pleasant times

Lovely indoor walk with Paul yesterday at Lougheed. He seems very beaten down and oppressed by his illness but cheered up for the walk. It always cheers folks up to eat, so we got some lo mai gai, which was particularly fine in comparison with previous outings, and there was a lone har gaw in there because they were out of enough lo mai gai to fulfil my order, and the hot and sour soup was as good as I ever remember it being there. We went to Cobb’s but I didn’t buy treats, just spongy crusty white bread which is my kryptonite for stuff I’m s’posed to lay off for my liver.

Continue reading pleasant times

goodness I slept late

I have no idea how that happened. (10 mg THC lozenge rolls tiny cartoon eyes). Alex is still passed out but he’s stirring so he’ll be up soon. I will not be partaking for the sake of my fatty liver, but we’ll go to Tim Hortons and get treats plus orange juice for Alex.

Sent the ‘Gamer Uncle’ photo to Suzanne, who said bwa ha ha and advised me of such by return email. Keith is working very hard to be a good rellie to Suzanne, and it’s working because she adores him (most especially for his efforts with Ryker – who, just in case anyone hasn’t been paying attention, also adores Keith – and his being committed to cooking her gluten free.)

Battle Cats, Alex’s latest game, has very compelling music… so compelling that Alex feels compelled to sing along with it (he misses like one note in a hundred, so that makes me feel good too.)


Scales on a moth wing from a microphotography contest
Scales on a moth wing, Alex’s new desktop pic.

Wordle in three HURRRAAHHH, Lumosity no top scores, 2242 words on Instructor, 23321 words on T.B.

Errybuddy have a good day yall.

Alex just got a good night call from his parents

Which was very sweet.

I’ll be asking him to “lights out” in a few minutes. Also just learned what his email address is.

So many happy feels right now.

pOp’s recent surgery results are back and he’s going to be with us for a while longer. Which is good, because the Camaro will be coming back in a week, all fixed up thanks to Uncle Gary. There is definitely something to live for


Blond Alex plays Batle Cats just before bed.

you little punk

I am still laughing once in a while as I remember a phone call – brief and sputtering – during which I was ATTEMPTING to communicate with Katie and she began to yell,


and then she told me that Ryker was running madly around her place naked with a pen so she had to chase him down. You could then hear him grizzling in the background for about 4.5 seconds before he started zooming around again.

Those poor cats.

Alex is coming for a sleepover later this week, exact evening to be determined. Jeff is considering asking him to assist with pinball fixing.

My allergies are not horrible – I don’t take antihistamines and I can still manage to sleep – but they sure aren’t great.

Very much enjoying Medium, which Jeff suggested, and it’s proving to be a fine choice as it depicts a solid marriage relationship and normal family life…. as well as the spookier stuff.

Spoke to Dave yesterday and he recommended the new “Vandervalk”.

1685 words on Instructor, still stuck at the old word count on TB. Wordle in 4, Lumosity will happen after some tea and toast.  Then a shopping expotition.


Alex and the guitar

His dad bought him a half-sized guitar and mentioned I could help him put new strings on it. While the strings were off I polished the guitar. Alex put four out of the six strings on and took to it like a duck to water, massively enjoying using the guitar tool for all of its uses. Handy little thing. Then I tuned it, warned him it wouldn’t stay in tune and then we fixed the guitar bag. The bag had two broken zipper pulls so I handmade replacements out of leather thongs I got during my “spend money on steampunkish things” days and a steampunk style heart and a gear (Alex picked what he wanted out of the pile and picked the thong colour so it’s to his specifications). Now all the pulls work and the guitar is back in the bag. It will go home so the folks can admire all the work he did, but come back here to live when he next comes over.

We made our walk to Timmy Ho’s but I almost didn’t make it – walking so close to taking my BP meds leaves me pretty wrung out. However I managed to rejoin my party after about ten minutes of lying down once we got home. I could hear Jeff and Alex talking and laughing, which is just so homey…..

My digestion right now is completely shot. I need to not drink coffee when I’m marginal, That Much I KNow for sURe.

