheryl?”

“My pen.”

“Oh, yes. I didn’t mean to put it in my pocket.”

“But you did. Unless you want to write out a big tip, I’d like it back.”

“OK, David. I see your point. I’d like to suggest we agree that there are various levels of ‘code’ and leave it at that.”

“Fair enough, Dan. I don’t want your head to explode.”

“Did you really talk like this for ten years?”

“I was a radioman in the Coast Guard, it’s what we did.”

“Yeah, but there had to be easier means of communicating than pecking out dots and dashes.”

“In the seventies, yes. The Navy and the Guard abandoned Morse Code, but I was on a cutter during the sixties.”

“Do you guys want another round? And please answer in English.”

“Yes, Cheryl. We would like another round.”

“Would you like any food?”

“Here – .–. . .–. .–. . .-. — -. .. / .–. .. –.. –.. .-“

“Pepperoni Pizza?”

“Cheryl, how did you figure that out?”

“The first word is pretty long, and the last word as two identical letters. In a place like this, what else would it be?”

“She’s good, Dan.”

“She’s the best, David.”

Note: When the Editor returned my draft, she suggested that I should have gone with “Ode to Joy” – I guess I should have checked with her first.


  1. This time it was the picture of MiMi on the ceiling that got me. Thank you for the early warning in this that I would be wading into Geekness. I was ready for it. Seeing the “Ode to Joy” was a good buffer. Except now it’s stuck in my head. I do hope Henri will not hit hard and that all will be well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Maureen. The Editor suggested Ode to Joy, but it was too lat. MiMi diesn’t understand why I’m laying on a foam roll on the floor. I did try to derail my geeky tendencies. I hope I didn’t drag you too far into the ether.

      Have a nice, safe weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m drinking my coffee so I was okay. I really did smile and enjoy the Morse Code though because I’ve never really ‘seen’ it. We received 2″ of rain on Thursday and will be looking to see what this storm holds for all of us on the East coast as well. It also requires taking down hanging plants, etc. so there isn’t flying debris. Hope your power and mine both stay on. The rest we can deal with, kind of. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you had the coffee, Judy, Ode to code was too easy for me. I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

      We’re hoping Henri takes a hard right once he gets to the shore, but I hope everyone can stay safe. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Dan
    This was fun and I bet using Morse code became natural for the time it was used – it might look underwhelming to some but had its place
    – and in the 1990s when my spouse was a youth leader we were surprised when a student shared that is favorite song was something “Ode to…”
    Not sure it was the joy one the editor mentioned but it was fun to see a little dude liked such an old song –
    Hope you have a nice weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand Morse Code about as well as I understand algebra, but I’ll give this post a passing grade for creativity and adult refreshment to stop brains from hurting. And, your photo of MiMi checking you out on the foam roller is hilarious – “Dad? What are you doing down there? You look goofy!”

    Have an awesome weekend, Dan, but I hope you don’t get wet feet with so much rain. It’s time to make that nonsense stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad I didn’t geek too far, for you Mary. MiMi watched me the whole time I was down there (4 minutes) – I don’t think it made any sense to her.

      We’re going to move light objects out of the yard today, and hope for the best. I hope you have a nice weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Upside down MiMi is such a cool shot. I hope you are spared Henri….in whatever form he makes an appearance. We’ve had it good so far (knock wood!), but I did not send the storms your way! I guess I didn’t realize there was a Mrs Smokey–he just seemed a bachelor kinda squirrel. Stay safe this weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard to tell the female black squirrels. When the grey squirrels stand up, it’s obvious, but not so much on the darker ones. But yeah, there’s a Mts. Probably why he’s repairing the nest ;-)

      I figured you put up a No Trespassing sign off shore for Henri. I hope he hangs a right at Long Island.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I hope Henri takes a pass on your neighborhood, Dan. You did a terrific job with the prompt and brought back memories of learning Morse Code in boy scouts. So many life skills came in handy learned in those years, but Morse Code wasn’t one of them. I Loved Smokey begging a peanut for the winter. Thank you for the link too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fingers crossed that Henri decides to go out to sea! With two kids in Brooklyn and two in Connecticut near the coast, it is worrisome. I enjoyed your story, Dan. I hadn’t been aware of your service in the Coast Guard and loved the way you brought Morse code into the conversation. BTW, Ode to Joy is one of my favorites. Have a wonderful weekend. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not my service, Gwen. My real-life bar-buddy was in the Coast Guard in the 60’s. HE served on the weather ships that provided navigational assistance in the Atlantic for ships and for the first trans-Atlantic flights.

      If you want to read more, that post is here – – I think it might be before we connected.

      I hope your family can stay safe and dry this weekend. We’re fairly far inland, but still taking precautions.


  8. MiMi watching you exercise is priceless! Apparently she found it very interesting since she watched you for four minutes! Her expression says she’ll never understand humans!

