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Showing posts from March, 2017

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I made it through three books in March. Doesn't sound like much but two of them were quite lengthy.

I started out with #22 in the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan series True Faith and Allegiance. Written by Mark Greaney. At over 700 pages it took a while to get through but it was in the true Clancy still and elicited a 5 star rating.

Next up was one of the most entertaining and informative books I've read in some time. Richard Ben Cramer's What It takes: The Way to the Whitehouse is a comprehensive, in-depth look at the 1988 American election. His sweeping study covers contenders George Bush, Robert Dole, Michael Dukakis, Gary Hart, Joe Biden and Dick Gephardt, among others. Referred to as a cross between Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson, Cramer's research here is exhaustive. At over 1000 pages if you'e a political junkie like I am you want this on your bookshelf. Another 5 star rating.

I closed out the month with Dennis Lehane's 5th in the Kenzie and Gennaro private det…

Just Don't Poop

Mrs Dufus and I were watching our daily post-dinner fare on the big screen last night when after being bombarded by ads for Robillard Hearing Aids (Hi Julia! - it's a local thing), Chip Reverse Mortgages and Acorn Stair Lifts I turned and remarked "you know, I think only old people watch TV these days". It seems all the ads are aimed at people of my advanced age, and older. Well, except for the local radio ads that pump out formats of millennium musical miss-mash. God I'm old.

And then I reflect on just where I'm at. Let's see, chemo, renal diet, daily weight and blood pressure readings, taking my blood sugar three time a day for my diabetes. hearing aids, endless pills in the morning and at night, etc., etc, etc.

So maybe those ads are targeted at me. Not Mrs D 'cause she's not as old as I am - she keeps reminding me.

It's gotten to the point I've seen those Stair Lift ads so often I can almost recite them from memory. In fact I like to talk…

What's Cooking?

Fidel was not only a gourmet but also a bit of a gourmand. He loved food. And he let everybody know it. In fact, at least once a week he'd host a dinner party and invite friends over to impress them with his mastery in the kitchen but also at the table. This show of largesse was on top of his day job as a renowned chef at one of the city's better restaurants.

But Fidel was all that and more. Not only could he cook up a storm but he always knew what side dishes, desserts and wines best went with his meals.

Of course his friends loved Fidel and felt privileged to be invited to share in his culinary creations.  So impressed, his friends pledged their troth to Fidel, promising never to eat the food of any other chef in the city. And this made Fidel very, very happy.

One week, following a lavish and mouth-watering multi-course dinner and several bottles of appropriately paired wines everyone helped clear away the dishes to make room for dessert and a liqueur.

When one of the diner…

A Scintilla Of A Pun

Peter and Mary met at Bible school. They were in love. Deeply in love. But as in many new relationships Peter wanted to take things to a deeper level - nudge, nudge, wink, wink - but Mary wasn't ready to go there.

"Oh, Peter" she'd say when things would start to get hot and heavy "that would be a sin."

And Peter would back off. "Sin schwin" Peter thought (a good Christian Peter didn't swear and instead took a bicycle's name in vain.) "just when are things gonna change?"

This went on for some time. But Peter was persistent.

Peter would come on at the drive-in but Mary would say "Peter, that would be a sin."

They'd go for walks in the park at night but "Oh, Peter, that would be a sin."

On a deserted beach. Oh, Peter, that would be..."

On the couch when they were alone. "Oh, Peter, that..."

And Peter got the hint. Mary was caving. When she protested but ever so mildly "Wouldn't that b…

The Needle And The Damage Done

That's my right forearm. It's purple. I have a left one the very same. That's some serious bruising. Why? No, Mrs. D. and I didn't trade blows although it kinda looks like it. No, I have the nurses at the Ottawa General Hospital to thank for it.

Every week I have an appointment at the hospital's Medical Day Care Unit for chemotherapy. But while I show up my veins often don't. Maybe they're scared. I would be too after all the poking and prodding. The chemo is intravenous and that means a needle into a vein. More often than not however it takes several attempts to find one.

You know how they say "third time's a charm"? In my case they say fourth or fifth time. And each miss results in a piece of gauze and several strips of tape over the failed attempt. By the time I'm done I've used up a significant portion of the hospital's tape allowance.

Just as an aside, I think nurses as a rule take a special course in tape usage. They're …

The World According to Jean

Canada is blessed with two main all news networks, CTV News Channel and CBC News Network. In my house we have a third called the Jean Network. The Jean Network is a term I've affectionately given our handy man Jean who is doing some work for us around the house. I haven't told him this though.

Jean is a personable guy, sociable might be a better word, very sociable, and informed. He spends all day listening to talk radio while he's working so he's up there on the latest news.

I say news but it started with the weather. We've had a considerable dump of snow lately and the temperature's been extremely cold. How cold? Don't worry. Jean will tell me when he arrives for work each day.

Ans he's the one that told me about the multi-car pileup on the 401 and the even multier (new word alert) car pileup on the Quebec Highway where people actually had to be taken to hospital with frostbite after being rescued from their cars. And I learned from the Jean Network …

Sunset Boulevard Redux

When she was much younger Barb had a dream job. One that she'd aspired to all her life. She was a singer in a prominent girl group. She got to dress up, get all dolled up and accessorized and best of all she got to sing and dance. She couldn't be happier. But Barb had a hard time separating her life on stage from real life. In fact, when she met new people she'd often shake their hands, look them straight in the eye, shoot her arms up in the air to the right and then the left, take a quick step forward, a step back, turn and whisper:

Hi, they used to call me Barb the Blue Angel
sha-la-la
doobyway
dum, dum, dum

And she continued to act this way long after they'd turned out the spotlight. She didn't know who had turned it out but someone evidently had. Probably the last one to leave the theatre. Needless to say people would be taken aback not having expected such a greeting. But Barb would just laugh and say:

Yakety yak, yakety yak
Don't talk back

She'd often tell…

Get Up, I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine

Now I wonder how many men have uttered those words made famous by James Brown, possibly followed by "Say hello to my little friend."

The older men get the more help they need in the sex machine department. Or so I'm told. Who knew James Brown did. I didn't. Maybe his problem was those tight pants. Just for the record. I don't wear tight pants.

Many aging men rely on the "little blue pill" or the yellow one. But that doesn't work for everyone. Unfortunately. But now there's something that might. Botox. You heard me. Not only does it give ladies a stiff upper lip. Now it might give men a stiff, um, somewhere lower.

It seems some Canadian urologists (let's hear it for Canadians!) have stumbled across another use for botox. They've been testing it on male rats. Now just for a moment try to imagine giving a needle to a male rat in his johnson. Must be a pretty small needle, not to mention the aforementioned sex machine. Do they need a magnif…

The Princess and the "P"

Penny was precious. A bit of a princess. All her life she'd been a little bit of a prima donna. She was pretty, sure. But it was more than just physical. To some, she could act in a preposterous fashion. To others, she seemed petty. But when all was said and done Penny was preoccupied with herself.

In her teens she was a punk with purple hair, pancake makeup and pink pullovers. She wore yellow pumps and stockings with tiny pin holes. And she had plenty of piercings. Needless to say her presence left something to be desired.

Penny's mom Pat and father Peter were at their wits end over Penny's appearance. And they worried too about the pals she chose to hang around with at public school. Pressed to explain Penny's comportment to her friends' parents Pat and Penny would pose such responses with the proclamation that "It's just a stage" and "Oh, she'll grow out of it."

Penny's parents must have been perspicacious because their little pr…