Sunday, June 30, 2024


When I was young, and my teacher told us not to rest on our laurels, I didn't know what, precisely, she meant. 

"What the heck are my laurels? Is that what my buns are called? I've never heard them called that!"

I never asked though because, apparently, I was supposed to know. I don't suppose that many in my grade 7 class, 1959, knew. But nobody else asked either. and we were about 4 or 5 decades short of carrying smart phones in our pockets.

If I had known the meaning, I still wouldn't have been able to rest because I hadn't yet collected any laurels. Still not sure that I have. Perhaps I could borrow yours, as in the picture?

Saturday, June 29, 2024

The Gallop

The Gish gallop . . . is a rhetorical technique in which a person in a debate attempts to overwhelm their opponent by providing an excessive number of arguments with no regard for the accuracy or strength of those arguments. Gish galloping prioritizes the quantity of the galloper's arguments at the expense of their quality . . . 

During a Gish gallop, a debater confronts an opponent with a rapid series of specious arguments, half-truths, misrepresentations, and outright lies in a short space of time, which makes it impossible for the opponent to refute all of them within the format of a formal debate. Each point raised by the Gish galloper takes considerably more time to refute or fact-check than it did to state in the first place . . . The technique wastes an opponent's time and may cast doubt on the opponent's debating ability for an audience unfamiliar with the technique, especially if no independent fact-checking is involved or if the audience has limited knowledge of the topics.

from Wikipedia 

There was a time, only about eight years ago in point of fact, when there was a political price to be paid for being caught in a lie. Now it goes almost unchecked, and if you read the above quotation, you will understand why. To wit: refutation takes much time and effort. Meanwhile, the person using the Gish Gallop tactic has probably continued on with yet more misrepresentations, making it difficult to keep up.


Friday, June 28, 2024


Shortly after I started blogging back in the dark ages of 2003, one of my blog friends would talk about her group on IRC, which is short for Internet Relay Chat. There were hundreds of text-based, IRC chat rooms.

One evening, I decided to try her group and found the natives very friendly, for they kept sending me lots of love. Not being totally stupid, I did soon come to realize that they were, in point of fact, laughing out loud. I couldn't hear them, but that is what they were telling me although I didn't think that I was being terribly funny. I guess it was better than roflmao, but can't even say for sure if that was yet an acronym in those early years. 

Now, I am somewhat surprised to learn than IRC still exists for it is the internet browsers that became the only internet program that most of us have ever used, at least for about two decades now.
As of June 2021, there are 481 different IRC networks known to be operating, of which the open source Libera Chat, founded in May 2021, has the most users, with 20,374 channels on 26 servers; between them, the top 100 IRC networks share over 100 thousand channels operating on about one thousand servers.
As I understand it, you still require a special client/program to access IRC, and it exists outside of where browsers go. A program called mIRC was the one that I used then, and I have learned that it still exists.

There was also Usenet, which, if I recall correctly, did not involve chat rooms but was where one could follow chat topics. I didn't use that one much either, but, like IRC, somewhat surprisingly to me, it still exists.
Usenet is a set of protocols for generating, storing and retrieving news "articles" (which resemble Internet mail messages) and for exchanging them among a readership which is potentially widely distributed.
The Internet Browser became the only online app that most of us need or want. In other words, we have lots of love for it.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Wee Willie Winkle Remembered

Come late morning yesterday, there was a man at my window – my second floor window to be precise. It's alright; I knew that the painter was coming to paint the shutters, but then he was suddenly there.

Seeing him at my window made me think of Wee Willie Winkie, except I am pretty sure he was Winkle (with an L) in our house.

By Cleo Sara. Work Projects Administration Federal Art Project, Illinois76

This is somewhat of a more standard English translation of first verse of the original Scottish Wee Willie Winkie nursery rhyme. I will post the original verse farther below.
Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,
Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
Are the children in their bed, for it's past ten o'clock?
I remember being scared one night, when I was probably five years old or even less. I wasn't asleep on that night, and I was hearing a rattling at the window and thought that it might be Willie Winkle coming to check on me. No doubt, my mother had used the threat (that is how I took it) of the nursery rhyme character peering in at me to get me to settle down.

