Tag Archives: musings

A Good Bottle

A recent communique from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction states that “no amount of alcohol” consumption is healthy and rather is linked to cancer. However, having taken the time to find and read their report, I have to say that their research is limited and the results conflicting, so my opinion is that this warning is a bit over the top.

A good bottle of Okanagan red.

There is no doubt that alcohol can and does cause many, many problems, but I find this announcement, based as it is on small sample sizes, is sort of temperance-sounding and reminds me of the announcements years ago about barbecued food (among lots of other things) causing cancer.

Almost anything, if taken too far, can be a health risk. I like a good glass of wine, pairing it with meals and adding it to my cooking. Rightly or wrongly, my very French father (my parents had wine with dinner almost every evening) insisted that we children have a tiny glass (shot glass size) of wine with dinner; I was raised with wine (especially red) as a natural and delicious accompaniment to food.

As a result, I was never much interested in the teenage drunks that many of my friends indulged in; I found that whole idea silly and boring. So I think my father had the right idea. Alcohol wasn’t a mystery and it never became a problem.

An Okanagan vineyard.

I’m not going to change my consumption. I live in wine country and love finding great bottles for our cellar. Planning good food and picking the right complimentary wine to go with it is fun and adds to my enjoyment of the meal.

What do you think?

Busy Spider

I saw this rather intricate web on top of a bush.

There were lots of bits of leaves and other detritus caught in it, but I didn’t see anything a spider would want to eat.

It’s possible that’s this is the work of spider mites (they actually eat the plants they live on) but I don’t think so. The bush seems to be healthy and growing and the web strands seem much too large to be the work of tiny mites.

Happy Friday.

Harry and Meghan … Again

I am quite tired of seeing these two – whatever they are calling themselves – the Royal Formerly Known as Prince? the Fresh Princess of Montecito? – in the news, especially her.

The constant harping on their vacuous, shallow self-victimisation is so annoying, but for Meghan to make the claim “that a cast member from South Africa [an actor in The Lion King] pulled her aside to tell her … ‘I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same as we did when Mandela was freed from prison’ ” [The Cut: Meghan of Montecito, by Allison P. Davis https://www.thecut.com/article/meghan-markle-profile-interview.html ] is ridiculous. In fact, Mandela’s own son has come forward to deny that Meghan’s claim is true.

They’ve been living and working (do they work? I’m not sure what they do.) in the U.S. for longer than they lived in the U.K. as working royals, but they Just Can’t Stop Complaining about how awful it was and how much damage they suffered.

Or maybe that’s the point.

If the griping and whinging stops, people might forget about them and they might face … yikes! … anonymity. But isn’t that what they wanted? No, wait, maybe what they’re really concerned about is irrelevancy. So I guess the plan is to constantly remind everyone of how hard it was, how bad it was, how tooth-grindingly nasty it was to work as a member of the royal family, with ever more tales and howls of woe, racism, and bullying. Wait! Wasn’t it Meghan doing the bullying? Oy. This is giving me a headache.

Next up will be Harry’s book. I understand that it’s going to be a real doorstopper … er … showstopper. No doubt full of breath-taking and tear-jerking accounts of his life of deprivation and want. Maybe Meghan will interview him for her podcast series so that they can do some more public communing about extremely personal details in order to further finance their life of privileged “total privacy.”

Why should anyone listen to anything either of them have to say? Take away the royal fripperies and what are they? He’s a former second-rate prince who served in the military. Many, many of us have done that. (Not the prince part. The military part. 😉)

She’s a second-rate actress who, while she no doubt worked hard, got paid to pretend to be someone else. Most of us work pretty hard, and frankly, at jobs that are a lot more important – especially those of us who were uncomplainingly run ragged through a pandemic.

Why are they in a position to hold forth on anything? The fact is, they aren’t. Who cares what Meghan thinks about women’s issues or parenting? Her opinion is not worth any more or any less than anyone else’s, and given that she’s not really accomplished anything extraordinary, (is marrying a famous person extraordinary?) why should anyone listen?