In a second I’ll run back downstairs and fire up Peggle on the xBox. That game is almost twenty years old, amazing. It’s on the same disc as Plants Vs Zombies and Zuma.

Everyone have a good day, y’all, and if you’re feeling poorly remember you can always call me and I’ll say ‘there there’ to absolutely no effect, but I will say it.

Special love today for Sue G., who keeps crossing my thoughtways, Derry, who will be missed by our family as long as one of us remembers her, and Susie H, who was an awesome mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and whose kindness and skill is ever a beacon of memory.

Alex is coming

Alex will be here for a sleepover tonight.

Two loads of laundry. 19336 words.

I made split pea with ham soup yesterday. I’d bought the ingredients but hadn’t got my shit together to make it. The soup filled the house with a heavenly aroma; then the flatus begins.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

posted these yesterday on social media

I would rather adjust my life to your absence, than adjust my boundaries to accommodate your disrespect.

graffiti from Esquimalt, FART ON COPS

REASONS TO LIVE BOOKSHOP ADVERTISING STICKER  my other car suddenly has its alarm going off onboard the queen of surrey while en route to Reasons to Live books and records



Pray for us sinners

Keith and I are on deck to look after Ryker today since Suzanne is ill. I didn’t get any calls or emails yesterday saying she’s coming so I’ll be heading out in an hour.

I am looking forward to it but I know I’m going to be a wreck when I get home har de har.

Keith and Paul had a successful expotition. Janice is driving Paul back in a couple of days and then visiting for a few days, and Keith as mentioned is back and prepping for a day full of Ryker hopefully by being completely unconscious at the moment (it’s 4:51 am). I’ll be asking Katie for his routine and feeding schedule when I get over there.

19207 words.

I’m blowing hot and cold on taking the laptop. I think I’ll take the new uke. Of course that will drive Keith nuts but oh well.

One of my dearest dears on twitter is an MSU grad and the shooting took place in her old dorm (3 dead, shooter unalived himself) and so I woke up to twitter this morning this dear woman who is a therapist herself needing therapy herself and literally not knowing who to call after a white night. She doesn’t think she can work today…..

bathtub dive and Alex pickup

I just found out you can sing into the extra soundhole on this Riversong ukulele and get absolutely wild harmonic effects. Also, yesterday I learned THE ORIGINAL LYRICS to the ‘2 & 20 Blues’ and they completely change the tone of the song. I shall herewith demonstrate: The very first line is “There’s evil men in this DOGGONE town” but the way my ex (and Dr Filk) taught it was ‘GODDAMN’ and that really changes things. First is worldweary, second is angry, and the song is resigned, not angry. The very last line is “You may say that I’m wrong but you know I FEEL all right.” I was taught ‘I’LL BE’. The singer is OKAY IN THE PRESENT, not sometime in the future. But right now! The song’s about grabbing life where and when you can, not hoping you’ll be happy sometime.

Thank you for attending this bathtub dive into 2 & 20 Blues by Linda Morrison, pressed 1981.

Continue reading bathtub dive and Alex pickup

Holiday greetings

In no order:

Merry Xmas to the dude on reddit who asked an uncaring universe if he was a nutbar for not taking the Coquihalla this weekend to make it for a family Christmas. I assured him he was not crazy; nothing’s impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it. When an atmospheric river meets an arctic outflow, wild shit falls from the skies.

To my brother Jeff I wish the very best the ‘holiday’ allows him – which is hilarious given that he’s a phone call away from having to work at any moment – and a wish that at some point over the next couple of days we settle in for some ‘real’ Christmas telly: Die Hard, a Call the Midwife Christmas special, maybe a Lord of the Rings or Hobbit binge. Maybe even watch the King’s Broadcast, if only to mock him roundly. I disdain that boorish manchild.

