Sunday, September 23, 2018


Neither of us had much ambition today.  A lingering cold and hearing problem, respectively, continue to consume us. We nonetheless felt obliged to motor about the countryside even if only briefly.  Our initial target was the hamlet of Spencerville.  This altered to Prescott along the St. Lawrence Seaway where we're more familiar with Katarina's CafĂ©.  But on our way to the car wash in Stittsville we exhausted what little enthusiasm lingered and decided instead to pick up some chicken and baby potatoes for dinner - the traditional "meat and potatoes" effort. It wasn't long after having formulated that relieving plan that I determined as well to go to Grace in the Kitchen for a selection of their sweets (all deliciously sinful).

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Autumnal Equinox

Autumn is right around the corner for everyone in the Northern Hemisphere, while those in the Southern Hemisphere are gearing up for warmer spring weather. The autumnal equinox arrives on September 22, 2018 at 9:54 pm EDT (0154 GMT September 23). At that time both hemispheres will experience an equal amount of sunlight (and night - 12 hours each) when the sun is directly in line with the equator, evidence that the earth spins on a titled axis. When days begin to grow shorter, deciduous (green leafy) trees start signalling to their leaves to stop producing chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for the leaves' colour and photosynthesis.  Because the colour change is more dependent on light than temperature, it takes place at basically the same time year after year.  It may however be altered somewhat by temperature and drought.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Is Trump an iconoclast?

The word iconoclast is one whose original sense has altered.

"Iconoclasm is the social belief in the importance of the destruction of icons and other images or monuments, most frequently for religious or political reasons. People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any individual who challenges cherished beliefs or venerated institutions on the grounds that they are erroneous or pernicious."

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Why can't the English learn to speak?

Henry Higgins: Look at her, a prisoner of the gutter,
Condemned by every syllable she utters.
By right she should be taken out and hung,
For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.

My Fair Lady - Why Can't The English?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Of necessity...

Twenty-four hours earlier we judiciously resolved to leave the apartment by no later than 3:00 pm. That would give us enough time to have the car washed then arrive at our destination by 4:30 pm when we had been invited for a late afternoon Sunday dinner.  We poozled the liquor cabinet for two bottles of wine - both upmarket naturally - one white for him who drank nothing but; one red for posterity.  Dessert however was our instructed subscription. The wine was a calculated concession.  It was no secret our hosts had long ago abandoned teetotaling. As for dessert we deliberated various models - starting ambitiously with fresh fruit then nippily corrupting to Nanaimo bars, maple butter tarts or ice cream.  In the end we settled upon donuts - the reputedly "healthy" rendition from a local merchant. The wine would be the coup - though in my opinion arriving with a brown paper bag is a modern absurdity of social beneficence. One might as well proclaim insufficiency of the host's cellarette!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The undeniable detail

At one o'clock this morning the grandfather clock clanged its St. Michael chimes. I lay awake for the next hour, swimming in the horrible details of whale harpooning and slaughter houses.  Not an inspiring reflection, one which regrettably translated into other hostile reminders such as memento mori and the steady evaporation of youth. Perhaps the most poisonous admission was that an disagreeable result awaits us all.  It matters not whether your casket is gilded or covered in gray cloth.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Summer Sprint

The day was ideal from the start - clear blue sky, warm sunshine, dry air and that magic feeling - nowhere to go, nothing to do! We began with a five kilometre bike ride along Country Street and back through Town on Perth Street. I hadn't gone bicycling yesterday. I was just too tired for some reason (this shamefully in spite of having lately languished in bed upwards of ten hours each night). So today I attacked the recuperative exercise with gusto! It made for an uplifting opener.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Living in the moment

As wasteful and illogical as it ultimately proves to be, I regularly fail to abide by the well-known admonishment to live in the moment. Instead I ritualistically dwell upon the past or the future, the periphery of life. There is always the air of a compelling reason to do so - a recapitulation of where I've been or where I'm headed, laden with misguided pragmatism and false intellect. Sometimes the preoccupation arises from favourable and stimulating terms; at other times the obsession is less charitable (such as reliving a disagreement or worrying about what might transpire).  Unquestionably the fixation is seldom worth the effort (except perhaps when the reflection gives rise to a more in-depth comprehension of the matter under consideration).  The dalliance certainly will not change the past or predict the future. More notably the absorption diminishes whatever is at hand - a circumstance which is palpable and may well be superlative.

I trust you as far as I can throw a grand piano!

Trust is one of those horribly ethereal and impossibly arcane notions which insinuates our most important relationships - friendship, love and professional associations. Yet in spite of its inscrutability we always know when we do or don't trust someone. Trust has an unquestionable alliance with instinct. And it is one of the few instincts we actually listen to. Seldom do we need to be convinced of our knee-jerk assessment - this though we’re as likely to be at a loss to explain why. Therein lies the very reason we should heed our instincts: trust can be manipulated by profound deceit often surpassing the capacity of the most intellectual among us. People do not historically operate in the context of calculated deception, it's unfamiliar territory. Untrustworthiness borders on an insanity beyond the bounds of a healthy mind.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Seawall against a rising tide of demands for inclusion

Politics since Trump has epitomized the tightening of the noose of the majority - most often portrayed as white, male and Christian. The image - frequently violent and hateful - has overtaken both America and Europe. The battle is largely confined to a division between whites and colours, haves and have-nots, east and west. The mosaic of the porcelain dinner plate has become complicated. On almost every level - gender, race, religion and sexual preference - the erstwhile traditions are being disrupted and it is only a matter of time before the majority becomes the minority. The speediest shift is among the millennials but it is predicted that all other distinctions will follow. The strength in numbers is changing.