Harry thinks his family is dysfunctional and that they all need to be freed from their royal shackles. Oh boy, where should I start? Ahem, Harry? We knew that about your family long ago. But you know what? It’s their choice, not yours. You made your decision, now stop complaining about theirs.

I really felt sorry for Harry and William when they lost their mom. It was heartbreaking and terrible watching those poor kids walk behind their mother’s coffin. But many, many kids have lost a parent, or both parents, or live in tragic, dire circumstances.

Eventually, excusing Harry’s behaviour because his mom died when he was young becomes an excuse in itself. Amidst the trappings of the Sussexes’ luxurious lifestyle – a conspicuously direct result of their royal family antecedents – their constant carping is wearing thin and is beginning to sound more and more angry and vengeful. It seems that they want the public to side with them against the nasties across the pond. In doing so, they are invading their own privacy (isn’t privacy largely the reason they quit?) and showing themselves as selfish and self-absorbed.

So, Harry and Meghan, listen up. Stop using your connection to the royals to make money off them while you complain about them at the same time. Stop giving people advice. You don’t know any better than most of us and a lot less than many of us. Stop yipping about privacy as you constantly stick yourselves in front of the cameras and microphones and then whine for the British taxpayer and/or UK police to provide a protection detail. In fact, just stop. Go live the ordinary life you said you wanted. At the very least, give it a good try. Most of us like it. We like it very much.

Bison Views

I saw a group of bison today.

And a couple of young ones who were play-fighting.

And that white stuff on the ground? Yikes. Last week it was 15C (59F) and sunny, but over the weekend, it started to pour rain, which turned to snow, which turned to rain, and then dropped below freezing. Everything is covered in ice-coated snow that in some places is about a metre thick.

So much for spring, but it was fun to see the bison!

To Spring or not to Spring …

… forward, that is. I find it unbelievably irritating and totally unnecessary. But what is probably a lot more irritating is that although politicians are listening to complaints about their time meddling, it’s only on their terms. Why? Because they want to nail it down to daylight “savings.”

Salvador Dali

Is it just me or is that totally thoughtless? Daylight “savings”? In December? The sun won’t peek over the horizon until 9 or 10 am. Apparently politicians don’t understand this concept. And summer? Try sending your kids to bed at 2 a.m., especially if you live anywhere northish. Yikes.

Salvador Dali

I want standard time. All year. Permanent daylight “savings” will feel like we are in the wrong time zone for most of the year and will affect our health. But apparently, daylight “savings” is supposed to be good for late shopping, so I guess that’s the only thing that matters. We’re just supposed to bow down and accept whatever is best for the God of Commercial Consumption.

Salvador Dali

What do you think?

Some Valentine’s Thoughts

Valentine’s Day can be a cute, lighthearted day, but I don’t like what has become of it. When I was in elementary school, it was fun to make cards, colour hearts and take them home for friends and family. There would likely be a few heart-shaped chocolates or a heart-shaped cake for dessert. It was a low-key, fun day.

Now, advertisers try to make us feel like moral degenerates if we don’t buy flowers, chocolates, restaurant meals and some sort of sexy present for our significant other, if we have one. It’s sort of, spend money, and spend THIS way, otherwise you don’t care about or love your people.

My M and I disagree. We don’t believe in giving special attention on just one day; we try to show it every day. We avoid going to restaurants or buying gifts for Valentine’s Day; the commercial demand that we celebrate in an “appropriate” way by spending money in a super-busy restaurant with over-worked staff who are serving up limp meals is not something on which we’re willing to spend money.

We would much rather go at a time of our choosing and really enjoy it. Give flowers at any time just because. Do little things and show in numerous ways how much we love and appreciate each other. Enjoy a chocolate heart.

But be guilted into a formulaic response so that big companies can collect money? No thank you.

What is your opinion?

The Insanity of Pointless Indulgence: 10 Things I Learned at Crate & Barrel Today

Note: It’s the holiday season, which means it’s also time for me to drag out some of my admittedly over-shared “Christmas” posts. Let’s start with …

The Insanity of Pointless Indulgence: 10 Things I Learned at Crate & Barrel Today

This is a truly hilarious but thought-provoking post from Brian Lageose. Please read, chuckle, and think.