a fair to middling source of information 

November 11th, 2010

A page of my journal is like a cake of portable soup.

James Boswell


Wanted: pristine, or at least reasonably clean, mountain stream water bottled at the source in glass (not plastic) bottles by monks, or nuns or semi-religious persons of some variety. I would like these shipped directly to my door or somewhere I can get fairly easily on my bike. No, better make that on a bus route, we're going to get snow any day. Box 3.
For rent: secluded hideaway in a provincial park. So secluded I don't even know where it is but if you find it it's 400$/wk. Box 298.
For sale: prieceless colection of mispelt wurds. Mussed staiy tagether. Mak mee ann ovur. Bix %^!.
Johnson seeks Boswell. Care to follow me around and write down everything clever that I say? Position offers no financial remuneration but immense personal satisfaction and a kind of reflected glory. Box 1709.

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Listen to Part Eighty-One

Click on the picture. (3:15)

Or start from the beginning.



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The Coming of Winter

If you are at all like me (and let's hope you aren't - for your sake) you are probably not really looking forward to the coming of winter. Oh sure, it is a good time to read those books you've been putting off reading, darn those socks you've been putting off darning and perhaps even tidy up the place a bit.

But the only reason it's a good time to do those things is because it is no longer a good time for wandering about out of doors and doing fun things like sauntering along the boulevards, sitting in a park, going swimming at the beach or drinking on a patio (that is, at a bar or at the home of someone you know - it is not a good idea to just clamber up onto some stranger's patio with your case of Lucky - trust me on this one).

Winter has become a time for study and reflection out of necessity and not out of choice. Unless you are one of those strange types who enjoys winter "sports" like snow-boarding or skiing or snowmobiling, you are likely to be much happier inside for the next few months.

One thing I would recommend for maximising your enjoyment of the cold and flu season is mulled wine. Now mulled wine is basically regular red wine that has been mulled. Hence the name.

So how does one mull wine? One merely adds some cinnamon and orange zest and maybe a little brandy and a clove or two to a healthy portion of red wine. Then you heat the whole mess in a pot on your (or someone else's) stove. But don't boil it. That would be boiled wine which is something very different.

Pour some of the resultant mixture in a mug and sit down in a big comfortable chair. Now it is time to read one of those books you've been putting off reading. Maybe Moby Dick, or War and Peace. You will have sufficient time for getting through some of the longer ones. Hell, you could even tackle Clarissa or the Mahabharata.

I would recommend having a little music playing in the background. Something reasonably sedate. You don't want something raucous that's going to get you all worked up and cabin feverish. Some friendly advice? Stay away from the punk rock. Some Well-Tempered Clavier perhaps. Throw an afghan (the blanket - not the dog or someone from Afghanistan) over your lap and you're set.

You can take a break from the Melville or Richardson or Vyasa to darn some socks if you like a bit of variety, but I'd give the tidying up a miss. Remember what Quentin Crisp used to say: after seven years of not cleaning your apartment doesn't get any dirtier.

And remember: Spring is only five months away.

Elrose Watermuldar


Part Seven

Leonard paused in his story. Simone could tell that he was clearly upset. She wasn't quite sure what to say. This was all pretty new to her. She had never heard of an animal changing species before.

Simone felt she had to say something though, so she asked if that was when Chester the Squirrel became Mr. Turble the Badger. The old squirrel looked up at her with a confused expression. Oh no, he said, it was not so easy. He seemed to think this should be obvious but to Simone none of this seemed obvious at all. Or even plausible.

Leonard explained that from that point on all the squirrels knew what was up (Simone assumed that the old fellow had ratted out his former friend) and they had even less time for Chester than they had before. Chester didn't seem to mind. He seemed happy to leave squirreldom behind (this was clearly incomprehensible to Leonard).

Chester began painting black and white stripes on his head whenever he was wandering out and about and he was often seen wearing sweater vests of the type favored by badgers and of a kind that no self respecting squirrel would choose to be run over in. But this was not the thing that most upset the park squirrels.

Given enough time the squirrels probably could have learned to live with the defection of one of their number provided that traitor went off to live with the badgers and they never had to see or deal with him in any way shape or form (squirrels are pretty good at writing individuals off).

But that is not really what Chester was doing. What was truly alarming to the squirrel community was that Chester seemed to be hanging around more than when he had actually been a member of the Family Sciuridae in good standing. And what's more he seemed to be taking notes!

To be continued...

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