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Showing posts from February, 2017

My Back Pages - February 2017

This has to be one of the weirdest February's on record around here. Mild, mild temperatures, thunder, lightening and rain. Alas my reading this month wasn't quite as exciting.
Got four books under my belt this month. Two Nero Wolfes,  a great book about the television industry and a procedural about the Baltimore police homicide squad. 
The Rubber Band is Rex Stout's third Nero Wolfe novel and The Red Box his fourth. The two were written in the 1930's but they're wickedly funny and intriguing as far as detective stories go.
The third book was a fascinating look at that era of television unique to me and my generation, following the so-called golden age of television. The Platinum Age of Television: An Evolutionary History of Quality TV was a delightful and comprehensive look at television from the 60s and 70s onward. It's full of behind the scenes gems mined by TV critic David Bianculli.
The last book of the month fooled me. I remember watching Homicide: Life…

A View From Up North

Hello my American friends. I haven't seen your names show up among those folks streaming across our border through frozen fields of snow into our country so I guess you've decided to stick things out. How do you like him so far?

Funny how your leader has gone from The Donald to The President but still acts like The Donald. The epitome of self promotion he, and at least one other in his family, seem to have latched onto the ultimate way to improve the Trump brand. Although in Ivanka's case, I'm not so sure.

In the United States your President Donald Trump is king of reality TV. In Canada our Prime Minister Justin "Joe" Trudeau is King of the selfie. But there's a difference between our two preening leaders. One thinks he's popular. among the electorate. The other actually is

I feel sad for DJT because he lives alone in the White House as his wife, clearly not enamoured with  this First Lady business has chosen to live in Trump Tower in New York. So th…

Slow and Steady

He made his way down the stairs from the first level of the parking garage, his cane in one hand and the cold metal railing in the other. A loudmouthed mix of mostly millennials ran past him halting his downward progress. He waited until the joyful group exited the stairwell and then continued his slow and steady progress.

He reached the hospital entrance not unlike that tortoise who kept saying to himself 'slow and steady wins the race'. He knew he had the slow part down. The cane helped with the steady. But then he was in no hurry. His chemo appointment wasn't for another twenty-five minutes. He stopped and quickly queued at Second Cup and ordered a medium, then shuffled to the counter where they kept the milk and sweetener.

He stirred his coffee, popped a lid on top and made his way to the elevators. Back out in the main area he was amazed at the number of people rushing to and fro moving much faster than he was capable of. And he marvelled at the number of people who …

How Sweet It Is

Jack Arturie was in love. He had been for 30 years. Following a five year dating period Jack asked Tara Swain to marry him. Lucky for him, she accepted and they'd shared 25 years of wedded bliss. What's in a name? Well, she was his lovely swain for all the years they were together.

Tara was a little old school and believed the way to a man's heart was through his stomach. To this end she learned to bake and created sinfully sweet desserts for Jack at every meal.

Jack, of course, was in heaven and left unchecked he ballooned to well over 300 pounds. But Tara still loved Jack and continued to aim for his ever-increasing belt-sized stomach.

When out for lunch with Jack, his friends would express their concern over his sugar intake and ask if he'd ever asked his doctor to check for diabetes. Jack would simply laugh off their interventions as he tucked into a chocolate three-layer cake and washed it down with a Gatorade.

Snack-time was no different. Often Jack would down a…

You Don't Mess Around With Stan

Stan was an English major. He'd studied four years and was proud of his personal prowess when it came to his phraseology. That's vocabulary to you and me. He wasn't bad with the Sunday Times crossword puzzle either.

He was making his way through the latest word challenge as he sat in Starbuck's sipping an espresso. The shimmering sunshine slipped through the open window casting the shadow from his pencil placidly upon his newspaper. And if it weren't for the occasional bawl of the baristas seeking to match a coffee cup with a customer, the subtle drone of patrons made him almost doze off.  Stan thought the interior of the coffee shop was idyllic. Idyllic was a favourite word of Stan's and he often felt his surroundings to be idyllic, an outlook in keeping with his ultra-positive look at life. He also had great ardor for alliteration, in case you hadn't noticed.

And then there was Oliver. Oliver was a good friend of Stan's - the best perhaps. But Oliver…

I'm Just Waiting On A Friend

Terry said he'd meet Rich and Dave at two o'clock. Rich and Dave arrived at the agreed upon meeting place together, 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

Now, you should know that this was back in the day when cell phones and iPads hadn't been invented yet. And people would have looked funny carrying a rotary phone in their pocket. Plus the telephone cord would have to be super long.

Anyway, Rich and Dave were forced into a little session of "I Spy With My Little Eye" to pass the time until Terry arrived. As it turned out Terry was unavoidably detained and Rich and Dave were simply dying of boredom. After all, when you've seen one chrome refrigerator in the appliance store you've seen them all. Neither of them had thought to bring a pencil or paper so tic-tac-toe and origami were both out. Tick-tock, tick-tock the time passed so slowly they were bored right out of their skulls.

At last, 30 minutes past the time they were supposed to meet, Terry arrived on the sc…