If memory serves me correctly, I got up frightened and expressed my angst to my mother who was in the bathroom. She advised me to go downstairs to be with grandpa.

That is my whole memory of Wee Willie Winkle tapping on my window. I don't remember being with grandpa or later being consoled by mother. But I do suspect that Wee Willie Winkle was never mentioned in my house ever again.

Here is the whole nursery rhyme in its original Scottish form (1841).  The paraphrased English version that I quoted, above, was written in 1844 and can also be found here in Wikipedia. I think that I may have had it in a children's book, but I cannot be sure and there is no one whom I can ask, for I am the same age now and my grandfather was then, and my parents are also long gone. Every now and then, there is something that I want to ask of them, but, alas, I cannot.
Wee Willie Winkie rins through the toon,
Up stairs an' doon stairs in his nicht-gown,
Tirlin' at the window, crying at the lock,
"Are the weans in their bed, for it's now ten o'clock?"

"Hey, Willie Winkie, are ye comin' ben?
The cat's singin grey thrums to the sleepin hen,
The dog's speldert on the floor and disna gie a cheep,
But here's a waukrife laddie, that wunna fa' asleep."

Onything but sleep, you rogue, glow'ring like the moon,
Rattlin' in an airn jug wi' an airn spoon,
Rumblin', tumblin' roon about, crawin' like a cock,
Skirlin like a kenna-what, waukenin' sleepin' fock.

"Hey Willie Winkie, the wean's in a creel,
Wamblin' aff a bodie's knee like a verra eel,
Ruggin' at the cat's lug and raveling a' her thrums-
Hey Willie Winkie – see there he comes."

Wearit is the mither that has a stoorie wean,
A wee, stumpie, stousie, that canna rin his lane,
That has a battle aye wi' sleep afore he'll close an e'e-
But a kiss frae aff his rosy lips gies strength anew to me

To bring it full circle, this is Sue's collage of the painter,  who, by the way, happens to be somewhat of a wee fellow.

My window if the one to the left of where he was working in these photo.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Going to the Dogs

Except for that little trip to the Smiths Falls Hospital on Thursday, we had been almost housebound for a week. First there was the heat; then there was the rain, and there was also that back attack thrown in for good measure. Sheesh!

Come yesterday, it was neither hot nor rainy, and the old back was coming along, so we drove to what I call the bridge trail for a walk. It is really the OVRT (Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail) and is the one that extends a long way north and south, well beyond our town. Otherwise, there is the local, brushy trail nearer home.

There were dogs. There always are. Most dog owners have the purpose to keep walking, so there may be a quick sniff and greeting before they pull their mutts along.

This guy and his pack weren't like that.

Two older, collie mixes and one younger golden doodle. All were delightful.

He was willing to stop for a long chat, and Sue and I got our share of petting and fur. Much fur. Sue had to toss those slacks into the laundry.

But we were cured of our cabin fever.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

I Was Born This Way

No, no, no: some of you are attributing my wrong door proclivity to my gathering senility, but au contraire, such is not the case. I have always been this way. I was born this way, with my head in the clouds.

As proof, I offer this excerpt from a blog that I posted almost twenty years ago, about an incident that occurred when I was still in my late thirties or maybe early forties.

. . . we had been visiting in-laws, and being the ever-helpful and animal-loving person that I indeed am, I volunteered to take the dog, Licorice, for a walk . . . 

In my defense, and heaven knows that I need one, my in-laws dwelt in one of those confounded subdivisions where all houses are pretty much identical. To compound the likelihood for error, they lived in a cul de sac. In point of fact, they lived in the culminating, circular part of the cul de sac, where the lots are somewhat pie-shaped with the narrow parts of the wedges abutting closely at the front so the driveways end at the street mere inches apart from one another.

So, you see, it was amazingly easy to miss the correct driveway by a paltry few inches and to proceed, head bowed in yet another daydream, up the wrong driveway, right through the wrong door, and right into the wrong house. The dog, which knew blamed-well where he was, was no help whatsoever. He gladly led or accompanied me (take your pick) and happily, with furiously-wagging tail, waited for me to bend down and remove his leash: which I did.

