The Father of Modern English

As I promised in a previous post, here’s my almost certainly true and accurate explanation of why the language you’re reading now is the result of one man’s writing back in the 14th century. Yes, of course, I mean Chaucer; author of The Canterbury Tales. Thanks to him, you’re reading this in modern English. In his day, there wasn’t a cohesive form of English, but rather several … (more–>)

Not the Chaucer You’re Looking For

I received a couple of new Chaucer books recently and, despite my love of reading Chaucer, frankly, I was disappointed by both. My expectations for both greatly exceeded what little joy I received from them. I was deeply disappointed by both. And I’m here to tell you why. Let me back up a bit, before I get into my reviews. I have a couple of dozen … (more–>)

More Venery

A Repugnance of Republicans. A Sycophancy of Saundersonites. A Conspiracy of Conservatives. A Misanthropy of MAGA-Hatters. A Cowardice of Councillors. A Laziness of Reporters. A Slyness of Staff. A Corruption of Politicians.  A Disingenuity of Candidates. A Fallaciousness of FOX Commentators. A Malice of Mayors. A Lying of Lobbyists. A Bloviation of Bloggers. The Game of Venery is all about coming up with collective (aka corporate … (more–>)

An Odium of Politicians

The proper collective noun for a group of politicians is “an odium,” at least according to James Lipton in his delightful book, An Exaltation of Larks (Ultimate Edition, Penguin Books, 1993). I was thinking of how appropriate that term is, this week, when I read the odious comments from our mayor in the Connection. Odium, the Collins Dictionary tells us, means “dislike, disapproval, or hatred that … (more–>)

Vindication At Last!

The headline in CwoodToday reads, “OPP concludes investigation into JI events; no charges laid.” After ten years, the OPP finally shut down the investigation that actually concluded several years ago. And even then we knew the results: no one under investigation broke any laws. Not even the Municipal Act or the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Ten years during which innocent people were under suspicion, had … (more–>)

Musings on Haiku

I can’t recall just when I first encountered haiku, that subtle, concise and often baffling Japanese poetry, but I suspect it was sometime in the late 1960s, not long after I was first introduced to Buddhism. I recall having the four-volume set of seasonal haiku by Blyth back in those days, but long since gone from my library for reasons I can no longer fathom. I’ve … (more–>)

Musings on a New Bread Machine

Okay, I’ll admit I’m a gadget-loving guy. I am easily seduced by devices that have buttons, programming, switches, dials, and LED displays. And if they’re kitchen devices, I’m even more vulnerable to their siren song. Walk through a store display of Instant Pots, pressure cookers, stand mixers, panini presses, pasta makes, air fryers, or convection ovens, and my knees grow weak. I start to hyperventilate in … (more–>)

A Brief Review of Two ERB Books

I am deeply disappointed in the quality of these two ERB books received from Amazon yesterday in my efforts to complete my collection of Burroughs’ novels. Both are noted as “Manufactured by” in Bolton, ON. Production quality is poor, particularly in the designs and layout: they are more like amateur efforts than professional publications. The Jungle Adventures book from “Premium Classics Books” (no address is … (more–>)

Musings on Collecting and Reading ERB

As some readers here know, I’ve been a lifelong aficionado of Edgar Rice Burroughs (ERB, born 1875), particularly of his Barsoom (Mars) series, but also his Pellucidar and Caspak series. Well, I’ve enjoyed pretty much all of them, including, of course, the iconic Tarzan novels for which he is best known. Okay, maybe not so much his westerns (but then, I was never a fan of … (more–>)

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–>)

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