Artemus: Meanderings

33 Episodes

By: Arthur Flavell

Part storytelling, part memoir, part passing observations on the vicissitudes of life... all seasoned with a distinctly smoky down-home country flavor.

Episode 31 - Try a Little Thankfulness
Last Saturday at 5:00 AM

Thanksgiving is a time for expressing appreciation for the blessings we have received, but it is also a time for sharing with family, friends, and on occasion, total strangers. There may be a bittersweet note introduced when a beloved face is no longer present at the table. But there is still cause to be thankful as memories linger on, recalling the good times and rekindling the warmth of the times spent together.

Episode 30 - High Jinks, Low Jinks, and Other Vehicular Jinxes

If you have ever owned a vehicle, you know about the strange things that can happen with them. It’s like they have a mind of their own, and if you don’t treat them nicely, they will leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere and laugh at your tears.

They’re like pets… only worse. You must pamper and feed them, take them in for periodic checkups and ensure their every need is seen to in an expeditious manner. Oh… and see to it they have a name that is properly flattering. After all, a happy vehi...

Episode 30 - High Jinks, Low Jinks, and Other Vehicular Jinxes

If you have ever owned a vehicle, you know about the strange things that can happen with them. It’s like they have a mind of their own, and if you don’t treat them nicely, they will leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere and laugh at your tears.

They’re like pets… only worse. You must pamper and feed them, take them in for periodic checkups and ensure their every need is seen to in an expeditious manner. Oh… and see to it they have a name that is properly flattering. After all, a happy vehi...

Episode 29 - Country Folks in the Big City

City folks have an intense interest in the lifestyle and doin’s of country folk. The popularity of entertainment media depicting these events is evidence enough. Most city dwellers know about Li’l Abner, The Dukes of Hazzard, Hee Haw, The Beverly Hillbillies, O Brother Where Art Thou? and others.

Even more entertaining is watching the rubes when out of their natural habitat–when they come to the big city. Why the fascination? Who can say? Personally, I’m just happy to take my entertainment where I can find it.


Episode 28 - The Secrets of Storytelling

In their simplest form, stories are familiar renditions of items in a time sequence. They may convey information, teach lessons, or simply entertain. The components of stories can involve events or thoughts, or a blending of both. They are disseminated in many forms, from books to graphic novels to electronic media to movies. But the original method was verbal performance in front of a live audience. Many find this is still the most satisfying method of being exposed to a story.

Episode 27 - Varieties of Virgotudes

If you are serious about living life well, you are always looking for better ways to do the things you do. The effort required and the outcome of any particular activity can hinge on proceeding in an appropriate manner. Availing oneself of virgotudes is one way to ensure success with the minimum of fuss. Don’t know what a virgotude is? Listen on my friend and simplify your life.

Episode 26 - The Magic of Music

The human species has a number of characteristics and abilities that sets it apart from other denizens of the planet. Self-consciousness is the primary one, and it, in combination with intelligence spawned a number of others: language, a moral sense, the ability to reason, and a capacity for innovation. Music is one of the most powerful and least understood of our capabilities. Not all have the same proficiency in this area, but all seem to have some ability to relate through music in a way that connects us with a higher power. It is a rewarding subject to explore...

Episode 25 - Puffed Up and Pretentious

Everyone enjoys recognition and appreciation for who they are and what they do. But there are some folks who go out of their way to attract notice and are often not particular about how that attention is garnered. It seems they believe they are better than others and therefore deserve to be singled out. But too often the sad truth is, the person they are trying hardest to convince of their worth is themselves. Perhaps they will one day realize we all come from the same source and have the same value as all members of the whole.

Episode 24 - Teachers and Learners

There is no more fulfilling and satisfying sensation for a teacher than to watch an enthusiastic and interested student ‘get it.’ Watching the light of comprehension dawn is delicious and the moment can be magic. Unfortunately, these experiences seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Perhaps it is time we figured out why.

Episode 23 - Philosophy, Psychology, and Other Esoteric Stuff

It sometimes seems the only things in our world worthy of attention have to be recharged periodically. If it isn’t connected, networked, synced and shared in the cloud, it is clearly below the threshold of our notice. I believe we do ourselves a disservice by relying exclusively on external stimuli and external information sources to give our lives purpose and meaning. We could all probably benefit by checking into the esoteric stuff now and again.