These following two things happened almost concurrently. I turned to hang the leash on the coat rack and was absolutely shocked to find none. The briefest instant of bewilderment was abruptly followed by a dazzling clarity — I was in the wrong house! Synchronically, the lady of the house ventured out of the kitchen asking perplexedly if she could be of some assistance.

With very hasty and profuse apologies, I hauled the dog (bad, bad dog) out of that house and over one dwelling to the appropriate domicile. Who can resist a good story, even at one's own expense? Just as I do now, I quickly recounted all, and much mirth ensued.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Of Doors and Compartments

I had my head in the fridge: not to cool down but for no reason at all. You see, my mind had gone a'wanderin, and a part of my brain had retained the reality that I needed to open a door. I, therefore, did open a door, but not the right door, for the rest of my brain was flitting about somewhere in space rather than with what I needed to do at that moment. 

With my head in the fridge, a slight pause and adjusting of the woolly gray matter pulled me back into the the task at hand. That led me to pull my had out (as it were) and to open the cupboard door next to the fridge and take out the cereal bowl, which is what I was really after.

I do that sort of thing more frequently than I should, but it doesn’t lead to harm . . . until it does or almost does. This is what it did or almost did on Tuesday night: the night before I was to arise at 5:30 and drive to my out-of-town medical appointment  

As is my custom, I was preparing the coffee ‘pot’ for morning  I insert the grounds into one compartment, the water into the other, and place my mug accordingly to receive the elixir when morning comes.

Or at least that it was I was supposed to do and what I have done regularly for lo these many years. However, if you haven't guessed already, that is not what I did that night. No, what I did was to pour the coffee grounds into the water reservoir.

Then I made a bad decision, which was to add water and just run the machine through its cycle to clean out the grounds. After several repetitions of just running water though the machine, it was still emitting many coffee grounds, and then it refused to cooperate and just shut off.

"Oh no! Have I just blown the machine on this of all nights?"

I did what I should have done first. I took the machine to the bathtub and rinsed and rinsed. After that, in some trepidation, I decided to just run water through the machine again. There were still some coffee grounds spewing forth, but at least the machine was working again.

After a few attempts at running water through, the water seemed to be running clear, so I set up the machine properly with coffee and water in their proper compartments as I should have done in the first place and as I have always down before.

Come morning, the coffee-maker was ready to brew my needed pick-me-up, and the coffee did come out with very few extraneous grounds. Thank goodness, for I really needed it to work without hitch at 5:30 before our little trip.

The whole ordeal on the previous night kept  me up longer than I would have liked, but my Sleepwatch app did record that I still managed to get 4 hours of sleep and that 3 of them were actually 'good' hours. 

Three or four hours of sleep. Who could possibly ask for more? I guess it was all that I deserved.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Recent Times

I trust you’ve all been enjoying the heat wave as much as I have been, although I see that not everyone has had the dubious pleasure. Apparently, there has been cold out in western Canada, and it has even snowed in eastern Alberta, I have also read about rain in other places. Meanwhile, it has been very hot for four days here. We set the AC at 24C/75F and do our best. 

We’ve watched a lot of telly. We finished Bosch on Crave and them switched to Bosch Legacy on Prime. We hadn’t watched Prime much recently and were not overly pleased with the commercials. Sue mutes them: “You can make me watch, but you can’t make me listen.” We’ve been too spoiled by streaming, including by Prime in the past. I do understand, however, that Prime is in dire straits and only made $139 bazillion in profits last year. 

I have walked a bit early and late, but won’t be doing that today for I have kinked my back again. That’s twice recently. I’m not sure why. I am prone to back spasms, but I can go a very long time between episodes, so to have two back-to-back is a bit puzzling. And aggravating. 