Love and social distancing to the fOlks; we’re not seeing you this Christmas. Remember when the kids were little? and we were somehow obliged to drive hither thither and yon in The.Worst.Fucking.Weather that Southern Ontario could shove in our faces at the end of its tobacco-stained arm? Those days have passed. We can all thank The Grand Joculator for that blessing. Of course I’d rather be there. But the great thing about being a member of this family is that we don’t chivvy each other into social occasions by nagging and guilting the shit out of each other or trivializing each other’s safety; I find this of more comfort than whatever I can derive in a ferry lineup after four cancellations.

To my Ontie Mary and all of her kin of the Niebuhr line, even the ones that are still convinced Jesus in a UFO is comin’ for the righteous, I extend greetings and best wishes for a quiet, joyous and safe Christmas. Cousinly greets to Shauna, John and Katherine.

To the spirit of Jim P, and his surviving family; I hope you have the best Christmas you can. I love you guys and wish I had something other than my own grief to offer as a gift.

To my friend Peggy, whom I haven’t even called in a month because I’m such a bum, Warmest and Brightest wishes of the season. I don’t think I’ll get those biscotti to you before Christmas. I haven’t been busy; I just keep forgetting to buy almonds, and when I looked at the prices at Rave-on yesterday I damned near died of fright.

To the crows and wee birdies; yes I got peanuts and sunflowers; I will put out feed during the worst of the weather event.

To my friend Dave, shifting on his laurels as a soundly published poet, I offer hopes for a spark of cognition which becomes a flame of output. Yeah, right.  You and I have always been at opposite ends of the word spigot….

To my pharmacist YOU ARE THE FUCKING BOMB. Happy holidays! To any pharmacists reading this, thou as well.

To my doctor; thank you for the latest scrip; after many months my blood pressure is now pretty much normal whenever I record it.

To Sue: may the year ahead be filled with family, love, and the work you have chosen with such distinction and success.

To all my former coworkers at the House of X – even if I didn’t like you very much when I was working with you, how I miss you now! It’s a reminder of how familiarity, and time, shifts all things in our feelings. Thinking of you all at midwinter, with particular effect for Mike (of course, special mention), Jerome (seeing him on the 28th weather willing), Stephanie, Sarah, Glenda, Mohammad, Arzina, Jim, Brian, Tom, Ryan, Carlos, Darryl, Ngoc, Patricia and many others whose faces are clear and whose names I cannot now recall.

To my landlady Kim F, who is currently training her replacement and I cannot tell you how sad this makes me since she is literally one of the people I’ve known longest in this town, I’ll probably never see her again after she quits— You were a really good landlady. Sure glad I didn’t have to call you about a plumber. I hope you have a lovely holiday and your daughter brings you nice presents.

To Tammy, whom I’m supposed to visit with on the 26th. O darlin’, I hope your trip to Vancouver (she’s flying in from Hawaii on Saturday) goes smoothly, but I really don’t think it will. Even so, I wish you the best of this season and my earnest hopes for a lovely day of tooling around the lower mainland seeing sights for Boxing Day. That’s what I wish for us. (We were thinking of getting together with the fam but holy cats with the amount of respiratory crud going through that house I can’t see that being a good idea a-tall.)

For Paul, hopes for a better sounding chest; for Keith, well he already got several denominations of my best wishes for a great Christmas (and promptly spent it on groceries, foreign editions please copy); for Katie, grace and peace for 20 minutes in the middle of her bustling household. In the spirit of Christmas I publicly acknowledge that Daxus is back with Katie and we’re all trying to hold grace for someone making an effort. Katie’s happier. I don’t know what else to say. We’re allowed to change our minds.

To Alex and Ryker; a grandmother’s blessing on you. You’re not getting anything else from me, by order of mammabear.

Ah Suzanne! I have enveloped you as a family member and it’s a wonderful thing. I hope you have the peaceful, joyous and family filled Christmas of your fondest wishes. (Note. Suzanne is Dax’s mother. Suzanne knows how to do blended families and I am doing my best to learn from her.) I hope you have all the gluten free treets yer belleh can hold!  Hope three days a week of Rykercare doesn’t prove too much for you.

Fond greetings to Bonnie.

To Leo and Linda and their lively agglomeration of kids and grandkids: merry and joyous best wishes of the season to you all!