    That baby bunny is so cute. Mr. and Mrs. Black Squirrel make quite a tag team. The park grass looks like it came straight from Ireland.

    My favorite though is the cluster of pine cones.

    I’m afraid the closest I get to deciphering codes is Cryptoquip Puzzles.

    Keep safe this weekend. Everything is in the shed or securely tied down here. Seems like the worst is going east of us, but you just never know with these storms when they’ll take a sudden detour. I hope no one suffers any damage or power loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MiMi was fascinated by my being on the floor, Ginger. At least she didn’t come down and pounce on me. Her sister likes to climb up on me, like I’m a mountain range.

      The squirrels seem to know there’s a storm coming. I have a few things to move into the relative safety of our shed, but we don’t have much in the yard. I’m hoping Long Island can give Henri a bump to the east. We are reminded that the 1938 storm tracked up the Connecticut River all the way into Canada. The river is running high and warm, but the forecast has the storm moving N/NE. Not to worry, we have plenty f cat food ;-)

      Stay safe. I hope the storm goes well east of you.


  9. I hope the storm bypasses you. A little north of here Fred left devastation in his path. Sadly, we still have people unaccounted for. It is the reason I do not like to live by rivers, especially downstream of mountain locations.

    Everyone who learned to play a musical instrument played “Ode to Joy” I think.

    Morse code stumps me, but source code I understand. Great photos as always, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I picked up your editor’s vibe with Ode to Joy. It surprised me how many different versions there are with the lyrics. Different languages and different words. I liked studing French in HS, and I sort of know how to do SOS in morse code, but computer languages sail over my head. That’s cool that you still remember all that morse code.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Morse code is still frequently used in movies and TV. Whenever someone needs to outsmart the bad guys or aliens or when someone needs to get rescued they bring out the Morse code. Bar napkins are still an essential and frequently used communication tool. Somehow I am guessing there was a bar where the pens were in short supply and some genius came up with the dry erase board. Stay safe from that storm Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John. I like it when Morse code shows up in the movies. It would probably work for a while. Bartenders are very possessive about their pens. I think they’d rather lend you their phone than their pen.

      We’re doing our best to get ready for this storm, John. I hope it takes a right turn after Long Island.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Dan, I’m glad to know you and yours are safe and sound — and hope it stays that way. It’s a wonderful post, and I could go on and on about the gallery. But I stopped in my tracks at MiMi’s photo. It took a second to orient myself, then I laughed out loud. Fabulous. Happy Caturday. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Teagan. It took the Editor a few seconds to figure out that photo. I use my phone to time the session. MiMi just kept staring at me. I must have confused her.

      Hopefully, we just have some wind and rain headed our way. We’ve had that all summer. I hope this is nothing more than a bad storm.


      Liked by 1 person

  13. I never learned Morse Code and always wondered how you knew a long from a short dash. I am wondering is it kinda like reading music and the dash length has a beat to it?

    It’s so green and lush there! I read the top line of the music sheet and hummed along now it’s in my head. I may have to go bang it out on my piano to get it out. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • That sheet music looks like code to me, Deborah. I wasn’t the radio operator (my real life bar friend was) but the length is totally controlled by the operator. As long as he/she has the key depressed, the pattern can be detected. So it’s as easy as a quick tap vs a somewhat longer hold.

      It’s been green (and wet) here all summer. I guess we will finish the summer on the wet side.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. That adorbs bunny and your PT view top the chart for me in this group, Dan. It might amuse you to know I studied morse code in school one year. We learned about it and my friends and I decided it was a great way to write notes and keep our messages a mystery. 😉 I hope the storm fizzles long before it reaches your area.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You did great with code. Interesting discussion. A lot of people would be reminded of Ode to Joy with the prompt word. Code is an interesting concept. Like when people says things that really mean something else. We use ‘code’ nowadays to mean different things.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Dan – well Janet has sent me off to a book I’ve got sitting here to read: Between Silk and Cyanide. Fun post – I hope the mega wet stuff and rough weather does skirt you by. I’ve been thinking about Semaphore code and Python’s code readability … all gobbledegook to me – but my little grey cells hangs on to things.
    Hope all goes well – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  17. “Three strikes. My head is going to explode.” Your geek & non-geek banter is as good as Abbott and Costello. Loved it! BTW, Smokey’s cousin’s pose looks like a black cat on Halloween. The candy is already out at CVS… so depressing when school hasn’t even started.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hibiscus season is upon us (or as you say, Rose of Sharon) – gosh they’re lovely when wet! We’ve also had a very wet week. Near monsoon yesterday morning, whew! We had some down trees and outages, a few traffic lights were bent out of shape, but nothing like Henri.
    I think I would have gone with pepperoni pizza too, because the other option is somethin parm wings or wings with parm somethin. At least as far as I can tell, those are the things y’all order.

    Liked by 1 person

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