Musings on Housework

Susan lugged the laundry hampers down to the lavandería we often used in Zihuatanejo when we vacationed there; a small shop on the sidestreet where laundresses would weigh the hampers, quote a price, and a time to come back to collect the cleaned clothes. The relentless Mexican sun made the streets and sidewalks an oven as she walked back to the house where we stayed. She … (more–>)

Musings on Art and Taste

Many years ago, I had a lengthy correspondence with a friend in another part of Canada about what constitutes art. His basic argument was that art was not neutral or generic, but was the final product of high achievement: real art was “good” art. That is, art was defined by recognized masters and their works. Mona Lisa was art, Picasso was art, Monet was art — … (more–>)

The Cancer Diaries, Part 28

This month marks a year since my biopsy that indicated I had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. It’s been quite a year for me, easily the most stressful and challenging of my life. The challenges of dealing with cancer were compounded by the pandemic that spawned lockdowns and restrictive access protocols that soon became a regular part of my and everyone else’s life. This anniversary … (more–>)

Musings on Downsizing Shakespeare

While downsizing my library earlier this spring (25-30 boxes of books already removed from the shelves and some titles still left to cull), I had to think about what books to keep. This was tough for me, what with my passion for books and reading, parting with any book, especially one I’ve had for decades, can be like losing a child or a pet.  But I … (more–>)

The Cancer Diaries, Part 27

I didn’t really expect the hormones to be so disruptive of my daily activities, but there are times when the “hot flashes” interrupt everything. They tire me out, sometimes making even simple tasks a chore, making my breathing more difficult. And, of course, they wake me at random times during the night, during which I throw off the bedcovers as I toss and turn until I … (more–>)

The COVID-19 Vaccination Screw Up

For a long time during this pandemic, Susan and I were in the “not eligible” age bracket for the COVID-19 vaccination (65-79 years old) here in Ontario. Why our age group was left out I have never been able to uncover. Maybe some politicians felt we were more expendable than other groups. But late last week, the provincial government finally announced it had expanded eligibility to … (more–>)

Musings on Computer Gaming, Storytelling, and Seniors

Every day, for an hour or two, I kill demons. Or I build houses and shopping malls. Sometimes I command armies in battle. Or fly an airplane into a foreign airport. I might manage a hospital, build a settlement on Mars, lead a band of survivors after a nuclear holocaust, hunt Nazis as a sniper in WWII, drive a tank onto the sands at Omaha Beach, … (more–>)

Musings on Downsizing, No. 2

In the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, there’s a memorable, somewhat spooky scene towards the end where astronaut Dave is pulling the chips from the memory banks of HAL, the ship’s AI computer. HAL begs Dave to stop while his memories recede: Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I’m afraid. I’m afraid, Dave…Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel … (more–>)

Musings on Downsizing, No. 1

Downsizing seems to be all the rage among people our age. It’s so popular, it might be classified as a sport or a game for seniors. Assuming someone could codify the rules, that is. I’ve been told it’s all over the TV, too, but since we haven’t had cable for a decade or more, I am only going on hearsay for that. But the topic shows … (more–>)

Musings on Pizza No. 2

Pizza was one of those things I thought about when my hot flashes from my ongoing hormone treatment awoke me in the middle of the night this past week. Several times, in fact. As I tossed and turned I thought about my pizza-making process as I recently described here and wondered. I had received some comments about it, too, which prompted my continued meditations on pizza. … (more–>)

The Cancer Diaries, Part 26

Cancer changes everything — and nothing at all. Rabbi Skillman That’s a profound comment, coming from a TV character. The “rabbi” in question is a fictional patient in hospital, played by George Wyner in the TV series, New Amsterdam (Season 1 Episode 8). He is talking to the hospital’s medical director, Dr. Max Goodwin (played by Ryan Eggold).  Cancer — its diagnosis, treatment, and impact on … (more–>)

Musings on Making Pasta, No. 5

I was back at making pasta this week, trying a slightly different recipe, and working on honing my skills with the pasta machine. As well, I  was hoping to get my recently-acquired mafaldine cutter attachment operating correctly (you might recall reading about the problems I had with it clogging in the previous post on pasta making). My usual mix for pasta dough is a ratio of … (more–>)

More Musings on Tea

Back in 1946, while England was still recovering from the deprivations of WWII and under rationing, the prolific George Orwell wrote his essay “A Nice Cup of Tea” with his eleven-step instructions for making what he considered the perfect cuppa.* But do they still stand today? Certainly, his notion of what makes a “strong” tea would be considered very strong by standards today. As the BBC … (more–>)

Musings on Making Bread and Chili, No. 1

Longtime readers here know that before my surgery last summer, along with my pasta making I was an avid, if not always entirely competent, baker. I mostly made bread from “scratch” but sometimes for convenience used an electric bread maker. I made all sorts of bread in previous years, including soda (“quick”) breads, as well as the occasional scone, tea biscuit, and muffin. I’ve always looked … (more–>)

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