To Catherine C, Bob W, Colin H, Jan & Soon and their kinfolk, my Seattle filkfen, Cindy, Jaz, Elias and Kaitlyn (sp), Lois and Bob, kids and grandkids, Ruth and John & their kids, Juliana & household, Al P., Lorna @ IHOP, all the Doordashers who’ve brought food over the last couple of years (and the nameless kind souls who cooked it), to the people processing images from the JWST, Michael Balter & the rest of the gang on twitter, I wish health, strength, and fortune at Christmas and for the year to come.







There are very few painkillers left on store shelves; children’s painkillers are virtually unavailable.

and it’s all going to get dramatically worse. Although the Chinese government is not reporting the death toll from COVID after releasing the lockdown, hearses queued in front of funeral homes tell no lies.

President Xi had a terrible choice; let millions of people die, or sit still for the largest wave of civil unrest in decades. So he let the pressure off the population, and now they’re too busy getting ready for CNY and, you know, dying, possibly of variants whose existence will be as a direct result of the end of the lockdown, to give him any grief domestically.

Overseas Chinese are mailing tylenol home. China makes 40% of the world’s medicine supply. I’m sure you can see where this is going; a complete collapse of the global medical supply chain. There will be one style of hospital care for the rich and another for everyone else. COVID outbreaks in China will also slow shipping globally for everything else.

Pray you don’t get sick. This will be a hard, harsh winter, and a dubious and inauspicious spring.

Apparently Ryker ended up in hospital last week with a breathing problem; he was nebulized and went home. This was when he was with his da. Apart from being maybe 5 percent crankier than normal Katie didn’t notice that he was doing poorly, afterward, which is why I didn’t report it earlier. Scared me though!

So much snow

Yes, we got some. Ten centimetres, more in some spots. We’ll get wind today to blow it around. The house is like a meat locker; when it goes down to Minus Nine that poor little furnace can scarcely keep up. I got out of the house around 10 yesterday and shovelled a path through the back deck and I shovelled the front walk way but I was completely winded at the end of that. Jeff took over and did all the rest of it including the salting, which so far has prevented further accumulation.

Found my crampons!!! so happy, they are now hanging up in the front hall. Never know when you’re going to need the soddin’ things when it’s slippery underfoot.

And after me saying I haven’t heard from Katie, she phoned me that day, just the lightest checkin.

Alex (in front of Suzanne and his mother) was asked what he wanted for Christmas and after seriously considering the question gave a little frown and said, “I think I have everything I need,” and Katie and Suzanne were narrowly restrained from bawling their eyes out, I sure did when I heard about it.

I sang to Ryker through the phone and he smiled…. according to his mammabear, I doubt she’s fibbing.

I tried to watch the World Cup and left after the second goal. A small amount of ‘you missed an amazing game’ ensued. LOL I always leave things too early.

I am trying to move from Twitter to Mastodon and I probably should wait until my brain is no longer swimming in glue.

Lumosity scores continue very poor.

day plus childcare

So Alex is sick at home, Suzanne is coming here today, I need to drive over there to cover because Katie’s at work and Keith’s got an appointment. Paul is probably not even awake yet.

This was the deal. I help. I had finally gotten together the gumption to clean my room (I can claim it, you don’t have to believe it) and THERE YA GO. I’ll be too whacked when I get home, especially since I’ll be combining it with Necessary Errands.

The roads suck and I’m not too clear on what kind of tires are on the Echo. WHEEEEEEEEE





my apologies for the late checkin

Power was off 10:30 last night to 6:45 this morning. Jeff shovelled (bless!) and we are now back to being civilized.

I’m supposed to get more meds today, including another shot at a diuretic.

pOp went to hospital yesterday. It’s his story to tell, but he’s still alive and I’m glad I was here when mOm called after putting him in the ambulance. I told her to take her walker, take knitting, take her phone and take a cab. Giving advice that gets taken is the crown of adulthood. He was in overnight and with luck should be back home today.

Grandson Alex is still sick this morning but recovering reasonably well.