The spasm this morning was most untimely because I was getting ready to drive to the Smiths Falls hospital. I just bent down to pick something off the floor and had a spasm. But off I dragged my body for my dilation procedure. Let me tell ya, it was not fun, neither the getting-around and, especially, the procedure. I’ve had a few dilations, and while they are never a happy time, this one was exceptionally uncomfortable. But perhaps it will keep me flowing while I wait to see the topdawg specialist, whenever that might be.

So, there will be more Bosch tonight while I evade the heat and also wait for both my back and nether regions to calm down.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Residence and the Walk

I have mentioned how Sue is taking some gentle exercise classes at the nearby seniors residence. Once again, I drove up with her on Monday morning with the intention of walking back home while she participated in the class. But I thought, "Why not show the place?" So I took out the iPhone.

Her friend's door is right off the visitor section of the parking lot.

To the right just before you get to the door there is a nice park-like space to the right. It's how I wish our trail was kept. Well, maybe not that pristine but something more than scrubland with deadfall. Anyway, it is a nice spot,

Around the front.

It had rained overnight, so I avoided the trail and walked the streets, but I did dip into the park and saw no watery paths. I did see geese beyond the pond, however, but they are pretty distant and small in this photo.

Then, I saw two rabbits near the houses that back onto the park.

I was home before the heat really kicked in, but that was Monday, and it is going to be a hot week.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Father's Day Breakfast

We had our Father's Day breakfast gathering on Saturday.  The kids, after all, do have a father with whom to celebrate on the official day. Except for one far-flung absentee, all members of all generations were there. That amounted to five people. That's it. That's the whole family.

For a change. I opted for French Toast rather than my usual big, chock-full omelet, and it was excellent. 

I seemed to be happy.

It was also a bit of a Mother's Day gathering since the family had been away back then although the gifts were received back around that time.

What we didn't think to do was to ask the server to take the usual family photo, so I will just leave you with a collage that Sue put together of me me me. Sorry about that.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

A Short Walk Along the Trail

Sue was busy doing things at home, so I took a short walk along the trail while she finished up. In a very green world, I eventually saw a little red maple leaf floating in the swamp when I looked down from the footbridge.

I pointed the camera down and focussed on the leaf. I deliberately placed the leaf way off centre although it would not be a compositional choice that would be approved by many.

This ↓ is the same image, just cropped much closer and into a more standard composition, adhering more closely to the rule of thirds.

I took another photo of the same leaf from another angle with the camera held vertically.

And here ↓ is a more cropped version.

There wasn't much else that grabbed my attention, but I do keep my eyes open for benches because Flickr has a group devoted to benches. I stepped off the trail and used the trees to frame the bench.

So that was my brief Sue-less photo op.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Caturday 64: Henry on a Walk

I believe that I have seen Henry "owning it" on his leash twice before: once at the trail in winter, and once when on the street when passing by in the car. This time, I was walking the trail with Sue, who is bold and friendly with strangers. This is one of her few faults. :)

When she first approached Mark to discuss the cat on a leash, Henry had just made a dash for a squirrel. Of course, the squirrel was safe.

More tightly leashed, we Sue and Mark had a little conflab while Henry scanned the scene for more critters to chase.

Mark revealed that once Henry had experienced the great outdoors like this, he was always eager to be leashed and out again.

And so they go on their little walks together. I personally think Henry is the cat's ass*.

Sue told Mark about her POTD with her FB group, but it's a private group. She also posts to the group on Instagram and revealed her handle to Mark. I don't know if he would remember how to find her, but just in case you wanna, here is the link.

* The Cat's ass is "An exclamation of sublime excellence. Of Canadian origin, thought to be a crude derivative of the more common and acceptable expression, tits. This is cats ass, ..."

Although this quote says that it is a Canadian expression, I have very seldom heard anyone use it. I have also never heard of anyone saying "the cat's tits," or even "This is the tits." Neither do I understand how saying "ass" would be cruder than saying "tits."

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

We All Get Our Exercise

Several times now, Sue has driven up to the old folks home near us to take a low-key exercise class with a friend who has moved in there. It is a pretty easy class, so I don't know if she will continue.