Episode 22 - Memory is the Second Thing to Go

Life might be easier if we admit to ourselves that there are some things over which we have little or no control. Acceptance of these truths is referred to colloquially as aging gracefully. I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe I’ve ever done anything graceful in my life. I am a proud graduate of the school of hard knocks and wouldn’t have it any other way. So long as there are any synapses still firing in that mush I call a brain, I will continue to go within and seek my own council about th...

Episode 21 - Melancholy Baby

There are times when it seems the only options we have are laughing or crying. It’s good to be a volitional creature so you can choose laughter. It’s lots more fun. So let down your dignity a bit and enjoy the benefits of a good belly laugh now and again. I hope this story gets you started in the right direction.

Episode 20 - Skinny-Dipping in the Stream of Consciousness

Sometimes it seems the biggest obstacle we have to contend with in our lives is that strange person who stares back at us from the mirror. Our malady stems from the advent of self-consciousness; that enigmatic transformation inside that allows us to say I choose. Now, if we just knew what to choose…

Episode 19 - Easter Eggs and the Chicken Dinner that Never Was

As mentioned before, the most delicious dishes often seem to come from recipes handed down through generations. Of course, that presumes the recipe is applied to some real ingredients to produce a finished dish. Sometimes, though, the ingredients get away. Maybe that is the origin of the observation ‘some days chickens, some days feathers.’

Episode 18 - Cream of Tomorrow Soup

The most delicious dishes we recall from our childhoods often seem to come from recipes handed down through generations. Taste treats like Grandma Tildy’s peach cobbler or Aunt Mildred’s chicken and dumplings always elicit inarticulate sounds of approval. But what makes a recipe that stands the test of time? Usually it is a combination of the first-hand knowledge of the one preparing it and a careful selection of the best quality and freshest ingredients. 

Now imagine that we could formulate a similar process for our lives. Start with your own experience and the help of famil...

Episode 17 - The Sea is a Harsh Mistress

As we have discussed before, Mother Nature can be a capricious lady. She manages to dangle delectable treats before our awestruck senses with no end of entanglements hidden behind a carefully crafted screen of smoke and mirrors. Nowhere is this enticement more subtle nor more potent than within sight or sound of the sea. Beware ye lubbers, for there be danger here!

Episode 16 - Bunkum Bob - Superhero

The sad fact is that many people drift through life with no thought given to personal beliefs and values. Like flotsam and jetsam, they are carried along wherever the winds or tides of fortune blow them. Too often, they end as they began–non-entities. There is an old cliché that says, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” There may come a day when the decision to stand… or not to stand is placed squarely before you. The choice you make can become the fulcrum point that determines the ultimate worth of a lifetime lived.

Episode 15 - Grub Worms and Ghost Stories

If you have ever had the experience of laughing so hard your sides ached, you might also have wondered what it is, exactly, that makes something funny. Humor has been acknowledged for centuries. Even sages like Plato wrote treatises on how to use humor to manipulate political processes. If you really want to know what makes humor work, set aside a few hours for a good meander, go online, and start researching the scientific basis of what makes something funny. Just don’t forget to climb back up out of the rabbit hole.

Episode 14 - Rocks Is Pricey

Mother Nature at her fiery, flashy, tempestuous best can capture our attentions and our imaginations almost instantly. But some of her finest creations are the result of slow, gentle pressure exerted over vast periods of time. The relentless, fluid force of flowing water creates the Grand Canyon. A few eons of rain and snow, cycles of freezing and thawing over and over, and the abrasion of the tiny particles carried away in the process sculpts the very contours of the mountains. It is worth our time to examine these fine creations and appreciate the beauty, artistry, and guiding force...

Episode 13 - Don't Fool Around With Mother Nature

There has been a lot of things written about rainy days. Mostly about how bad they are, how depressing, how enervating. Personally, I have always found rainy days delightful. They often provide the perfect excuse not to do something you didn’t really want to do. They make the perfect environment for enjoying a good book nestled in your favorite chair with a cup of coffee. They cocoon you in the proper ambience to go meandering in your mind. Maybe even take a nap. What’s not to like?

