Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quiet in the Snow

I haven't written much here because, well, I find I don't have anything much to say. Now there's a change... What could it be? Age? Hmmm. Yes, probably. Wisdom? No, probably not.

I think of stuff sometimes that I might write about here, in the middle of the night usually, then day comes and chases whatever it was away. Must not have been very important. So, I guess I'll just shut up for the time being.

We got a regular pounding of snow the other day, first time in a while, so I ran out with my camera and snapped a few.

Where Have You Gone Projectivist?

I am still reading, if not much writing, and I have been distressed in recent weeks to try to click through to my favorire Aussie Blogger, the Projectivist. One day, her lovely Blog was just gone. Removed. No more. I have been a bit worried. Proj., if you're out there, drop a line.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's A Wonderful World Part 2

I have again been indulging in a little guidebook reading. This time, it was the Golden Guide to Tropical Fish that came to hand. (Golden Press, NY 1975).

So, here for your consideration, are the names of some fish that some people actually have swimming around in their living rooms (probably in tanks - I don't know a lot about fish - our foray into fish ownership ended badly, for the fish and the children, but I am solid on the tank requirement):

The Bloodfin

The Glowlight Tetra

The Rummynose

The Dwarf Barb

The Flying Fox

The Skunk Loach

The Talking Catfish

The Brick Red Wag

I could go on and on. Sorry about not providing links through to these various fish. I am at the library with no time for a proper post. See you on the weekend!

Friday, February 12, 2010

OK, I Can't Really See That Chateau From Our House

You may be surprised to learn that there are not many Chateaux along the banks of the Mississquoi. I don't think the Last House, a clapboard number that is falling into its cellar hole, qualifies. However, I just finished reading Nancy Mitford's biography of Madame de Pompadour (Mistress of Louis XV, among other things) and I bought a little collection of postcards from the 1950s at the thrift store the other day and, so, voila, today we have a faux view from the Last House.

Bon weekend tout le monde.

Nancy Mitford's book was so good, BTW, that even though I just finished reading a copy from the library, I shelled out for one of my own.

Oh, and "Vert" "Mont" is, you guessed it you clever rascal, French for "Vermont."

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Woolfoot Decade?

I've just had a look at the Cluster Map, the little widget at the bottom of this page, that shows, roughly, the location of visitors to this blog. You know, it's that teeny world map with the little dots showing that makes the world look like it has measles.

I saw a Cluster Map on someone else's blog a couple of years ago and decided I needed one too if I was going to keep track of the global location of the 5-10 people a day who typically stumble in here.

Anyway, I had a gander at my Cluster Map today, and I find I need to have a word with you people from central Asia, Africa and most of South America. You are really not holding up your end when it comes to visiting my blog. I'm not happy about it.

Vast tracts of planet Earth, populated by hundreds of millions of human beings, and not one of you could be arsed to stop in here in the last few months? I am getting the idea that unimaginably broad swathes of humanity are not interested in reading about my trips to the dentist, or reports on the latest cracked plate I have acquired, or the funny things my kid said.

So I am here today to ask, just once then I will let it drop, what is wrong with you people of central Asia, Africa and South America? How do you think this ostentatious absence of yours makes ME feel?

Before you start composing your responses, be advised that I don't want to hear (and won't publish) a lot of lame excuses like, "oh, but I do not speak English," or "my village has electricty only two hours a day," or "there is a civil war here" or "the authorities will not allow it," or "I have river blindness" or, worst of all, "I am not interested in anything you have to say."

I'll bet whereever you are on the aforementioned continents that you managed to procure cooking oil and some form of starch today. So??? How much harder would it be to have a look at a few posts at this web address?

The cold fact is that I, like all writers of this sort of material, require validation. The more the better. Being ignored is hurtful. Even if you Asians, Africans and South Americans would just zip in here and zip back out again I would get a new pock mark on my world Cluster Map.

Let's see what you can do.

I'll be watching.

How do you say: "don't let me down" in Kazak?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Stranger in a Strange Land

Gawd. His teeth are awful!

I have visited a strange, foreign land recently, one close to home, but in another way, far, far away. (And no, it wasn't Canada).

In this place, the people rise early and, before leaving their homes, they take a toothbrush, one that costs about $180.00, and attend to their teeth. The $180 toothbrush has a timer that alerts the citizens of this land when 30 seconds have passed, so that the toothbrush can be advanced to the next quadrant within the brusher's mouth. Quadrant by quadrant, the teeth are cleaned, front and back. Also the gums, which are carefully and thoroughly raked by the vibrating bristles, and also the tongue, which is regarded in this land as a kind of louche quarter, where bacteria linger and multiply and get up to their bacteriological evil doings and hence must be power swept away.

In addition to being freed from the menace of bacteria, the teeth in this process have also been just a little bit remineralized, as the toothpaste in question is a prescription-only $22 tube from 3M - the same people who make reflective material for Stop signs and Post-it Notes. How clever are the scientists at 3M! Their toothpaste has four times the amount of fluoride available in those toothpastes available for $1 at Family Dollar.

After the two minutes brushing is completed, the residents of this country replace their toothbrush in its charger and proceed to take out a small angled brush, with a little tuft at each end, something that looks like it might be used to clean one's ears. With this they reach back behind the back molars, wisdom teeth if they have been so unwise or so cheap as to have held onto those, and give those dark alleys a police raid. When that is done, they reach for the floss, which follows brushing in this land as night follows the day. The floss is wrapped tightly around the fingers and then, tooth by tooth, crevice by crevice, it is pulled between and behind each tooth. Again, the gums are tended. Then, at last, there is the remineralizing mouth wash.

This strange place is the land wherein my dental hygienist dwells. I visited her there this week. Each time I venture over her border, she insists on sharing the folkways of her country with me. She wants me to move in there. In my heart, I say "never, not a chance," but I don't say this out loud, of course. I lay back in the chair and look at the mirror, again, as she demonstrates proper flossing technique, again, and I lie, again, about my dental cleaning regime. She is polite, but I can tell she is not fooled. I can tell that she believes that I don't give my teeth a properly central position in my life, that I have refused to invest in them as I have been advised, both in terms of cleaning them and fixing them. I know she despises me, at least a little, for my apsotasy.

In her world, the tooth occupies the place that King Kong occupied in the life of the islanders from whom he was fetched by the white people. I am not at home in this land. I am hasty brusher with an inferior electric brush (no timer), a half-assed flosser, a gun ignorer. I am repelled by the idea of brushing my tongue and I suppose this shows

Honestly, my teeth aren't bad. All are white, or whitish - at least the ones in the front that anyone can see. More importantly, none of them hurt. My hygienist seems to be on a campaign to convince me that this is not good enough.

My resistance to her efforts to get me a passport for her country is made a bit easier by the fact that I sense she is working at least partly on commission. The references to the superior toothbrushes, rinses and pastes have the same ring as a hairdresser's pitches for shampoos, conditioners and fixatives when you are captive in their chairs. Ha! I was born at night, as the saying goes, but it wasn't last night. I'll give the office a call when something breaks or falls out or causes me pain.

I did buy the $22 toothpaste, though.