They also have a Zumba class, and Sue attended that yesterday. She's been interested in Zumba, and there is a class in town, but it is in the evening and is a bit pricey. Milady is pretty much getting ready for bed by 8, so she has never tried the class, which she would love if there were a day class because she has an excellent sense of rhythm.

Like the exercise class at the seniors', Sue found their Zumba group pretty easy, but worth continuing for now.

But I am digressing because I really wanted to write that Sue has met a potential walking buddy at the home. The lady is in pretty good shape, all things considered, but she is deteriorating mentally and tends to lose her bearings when she goes out.

While Sue doesn't have the greatest sense of direction either, they will walk the trail, so it is straightforward: walk, turn, walk back.

Sue found that the lady is a good walker and that it is Sue who has to up her pace. Betsy (let's call her that, so I don't have to keep writing 'this lady') walks regularly but always has to keep the residence in view so she doesn't get lost. It must have been good for her to get out on a longer walk, for they went all of the way to the trail bridge.

So, I think this will work for both of them for now, and Sue doesn't mind that she has to keep telling Betsy her name.

When Sue returned for the afternoon Zumba class, I had her drop me off near the residence, and I sauntered home along the trail, so that I could also get my exercise. I think this will work out for all of us.

I had my phone and took this photo of a wild iris by the river with the river behind and leading to an overpass. I knew that I wanted it in situ, and I also knew that it would just be a record photo and nothing better.

We've had a lot of rain, and the river is running high.

While I am here, I'll post this photo that Sue caught of me on a recent walk in the same area when we were scouting out a route for her new walking buddy. I hope it's not just that I love myself that I post the photo because there is something about it, perhaps the mood, that appeals to me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Thunderin Tarnation

How're y'all doin?

On 9AM, June 11, it's 9 degrees out (48F). I am at the computer wearing a thick sweater (me, not the computer).

It's mid-June folks, only ten days from the solstice.

What is thundering tarnation is going on?

The last few nights, I have turned my electric blanket on.

So, I ask again. How're y'all doin?

Monday, June 10, 2024

In the Greenhouse

We were off to the rural supply store: not so much for flowers this time, but I decided that I would  spend some time in the greenhouse regardless.

I attached my macro lens and put the camera right by the door, so I wouldn't miss it on the way out.

I missed it and had to use my phone.

Actually, it is not always a bad thing to use the phone, and for what I was doing that day, it was probably the best thing. The phone gets me closer to the subject than even my macro lens. It is also light, maneuverable and has a big, clear screen. It is fair to say that a phone, with its significant computer power, produces something closer to a finished image SOOC (straight out of the camera).

The other ↓ photos.

Happy Monday and have a good week.

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Flower Border

When I turn onto our section of the street, I am greeted by a splendid flower border.

The trouble is that I keep driving by and forgetting to return with my camera. However, one morning I did remember and walked the short distance from our place to take a few quick photos. This was not a tripod-session or time-consuming composition but was done with some consideration. Despite it being a dull day, the photos were okay, or at least they are with a little editing.

It had been the poppies that drew me from the day that I had passed by when they were shining in the light. While they weren't as fine on this day, they were still worth shooting.

I generally concentrate on single blooms rather than groups unless
maybe when several are clustered close together.

A pink peony.

Purple peonies

I don't know how many years I have driven by and then forgotten about this little showpiece, but I finally remembered.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Caturday 63: The Wafting Puss

More than 5 years with us, Lacey has yet to do the habitual feline vomiting of a hairball. Not once have we been forced awake at night to that acking sound. There has been no jumping out of bed to grab a bit of newspaper to place under the wretched retching cat. And not making it in time.

I can't complain about that, but as I have mentioned before, she continually (or continuously?) wafts her fur. I bend down to pet her, and the fur is ready to fly off, go everywhere and get into everything.

Today, I present photographic evidence, for the camera doesn't lie. At least not in this case.

You can see it in the window light, can't you? The fur highlighted by the light is ready to depart her body and waft to the utmost reaches of the premises.

At least there is none of this ↓

Friday, June 07, 2024

Photo Play

Sue has been having fun. She downloaded a photo app that does some amazing things. She put this recent photo into the app and asked it to make some changes to the costume and theme.