Episode 12 - It's the Little Things

Too often these days, it seems we drift through life in a mental fog created by a storm of outside stimuli. We miss the unique shapes, textures, aromas and feel of the everyday things around us. It’s sort of like trading our wide-screen color television in for a nine-inch black and white set. The essentials are still there, but the richness has gone. Perhaps it is time to alter our environment a bit and reclaim our joy in living. 

Episode 11 - The Great Computer Caper of Subic Bay

Sometimes we fail to consider the unintended–and usually negative–effects of events we set in motion. The military calls the phenomena collateral damage. Often the unintended effects far outweigh the value of the intended ones. The old adage ‘look before you leap’ might profitably be applied in such cases. It often makes for softer landings. 

Episode 10 - Old-Time Memories

Meanderin’ memories seem to affect us all as time goes on. Maybe it’s like magnets, where the further you are from the metal, the less hold the magnet has. And maybe an increasing gap in time between a memory and the event which produced it is what allows some of those old memories to loose their moorings and drift off into the fog. Say, do you remember when…?

Episode 9 - Barefootin'

While time changes many things, there’s a few treasures that seem exempt. Like the explosion of flavor from the first handful of popcorn, fireworks lighting up the sky on the Fourth of July, the pleasure of a face-plant into a slice of ice-cold watermelon on a hot summer evening and walking barefoot on a pristine white sand beach in the moonlight. In fact, walking barefoot most anywhere.

It’s only fair to warn you there are nay-sayers in the world who disdain the unshod wherever encountered. If you are not one of them, join us and prou...

Episode 8 - Tempus Fugit

Some scientists believe time may not even exist. If that is true, I wouldn’t feel nearly as bad about wasting so much of it. Of course, if you are one of those sad, deluded souls who count fishing a waste of time, then I don’t have the time to deal with you anyway!

Episode 7 - Check Your Premises

When things just don’t seem to go right for us, the tendency is to look around to see what went wrong. But maybe the problem doesn’t originate from the outside. Maybe the culprit is inside. Maybe we’re suffering from a dread malady that motivational guru Zig Ziglar warns us against called Stinkin’ Thinkin’.

Episode 6 - Rust & Relations

There are times when we form strong attachments to inanimate objects–like cars or teddy bears or favorite chairs. Disposing of an old and well-used vehicle which has served faithfully over many miles and many years can be a jolt. Sorta’ like having to put down an old hound. It’s best to plan ahead for such eventualities.

Episode 5 - The Red-Headed Woman

Seems like we sometimes get bogged down in our own miseries to the point that we get no joy from anything. That horrible spell can often be broken by the application of a little judicious caring from a fellow traveler, seasoned with a touch of warm humor.

That’s the prescription of Doctor Artemus at any rate. “Take two smiles and call me in the morning.”

Episode 4 - Radio Is Magic

There was a time when the epitome of long-distance communication was the Pony Express. You could send a letter coast-to-coast in about two and a half weeks. Then along came the telegraph. If some villain hadn’t cut the wires, communication was nearly instantaneous. But with these methods, a physical connection was necessary from one end to the other. That limitation disappeared with the advent of an amazing new technology called the wireless.

Messages were sent through the ether and you could sit in the comfort of your own living room and listen to a fireside chat wi...

Episode 3 - Kick-Starting the Stream

Have you ever wondered why we are expected to live our lives by rules that  someone else set up for us? It sort of makes sense when we are kids and learning how to get along in the world. But once grown, what makes someone else’s ideas better than ours? It’s something to think about. 

Episode 2 - Meanderings

With all the flash and glitter today, it seems our attention and thoughts are always focused outside ourselves. To some extent, that is necessary to function in the world, but there is a rich source of information as well as peace and well-being to be found on the inside . Here’s some thoughts about thinkin’ you may find rewarding.


Welcome to Artemus: Meanderings. A whimsical journey down the untamed stream of consciousness.

This is a collection of anecdotes, personal remembrances, interesting snippets from other folks’ lives, short stories, and tall tales. The content may be truth or fiction… or something in between. Mostly, it is the result of allowing the mind to meander freely like the lazy stream and watching to see what magical adventures appear. 

The podcast’s primary purpose is to provide a smile when one is needed. If you can survive the morning commute or a bout of house cleaning and end  wi...

Episode 1 - Fishin'

This little tale tells how the whole meanderin’ thing got started.