The Municipal Voting Debacle

On voting day, Oct. 24, Collingwood’s online voting system suffered serious problems that prevented residents from voting. This happened not once, but twice in the same day. Voting had been open online and via paper ballot (at the library) since Oct. 3, but apparently many people decided to wait until the last day to vote. Yet on the last day, Oct. 24, barely an hour before … (more–>)

Potato-Onion-Tarragon Bread

I recently hunted through my cookbooks and online for a simple recipe to make a potato-onion bread in my breadmaker machine. While I found quite a few recipes for potato bread, and others for onion bread, I didn’t find any that merged the two. I collected a lot of recipes and got some good ideas for loaves, but nothing was exactly what I wanted to make. … (more–>)

Musing on Universal Monsters

I can’t recall exactly when I watched each of the great original monster films (the classic “Universal Monster” films) — Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, The Mummy, and the rest — some I saw before my teens, others in my very early teens and others throughout the ’60s. And I’ve seen them, their sequels, and many of their knockoffs since, often several times. I have numerous of the … (more–>)

Breadmaker Tales: Blueberry Jam

Longtime readers here know that baking bread is one of my passions (Susan might call it an obsession, one of my many), but I’m also I’m a reasonably competent cook (not as good as Susan, but I try…); I make my own fresh pasta and my own pizza, among other dishes. Of late, I have been branching out into new areas. None of them are terribly … (more–>)

The Death of Local Democracy?

Thirty nine per cent. That was the risible turnout of voters for the local municipal election here in Collingwood. Significantly fewer than half of our eligible voters made the effort to participate in our democracy, even though they could vote in person or on the internet for three weeks. It was never easier to cast a ballot, never been more convenient, never took less time, yet … (more–>)

Books for the Kaiju Aficionado

With possibly two new Godzilla films coming to theatres in 2023*, it may be time to refresh your memory and appreciation of the previous films in the franchise. And what better way to do it than with a brand-new book about them? And perhaps re-reading some of the content in your older book and movie collection (especially that Criterion Collection of the first 15 Godzilla films … (more–>)

That Fake War on Xmas

In my part of Canada the “war on Xmas” begins in September when some local box stores start putting Xmas ornaments and decorations out, sometimes just after Labour Day. By mid-October there are whole store sections dedicated to pushing gaudy, offshore-made, increasingly tacky lights and displays. Then the canned Xmas music starts infecting shoppers through tinny ceiling speakers. Xmas tree lots spring up in mall parking … (more–>)

Bread Machine Cookbooks

Among my shelves of books on baking bread by hand, is a smaller selection of books about using a bread machine to craft loaves and other items. I admit I’ve been somewhat lax in my creative uses of the bread machine, using it only to bake somewhat plain, whole loaves when I wasn’t up to or able to bake one entirely by hand. The results, I … (more–>)

What Happened to Trebor?

Back in late 2020, local media was singing the praises of a new company called Trebor RX at 395 Raglan Street in Collingwood. Its entrepreneurial owner, George Irwin, promised great things for the new plant and its innovative products, including creating up to 100 new jobs.* The idea sprouted in spring, 2020, when Irwin got the idea to start making masks in Collingwood, and when offered … (more–>)

Real Bread, Slow Dough, Bread Books

Making bread is a small passion of mine, has been for many years as readers here will know*, although the results of my efforts do not always match my optimism. It’s always a bit of a guessing game what will result when I put the dough in the oven. That doesn’t stop me from trying, though, and I thoroughly enjoy the tactile process of making the … (more–>)

Thank You for Your Support!

Thank you to everyone who endorsed my nomination papers, who donated to my campaign, who took a lawn sign, and, of course, who voted for me in this 2022 municipal election. Three thousand, three hundred and forty seven of you believed in what I stood for and voted for me; a mere five votes shy of winning a seat on council. That was 38.1% of all … (more–>)

Should mayoral candidates endorse council candidates?

One of Collingwood’s current mayoral candidates is doing meet-n-greet events and openly endorsing a fixed slate of the seven council candidates she wants to be elected with her (but not, curiously, a deputy-mayor; see below). Is this appropriate for a would-be mayor? I don’t believe so. First, in the last two terms, we’ve seen how a slate of candidates can negatively affect governance by voting en … (more–>)

Back to Horace No. 2

I was browsing online recently because I wanted to order another book of Horace’s Odes or maybe his Epistles in my efforts to understand and appreciate the poet more fully. I was scrolling through the always-poorly organized list of items on Amazon’s search page results (selected, it seems, mostly to promote a wide range of unrelated rubbish they want to offload…). Some titles caught my eye … (more–>)

How to Win an Election

Anyone running for office should consider reading How to Win an Election, by Quintus Tullius Cicero, translated by Philip Freeman. It’s a short, small book subtitled An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians (Princeton University Press, 2012). It contains both the Latin and the English translation of Quintus’ letter to his more famous brother, the orator Marcus Cicero. Quintus penned it in 64 BCE when Marcus decided … (more–>)

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