It's one of my favorite things to do, sitting looking out the window of a pub. This was last Monday afternoon. The Bow Bar in Edinburgh. I was just getting used to the time zone and would fly out the next day. Two guys standing at the bar in the small one room space were providing the background track to the seat with a view. Apparently, the Bow Bar is packed on weekends but who sits in bar staring out the window on weekends? It's something to do when your colleagues are at work. When you could be writing a report. Making plans. Paying bills.
A busy Remembrance Day. Elementary school assembly hall at 9:15 am then right over to the main City of Kingston gathering. I say the main one as there is another which starts about 15 minutes for the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery about 200 yards away, then one for the Burma Star after the main one, then one after that at the naval memorial. All are well attended. And well protected. A large police presence with other sorts of security moving around us. All well received. Except by that guy with the black back pack on the bike. Seriously. He went on his way after a good searching.
Lunched. Being off work while the kids are at school does wonders for the luncheon scene. Luncheon dates need a revival. Our first time at Carmelinda's. No avacado to be seen but a solid and surprisingly good chicken sandwich. Thence to Home Depot for stuff to further fix the fence. 12 gauge metal plate to screw in across a week spot. $3.39. It must be 45 weeks since the ice storm of last December. I have the fence 78% fixed and will have to get through another winter in that admittedly enhanced state even if the rot is in. It actually feels fairly solid even if it's all jury rigged. Cheap and jury rigged. Needs to be cheap seeing that the new in-the-wall oven is coming in two weeks. Why?
Oh me nerves. Convection oven fan motor fried right at the end of roasting the chicken for dinner. It made a funny noise and, when I looked in the oven, the fan at the back was glowing bright orange like the coals at the foot of the gates of hell. Race downstairs. Shout to the kids to get upstairs. Thinking of how to call the fire dept. Pull fuse for oven. No flames when I get back upstairs. Leave oven door open to let everything cool. Then find a really good bottle of port. Because the chicken was, in fact, done. Like the oven. And roasted chicken and roasted convection oven fan both good with good port.
That was Saturday night. Me on Facebook, Oh. Me. Nerves. So, a new oven is coming.
And then the beets. Maybe 15 pounds of them? A third of a bucket with a full bucket of greens. Chopped the greens, sauteed them in olive oil and garlic, added a little ham, a little mustard. Kids ate it with a 60% rate of enthusiasm. I've seen worse.
The fourth Internet is scary like Darwinism, brutal enough to remind me of high school... If the first Internet was “Getting information online,” the second was “Getting the information organized” and the third was “Getting everyone connected” the fourth is definitely “Get mine.” Which is a trap.
It sums it up neatly. The end of information. The prostitution of data space. I am not sure it has caused me to consciously draw away from writing on this blog but it may have contributed. "Getting mine" includes those paywall spaces, too. Fees are necessary, agreed, but what ever happened to micro payments? Surely PayPal could be harnessed to let me reach newspaper articles for four pennies a piece. Not that I had high hopes all these years ago. I compared blogging or Web 2.0(a) to CB radio when it was mainly a hobby. Over eleven years ago as it turns out.
Perhaps it is because I make a little money from writing now. I used to make money from blog ads and now make money from book contracts. I am regressing into old media. Because it is reliable. Should I add a question mark to that? Because it is reliable? If I titled this post "Twenty one ways the fourth internet will make you angry... and then leave you amazed!" I would fit in better these days.
Previous celebrations: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Unlike last year when snow lays about in dirty lumps, it lays about us deep and frigid. No seeds have been ordered let alone sprouted. Baseball seems months away still. Thank God for a small wine cellar and a working furnace.
Happy we are that the stove top and basement fireplace both run on natural gas. We still have electricity but if and when we don't it'll be days and days of grilled cheese then porridge, grilled cheese then porridge. We can hold out on that for a week. Week two? Beans on rice? The back step will be our freezer, the cold room under the front step our fridge. For suburbanites, we have it good - or at least the house was built in '64 with an awareness of nature. Wine is expected to still operate in an extended blackout. As with banjos. Very Christmassy so far... sitting here early on a Saturday evening, four days before the day. Best image of the first day of the ice storm? Street skating.
I made a quick trip to the Library and Archives of Canada as part of researching the book on Ontario beer history. Among the most interesting things seen was all the white with black veined marble throughout the place. That's the foyer up there. The Wellington Street building down the road from Parliament and the Supreme Court has an odd combination of the white marble, aged pine and brass fittings. It feels like the Earth HQ might have looked like on Space:1999. Apparently I failed to notice the Henry Moore down to my right when I took the picture.