She selected an Egyptian theme, and this is what it made within seconds.

She kept experimenting.

I think it got lost in this case.

Perhaps if I shaved my beard?

Although these experiments are fanciful, the app is very good for eliminating distracting objects such as wires.

The app is called, Photo Leap. She has it on a 7 day trial. It is ~$50CDN to use for a year. We shall see if she decides to splurge, but she can have fun for a few more days, regardless.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Double Doctor Day

What can Dr Specialist do what you cannot, asked I to Dr Urologist.

Replied he: that is what we are going to find out.

I had driven to Smiths Falls because he didn't want me to get lost in the system whilst we waited for Dr Specialist to contact me. Meanwhile, Dr Urologist informed me that the referral had been accepted even though I hadn't yet received a call and might not for several more months.

Specifically, Dr Specialist is expert in reconstructive surgery when normal TURP surgery doesn't take. Or at least that is my understanding.

Meanwhile, we have scheduled yet another dilation procedure for June 20, to give me some temporary relief while we wait.

The consultation was quick because there wasn't really anything new to say, but I appreciated that he called me in. I did double-check whether I had heard correctly from the previous dilation in February, that the bladder spot that he had been monitoring looked innocuous. In point of fact, I am not sure if it was still present at all. Back then, I had been so flummoxed by the news that he could could do nothing more for me and that he was sending my case on, that my brain hadn't been processing very well. I was grateful to be reassured yesterday.

We drove back to town and enjoyed a breakfast sandwich in the park before returning home.

a pano from our bench

the phone got set to portrait mode, so Sue got blurred

When I got home, my family doctor was calling to see if we could move my appointment up from Thursday to yesterday afternoon. Most certainly, replied I,  glad to get two medical consultations done in one day. (I wonder how many doctors call to move an appointment up.) 

She has decided to give me a cortisone shot in the shoulder to see if that might help my rotator cuff injury. I never had much luck with cortisone in my foot when we tried, but I live in hope.

As for the hobbling that I mentioned previously, this post has gone on long enough, so I will spare you. I'll get back to the hobbling if and when the spirit moves and if and when the flesh is willing.

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Trapped and Hobbling

I came across this Getting Old graphic and just had to post it on Facebook and now here too. The truth of really hit home when I came across it on Sunday as yet another body part decided to get it on the act give me grief.

Maybe I'll get into it more some other time. For today, I am off to see my urologist at the Smiths Falls hospital. I will hobble in and out, and the hobble will be a little hobblier than usual.

Monday, June 03, 2024

Pride Lights

When the flag-raising ceremony was over, I mentioned to Sue that they might do something special with the bridge lights that night. Sue checked with the mayor, and, sure enough, he confirmed that there would be a special display all week.

As it so happened, milady was in need of a blue hour photo that very day, and so, we found our way back to the site on Saturday evening. 

It wasn't quite blue hour when we arrived, but I liked the light on town hall, so I squeezed the shutter regardless.

I like the photo even though the bridge lights hadn't fully come on. What I didn't love was the choppy water, so my next photos were all long exposures to smooth it out. This photo was from the same spot as above about 10 minutes later after I I fiddled around with a neutral density filter and various exposure times.

As it got darker, the bridge lights were showing up better, so I moved closer and took some more long exposures.

I like all of these photos well enough, but I think this next and final one was the best for colour although I do like the wider composition of the previous photo.

I guess the next special display will be in a month for Canada Day, which I guess was the first time that I photographed the lights as they were new back then in mid 2023.

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Raising the Pride Flag

On the first of June, a few dozen folk gathered across from town hall to raise the Pride flag. We put on our celebratory colours and joined them.

Sue being Sue, got right into the mix.

John being John, remained on the periphery.

Linda being Linda, outdid all. Not your typical town councillor. 

The police showed their support.

The flag was raised.

Indeed, you are welcome here.

Sue and John took their required selfie.

And . . . a Sue special . . .

That's our mayor with the tee shirt — top right