Thursday, July 13, 2017

Camping in Muskoka


Although they were unheard of when I was a youngster, S'mores are now a popular conclusion to any camping or out-of-doors dining experience.

... consisting of a fire-roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker. Contraction of the phrase "some more". One early published recipe for a s'mores is found in a book of recipes published by the Campfire Marshmallows company in the 1920s where it was called a "Graham Cracker Sandwich". The text indicates that the treat was already popular with both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. In 1927, a recipe for "Some More" was published in Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Morning Niche

For as long as I can remember Sunday morning has been a time of imperative relaxation decorated with everything that contrives towards elongation and reflection. It is naturally for me (as a relic of the Christian vernacular) a day of rest. In accession to its religious overtone I regularly play music by the likes of Thomas Tallis:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Autumnal Sunday

As we hovered about the kitchen to finalize the preparations for this evening's meal, in an unrehearsed moment of synchronized lightheartedness we both announced how pleasant it would be to drink a frozen vodka Martini! No doubt because of the uncommonly cool air today, this Sunday has reminded me of an autumn Sunday.  And that inevitably engenders fond memories of crackling fireplaces, grey tree branches tossed about in the wind and yearnings for drawing room coziness generally. The very sight of the sparkling Sherry decanter moves me! Earlier this morning we had cranked the heat on to remove the chill from the apartment.  Nonetheless undeterred we went for our routine morning bicycle ride (complete with wool cardigan, jackets and gloves) along the nearby country roads; and afterwards when I went for a drive in my car to visit my elderly mother I insisted upon wearing my short pants (something I began to regret when standing in the icy wind by the gas pumps to fill the tank).

Friday, May 13, 2016

Drug Free

From what best I can recall my habit of taking an over-the-counter pain killer started in 1967 when I was studying Philosophy in undergraduate university at Glendon Hall, Toronto. It was after I had left boarding school and when booze began to figure regularly in my existence (though even then the legal drinking age was 21 years so we "fooled" the authorities by frequenting upscale lounges and restaurants in downtown Toronto where our minority of 18 years wouldn't be questioned as would likely have been the case in neighbourhood pubs). Interestingly the professors at the university encouraged weekly "Sherry parties" in the residence common rooms (Glendon was unquestionably elitist in its foundation) but of course Sherry didn't provide much more than a possible alcoholic springboard to greater heights. Eventually I and others learned to "stock" a supply of the liquor of choice (which then, upon the heels of our latest visit to the Caribbean, was rum). The drug of choice was Aspirin, the round, white, common Aspirin pill before the days of "Extra Strength". This was also before Tylenol or Advil were either invented or certainly before they were popularized by the rapacious drug companies. I believe I used the pills to calm me down, not just to eliminate a headache or sore throat for example. And often I combined the digestion with strong, black instant coffee (generous tablespoons of the stuff and hot water).  The concoction was partly a stimulant of course, with the assurance of a smooth ride. Unwittingly I had learned to cultivate a recipe which formed the basis of what eventually became an addiction. It was the first of my "dressing drinks" which were a preamble to a subsequent social engagement. Aspirin was routinely part of my bathroom commodities and certainly was always found in my shaving kit when traveling. I considered it an innocuous and effective additive, as much a part of my daily consumption as an apple.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Speak with music in your voice!

The Platonists tell us, that the soul, during her residence in the body, contracts many virtuous and vicious habits, so as to become a beneficent, mild, charitable, or an angry, malicious, revengeful being; a substance inflamed with lust, avarice, and pride; or, on the contrary, brightened with pure, generous, and humble dispositions: that these and the like habits of virtue and vice, growing into the very essence of the soul, survive and gather strength in her after her dissolution: that the torments of a vicious soul in a future state, arise principally from those importunate passions which are not capable of being gratified without a body; and that on the contrary, the happiness of virtuous minds very much consists in their being employed in sublime speculations, innocent diversions, sociable affections, and all the ecstasies of passion and rapture which are agreeable to reasonable natures, and of which they gained a relish in this life.

Excerpt From: Addison, Joseph. “The Tatler: By the Right Honourable Joseph Addison, Esq;.” Oxford Text Archive, Oxford University.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Middle-C

In the compass of my admittedly shallow experience, the triflings of my existence have today changed from off-key to Middle-C. I had begun to think that the Forces of Evil had conspired against me; dissonance characterized my universe. To begin, several days ago I discovered by accident when examining my Moissanite "gem" in my pinky ring that there was an unmistakeable smudge on the centre flat surface resembling a small oil slick. As with any of these ostensibly negligible issues I at first pretended to ignore it.  But my obsessiveness kept me re-examining the stone to see if by chance I had possibly been deceived by the mere refraction of light. I cleaned the jewel every morning as usual with Ivory dish soap and an old toothbrush.  But the stain persisted. Because the blemish was so difficult to isolate (the exact light and angle were required), I entertained the further possibility that the smear was an anomaly only, a mere accident of circumstance, one that might never be repeated.  This thesis also gave way in short order. Finally I concluded that the stone was defective and forever stained.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Why I'm voting for Donald Trump

There are just too many people, organizations, movements and institutions that already object to much of what I do or think to persuade me to alter my view of Donald Trump. Long ago I stopped being impressed by contrary opinions generally.  Not just because they were contrary but because they had no substance or were playing upon sensitivities to their own advantage and for no other purpose. Really! Who for example in their right mind in the year 2016 pretends to get offended by coarse language! The worst I can say about coarse language is that it lacks imagination; but to portray its usage as less than presidential is preposterous beyond belief!  Do you really think politicians don't regularly lapse into the vernacular when they're not in public!  Give me a break!  Wake up!  Let's start dealing with the real world!